Nigerian Government to Expand Education
The Nigerian Federal Government was in the international spotlight this week, when answering questions from the Pakistani activist Malala Yousifzai. Malala was the young girl attacked by the Taliban for attending school , since she survived the attack she has been actively promoting the rights of children particularly girls for a proper education.
The Nigerian Minister for education announced that they would increase the number of children to 2 million to be enrolled in a basic education system. This might seem like a lot, but there are estimates of over 10 million children in Nigeria not attending any school at all. Whether this was made with any real substance, remains to be seen however there are some promising signs.
180 new schools were built across the country in the last 12 months, including special centers for girls and some vocational centers for boys who had no access to the education system currently. Payments were being made from the Federal level to states to provide more educational resources and infrastructure being provided to support this effort.
It’s often difficult to encourage parents who have a subsistence lifestyle to make time to get their children an education but some incentives are being put in place to encourage them. Free food, books and uniforms were being distributed as an incentive for parents.
Nigeria has an advantage over many African countries seeking to improve the educational level of their children – mainly money. The country has significant mineral resources which provide a large level of income for the federal government, and many infrastructure projects have been initiated in return for mineral rights to international companies.
It is hoped that the huge increase in internet based learning may be leveraged throughout Nigeria to help improve standards. With a decent internet connection and perhaps a secure proxy based at the school or college, students could potentially have access to world class educational resources.