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The Impact Of Nigerian Education Sector On Economic Development Of Nigeria: (A Case Study Of University Of Science And Technology, Enugu State)
THE IMPACT OF NIGERIAN EDUCATION SECTOR ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA: (A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, ENUGU STATE)
In its broadest meaning, education is any process by which an individual gains knowledge or insight, or develops attitudes and skills. In its strict sense it is a process to attain acculturation through which the individual is helped to attain the development of his potentialities and their maximum activation when necessary, according to the right reason and to achieve his perfect self-fulfillment. It is concerned with the cultivation of the whole person including intellectual, affective, character and psychomotor development. It is the human resources, which ultimately determine the character and pace of its economic and social development. Human resources constitute the ultimate basis for the wealth of nations. Capital and natural resources are passive factors of production, human beings are the active agents who accumulate capital, exploit natural resources, build social, economic and political organization and carry forward national development. Clearly a country which is unable to develop the skills and knowledge of its people and to utilize them effectively in the national economy will be unable to develop anything else. It is the formal educational system that is the major institutional mechanism for developing such human skills and knowledge. Improving and widening access to education, especially basic education has been an objective of education policy in developing countries over the past two decades. This reflects the broad recognition that education contributes to development. Basic education is often considered a right which nations have a responsibility to guarantee to each generation.
The benefits of education are clearly established. The evidence is overwhelming that education raises the quality of life, it improves health and productivity in market and non-market work, increases individual’s access to paid employment and often facilitates social and political participation.
There was remarkable expansion in the Nigerian educational scene in the 1940s and 1950s. The regionalization, the self-government, the Universal Primary Education (U.P.E.) and community participation programmes adopted across the country during this period under review all contributed greatly to the rapid expansion of Nigeria education. The western region was the first to introduce the universal free primary education. The Action Group, (the ruling party then, in the west), advocated free primary education by the year 1955. In January 17, 1955 the UPE programme was launched.
The concept of Islam should not be seen as only in terms of being a religion but also as a force intervening cultural evolution in the area affected by it. Islam should be viewed as a way of life. Islam has some elements of moral and legal instructions. It was founded by Prophet Mohammed who lived between 570 – 632 AD. The Arabic language has always been the medium of communication for Muslims. Muslims lay much emphasis on the teaching of the Koran. According to Prophet Mohammed, the best man among us is the man who learns the Koran and teaches the Koran. It was therefore on this prophetic advice that Islamic education in Nigeria was founded. The teaching of Arabic language went hand in hand with the teaching of the Koran.
Every society whether simple or complex has its own system for training and educating its youths and education for good life has been one of the most persistent concern of men throughout history.
In old Africa, with reference to Nigerian records, the warrior, the hunter, the nobleman, the man of character or anyone who the man of character or anyone who combined the feature with a specific skill was judged to be a well educated and well integrated citizen of his community.
In the olden days, there were two systems of education in Nigeria before the advent of western education and it was noted that Islamic educational system was predominantly in the northern part of the country. History has it that it was the Wesleyan Methodist mission that arrived in Nigeria to start both Christian and Western Education work and this was in September 1842. Arriving in Badagry Rev. Thomas Freeman with others started work at once and from there they traveled to Abeokuta to visit those who had also arrived there either from the gold coast Ghana or the Sierra-Leone. In these two places Badagry and Abeokuta, the first schools were established.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been established that Education is a Penacea for national development. No developing country can advance technologically, educationally, politically, socially, economically and otherwise without education. Why is it that every successive administration in Nigeria tries to form and reform the Nigerian Education sector for effective and efficient natural and economic development but the impact is not much felt on unemployment, rural or benefit, citation of industries and literacy awareness programmes.
This study tries to ascertain the effects and the contributions of the Nigerian Education sector to the Economic Development of Nigeria. Does Nigeria education sector have any impact on national development?
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to ascertain the impact or contributions of the education sector in national development. The importance of education cannot be over emphasized as it has been established that education is a panacea to national development.
IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
The study on the education sector is very important. This is because to achieve an all round development and increase favourable standard of living, education sector should be given priority.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE (Background)
The Concept and Importance of Education
Anyanwu (2002) defined education as a process by which an individual gains knowledge or insight, or develops attitudes and skills. In its strict sense, it is a process to attain acculturation through which the individual is helped to attain the development of his potentialities, and their maximum activation when necessary, according to the right reason and to achieve his perfect self-fulfillment. It is concerned with the cultivation of “the whole person” including intellectual, affective, character and psychomotor development. It is the human resources, which ultimately determine the character and pace of its economic and social development. “Human resources constitute the ultimate basis for the wealth of nations. Capital and natural resources are passive factors of production; human beings are the active agents who accumulate capital, exploit natural resources, build social, economic and political organization, and carry forward national development. Clearly, a country which is unable to develop the skills and knowledge of its people and to utilize them effectively in the national economy will be unable to develop anything else”. It is the formal educational system that is the major institutional mechanism for developing such human skills and knowledge.
Improving and widening access to education, especially basic education, has been an objective of education policy in developing countries over the past two decades. This reflects the broad recognition that education contributes to development. Basic education is often considered a right which nations have a responsibility to guarantee to each generation. And the benefits to education are by now well established. The evidence is overwhelming that education raises the quality of life, it improves health and productivity in market and non-market work, increases individual’s access to paid employment, and often facilitate social and political participation.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE NIGERIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM
Nigeria’s formal education system is made up of primary education, secondary education and tertiary education. These are examined in turn.
Nigerian Primary Education
Primary education is the first component of basic education, the other component being junior secondary education. Basic education is often considered a right which nations have a responsibility to guarantee to each generation. This partly explains the adoption of defunct Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1976 (later revised in 1981).
Nigerian Secondary Education
Secondary education in Nigeria is for the 12 to 18 year old children. It is on the concurrent list in the Nigerian constitution. This explains the existence of Unity Schools or Federal Government Colleges in the country.
Expenditure on secondary education during the First National Development Plan was N53.886 million or 38.7% of total education expenditure. Allocations during the second National Development Plan was N1055.4 million or 43.4% of total education allocation. During the Third National Development Plan, the sum of N3096.303 million or 40.2% of total education expenditure went to secondary education.
Nigerian Tertiary/Higher Education
Post-secondary or higher education is synonymous with tertiary education, covering Colleges of Education, Colleges of Agriculture and other similar post secondary institutions, Polytechnics or Colleges of technology, and Universities. Higher education in Nigeria is aimed at providing specialized manpower as well as nation-building, promotion of the economic and social well-being of the nation, self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Here, we examine the Colleges of Education, Polytechnics, and Universities.
(a) Colleges of Education
According to Ola (2001) in Nigeria, the goals and objectives of Colleges of Education are:
(i)Teaching, encouragement of the spirit of inquiry and creativity in teachers; and
(ii) Production of highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for the primary and junior secondary levels of the education system.
(b) Polytechnics/Colleges of Technology
Esin (2001) said that the goals and objectives of Polytechnics in Nigeria are teaching, research with emphasis on application and development and public service through:
(i)the production of high level and middle level manpower, as appropriate, in areas necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development
(ii)the identification and solution of the technological problems and the need of industry: and
the production of technicians and technologists for direct employment in industry.
(c) Nigerian University Education
Ade (2002) said that the goals and objectives of universities in Nigeria are teaching, research and public service through:
- encouragement of the advancement of learning in diverse disciplines;
- the development of high level manpower to meet the identified needs of the economy
- generation and dissemination of knowledge;
(iv) research relevant to the national and local development
problems of the country.
(v) The maintenance and transformation of the cultural
heritage of the country through the preservation and adaption of local traditions and value; and
(vi) Public service
Adeniran (2002) said that currently, the Nigerian University System (NUS) consists of 37 universities and 5 special federally –owned institutes. The total number of entities under the direct ambit of the National Universities Commission (NUC) is 27 (61.9%) consisting of 13 conventional Federal Universities, 4 special Federal Universities (of Technology), and 5 special institutes. The other 16 entities are: (a) twelve (12) state-owned universities which are responsible to their owner-state governments; (b) three (3) special Federal Universities (of Agriculture) which report to Federal Government through Federal Ministry of Agriculture; and (c) one (1) special Federal University (Defence/Military) which reports to Federal Government through Federal Ministry of Defence (NUC, 1995).
Total enrolment rose phenomenally from 1,395 in 1960 to 210,421 in 1992/93. The number of academic staff also grew from 680 in 1962/63 to 12,927 in 1991/92 in Federal Universities. On the other hand, total graduate output of Federal Universities rose from 425 in 1962/63 to 46,975 in 1991/92 academic year.
The number of universities rose from 2 in 1960 to 37 in 1992. These 600 exclude 2 special federal institutes under NUC’s ambit. Also, total University enrolment in Nigeria rose from 1,139 in 1960 to 180,871 in 1989/90.
FEDERAL FUNDING OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
This is a picture of federal funding of all levels of education in Nigeria between 1960 and 1995. Recurrent education expenditure rose absolutely from only N3.2 million in 1970 to N2426.4 million in 1995. It is glaring that the government had been spending a smaller proportion on capital expenditure lance our education institutions and their facilities are in a state of tragic dilapidation, disrepair and utter neglect. Except for 1992 for which the figures and data are suspect, recurrent expenditure on education had dominated the capital component since 1985.
Another glaring fact is that Nigeria spends an almost insignificant proportion of her financial resources on education. It was a mere 0.55% of total expenditure in 1970, with the highest proportion being 10.29% in 1995. This fell to a mere 0.87% in 1992 rising to only 4.75% in 1995. Ironically, this is a nation that is not at war but spends over 10% of its resources on defence.
The 6 – 3 – 3 -4 system of education
(a) Brief Outline of the System:
Essien (2001) said that the new National Policy on Education was introduced in 1977 to solve some of the problems of education in Nigeria. It lays emphasis on self-reliance through exposure to vocational and technical skills.
The primary school curriculum includes the inculcation of literacy and numeracy, the study of science, social norms and values of the local community and of the country as a whole through civics and social studies, health and physical education, moral and religious education, encouragement of aesthetic, creative and musical activities, local crafts, domestic science and agriculture (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1981).