A BRIEF HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Before the British arrived in the early nineteenth century, there were two major types of education in Nigeria. In the Islamic north, education was strictly religious in nature. In each Muslim community, a mallam drilled children as young as five years old in the teachings of the Qur'an and the Arabic alphabet. During the colonial era, larger cities set up more expansive Islamic schools that included subjects such as math and science. In 1913, these Islamic schools, almost all in the north, numbered 19,073 and enrolled 143,312 students. In the 1970s the government took control of the Islamic schools, but in the 1990s, the schools were allowed to operate independently again.
The indigenous system was the second type of education before the British occupation. Students were taught the practical skills needed to function successfully in traditional society. Usually children within two or three years of age belonged to an age-group. Together, they learned the customs of their community and were assigned specific duties around the village, such as sweeping lanes or clearing brush. As the children grew older, the boys were introduced to farming and more specialized work, such as wood carving or drumming. Girls would learn farming and domestic skills. Boys would often enter into apprenticeship-type relationships with master craftsmen. Even in the twenty-first century, this kind of education is common.
Formal, Western-type of education was introduced by British missionaries in the 1840s. The Anglican Church Missionary Society (CMS) started several schools in the mid-1800s. The colonial government gave the church financial aid, but in the early twentieth century the government began building primary and secondary schools. By the time the British combined the northern and southern regions into one colony in 1914, a total of 11 secondary schools were in operation, all but 1 run by missionaries. There were also 91 mission and 59 government elementary schools.
Education in Nigeria
Nigeria has made considerable progress in the domain of education. The education system in the country is supervised by the state. There are 27 federal and state-owned polytechnics in Nigeria. The first 6 years of primary education are mandatory in Nigeria.
Nigeria is making a steady progress in the development of education. Many universities and schools have been established by the state. However, much still needs to be done.
Primary education in Nigeria is in the native language but brings in English in the third year. Higher Education has developed considerably over the years, which has resulted in a healthy literacy rate
Quick facts on Education in Nigeria
Education in Nigeria is managed by the state.
There are 27 federal and state-owned polytechnics in Nigeria
The present literacy rate is estimated at 72%.
The first 6 years of primary education are mandatory in Nigeria.
Universities in Nigeria
Some of the important educational institutions of Nigeria are:
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University
Government College of Ibadan
Lagos Business School
Obafemi Awolowo University
University of Benin
University of Lagos
Yaba College of Technology
Nigerian Education System
At present, along with a number of state universities, colleges, and schools, the Nigerian local and state governments manage primary and secondary education. Higher education in Nigeria is the responsibility of both the federal and the state governments.
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.
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