Education in Nigeria
Nigeria is the largest country in Africa in terms of population and has approximately 20% of the total out–of-school children population in the world. Adding to this challenge is the demographic pressure with about 11,000 newborns every day that overburdens the system capacity to deliver quality education.
In the Northern part of Nigeria, almost two-thirds of students are functionally illiterate.
The states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, and Sokoto have shown commitment to improving their education systems, but they face severe challenges including high poverty levels, low enrollment, gender disparities, poor quality and relevance, poor infrastructure and learning conditions.
An additional challenge is the direct threat to schooling, especially for girls, emanating from political insecurity through insurgent activities, and attacks on schools.
Each state created an education sector plan to outline its priorities and objectives.
The Education Sector Strategic Plan highlights four policy objectives:
- Improving access and expanding opportunities.
- Ensuring quality and relevance of education provision.
- Improving educational planning and management.
- Ensuring sustainable funding and improved financial management.
The education sector plan also establishes 17 clear initiatives to support these policy objectives, including establishing free education for girls at all levels and free education for all people with special needs.
The Education Strategic Plan 2006-2015 focuses on:
- Providing access to good quality schooling to all children of school age, attaining gender parity, and a student-teacher ratio of 40:1 per class.
- Raising the quality of education to ensure that students acquire permanent literacy, numeracy, life skills, and cognitive capacity.
- Bettering performance in both school and public examinations ensuring better progression rates and higher completion rates for all students.
- Improving planning and management of educational services and institutions to ensure effective delivery of education.
- Ensuring accountability to all stakeholders including communities, civil society organizations, and the private sector.
The Education Strategic Plan details numerous targets revolving around 5 main areas:
- Ensuring equitable access to basic education through addressing both supply and demand factors.
- Improving educational quality through reducing class sizes, increasing the availability of instructional materials, and improving teacher quality.
- Expanding technical and vocational opportunities relevant to the needs of industry and local communities.
- Gradually increasing education financing and introducing school grants to support school development.
- Ensuring that all schools have school development plans, school-based committees, and boards of governors to improve school governance.
The Education Sector Strategic Plan emphasizes strategic policy objectives and interventions that address 5 major challenges in its education system :
- Inadequate coverage and an unsatisfactory level of access
- Poor quality and relevance
- Infrastructural insufficiency and decay
- Inefficient management and system inefficiency
- Non-sustainable funding and adequate resourcing.
The strategic interventions include increasing community participation, increasing advocacy and sensitization, improving teachers’ welfare packages, and providing teachers with re-training.
The Strategic Education Sector Plan prioritizes 4 policy goals :
- Improving the learning performance of pre-school children in 23 local government areas.
- Contributing to improvement in net primary school, enrollment, retention, and educational attainment.
- Providing basic education, vocational, and life skills for out of school children and women through non-formal education.
- Increasing enrollment and retention of children.
The sector plan also specifies four key areas of intervention including constructing schools, purchasing essential learning materials, providing equipment and machineries, and capacity building.
Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.
Primary completion rate (%)
Lower secondary completion rate
Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age
Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age
Pre-primary gross enrollment rate
Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary
Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)
Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)
Students/trained teacher ratio
Teachers trained (%)
GPE in Nigeria
The GPE grant of US$100 million is supporting the Nigeria Partnership for Education Project (NIPEP). The project primarily focuses on supporting the five states mentioned earlier in the implementation of their education sector plans.
The three main components supported by the GPE grant are:
- Improving the effectiveness of schools and learning outcomes by providing grants to support school improvement plans and teacher professional development.
- Supporting the inclusion of girls in basic education and promoting gender equality through providing cash transfers to encourage girls' participation, scholarships for women to attend colleges of education, capacity-building and operational support on issues affecting girls' retention and gender sensitivity.
- Supporting robust monitoring and evaluation, regularizing the annual assessments of student learning, and financing impact evaluations of school improvement grants and girls' scholarship programs.
Even though the implementation of the project with GPE is at its early stage, the grant has already contributed to significant results including:
- 1,800,000 direct project beneficiaries, of which 25% are female.
- 100% of all pre-primary and primary schools have received grants in the first year.
- 73% of beneficiary schools have implemented 80% or more of their school improvement plan activities in December 2016 against 41% in mid-June 2016
- 2,803 Nigeria Partnership for Education Project (NIPEP) school grants have been awarded to pre-primary schools.
- 2,000 early grade teachers have successfully completed training with NIPEP funds.
- 32,850 girls have received NIPEP scholarships
- 4,806 school management committees have been trained
Source: World Bank Implementation Status and Results Report – December 2016