The quality of education in Nigeria has fallen so badly that the tendency for affluent families and members of the ruling class to send their wards to foreign educational institutions has gained ascendancy. In an attempt to improve this statistics, the government has approved increased participation of the private sector at every level of education including the tertiary level. These are however largely expensive and require such huge resources that is outside the reach of the average Nigerian household, thereby making it exclusive.
It will be recalled that in 2009, 90% of pupils who sat for the National Examination Council NECO Examinations in Nigeria in post primary institutions failed and 98% failed a corresponding examination for private candidates. Similarly 74% of pupils failed the version of the same examination organized by the West African Examination Council, WAEC in the same year. The performance of pupils in post-primary schools in science related subjects like mathematics remains a perennial challenge. A lot of these are related to issues such as quality of teachers and availability of teaching materials.
The need for quality education in the school system was the primary motivation for carrying out the examination of the policies that have already been put in place with the view to identifying their relevance to the educational system and proffer solutions/recommendations, where necessary, that will better improve the system. The Federal Government has shown grave concerns in the school system over the years and demonstrates this by injecting funds into the sector for the purpose of improved standard of education without commensurate results to show.
The challenges in the primary and secondary school education persist. These include poor infrastructure- dilapidated school rooms, lack of basic amenities, congested classrooms and poorly trained and motivated personnel. This naturally leads to poor performance of pupils and students during external exams, in spite of the increasing rate in all forms of examination malpractices.
This policy brief looks at the various policies on education and how they have fared so far. The brief intends to identify gaps and suggest possible remedies.
CISLAC hopes to extend gratitude to the Federal Ministry of Education for their unflinching support and encouragement during the course of writing this policy brief.
We also thank the TY Danjuma Foundation who made it financially possible for the Brief to materialize.
We appreciate the commitment of Dr. Isiaka A. Mustapha for conducting this policy review and hope that stakeholders will find its recommendations useful for improving the lot of the education system in Nigeria.
Auwal Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director, CISLAC