Problems of Education in Nigeria | Analysis and viable Solutions

Despite the giant strides in today’s academic world, there are still nudging Problems of Education in Nigeria left unsolved. How do we solve these problems?

In this article, we analyze the Problems of Education in Nigeria and proffer solutions to them. If you want to see how to solve these problems, then you are reading the right article.

Analysis of the Problems of Education in Nigeria

Education is essentially the entire process culminating in learning useful skills, societal values, cultural norms, and proper habits.

Also, it is through this metric that members of any society can exhibit prowess in relevant fields. And as there is no lack of employment opportunities in big cities, firms employ suitably educated people.

Additionally, it goes beyond mere intellectual pursuit. Education includes realistic techniques for tackling real-life problems. Here, we approach a perennial problem in Nigeria: the falling standard of learning in the country. Let us have a glance at its causes. 

Nigeria operates multi-tiered education policies. Except for the Private Universities in Nigeria, the Federal Government has jurisdiction over all Nigerian Universities. Naturally, you should be surprised to find the Education sector facing many problems in Nigeria. 

But what are these problems, though? And what solutions will solve them? Read on below to get the answers to these questions.

Corruption, A constant Problem of Education in Nigeria

The way things are, you can reasonably say that corruption permeates every fabric of the Nigerian Society. And the education sector does not escape this trend. Also, it poses a significant threat to the spread of knowledge in Nigeria today.

For instance, once in a while, videos of lecturers soliciting sex for grades will surface. Also, these lecturers collect bribes from students. And they assault those who refuse to comply, emotionally or in many physical ways.  

Moreover, officials of the same crop as these lecturers demand bribes from graduates before submitting their names to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Similarly, their counterparts on the Universities’ payroll divert public funds to their private accounts.

Bribery and corruption exist in Private Universities as well.

Lack of Books and Study Equipment

In the classrooms, the average Nigerian student is aware of the lack of books and study equipment. When they are available, the textbooks are too expensive for most students to afford. Teachers have had recourse to sub-standard teaching aids as a result. 

Further, the expensive textbooks are not on par with those in use outside Nigeria. It topples most of the Problems of Education in Nigeria as it is a regular classroom experience.

Lack of Students in the Faculty of Education

Compared to the densely packed lecture halls in most faculties, the Faculty of Education is a dreary place with a handful of students. Undergraduates avoid the faculty because of its low status.

Every year, almost two million Nigerians apply for admission to universities. But a few percentages of these choose to study in the Education faculty. It drains the workforce and leaves unqualified staff for the teaching profession.

Poor Background and Faulty Upbringing

As you may be aware, the Nigerian Constitution provides for Universal Basic Primary and Secondary Education. It allows every Nigerian to acquire free learning at the Primary and Secondary School Level. And, although many Nigerians benefit from this, they tend to ignore the role they should play in their children’s upbringing.

Specifically, these roles involve:

  • Providing primary needs such as food, shelter, and clothing
  • Care and Support

Some parents go as far as fighting school teachers when their children receive due punishments. Others will personally register theirs to exam centers where exam malpractices are rife. And these parents pay high amounts of money in these centers to “insure” their kids against exam failure.

Inadequate Teaching Equipment

Of the Problems of Education in Nigeria, perhaps the most apparent one is inadequate teaching equipment. Every School period, teachers often rely on spoken words and gestures to teach students.

By contrast, teachers can communicate better with such aids as videos, projectors, books, live demonstrations, webinars, etc. But these things are luxuries available only to children of wealthy parents.  

Inconsistent Work Condition

Nigerian school teachers face this problem often. As the education scheme is prone to changes, it leaves teachers in uncertainty. And they often have to bear these inconsistencies without compensation. 

Despite this problem, many survive on their meager income. Many more find a better occupation. And as this drains the workforce, it further compounds the Problems of Education in Nigeria.

Problems of Education in Nigeria: Underpaid Staff

Every employee expects remuneration for a job well done. And they often get their payments. However, it is a far cry from the case of Nigerian teachers. They work for long hours and earn little.

Yet, the government grudges them timely payment. Soon enough, teachers get tired of this treatment and go on strikes. Where does this leave students? It leaves them at home, unschooled and unskilled.

Problems of Education in Nigeria: Costly Education

The events of recent years prove that getting an education is costly. Indeed, only children from wealthy families can afford quality education in the country. Even with the privilege of free primary and secondary school education, attending University in Nigeria is a luxury.

Many civil servants subsist on a mere N30, 000 minimum wage. These parents cannot fund their children’s schooling. It appears the best universities are privately-owned, and they too are costly.

Inadequate Funds

It is the most-felt of all the educational challenges in Nigeria. Government spending on institutions of learning exists mostly on papers. The problem goes back to the Local Government. There, little attention goes to Nigerian schools in monetary terms.

To buttress this point, Nigeria takes consistent backward steps from the 26% annual education budget as the UN recommends. Despite the towering N8.6 trillion set aside for non-education sectors, only a miserly cut of 7% went into the education sector in 2018.

Further, these funds find more use in less academic pursuits and more in procuring heuristics for studies. Over the years, the situation grew worse. And the recent ASUU strike is the climax of it.

Check here for updates from ASUU

Unaccountable Control Chain

Usually, countries provide checks and balances between academic offices. This hierarchy reigns in mismanagement and fraud. Sadly, such a device is absent in the Nigerian Educational System. At least, it is not functional if it exists. 

Also, the lack of accountability brings its spate of woes as funds corrupt officials embezzle funds easily. 

Unethical Work Environment & Crass Indiscipline

You can see this during the WAEC/NECO Examination periods. Then, the exam centers are busy hubs for unrestrained malpractices. Students trade some amount of money for answers to exam questions.

Also, the same scene plays out in some JAMB Exam Centers. The current Computer Based Test (CBT) exam procedure mitigates this, though.

Another gnawing aspect of this issue is the prevalence of cultism. Student cultist threatens teachers and students and also disrupt regular school functions.

Declining School Facilities

You need only take a walk around Public University Campuses in Nigeria grasp the rot it is inside. In some cases, the blocks are chipping off the school buildings. 

Such an environment is not suitable for learning. Also, science students have to compromise. Instead of Bunsen flames, stoves are available for treating reagents in the laboratory. And even these are not enough.

Some schools have such shabby libraries that students wonder if its actual existence is a myth. How do you imagine Nigerian students will fare in this environment?

Problems of Education in Nigeria: Bad Leadership

Does the Nigerian Government attempt to stem this tidal rot in the Education sector? Does it plan to solve the Problems of Education in Nigeria? So far, its actions answers negatively.

Planning for quality education in Nigerian Schools is mostly left to NGOs. Many students prefer getting a scholarship opportunity to remaining in the Nigerian Universities. 

Inconsistent Curricula

Of the problems of Education in Nigeria, this is peculiar to Primary and Secondary Schools. It does not only make some employees redundant but also creates loads of work for students. As a result, students find it hard to cope with the changing curricula.

The focus often shifts from fixed model structures to uncertain academic fancies.

Education Merging with Politics

Where politics is concerned, the priority seems to be power and how to wrest it. The many Nigerian States embark on infeasible projects to revamp the education sector. Against advice from experts, State governments commission one project after the other. 

As a result of these purposeless tasks, the State Government loses money and abandons the unfinished work. Many speculate that this is due to Governors attempting to outperform one another. Still, the power tussle leaves the Nigerian education sector worse.

How to Solve these Problems of Education in Nigeria

Now, let us explore possible solutions to the educational challenges facing Nigeria.

Improve the quality of the Education Sector.

To plug the holes in the Nigerian Education Sector, the State Government should implement policies that improve and propagate learning at all levels.

Adopt Merit-based Admission Policy

Irrespective of students’ state of origin, they should be able to get admission in any State in Nigeria.

Proper Sanctions for Extorting cash from students

The State and Federal government need to enact policies that can suitably punish lecturers that extort from students.

Periodic Examination of Teachers

Periodically, teachers need to pass specific tests to prove they are equal to the task.

Also, the Federal Government should make the teaching profession more appealing by paying better salaries.
Further, the Federal Government needs to stop all forms of examination malpractice.
Adequate Materials

Adequate materials should be made available in the classrooms. It will enhance learning and make teaching easy.

Also, Nigeria’s education sector suffers prolonged neglect from all levels of governance. It will be better for it if it receives adequate funding. Several Nigerian schools will benefit from it: renovate buildings, equip laboratories and libraries, and buy materials for teaching.

Pushing for more Accountability form Government 

It may seem an impossible task, but the education bodies need to put honest workers in strategic positions. It will help to avoid embezzlement.

Additionally, the appropriate authorities need to draft better curricula for all the levels of education in Nigeria. They should also ensure that these schemes are consistent. 

Moreover, the teaching profession needs to employ transparent agencies to monitor the recruitment process and employ only qualified teachers.

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