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The Federal government coordinates education planning, policy and finance through the National Council on Education, which comprises all Commis sioner/Ministers of Education in the Country and the Joint Consultative Committee of Education. At the primary level, Local Governments share responsi bilities with the Federal Government. At the Secondary Level, the responsibility is borne by state governments. The Federal Government has exclusive legislative powers as well as full financial responsibility for federally owned Univer-sities in the whole country.
The Federal Minister of Education plays a vital role in the maintenance of educational standards nation-wide by operating national organisations which are devoted to the development of spe cialised aspects of Education. Such organisations include the Federal Inspectorate Service and the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council which among other functions, is actively involved in curricular review and renewal. Other educational services for improvement of standards include the Science Equipment Centre and the School Broadcasting Unit.
The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC): The Council, set up by Decree Number 31 of August 1972, has the following functions: to encourage, promote and coordinate educational research programmes in Nigeria to identify such educational problems in Nigeria needing research. to encourage research into education problems and, for that purpose, under take commissioning and financing such research projects as it thinks fit. to maintain a central register for educa tional research projects and publish a list of completed educational research project and to complete and publish or sponsor the publication of the result of educational research, particularly in relation to Nigerian problems The NERDC has specialist committees on pri mary, teacher training, and secondary education, as well as an evaluation and testing committee.
JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
This is an independent body of professional educators acting in advisory capacity to both the Federal and State Ministries of Education, Universities, Institutes of Education, the West African Examination Council, and all other educa tion agencies. Its main functions include: influencing educational development in the country. offering professional officers a forum for exchange of ideas and information and reconciling professional views in order to evolve a harmonious national educa tional system. West African Examinations Council; The West African Examination Council (WAEC) was recently the sole Federal Government instrument for the conduct and regulation of certain examinations in the country.
The WAEC, a multi-national examining body embracing the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, conducts such examinations as are determined by the national government of each member state.
In Nigeria, the Council conducts the West African School Certificate examination, the General Certificate of Education examination mainly at the ordinary level and sparingly at the advanced levels, the Royal Society of Arts Examination, the City and Guilds, the National Common Entrance Examina tion to Federal Secondary Schools and other State Secondary Schools.
The Council continually reviews its syllabus in order to meet the needs of the country. In more recent years, it has developed new syllabuses in such areas as elementary surveying, applied elec tricity auto-mechanics, basic electronics, wood work, metal-work, business methods, statistics, principles of accounts, shorthand, typewriting and commerce.
National Examination Council (NECO):
The National Examination Council with headquarters in Minna, Niger State, was established in January 1998 as a result of a chain of recommendations of Sogbetun Commission (1977), the Augulu Panel (1982),the Osiyale Committee 1993, the Etsu Nupe Panel Examination Council and thus relieve WAEC of some of its obvious burdens.
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB):
The Joint Admission and Matricu lation Board, established by a decree in 1977, is one of the Boards in the Nigerian Educational System. It is responsible to the Federal Ministry of Education. The Board, according to the decree establish ing it, is responsible for the general control of the conduct of matriculation examination tor admission into all Universities in Nigeria for approved under graduate courses leading the award of first degrees.
The National Universities Commission (NUC):
The National University Commission was created by Decree No. 1. 1974. It provides that the channel of communication of the National Universi ties Commission with the Federal Government will be through the Federal Minister for Education.
Thus, the NUC is the agent of the Federal Government for coordinating, financing and the over-all development of the Universities. The Commission is answerable to the Federal Government on the total and individual performanc es of the Universities. It is the main channel for Federal funds for university education in the coun try. The NUC also ensures the orderly development of university education, the maintenance of high standard and avoidance of unnecessary and wasteful duplication of academic programmes, faculties and facilities.
The Commission is empowered to advise on the creation of new universities and other degree granting institutions, distribute government grant in accordance with a set formula, collect, analyse and furnish information relating to university develop ment and education in Nigeria, and act as the agency for channelling all external aid to Nigerian universities.
The National Teachers Institute (NTI): The NTI was established in 1974 by the Federal Military Government after due consultations between Nigeria educational advisers and UNESCO experts. It was established to up grade teachers and to improve the quality of Nigeria education in prepara tion for the Universal Primary Education scheme which was being conceived then.
Although based at Kaduna, the NTI operates a nation wide programme with study centres in all states, to work for improvement in Teachers educa tion. Throuah this, non-araduate teachers are eventually upgraded to graduate status and provid ed with facilities to acquire post-graduate qualifica tions. The Bureau for External Aid; External aid in the field of Education is channelled through the Bureau for External Aid in the Federal Ministry of Education on whose coordinating committee all the states are represented. The Federal Ministry of Education also acts as a liaison on educational mat ters between Nigeria and foreign countries, interna tional and national organisations, agencies and foundations
Education is regarded by Nigerians as the main instrument for social, political and economic devel opment of the nation. Thus the strength, security and well being of Nigeria rests squarely on the qual ity of education provided for the citizens. It will con tinue to be a great asset to many as well as a steady source of manpower supply for the national economy.
OVERVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: PRE-COLONIAL TO PRESENT DAY
OTHER EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY
EXPANSION OF PRIMARY EDUCATION
EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND ORGAN ISATION