African Government, Government of Nigeria, Economy of Africa

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The expansion of primary education in Nigeria has been on the increase because education has received great attention right from the time of the missionaries through the colonial government to the present day. For instance, the ten year plan of 1942-53 made adequate provision for the exten s sion of primary education facilities and primary edu - cation was provided in the villages with a strong bias suited to the local needs of the people. As a result , there was nearly fifty per cent increase in the number of primary schools and enrolment in them as indicated in Table 6.2.1. The introduction of universal primary education (UPE) scheme by the then regional governments in the country also helped to expand primary educa tion. Consequently, there was great increase in the number of schools and enrolments in them. For example in western region the school enrolment rose from 400,000 in 1955 to 982,755 in 1957 and in the Eastern Region it rose from 566,000 in 1956 to 1.3 million in 1957. About 176,904 children were attending primary schools in the Northern Nigeria. It must, however, be mentioned that there were lots of problems that stemmed from the introduction of the UPE Scheme in the 1950s. These included among others: educational imbalance in the country; acute shortage of qualified teachers; recruitment of unqualified and untrained people into teaching; inadequate management staff to coordinate efforts in the implementation exercise; and inadequate curriculum materials and funds to run the scheme. Consequently, the scheme collapsed in the Eastern region and school fees were reintro duced. Prior to 1960, there was no uniformity in the length of time pupils had to spend at primary level. There was no centralised system of examination for the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in the country. Indeed, each of the 12 states created in 1967, was responsible for her own primary school education and examination. There was no national policy that guided educational practices in Nigeria at the time. The curriculum was not changed until after the 1969 National Curriculum Conference and the formulation of the national policy on education. Government's keen interest in education in 1970s, brought about many changes in the educa tional system at the primary level in the country. For example, there was uniform duration of studies at the primary school level. There was a National Seminar in 1973 which led to the formulation of National Policy on Education in 1977 revised in 1981. From this period onwards, there has been steady development in educational system in gen eral and at primary level in particular. The policy specified the number of years for each level of edu cation and the type of examination. The 6-3-3-4 system of education came as a result of this policy. The Federal Government, in its effort to make education accessible to all school-age children in the country, introduced universal primary education in 1976. This scheme attracted many children to primary schools which resulted in explosive enrol ment in primary schools. For instance, primary school enrolment rose from 3,515,827 pupils in 1970to11,276,270in 1988. Thenumberofprimary schools grew from 35,433 in 1991 to 38,649 in 1995. The enrolment in primary schools in Nigeria which was 13,607,249 in 1991 also grew to 16,190,947 in 1994 (Federal Office of Statistics), (see Table 6.2. 3). It must be noted that about fifty six per cent of the total number of pupils in primary schools are boys while girls constitute forty four per cent (National Primary Education Commission 1999). 80 per cent of the primary schools are locat ed in the rural areas with inadequate infrastructural facilities and most of them have no library facilities. In relation to instructional materials and teach ing staff, the story is the same throughout the coun trv. It has been observed bv NPEC f1999) that instructional materials are grossly inadequate and that less than forty per cent of pupils have basic textbooks and writing materials. The teaching staff situation is improving in quantity and quality as more teachers are being trained. The number of unqualified teachers in the system at this level has dropped from over fifty per cent in 1989 to six per cent in 1997 in the south and forty two per cent in the north. For the entire country, 23.8% unqualified teachers are still found in the primary schools. (See Table 6.2.10). The management of primary education in Nigeria has been moving from one body to another. The federal government is the principal financier and controller of primary education. However, the reintroduction of the National Primary Education Commission through Decree No. 96 of 1993, along with the structure of State Primary Education Board (SPEB) and Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs), make these bodies responsi ble for the management and fund allocation in the primary school sub-section. This was previously managed by the local government councils. The new administration has however discharged the National Primary Education Commission from this responsibility in 1999. In summary, it must be said that the primary education curriculum is richer and more elaborate than what it was in the 1960s and 1970s. The mode of instruction has also changed and pupils are being taught basic things around their environment. The federal government has introduced Universal Basic Education (UBE) in an attempt to make edu cation accessible and to make all citizens literate by the year 2010. SECONDARY EDUCATION Young Nigerians received secondary education as early as 1859 when the first secondary school was established in Nigeria. Many secondary schools were established in the later part of the 19th Century. The names of the schools and their establishing bodies are shown on Table 6.2.2 in appendix 1. Most secondary schools were residen tial and were patterned after the English grammar school with emphasis on classical subjects. These subjects were requirements of both matriculation examinations and admission into training for pro fessions. The duration of secondary school was six : years and at the end students took the Cambridge or Oxford School Certificate examination. The demand for secondary education was born out of necessity for manpower and educated peo ple. For example, out of 5,500 posts that existed in the country in the early 1900s, the estimated output ot the secondary schools was between 200 and 300. Ot this figure, only fifty-one students were qualified in 1910 while seventeen were qualified in 1914 for the clerical grade. The development of rail ways in the country created an enormous demand for clerks, accountants, commercial agents, and dispensers. Consequently, some regional govern ments awarded scholarships to students. The expansion of secondary education from the 1960s was influenced by a number of factors, among them were the expansion in primary educa tion; government's acceptance of Ashby recom mendation for increased numbers in secondary schools; the revision of the curricula; adoption of Addis Ababa Plan which projected an annual intake of 45,000 secondary school students; acceptance of Dike and Banjo Commissions' recommendations; and, the public criticisms of secondary grammar schools programme. Consequently, there was a great increase in the number of secondary schools and their intake between 1960 and 1963. For example, the student population rose from 135,434 in 1960 to 211, 879 in 1963. By 1970, the enrol ment rose to 310,054 for all the states in Nigeria (Fafunwa 1974). There was a rapid development of secondary education in the country with the 6-3-3-4 system of education and the taking over of schools by the Federal government. Secondary school enrolment rose to about 1.9 million in 1990. As shown on Table 6.2.7, the number of sec ondary schools in Nigeria grew from 6,002 in 1991 to 6,074 in 1995 showing an increase of 1.20 per cent. This slow rate of development was because of general economic hardship in the country and the fact that the government did not establish more sec ondary school during this period. Surprisingly, how ever, there was more than fifty per cent increase in the number of students in secondary schools in Nigeria. Enrolment, which stood at 2.9 million in 1990 rose to 4.48 million in 1994 showing a growth rate of 53.39 per cent. (see Table 6.2.8). The secondary school level operates within the guidelines provided by the National Policy on Education (1981). This document stipulates the objectives of secondary education, the calibre of teachers to teach in them and their qualifications, as well as the curriculum content and methodology to be employed. The two tier secondary school sys tem of Junior and Senior secondary is three years duration each. According to the National Policy, students are to study pre-vocational courses and academic courses in the junior secondary level while at the senior level they are prepared in both technical, commercial and academic subjects. At both levels, they are to be exposed to knowledge and skills that will make them to be self reliant and useful citizens of the country. Those at the senior secondary level are in addition prepared for access into higher education. By the policy, when students finish senior secondary education, based on their aptitudes and interest, they can either go the university or college of education or the polytechnic through competitive entrance examination organ ised by Joint Admission and Matriculation Board. With the introduction of 6-3-3-4 system of edu cation, the secondary school students ceased to take West African School Certificate Examination. Instead, they take Senior Secondary School Certificate examination. With effect from the year 2000, students in secondary schools will be taking senior school certificate examination organised by the then National Examination Council (NECO.). The Management of Secondary Schools in Nigeria is by the National Secondary School Board through the various State School Management Boards. TECHNICAL EDUCATION Technical education had been accorded low pri ority in the Nigerian educational system right from the inception of western education in Nigeria. However, between 1908 and 1935, there was organised technical and vocational education in Nigeria. This was when engineering and agricultur al courses were introduced in Yaba College in 1932. By 1966, there were already 66 technical and vocational training institutions in Nigeria. These institu tions prepared students in pre-technical and pre vocational education. They also prepared artisans or craftsmen in skilled trades. The duration of the course was three years (for intensive instruction in classroom work and work shop practice) leading to the City and Guilds of London Institute Certificate at the intermediate level, the Federal Craft Certificate and Ministry of Labour Lrade Test, Classes III and II. On comple tion, students move to polytechnics or federal uni versities of technology through JAMB organised examinations. There is great demand for technical and voca tional education as a result of the National Policy emphasis on technical and vocational courses at Junior Secondary School level. The number of vocational and technical schools in Nigeria rose to 320 by 1991. This figure, however, dropped to 260 in 1995 indicating a decline in growth rate of 19.75 per cent. The enrolment in these schools also decreased from 1,425 in 1991 to 1,342 in 1995 showing a decrease of 5.82 per cent over the period. TEACHER EDUCATION Teacher education has also witnessed tremendous growth in Nigeria right from when the first teacher training institution was established at Abeokuta in 1853. By 1926, there were 13 Teacher Training Colleges with student population of 320. The number of teacher training colleges and stu dent enrolment rose to 53 with 3,026 students in 1948. The curriculum consisted of New Testament Criticism, Christian Faith, School Method and Management, Hygienic, Geography, History, English, Arithmetic, Local language, Rural science and Carpentry. The Federal Government established more teacher training colleges and also provided allowances to people who opted for teacher educa tion through a "crash programme." The introduction of the National Certificate of Education and degree programmes in education in universities actually helped to influence the development of teacher education in Nigeria. For instance, the number of teacher education institutions dropped from 287 in 1962 to 160 in 1970, while enrolment rose from 31,170 in 1962 to 32,314 in 1970. The number of teachers teaching in Nigerian primary schools were only 1,857 by 1970. By 1977, about 197,750 teach ers were teaching in primary schools. (Esu 1989). Furthermore, the number of colleges of educa tion in Nigeria rose to 54 while the enrolment in them increased from 60,324 in 1991 to 70,613 in 1995, indicating a growth of 17.06 per cent. With the phasing out of teachers training colleges and establishment of National Teachers Institute (NTI), the number of teacher education institutions will continue to decline. However, more teachers are being prepared through long distance learning pro grammes sponsored by NTI programmes. The gov ernment is determined to maintain the minimum standards for colleges of education and also to realise her dream of making the National Certifi cate of Education the minimum qualification to teach in primary schools in Nigeria. To this end, in service training opportunities have been created for those who want to upgrade their knowledge and keep abreast of new developments in their fields. HIGHER EDUCATION The number of polytechnics in Nigeria has increased steadily from 27 in 1987 to about 36 in 1991, and 43 in 1995. The enrolment in polytech nics showed a slight decline from 60,533 in 1987 to 60,413 in 1991. However, from 1991 the enrolment increased from 60,413 to 92,364 in 1995 showing a growth rate of 52.89 per cent. The development of university education in Nigeria has been no less spectacular. For example, from 5 in 1972 to 13 in 1980, Nigeria had 42 universities in 1990. Similarly, the enrolment of 18,448 in 1972 and 53,000 in 1980, rose to 126,285 in 1985 in twenty four uni versities. There was rapid growth in university edu cation between 1986 and 1988. Within this period, the enrolment in the twenty four universities grew to 160,767 (Federal Ministry of Education, 1990). Based on present trends, it is estimated that enrol ment in all 42 universities in 1999 was as high as 500,000 at the end of 1999. University education is still tuition free in Nigeria and the mode of admis sion is through JAMB examination. Many areas of specialisation have been developed in various universities and many graduates are being supplied to the economy. For example, the manpower supplied to the Nigerian economy by the Nigerian universities in 1991 was 28,139 while it grew to 30,412 in 1995. This reveals 108.08 per cent growth rate over the period (see Table 6.2.9). SPECIALISED PROGRAMMES Other areas of education which are fast grow ing are Nomadic and Migrant Fishermen education for nomadic people and migrant fishermen children of the riverine areas of Nigeria. These programmes are to make education accessible to every school age child in Nigeria. The aim is to make these chil dren attain functional literacy and numeracy. The total number of nomadic schools in Nigeria in 1991 was 242 with the population of 14,088 while migrant fishermen schools by 1996 numbered 135 with pupil enrolment of 9,246 and 252 teachers. The government Blue Print and Action Plan for the eradication of mass illiteracy is yet another pro gramme to provide equal educational opportunities for all Nigerians. This programme has helped to reduce the rate of illiteracy in Nigeria. The plan is to make literacy available to every Nigerian in the nearest future. These programmes are managed by a Commission (Nomadic) and Agency for Mass Education (Adult and non-formal). Other sectors of the economy are represented in the commissions that handle these programmes. For instance, the Management Committee for mass literacy has rep resentatives from Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), Women Development Commission, National Library Board, Nomadic Education Commission, Federal Ministry of Education and National Adult Education Commission. Non-governmental organisa tions(NGOs) have featured prominently in the devel opment of education for these groups of people. OVERVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: PRE-COLONIAL TO PRESENT DAY


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