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I am a Nigerian student studying in the USA. Therefore, I have an opportunity to contrast the two countries in terms of their educational systems. The USA is a powerful, developed, and progressive state, while Nigeria is a developing republic in West Africa. Thus, it is a challenging task for Nigeria to catch up with the advanced US approach to learning. The factors that stood in my way of preparing for college admission were the lack of equipment and facilities, technological underdevelopment, high rates of poverty, and social and political problems.
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First and foremost, the power to control, regulate, and implement modifications belongs to the federal government of Nigeria. With the help of the Ministry of Education, it defines the general policy, grants financial support, and evaluates the quality of service (Etim, 1976). The local departments have restricted freedom to administer and accommodate the existing course of action. In contrast to the centralized Nigerian approach, the American system gives a wide range of opportunities to regional authorities. Each of the fifty states has its own educational organization that operates in accordance with the local policy (Etim, 1976). If Nigeria adopts the US regional tactic, it will increase the learning quality in problematic districts. In my case, for example, since I lived in the region characterized by the high level of out-of-school activity, I was forced to miss certain classes, which negatively influenced my level of preparation for the US college.
Although education funding takes the second lace in the budget of Nigeria, the resources allocated are not enough to preserve the quality, accessibility, and attractiveness of education. They cannot satisfy the growing demand for studying among the 168 million population of the country. Thus, the majority of financing comes from family and personal reserves (United States Embassy in Nigeria, 2010). Statistics reveals that 46% of Nigerian inhabitants live below the national poverty line (World Bank, 2015). Under these circumstances, people cannot afford such luxury as education. Conversely, the priority of the US Office of Education is the management of the grant program (Etim, 1976). If an applicant is not able to pay for education, the state may offer him or her student financial aid. It presupposes the following variants: scholarship, loan, and summer job. I, for example, was not able to enjoy any of the benefits mentioned above. Perhaps, if I had had one of those options, I could have received a quality education and would have become better prepared for studying in the USA.
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Furthermore, theoretically, the government of Nigeria ensures equal access to learning opportunities due to the universal human right to receive education. Nonetheless, the universal law is violated in the country, producing substantial grounds for socioeconomic inequalities. The data show that the women and children from the poor parts of the republic are more likely to stay out-of-school, hence will be illiterate (Onwuameze, 2013). The introduction of private schools in the northern regions leads to the intensification of the poor-rich gap (Onwuameze, 2013). Meanwhile, the USA, as aa free and democratic country, eliminates such discrimination issues by providing enough funding and freedom to local authorities. In my case, I was not able to attend the school that provided the best education due to my social and financial status, which impeded my effective preparation for the US educational institution.
Another problem that comes from the financial state of affairs concerns the country’s technological advancement. The Nigerian government acknowledges that the promotion of quality education requires the upgrading of outdated equipment and the introduction of high-tech novelties. On the contrary, the American authorities continually invest in science and technology, understanding that it directly influences the level of education in the country. The contrast of material provision in both states is obvious. The insufficient amount of contemporary literature sources, textbooks, libraries, modernized laboratories, and physical facilities were the main reasons that kept me from being well-prepared for the US higher educational establishment.
In conclusion, I must confess I was deprived of the opportunity to get the professional training I have always dreamt of. The system of education in Nigeria is affected by many problematic issues, namely the lack of financial maintenance and provision, high poverty rates, social discrimination, and political incapability to change the current situation. If it were not for the abovementioned factors, I could have received a high-quality education in Nigeria and would have been adequately prepared for the US college.
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