In Education, Nigeria will be safe
By Tasie Theodore
Almost no day passes in Nigeria today without one security incident or the other. But the answer is not far-fetched: in education, Nigeria will be safe.
At the moment, the country has a population estimated in the range of 200 to 206 million. But the figures concerning educational performance belie the fact that not much attention is being paid to the sector.
Nigeria, education data gleaned by this writer indicates that there were about 27.5m Nigerians in the country’s primary schools in 2018. At about the same time, the number of students in the national secondary school system was five million. There were also some 13m out of school children within the same period.
At the tertiary level, there were some 1.6m candidates writing the University Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME that were conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB in 2019. A year later, the number of applicants had soared further to 1.9m. However, there was a snag. On account of limited carrying capacity, the tertiary education sector in the country could only admit between 500, 000 and 750, 000 of the candidates that were applying.
Across the world, education is not just a mean’s to an improved meal ticket for individuals. It has also become a veritable marker of national prosperity and safety. Nigeria needs to invest massively in its educational assets. And the first place to begin as things stand now is for the federal government to do everything towards ensuring that it resolves its lingering year-long face-off with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.