The Economic Development of Nigeria: Report of a Mission Organized by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development at the Request of the Governments of Nigeria and the United Kingdom

By World Bank | Go to book overview

TECHNICAL REPORT 21 EDUCATION

I INTRODUCTION

The mission's visit to Nigeria occurred during a period of remarkable expansion of Nigeria's educational facilities. Both the Eastern and Western Regions have within the last two years formulated plans aiming at the early introduction of universal primary education,1 a target which can only be described as spectacular when it is considered that in 1952 no more than 900,000 out of 2.35 million children were in school in these two regions. The political leaders in each region have pledged themselves vigorously to press forward this program and they appear to enjoy genuinely enthusiastic popular support. In the Northern Region, where at present only 120,000 out of 2.5 million children are in primary schools, a rapid expansion is also being proposed.

At the secondary level, the grammar schools are being improved and expanded and there are being realized the first results of an ambitious program of technical education, launched after the war with the aid of Colonial Development and Welfare funds. In the field of higher education, the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology had virtually completed one of its branches at the time of the mission's visit, the second was under construction and already giving courses in temporary quarters, while plans for the third were being finished. In addition, the last buildings of the impressive campus of the University College at Ibadan were being completed.

Broadly based education can be a powerful stimulant to development by creating a better understanding among the people of the benefits to be derived, and education must provide the manpower of development. It is the consensus of recent studies of African educa-

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1
By primary education is meant the first eight years of school (now being reduced to six in some parts of Nigeria). By secondary education is meant education between the primary and university levels.

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