The importance of education to human beings cannot be overemphasized. Globally, education is considered as a human right that should be accorded to all human beings, in facts it was the reason why a lot of international human right bodies consider education as a fundamental human right.
The first and perhaps the greatest challenge facing Nigeria and making it difficult for good quality education that is capable of bringing about sustainable development is inadequate funding by federal, state and local governments to the extent that funding has been in response to conditionalities imposed by international financial institutions(IFTs). In 1997 and 2000 statistics show that federal government expenditure on education was below 10% of overall expenditure. It noticed that, the national expenditure on education cannot be computed because various states expenditure on education cannot be determined, in relation to the UNESCO recommendation of 26% of national budgets. A sustainable amount of fund must be allocated to education, thank God state like Jigawa where I from gives special consideration to educational sector. In year 2013 the government has approriated billions of naira to educational sector, the governor is really committed to educational development of his state, the effort which is worthy of emulation.
The problem of educational development in the world not only in Nigeria is that of responsibility and control, the conflict between the Federal, State and Local Government in the management of education at various level is one of the prominent problem of educational development in Nigeria. Take for example, the control of primary education is neither fully in the hand of federal government, nor state or local government this a great barrier for effective educational development at basic level.
In Nigeria today, one should not be taking of unavailable teachers but instability. The unstable condition of teaching staff in Nigerian primary and secondary schools has drastically crippled the system. The question is why instability? the answer is that, the condition of service does not fovour them to stay in the profession as such looking always for alternative. We thank God in some state like Jigawa State, the Government under the leadership of His Excellency Governor Sule Lamido is committed to overhauled the whole system because there were massive teachers recruitment, provision infrastructures, teaching aids and good condition of service to teachers (100% Teaching Inducement Allowance-TIA) etc in addition to adequate funding of the system. this courageous effort should be emulated by other state.
Another problem of Education in Nigerian schools today is the politicization of Education; which seriously affected the development of education. Today many educational institutions are opened and run in many states on political ground or other flimsy reasons. In Nigerian schools today admission in universities, colleges, polytechnics, monotechnics, secondary and primary schools are sometimes guided by politicians not academic performance. Parent today used their political offices or influences for the education of their children.
A sensitive issue that crippled the development of education is the manner and the why the politician influence the recruitment exercise of teachers. Many people today are after securing job for their children just to have meal ticket not bothering whether their wards qualified or not. This has contributed to recruitment of many unqualified teachers in our schools. Other state should emulate Jigawa State in given aptitude test to applicant who want joint teaching service as a means of minimizing the number of incapable ones.
Another critical area that hinder development of education today is indiscipline, this is manifested in examination malpractices, secret cult menace, corruption etc. Crises in our schools today has led to “brain-drain”, students of today are no longer interested in academic excellence but when would I pass out from the schools.
Poor parenting/Guidance is another cause, many parent lack caring, protection and guidance as such no adequate provision of basic needs for their children to up keep him or her to meet the challenges of life, in accordance with the laws of the land. Many parent have today bring innovation that are not encouraging but paving ways to examination malpractices in order to brighten the chances of their wards in qualifying examination to higher institutions, my investigation revealed that some examination centres exist in this nation where parent are paying money for qualifying their wards to pass SSCE –WAEC /NECO/JAMB.
The above problems mentioned are just few out of hundred problems of educational development in this country.
What to be done for education to develop
The critical condition of education in Nigeria will not yield us good, it has been documented that with this current trends, the target of achieving universal primary education will not be attained in states by 2015 and this is an indicator that there will be 47 million children out of school in 2015, 19 million of them in sub-sahara Africa. This shows that, about 46 countries in the world are going backwards or will not meet the target until 2040.
What to be done to face the challenges of education in Nigeria are as follows:
* Adequate Teacher Education Training with adequate provision of resources with re-introducing of Teacher Colleges.
* Quality assurance in terms of class size, number of teachers and instructional materials.
* Proper governance of schools and implementation of Schools Management Committees (SMCs).
* Adequate budgetary provision (funding of educational sector).
* Employment of professional (qualified teaching staff)
* Empowerment approach to education.
* Provision of child friendly and teacher friendly school environment.
Review of school curricula for promoting relevant learning and extra curricula activities.
* Admission of students to schools base on merit not political ground.
* Special salary for teachers should be provided.