Development and history of education in Nigeria since 1960 till date and before independence – You see when you talk about Education In Africa, Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world, located in West Africa, bordered by the Republic of Benin on the west, Niger on the north, northeast by Chad and east by Cameroon, Nigeria been the giant of the nations in the shore of Africa continents, it is essential we discuss the History Of Education In Nigeria. For any nation to strike a balance between infrastructural development and human development, it is imperative to invest in education, and education in Nigeria how does it start? What was happening in the early 19th century that was a bedrock to the current educational standard? What are the things that were in place during the early development of Nigeria and also serve as a pedestal for educational roots in Nigeria today, all of these will be treated as we move on to write on the Development Of Education In Nigeria.

History Of Education In Nigeria Since 1960 Till Date And Before Independence

  • What Is Education?

Before furthering to write about the history of education, it is crucial we learn the concepts and precepts of the term Education. Over the years, it is one of the issues that keep lingering in the educational arena to find common ground or particular definition for the term Education generally all over the world; some scholars defined education as the phenomenon that happened to man since the day he was born to the day he will die. Some other authors defined education as what a man sees in his societies, put into practice to guide his day-to-day activities, some also see education as transferring cultural heritage from one generation to the other.

To find common ground to all of these definitions, I defined education as initiation processes that started from the day a man can react to stimuli to the day he stops reacting to stimuli.

  • History of education in Nigeria

Education as we have rightly defined, can be in three forms, we have formal education, we have semi-formal education, and we have informal education, all of these started from informal education to formal education.

The history of education in Nigeria could be traced down to the early days before the colonization of Nigeria by the British Colonial Master. Our for-fathers have been practicing a form of the educational system is known as informal education, this type of education does not need a skilled facilitator, it is usually done by observation, instruction and it is a type of education that is hands-on type education. The father is responsible for the male education, the male child will be trained on how to farm, basic principle and responsibilities of men are being passed across to the male child through his father, the female child is directly trained by her mother, she will be taught how to sweep, how to cook, how to greet the elderly ones and other responsibility of women in the societies.

Generally, the king and the societal leader will teach everyone staying in a particular location the basic rules of the society, what the dos and don’ts are will be listed and will be passed across to the younger generations, the issue of Taboo was rampant in Nigeria as at then which is one of the ways the younger generation are initiated into the society. Prior to the arrival of western education in Nigeria, education has been informal majorly from the family and immediate society, where children are taught about culture, social activities, and work. These educational activities made up for the majority of what the upcoming ones learn.

The entrance of the Europeans into Nigeria, brought along European western Education in the 1840s. In the western part of the country, western education was encouraged by the Missionaries. In the Northern part of Nigeria, majorly populated by Muslims, western education was prohibited giving way to an Islamic school that focused primarily on Islamic education. Prior to Nigeria’s Independence, Only two Established Post Secondary institutions were available, Yaba Higher College (Now Yaba College of Technology founded in 1934) and the University of Ibadan, founded in 1948. Post-Independence brought about the major development of education in Nigeria, with an increase in the number of primaries, secondary schools, teachers colleges, Polytechnics, and Universities. The cost of Tertiary education is constantly on the increase and the educational system is in need of improvement and innovation to move it forward from the current state.

Development History of education In Nigeria Since 1960 Till Date

  • History of Informal Education and Formal Education

As colonization of Nigeria began in the Early 19s, Nigerian were trained on basic hand work, such as Blacksmith, Carpentering, Brick layering, and others, as these began, it open ways for Semi-informal education which is more formalized than the Informal form of education, the men are trained on handworks while the female counterparts were trained on crafting, all of these were the basic form of education that was rampant in the early 19s, but as Missionaries from other developed countries began to migrate to Nigeria to spread the Gospel, Churches were built, schools were attached to the churches so as to teach Nigerians on how to read and write, the primary aim of the schools was to train Nigerians who were converted on how to read and write, they will be able to read the bible and they will understand for themselves, this continues for long not until 1980 when the first educational ordinances was passed into law by Nigeria government, and education were fully financed by the federal Government, and ever since then, various educational bodies were established to see to full supervision of education, educational qualities were tested and were been supervised by the established institutions, ever since then, there has been paradigm shift from what education used to look like to a new era of education, the traditional form of education see to make man functional in their given societies while the modern form of education aims to improve man ways of living by doing research on a better way to handle every sector in the country.

Ever since the advancement in the educational system in Nigeria, there has been a noticeable growth in terms of development and ways things are been done before colonization.

Development Of Education In Nigeria

  • Importance of education In Nigeria

The importance of education cannot be overemphasized, for any nation to develop, the need for a standard form of educational it’s imperative so here are the benefits of Education

Quicken Development: education have been a tool in most advanced countries to sharpen and fasten the rate of development in the countries, without education research would have been difficult, conservation of old knowledge would not get to a younger generation, so education plays a vital role in the development of any country.

Improve Standard of Living: the usual practices that has being affection the standard of living of most citizens in a particular country are disarmed by modern ideas and knowledge, innovations are at a higher rate, tools that could help man overcome difficult tasks were invented on daily bases, technology keep improving to help man sustain and live well.

System Of Education In Nigeria

Nigeria is blessed with a lot of ethnic groups; Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo being the most recognized The system of education in Nigeria (Primary) is called Universal Basic Education (UBE) which is a replacement of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) in order to improve the first nine years of schooling. which include the 6 years of primary education and The formal education system in Nigeria includes: 6 years of primary schooling 3 years of junior secondary schooling 3 years of senior secondary schooling, and 4 years of university education, finally directing toward a bachelor’s level degree in the majority of the subjects. The annual term of school in Nigeria is ten months and is sectioned into three ten- to twelve-week periods, each at the pre-primary, primary, junior, and senior secondary stages.

Problems of Education In Nigeria

For every sector in any given country, there will always be a problem-posing a threat to such sector, Educational sector is not exceptional in this case, there are some militating factors against the educational system, and they are;

  • Lack Of Fund: most educational agencies, educational ministries were either underfunded or were not reimbursed at all this will hinder the discharge of duties, will hinder research processes, and may put a lot at stakes, this type of challenge is common in Africa Nation especially Nigeria, most schools and university are in a deplorable state, no government parastatals have been set up to fund the schools this has left many ideas unexplored in Nigeria and some ideas were under explore based on in availability of funds.
  • Lack Of Technical Facilitators: most schools in Nigeria were short of staff, schools that have enough staff, the crews were poorly trained and may lack the modules Operandi to bring about effective teaching and learning processes, getting to some schools in Nigeria, you will notice the level of deplorable teachers that were still using old ways and ideas of education in the modern societies, this is one of the reasons while Nigeria still wallows in the shackles of underdevelopment.

Solutions To The Problems Of Education In Nigeria

A body should be established to oversee the affairs of schools and the learning environment; more funds should be pushed to schools and universities for research.

Teachers should be trained occasionally; this will give room to pass across new ideas and ways of bringing about effective teaching and learning processes in the various citadel of learning.

More funds, grants, and other forms of monetary support should be made available by the government for educational purposes.



No rivers flow without a source, we have briefly looked at the History of education in Nigeria, we have stated how it all began, and when it finally became a formalized system, the major challenges of education in Nigeria, much information has been embedded in this piece, all you have got to do is sit back and read.