The Decadency of Nigerian Education

Fatiu Adepeju, a student of the Eko Akete grammar school
Fatiu Adepeju, a student of the Eko Akete grammar school. As a public speaker the 13-year-old ‘Professor’ is part of Nigeria’s youth that aims to be seen as the leaders of today and tomorrow. Photo: Andrew Esiebo 2013.

When the head refuses to act swiftly and intelligently on issues affecting the nation, the possibility of such having a negative effect on the masses could be simply devastating.

The wealth of a nation is not measured by the acquired resources in her disposal but by the trained educated elite saddled with the responsibilities of managing it.

Education which plays a vital role in developing, sensitizing and empowering all living human beings in any given society, has suddenly become a tale of woes in Nigeria, where the standard has depreciated and the system has gone sour without any sign of urgency to proffer concrete solutions to change it.

Besides, the worth of a nation depends on the certain set standard which they hope to actualize in the cause of driving the nation forward. No government or people will be dreaming of walking under the shadow of darkness of life when the possibility of actualizing success remains attainable.

However, it is bizarre to know that despite the dwindling nature of our education, the Nigerian government still shows no sincere responsibility of ensuring that they resuscitate our educational system back to life.

In the words of John F. Kennedy, he said: “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

This is a statement of fact and truth which the Nigerian government has not shown considerable interest in, instead their political agendas and corrupt attitude has blind-folded them from undertaking the right path in building a sustainable standard of education for Nigerians.

Moreover, the gradual failure of Nigerian students in some core subjects in secondary and tertiary school (WAEC, NECO and JAMB) most especially in mathematics and English Language, is a further indication of how our education standard has fallen.

Gone are the days when Nigeria can boast of competent and reliable students who could confidently defend their education in the face of difficulties without succumbing to it.

However, the same can’t be said of our generation, where lots of damages have been done right from the grass root level (primary schools) to the tertiary level.

Come to think of it, a few years back the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike over issues we expected the federal government to have solved amicably without much noise. However, university students are those at the receiving end of it all, as some of them are gradually getting tired of staying home and wasting their academic years. Of what gains will this be to our government?


Although, Nigerian teachers have a share in the blame due to their lackadaisical approach in impacting positive knowledge on the students, however, their incompetency in terms of reputable skills and social market activities in the class room have also affected the call for improved academic programs in the country.

Likewise students to some extent have lost interest in extensive reading and appreciating the fact that learning could be broad and fun and also that the dividends in the long run could come handy in future.

According to the assertions of G. K. Chesterson and Aristotle, education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. And that the roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

We have come to a stage where our government needs to identify the importance of education in our day-to-day existence in life, if we’re to re-instate the academic excellence which we’ve been known for in the past.

“It is a pity to note that the standard of education in Nigeria is on the decline because the government does not infuse funds into the education sector. As a result of this, the lecturers only teach outdated materials. Most rich people send their kids abroad to get good education and care less about the average Nigerian student who couldn’t afford to do this. Education in Nigeria has become one which is fit for those who have no hope for a better chance at good education,” an anonymous person opined.

What exactly can our government pin-point as a factor that has prevented them from carrying out their educational responsibilities? Is it that the available mineral and natural resources are not sufficient enough to establish and bank roll to standardize educational programs in the 36 states of the federation? Definitely, no!

Government determination to improve the state of education also brought about various systems such as the Nomadic Education Commission (NEC), the National Mass Education Commission (NMEC), the Basic Development for Education Commission (BDEC), Universal Basic Education (UBE) program, just to mention a few, which have produced little or no impact.

The Literacy and Census bureau rated the literacy rate for Nigeria in 2010 at 61.3% and compared to South Africa’s 93% we have a long way to go. With this trajectory a continuous output of ‘half baked’ graduates on a yearly basis might also skyrocket.

The need to invest massively in education in Nigeria is a duty which both the federal, state and local government must embrace irrespective of their personal and political goals.