PRIMARY SCHOOL ENROLLMENT AND GENDER GAP IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is a federation of 36 States and a Federal Capital Territory. There are three(3) types of Governments; the Federal, State and Local Governments. Each State is governed by an elected Governor, while each local government is headed by an elected Chairman who is the Chief Executive assisted by a Secretary who is the administrative head. Nigeria sit on a Land Area of :923,768 sq. km with of 158 million (2009 estimates; Sources: National Population Commission).
Nigeria is a member of several World bodies: The United Nations Organization and its agencies, UNESCO, UNICEF who have had course to set targets at one time or the other for the development of Primary education. UNO member countries have been asked , to democratize and universalize primary education. African Union (AU) and the Economic Council for Africa (ECA), Commonwealth of Nations, UNESCO (1995) had set 2000 as the year for achieving Education for All (EFA), Also, UNICEF has set Millennium Goals for members of the UNO to achieve Education for All by the year 2015 – with emphasis on the compulsory provision of primary school education for both boys and girls.
Nigeria already believed and had set up steps for educating all her children of school age before the March, 1990 World Declaration on Education For All. Attempts at both State and Federal levels in Nigeria to introduce universal primary education date back to the 1950s’ as follows:
* Introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) in Western Region in 1955; * Introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) in Eastern Region in 1957; * Introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) in Lagos (former Federal Territory) in 1957; * A National Policy on Education blue-print, 1977, revised 1981, 1985,& 1998
aimed at Universal & qualitative education;
* Introduction of Universal free primary Education (UPE) in 1976; and * Introduction of Universal Basic Education (UBE) in 1999
The continuous attempt at improving the quality of education by all levels of government attests to Nigeria’s commitment to basic education for all, with emphasis on universal, functional and qualitative education. Thus basic education for Nigeria refers to early childhood education, primary education, the first three years of secondary education and basic and functional literacy for out of school children, youth and adults, as well as nomadic education for school age children of nomads and migrant fishermen.
The guiding principle of the Education For All programmme is the equipping of every citizen with such knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will enable him/her to lead a fulfilling life and derive maximum benefit from the society, while contributing his own quota towards the development and welfare of the community. Currently public spending on education is estimated at 5% of GDP, which places Nigeria above the average of developing countries, but slightly below the average of developed countries (5.4%). INTRODUCTION:
Education can be referred to as an act or process of developing and cultivating ones mental activities or senses, physically, mentally, or morally. The acquisition of knowledge that forms, expands, strengthens, and discipline ones mind and faculty.
Educational System In Nigeria:
Education in Nigeria is based on a 6-3-3-4 system, which involves three levels of institutional learning processes:, primary, secondary and tertiary levels There is also a pre-school level , nursery education forms the first stage of the learning process in Nigeria.
Nigeria: Primary school pupils in class
In Nigeria, Primary education is compulsory, it the education given in institutions for children aged 6 – 11 years. According to the National Policy on Education the goals and objectives of primary education are to:
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