The importance of the education in national development cannot be overemphasized. This work is all the role education play in the national of Nigeria. It contains four chapters. Chapter is the introduction of the work. In chapter two, the work focuses on the role education plays in the development of Nigeria as a nation. In chapter three, the paper points out how education can be promoted so that it can contribute maximally to the development of Nigeria.

Finally, chapter four talks about various challenges education face in Nigeria in its bids to contribute to national development. It also contains the conclusion and recommendations of the work. It is my expectation that this paper will be a source of enlightenment for all readers.






According to Uwadia (2010), Education in a broad sense is a process by which an individual acquires the many physical and social capabilities demanded by the society in which he/she is born into to function. It is to a nation what the mind is to the body, just as a diseased mind is handicapped in the coordination and direction of the bodily activities. Therefore, the single most significant complex of social – control tools for national development is found in the educational system be it formal or informal. Eduwen. (2009), asserts that, education is the process of acquisition of knowledge, that is, it involves the teaching and learning process. Formal education in Nigeria date back to the British colonialism. In the pre-colonial and colonial era, the colonial master introduced reading, writing, arithmetic which was the beginning of formal education system in Nigeria. Before now, education was informal, that is apprenticeship system of acquiring knowledge. With the advent of the British colonialism there was a shift from the informal to the formal system of education. Soon after the Nigeria independence tertiary institutions for man power training and development were established by the Nigerian states. Consequently this led to the growth of the Nigerian professionalism. The Nigerian education have had a tremendous impact on the Nigeria nation over the years this is evident in the growth and development of the Nigeria Civil service, Political system, Technological growth, Communication, Industrial growth, increase in Agricultural production, Medicine engineering as well as the harnessing of her national endowment.

Vocational and technical education facilitates the acquisition of applied skills and basic scientific knowledge. It is a planned program of courses and learning experiences that begin with the exploration of career options, supports basic, academic and life skills, and enables the achievement of high academic standards, leadership, preparation for career and continuing education (Career and Technical Education, 2009). Unfortunately, Nigeria does not seem to give vocational and technical education the attention it deserves. This appears to be the reason for rising rate of unemployment and poverty in the society which had contributed largely to the insecurity problems in the country. According to Olaitan, (2006), this is because the youths and graduates from tertiary institutions are not equipped with adequate skills that will enable them exploit the natural resources that abound in Nigeria. He further posits that unemployment leads to frustration and disillusionment which may result in crime or drug abuse in a futile attempt to escape from, and forget the pains and humiliation associated with poverty which has worsened, as millions of school leavers and graduates of tertiary institutions are not gainfully employed. The reason is that they lack the necessary occupational skills that would enable them to be self-employed and effectively function in today’s world of work.

With the use of policies and recommendation by professionals there has been adequate management of Nigerian domestic and international relations with other countries leading to improved leaving standard, social economy growth, political stability infrastructural development, provision of basic amenities social reconstruction etc with the increased demand for education there has been a continuous drive for a better leaving condition and way of life thus bringing about modernization and sophistication to the ordinary man.

There were high expectations of universities in the newly established nation states. Under circumstances that prevented mobility, new learning opportunities were required in regional centers with no real academic traditions. New faculties were established either from nothing or on the basis of previous branch departments. The tradition of strong ‘independent faculties’ and a weak university made the mushrooming of new institutions easy. The role of the university in society was reconfirmed in a similar way to in the late 19th and the early 20th centuries: the time for ‘the national university’ had returned. Rector Rugova explained it in the following way: ‘The role and significance of University were typical for the roles and significances that universities have played in the western civilized countries, illuminist and liberator from tutelage of the others’ (Rugova, 2010).

A major problem in the planning and management of education in Nigeria is the debate about what is an equitable sharing of the cost of providing education. A s already observed from the Nigerian Constitution, the provision of education and hence its funding is the concurrent responsibility of Federal, State and Local governments. It is also accepted as the duty of parents to educate their children and they cannot therefore escape the responsibility of participation in the financing of education. Ho w the financial burden should be shared has remained an unresolved problem. However, the current trend is for Government to demand greaterfinancial contribution from parents, and the phenomenal increases of tuition fees by som e State governments in recent years testifies to this. But Nwagw u (2002:90)^ argues that since the Federal Government collects about 80 % of the nation’s total revenue, it must contribute more funds to support the efforts of state and local governments and parents; just h o w much remains the question

Education is a crucial sector in any nation. Being a major investment in human capital development, it plays a critical role in long-term productivity and growth at both micro and macro levels. This explains why the state of education in Nigeria continues to be our national discourse at all levels. Consequently, the implication of the declining quality of education at all levels has far reaching negative impact on a nation’s moral, civic, cultural and economic sustainability. At this point, it is important to realize that discussions on education and its reforms to make it contribute meaningfully to national development should gradually and systematically move away from a politicized to a more analytical approach that appreciates the complexities inherent in proffering genuine and workable solutions for revamping our educational system. In the Nigerian context, for the sector (i.e, education) to contribute meaningfully to national development; there should be proper funding of the three tiers of government. If this is done in the proper way, the Academic Staff Union of Universities will not have any need to embark on industrial actions as there will be improved infrastructure in the primary, secondary and post-secondary schools; there will be no more brain-drain as research activities will be effectively carried out and examination misconduct will be eradicated or reduced and the sector will contribute meaningfully to national development. Samalia and Murtala (2010:254) state that something urgent has to be done in the educational sector since ‘illiterates’ are leading Nigerians. But the problem with Nigeria is that there is no difference between an educated president and not so enlightened ones in terms of their leadership. Irrespective of the above observation, the main focus of this paper remains the contributions of education to national development.


gemen t Issues and Problems The Nigerian education system has witnessed tremendous growth and expansion since independence in 1960, the education system has undergone only quantitative improvements in terms of number of institutions and students enrolment while there has been little development in respect of capacity to maintain standards and efficiency in the process and products of education. This situation has been attributed to the manner in which the education system is organized, planned and administered, which is generally perceived as crisis-ridden. Writing about what she called “The Environment of Crises in the Nigerian Education System”, Nwagw u (2007:87)^ drew attention to a series of debilitating crises within the system, especially in the last two decades, and attributed these to poor and ineffective planning and management of the system. Many problems in education have occurred because of the politics of education. For example, the crises of educational financing, frequent strikes by staff and riots by students have become almost a permanent feature mainly because of excessive centralization of educational planning and Federal Government intervention in matters which should be handled by the States. Adesina (2002:27) holds the view that “If the Federal Government attempts to solve problems which should be handled locally, it will be less effective in advancing the objectives and interests of national development”^ The power struggle at the Federal level by politicians and government leaders, whether civilian or military, is invariably complicated by the interjection of religious and ethnic sentiments and interest. These make policy formulation and decision-making in education very difficult and worse still, often determine how well a policy or program is implemented; and at times, whether implementation takes place at all.


The main objective of this study is to investigate the role of education on the national development of Nigeria among secondary school students, specifically the study intends to:

  1. Find out the factors associated with national development in Nigeria
  2. Discover the factors associated with the education sector in Nigeria
  3. Find out impact of education on national development in Nigeria


The following research questions was formulated to guide this research arrive at a valid conclusion:

  1. What is the factors associated with national development in Nigeria
  2. What are the factors associated with the education sector in Nigeria

1.5 Importance of Education

  1. It must train the individual for a better appreciation of his own cultural traditions whilst at the same time equipping him with the ability to absorb new ideas, new information and new data for resolving the constantly changing problems of his environment;
  2. It must train the individual to relate to and interact meaningfully with other individuals in the society and to appreciate the importance of effective organization for human progress;
  3. It must develop the creative ability of individuals especially in the cultural and technological realms;
  4. It must foster in the individual those values which make for good citizenship, such as honesty, selflessness, tolerance, dedication, hard work and personal integrity, all of which provide the rich soil from which good leadership is spawned. Obasanjo (2012)

However, Education in Nigeria has brought developmental gains to the nation especially in the area of self- reliance and the perfecting of her ingenuity inequality. Education has equally led to the production of personalities of intellectual’s endowment in such areas as literature, music, creative art sculpture, carving among other things. With the global tread of educational advancement among nations it is hoped that in the nearest future Nigeria will be rated among developed countries of the world via light of education.

1.6 Tertiary Education in Nigeria

Tertiary Education in Nigeria in the post-independence era. The quest for manpower development led to the establishment of Colleges of Education were teachers were trained. Polytechnics were also established were practices were taught in so many fields especially in the area of Engineering and Technologies, all this contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria. Universities were also set up to cater for the massive production of professionals. The Nigerian labour force tremendously increased as a result of the establishment and sponsorship of education by the federal government. All these enhanced bi-lateral relationship with other nations as well as enhanced her domestic and international trade to mention but a few, education was indeed the bedrock that led the transformation of the Nigerian state. Taiwo (1980)

1.7 Education and Professionalism in Nigeria:

The Nigerian states is characterised by professional from all works of life who are trained by virtue of the provision and gains brought about by education. The Nigeria Civil Service is largely populated by these professionals who contribute immensely towards the growth and development of Nigeria. The educational system of Nigeria had brought radical transformation to the Civil Service by virtue of in-service training for officials in the civil service hence there has been increased productivity in all spheres of the Nigeria economy. The Nigeria education system has led to the massive production of industrialist from all spheres of life as well as enhancement of the philosophical frame work of the Nigeria labour congress. As a matter of fact Nigeria is fast

becoming an enviable icon in the area of Civil Service administration. The philosophical ideology and framework of the Nigeria Civil Service is structured on the rudiments and tenets of the national policy on education. This policy has the following as its cardinal goals. Igbuzor. O (2006).

  1. A free and democratic society.
  2. A just and egalitarian society.
  3. A united, strong and self-reliant nation
  4. A great and dynamic economy.
  5. A land full of bright opportunities for all citizens

From the forgo, the contribution of education to the development of the Nigerian state cannot be over-emphasized. Education has brought the dawning of new era of professionalism to all ministries and parastatal across the country. Furthermore, it has strengthened the intellectual

requirement associated with the modern labour market.




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