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Nigeria education system not top 10 in Africa

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By Timothy Akintola

Labour competence & schooling quality, yardstick for ranking.

Despite being arguably the biggest country in Africa, Nigeria’s educational status continues to fall apart. Between the complacent governmental policies that have done so little to improve the standard of education, the recurring teaching and non-teaching staffs’ strikes in tertiary institutions, the increase of out-of-school children in the country’s primary and secondary schools, the educational system has hit rock bottom. The educational sector has received lesser budgets aborting the chance for a sectoral improvement.

Recent reports by Business Insider Africa however indicates that Nigeria has now failed to meet the ranking as one of the top 10 countries with the best educational system in the continent, with Cape Verde being the only West African country in the top 10. Countries such as Seychelles, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya and Namibia have been rated highly for the quality of their educational systems which is said to be immensely imparted in Africa.

Seychelles ranked 1st in Africa for fully achieving UNESCO’s objective.

According to the report, the World Education Forum, in the process of ranking the global educational development, consulted 140 countries, which included 38 African countries, in a bid to identify the best educational system on the basis of skill development. The report also stated that the general level of labour competence, as well as the quality of schooling were important yardsticks used in the determination of this ranking. Other factors considered included digital literacy, interpersonal skills, as well as the capacity to think creatively and critically.

On the justification for the rankings, it was reported that Seychelles, a country in East Africa which has a population of only about 98,462 (2020) people has been the only country in Africa to completely achieve the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s “education for all” objective by inculcating educational policies that provides everyone in the country with an equal opportunity to achieve education. Due to this, Seychelles’ educational system was ranked best in Africa. With an overall 69.3 points, also notching a place in the global top 50, ranking 43rd ahead of the likes of Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Hungary, and Russia.

Kenya with a 78% literacy rate notched 7th in Africa and 95th globally.

Tunisia, Mauritius and South Africa notched the second, third and fourth positions in Africa respectively. Having invested over 20 percent of its national budget on its educational sector, Tunisia’s educational system was also ranked 71st in the world with 61.4 points. Mauritius which inculcated an educational policy that mandated education for every citizen up until the age of 16 also ranked 74th in the global education system rankings with 61 points. With 58.4 points, South Africa also held the 84th position globally due to its 94 percent literary rate.

Algeria was also highly rated in Africa. The North African country which boasts of a 75 percent literacy rate also notched the 5th position in Africa and Botswana, with 56.7 points, rated 6th in Africa and 97th globally. With 55.4 points Kenya, with a 78.7 percent literacy rate ranked 7th and 95th in Africa and globally, respectively. According to reports, Kenya also allocated 17.58 percent of its national budget on its educational sector. Cape Verde was 8th in Africa and 98th globally with 53.3 points and Egypt ranked 9th in Africa with 52.8 points. Namibia ranked 100th globally and 10th in Africa with 52.7 points and a literacy rate of 88.2 percent.

Students abandoned as Nigeria faces longest strike in its history.

Currently, Nigeria’s federal tertiary institutions have been ravaged with an indefinite strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), due to the government’s failure to meet their never-ending demands. This strike which commenced seven months ago and is recorded as one of the longest in the country’s history, has seen students abandoned as the protracted struggle between the union and government persists. While both parties have presented their cases to court, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) have also involved themselves by protesting.

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