OnlineNigeria.Com - Community Portal of Nigeria

The Torch-Bearers of Education In Nigeria

By Emmanuel Ugwu

Related Links:
»»The Pioneers in Education   
»»The Torch-Bearers of Nigerian Education  
»»List of Schools In Nigeria
»»Alumni Corner - Find A Classmate

The story of formal education in Nigeria reads like a relay race. From the hands of the missionaries the school system has passed to Nigerians. But the change of baton did not happen overnight. It was a slow-grinding process spanning more than a century.

At the dawn of the 20th century, western education was already entrenched in the whole of Nigeria. However, it was more noticeable in the Lagos colony and the southern protectorate than in the northern protectorate where Islamic education was more widespread. In fact the northern Emirs did not encourage Christian missionaries to set up schools in their domain.

Education was purely a tool for evangelisation and the Christian missions made no pretence about it. Their primary aim was to convert and also train Nigerians who would facilitate the spread of the gospel.

The colonial government gave the missions a free hand in the running schools. The colonial government first showed interest in education through the provision of grants-in-aid to secondary schools and scholarships.

Education was entirely British. British history and value systems were taught in Nigerian schools. African traditions and culture were considered unfit to be incorporated in the school curriculum.

But before independence in1960 Nigerians who were products of the British colonial education system began to challenge the colonial education policies. These educationists questioned the inherent anomalies in the colonial system of education.

By 1955, Alvan Ikoku, president of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, led the union to demand for a uniform education system for Nigeria. It was turned down by the colonial government. When Kenneth Dike wanted to use oral tradition in his research for Ph.D thesis he was refused but he didn’t give up. When he finished his work it opened a new vista in historiography.

Previous Page



Write Your Comment


No comments yet.

Add Comment

* Required information
(never displayed)
Bold Italic Underline Strike Superscript Subscript Quote Line Bullet Numeric Link Email Image Video
Smile Sad Huh Laugh Mad Tongue Crying Grin Wink Scared Cool Sleep Blush Unsure Shocked
Enter code:
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.


Nigerian Government

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is governed in accordance with the provisions of a Constitution.In 1914 the Protectorates of Southern and Northern Nigeria were amalgamated with the Colony (Lagos) by Lord Lugard to form what is now known as Nigeria.

Nigerian Music

The music of Nigeria includes many kinds of Folk and popular music, some of which are known worldwide. Styles of folk music are related to the multitudes of ethnic groups in the country, each with their own techniques, instruments, and songs.
Listen to music of Nigeria.