The challenges of education in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Far back as the early 60's, free education was in place in the then Western Region.
The advent of the oil boom in the early 70s brought about significant changes in the educational focus, with the Federal Government enforcing more uniform educational policies, such a the Universal (free) Primary Education (UPE) scheme in 1975.
In 2013, the literacy rate of Nigeria was estimated at 61% in 2013 by the National Population Commission. That is about 70 million at the time. (Literacy here only refers to the ability to read and write). Whereas, there were only few schools in Dubai in the 1970s. In fact, education began shortly after the establishment of the federation in 1971.
However, the overall literacy rate in the Emirates is 90% today with the government offering free primary and secondary education to all UAE nationals.
What then is the difference?
QUALITY! QUALITY!! QUALITY!!! The challenge of education is both quantitative and qualitative but down streamed to the question of quality. It is not enough to build and establish schools, it is more important to ensure quality.
While the UAE currently devotes approximately 25 percent of total federal government spending to education (Wikipedia, 2017) recognizing education as one of the top priorities of the government, the Nigerian government in the proposal presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari allocated only 7.04% of the 8.6 trillion 2018 budget to the education; lower than the 7.4 percent the government gave the education sector in the of N7.4 trillion 2017 budget.
To ensure quality, the United Nations had recommended a 26% budgetary benchmark to enable nations adequately cater for rising education demands. But from 3.1% in 1975, the farthest we could go as a nation is 7.4 commitment in 2017.
WILL NIGERIA EVER BECOME A DEVELOPED NATION?
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