SEATTLE — More access to education in Nigeria could be the solution that will help the country’s development and economy. As of this year, 8.7 million children are out of school in Nigeria. Now more than ever, Nigerian government initiatives are looking to change that. With more programs being created that invest in education, education may spur economic growth.
After Nigeria gained independence in 1960, the country was able to build universities that now educate thousands of students with hundreds of professors. These universities give students opportunities to become advanced in science, technology and engineering, which is a big investment in the country’s growth. Still, today the country is not considered an industrial nation.
One recent project that invests in education in Nigeria is the State Education Program Investment Project. This program would provide teachers in areas where they are needed most, while managing schools and student learning. This program started in 2013 but will extend through 2019. So far the results look promising, with the number of enrolled students increasing and the average percent of schools that meet service standards at 60 percent.
The Nigerian federal government is making education a priority in its budget. In 2016, 1.86 billion USD was given to the education sector in order to help more people in Nigeria to have access to education. The government plans to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics to Nigerian youth by offering free education to those who pursue those fields. Additionally, the government plans to invest in technical education for students to develop entrepreneurial skills. The federal government intends to encourage all students to contribute to the economy.
By partnering with state and local governments, the federal government can recruit and train 500,000 unemployed graduates as teachers. The state governments are also investing in education sector. At least 17 northern Nigerian governors planned to spend 150.7 million USD on education in the 2016 budget.
With all these programs and funding going toward education in Nigeria, the government is investing in the country’s students to create a better economy. The more that Nigerians are educated, the more that the country will grow.
– Deanna Wetmore