Western Education In Nigeria: History and Importance

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Western education has greatly aided in the opening of Nigeria; since the period of the colonial overlords, they have made attempts to ensure that we Nigerians learn from their foreign methods. Although there had previously been local and traditional methods in place to educate children on the rules and practices of their region, when the Western system of education arrived, many parents insisted that their children learn from them. Here’s all you need to know about the history and evolution of Western education in Nigeria.

History Of Western Education In Nigeria

Western education did not achieve full acceptance until the twentieth century; previous colonial overlords, British business, and Christian missionaries were all involved in establishing Western education. Many parents did not allow their female children to learn because only the males were taught. The church missionary taught them about the Christian way of life and other topics.

The Nursery of Infant Church was founded in 1843, and the school is located in Badagry. Rev. Father Gomez founded the Nursery Infant School, which was eventually renamed St. Thomas Anglican Nursery and Primary School.

Between the years 1859 and 1925, as the country developed, a slew of others sprung up. CMS Grammar School, Nigeria’s first secondary school, is located in Lagos, as are the Methodist Boys High School, Methodist Girls High School, Baptist Academy, Abeokuta Grammar School, and many others.

The Hope Waddle Institute in Calabar was Nigeria’s first higher education institution, founded in 1895. Western education expanded quickly in Nigeria because no one could gain favor in the eyes of the white man if they did not send their child to school. Western education has served to sharpen both older and younger generations of students. It helped Nigerians gain educational acceptance and recognition all across the world.

Advantages Of Western Education In Nigeria

Western education has become ingrained in our life, and culture and the like have gone a different path than before colonization. As the years pass, it has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. Western education has contributed to Nigeria’s progress in the following ways: 

#1. Self-sufficiency

Western education has provided Nigerians with the opportunity and means to achieve freedom from their British colonial overlords. Nigerians were then educated enough to pursue independence covertly, giving rise to the first republic. This has been one of the most significant advantages.

#2. International Recognition

Nigeria has achieved international recognition as a result of the exploits of her nationals all over the world. One example is the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded to literary hero Wole Soyinka, among many others. Nigerians are also able to compete in international tournaments as a result of the exposure they have received from Western schooling.

#3. Improved Standard of Living

Our level of living has undoubtedly risen considerably above that of our pre-colonial forefathers. We keep up with the rest of the world and adopt current and popular lifestyle changes. One such example is the decrease in the number of children that an average family has as a result of various family planning methods, as opposed to the relatively big nuclear homes of the past.

#4. Improvement in science and technology

Western education has resulted in significant improvements in the practice of science and technology in Nigeria. Through the application of diverse scientific methodologies in problem solving, we have progressed from a basic way of life to a more sophisticated one. Bridges are being built, roads are being created, mobile technology is being established and upgraded, and so much more is being done.

#5. Hope for the future

Western education has not only gotten us to where we are, but it has also given us hope for the future. Things would improve with time, and Nigeria would hopefully advance to the ranks of the world’s most developed countries.

Despite all of these benefits, western education has introduced the following issues:

Disadvantages Of Western Education

#1. Moral decadence

Nigerians have a high level of immorality as a result of Western education. Adultery, fornication, abortion, immoral dressing, and other such practices have become the norm.

#2. Disconnected families

The drive to stay up with the rest of the world and assimilate Western culture has resulted in fractured homes with little or no communication between parents and children, as well as between spouses. Divorce is also increasing at an alarming rate.

#3. Death of The African Culture And Tradition

The culture and traditions that our forefathers held dear during the pre-colonial era are rapidly fading in Nigeria as a result of Westernization.

#4. Inconsistent Governance System

Our forefathers’ governing structure was considerably more stable and there was less instability than we have now. We literally suffered from one regime to the other.

#5. Lazy Youths

Because of Western education, youths have abandoned agriculture, which was once the mainstay of the economy, in quest of white-collar jobs.

Overall, Nigerians should use this type of education to promote national growth while also preserving our culture, norms, and traditions for a better nation.

Nigerian Educational System

Initially, Nigeria’s education structure followed a 6-3-3-4 model, with 6 years of primary school, 3 years of junior secondary school, 3 years of senior secondary school, and 4 years of university education.

However, in 2008, the design was changed to accommodate the 9-year basic education scheme that met the needs of the universal education program. As a result, the educational framework evolved into the 9-3-4 formula, which includes 9 years of basic education, 3 years of secondary school education, and 4 years of higher education.

The nine-year basic curriculum includes the following:

  • Lower Basic Education Curriculum – Junior Primary School, Primary 1-3
  • Middle Basic Education Curriculum – Senior Primary School, Primary 4-6
  • Upper Basic Education Curriculum – Junior Secondary School, Secondary 1-3

Primary Education In Nigeria

Despite the fact that English is the constitutionally mandated language of instruction, some basic level institutions in Nigeria may teach in their native languages, depending on the school’s location.

A primary school leaving certificate is granted to pupils who finish primary school. On the other hand, a basic education certificate is awarded to those who pass the entrance exam to secondary school.

Secondary Education In Nigeria

Secondary school students have the choice of pursuing formal or vocational education. Formal education options include essential topics such as mathematics, English, civic studies, and entrepreneurship in a variety of disciplines such as science, the arts, technology, and business.

Vocational education alternatives, on the other hand, give students the opportunity to learn skills outside of the traditional school curriculum, such as hair styling, crafting, and fashion design.

Secondary school students must first pass the senior school test in order to be admitted to tertiary education institutions in Nigeria. This is produced by the West African Test Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO).

To get admission into Nigerian tertiary education institutions, these candidates must pass the WAEC or NECO exam, as well as the unified tertiary matriculation exam (UTME). However, following several inconsistencies in the manner the UTME tests were graded, some institutions opt to run their own internal exams to further screen their students before admission.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education in Nigeria is an umbrella word that includes universities, polytechnics, and educational institutes. All operations of authorized universities in Nigeria are governed and overseen by the National University Commission (NUC), the country’s governing organization.

University curricula are designed to prepare students to contribute to national growth and to inspire entrepreneurs to create additional job possibilities in their areas.

Education colleges are more suited to those who aspire to become teachers. Before embarking on their own educational path, these institutions prepare their students. They do this by teaching them how to become competent teachers in their societies and educating the youth who would be learning under them.

Polytechnics teach students interested in engineering, industry, or economics in a much more hands-on manner. This allows students to obtain specialized technical training and relevant skill acquisition in order to contribute to their society.

Western Students vs. Eastern Students

There is a huge difference in how Eastern and Western pupils see their relationship with learning. Eastern students are taught that the most important ability to nurture in their education is discipline, as they feel that any academic challenge can be surmounted by dedication. Each student is given the same opportunity as the next, so whether or not they achieve is totally up to them.

Western students, on the other hand, prioritize teamwork and discussion. This promotes curiosity and encourages students to question the status quo. Western students regard themselves as contributors rather than as discipline’s primary vehicle for learning.

Western education is mostly driven by how students perform on standardized examinations, which have been shown to reflect students’ household income rather than their commitment to learning. As a result of this trend, schools in wealthy communities have better access to quality education, and the student body at universities is predominantly from one income background.

Furthermore, Western students blame academic failures on the school they attend rather than on personal deficiencies. Western students, unlike Eastern students, want their professors to facilitate their learning regardless of their starting place.

How Did Western Education Affect Nigeria?

Nigerians gained independence from their colonial oppressors thanks to Western education. The first republic, however, was established when Nigerians obtained the requisite education and quietly sought independence. It is one of the benefits and accomplishments of education in Nigeria.

What Was The Aim Of Western Education?

The goal of British colonial education was to prepare clerks for administrative and commercial work. Later, Christian missionaries constructed schools that were modeled after the British structure, curriculum, and organization.

What Are The Characteristics Of Western Education?

The Western education system is student-centered, emphasizing critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and the generation of new ideas. In contrast, the teacher is the primary center of the Eastern educational system.

Who Brought About Western Education?

British missionaries established the first elementary school in Nigeria in 1840, introducing the first kind of western education to the country.

Who Was The First Western Teacher In Nigeria?

Claudius Philips was Nigeria’s first Western teacher. The school began in Badagry, Lagos State, with 40 guys.

Who is The Father Of Education In Nigeria?

Aliu Babatunde Fafunwa (September 23, 1923 – October 11, 2010). He was Nigeria’s first Professor of Education. He was a Nigerian educationist, scholar, and former education minister. As Minister, he was in control of Africa’s largest school system.

What are The Three Systems Of Education In Nigeria?

Nigeria’s formal educational framework is separated into three parts: Fundamental education. Education in the senior secondary school. Higher education.10

In Conclusion,

The essence of Western education in Nigeria is highly important today since it has improved and moulded organizational structures and increased societal backwardness in terms of dealing with other countries in internal trade and business.

However, there is a need to instill in future generations a strong desire for a broad spectrum of development and the provision of empirical and technical answers to growing challenges through science and technology.

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