Importance Of Primary Education In Nigeria.
Primary Education began in Nigeria in the year 1956, beginning from Western Nigeria before spreading to Eastern Nigeria under the aegis of mission and missionaries who were foreigners. The Federal Government of Nigeria took over the entire educational system a decade after independence, in the year 1970.
Importance Of Primary Education In Nigeria
Several years later when after when funding started to become an issue, pupils were required to pay a school fee but 1986 saw the abolishment of school fees payment because of the need to make basic education more accessible to Nigerian citizens due to the high illiteracy level.
Although the International Human Rights Law mandates that primary education is to be made compulsory and free of charge as part of the steps towards ensuring that a higher fraction of the world’s populace become literate, most states in Nigeria insist on the payment of school fees by primary school pupils because of the need to supplement the inadequate funds allocated to them by the government.
Even in the states of the federation where primary education is free, many speak of the indirect costs such as that incurred to purchase school uniforms, books and other writing materials. Based on this argument they maintain that universal primary education is not free in every sense of the world.
Considering the increase in the number of schools and impressive enrollment statistics, we can say that glaring progress has been made by the Federal Government since taking over from the missionary.
There are now primary schools all over the country, even in remote villages, and private individuals have and are owning schools across all 36 states of the Federation.
The focus of this article is the importance of primary education in Nigeria.
This will be discussed in the points that follow:
(1.) Primary education is the foundational and preparatory ground for higher levels of education:
Everyone is required to spend a minimum of six years in primary school before proceeding to a higher
level of study, secondary schools. At the end of these six years, a certificate is issued. This certificate is
called First School Leaving certificate and it is pre-requisite for entry into any of the secondary schools in
(2.) Primary Education fosters development of cognitive, social and interpersonal skills: For the purpose of
schooling, children come together from different environments, family backgrounds and from all walks
of life. They are taught under the same roof and they share the same playgrounds. Aside the mental
development which this kind of learning environment affords, there is also the added advantage of
learning tolerance, sharing, and synergy in the group activities.
(3.) Primary education reduces parenting burden: Parenting is not a piece of cake and kids are a little
difficult to deal with when they are at the stage when they always need to be looked after. When
parents sent kids to school, they have the added advantage of having some free time to do other things,
especially with the assurance that the kids are in safe hands.
(4.) Increased government revenue is generated from private schools: Primary education has seen the
entrant of many private investors in recent times and this is good for our educational sector and also for
our economy because of the revenue generated from taxes and levies to be paid by private schools.
Primary education which is the foundation of education in Nigeria cannot be done without in the educational sector as one cannot attain any other level of education until he has passed through primary education.