Types of Educational Policy in Nigeria

Education is the practice of teaching and learning of knowledge and skills from the learned to the pupil, for the sake of building a better life for the individual, and society at large.

This is an age-old practice that has some of its earliest traces in ancient Greece, where it meant teaching the values and traditions of the state to the younger generation, plus all the basic survival skills that was meant to keep them alive and well, thereby building a healthy population which could thrive higher than its peers.

Education In Nigeria

Education in Nigeria is regulated by the Ministry of Education. Local Education Departments (LED) authorities are responsible for implementing a state-controlled policy regarding public education as well as state schools. The education system is divided into Kindergarten, Primary education, Secondary education and Tertiary education (universities, colleges {including colleges of education} polytechnics monotechnics and institutes of specialized learning). Nigeria’s federal government structure has been dominated by instability since declaring independence from Britain. Policies of the previous government have been often discarded and discredited as soon as a new government comes into office, and, as a result, a unified set of education policies has never really been successfully implemented in Nigeria.

There has been a huge gap in quality, curriculum, and funding characterizing the education system from region to region in Nigeria.

Types of Educational Policy in Nigeria

As per law, Nigeria presently operates an educational policy called the Universal Basic Education (UBE). The policy/ law stipulates a 9-year formal schooling, adult literacy, and non-formal education, skill acquisition programs, and as a matter of law the policy is all-inclusive, and so the education of special groups such as nomadic children, as well as  migrants, girl child and women, Al-majiri (Northern street children who study Islamic laws ), street children and also disabled people.

This scheme is monitored by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, which is an arm of the Nigerian Ministry of Education, that is backed by international agencies. UBEC is empowered to take proactive measures to ensure that Universal Basic Education is made “free”, “compulsory” and a right of every child. This power comes from the UBEC law section 15 which defines Universal Basic Education as early childhood care and education. The UBE system may also be referred to as the 9 3 4 system of education, which stipulates a mandatory 9 years of primary and junior secondary education (this is officially referred to as basic 1 to 9), which is then followed by 3 years of senior secondary education, and then capped by for years in a University for the finishing touches.

Immediately before this was the 6334 system of Education, which was a national policy that stipulated six years of Primary Education, Three years of Junior Secondary School, Three years of senior secondary school, and then Four years of University Education.

Also before that was the 5 6 4 system which was discarded in 1982. That system mandated that students pass through 5 years of early schooling (form 1 to 5) followed by 6 years of secondary school education (standard 1 to 6) and then capped by 4 years in a university system.

It is worthy to mention that Nigeria currently possesses the largest number of out-of-school learning youth in the world. Therefore, it is a good idea to devote the rest of this article to discuss the structure of Informal education in Nigeria.

Informal education and literacy programmes as they are found in Nigeria.

As mentioned earlier Nigeria has the highest population of youths studying informally in the world. This has been caused by several factors, difficult to exhaust in a single review. However, informal modes of education have formed the very foundation for tertiary education in Nigeria for many years and are still at play today. Informal education continues to play a major role when it comes to technical skills acquisition and dissemination in Nigeria. Nigeria has built a unique system of informal education, which supersedes the formal institutions in certain technical areas, and which play a prime role in the development of the country. These programs and structures are difficult to study because they are not grouped together, and neither is there a central monitoring or overseeing agency or authority. Therefore, these centers of technical studies remain largely and anonymous and decentralized in their missions and practices.

Many academics have concluded that the prevalent overall lack of funding and centralization has significantly hindered the quality, and recognition that should ordinarily be associated with informal literacy programs for both school-age children and adults, measured by their level of importance in the Nigerian educational development structure.

However, many of these informal places of learning have achieved success in promoting employment as well as increasing the economic prospects for those who have utilized the programs. In addition to the vocational apprenticeships which have long established themselves in the Nigerian system, the Nigerian government in collaboration with various NGOs has introduced community-based strategies for increasing the rate of literacy among both children and adults in all aspects of learning. One such example is the Centre of Excellence for Literacy and Literacy Education (CELLE), which is an NGO that aims to increase national development through increased literacy education.

One of their major initiatives was launched in 1992 and is called the Premier Reading Club (PRC), which is a nationally organized club with a well-organized setup and methods for teaching children and adults, as well as building enthusiasm to read and share their ideas. These programs have achieved varying levels of success in different regions of the country, with the major set-back being that funding has not been easy to come by. Formal and informal literacy education in Nigeria was a priority, and so received a significant boost under the colonial rule of Britain, but since independence in 1960, educational funding has largely declined, and the focus of the government has largely shifted to other, areas, some of which have amounted to wastefulness and national stagnation.

Informal education has also aimed at being a tool to help address other issues other than illiteracy. There have been several calls to incorporate informal HIV/AIDS education into the prison education system, but these calls have been frequently met with little or no interest by the authorities. This population is in need of this education as inmates (who will one day be released back into society) are not exposed to the standard methods of TV and print media campaigns which are the traditional methods that have been used to address the issue.

From a business perspective, most of the business education that is given to the youth through informal education (apprenticeships) is based purely on practical aspects, and almost completely ignore the western methods of doing business, including aspects like marketing, branding, accounting, and so on. These businesses use a kind of traditional approach, which works because it seems well suited to the accepted norms and ways of life of the Nigerian people. This system has produced more millionaires than the University system can claim to have done, even with all the Universities put together.

Overall, the informal education system in Nigeria can be described as diverse and complicated. Despite large lip support for investment in adult literacy and in vocational education, a lack of real legislative action, and funding challenges have stalled the implementation of many literacies and vocational programs in Nigeria.

One study that looked into the involvement of the national government in education and literacy programs concluded that the high prevalence of illiteracy rates in Nigeria was significantly related to the lack of commitment from the government at all levels towards its inclusion in the standardized education policies.

That’s all about the types of educational policies in Nigeria.


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