Brief History of Education in Nigeria

Brief History of Education in Nigeria – According to their respective philosophies, Christian missionaries founded Western or formal education in Nigeria in 1842 — only at the primary level — and controlled the educational system.

The Chord Missionary Society, the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and the Catholic Church were the missionary organizations available.

Secondary education started in 1859, with CMS Grammar School in Lagos serving as the first secondary school. The explanation for the high school delay was not well understood. However, there are reports that it was because the missionaries assumed that secondary education would allow people to think critically, which would be harmful to their policies.

Due to political and financial constraints, the British colonial government could not intervene in the education system during this period. However, they began intervening in the educational system in 1872 by donating to missionary societies to fund education.
The colonial government adopted the Education Ordinance in 1882, intending to gain total power over education. This was their first formal education statement in Nigeria.

Then, schools were split into two categories: public and private. The government schools are fully funded by tax funds, while private schools receive only a limited amount of public funding.

Because the curriculum, system, and medium of communication were too foreign for a Nigerian girl, the 1882 education ordinance was difficult to enforce in Nigeria. Many of these factors contributed to the ordinance’s defeat, and a new ordinance was adopted in 1887. The new ordinance was hailed as the colonial government’s first successful attempt to assist education. Just a few metropolises in Lagos were covered at the time.

More international teachers were hired, more schools were built, and financial incentives were given to missions, non-profit organizations, and private individuals to build more schools.
Following the merger, Lord Fredrick Lugard, the Governor-General of Nigeria, developed some new ideas. These definitions are a large part of the 1916 ordinance. On the 21st of December, 1916, the ordinance became effective. Since the ordinance was passed after the country was merged, it could look after the whole country.

Northerners had long resisted the colonial government’s or missionaries’ attempts to impose western education on them. Lugard met with northern leaders to reassure them that schooling would not jeopardize the Islamic culture, which is more important to northerners.

The First Higher Education Institution

The first higher education institution was founded in 1932, 73 years after the first secondary school was established. The Yaba Higher College was the first institution. The college was established in 1932, but classes did not begin until 1934.

The University College Ibadan was established in 1948 with just 104 students. In 1962, the number of universities increased from one to five. In the 1970s and 1980s, a significant number of higher education institutions were established. According to statistics, approximately 12 million students entered primary school in 1980, 1.2 million entered high school, and 240,000 entered university.

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Western education has suffered several defeats in recent years. The schools used to be recognized for their high educational performance, but that is no longer the case. Nigerian university graduates lack the required expertise and abilities to find work. To restore Nigerian education to its former glory, steps must be taken.

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