Education can be established as the formal process by which society deliberately transmits accumulated knowledge, skills, customs and values from one generation to another. Meanwhile, education system in Nigeria could be presented as Nigerian education system. The Nigeria education system started slowly but soundly developing during the colonial era until the conclusion of World War II. The education system in Nigeria introduced by Christian missionaries around 1930, divides into kindergarten, primary, secondary, and tertiary educations. According to the 1979 constitution, education in Nigeria became the responsibility of the federal, states and local governments. In 1982, the nation adopted a 6-3-3-4 policy of education and mandate the first six years of primary education which is a significant factor in the development of education in Nigeria. The Universal Basic Education (UBE) came as a replacement for Nigeria’s Universal Education Scheme of the 6-3-3-4 system of formal education. The policy was later changed to 9-3-4 system of education, it was designed in conformity with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education For All (EFA) in 2006 (Kayode 2006). The UBE engages 6years of primary education and 3years of junior secondary school education, culminating in 9years of uninterrupted schooling, in which continuous assessment determined transition from one class to another., three years of senior secondary education and tertiary institutions provide the last stage of formal education which takes a minimum of four years, completing the 6-3-3-4 educational system.
Education is the basic means of sustenance, implies that educated individuals can sustain wherever they found themselves, they have acquired knowledge, skills, customs and values. Logic and time management learnt in from lecturers go more than long way, one plus two, taught in class is never applicable to solely one and two, but to all countable quantities. The formulae given in class help not only to pass exam, but out the school premises (work environment). The theoretical aspects taught in class prepare minds of students for imminent practical works and help students to discharge their modus operandi in their various work places. Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) Teaching Practice (TP), internship and clinical posting, these are acts introduced to curriculum of Nigerian higher institutions learning to expose students to industrial knowledge, and the time scheduled for the schemes and trainings vary from one institution to another and one course to other. It is really assisting in carrying out their responsibilities in various work places.
Truth be told, the quality of education in Nigeria has reduced over time. The lessening in quality of education in Nigeria calls for prompt actions by all stakeholders to salvage the trend. The major problem making most of the graduates churned out by Nigerian universities to be unfit for the work environment is the lack of proper funding. Nigeria is a developing country that focuses more of its resources to building infrastructures that would alleviate poverty. But the irony of all these is that most of the funds are embezzled by our corrupt leaders leaving the education sector to scavenge with the meagre it receives. The antiquated academic prospectus which is lagging students behind and them novice at place of work, in which there is need to retrain them. For instance, there is a course, CSE 201 in one of Nigerian universities, titled “Introduction to Programming in Pascal”, despite the large numbers of latest programming languages that are surely better and easier to learn than Pascal programming language which was designed in 1971; it is constant in the university curriculum. Lack of active and competent manpower is also one of the major factors affecting Nigeria education system. There is an adage which turns inverted in Nigeria education system says, “You cannot give what you have not”. In Nigerian tertiary institutions some academic and non-academic staffs, who are ill-educated and ill-equipped for the task, give what they do not have, in a simple process, they just “copy and paste” from Cambridge University, can incompetent be dedicated? Also insufficient laboratory apparatus and equipment which leads to little or no involvement of students in practical works, as ensue, the work environment is affecting. In one of the Federal polytechnics in the nation for instance, audiovisual devices are played in laboratory in order to carry out experiment. This could be related to lack of funds, because the laboratory apparatus and equipment are claimed to expensive. The libraries of Nigeria tertiary institutions are well stocked with archaic books which are killing intellect curiosity in the students.
His Excellency Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) reveals,
“events have compelled me to conclusion that in Nigeria, we have unwittingly allowed too wide a gulf to exist between our educational institutions and the demands of society at large… as a result, our education and society appear to exist as two separate balls that barely touch… and most employers are compelled to retrain and re-orientate fresh employees to meet the demands of the work place”.
It is greatly lugubrious, the Nigerian Government budgetary allocation on education falls shorts of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) stipulation (26% of nation budget), due to dearth of funds: welfare of lecturers is derisory, lecturers cannot access funds to carry out researches, lecture halls that can hold the students during lecture period is insufficient, which is hindering smooth transmission of knowledge from lecturers to students. Higher institutions of learning in the nation, should be factories producing knowledge workers, but turned other way round. Nigeria tertiary institutions universally state their missions to be:
“To create a unique institution committed to the pursuit of academic innovation, skill-based training and a tradition of excellent in teaching, research and community service”,
And vision is:
“To be a centre of excellence, providing high quality teaching and learning experiences which will engender the production of entrepreneurial graduates capable of impacting positively on their environment while being globally competitive”.
If mission and vision stated above are effective, how laudable and apposite goals will it be, to produce the missioned and visional graduates? In Nigeria tertiary institutions, where electrical and electronic engineering students cannot fix a bulb successfully, computer science students have replaced software with video games on their computer systems, alas, a professor of geophysics and solid earth physics does not establish a magnificent research laboratory where people can carry out researches, and his name will be encrypt forever, but a magnificent farm instead. As a third year physics student, I can barely recognize components of electric circuit, et al. How can one impact positively on one’s environment?
Finally, education is critical to development of a country. Nigeria education system could be in good state, if, Nigeria Government should raise the budgetary allocation on education to the UNESCO stipulation (26% of nation budget), provide adequate welfare for academic and non-academic staffs in education sector, and provide required infrastructures for learning adequately. Nigeria institution libraries should well equipped with most recent books in diverse field of study, ready and active lecturers should be employed, to produce sound graduates who are fully prepared for work environment.