Nigeria at 55 – Education Sector Yet to Get It Right – Stakeholders

AS Nigerians celebrate the 55th Independence
Day anniversary, it is obvious Nigeria is yet to
get a vital aspect of development right –
education – as happenings in the sector indicate
that all is not well with the sector.
Nigeria 55 Independence, Education Sector not
fairing well.
True that education cannot solve all of society’s
problems but without education, no solution is
possible as evidenced by most nations that
started this journey of development about the
same time with Nigeria are next door neighbours
to the moon and are on the verge of relocating
to Mars while Nigeria still battles with
inadequate funds and illiteracy.

Democratic government

Fifty-five years after independence and 16 years
of democratic government, concerned
educationists are of the opinion that the
Nigerian education sector seems to be in
extended infancy as mass failure in external
examinations, corruption, failure to meet the
Education for All (EFA) target, inadequate
funding and unqualified teachers, among others,
still bedevil the sector.

EFA by 2015

When 164 countries, Nigeria inclusive, pledged
to achieve Education for All by 2015 at a World
Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal in 2000,
hopes were high that, by 2015, all school-age
children would have access to education while
adult illiteracy would be a thing of the past.
But 15 years later and despite the financial
support Nigeria got from international partners
to help her achieve these goals, it is saddening
that Nigeria is far from actualising any of the
set goals as the growing population of illiterate
adults in Nigeria is put at 46 million, a figure
that puts Nigeria in the category of 10 countries
of the world with more than 10 million illiterate
adults whose ages range from 15 years and

Performance in WAEC

Of the 1,593,442 that sat for the examination,
616,370 (38.68%) obtained credits in five
subjects and above, including English Language
and Mathematics. According to the Head of
National Office, WAEC, Dr. Charles Eguridu,
118,101 results of candidates, (7.41%) were
withheld due to exam malpractice.
Still missing Chibok girls: 17 months after, over
200 school girls who were taken from their
school hostels in Chibok, Borno State by Boko
Haram militants, are yet to be found despite a
global social media campaign and pleas from
international leaders. This led to closure of
schools in the state for several months, thereby
increasing the number of school children who
are out of school.

Stakeholders react

Pointing out that there is no other way to rate
the education sector other than an absolute
failure, the National Coordinator, Education
Rights Campaign, ERC, Mr. Hassan Soweto,
said: “As Nigeria clocks 55, we should bear in
mind that Nigeria not only missed all the six
EFA goals but also has one of the worst
education systems in the world. This means we
are far behind other countries in the area of
education provision and that the investment in
education over the past 15 years through the
Universal Basic Education and grants from
donor agencies have all gone down the drain