List of Schools in Nigeria and the Educational System: Education is a vital tool in the development of individuals, groups, communities and even a nation as a whole. Most developed countries have utilised the power of education to rise quickly above other countries. In Nigeria, the importance of education cannot be swept under the carpet as it transforms individuals, reveals creativities and encourages economic growth. National integration, social cohesion, and economic prosperity have been achieved through education even in a country like Nigeria with a diverse population and rich cultural history.
Brief History of Education in Nigeria
Nigeria has its own traditional ways of education before the introduction of Western education. This system of education was majorly informal consisting of morals, practical skills and culture. People often learn through apprenticeships, oral traditions and training among peers.
The Western and primary education system we now use in Nigeria till date was introduced by Christian missionaries in the 19th century. Schools were built to accommodate pupils who are interested in learning the new religion, then it was later spread across all subjects. This served as the beginning of a new dawn in the educational system of Nigeria.
The Education System in Nigeria
Nigeria has a complex education system which spans from primary to tertiary levels. They can either be government-owned (federal or state) or privately owned all controlled by an umbrella body; the Ministry of Education. The education system in Nigeria consists of the following levels;
Pre-primary or nursery Education
This level is majorly for children between the ages of 3 to 5 years. Basically, alphabet and number recognition are taught.
This level is regarded as the foundation of the Nigerian education system from ages 6 to 11. Certificate received at this level is recognised nationwide.
This level is more advanced consisting of Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary schools. Pupils at this level move from general studies at the junior level to more defined subjects at the senior level.
This level is more defined where students focus on their preferred field. Schools at this level include universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
Technical and Vocational Education
This level can also be attributed to the tertiary level of the education system. Job-related skills are focused on and taught in various institutions
Top Five Secondary Institutions in Nigeria
There are countless prestigious secondary institutions in Nigeria but here, we will focus on only the top five ranked based on the quality of education received by the pupils;
Loyola Jesuit College
Situated in the federal capital territory, Abuja, Loyola Jesuit College has a high-standard academy program and strict moral principles. Included in its curricular activities are skills-oriented programs and many other extracurricular activities.
Established in Lagos Nigeria, Grange School is well known for its high-quality education system, it has modern facilities used to train pupils and well-trained teachers.
Located in Jos, Hillcrest School is one of the best schools in Nigeria with its conducive learning environment. Pupils are taught using the British curriculum, therefore giving them an edge over their peers
Founded in Epe, Lagos Nigeria, Atlantic Hall is best known for its character building. Modern facilities are available to aid pupils learn faster and better
This is the oldest and the most famous secondary institution in Nigeria, it is located in Lagos. It is best known for its rich and quality curriculum, also there are countless recognised alumni who project the image of the school.
Top Five Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria
Nigeria has thousands of tertiary institutions which consist of Universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education. It would be ridiculous to rank all three institutions together as they play different roles in the education system. In this section, I will only give brief details on the top five universities in Nigeria;
University of Ibadan
This is the first university in Nigeria, it was established in 1948 during the colonial era. The University of Ibadan often shorten as U.I is well known for research, academics and numerous programs
University of Lagos
Often called UniLag, is a top-tier institution in Nigeria. It has outstanding research programs across many fields of study for both undergraduate and postgraduate students
Obafemi Awolowo University
Shortened as O.A.U is one of the high-ranking institutions in Nigeria. It is located in Ile-Ife, Osun state. It offers both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in sciences, arts, social sciences and engineering.
Ahmadu Bello University
ABU as its abbreviation is located in Zaria, Kaduna State. It is one of Nigeria’s top universities that guarantees quality education in science, technology, agriculture, and engineering.
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
UNN is in the heart of Enugu, Nsukka. It has a diverse academic curriculum and several programs that cut across different fields.
Drawbacks to Nigeria’s education system
Since the introduction of Western education, Nigerians have made progress both at home and abroad, but there also exist some drawbacks that stunt the continuous growth of our dear nation. Here are a few drawbacks;
Little or no financial support
This is a major problem as many institutions lack financial support from the government thereby leading to poor infrastructures, poor teacher training, inadequate learning materials and substandard research facilities.
Low Teacher Quality
The Nigerian education system lacks qualified teachers and there are no adequate training programs set aside to educate teachers. Staff shortage is also a crucial problem associated with the education system, trained and qualified teachers may opt for a better job offer because of the low salary structure of the Nigeria education system
with diverse cultures in the nation, there is a wide gap in education across various regions. Educational resources spread unevenly i.e., only the student in the rich urban areas have access to necessary books and facilities while those in the rural areas lack adequate facilities.
Level of poverty
with an increasing level of poverty, Nigeria’s dropout student rate has skyrocketed. Many students are out of school due to poverty, insecurity, gender inequality and even cultural norms
The country’s employment data has gone up over the years, this alone is a discouragement for many people who really want to study. so they may prefer to venture into the business early in life rather than go to school.
Nigeria’s education history shows its growth and goals for a well-educated population and its government values education for national development. The education system faces problems such as a lack of financial support, infrastructure, rural access to excellent education, out-of-school children, and low teacher quality.
Government, policymakers, and education stakeholders must collaborate to address these issues. To enhance the Nigerian education system, adequate finance, infrastructural development, teacher training, curricular revisions, and access to education are needed.