Education in Nigeria
Education is the greatest force that can be used to bring about change. It is also
the greatest investment that a nation can make for the quick development of its
economic, political, sociological and human resources.
It was in realisation of this that a National Policy on Education was formulated
for the country. The policy seeks the inculcation of national consciousness and
national unity; the inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the
survival of the individual and the Nigerian society; the training of the mind in
understanding of the world around; and the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities
and competence both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live
in and contribute to the development of his society.
In order to preserve the culture of the people, government of Nigeria encourages
the learning of at least one major Nigerian language - Hausa, lgbo and Yoruba in
schools. In addition to the English language, which is the official language in
Nigeria and the medium of instruction in Nigerian educational institutions, students
are encouraged to learn the French language as a matter of policy.
This is referred to as the education given to children aged three to five years
prior to their entering primary school. This type of education is currently being
provided for mainly in privately owned institutions. Day care centres also exist
for children below the age of two. The pre-primary schools are mainly concentrated
in urban and semi-urban areas where there are working mothers who have no relation
nor house-helps to take care of their children
This is education given normally to children aged between six and eleven years and
above. Since the rest of the educational system is built upon it, the primary level
is the key to the success or failure of the whole system. The state and local governments
have the constitutional responsibility for primary education but private sector,
represented by individuals, communities, religious groups, and voluntary agencies
are permitted to own and run primary schools. Private schools usually charge fees
whilst public schools charge only a token amount in fees. Parents provide uniforms,
text-books and other school materials in both private and public schools.
Management of Primary Education
The management of primary education has been entrusted to the National Primary Education
Commission which has the following functions: Prescribe the minimum standards of
primary education throughout Nigeria. Inquire into and advise Government on the
funding of primary education in Nigeria
Manage the National Primary Education Fund as established by the Federal Government
and allocate the funds to the appropriate body desginatedby each State and the Federal
Capital Territory, Abuja, and to any agency responsible for Special Federal Governent
sponsored primary school project.
Collate, after consultation with all the State Governments, periodic master plans
for a balanced and co-ordinated development of primary education in Nigeria.
Education of handicapped children was not considered an important investment until
quite recently. Infact, the first school for handicapped children (excluding the
gifted) was established by the missionaries in 1932. However, by 1974, Government
has thought it fit to accord it due priority that it deserves. Since then each State
of the Federation has been providing integration facilities for the handicapped
in compliance with the Federal Government policy.
Special education is the educational treatment of children and adults who have learning
difficulties because of various sorts of disabilities. As a result they are unable
to cope with the normal school class organization and methods, without special supportive
There are also the specially gifted and talented children who are intellectually
precious and find themselves insufficiently challenged by the programmes of the
normal schools, and who may take to behaviour problems in resistance to it. Government
has directed that all exceptional children must be provided for under the National
Policy on Education.
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