THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION AND NATIONAL POLICY ON EDUCATION

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Nigeria’s philosophy of education is enshrined in the National Policy on Education 2013, signed by Ezenwo Nyesom Wike CON, the then Federal Minister of Education.

Background

The National Policy on Education is every educator, policy maker, parent, and alumni association’s guidance note.

National Policy on Education (NPE) provides the guidelines, objectives, standards, structures, strategies, and management for achieving Nigeria’s education goals.

Nigeria’s overall education philosophy is to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible, indissoluble, democratic, and sovereign nation built on the principles of freedom, equality, and justice.

Nigerians are centrally Pan-African in solidarity and committed to world peace through understanding.

Although policies are generally unenforceable, users of Nigeria’s educational services are considered consumers under the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection (FCCPA) 2018.

Essentially, the FCCPA 2018’s definition of consumers includes parents and legal guardians where students are minors.

We submit that a claim on a specific provision of the National Policy on Education based on the FCCPA is an example of comparative global educational services.

Our education law team recently advised parents of special needs pupils. The special needs pupils’ head teacher terminated the school bus services and frustrated the special needs children’s schooling.

Our Education Lawyers studied the National Policy on Special Needs Education in Nigeria 2015, the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prevention) Act 2018, FCCPA 2018, and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Although the National Policy on Special Needs Education in Nigeria 2015 does not enjoy legislative approval, a court of law may consider it an example of comparative services that schools as undertakers must deliver under the FCCPA 2018.

Foundations of the Philosophy of Education

The following sets of beliefs are the foundations of Nigeria’s education philosophy. Education is:

  1. a tool for national development and social change
  2. necessary for promoting a progressive and united Nigeria
  3. crucial for maximizing an individual’s creative potential and skills for self-fulfilment and Nigeria’s general development
  4. compulsory and a right of every Nigerian – without discrimination.
  5. Qualitative, comprehensive, functional, and relevant.

Education in Nigeria aims not only to develop the individual into a sound and effective citizen. Still, it seeks to provide equal opportunities for all citizens at primary, secondary, and tertiary education levels.

The National Policy on Education repeats the following Constitutionally enshrined national goals:

  1. A free and democratic society
  2. Justice and egalitarianism
  3. United, strong, and self-reliant nation
  4. A great and dynamic economy and
  5. A land full of bright opportunities for all citizens.

Objectives of Education

The objectives of education in Nigeria are:

  1. Sound, patriotic, and effective citizenry
  2. A fully integrated individual into its immediate community and national life, with global capabilities.
  3. Equal access to qualitative educational opportunities for all citizens across the academic journey, within and outside the formal school system – informal TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) such as Igba Boi in South-Eastern Nigeria should enjoy policy support.
  4. National conscience, values, national unity, and
  5. A citizenry with relevant skills and mental, physical and social competencies.

Specific Goals on Nigeria’s Education

Nigeria’s educational goals include ensuring and sustaining access and equity to education to develop the individual.

Ensure the quality of education received at all levels, promote functional skill acquisition and job creation, and reduce poverty.

The National Policy on Education anticipated periodic reviews to ensure curricula are practical and relevant, nationally and globally.

Information technology is a crucial driver of education, and the policy expresses readiness to collaborate internally and externally in education finance and funding.

Yet, Southern Nigeria’s community development drive, especially the Ndi Igbo, in crowdfunding and education financing may serve as a model for education financing in Nigeria.

Governments’ Measures

Although the Government expresses commitment to realize the objectives of education in Nigeria, the National Policy on Education merely recited that the Government will ensure:

  1. A learner-centered education for self-development and fulfillment
  2. Practical, activity-based, and experiential and edu tech-supported learning
  3. Relevance and local, state, and federal governments shall promote reading clubs, community libraries, and similar adequate learning resources.
  4. Special provisions for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in early childhood education, primary, secondary, and tertiary formal or informal education
  5. It fosters continuing education and teaches every child in the mother tongue or language of its immediate community for the first years of primary education.

Additionally, every Nigerian must learn one Nigerian language. You may have noticed Nigeria’s budgetary provisions for promoting French in Nigeria.

In 1995, french became Nigeria’s second official language for education. The National Policy of Education’s immediate community language cannot oust English and French as Nigeria’s official languages for educational purposes.

Learning Outcomes

Nigeria’s quality of instruction across all tiers of education must inculcate respect for the individual’s worth and dignity and faith in man’s ability to make rational decisions.

Suppose the National Policy on Education is well-implemented. In that case, every educated Nigerian must embody moral and spiritual principles in interpersonal and human relations and share responsibility for the common good.

Additionally, education must promote physical, emotional, and psychological development and help users possess the necessary self-reliant functional skills and competencies.

Conclusion

Ministry of Education across States in Nigeria does not require private school proprietors to submit a feasibility study or impact assessment on how their schools contribute to advancing the National Policy on Education.

Moreover, the National Policy on Education may need to be more popular among educators and school proprietors. Yet, implementing the policy is crucial to restructuring Nigeria’s educational sector.

A well-implemented National Policy on Education and Nigeria’s philosophy of education will deliver the outcomes we highlighted above.

SRJ Legal is an education law firm. We complement our education law practice with fintech and dispute (litigation). At the same time, we provide corporate counsel services to schools, education non-profits, alumni associations, regulators, and parent-teacher associations.

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