The Nigerian educational sector and its major challenges

A foreigner who is looking from the outside and into the Nigerian educational sector will at first glance think that the sector has a robust, working and a good, well thought plans. What with all states having at least three governmnent funded tertiary institutions, and multiple government secondary and primary schools, how can one not think that.

But that is a first glance look, when he/she looks a little bit closer -and they do not even have to squint their eyes for them to begin to see the true picture and what they will see is a faded, moth eaten, ancient, black and white image, the type of image that stinks of being locked up in a wooden box and placed under a leaking roof and left to the mercy of the seasons to be forgotten.

The Nigerian educational sector was once touted as one of the leading tenets in our push for consolidation of our independence, for without it we were sure to struggle. When we were on the right path, that is when our education took precedence, the country was moving and developing at a steady moderate pace and then came the oil boom, greed and corruption became our Go to favourite English word and we forgot all other sectors and swarm like bees to the money making oil producing flower that so intoxicated us we that dropped and forgot our books which then led to the aforementioned struggles and boy oh boy are we struggling.

But, we want to “not struggle” and the best way to do that is to first acknowledge that we are struggling and target what, why and where we are struggling and i have come up with few of them.


Searching online I’ve come to find out that the sector lacks adequate database and that didn’t come as a surprise seeing as we are still just in the breast-feeding stage of our computer-based exams which is one of the major ways of gathering data, but where we are lacking is not having a unified educational system database to track and monitor not just the students but also the teacher in order to know how best to tackle issues from a particular demographic.


In the educational sector all tiers of government serve as the motivating factor and force that binds effective teaching and non teaching resources together for the objective of the sector to be realized. The sectors management and leadership structure is defective which has allowed decay and retrogression to set in. Our educational activities are not effectively supervised and resources not managed which has led to wastage.


The level of coverage and access to education in Nigeria is low especially in rural areas. The government in trying to tackle this introduced the school feeding programme to entice kids to come to school but analysis has shown that this programme is well widespread in the south as it in the northern parts of the country. Similarly as this is mostly to provide incentives to kids in rural areas who cant afford paying high school fees, analysis has also shown that this school feeding scheme is mostly done in rural Towns not villages where it is really needed. Also the level access to education for the physically challenged in the society is low. There is insufficient specialised learning centres for those with one disability or the other and has encouraged the level of street begging in the society.

Online surveys have also shown that the level of boy drop outs at the senior secondary levels is at an all time high. Analysis has shown that just 66% of boys who completed the junior secondary school level go on to complete the senior secondary level as against 78% of girls who go on to complete theirs.


It is no secret that that a lot of primary and secondary schools in the country are underfunded and understaffed. Schools have inadequate classrooms, leaking roof dilapidated structures, and a low teacher to student ratio. Secondary and tertiary schools don’t have laboratories and those that do have, the laboratories are without equipments and libraries are empty or outdated and substandard.


The level of education in government schools are low compared to private schools which is why many parents prefer to patronise schools at the expense of public schools despite their high fees. Teaching in government schools are mostly theoretical with little opportunities for learners to engage in practical and problem solving activities which leads to better understanding.

The sector is filled with high proportion of untrained and unqualified teachers where jobs are mostly given sentimentally not based on knowledge. Also the salaries of teachers in the country is low compared to their counterparts in other countries which does not motivate the teachers to give his/her best. All this leads to poor students performance in external exams especially in the core subjects.


This is the crux of the whole matter. Most leaders act based on where they are leaning to politically which then skews any gains of the previous leadership which in turn negates any goodwill gesture they plan on doing. Funds are given only when the school leadership is a party member or supports your political ambition to the detriment of those who do not support the sectors leadership. There you have it, what i think are the major challenges to the Nigerian educational sector is highlighted above, and herein comes the next step,

HOW TO SOLVE THEM, well all i can say is I’ve done my part and it is often said a problem shared is a problem half solved so guys I’ve half solved the great mathemathical equation that is the education sector so the rest should be easy and peachy for you guys START SOLVING.