THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA
THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA
1.1 THE study'S BACKGROUND
According to Uwadia (2010), education is a process through which an individual obtains the many physical and social capabilities required to function in the society into which he or she is born. It is to a nation what the mind is to the body, just as a disordered mind makes coordination and directing of physiological operations difficult.
As a result, the educational system, whether official or informal, contains the single most important complex of social-control mechanisms for national growth. According to Eduwen (2009), education is the process of acquiring knowledge, which includes the teaching and learning processes.
Nigerian formal education dates back to British colonialism. The colonial master introduced reading, writing, and arithmetic throughout the pre-colonial and colonial eras, which marked the commencement of Nigeria's formal education system. Previously, education was informal, based on an apprenticeship method of learning.
With the introduction of British colonialism, there was a movement from an informal to a formal education system. The Nigerian states created tertiary institutions for manpower training and development soon after the country's independence. As a result of this, Nigerian professionalism has grown.
Over the years, Nigerian education has had a tremendous impact on the Nigerian nation, as evidenced by the growth and development of the Nigeria civil service, political system, technological growth, communication, industrial growth, increase in agricultural production, medicine engineering, and harnessing of her national endowment.
Vocational and technical education makes it easier to learn applicable skills and basic scientific knowledge. It is a planned programme of courses and learning experiences that begin with career exploration, support basic, academic, and life skills, and enable the achievement of high academic standards, leadership, career preparation, and continuing education (Career and Technical Education, 2009).
Unfortunately, Nigeria does not appear to prioritise vocational and technical education. This appears to be the cause of the rising rate of unemployment and poverty in the society, which has contributed significantly to the country's insecurity problems. According to Olaitan (2006), this is because young people and graduates from educational institutions lack the necessary skills to use Nigeria's abundant natural resources.
He goes on to say that unemployment causes frustration and disillusionment, which may lead to crime or drug abuse in a futile attempt to escape and forget the pains and humiliation associated with poverty, which has worsened as millions of school leavers and tertiary graduates are unemployed. The reason for this is that they lack the requisite vocational skills to be self-employed and perform well in today's workplace.
With the use of policies and recommendations by professionals, Nigerian domestic and international relations with other countries have been adequately managed, leading to improved leaving standards, social economy growth, political stability, infrastructural development, provision of basic amenities, social reconstruction, and so on. With the increased demand for education, there has been a continuous drive for a better leaving condition and way of life, resulting in mod
universities in freshly constituted nation nations had tremendous expectations. In remote centres with no true academic traditions, new learning possibilities were required due to constraints that impeded migration. New faculties were formed either from scratch or from earlier branch departments.
The legacy of strong ‘autonomous faculties' and a weak university facilitated the proliferation of new institutions. The position of the university in society was reconfirmed in the same way that it had been in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: the time for ‘the national university' had returned. Rector Rugova put it this way: ‘The role and significance of the university were typical for the roles and significances that universities have played in the western civilised countries, illuminist and liberator from tutelage of the others' (Rugova, 2010).
The debate over what constitutes an equal distribution of the expense of delivering education is a major issue in the planning and management of education in Nigeria. The provision of education, and hence its finance, is the concurrent responsibility of the Federal, state, and Local governments, as stated in the Nigerian Constitution.
It is also accepted that it is the obligation of parents to educate their children, and they cannot thus avoid the responsibility of participating in education financing. The question of how the financial burden should be distributed has remained unsolved.
However, the current trend is for the government to seek higher financial contributions from parents, as evidenced by the astounding hikes in tuition fees implemented by some state governments in recent years. However, Nwagw u (2002:90) contends that because the Federal Government collects almost 80% of the nation's overall revenue, it must provide more monies to assist the efforts of state and local governments and parents; how much is unclear.
Education is a critical area in any country. As a significant investment in human capital development, it is vital to long-term productivity and growth at both the micro and macro levels. This explains why the state of education in Nigeria remains a major topic of discussion at all levels of government.
As a result, the implications of diminishing educational quality at all levels have far-reaching negative consequences for a nation's moral, civic, cultural, and economic survival. At this point, it is critical to recognise that discussions about education and reforms to make it contribute meaningfully to national development should gradually and systematically shift away from a politicised approach and towards a more analytical approach that recognises the complexities involved in proposing genuine and workable solutions for revamping our educational system.
In the Nigerian setting, effective funding of the three levels of government is required for the sector (i.e., education) to contribute meaningfully to national development. If this is done correctly, there will be no need for the Academic Staff Union of Universities to engage in industrial action because there will be improved infrastructure in primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools; there will be no brain-drain because research activities will be carried out effectively, examination misconduct will be eradicated or reduced, and the sector will contribute meaningfully to national development.
According to Samalia and Murtala (2010:254), something urgent has to be done in the educational sector because ‘illiterates' are leading Nigerians. However, the problem with Nigeria is that there is no difference in leadership between educated and uneducated presidents. Regardless of the foregoing, the primary subject of this dissertation remains the contributions of education to national development.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Issues & Problems in the Gemen t Since Nigeria's independence in 1960, the education system has seen tremendous growth and expansion. However, the education system has only seen quantitative improvements in terms of the number of institutions and students enrolled, with little development in terms of capacity to maintain standards and efficiency in the process and products of education.
This condition has been attributed to the crisis-ridden manner in which the education system is organised, planned, and administered. Nwagw u (2007:87) drew attention to a number of crippling issues inside the Nigerian education system, particularly in the last two decades, and linked these to inadequate and incompetent system planning and management. Many educational challenges have arisen as a result of educational politics.
For example, educational financial problems, frequent staff strikes, and student riots have become nearly constant features, owing to excessive centralization of educational planning and Federal Government meddling in topics that should be handled by the states.
According to Adesina (2002:27), “if the Federal Government tries to solve problems that should be handled locally, it will be less effective in advancing the objectives and interests of national development.” The power struggle between politicians and government leaders at the federal level, whether civilian or military, is usually complicated by the insertion of religious and ethnic attitudes and interests.
These make policy development and decision-making in education extremely complex, and, worse, they frequently influence how well a policy or programme is implemented, and, in some cases, if implementation occurs at all.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this study is to evaluate the influence of education in Nigeria's national development among secondary school students. More specifically, the study intends to:
1. Determine the factors related with Nigeria's national development.
2. Learn about the elements influencing the Nigerian education industry.
3. Investigate the impact of education on national development in Nigeria.
1.4 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
To steer this research and get a valid result, the following research questions were developed:
1. What are the factors linked with Nigeria's national development?
2. What are the variables influencing the Nigerian education sector?