By Iretomiwa Balogun
After Nigeria gained independence from the British colonial government in 1960, the country embarked on a journey to strengthen the educational sector in the country. Various changes has been made from 1960 till date.
Between the years 1960- 1970, more schools, universities were built with the aim of expanding access to the educational system. This period saw a significant increase in enrollment, as more children had the opportunity to attend school.
As a result of the economic challenges in the 1980’s there was a decrease in the funds allocated to education and the sector suffered a setback in its standards. Educational unions went on strike due to complaints such as low wages and inadequate construction.
In the 2000s, efforts were made to address the decline in the educational system prompting the introduction of the Universal Basic Education(UBE). UBE was introduced to improve access to basic education. Also the emergence of private universities provided alternatives to public universities.
In 2009, Nigeria introduced the 9-3-4 educational system. This system introduced nine years of basic education, three years of junior secondary education, and four years of senior secondary education. It aimed to provide a more comprehensive educational system.
By 2010, we witnessed an increased investment in education and improvements in infrastructure. Various programmes were launched to enhance teacher training and the overall quality of education. These were done to bridge the gap in educational standards and bring Nigeria closer to its educational goals.
Challenges like inadequate funding, poor infrastructure, unpaid teacher salaries, poor educational resources, overcrowded classrooms and outdated curricula have continued to plague the educational sector of the country.
In recent times, the emergence of innovative solutions such as E-learning and the use of technology in education have gained momentum. Private educational institutions have seen growth, offering diverse learning opportunities.
Nigeria’s educational sector has come a long way since gaining independence in 1960. Although there has been progress, the significant challenges remain largely unresolved.
The country’s strategy to addressing these challenges and to continuing investing in education will be critical to the development of education as a whole and Nigeria as a nation.