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Education Sector Funding: Which Area Is More Important In Order Of Priority?

We all know UBE guarantees funding up till the first nine years of education in Nigeria, i.e. from Primary 1 to JSS3. Assuming that has been achieved.

If you had the opportunity to exclusively provide funding to these post-secondary areas (technical colleges and polytechnics, teacher colleges and colleges of education, universities) what would be your priorities?

Mine are as follows:

1. Technical colleges and polytechnics: Nigeria has a serious dearth of skilled people. Shame for a nation that has so many people. Education for people who are interested in this area should be free and highly subsidized, and

2. Teacher colleges and colleges of education: After doing, next comes teaching. We need much more teachers. I would build a lot more public schools, and also fund teacher education, to be sure these schools have teachers.

3. Universities: I would mostly privatize this, and grant autonomy to the existing public schools, of course with firm guidelines in place. Nonsense ideas like post-UME would not be allowed, but I will encourage partnerships with corporate bodies, and allow them to charge whatever fees they like. I'll also audit them regularly , and grant only provisional accreditation for certain courses. Anybody who wants to go to university in my Nigeria, should pay for it. Of course, this should be adequately supported by government scholarships, bursaries, and student loans.

Let's know what you would do instead.

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29 answers

I think the polythecnics should be given some attention too,gone are the days when they were highly regarded

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Man, whatever you do, don't ever go to a for profit university as making profit is the name of the game. That means they would cut a lot of corners and a lot of quality to achieve the aim of making a profit. There are some things you can't run like a business just go ask Donald Rumsfeld how he tried to run the US army has a business and see where that has led us to. Am not saying that you can't adopt some certain business practices but efficiency can't always be the name of the game.

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Guys, thanks a lot for the contributions.

Funny you should mention the UK. Take a look at these stories:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article5488978.ece

and another one: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10506798

Essentially, the Labour government in the Blair years, set a very high target for university enrolment, about 50% of all students, and now the effect is that graduate unemployment is at an all-time high.

The BBC study says about 69% of employers now require a 2:1 degree, and for every job vacancy, you have around 69 applicants.

So much for the UK socialist approach, huh?

Thing is, VPersie, right now, everybody's got the pali. These days, when i see the deluge of foreign-degree holding Nigerians trooping into the country searching for jobs, it makes me wonder if, rather than spending the thousands of pounds or dollars studying in Britain and the US, one would not have been better off using that money to start up some small-scale business. Sounds crass, abi, but what is the real value of education nowadays? We're approaching a worldwide glut in 'educated' and 'qualified' people, yet economies are dying. Apart from personal pride and perceived prestige, there is little or no real value to academic certificates, if at the end of the day, we are doing it to fill the belly.

Is it not better to arm the people with real skill and not empty certificates? Look at Nigeria; for years we cried out that we didn't have an educated president, which was why we were sinking. Our last two presidents ar retired academics, in the sciences, no less. Are we better off?

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sorry to nitpick your points, but you can have a world class education for free. Harvard and Yale have waived tuition for children from lower income families. Also, there are world class schools with relatively cheap education like University of California, Berkeley and even Georgia Tech, granted that they are very few and far between though.

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You can always be an engineer, depending on the route you choose to adopt. Things will just revert back to the days of our parents, where many of them did an NCE or some technical course, got employed, and then paid their way through university, part time or via distance learning. The very brilliant ones got scholarships and bursaries. In any case, I don't think every school will charge 350k.

So if your folks have the money, you should be able to go direct to a university, and study whatever you like, provided you meet their minimum requirements. If not, you're going to have to try out for a scholarship or bursary scheme. Alternatively you can go to a technical or teacher training school for free, get their certificate, work for a while, and put yourself through school. This would even influence your choice of school, rather than perception.

Right now, because of the so-called democratization of tertiary education, this is what happens: You are subjected to UTME and post-UME, and eventually, unless you do exceptionally well, you have virtually no chance of studying in Unilag and OAU, or any of the frontier schools, even though they are not really quality enough.

You are now forced to either go to a rundown state uni or even a polytechnic, glorified secondary schools in terms of facilities and teaching staff, even if you have the money to pay for OAU or Unilag.

My nephew in the US who lives in New York state would like to go to Johns Hopkins in Maryland for his medical degree, but he has to settle for Rutgers. Do you know why? As an indigene of New York State, he gets to pay a reduced fee. Education should work like that in Nigeria.

If we want to have quality education, and get the recognition of the outside world for our programs, we need to run the tertiary education system like a business, with an expected output. You as an engineer should have a pre-determined training cost, and an expected ROI after graduation. We should be able to say, it cost about N1m to train an electrical engineer up to Msc level, and such a person should be worth, say, N5m per annum to a company that would require his or her skills.

Of course, there should be a cap as per legislation like you have elsewhere. For Nigerian students, public universities should have an upper limit beyond which they should not increase the fees, and ditto for private universities. That's what regulation should be about, as well as accreditation, and funding sources. We should be able to achieve such in Nigeria.

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^^^^^

You did not address the issue of affordability and accessibility after autonomy is granted. What if I want to study engineering and autonomy increases school fees to 350,000, what should I do? Should I settle for being a carpenter?

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^^

So you even paid 20k per term. That's a good start.

In my time it was free tuition, plus 90 naira for accomodation.

End result was no serious academic work, no facilities, and perennial strikes.

Your free university education dream is yielding the dividends already: http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-478843.0.html

Maybe you forget we are a nation of 150 million plus, and growing.

In any case, for me, I would scrap the UTME and grant the institutions what they have all been asking for: autonomy. That means they create their own admission criteria, plus the discretion to raise their own funding. I would concentrate funding towards the UBE, technical education, and teacher education. Enough of engineering grads who can't couple two ICs together if their life depended on it.

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If you knew about Einstein, you would know he started his career as a clerk in the patent office.

Nobody said people should not go to university. We are saying, for university education to have any value, there must be investment in it. Since we have more than proven that government cannot really fund it, it's useless dreaming about free university education, especially for the sciences and engineering.

Else we get what we have now, a completely worthless system, which produces unskilled directionless computer scientists and engineers who come to Nairaland and post questions like 'What direction should my career go now?' or something equally asinine.

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^^^^

Exactly ooooh. So if anyone in the 70% of potential Albert Einsteins and Phillip Emegwalis does not have school face, they should settle for being Oga Fatai the mechanic? Right?

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Ajanlekeko,

MY GOODNESS, THIS IS THE MOST ELITIST REMARK I HAVE EVER READ IN A WHILE. SO THE REST OF US WHO ARE NOT THE CHILDREN OF MILLIONAIRES SHOULD GO TO TECHNICAL SCHOOL SHEBI? SORRY OGA, THAT THOSE OF US WHO GREW UP POOR OFFEND YOU, LET ME APOLOGIZE FOR NOT BEING AS WELL TO DO AS YOU ARE WHILE GROWING UP, ME AND 70% OF OTHER NIGERIANS WOULD TRY OUR BEST TO BE INVISIBLE SO THAT YOU DON'T EVER HAVE TO LOOK UPON OUR UNKEMPT APPEARANCE WHILE DRIVING IN YOUR BUGGATTI. BUT HEY WHAT DO I KNOW? I AM JUST A BAREFOOT KID FROM THE THIRD WORLD SO I HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE HERE AFTERALL THE INTERNET IS FOR RICH FOLKS LIKE YOU.

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In the 80s, I would not have said so. I had chemistry, physics, and math teachers who were actually engineers and scientists, not trained teachers. These chaps were anything but dull.

However, when I went to university, the people studying education were by far and away the people who couldn't get into school for anything else.

To a significant extent, these are the people teaching today, especially in the public schools. It may not be their fault, as we are always wont to say in Nigeria, but, hey, that's just the way it is.

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Educational sector in Nigeria needs privatization. This would give more room for students to study.

The question then should be employment. Where's the Job?

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I think we have to stop this "mad rush" for degrees,apology to former minister of education and think of how to tailor our education to our developmental need which to my mind now is Technology, I remember in my secondary school days, when the 6334 started, we had good Intro Tech Lab then, we were thought basic wood work,TD and so on,i wonder what made us derail along that path .

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What?

Is there really anything called The Education Sector in Nigeria?

What a striking revelation!!!

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[ would say the universities need to be funded and please scrap the college of educations. In singapore that is known for having the best secondary education in the world. They simply get the best students from there master's degree programs and train them in teacher schools and an extra year of on the job training. Maybe its just me, but it seems that its the least intelligent people in university that end up being teachers.

i would not say it is about the lest intelligent people but it has to do the individual. i study accounting education and do better then those in pure accounting and also some student in my dept are that good. so i will say more attaintion should be paid to teacher eduction.

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this is western idea, the idea of yours if put in place will go along along way in improving educational systems simutenously, easy and smooth

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Well, aren't people paying for university education already?

The idea is that 70% of the so-called 'potential university students' will go to technical schools and polytechnics, which will be free and government-funded.

What's the point of Nigeria producing massive volumes of university engineers that can't engineer anything, university computer scientists that have never seen a computer, as well as graduates of random disciplines like archeology and demography, who will still roam the streets after graduation looking for work? All in the name of 'free university education'. That's why the system has collapsed.

The problem is, now we have so many university graduates with zero skill, all looking for a job, any job. If the imbalance is corrected, it is now left to employers to hire what they really need, or else allow graduate employees to create class distinction. In Nigeria, you have majority unskilled university graduates in establishments discriminating against minority skilled workers, and marginalizing them.

If the unskilled suddenly become the minority, that will be difficult. And the quality of skilled education , as we have in the technical schools and polytechnics, will go up.

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Very elitist remark. You people that have not seen poverty should stop trying to makes rules for the rest of us. If your idea is implemented, at least 70% of potential university students will not go to school.

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Please stop castigating teachers as less intelligent because though the assertion is true but they are very much in the minority.

Back to the topic.

1.) Technical/Polytechnic institutions should be the most funded as these are the kind of skills students of developing countries need the most.

2.) All colleges of education should be merged with the exiting teacher colleges and upgraded to be at par with the universities because we really need teachers for all levels of education. ( Too much unqualified teachers at the primary and secondary school level)

3.) University should be the least funded and more expensive so we can have more brilliant students at the other two levels above.

For the NYSC . . . . .

I think the purpose of this scheme is to serve the country, foster unity among the different tribes, instill the patriotic spirit badly needed in that country and other stuffs like that. IMO we should simply limit the options to serve to either a military or community service and this should be done post secondary education. It should range between six to twelve months and without this service you cannot further your education anywhere in the world as a Nigerian. Then we should make a compulsory one year on the job training after the bachelors or masters degree program.

S.N . . Should we insist the service year to be post bachelors education then each student should be made to serve in the state where they had their bachelors education. If that state happens to be your state of origin or where you have lived for more than 12 years then the student should be made to serve in a different region.

My little contribution.

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Another rubbish mentality-- that teachers are the least intelligent people. What about just having a passion for teaching, whether it be by the most or the least intelligent student(s) in the university, and how about encouraging those with a passion for teaching to pursue teaching careers; rather, some people here call teachers the least intelligent university graduates. Shame on y'all.

And some of these naysayers forget that they were taught by teachers, so, according to the naysayers' rationale, the average Nigerian was and is taught by the least intelligent graduates.

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it is very wrong for anyone to assume that all teachers were the least intelligent people in their university classes. it's almost ridiculous when you remember the calamitous dearth of jobs in the country today. many university graduates who are teachers today never hoped they'd end up being teachers! nonetheless, they must survive somehow. also, let us not forget that not everyone lives in the big cities where there better opportunities of getting well paid jobs. would it be justifiable then to conclude that a graduate teacher in a small town in eg kogi state was the least intelligent in his undergraduate class all because he is now a teacher? i know quite a number of post nysc graduates who are teachers today and some of them, believe it or not, possess impressive degrees. at any rate, the relationship between the rate of job availability and number of jobless university graduates is that of inverse proportionality.

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As for career path, I personally do not think it is an issue to be honest. One year (or six months) teaching will not make anyone deviate from one's career goal.

However, I chose this drastic measure as a stop gap measure till our teachers' training colleges and colleges of education begin to produce enough quality teachers.

Moreover, most corpers these days who don't teach end up in Banks (doctors and Engineers inclusive) or Civil Service (sit down, do nothing for most) which to me is far worse than passing down knowledge to the coming generation.

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I think the most focus should go to comprehensive TEACHER TRAINING, EDUCATION and WELFARE. One major problem with Education in Nigeria is its poor quality. Although the provision of infrastructure (eg school buildings) is important, the quality of education being gotten by students is primary.

Nowadays, most people opt for the teaching profession on the basis of job unavailability. Teaching is now seen as the last option and the half-bread-is-better-than-none theory is applied. As a result, the educational sector ends up being flooded with people who see it as the only means of survival left and have no real desire and passion for it.

If there is some sort of established programme geared towards the comprehensive training of teachers, we would have more quality teachers who are well-equipped with necessary skills and knowledge required to impart knowledge. Subsequently, these well-trained teachers would be able to produce students who have been armed with quality education and some of whom would be ploughed back into the system. It's a cycle.

In the same breath, I also think serious attention should be payed to the WELFARE of teachers. Most Public school teachers get peanuts as salaries when compared with their mates in the Private institutions. If teachers are well paid, more people would be interested in the profession. Due to the harsh environment we find ourselves in, eerybody now wants to be well paid, live in nice houses and drive nice cars. Based on the current salary scale of public teachers, that would be next to impossible.

Someone mentioned making teaching compulsory for all corpers. That should only happen when certain things have been put in place - eg accomodation, a clear-cut, defined career path etc. If you force a corper to teach and he or she does not see any possibilities of career growth in the future, what do you expect at the expiration of their service year?

I also do not think Universities should be privatised.

Fantastic suggestions

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Colleges of Education should be merged with the closest University to it and converted to that University's Faculty of Education.

Universities/Polytechnics should not be privatised. Rather government should introduce fees (say about 250,000naira per student). This is just a figure Ive thrown in but should be researched and studied before coming to an ideal figure.

However, government (state/fg) should pay the fees for any student that applies for it. The student will then be made to refund such fees in monthly deductions from his/her salary when he/she starts work. For those who can afford it, they should go ahead and pay their fees.

To achieve the above, government should start a 6 year programme from now. The programme will include registering EVERY individual that enters into a secondary school (government or private) in Nigeria. This registeration is simple biometrics registration that will take simple data like names, dob, etc. A number is assigned to each student and this number becomes his/her education ID.

The same number is then used for every activity (exams, etc) the student undertakes in secondary school and also becomes his education ID when he gets admitted into University. That way, government can track each student up to when he/she starts work and thus make dedutions when necesary.

Also, as a stop gap measure, ALL Corpers MUST be made to teach during their one year service (thats why it is called service!). However, this can be made easier for the corpers by making it fully residential. The FG should build at least 2000 capacity accommodation in EVERY state of the federation. This accommodation will serve as accommodation for corpers during their service year. With the cooperation of the Private sector, corpers should also be allowed free intra-city public transport service. This will help reduce the shortage of teachers we have.

Meanwhile, government should as a matter of urgency, improve the quality of teaching at teachers' training colleges. The degrees should also be made attractive and equivalent to a BSc in Education. Noone should be allowed to teach in a teachers' training college without at least a MSc and he/she must already be working toward a PhD.

My thoughts for now.

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Technical colleges need to be funded just like other arms in the education sector.

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I would say the universities need to be funded and please scrap the college of educations. In singapore that is known for having the best secondary education in the world. They simply get the best students from there master's degree programs and train them in teacher schools and an extra year of on the job training. Maybe its just me, but it seems that its the least intelligent people in university that end up being teachers.

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Yeah, we need skilled people for all round development. Technical college would be focused, follow by Polytechnic and be awarded B.Tech., follow by university and college of education

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Really interesting. So if my folks do not have money, I should subject to a longer route to higher education. I cannot change your opinion but this is the very definition of classism and elitism. Scenario: My parents cannot afford school fees so I wait for several years after graduation from high school to earn a degree in a field with higher earning potential. Consequences: Well, the rich kid gets the job before me, is younger than me, more labor-competitive than me and over the course of a generation, the gap and earning power between the rich and poor widens and the vicious cycle continues. Capitalism is really about giving everyone a fair chance, this does not do that.

With your suggestion the poor that do exceptionally well will not get into OAU or Unilag and they will have to struggle with other poor students for the state schools. However, rich and average students will get into the best schools. Where is the meritocracy in that? Classism again.

I agree with you though that if government regulates vigorously then most of these may be avoided. That is why I believe that social services like education should be well-controlled by the government. America may treat education as a business, but UK treats it mostly as a social service and the systems are just about the same, with the UK's system being more egalitarian: this is what Nigeria should strive for.

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