EDUCATION AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

Education in a broad sense is a process by which an individual acquires the many physical and social capabilities demanded by the society in which he/she is born into to function.
In an ideal sense, education is an ultimate value and hence, through the provision of social service, it is an agent of change.

It is to a nation what the mind is to the body, just as a diseased mind is handicapped in the coordination and direction of the bodily activities. Therefore, the single most significant complex of social – control tools for national development is found in the educational system be it formal or informal.

In ancient Greece, the cradle of Western scholarship, education was a highly functional search-light beamed on society, it transcended reading and writing. While the Nigerian state were still under colonization modern education has already taken place the developed in advanced countries this brought successful engendered industrial revolution and breath-taking development.

Development on the otherhand, is a progressive unfolding of the potentialities of a given reality. As it applies to human, it is the integration of the various givings, natural, physical, acquired and human of a people towards the full working out, permanently and cumulatively of their being, as persons of their nation and their real productivity.

The essence of education whether formal or informal is to produce a person who will be a useful member of a society. According to Jane F. Dogle, it must engender in the individual a disposition of personal autonomy, responsibility and relevant forms of life thought and action. The word relevant as used by her is the matter of cultivating individual interest and potentialities while autonomy stands for a person who is able to judge, act and think accurately as well as rationally.

For me, educational standard is supposed to be design to suit the requirement of a society, hence in the pre-colonial era when Nigeria communities were small and largely rural and self-sufficient the system of education was with a few exceptions, not specialized. According to history, our leaders then foolishly allowed the British gained access to us by a way of helping to resolve a Chieftaincy dispute in Lagos.

As if that was not enough, leaders also succumbed to their idea that all locally produced goods should be exported to their country to be turned into finished goods meanwhile this finished were imported back to Nigeria, sold to us at an exorbitant prices the money gotten been used for the development of their country. The painful aspect is that our leaders has still not learnt lessons from their past mistake.

If I may ask were there not an already existing systems/structures before this group of people came in and if yes, why did the scrap these structures? The Genesis of the compounded problems we have in Nigeria started from here.

Judging from the first post-independence National Educational Nigerian Conference on Curriculum development organized in 1969 by the Nigerian Educational Council with the following resolutions:

• Provision and expansion of educational facilities to ensure education gets to the door step of
every Nigerian child.

• Overhauling and reforming the content of general education to make it more responsive to
the socio-economic needs of the country.

• Development and consolidating the nation’s higher education in response to the manpower
needs of the country.

• Developing technological education in order to meet the growing needs of the nation.

All these resolutions failed, could achieve it purpose in the Educational System because several attempts were made for the nation to evolve a systematic, workable and stable national development programme, the defects in our implementation and adaptive style has compounded its success.

As a result of this there are many quack graduates, incompetent leaders with selfish motives an act gotten from the colonial masters, they are just there creating more problems for the impoverish and the nation at large, I know they will not listen to me but one day the owner of the world will come and take his place.

At this juncture, I am of the opinion that government should review this existing curriculum because higher education, particularly university education, is the bedrock of research for development.

Therefore the shelves in the various should be dusted off and their recommendations used as veritable materials for solving many of our developmental problems.

The uncontrolled establishment of Private schools should be stopped i.e those who don’t have the necessary infrastructures and tools for learning.

I urge every members or Nigerians as patriotic citizens to do what is right at all times.

More contributions/suggestions/ recommendations are welcome from members.

Thanks.

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Comment by Hamzat Kadri on February 7, 2010 at 9:44am
I do agree with Uwadia that Education is the key to sustainable development for any nation. How much accomplishments can you expect of any educational system that is not run by the education professionals or people with visions of manpower needs of the country? Noble policies or resolutions mean nothing without implementation. How can one measure the progress of what's not implemented? If only the National Educational Council (NEC) was able to implement the resolutions of 1969, we may be singing a sweet tune about our educational system today. In the contrary, the NEC set a wrong precedent for non-implementation of educational policies and a lip service to the vital sector of national development.

Educating the citizens of any country, formally or informally requires the involvement of all stakeholders with appropriate and clear directions from the governmental supervising agencies. Though constant review of curricular and instructional practices according to the latest educational researches for all levels, adequate of supply of materials and other resources, on-going staff development workshops, well-equipped libraries at all levels, parental involvement where appropriate, may be part of a functioning educational system; what's more needed in our own case, in my opinion, are the governments and officials who are well committed and passionate about education in this age of globalization, adequate funding & monitoring, research and development on education for sustainable development, and full participation of the private sector (both corporations and NGOs).

I believe that If the Nigerian corporations had been fully involved in the viability of our educational system as they should, maybe it won't get this rotten. The higher education sector is in desperate need of repair especially in the area of visionary leadership, adequate funding and other resources, well equipped libraries and other tools for learning, safe and secure environment conducive for normal educational process to take place, partnership with other higher institutions home and abroad, etc.

Though we may not be able to do anything about the past ills of our educational system or those responsible for its degeneration, it's never too late to wake up to the need to change the current mediocre system to a better one. We can all have our inputs in a better educational system. Education should not be a business of making fast money for those ill-equipped private schools, but if the so called public schools can't boast of better facilities and tools for learning; there will always be unscrupulous people who know nothing about educating youths that will exploit the loophole. The government should weed out the quack schools or institutions as soon as possible.

Improvement in our educational system will continue to generate diverse ideas, views and opinions; one common denominator is the fact the infrastructures of our educational system and various implementable educational policies have to be continuously monitored, reviewed and updated as required by the political and socio-economic needs of the country. In this age of information and communication technology, our educational system at all levels should not be found wanting. This is a nice one from Uwadia.
Comment by MONDAY TOFE on February 4, 2010 at 11:57am
DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IN THE AREA OF RELIGION EDUCATION CAN TAKE AWAY CRIMINALS FROM OUR SOCIETY?
Comment by MONDAY TOFE on February 4, 2010 at 11:55am
YOU ARE GOOD

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