Critically examine the goal of education in Nigeria and show in details how your teaching subject contribute to the achievement of this goals

Critically examine the goal of education in Nigeria and show in details how your teaching subject contribute to the achievement of this goals
Critically examine the goal of education in Nigeria and show in details how your teaching subject contribute to the achievement of this goals

Critically examine the goal of education in Nigeria and show in details how your teaching subject contribute to the achievement of this goals


Making the education to serve as an instrument to actualize the Nigerian dream to become one of the foremost twenty economies in the world has continued to be a serious concern among Nigerian educationists and policy makers especially in the education sector. The main goals of education in Nigeria are to (a) create learning opportunities and second chance for all citizens and (b) cultivate individuals’ capabilities to make them effective at work and contribute to the development of the society. Achieving these goals have been the focus of successive educational plans, policies, programmes and projects as well as the mobilization of public and private resources in support of education since independence in 1960.

Often, these educational plans, policies, programmes and projects are integrated into the national development plans and policies. History has shown that the national development plans are usually developed from proposals submitted from all sectors (including education sector) of the Nigerian economy. The practice by which development of education is integrated with national development through policies and programmes cuts across all national plans starting from the colonial-master’s

 Ten-Year Plan of Development and Welfare of Nigeria (1945-1955), the various National Development Plans (1962-1986), the National Perspective and Rolling Plans (1990-2009), the Nigerian Vision 20, 2020, the NEEDS and SEEDS with the 10 Year Education Sector Strategic Plan, as well as the National Transformation Agenda.



  1. The National Policy on Education enunciates the guidelines, objectives, standards, structures, strategies, and management for achieving the national education goals in Nigeria. The policy must be operated within the framework of the overall philosophy of the nation. 
  2. The overall philosophy of the nation includes, but not limited to: 
    • Live in unity and harmony as one. indivisible, indissoluble, democratic and sovereign nation founded on the principles of freedom, equality and justice; and 
    • promote inter-African solidarity and world peace through understanding. 


  1. Nigeria’s philosophy of education is based on the following set of beliefs: 
    • Education is an instrument for national development and social change; 
    • education is vital for the promotion of a progressive and united Nigeria; 
    • education maximizes the creative potentials and skills of the individual for self-fulfillment and general development of the society; 
    • Education is compulsory and a right of every Nigerian irrespective of gender. social status, religion, colour, ethnic background and any peculiar individual challenges; and 
    • education is to be qualitative, comprehensive, functional and relevant to the needs of the society: 


  1. This philosophy of Nigeria education is based on the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen and the provision of equal opportunities for all citizens of the nation at the basic, secondary and tertiary levels both inside and outside the formal school system.


  1. The five main national goals of Nigeria as stated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are the building of:
    • a free and democratic society; 
    • a just and egalitarian society; 
    • united, strong and self-reliant nation; 
    • a great and dynamic economy; and 
    • a land full of bright opportunities for all citizens. 


  1. The goals of education in Nigeria are the: 
    • Development of the individual into a morally sound, patriotic and effective citizen; 
    • total integration of the individual into the immediate community, the Nigerian society and the world: 
    • provision of equal access to qualitative educational opportunities for all citizens at all levels of education, within and outside the formal school system: 
    • inculcation of national consciousness, values and national unity; and 
    • Development of appropriate skills, mental, physical and social abilities and competencies to empower the individual to live in and contribute positively to the society. 
  1. The specific goals of education in Nigeria are to:
    • Ensure and sustain unfettered access and equity to education for the total development of the individual; 
    • ensure the quality of education delivery at all levels; 
    • promote functional education for skill acquisition. job creation and poverty reduction; 
    • ensure periodic review. effectiveness and relevance of the curriculum at all levels to meet the needs of society and the world of work; 
    • collaborate with development partners. the private sector. Non-Governmental Organizations and local communities to support and fund education; and 
    • promote information technology capability at all levels. 


  1. In order to fully realize the goals of education in Nigeria and gain from its contribution to ‘the national economy’ Government shall take necessary measures to ensure that: 
    • Educational activities shall be learner centered for maximum self-development and self-fulfillment: 
    • teaching shall be practical, activity-based, experiential and IT supported: 
    • education shall be related to overall community needs; 
    • all tiers of government shall promote the establishment and support of Reading Clubs in schools, Community Libraries and other such resources that will enhance effective learning: 
    • special provisions and incentives shall be made for the study of the sciences at each level of the education system; 
    • continuing education shall be part and parcel of the education system: and 
    • every child shall be taught in the mother tongue or language of the immediate community for the first four years of basic education. In addition. it is expected that every child shall learn one Nigerian language. 
  1. The quality of instruction at all levels of education shall be oriented towards inculcating the following values: 
    • Respect for the worth and dignity of the individual: 
    • faith in man’s ability to make rational decisions: 
    • moral and spiritual principles in inter-personal and human relations; 
    • shared responsibility for the common good of society; 
    • Promotion of the physical, emotional and psychological development of all children: and 
    • Acquisition of functional skills and competencies necessary for self-reliance. 

In details how my teaching subject (social studies) contribute to the achievement of this goals

Every academic enterprise is a product of social situation. Social Studies education is not an aberration. In Britain for instance, Social Studies was introduced into the School Curriculum after the first and second world wars as panacea for addressing social problems (Edinyang and Ubi, 2013). In Nigeria the domestic irrelevance of the pre-colonial educational system in Nigeria motivated the incursion of Social Studies Education in order to link knowledge with local needs.

According to Ikwumelu and Oyibo (2011), Social Studies refers to the subject matter possessing skills, attitudes and activities that focus on society and on the individual members of the society. A major development established by Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) in the National Policy on Education is the pride of place it has given to the Social Studies Curriculum. The Policy regards Social Studies as a compulsory core subject area which all students in the primary and secondary schools cannot despise within the purview academic endeavour. The Philosophy which introduced Social Studies Education as a functional and qualitative curriculum design in all primary, secondary schools and Teacher Training Colleges in Nigeria stressed that an acquisition of its ideals, virtues and values by the young school learner must not be a chance affair. These virtues of human development, according to the FRN (2004), have to be learnt and cultivated by way of classroom instructions and interactions which derive from the Social Studies Curriculum.


The national policy on education endorses the need for Social Studies Education to be geared towards equipping the individual with the necessary wherewithal not only for cultivating civil responsibility but also for creating avenues and opportunities germane and compatible with human and social development. Thus, according to Okobiah (1985), the success of the philosophy behind the teaching and learning of the Social Studies Curriculum in schools and colleges must be measured in terms of its positive contributions at mobilizing and enabling learners cultivate an awareness and understanding of norms and values which are relevant to the fundamental principles of democracy.

The teaching of these subjects is to inculcate in every learner of other subjects that the national aim of education is to ensure that knowledge gained in their cherished careers is to promote self efficiency for personal and national development.

Very importantly, the Policy stipulates that the teaching of Social Studies Curriculum in our secondary schools must be seen as one of those avenues of establishing strong bases for the production of effective citizens and forming a cohesive society that will support a notion of nation- building. (Bozimo & Ikwumelu, 2009). On the whole, the Primary purpose of Social Studies is to help young people develop the ability to take informed and reasoned decisions for the benefit of the public as good citizens of a culturally diverse and democratic society in an interdependent world.

As a course of study, Social Studies aim at producing students who are creative, patriotic, responsible and useful members of the society. Put differently, Social Studies aims at producing people who are able to handle some social issues relating to man’s relationship with his physical and social environments (Onuoha, 2009). Lending credence, Bozimo and Ikwumelu (2011) argue that Social Studies provides opportunities for important social and moral issues such as attitudes to the destitute, poverty, corruption, racialism and different types of governments, cruelty to animals, children, brutality and injustice to be analyzed, internalized and applied.


The question that comes to mind is, has this objective been achieved? A guide to answering the question is found in the interrogative statements of Okam in Meziobi (2013) as follows:

  1. a) What has been happening to poverty?
  2. b) What has been happening to unemployment?
  3. c) What has been happening to inequality?
  4. d) What gave rise to high profile corruption in the society?
  5. e) Why the high rate of insecurity?
  6. f) Why such intimidating injustice in the society?
  7. g) Why corrupt public    officials are         not properly prosecuted?

The dynamics of the society and the demands it has placed on individuals and the entire society requires the search for solutions to arrest certain prevailing circumstances and challenges that these demands have placed on existing conditions. New realities and pressing social needs have compelled very many nations across the world to adopt educational system that is functional (Shuaibu, 2011).

The success of a nation is dependent upon how successful curriculum delivery in schools is. Social Studies was introduced into Nigerian schools system as a remedy to existing social problems prevalent in the society. It aims at studying social actions, relationship,    addressing    social    needs    and problems. Bye and large, the opinions of Social Studies scholars are not different from the objectives of Social Studies in Nigeria. Thus; Dubey 1980, Aina, Adedoyin, Obilo, Ahmadu (1982), Corbin NERDC (1983), Ikwumelu (2001) are of the same view that is based on the rationale for the introduction of Social Studies in Nigeria.

The objectives of the Social Studies programme may be broadly outlined as follows.

  1. To create an increasing awareness and understanding of our evolving physical and social environment.
  2. To develop a capacity to learn and to acquire certain skills including not only those of listening, speaking, reading and writing, and of calculation but also those of hands and head.
  3. Ensure the acquisitions of the body of relevant knowledge and information, which is an essential prerequisite to personal development as well as to a positive contribution to the betterment of mankind.
  4. To develop a sympathetic appreciation of the diversity and interdependence of all members of the local community, and the wider national and international communities.
  5. Develop in the students, positive spirit of togetherness, comradeship and cooperation towards healthy nation
  6. Promotion of understanding of social problems of their locality
  7. Promotion of the ability to think reflectively
  8. Creation of awareness that discipline is essential for an orderly society.
  9. Demonstration of flexibility and willingness to accept necessary changes within a system.
  10. The promotion of effective and active citizenship.
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