• Monday, May 20, 2024
businessday logo


Experts return poor verdict on education


Nigeria’s educational system is in disarray, according to report of experts commissioned by Federal Education Ministry.


The report, billed for submission to Education Minister, Adamu Adamu before the end of April 2020, States in part that “policy planning is uncoordinated, funding is too meager, man power development is waning, was funded by the World Bank and British overseas Development Administration (ODA).


English Language, Mathematics and science are poorly taught in schools, a result of shortage of relevant text books, libraries are virtually empty and generally stuffed with outdated and costly books and parents are so disenchanted that they now make fishers and traders of their children in place of schooling, the report adds.


Book shortage is so pathetic that the ratio of 50 pupils shares one book unlike in less endowed countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan where one book is available to one pupil. Tanzania boasts of one book to 15 pupils and even China, which has more than one billion people, provides one book for one pupil.


The scary scenario of Nigeria’s Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education was painted in a report of experts commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Education and Funded by the World Bank and British overseas Development Administration.


An outline of the study of the book situation in 28 out of the 36 States and Abuja shows that

  • There is serious under provision of text books in most of the states where less than 10 percent of the students possessed required books in English Language, Mathematics and basic sciences;
  • Science is not being taught properly in primary schools because teachers lack training in science subjects and parents do not provide their children with required textbooks because science Subjects are not regarded as important.
  • There are no library facilities in the primary and junior secondary school system while the libraries in the senior secondary and tertiary institutions are stocked with out-dated reading materials
  • The inability of the Nigerian Newsprint Manufacturing company, Oku-Iboku, to feed the printing and publishing industry with locally produced newsprint to facilitates mass production of needed text books is also unhelpful;
  • Severe lack of relevant and appropriate supplementary materials at primary school level, mainly due to absence of purchasing power on the part of institutions and parents; and
  • Lack of access to foreign exchange to purchase essential materials from overseas.


Although, Nigeria’s education system has been under a steady decline in the past 10 years, the World Bank report indicated that the situating is fast deteriorating under the present down-turn in Nigeria’s economy.


In Lagos, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross-River, Oyo and Osun States for instance, the report said, the drastic drop in the school enrolment was a result of frequent strikes by teachers as well as parents apathy toward education cause by the present economic hardship and lack of appreciation of the importance of primary school education.


In Rivers, Kogi, Plateau, Kwara and Benue states lack of textbooks and the prohibitive cost of the available ones have forced parents to divert the attention of their children to the farms and markets as bread winners.


In Kano, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Kaduna, Taraba and Sokoto states recorded highest numbers of out of school primary pupils. Children are withdrawn from schools during farming and harvesting seasons to assist their parents on farms.


The reports described the entire North East as a “sorry situation due to the activities   of Boko Haram insurgents”, as most school age pupils are out of school.


“The nation seems to be heading for breeding generation of illiterates resulting from the current insecurity, starvation of text books, appropriate reading materials, libraries, infrastructure etc, the”, the experts said.


Although, government officials blame the situation on lack of fund, but the experts showed that with proper planning, Nigeria could boost its present level of availability and distribution of text books.




By Mark Mayah