Discuss the Current Policy on National Policy on Education in Nigeria

Discuss the Current Policy on National Policy on Education in Nigeria
Discuss the Current Policy on National Policy on Education in Nigeria




Educational policies are distinguishable from other policies by the fact that policies on education are part and parcel of educational institutions. However, it is important to note that not all policies formulated in educational institutions can qualify as educational po1icies. Generally, policies must be rational and purposeful to enable them to stand the test of time.

The National Policy on education (NPE) is the national guideline for the effective administration, management and implementation of education at all tiers of government. The National Policy on Education therefore, is a statement of intentions, expectations, goals, prescriptions, standards and requirements for quality education delivery in Nigeria. Nigeria like most other countries of the world is undergoing rapid social, economic and political reforms. Fundamentals changes in socio-economic and political structures wholly dictate the need for a change in policy thrust of the education system and vice-versa. (Akanbi and Jekayinfa, 2019).  Thus, given the tempo of development activities on-going in both the global and local contexts, a review of the National Policy on Education becomes imperative. This will help the nation align its education system with her current developmental goals and that of emergent global village.



The current Policy on National Policy on Education in Nigeria the 6th Edition restates Nigeria’s national goals and the philosophy of education, specifies the goals and objectives education should accomplish, defines the structure and strategies for its provision, sets guidelines and required standards for its delivery, management and for quality assurance. It further clarifies the responsibilities of the three tiers of government, their agencies and all other education stakeholders. This edition highlights and emphasizes:

  • The consolidation of Pre-primary, primary and junior secondary education to a 10-year Basic Education in line with UBA and its establishment Act;
  • Improved quality assurance, restructuring and enhancing the capacities of Federal and State/FCT Inspectorate Services through effective performance evaluation;
  • The development and maintenance of a credible and up-to-date National Education Management and Information System (NEMIS) and corresponding State Education Management and Information Systems (SEMIS);
  • The effective use of strategic planning to improve the quality of education provision and service delivery;
  • Improve teacher quality through professionalizing the teaching profession in Nigeria and the provision of more in-service training opportunities and other incentives for teachers; and
  • better coordination, collaboration and networking of activities, programmes and interventions of all tiers of government, development partners and all other stakeholders in the Nigerian education sector to eliminate overlaps, achieve and sustain synergy.

          To effectively address the persistent gaps in education policy provisions and implementation in Nigeria, the process of the development and articulation of this 6th edition of the National Policy on Education involved collective and wide consultations coordinated by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) through the High Level Policy Committee comprising State Commissioners of Education/FCT Education Secretary, Directors in the Federal Ministry of Education and their Parastatals, International development Partners, Professional and other relevant bodies.

          This is to ensure that the perspectives and inputs of the three tiers of government, development partners and all other stakeholders are, as much as possible, accommodated and infused. It is therefore expected that the National Policy on Education will be publicly owned, internalized and complied with by all.


National Policy on Education 2013 Edition – Section 1, paragraph 3, p.13

(a)    Education is an instrument for national development and social change.

(b)    Education is vital for the promotion of a progressive and united Nigeria;

(c)    Education maximizes the creative potentials and skills of the individual for self-fulfillment and general development of the society;

(d)    Education is compulsory and a right of every Nigerian irrespective of gender social status, religion, ethnic background and any peculiar individual challenges; and

(e)    Education is to be qualitative, comprehensive, functional and relevant to the needs of the society.

Goals of Education Section 1, paragraph 6, p. 14

(a)    Development of the individual into a morally sound, patriotic and effective citizen;

(b)    Total integration of the individual into the immediate community, the Nigerian society, and the world;

(c)    Provision of equal access to qualitative educational opportunities for all citizens at all levels of education, within and outside the formal school system;

(d)    Inculcation of national consciousness, values and national unity; and

(e)    Development of appropriate skills, mental, physical, and social abilities and competencies to empower the individual to live in and contribute positively to the society.


The five main national goals of Nigeria, which have been endorsed as the necessary foundation for the national policy on education, are the building of:

  • A free and democratic society
  • A just and egalitarian society
  • A united strong and self reliant nation.
  • A great and dynamic economy
  • A land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens.


A Free and Democratic Society

It is clear that this first objective of philosophy of Nigeria education means that there would be free press, free assembly, free publication, free religion, free education, to name but a few.

A Just and Egalitarian Society

This objectives means that Nigeria is a free society when everyone is equal and should have equal rights the rich or poor. Everybody should get what he deserves. It is however very disheartening that the reverse is the case in a just and egalitarian society’. Equality before the law is not practiced per see. How many people have the Economic power to pursue and maintain the human right in Nigeria? They are a number of hurdles on the way.

For instance, the polities of the federal character and quota system are evolved as a sadly approach at rationalizing and justifying injustices.

A United Strong and Self- Reliance Nation

Nigeria still depends to a large extent on foreign countries in order to exist the country is neither united nor strong self reliance because of one factor or another. We do not have enough man power to build the economy. It is not exaggeration to say that, Nigeria is more or her a “toddler”. Let us have a brief look at the health sector for instances, we do not have enough specialists in our hospital, even teaching hospitals. A significant number of the few that we have traveled out of the country and more are still traveling out. With the rate at which our doctors nurses and other paramedical staff are leaving our shares in search of greener pastures, a good number of the teaching hospitals designated as “centers of excellence” cannot boast of more than a handful of specialists, personnel in various medical fields. This probably explains how and why our leaders spend huge amounts of public find in the name of medical treatment overseas. Health, they say is wealth. How can unhealthy nation be strong and wealthy?

A Great and Dynamic Economy

Building a great and dynamic economy means that our economy  would be changed for the better. At present, Nigeria economy is complex and things are very expensive that many people especially young ones are taking to aimed robbery in order to survive the hard period, arm robbers are so daring that they are visiting not only the middle class, but the seat of government and government lodges. Even police station is not left out.  Since it is difficult for the young to max both ends meet, they try to set the end against the middle. The economy is consistently recording negative growth rates. Unemployment level in the economy is consistently at high increase.

A land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens: A land of Bright and full opportunities for all citizens: This is to say that every national of Nigeria would enjoy equal opportunity anywhere and anytime not media his or her geographical places of birth in Nigeria.

The ideology and educational goals of Nigeria are extracted from the above national objectives for rapid perusal. Since independence, the philosophy and priorities of education do not seem to have changed radically to keep in contact with the current trend of functionalism in education, although it has been stated in philosophy.  (Sulleiman Adediran, 2015)

In essence, the Nigerian theory of education is evolutionary (rather than revolutionary), It makes it less convenient to achieve comprehensiveness, coherence and integration between its elements, to achieve the five national goals set out in the Second National Development Plan, and to run the framework effectively and efficiently.

While Nigeria’s philosophy of education has clearly stated that there is a need for functional education to promote a democratic unified Nigeria, and school programs need to be appropriate, realistic and comprehensive; while interest and skill should decide the path of the individual in education, this philosophy has not been tended towards by what is on the ground.

The objectives that were reviewed in the 2013 version, particularly goal (e), were also not widely reflected in the implementation of education policy.



From the foregoing, it is conclude that the implementation of educational policies in Nigeria are constrained by the following factors. Most educational policies are well focused but the planning is often defective, making implementation difficult. Resources available for the implementation of a given educational policy are often overestimated and thereby elicit unrealistic expectations that fail to materialize. Since educational policies are usually translated into plans before implementation, studies have shown that the cost of implementing such plans has often been underestimated. Most educational policies have become stalled at the planning stage. Reliable data have not been a popular feature in planning education in Nigeria. This situation has not facilitated the effective implementation of educational plans. The implantation of educational policies Is also often hindered by the interplay of policies, which may sometimes relegate reality to obscurity. Qualified teachers are not in sufficient numbers in the entire educational system in Nigeria.

Studies have already confirmed this to be true of the U.B.E. Scheme. as well as the secondary education program. The tertiary level of education, where hundreds of students receive lectures hanging out of windows and doors and taught by one lecturer, is also confirmation. Facilities such as classrooms. offices, laboratories, workshops libraries,, power, water etcetera are basic requirements in every school system. These have been found to be grossly inadequate in most Nigerian educational institutions. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has confirmed this in its numerous publications. Insufficiency of funds for implementing educational policies in Nigeria is a problem that has recurred in almost every implementation study that has been carried out. The importance of funds for carrying out any activities need not be over-emphasized. Government lacks the political will for effective implementation. Corruption at all levels hinders the implementation of educational policies and programs.


Akanbi, G. O., & Jekayinfa, A. A. (2019). Education and emancipation, educational policies and «de- emancipation»: A history of the Nigerian education system from 1914 to 2014. Espacio, Tiempo y Educación, 6(2), pp. 177-196. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14516/ete.230

Federal Ministry of Education (2013) Education Sector Status Report May, 2013, Abuja.

Sulleiman Adediran. (2015). Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges. Forces of educational policy change since 2000 in Nigeria, pp. 2-3. https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000232465_eng (Accessed: October 2020).

About Peter Lawson 2732 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.