Education/Education System in Nigeria: Is It Still Effective?
The education system in Nigeria has its basis on the 6-3-3-4 system, which means the child begins his/her first education experience with 6 years in the primary school, 3 years in the junior secondary school and 3 years in the senior secondary school. He/she finally rounds it off with a minimum of 4 years in the university. In most instances anyway, the child begins with nursery education, which varies from 2 to 4 years, depending on the particular education institution. The purpose of this write up is not to discuss the organization of the Nigerian education system; rather, the purpose is to discuss how effective that education system is.
Casting the mind back to the beginning of western education system in Nigeria, once can see that there is a great improvement in the system of things as many more people tend to have become educated in the western ways. However, it is obvious that illiteracy (inability to read and write) is still prevalent in many quarters in Nigeria of today. Truth is the threat posed by illiteracy is incomparable and capable of bringing the country to its knees.
At the inception, only individuals with the national Certificate in Education (NCE) were qualified to teach in Nigerian primary schools. However, things have changed to a great extent and had led to the introduction of individual with Teacher’s Grade 2 Certificates (TC 2) into the primary education. This has the overall effect of reduction in standard of the Nigerian education system at the primary level.
Low quality education is offered in many of the commercial schools and business centers that provide alternative, but lower-quality secondary education to students. These students are forced to opt for these schools in place of the standard secondary school due to financial constraints of their parents. Many of such schools are equally lacking in government approval due to the low quality education they offer arising from low quality teachers in their employment. Those among the commercial schools that provide top quality education are just too expensive for the average person to afford.
The University Secondary schools, Federal colleges and Government colleges are among the best secondary schools in Nigeria today, but a student may never be able to get admitted into such schools if he/she does not have well-to-do parents with powerful connections.
The issue off tertiary institution is yet another worthy of consideration. At the early stage of tertiary education in Nigeria, Nigerian youths could get top quality education. However, things have changed these days as many tertiary intuitions are more or less commercial centers, especially the government owned tertiary institutions; students have to pay their ways to get admitted into these schools and not on merit; students pay for grades and may get high grades they are not able to defend.
The lack of proper regulation and non-adaptation to quality has made the Nigerian system of education to lose its past glory. The problem is not with the educational system; rather, the problem is with the way the education system is applied and handled. All hope is not lost anyway; things can still get better if the Nigerian government can put its act together.