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Education in Nigeria: Road to success with 6.27 Billion dollars.

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Nigeria is planning to spend 6.27 Billion dollars on education sector over a period of next four years. The Nigerian government spent about 700 billion naira plus the budgetary provision in the past five years on Education in Nigeria. However, still it is believed that the government has a long way to go.

In order to boost the education sector, the 20th Nigeria Economic Summit took place which focused majorly on Nigeria’s education sector. The education sector is the most important pillar holding the transformation agenda of the President. The other pillar is human capital development. The only means by which human capital can be developed is through education, according to Bashir Yaguda, National Planning Minister, Nigeria.

The transformation agenda was launched by the President in 2011 and is aimed at increasing the economic growth and development in the sectors except oil like agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals and the service sectors. The agenda comprises of the government plans on delivering projects, key policies and programmes from 2011 to 2015.

For keeping the passion for education alive, the president is acting as a teacher, a lecturer and is a scholar and is trying to ensure that all the policies are directed towards building Nigeria’s education. Yaguda believes that only promoting education Nigeria can become a knowledge based country and knowledge based economy.

The president has rolled out a large number of programmes in order to speed up the process of development of education in Nigeria. Last year, the State Education programme Investment project (SEPIP) launched the National Steering Committee to solve major problems faced by country’s education sector. For the first time, 12 universities were established across the country by the sitting president in the span of 2 years. In order to address the education gap between north and South Africa, nine of them have been opened in North.

As per Yaguda, the government is also focusing on education for girl child which is a serious matter in the northern regions of the country. The programmes are also established for the children who drop out of schools. Between the time periods 2007 to 2013, the statutory budgetary provision for education has been tripled from 224 billion Naira to 634 billion Naira.

Furthermore, among many programmes, the government has launched strategy for turning education around known as “Action Plan to 2014: Towards the realization of schooling 2025”, aiming at enhancing learning and the work of teachers.
A new curriculum is going to be launched known as National Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS). It provides specific guidelines to streamline the teaching procedure in schools in order to reduce the gap between well-resourced and poor schools. Implementation of the curriculum is seen through national educational portal, Thutong (Setswana, i.e. place of learning).
Other measures are: launch of standardized assessments for classes three, six and nine to track the progress in a better way; attention is being paid to early child development and universal availability to Grade R; availability of good quality textbooks; developing school infrastructure and focusing on school management.