THE IMPACT OF POLITICS ON THE education SECTOR IN NIGERIA
THE IMPACT OF POLITICS ON THE EDUCATION SECTOR IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigeria, education is one of the most important instruments used by the political elite to increase their legitimacy and influence over the government and administration machinery. A comprehensive examination of the organisation and administration of education in any given country reveals that it is inextricably linked to its political regime or ideology.
According to Uchendu (2000:1), education and politics are inextricably intertwined. Educational systems are founded on and promote national ideology. Similarly, abstract education that does not serve the politics of a particular clan no longer exists in the world.
The formal education system has evolved into an important tool for the political leadership to instill its ideology in the youth. According to the FRN (2004) National Policy on Education, education in Nigeria is a tool for development. As a result, it attempts to fulfil the function defined by the government for the benefit of all citizens in the country.
Educational objectives must be clearly stated in terms of their relevance to individual and societal requirements, in accordance with the realities of our environment and the current world. Countries define the philosophy and aims that underpin their investment in education, which is often influenced by the country's political ideology.
Successive governments in the country have insisted on education for all so that they might meaningfully participate to the realisation of the concepts of a democratic system of governance.
Authors have described education in numerous ways to suit their own views of what education does or the benefits of education. Anuna (1996:2) defined education as the systematic socialisation of society's younger members into learning about religion, morals, beliefs, feelings of nationalism, and many forms of collective opinion.
It encompasses both the planned and purposeful processes of school and college, as well as the incidental experience of life.
Many writers have defined politics in various ways. Politics, according to Okunamiri (2005:2), is the “unbridled struggle for power among individuals or groups.” Dyke (1966) described politics as “the struggle of actors pursuing competing desires on public issues.”
Politics, according to these definitions, is a fight for power that results in unhealthy competition among persons or groups concerned. Clump described politics in Uchendu (2000:1) as “the science and art of securing and advancing the temporal welfare of a community organised as a state.”
Politics thus entails both the formulation of basic ideas and their application to specific circumstances. The scope of politics is the community's overall temporal well-being.
This means that politics is concerned with the relationships that members of the community have with the things of the world. It is once again concerned with citizens' rights and duties to one another and to the state.
Greater participation and interaction between politics and education in the life of any nation is thus the primary goal of community development. Technology (however basic) alone does not fix issues or even make friends. People are becoming more aware that they are more essential than procedures.
People should have a say in and an understanding of what is going on. This is the foundation of mutual benefit all across the planet. As previously proposed, the symbiotic link between politics and education consists of people mapping their graph, the direction of their values, defining a way to catch up with the graph so plotted, and working meticulously towards the realisation of established goals and objectives.
This suggests that a mutual relationship between politics and education necessitates people exerting their own efforts in collaboration with the government to improve their economic, social, and cultural conditions. It is concerned with the overall life and requirements of the community.
It should include participation from the entire community in decision-making. In another dimension, Obanya (2002) saw politics and education as full and best interaction for stimulating the desire for better things and the desire to achieve such better things.
According to her, the mutual interaction of politics and education aims to educate and motivate people to self-help in order to establish responsible local leadership and instill in them a sense of citizenship and a spirit of civic consciousness. Furthermore, new ideas, research, and approaches must be introduced into the educational system to ensure a long-term mutual relationship between politics and education.
According to Akintoye (2004), most studies of educational reform have focused on the adoption of specific educational innovations. They have been carried out in areas where research has primarily focused on the diffusion concept, specifically the spread or permeation of an innovation from system to system or from school to school.
In recent years, it has become widely understood that the success or failure of any educational system is determined by the political structure of the region in question. Education cannot be divorced from politics because it is a component of a society's political demands.
In Nigeria, education is a critical tool for fostering national unity and cohesion. This is one of the reasons why the federal government is active in education in Nigeria at the basic, secondary, and university levels. Political systems have historically influenced educational systems, even during the time of Socrates and Plato.
According to Rowley (1971:11), “educational plans are political in nature and effect.” According to Adesina (1884:170), “there is hardly any problem marrying politics with education.” He went on to say that when it comes to politics, the national goal of making education available to every child, as well as the idea of utilising education to eradicate hunger, illiteracy, ignorance, and diseases, are more political than educational.
Education in Nigeria, as in any other country, was not created in a vacuum, but was governed by government policy, and hence was an essential function of politics. Uchendu (2000:5) stated that regardless of the educational system a country adopts.
The likely solutions to problems that may arise from governmental attempts to regulate citizens' aspirations are related to politics, because politics determines the type of education that is to be adopted, so while education can be taken out of politics, politics cannot be taken out of education.
According to Almond (1960:27), all political systems tend to maintain their culture, ideas, and structure. This could be accomplished through education. As a result, the Nigerian ruling elite is interested in education.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The government's interest in education has some ramifications for educational planning and administration. It is planned and implemented in opposition to the existing governmental structure. The success or failure of each educational system is determined by the political structure in place at the moment.
Equal opportunity is a political issue that has influenced education in Nigeria. According to the 1979 constitution, equal opportunity implies: the availability of places for students in the educational system, social institutional support for attendance, and individuals' economic ability to pursue their education.
The political leadership is committed to ensuring that all Nigerians have the fundamental right to equal opportunity. That is why the government has launched many programmes to achieve this goal in education. The Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme is intended to provide free education to all Nigerian children, regardless of their historical, political, cultural, or socioeconomic background.
There are also proposals, particularly in light of the recent implementation of Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Nigeria, to provide fee-free Junior Secondary education in all states. Special education institutions for handicapped and impaired children and adults are springing up around the country.
Adult and non-formal education for fisheries communities is also well developed in several parts of the country. All of this is done to ensure that even those who did not have the opportunity to attend formal school when they were younger have access to education.
This piqued the researcher's curiosity, and he decided to look into the impact of politics on the Nigerian education sector.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this study is to determine the impact of politics on the Nigerian education sector; nevertheless, in order to achieve a meaningful result, the specific goals of this study are as follows:
1. Examine the impact of politics on the provision of decent education in Nigeria.
2. To investigate the effects of politics on the implementation of Nigerian education policy.
3. Determine the impact of politics on the academic achievement of Nigerian students.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
During the course of this research, the researcher will be guided by the following research questions:
1. Does politics have an impact on the availability of high-quality education in Nigeria?
2. What are the implications of politics on education policy implementation in Nigeria?
3. Does political influence Nigerian students' academic performance?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will reveal the influence and effects of politics on Nigeria's education sectors to government at various levels, school managements, politicians, parents, and other stakeholders involved in the formulation of education policy in Nigeria. This study will also act as a resource for other researchers who wish to continue or begin similar studies.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
This study covers the population of Osun state in Nigeria, but due to logistical issues, samples were collected from the Olorunda local government region of Osun state.
1.7 DELIVERABILITY OF THE STUDY
The researcher's main constraint in this study was a lack of time and funds to visit certain locations.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Politics: the actions related with the governing of a country or region, particularly the debate between powerful parties.
Influence: the ability to have an effect on someone.
Education is the process of obtaining or imparting systematic instruction, particularly at a school or university.