Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Keep them at home

Solomonsydelle wrote in his blog, Nigerian Curiousity, that the legislature is considering a bill to require the children of public officials to attend Nigerian schools. As he writes, that's no guarantee that the schools will improve. What is the government to do? Why are the schools in such tough shape? What will improve them? Oh, and why is that most comparative textbooks say that Nigeria has such a well-educated population?


Nigeria's education system is in disarray with schools closed for months on end as a result of strikes and underdevelopment in the education sector. Given these conditions, Nigerian students have left the country for education abroad… Nigeria's House of Representatives is considering a bill to ban the foreign education of all public officials in the country…

If formally made into law, it would require public officials to educate their children at Nigeria's primary and undergraduate institutions. In order to educate their children abroad, all public holders would have to obtain a waiver from the Minister of Education…

In 2009, Nigerian Universities were shut down for 5 months, affecting an estimated 10 million students. It was no surprise then, that 2009 saw some of the worst exam results for Nigerian students…

However, one can only wonder if banning the foreign education of the children of public officials is  going to help solve the nation's educational woes… Besides, this bill appears to simply be a move to appear populist by legislators who fail to focus on the real issue - the education of Nigeria's children.

Adequate funding for Nigeria's dilapidated education sector would have been a better indication that legislators intend to tackle the problem…

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