The Role Of Education And National Development In Nigeria
1.1 Background To The Study
According to Uwadia (2010), Education in a broad sense is a process by which an individual acquires the many physical and social capabilities demanded by the society in which he/she is born into to function. It is to a nation what the mind is to the body, just as a diseased mind is handicapped in the coordination and direction of the bodily activities. Therefore, the single most significant complex of social – control tools for national development is found in the educational system be it formal or informal. Eduwen. (2009), asserts that, education is the process of acquisition of knowledge, that is, it involves the teaching and learning process. Formal education in Nigeria date back to the British colonialism. In the pre-colonial and colonial era, the colonial master introduced reading, writing, arithmetic which was the beginning of formal education system in Nigeria.
Before now, education was informal, that is apprenticeship system of acquiring knowledge. With the advent of the British colonialism there was a shift from the informal to the formal system of education. Soon after the Nigeria independence tertiary institutions for man power training and development were established by the Nigerian states. Consequently this led to the growth of the Nigerian professionalism. The Nigerian education have had a tremendous impact on the Nigeria nation over the years this is evident in the growth and development of the Nigeria Civil service, Political system, Technological growth, Communication, Industrial growth, increase in Agricultural production, Medicine engineering as well as the harnessing of her national endowment.
Vocational and technical education facilitates the acquisition of applied skills and basic scientific knowledge. It is a planned program of courses and learning experiences that begin with the exploration of career options, supports basic, academic and life skills, and enables the achievement of high academic standards, leadership, preparation for career and continuing education (Career and Technical Education, 2009). Unfortunately, Nigeria does not seem to give vocational and technical education the attention it deserves.
This appears to be the reason for rising rate of unemployment and poverty in the society which had contributed largely to the insecurity problems in the country. According to Olaitan, (2006), this is because the youths and graduates from tertiary institutions are not equipped with adequate skills that will enable them exploit the natural resources that abound in Nigeria. He further posits that unemployment leads to frustration and disillusionment which may result in crime or drug abuse in a futile attempt to escape from, and forget the pains and humiliation associated with poverty which has worsened, as millions of school leavers and graduates of tertiary institutions are not gainfully employed. The reason is that they lack the necessary occupational skills that would enable them to be self-employed and effectively function in today’s world of work.
With the use of policies and recommendation by professionals there has been adequate management of Nigerian domestic and international relations with other countries leading to improved leaving standard, social economy growth, political stability infrastructural development, provision of basic amenities social reconstruction etc with the increased demand for education there has been a continuous drive for a better leaving condition and way of life thus bringing about modernization and sophistication to the ordinary man.
There were high expectations of universities in the newly established nation states. Under circumstances that prevented mobility, new learning opportunities were required in regional centers with no real academic traditions. New faculties were established either from nothing or on the basis of previous branch departments. The tradition of strong ‘independent faculties’ and a weak university made the mushrooming of new institutions easy. The role of the university in society was reconfirmed in a similar way to in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries: the time for ‘the national university’ had returned. Rector Rugova explained it in the following way: ‘The role and significance of University were typical for the roles and significances that universities have played in the western civilized countries, illuminist and liberator from tutelage of the others’ (Rugova, 2010).
A major problem in the planning and management of education in Nigeria is the debate about what is an equitable sharing of the cost of providing education. A s already observed from the Nigerian Constitution, the provision of education and hence its funding is the concurrent responsibility of Federal, State and Local governments. It is also accepted as the duty of parents to educate their children and they cannot therefore escape the responsibility of participation in the financing of education. Ho w the financial burden should be shared has remained an unresolved problem. However, the current trend is for Government to demand greaterfinancial contribution from parents, and the phenomenal increases of tuition fees by som e State governments in recent years testifies to this. But Nwagw u (2002:90)^ argues that since the Federal Government collects about 80 % of the nation’s total revenue, it must contribute more funds to support the efforts of state and local governments and parents; just h o w much remains the question
Education is a crucial sector in any nation. Being a major investment in human capital development, it plays a critical role in long-term productivity and growth at both micro and macro levels. This explains why the state of education in Nigeria continues to be our national discourse at all levels. Consequently, the implication of the declining quality of education at all levels has far reaching negative impact on a nation’s moral, civic, cultural and economic sustainability. At this point, it is important to realize that discussions on education and its reforms to make it contribute meaningfully to national development should gradually and systematically move away from a politicized to a more analytical approach that appreciates the complexities inherent in proffering genuine and workable solutions for revamping our educational system.
In the Nigerian context, for the sector (i.e, education) to contribute meaningfully to national development; there should be proper funding of the three tiers of government. If this is done in the proper way, the Academic Staff Union of Universities will not have any need to embark on industrial actions as there will be improved infrastructure in the primary, secondary and post-secondary schools; there will be no more brain-drain as research activities will be effectively carried out and examination misconduct will be eradicated or reduced and the sector will contribute meaningfully to national development. Samalia and Murtala (2010:254) state that something urgent has to be done in the educational sector since ‘illiterates’ are leading Nigerians. But the problem with Nigeria is that there is no difference between an educated president and not so enlightened ones in terms of their leadership. Irrespective of the above observation, the main focus of this paper remains the contributions of education to national development.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
gemen t Issues and Problems The Nigerian education system has witnessed tremendous growth and expansion since independence in 1960, the education system has undergone only quantitative improvements in terms of number of institutions and students enrolment while there has been little development in respect of capacity to maintain standards and efficiency in the process and products of education. This situation has been attributed to the manner in which the education system is organized, planned and administered, which is generally perceived as crisis-ridden. Writing about what she called “The Environment of Crises in the Nigerian Education System”, Nwagw u (2007:87)^ drew attention to a series of debilitating crises within the system, especially in the last two decades, and attributed these to poor and ineffective planning and management of the system. Many problems in education have occurred because of the politics of education.
For example, the crises of educational financing, frequent strikes by staff and riots by students have become almost a permanent feature mainly because of excessive centralization of educational planning and Federal Government intervention in matters which should be handled by the States. Adesina (2002:27) holds the view that “If the Federal Government attempts to solve problems which should be handled locally, it will be less effective in advancing the objectives and interests of national development”^ The power struggle at the Federal level by politicians and government leaders, whether civilian or military, is invariably complicated by the interjection of religious and ethnic sentiments and interest. These make policy formulation and decision-making in education very difficult and worse still, often determine how well a policy or program is implemented; and at times, whether implementation takes place at all.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The main objective of this study is to investigate the role of education on the national development of Nigeria among secondary school students, specifically the study intends to:
- Find out the factors associated with national development in Nigeria
- Discover the factors associated with the education sector in Nigeria
- Find out impact of education on national development in Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions was formulated to guide this research arrive at a valid conclusion:
- What is the factors associated with national development in Nigeria
- What are the factors associated with the education sector in Nigeria
The Role Of Education And National Development In Nigeria
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of Education in national development?
Education is a crucial sector in any nation. Being a major investment in human capital development, it plays a critical role in long-term productivity and growth at both micro and macro levels.
Does education contribute to national development in Nigeria?
This paper also emphasizes that the contributions of education to national development has been limited by poor funding, politicization of the system, unsteady political environment and corruption in Nigeria.
What is wrong with the Nigerian education system?
The crisis which has engulfed the Nigerian education sector centres on government neglect of funding education, politicization of education, changing political environment, incessant change of educational policies and corruption. Below is a recipe or lasting solutions to the perennial crisis that has bedeviled the Nigerian educational system.
What is the importance of Education in the life of nation?
This is because, education, in the life of a nation, is the live wire of its industries and also the foundation of moral regeneration and revival of its people. It is also the force and bulwark of any nation’s defence and it has been observed that no nation rises above the level of its education.