Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com » Global Education Reference » Nigeria - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundation, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education

Nigeria - History & Background

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Nigeria ranks as the tenth largest nation in the world, and by far the largest nation in Africa, with an estimated population of 123,337,822 people. Located north of the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, Nigeria is bordered on the east by Cameroon, on the northeast by Chad, on the north by Niger, and on the west by the Republic of Benin. Land features change dramatically in Nigeria, from rain forests along the coast to rolling savanna hills about 200 miles north of the coastline. The savanna extends another 200 miles northward across the Niger and Benue Rivers. In the northeast, mountains form the border between Cameroon and Nigeria. The central and western part of northern Nigeria is a flat, semi-desert land called the Sahel. The Sahara Desert expands southward into the northern edges of Nigeria. The total land area is 356,669 square miles (923,773 square kilometers).

In 2000, more than 50 percent of the people in Nigeria lived in urban areas. Lagos, the former capital on the southwestern coast, has an estimated 13.5 million citizens. Lagos is among the 10 largest cities in the world. Other large cities include Ibadan in the west with 1.5 to 2.0 million people, Ogbomosho in the west with more than 720,000 people, and Kano in the north with almost 800,000 people. In 1991 the capital was moved to Abuja, located in the central part of Nigeria north of the Niger and Benue River confluence. By 2000, the capital had grown to more than 335,000 people.

Four major ethnic groups make up about 65 to 70 percent of the population. The largest group is the Hausa/Fulani, a mixture of two ethnic groups living primarily in the northern half of the country. The Hausa/Fulani people number about 35 to 40 million. The Yoruba in western Nigeria number about 30 million people, and the Igbo in eastern Nigeria number about 15 million people. More than 300 ethnic groups, each speaking a different language, live in Nigeria. English, nonetheless, is the common language used for business, education, and government.

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.

Western education slowly entered the northern region. In 1947, only 66,000 students were attending primary schools in the north. Ten years later, the number enrolled had expanded to 206,000 students. In the western region, over the same period, primary school enrollment expanded from 240,000 to 983,000 students. The eastern region experienced the most dramatic growth in primary enrollment during this period, jumping from 320,000 to 1,209,000 students. The number of secondary school students in the entire nation grew much less dramatically, increasing from 10,000 in 1947 to 36,000 in 1957. Most of this growth, 90 percent, was almost entirely in the south.

In the 1950s, Nigeria adopted the British system called Form Six that divided grades into six elementary years, three junior secondary years, two senior secondary years, and a two-year university preparation program. Those who scored high on exit examinations at the end of Form Six usually were qualified to enter universities.

Although Nigeria celebrated its independence in 1960, the second half of the sixties brought the chaos and disaster of the Nigeria Civil War. After a long series of ethnic riots and killings against the Igbo of eastern Nigeria, the Igbos seceded from Nigeria in May 1967, naming their new country the Republic of Biafra. The war destroyed much of the nation's educational framework, especially in eastern Nigeria. Biafra surrendered in 1970, but the country never fully resolved the issues that led to the war.

In 1976, Nigeria passed a law making education compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 12. By 1980, approximately 98 percent (15,607,505 students) of this age group were enrolled in primary school, up from 37 percent in 1970. The military and civilian governments paid little attention to education, however, and the quality of education deteriorated nationwide.

By 1985, the country as a whole had 35,000 primary schools with fewer than 13 million students. Another 3.8 million primary school-aged children lived on the streets. Conditions became progressively worse. By 1994, the number of primary students in school had changed little, even with the country's high birth rate.

Secondary education fared worse than the other levels of education. During the 1970s and 1980s, the majority of primary students finishing sixth grade never went on to junior secondary school. Those who did rarely went on to senior secondary school, and for those who were qualified for higher education, very few openings existed in the 1960s. At independence, with about 6,000 students, there were only six higher educational institutions in Nigeria: the University Ibadan, the University of Ife, the University of Lagos, Ahmadu Bello University, the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, and the Institute of Technology at Benin. More universities and polytechnics were built in the 1970s, and more students were able to go on for postsecondary education. In 1971, approximately 19,000 students were studying in institutions of higher education. By 1985, the number had increased to 125,000 students, but this still represented a tiny portion of the population.

Nigeria has since struggled through a series of military dictatorships that ended in May 1999 with the democratic election of President Olusegun Obasanjo. The government seems determined to restore a damaged educational system over the last two decades of the twentieth century.


Nigeria - Constitutional Legal Foundation [next]

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over 1 year ago

hello

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over 5 years ago

History of Special Education
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Home > Library > History, Politics & Society > Education Encyclopedia

Special education, as its name suggests, is a specialized branch of education. Claiming lineage to such persons as Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard (1775 - 1838), the physician who "tamed" the "wild boy of Aveyron," and Anne Sullivan Macy (1866 - 1936), the teacher who "worked miracles" with Helen Keller, special educators teach those students who have physical, cognitive, language, learning, sensory, and/or emotional abilities that deviate from those of the general population. Special educators provide instruction specifically tailored to meet individualized needs, making education available to students who otherwise would have limited access to education. In 2001, special education in the United States was serving over five million students.

Although federally mandated special education is relatively new in the United States, students with disabilities have been present in every era and in every society. Historical records have consistently documented the most severe disabilities - those that transcend task and setting. Itard's description of the wild boy of Aveyron documents a variety of behaviors consistent with both mental retardation and behavioral disorders. Nineteenth-century reports of deviant behavior describe conditions that could easily be interpreted as severe mental retardation, autism, or schizophrenia. Milder forms of disability became apparent only after the advent of universal public education. When literacy became a goal for all children, teachers began observing disabilities specific to task and setting - that is, less severe disabilities. After decades of research and legislation, special education now provides services to students with varying degrees and forms of disabilities, including mental retardation, emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, speech-language (communication) disabilities, impaired hearing and deafness, low vision and blindness, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, and severe and multiple disabilities.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/history-of-special-education#ixzz2V3vLGnNO

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about 7 years ago

i appreciate, my material are now complete.

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over 10 years ago

i realy apreciate the web site v it will guide all muslim in nigeria

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over 3 years ago

why after more than 50years Nigeria still battle with the old system of education like lecture halls,lack of public address system, poor students well-fare etc

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over 2 years ago

Life will be better and easly if we are research.

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about 3 years ago

I need more of this write up and iam impress over this piece please,l will like to have more.

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almost 4 years ago

well researched work. simple and precised. really helpful but why not elaborate this site and accept articles from people for publications? it will really aid research and encourage reading culture among students

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about 4 years ago

Very Interesting. I need more information on the education of disabled students in northern nigeria.
Information needed include, universities and polytechnics that admits them

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over 5 years ago

Please can we know the author of the article so that we can make reference in any article its used

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over 1 year ago

can this site or anyone on here explain or clear my mind more on the following certificate of Nigerian ancient time?
1. Nigerian reader
2. Nigerian standard
3. Nigerian primary school
4. Nigerian nursery and primary
5. nursery and Montessori

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over 1 year ago

thank you for your contributions

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over 7 years ago

great to hear such wonderful messages.

i appreciate the author.

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almost 6 years ago

thanks, it is a nice documentary.

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over 3 years ago

Please the biography of nigeria system of education ended during obasanjo's tenure, to me you should include Yar adua's. Tenure jonathan's and the current president,president muhammadu buhari's tenure and their sstruggle for the propagation of the education, thank you.


I remain loyal
Ahmad salisu asoj.

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about 7 years ago

not too bad but improve it on talks about universities issue

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over 10 years ago

this material is really good.

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almost 6 years ago

i nid material on effect of population on school enrolment in nigeria

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over 7 years ago

It must be noted that languages such as efik also has great influence in nigeria today

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over 4 years ago

Missionaries such as Goldie and Hope Waddell studied the indigenous language of the Efiks (Efik language)in Calabar and compiled the Efike orthography. They also translated The Holy Bible, Christian Hymnaries, in Efik language. the Missions established schools: the Presbyterian (Duke Town Primary and secondary School, Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar-1885)among others

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over 3 years ago

interesting story but, however not precise d and there has not been an improvement in the country´s development till present date, what a shame -a growing backward country

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over 7 years ago

It is very useful though it didn't talk much on University education.

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over 7 years ago

great to hear such wonderful messages.

i appreciate the author.

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8 months ago

Secondary schools are mostly state or federally owned, although in 2001 the federal government began encouraging the return of former church mission schools. The federal government promised to continue paying teacher salaries. Generally, the federal government funds and manages two federal government colleges (secondary schools) in each state. In addition, each state owns and operates secondary schools. In 1996, there were 7,104 secondary schools with 4,448,981 students. The teacher-pupil ratio was approximately 32:1. The government pays most of the fees for students, but students must pay incidental costs and sometimes part of their board or other expenses that can amount to $200 a year, a considerable amount in a nation where the average annual income was only about $300 in 2000.
Students attend junior secondary school for grades seven through nine. At this point, the majority of students are at least 15-years-old and are no longer required to attend school. In the ninth grade, students take the Junior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSCE) to qualify for the limited number of openings in senior secondary schools. Those who do well on the exam may continue at the same institution or transfer to a different school if they qualify.
The language of instruction for all secondary school grades is English, except for special courses that require another language. Students study 9 to 12 subjects, including a core group that consists of mathematics, English language, a major Nigeria language (Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba), social studies, creative arts, integrated science, practical agriculture, religious studies (Christianity or Islam), and physical education. Depending on the school, students may select electives from courses such as introduction to technology, home economics, business studies, local crafts, and foreign languages (often Arabic or French).
Many of the subjects taken at the JSS level are offered in SSS, except in more depth. Students are streamed through testing and counseling into one of three areas of concentration: academic (science or humanities), technical/commercial, or teacher education. The core of required courses for all students includes English language, a Nigerian language, mathematics, science (physics, chemistry, and biology), humanities (literature, history, or geography), and either an agricultural science or a vocational subject. Students also select three more subjects from a wide range of electives depending on each school's resources. The more common electives are Christian or Islamic religion; business subjects such as economics, commerce, and accounting; foreign languages; computer science; fine arts; physical education; food and nutrition; home management; clothing and textile; applied electricity; auto mechanics; technical drawing; woodwork; and metalwork.
In their twelfth year, students take the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). They are required to register for a minimum of seven and a maximum of nine subjects. English and mathematics examinations are mandatory. The government estimated that over 500,000 registered to take the SSCE in May/June 2001.

To receive their Secondary School Certificate (SSC or West African Senior Secondary School Certificate), students are evaluated by a formula that combines continuous assessment in their courses, which counts 30 percent, and by their scores on the SSCE, which counts 70 percent. Those students who want to apply for higher education but who do not score high enough on the SSCE may take the General Certificate Examination (GCE) in the fall of the following year to attempt to qualify for openings.
The SSCE is prepared and administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC), an organization that has operated school examinations in several West African countries since 1954. In 1989, the SSCE replaced the West African General Certificate of Education O and A levels.
In 1999, the Nigerian government established the National Examination Council of Nigeria (NECO) to compete with the WAEC. The NECO first try at offering the SSCE, in June and July 2000, was considered a failure. The rivalry between the two testing organizations increased so much that by early 2001 there was much confusion among students over which organization's exam they should take. The issue was not resolved by the spring of 2001, but more students will likely choose WAEC examinations for several years, especially if WAEC follows up on its promise to upgrade its system with modern technology.
Although technical and vocational education is offered at several kinds of institutions, including some academic secondary schools, most technical and vocational students attend specialized secondary schools or colleges. The programs can be short, such as welding programs that take only a few months, to longer programs, such as auto mechanics that lasts three years. Usually, students finishing vocational courses are offered apprenticeships for training in specific crafts. Apprenticeship programs vary from six months to three years of work under close supervision. Some technical schools offer the entire six years of secondary education and prepare students to take the SSCE. The majority, however, take national exams in their specialties, such as the Federal Craft Certification Examination (FCCE) and the National Business and Technical Board Examination (NABTEB).
Another group of students who finish primary school go into teacher training colleges that cover the entire six years of secondary school. Successful students receive the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE), qualifying them to teach in grades one through nine and in technical colleges.
In an effort to promote Nigerian patriotism and discourage ethnic rivalry, the federal government established 63 Unity Secondary Schools around the country. These special schools use a quota system to admit students from all the states in the nation. The purpose is to bring together young boys and girls from many different ethnic groups to study and live together in harmony, so that in the future they might serve as good role models for othe rs in the nation.

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over 1 year ago

can this site or anyone on here explain or clear my mind more on the following certificate of Nigerian ancient time?
1. Nigerian reader
2. Nigerian standard
3. Nigerian primary school
4. Nigerian nursery and primary
5. nursery and Montessori

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over 1 year ago

very useful i really enjoyed the texture

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almost 2 years ago

Indelible history

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almost 3 years ago

This has been very useful for a research work I am doing on the History of Education in Nigeria. I am immensely grateful for being able to use it.

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almost 4 years ago

The Ibibio are a people of southeastern Nigeria . They are related to the Anaang and the efik people, during colonial period in Nigeria. IBIBIO means short or brief and doesn't have anything to do with, their religion is in two dimensions which centered on pouring of libation, worship, consultation, communication, and invocation of the God of heaven. It is a very good article ANDE OLUWAFUNKE OREOLUWA 200LVL MASS COMMUNICATION CALEB UNIVERSITY IMOTA LAGOS.

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over 3 years ago

Congrats! It's a well done research.

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almost 6 years ago

Okey, that's why Luggard said "to educate the north or to destroy Nigeria" when asked on educating the northern populace during colonial rule.

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about 6 years ago

The materials are useful

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over 11 years ago

also Eastern Nigeria has more rainfall than the rest of Nigeria.

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over 1 year ago

male

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almost 2 years ago

i need material for this topic: the roles of management in implementing national policy on education

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over 2 years ago

Life will be better and easly if we are research.

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over 5 years ago

gooooood enough

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almost 3 years ago

gud

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over 3 years ago

The Material was useful to me; on an assignment for A Term Paper - "Changes In Educational System In Nigeria".
A Student Of National Teachers Institute - Kaduna PGDE 2014/15 Class.

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over 5 years ago

I have enjoyed reading this article. I however are confused by the statement that Nigeria is the largest country in Africa. I thought the Sudan and D.R.C (Congo) were larger than Nigeria. Don't you think that you need to be specific by what is implied by a large country here? If you are referring to the most populated as the largest then I am in accord with you. However id you are referring to the countries surface area, then the statement is misleading. All the same it is a well done article.

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about 7 years ago

not too bad but improve it on talks about universities issue

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over 1 year ago

am kaka by tribe my researchers i greatful to meet some thing like here so it should be noted that all these small tribes also has great influence in our community so they should not be left behind thanks

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12 months ago

Great!
But I think you should include the Author's name and identification for proper scholarly citation.
Thank you.

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over 1 year ago

ALHAMDULILLAH