The Nigerian education sector has been described as failing by several analysts and education experts. The sector, which has the potential to drive the overall growth and development of the economy is often faced with myriads of challenges that have inhibited its smooth running. Going by the fact that youths below the age of 35 years occupy the heart and sole of Nigeria’s population, the education sector is supposed to be taken very seriously regarding funding and policy. However, the reverse seems to be the case as the sector is often neglected. As of 2016, the Nigerian population was estimated to be 182 million with more than half of this under the age of 30 years (National Bureau of Statistics, 2018). It is therefore expected that education of the growing young population will be paramount to secure the future and boost output growth in the present.
Education in general and higher education in particular, are fundamental to the construction of a knowledge economy and society in all nations. The potential of such educational systems in countries, like Nigeria, to fulfil their responsibilities, is frequently frustrated by long-standing issues of inadequate finance, inefficiency, poor quality and poor policy implementation. As noted in Mesagan & Dauda (2016), both tertiary and secondary education are very important in the quest for Nigeria to promote inclusive growth. This is prevalent on the fact that economic growth inclusivity will be a mirage if deliberate efforts are not put in place to ensure that the standard of education in the country improves.
As noted by Porter & McKibbin (1988), education can help to augment productivity through knowledge creation, and it increasingly constitutes the foundation of a country’s competitive advantage’. However, in Nigeria, the role of knowledge in galvanising economic development is less emphasised due to the reasons best known to the leaders. This is unacceptable in a modern world as knowledge has now become the most critical factor for economic development in the 21st century.
Consequently, the stagnating education standards in Nigeria brings to fore, the constant thoughts regarding the readiness of this country to compete with other nations and input our knowledge in the ever-expanding technological aspects of world economies. The situation in the country’s education sector leaves so much to be desired, and this has led to the continued decay being recorded in our institutions of learning, especially tertiary institutions. This problem is exacerbated by the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the country. Year after year, the repeated cases of university lecturers going on strike and that of teachers in other education levels also impede on the rights of progress for the young population and might even truncate their future ambitions if care is not taken.
Please, join me next week for the potential dangers this poses to the Nigerian economy and possible solutions from all stakeholders.
Porter, L. W., & McKibbin, L. E. (1988). Management Education and Development: Drift or Thrust into the 21st Century? McGraw-Hill Book Company, College Division, PO Box 400, Hightstown, NJ 08520.
Mesagan, E. P., & Dauda, R. O. S. (2016). Does Education matter for Inclusive Growth? The Nigerian Case. Journal of Economics & Business Research, 22(1), 168-189.
National Bureau of Statistics (2018). Population Figures in Nigeria. Available at: http://www.nigerianstat.gov.ng/index.php
Absolutely correct and well scripted. We are in the knowledge-led economy according to the New Endogenous Growth Model- knowledge via intensive and extensive education supersedes the accumulation of natural resources, as improvement in the GDP is brought about by improved Labour force.
@ Joshua, you are very correct. Thumbs up. I just hope that Nigeria can begin to address this issue and get the best out of its teaming youths.
We need to take education serious. It quality determined the quality of human in us. The human in us drive other resources to economic success.
That’s true. Thanks @Mbello
Prof this is great
The poor quality of Education in Nigeria is now a crucial issue of discuss, ranging from poor curriculum being used which is producing certificate graduate to the incessant strike by the Academic Staff Union. My heart is troubled with this questions; Is the government really taking the educational sector seriously? Why is this sector which inhabit our future leaders being neglected or taken with levity? I believe investing more in quality education will boast economic growth.
Thanks @Ogechi. It is really a sorry state.
A commendable piece no doubt and a sad situation of our society. The basis of any worthwhile venture is knowledge brought about by conscious effort and quest which is thus termed education. It is the basic responsibility of the state to see to the proper education of its citizens so that they can become worthy members of the society. To this end, the government must put greater emphasis on educating the citizenry. This in turn portends greater benefits for the society in all spheres.
@Abayomi, I agree with you. The government has a very big role to play.
The Educational System plays a major role in the economic development of a country. Negligence and indifference on the part of the government and Educational body in Nigeria has caused many youths their ambitions. As a student at one of the Federal University in the country, I can say that the poor investments in the educational system has affected and is still affecting it’s efficiency . Youths are now venturing into entrepreneurship as an escape route and sees education as just a waste of time. Education can not be ruled out if we want to discuss the growth and development of the economy. It takes a properly educated and well informed individual to think of means to advance and develop the country.
Well done @Mary for thoughtful insight. I do hope that the leaders will be bold enough to do what is right for the education sector in Nigeria.
The importance of education and its potential to prime the economy on all fronts have not been reflected in the conducts of our past and present administration. The write up is commendable in that it does not only identify the causes of the systemic rot in the educational system of our dear nation but also lends voice to the many voices crying for attention to be given to this important part of national development.
Thank you @oluwaseyi. We are motivated.
Growth Inclusiveness will keep eluding any nation that neglects the education sector, since one of the key components of Inclusive Growth is Human Capital Development. We must focus in taking the education sector some notches higher in Nigeria.
This is another angle to it. Well done @juliet.
The development of the human capital in an economy is imperative. Faulure to do so is detrimental to the posterity of that particular economy
Well done @Charles. Nice contribution.
It is so pathetic and worrisome that a great black nation with robust human capacity remain in this sorry state while the stakeholders and major players in this noble sector are not thinking in the right direction. If a problem remains unidentified, then solutions become an unending mirage. Hopefully, those concerned will be thinkable in their approach to things of this magnitude. Great write up prof. God bless you.
Thank you so much @Idowu for your quite insightful thought.
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