Among all parts of Nigeria, the northern part has been identified as the region with the least educational progress. Several reasons contribute to the widespread education deficit in northern Nigeria including economic constraints and social and cultural norms and practices that discourage attendance at formal education, especially among girls. Female primary attendance rates in the northeast and northwest are 47.7 and 47.3 percent, respectively, according to a UNICEF report. This means that more than half of the girls in these regions are not enrolled in school.
However, stakeholders have pointed out the root causes of education’s falling behind to include the slow release of funding, the absence of political will, a lack of qualified teachers, failure to implement policies, and inadequate infrastructure. It is believed that the lack of interest shown by northern Nigerian governments in the educational sector over the years has contributed to the region’s poor educational infrastructure. As a result, the region’s students and pupils have performed poorly on national examinations and competitions, putting the area at the bottom of the educational progress index.
Lack of political will is another crucial problem.
Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai, a former minister of education, has in recent times pointed to the difficulty of mobilizing students of school age and the slow distribution of funds as problems plaguing northern schools. She proposed several remedies, including expanding the school feeding program and constructing more schools in the north. The lack of political will is another crucial problem, as stakeholders blame lack of political will as a major factor holding back educational progress in the northern region of the county. Politicians’ insincerity and corruption are held responsible for slowing educational development in the area.
At a recent event, Ibrahim Shekarau, a former governor of Kano State, lamented the North’s educational backwardness despite the region’s rich cultural heritage, historical value, and tremendous human resources. More so, he called for immediate measures to change the narrative. Shekarau further noted that the results should not be taken at face value but rather as a call to action for immediate intervention. The foundation of any thriving society is its educational system, and it is our collective duty to tackle these difficulties directly, he added.
No Northern state in Nigeria has 50% of qualified teachers.
Babangida Aliyu, chairman of the board of trustees of the Sir. Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has also recently pointed out the problem of unqualified teachers in Northern Nigerian schools. He stated that the minimal qualification required is the Nigerian Certificate of Education (NCE), and that no Northern state in Nigeria has 50% of qualified teachers. Furthermore, experts perceived that pupils’ academic performance suffers when taught by teachers who lack proper qualifications. Therefore, it is essential to recruit and employ well qualified teachers in order to improve students’ academic performance.
Alongside other factors, the ineffectiveness of government agencies and departments to implement educational policy is hindering many northern states educational development. The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has recently restated his belief that the North’s lack of educational progress is due to the region’s leaders’ refusal to implement previous recommendations. The Monarch emphasized the importance of stakeholders to demonstrate greater commitment to the recommendations made in order to enhance educational progress in the region.
Poor quality of education at the public primary, secondary schools.
Experts also claimed that undergraduates in the northern states of Nigeria have a hard time keeping up with their coursework or graduating with high grades because of the poor quality of education and infrastructure at public primary and secondary schools, the basics of the educational system. According to UNICEF’s research, in the three conflict-affected States of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, 2.8 million children require education-in-emergency support. At least 802 schools are still closed in these states, while 497 classrooms have been confirmed as destroyed and 1,392 have been damaged but are still repairable.