Challenges Facing education in Nigeria

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By Adetola

Education in Nigeria is the shared responsibility of everyone, including government, stakeholders, parents, teachers and the society at large. But it is rather unfortunate that, when the issue of the Nigerian education system is raised, the first thoughts that come to mind are: decline in standard, deterioration of facilities, examination malpractice, mass promotion syndrome and the likes. However, there is a need for an in-depth study and analysis aimed at educating each and every stakeholder in the educational system on how their actions and inactions have both individually and collectively contributed to the collapsing state of education in Nigeria. In this article, we would be looking at how each and every individual has contributed to the fallen standard of education in Nigeria, and the possible way forward. Poor parenting/guidance: poor parenting and guidance is one of the major problem facing education in Nigeria. According to L.O. Odia and S.I Omofonmwan in 2007, they cited that ‘’parenting entails caring, protection, and the provision of basic needs for a child’s up keep in order for him/her to be properly equipped to meet with the challenges of life’’. However, it is saddening that many parents are now involved in encouraging their wards to participate in exam malpractice by means of financing activities in and around the examination venues to effect malpractice, in order to increase the chances of their wards in securing admission into higher institutions.

Some of these students even progress in this act in the tertiary institutions. It is so unfortunate, that the end result of this act is producing ‘’half-baked graduates’’. Graduates, who cannot express themselves properly, write good sentence, and graduates who cannot argue constructively. Little wonder, why employers keep saying some Nigerian graduates are unemployable! Financial constraints: the gross underfunding of the educational sector in the country generally and neglect of the maintenance of physical facilities has contributed to the problems confronting the educational system. If you visit some of the government owned institutions; you would discover the deplorable state of facilities in our tertiary institutions, starting from dilapidated buildings, to inadequate furniture’s, and lack of conducive learning environment. You would be startled to see the condition under which students receive lectures. Fall in standard: the concept of acquiring knowledge is supposed to help us fight against illiteracy, ignorance, poverty and diseases. Regrettably, illiteracy and ignorance have become the dominating factors in our society.

The standard of education in Nigeria has fallen drastically over the years, and the gap between education and ignorance has now broadened. Some of the problems that is associated with the fall in standard of education in Nigeria, is the quality of education received in schools. Little wonder why graduates from so many institutions exhibit ignorance towards societal realities, lack of creativity and the ability to think constructively, which is as a result of the inadequacies associated with learning and training process. Poor preparation and examination malpractice: examination malpractice is as a result of poor preparation of students, while poor preparation is associated with laziness, lack of self-confidence, and over-dependence on exam ‘’chips’’. In most cases, teachers at secondary schools promote this act by way of encouraging students to contribute money (cooperation fees) in order to secure the needed assistance during examinations because they, the teachers are left with no other alternatives considering the fact that they are aware of the inadequate preparation of their students as well as the facilities to properly prepare them before examination.

Adetola is a graduate of Ekiti State University; and member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM)

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