Primary and Secondary
This paper highlights some crucial issues that could affect the effectiveness of the management of primary education in Nigeria. The issues among other raised include, policy, funding, data and institutional capacity building gaps. The paper concludes by making some possible suggestions on how to tackle these issues and problems both in the far and near future.
There is no gainsaying the fact that education is very vital to the pace of social, political and economic development of any nation. This is why most nations of the world strive to devote a sizeable proportion of their Gross National Income to develop the educational sector. In Nigeria, between 7.6% and 9.9% of our annual expenditure is devoted to education. Management of primary education refers to the process of planning, organizing, directing, staffing, coordinating, budgeting for and reporting on primary education system.
Primary education in Nigeria refers to the education which children receive from the age of 6 years to 11 years plus. It is the foundation level of the educational system which runs for six years, and it is aimed at developing basic literacy, numeracy, communication skills and transmission of the culture of the people to younger generations. Information gathered through the education data bank shows that as at 1998, there were 41,814 primary schools with an enrolment of 16,348,324 (13.75% of these were females) and 468,770 teachers (26.45%) of these were non-qualified teachers). The teacher/pupil ratio at the level was 1:38 while the completion rate was 64.1 percent and the Crucial Issues in the Management of Primary Education in Nigeria74
transition rate of products to Junior Secondary Education level was 39.1 percent. The structure of our population in Nigeria is such that about 45% of the people are within the age bracket of six to twelve years. According to the provisions of National Policy on Education, this is the corresponding age group for primary education.
Obviously, the enrolment pattern in the educational system follows the pyramidal structure of the nation's population distribution. The primary level has the largest enrolment, followed by the secondary level and then the tertiary level. This enrolment structure, no doubt, depicts the structure of our social demand for the various levels of education. The primary education level, being the bedrock of the child's basic education, is a very vital aspect of the nation's educational system that deserves to be handled with great care and caution. Any error committed in the organization and management of this level of education may reverberate on other levels and thus seriously mar the lives of the people and indeed the overall development of the nation. This is one good reason why all the stakeholders must show enough concern for those issues that concern the organizing and managing of our primary education system.
This paper presents a humble attempt to highlight some contemporary issues and problems facing the organization and management of primary education in Nigeria with a view to proffering possible solutions to them.
Contemporary Issues in Primary Education Management
No doubt, there are numerous issues and problems involved in the management of primary education system in Nigeria. However, this paper would simply highlight some of the crucial ones. Some of such issues include: a. Policy gap in the management of primary education in Nigeria, b. Data gaps,
c. Funding gaps,
d. Institutional capacity gaps,
e. Expansion of the curriculum to cater for early childhood care, f. Gender balancing in enrolment,
g. Quality assurance in Primary Education,
h. Improved nutrition/Health of learners and
i. Issues of HIV/AIDS pandemic
75D. O. Durosaro
Over the last two decades, the management of primary education had been experiencing some problems as a result of policy...