REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON BASIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA Issues of Access, Quality, Equity and Impact

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Description

Background
Initially commissioned by the DFID-funded programme Education Data, Research and Evaluation in
Nigeria (EDOREN) to inform its operational research stream, this literature review has now been
expanded and is aimed at national and international audiences, as well as at readers both familiar and
unfamiliar with basic education issues in Nigeria. The review is designed to inform the workof
government officers involved in basic education –both policy-makers and implementers at federal, state
and Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) levels –consultants working on educational
development projects, and academics working in the field of basic education. In particular, the review
examines the findings of empirical studies from between 2000 and 2013 that relate to factors affecting
educational access, quality, equity and impact in basic education. It also considers related greyliterature
and policy documents. Most of the literature refers to public primary education, predominantly in
ŶoƌtheƌŶ Nigeƌia, ǁith aŶ eŵphasis oŶ giƌls͛ eduĐatioŶ siŶĐe this has ďeeŶ the foĐus of ƌeĐeŶt
development efforts, which have produced most of the available documents.
As well as pulling together some of the insights from the available literature, the review aims to identify
the gaps in the research –both substantive and methodological –and point to ways in which we might
increase our knowledge.
The drive to improve the quality of basic education in Nigeria has been given tremendous impetus over
the last deĐade. Edžaŵples of the NigeƌiaŶ goǀeƌŶŵeŶt͛s ĐoŵŵitŵeŶt to iŵpƌoǀeŵeŶt iŶĐlude: the
expansion of compulsory education from primary level to junior secondary levelin the 2004 Universal
Basic Education (UBE) Act, and the subsequent revised national policy on education; the apparent
increase in the number of children accessing secondary education; the establishment of the Universal
Basic Education Commission (UBEC) with its associated advisory and funding mechanisms; sustained
collaboration with international development partners (IDPs) such as DFID, UNICEF and USAID; the
funding of a major collection of studies in a wide-ranging review of basic education in 2004; and the
more recent establishment of a presidential task force on education in 2011. In addition, through a
range of government initiatives, there has been sustained effort at improving equity and widening
participation in education, in particular increasing access to basic education among girls, nomadic and
Muslim children. However, given the size and diversity of Nigeria, and the fact that the education sector
is still recovering from its neglect during the years of military dictatorships, huge challenges still remain.
It is unsurprising then that, despite the significant achievements in basic education, such as those
mentioned above, much of the research literature focuses more on what still needs to be done.
1. GENERAL ISSUES
The unavailability, paucity and unreliability of available statistical data on education, especially as
regards the Education Management Information System (EMIS), has made it difficult to plan and budget
effectively for education, to collect meaningful baseline and evaluation data, and toundertake largescale survey research.
However, while most studies acknowledge the inadequacy of the statistical data, they simultaneously
use them as evidence of the positive impact of particular programmes. This problem of data quality is
exacerbated by the increasing number of schools that may not be included in government figures, such
asunregistered private schools and religious schools that may be teaching some secular subjects.
Inclusion of data on over-age pupils, grade repetition and on pupil absenteeism as well as a robust
definition of what constitutes ͚dropping out͛would be extremely useful.
Since much of the empirical research is associated with development programmes, it has been driven by
project agendas, and has therefore primarily been evaluative and quantitative so as to enable outputs  and outcomes to be measured against programme targets and to facilitate impact assessments. Even
where qualitative data were gathered they were often then quantified.
Furthermore, articles in national journals generally lack an empirical basis or report small-scale surveys
on very specific issues.
There are very few in-depth qualitative studies. More in-depth qualitative data (including ethnographic,
longitudinal and comparative case-study research) are needed to unravel some of the more complex
processes affecting children in particular social contexts hinted at in some of the survey data.
Research on education in Nigeria would benefit from greater collaboration and synergy between
Nigerian university academics working in education and education and development specialists (both
Nigerian and international).
Greater public availability of government policy documentation on education (e.g. statistics, policy
documents, research reports and the Monitoring Learning Achievement (MLA) exercise data) wouldalso
help improve research.
Geographical coverage in the available research (outside national surveys) has been uneven, with some
states hardly featuring.
With one of two notable exceptions, the voices of women and children and marginalised groups such as
nomadic pastoralists, almajirai,
1
street children, and children with disabilities are not often very well
heard in the evaluation studies, often because there was a tendency to foĐus oŶ ͚keLJ iŶfoƌŵaŶts͛ suĐh as
state and Local LGEA officials, traditional leaders and head teachers, who are predominantly men from
dominant social groups.
Since the drive at the school level has been to get more children –particularly girls –into schools, less
research attention has been given to the quality of teaching and learning, in both schools and teacher
education colleges. However, increased school enrolments mean very little if no meaningful learning is
taking place.
There are also concerns about the financial sustainability and political will to sustain many ofthe
education development programmes.
2. ACCESS TO BASIC EDUCATION
EMIS data suggest an overall decline in primary enrolments from 2006 to 2010 (the latest available data
nationally), except in the North West. In contrast, the data suggest an increase in public Junior
Secondary School (JSS) enrolments. That said, the figures are unreliable and much of the private school
data in particular are absent. Household survey data from between 2004 and 2010 suggest little change
in primary attendance, at around 60% of school-age children nationally, although there is considerable
variation across the country.
Broadly speaking, attendance is lower in the north than in the south, in rural areas rather than urban,
for poorer households than richer, for girls more than boys in northern states, for Muslims more than
non-Muslims, and for nomadic and migrant children and children with disabilities. Enrolment data from
Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN)-supported states show huge variation
between states and within states between LGEAs.

Qualitative data suggest that in some states enrolments are increasing following social mobilisation and
school development efforts.
The 2010 Nigeria Education Data Survey (NEDS) suggested that formal dropout and repetition are not
large problems, although otheƌ studies͛ data suggest the NEDS figures are gross under-representations.
That said, the 2010 NEDS and other studies have shown pupil absenteeism to be a major issue,
especially in rural areas.
The 2010 NEDS stated that the main reasons parents and guardians gave for their primary-aged children
having never attended school were the distance to school, child labour needs at home, and the
monetary costs. Other common factors were the perception that the child was too young or immature
to attend school, and the poor quality of schools.
Out-of-school factors contributing to non-enrolment, absenteeism and/or dropout from schools include:
illness or hunger; the need to do paid/unpaid work (including caring for siblings and sick relatives); an
inability to pay school costs and fees; lack of uniforms or other materials; and parental attitudes.
In-school factors contributing to non-enrolment, absenteeism and/or dropout from schools are related
to quality and generally revolve around: poor infrastructure and facilities; lack of space or overcrowding;
teacher absenteeism; pupil avoidance of harassment, bullying or corporal punishment; aninability to
understand the medium of instruction (MOI); and the poor quality of teaching and learning taking place.
The quantitative data are generally of poor quality, but are particularly sparse in the case of
unregistered private schools, Islamic schools and nomadic education.
Theƌe is Ŷot a good uŶdeƌstaŶdiŶg of ǁhat the ŵost iŵpoƌtaŶt ďaƌƌieƌs to aĐĐess aƌe ;͚out-of-sĐhool͛
aŶd ͚iŶ-sĐhool͛ faĐtoƌsͿ in specific contexts and the way they interrelate.
3. EDUCATIONAL QUALITY: THE SCHOOL CONTEXT
School supply
Many states have recently been investing in building new schools. However, according to EMIS data,
there are no clear patterns on school supply nationally from 2006 to 2010, although in partthis is
because of the lack and/or unreliability of data on the number of schools. Data for the private sector, in
particular, are missing for many states. However, the 2010 NEDS reported long distances for many
children in more rural and northern areas, especially at secondary level, thus suggesting school supply
issues.
School infrastructure and facilities
Many states have invested heavily in the development of educational infrastructure over the last few
years, although progress has been uneven. Many schools are still dilapidated, in part because
government funding is unevenly distributed among states, LGEAs and schools –some schools receive no
government support –and it is widely claimed that a lack of transparency in the awarding of
construction contracts can lead to sub-standard buildings.
The provision of water and gender-segregated sanitation is clearly vital to keeping pupils (and staff) in
schools, and reports suggest recent improvements in provision in project-supported states, but there
are clearly issues around the maintenance and cleanliness of both. These need to be investigated more
thoroughly, including the impact of shared community use, fee charges for water, safety for girls around
toilet areas, and hygiene and equity issues surrounding the cleaning of toilets. The reasons why children
are not using toilets in some cases also need to be explored.

School security is a matter of major concern to parents, pupils and education personnel, particularly the
need for a perimeter fence to better regulate teacher and pupil attendance, intrusion fromoutsiders
(including attacks on pupils, vandalism and theft of school property), the presence of motor vehicles,
community dumping and encroachment.
Classroom conditions and resources
Classroom conditions vary across states, LGEAs and schools but many schools lack classrooms or the
classrooms they do have are dilapidated and overcrowded with inadequate furniture and nousable
chalkboard, making it virtually impossible for meaningful teaching and learning to occur.
A major concern is the evidence suggesting that improvements in infrastructure and resource supply are
failing to keep pace with increased demand, having a negative impact on educational quality and
thereby threatening retention and undermining any gains in increased enrolment.
There are severe shortages of textbooks, although there have been recent improvements in supply
associated with development projects funded by a combination of government, donor agencies and
community-generated funds, e.g. through school-based management committees (SBMCs).
However, books are often locked up and unused because they are considered too precious for pupils to
use, teachers are not sure how to use them, or LGEAs lack funds for distribution.
4. EDUCATIONAL QUALITY: TEACHING AND LEARNING
Curriculum
Following widespread criticism of the curriculum for being overloaded and outdated, with an
overemphasis on transmission of knowledge rather than acquisition of transferable skills, new curricula
are currently being rolled out at primary and JSS level.
Many schools lack the relevant curriculum documents (including syllabuses and teaching guides) and
there is generally a shortage of Science and Technology teachers and adequate Science facilities in
school, combined with low ICT penetration.
The medium of instruction
National policy is that the ͚mother tongue͛ ǁill ďe used foƌ PƌiŵaƌLJ ϭ–3, ďefoƌe a ͚progressive͛transition
to English-medium teaching. In practice, teaching at primary and JSS level generally involves a lot of
code-switching between Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba and other community languages.
English as the MOI is a major impediment to teaching and learning and a cause of dropout and low
learning outcomes, as exams and textbooks are in English. Low proficiency in English runs right through
basic education, with many teachers as well as pupils having limited English. It is therefore a matter of
concern that English is even being used in some lower primary and pre-school classes.
Attitudes toward the MOI issue differ: most senior education officials want English as the MOI, most
pupils want bilingual teaching, and paƌeŶts͛ aŶd teaĐheƌs͛ ǀieǁs aƌe ŵidžed. EŶglish as MOI is assoĐiated
with better educational and socio-economic opportunities despite language-learning researchevidence
in other African contexts indicating that pupils need a good foundation in their first language(s) before
changing to another MOI.

More research is needed on language use in the Nigerian classroom and its impact on learning, teaching
and assessment, with greater inclusion of pupils͛ ǀieǁs oŶ the suďjeĐt, espeĐiallLJ those of ŵiŶoƌitLJ
ethno-linguistic groups. In particular, the actual practices of bilingual and multilingual classroom
teaching –especially in urban areas –need more in-depth research, followed by consideration of the
implications for teacher deployment, teacher education and textbook production.
Teaching methods and assessment
Although poor teaching is also a cause of non-enrolment, truancy, school dropout, poor performance
and migration to the private sector, few published empirical studies have focused solelyon the quality
of teaching and learning, beyond two large-scale and predominantly quantitative surveys (one funded
by UNICEF (Hardman et al.2008) and one by ESSPIN (Davison 2010)).
In particular, there is little in-depth classroom-based research available on the processes(both formal
and informal) of teaching and learning at either the primary or the JSS level. Information is also lacking
on the specific interactions that pupils find most helpful in learning and on whether/how they differ in
different types of school (e.g.Islamiyya, government, single-sex, boarding, etc.).
Research suggests there is very little variation in lesson structure across subjects or levels, with
traditional didactic methods predominating. In some project-supported states there appears to be some
ĐhaŶge toǁaƌd ŵoƌe iŶteƌaĐtiǀe aŶd ͚leaƌŶeƌ-ĐeŶtƌed͛ teaĐhiŶg ďut ƌoďust eǀideŶĐe is laĐkiŶg as to
whether the recorded surface features of such teaching (e.g. putting pupils into groups, praising pupils
or using a teaching aid) actually constitute better teaching or whether they have helped improve
learning.
Teachers clearly need more support and guidance in the area of assessment –both formative and
summative –and in record-keeping in order to be able to monitor pupil/student progress.
Teacher–pupil and pupil–pupil relations
Very little is known about teacher–pupil relations, or about their effect on participation in school and on
pupil learning, beyond what has been said in several studies about high levels of corporal punishment
and ͚psychological violence͛ ďLJ soŵe teaĐheƌs, reported in the national study on violence in schools
(Federal Ministry of Education (FME) 2007b). A national teacher motivation study (Sherry2008) suggests
such behaviour is a result of teacher frustration at being unable to help pupils learn in difficult
circumstances.
The research suggests that teachers are not necessarily aware of the negative impact some of these
activities can have on individual pupils. More research is needed in this area, and teachers and pupils
need to be sensitised to such issues.
There is similarly very little research on pupil–pupil relations. Some research has provided evidence of
peer bullying and physical and sexual harassment based on gender and age. Although there is some
suggestion that antagonistic peer relations may result in truancy and eventual dropout, much more
research is needed in this area, including on ways in which children play and interact socially in schools.
In general, more needs to be known about the emotional, affective side of teaching and learning, from
ďoth the teaĐheƌs͛ aŶd the pupils͛ peƌspeĐtiǀes.

5. OUTCOMES OF BASIC EDUCATION
Overall, the evidence base on the outcomes of basic education in Nigeria is weak. There is no nationally
institutionalised system for the regular measurement of learning outcomes. However, those measures
that do exist suggest very low learning levels.
Longitudinal tests (currently lacking) and surveys measuring individuals across time would improve
understanding of the progress (or lack thereof) that pupils/students are making, and in which years.
There is an apparent disjunction between the evidence that shows that learning outcomes are generally
very low for most pupils/students and that which shows other positive outcomes of schooling, in terms
oflabour market and health outcomes. It may be that there is other learning going on in schoolsthat is
not captured by tests of specific skills such as literacy and numeracy.
Inregard to the labour market, increased earnings come mostly from secondary and tertiary schooling,
which can provide access to government and formal sector jobs. Schooling at primary level appears to
have a much smaller impact on individual productivity and wages.
There are also no studies that explore the social impacts oŶ sĐhooliŶg iŶ teƌŵs of pupils͛ wellbeing, selfconfidence or ability to interact with others.
6. GOVERNMENT AND SCHOOLING
The decentralised system of governance with overlapping responsibilities at federal and state level is
made more complex by the existence of numerous parastatals at both levels. This has resulted in some
tensions between state governments and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), as well as
duplication of effort in some areas and a lack of focus on others.
Pƌogƌess iŶ the iŵpleŵeŶtatioŶ of UBE has ďeeŶ uŶeǀeŶ aĐƌoss states. UBEC͛s iŵpaĐt assessŵeŶt (UBEC
2012a) suggests that states that have been able to fully or almost fully access funds have had the
greatest success in implementation.
There is no clear, up-to-date and comprehensive information available on spending on basic education,
and actual spending deviates substantially from planned spending.The overall actual level of public
spending on education is relatively low.
Furthermore, spending is divided roughly evenly between primary, secondary and tertiary, despite the
much smaller numbers of students at the post-primary levels.
A deeper understanding is needed of public expenditure on education, the relationship between
planning and budgeting systems, and the constraints (political, technical, organisational and capacity
related) to better planning and implementation of education budgets, as well as the relationship
between these systems and pupils͛ leaƌŶiŶg outĐoŵes.Detailed state-specific research on this would be
highly relevant.
State governors have substantial control over policy and finances in the decentralised system. Local
government tends to be weak as it obtains the majority of its funding from the state government.
Unclear delineation of responsibility and poor coordination between levels of government, combined
with low capacity in some areas, means that service delivery is often ineffective and the lack of
publically available data results in low levels of transparency and accountability and also hinders
planning.

Most accountability is upwards to higher levels of government rather than outwards toward
communities, although decentralised school governance through SBMCs is attempting to address this
issue. Crucial to its success are consistent funding and LGEA support.
There are wide variations in funding between states, LGEAs and even between individual schools.
Interview evidence from several studies suggests that funding and appointments across the board may
be political or based on personal influence rather than on need or relevant professional experience and
qualifications. This has resulted in low levels of trust between different government layers and between
educational authorities and communities. Many stakeholders have expressed a desire for this culture to
change. Where LGEAs and SBMCs are now working well together, however, matters do seem to be
improving.
Although there is currently very limited available information, education development programmes
would benefit from more in-depth political economy analysis (PEA) at the planning stage.
The netmapping methodology used in Kano State underlines the importance of ͚loĐal resilience
Ŷetǁoƌks͛ to ŵaŶage uŶpƌediĐtaďleresource flows, using informal connections to government agencies
to increase their resources. This can widen disparities in funding between better-connected schools that
can access funds and those with weaker networks. This methodology could usefully be applied to other
states in order to capture the complexity of official and informal power relations within the system and
how they affect resource distribution and blockages in resource flows.
7. NON-STATE PROVIDERS OF EDUCATION AND NON-FORMAL AND SPECIAL
EDUCATION
Across Nigeria, a quarter of primary school students are enrolled at for-profit private schools, andmany
more attend religious schools and schools for nomadic populations. Numbers attendingprivate schools
are higher in urban areas than in rural areas, and more prevalent in the south. The majority of the ͚outof-school͛children in northern Nigeria receive some form of Islamic schooling.
Parents are increasingly sending children to low-fee private schools because of proximityto their home
and perceived better quality.
Although there is very little actual evidence of the quality of teaching/learning on offerin low-fee
private schools (beyond the fact that teachers are more often in the classroom), the limited survey data
do indeed suggest that learning outcomes are at least as good if not better on average than inpublic
schools, although they are still low.
Many Muslim parents in northern Nigeria give similar reasons for sending their children topurely Islamic
or Islamiyya, Quƌ͛aŶiĐ aŶd TsaŶgaLJa EduĐatioŶ ;IQTEͿ schools, referring to their perceived better quality
rather than to religious motivations per se. Some studies show that a small, although seemingly
decreasing, number of parents still consider government schools to be un-Islamic and too westernised.
Not enough is known about the learning outcomes from religious schools, and how the process of
integration is progressing. If IQTE schools are doing slightly better, as suggested by the EarlyGrade
Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA) results in Sokoto and
Bauchi, as well as in ESSPIN-supported IQTE schools, what is it precisely that leads to these better
results?
More also needs to be known about the prevalence of Christian faith schools and the quality of
teaching/learning in them.
Our understanding of how the growth of the private school sector is affecting public schools and
equality of access needs to be deepened.

Greater understanding is needed too on non-formal education regarding attendance patterns, teaching
methodologies and outcomes. What are the reasons for the apparent decline in enrolments and female
participation in non-formal education as suggested by official figures?
More information is needed on the numbers and experiences of nomadic and semi-nomadic children in
both nomadic and mainstream schools, identifying the factors that encourage and constrain access,
retention and learning.
Virtually no literature is available on the numbers, needs and experiences of children with special
physical or learning needs (both those who are in and out of school) beyond the categorisation of
children with disabilities in the EMIS data.
More needs to be known about early childhood care and education (ECCE) in all its forms. What are the
implications for equity given the relative high costs and what are the implications of teaching being
predominantly in English, as research suggests, when policy demands that the language of the
immediate environment should be used?
8. GENDER AND BASIC EDUCATION
Government and IDPs have focused oŶ giƌls͛ eduĐatioŶ iŶ ŶoƌtheƌŶ Nigeƌia, espeĐiallLJ ongetting girls
enrolled in school.
Baƌƌieƌs to giƌls͛ sustaiŶed aŶd ŵeaŶiŶgful paƌtiĐipatioŶ iŶ foƌŵal eduĐatioŶ aƌe ŵultiple aŶd
interrelated, and are a ĐoŵďiŶatioŶ of ͚out-of-sĐhool͛ faĐtoƌs that pull giƌls out of sĐhool aŶd ͚iŶ-sĐhool͛
factors that push girls out of school. They are also often connected to poverty, in the formof home
chores and the need to earn money, especially through hawking. Other issues include:
parental/community attitudes; sibling care; early marriage/pregnancy; hunger/ill health; distance to
sĐhool aŶd ĐoŶĐeƌŶs aďout safetLJ; Đoƌpoƌal puŶishŵeŶt; geŶdeƌ ǀioleŶĐe iŶĐludiŶg ďullLJiŶg aŶd͚teasiŶg͛
in school; and a lack of water and clean sanitation that assures privacy. It should of course be noted that
many of these issues affect boys too.
Various initiatives claim to haǀe helped iŵpƌoǀe giƌls͛ paƌtiĐipatioŶ ;aŶd ofteŶ ďoLJs͛ tooͿ. They include:
increased female and youth representation on SBMCs; the abolition of school fees; material assistance;
giƌls͛clubs; improved infrastructure; micro-credit services targeting women; girls-only schools; and
grants to females to train as teachers in some northern states (i.e. the Female Teacher Training
Scholarship Scheme (FTTSS)).
Although interview data suggest these initiatives have helped increase enrolment, there is only limited
evidence in certain states and/or LGEAs from administrative enrolment data or survey-based attendance
data on increases in school participation in regard to either girls or boys. It is also not known whether
the beneficiaries of such initiatives have persisted in school and have been learning.
BoLJs͛ sĐhooliŶg
Boys are often ignored due to the focus oŶ giƌls͛ sĐhooliŶg. Issues affeĐtiŶg ďoLJs iŶ paƌtiĐulaƌ iŶĐlude
harsher and more frequent corporal punishment and more bullying/fighting. Boys are withdrawn or
drop out to work in agriculture in rural areas or for trade/apprenticeships in urban areas; they generally
have more employment opportunities as they get older. The reasons for ďoLJs͛ low participation rates in
regard to formal schooling in the South East particularlyneed exploring.
Concern has been voiced about a possible backlash and antagonistic gender relations if boys are ignored
in development initiatives; for example, a scholarship scheme for girls in Niger State was opened up to
boys as well after there was a protest that highlighted the discrimination against boys.

Looking at gendered processes
There is a need to move beyond the gender parity approach (i.e. primarily considering numbers of girls
versus numbers of boys) and a focus on enrolment and attendance toward a focus on inequalities in
processes and the way they relate to outcomes.
There is also a need for a more holistic gender analysis of schools, with gender conceptualised as
relational –i.e. boys andgirls, considering similarities and differences between and within gender
categories –and looking at the gendered structures and processes of educational institutions, as well as
at numbers of female and male pupils and teachers.
The FTTSS has supported over 2,300 trainees but research is needed on their levels of
commitment/attrition over two years, their impact in schools/communities and on the kind of support
they need to be successful.
While the liteƌatuƌe ĐoŶsideƌs the ĐoŶstƌaiŶts of Đultuƌal pƌaĐtiĐes of Islaŵ oŶ giƌls͛ sĐhooliŶg, theƌe is
nothing on the impact of Christianity or African traditional religion (ATR) oŶ giƌls͛ paƌticipation, or on the
way in which ethnicity interacts with gender and religion (with the exception of two studies on female
Fulbe nomadic pastoralists).
9. OUT-OF-SCHOOL ISSUES AFFECTING ACCESS (͚pull factors͛)
Provision of schools
Despite an impressive drive to increase the number of primary schools and JSSs across the country in
recent years, government welcomes the participation of private education to help it achieve UBE,
including for-profit private and faith schools such as IQTE schools where there are some secular subjects
on the curriculum, provided that they meet government standards
Poverty, the cost of schooling and the need for children to work
Direct costs such as Parent–Teacher Association (PTA) levies and the cost of uniforms, writing materials
and textbooks constitute a major barrier to equitable access: inability to pay costs is a cause of nonenrolment, refused entry and/or corporal punishment and dropout among pupils, particularly among
children from the poorest households
Pupils also miss school to earn money for their own or for siďliŶgs͛ sĐhool fees/Đosts. Many working
children earn money in order to pay for schooling.
In particular states or communities in northern Nigeria, initiatives have been carried out, with some
degree of success, to provide conditional cash transfers, free school uniforms, and free writing
materials, textbooks, bags, sandals, bicycles and sanitary pads (for girls). These have often been
achieved with SBMC/PTA funds and are sometimes tied in to school development plans (SDPs); such
schemes are also mainly aimed at girls.
While interview and survey data indicate that these initiatives have increased enrolment, there are
rarely hard figures and robust evidence as to whether the beneficiaries have persisted in school and are
learning.
Health
Child ill health –often related to poverty, poor water and sanitation and/or conditions of child labour –
impacts heavily on schooling. There is speculation in the 2010 NEDS report that the discontinuation of the Home Grown School Feeding programme in the majority of states may have helped discourage
additional enrolment after 2007.
Hunger is identified by pupils and teachers as a major problem, sometimes resulting in pupillatecoming
and absenteeism and cited as affecting concentration and learning.
Other major health challenges include malaria, intestinal parasites and HIV infection and AIDS. Not
enough is known about the specific impacts of these health challenges on pupils/students and teachers.
Cultural issues
Various gendered cultural practices related to religion and/or lifestyle have an iŵpaĐt oŶ giƌls͛ aŶd ďoLJs͛
participation in schooling.
Wheƌe ĐhildƌeŶ atteŶd Quƌ͛aŶiĐ sĐhool iŶ the ŵoƌŶiŶg ďefoƌe goiŶg to puďliĐ sĐhool, gƌeateƌ fledžiďilitLJ is
needed in timetabling to ensure pupils are not disadvantaged by being repeatedly late for class in public
school (i.e. due to late release by the mallam), which means they are therefore prone to receiving
punishments.
Government has been steadily increasing the number of nomadic schools. Although the number of
nomads attending these schools is rising, dropout rates are said to be high and learning outcomes low
(notwithstanding that, once again, reliable statistical data are lacking). Contributing factors include: lack
of fit between school timetabling and nomadic lifestyles (e.g. ďoLJs͛ Ŷeeds to heƌd Đattle fƌoŵ ŵid-ŵoƌŶiŶg aŶd ŶoŵadiĐ giƌls͛ Ŷeed to sell theiƌ daiƌLJ pƌoduĐts, ƌesultiŶg iŶ aďseŶteeisŵ); teacher truancy
and absenteeism; lack of funding for nomadic schools and lack of support at state and LGEA levels; and
inappropriate teaching methods and irrelevant curriculum in government schools plus corporal
punishment, which is generally deemed unacceptable bynomadic parents.
As stated in Section 7 above, more needs to be known about nomads and schooling in both nomadic
and mainstream schools.
There were no available socially situated studies that looked at other cultural/ethnic groups and their
traditional practices that might have an iŵpaĐt oŶ sĐhool aĐĐess aŶd ĐhildƌeŶ͛s edžpeƌieŶĐe of sĐhooliŶg,
particularly in rural areas.
Conflict
Studies are lacking on the effects of conflict on education and the ways in which the quality or forms of
education may also have an impact on conflict.
10. TEACHERS AND TEACHER EDUCATION
Teachers
While comprehensive data are again lacking, EMIS figures from 2010 indicate that around two-thirds of
public primary teachers and a much higher proportion of public JSS teachers are qualified, although
regional variation is great. The lack of qualified teachers is generally worse in the more rural, northern
regions of the country: in the North East and North West well under half the teachers are qualified
whereas in the South West almost all teachers are qualified. There is also great variation among states
and within states among LGEAs.

The vast majority of female teachers are located in the south of Nigeria, and male teachers in the north.
A higher proportion of female teachers is qualified than male teachers nationally, althoughwith huge
regional variations. Qualitative data suggest that it is difficult to get female teachers to accept postings
in rural areas.
There is also gender stereotyping in subject specialisation in teacher education, with low levels of
female teachers in Science and Technology.
Qualifications are no guarantee of adequate knowledge or teaching skills, as ESSPIN teacher
assessments have shown. In short, the quality of pre-service and in-service education needs to be
improved. In addition, unqualified teachers may sometimes be appointed in preference to qualified
teachers for political reasons or to save money.
Teacher appointment and deployment
Teacher appointment and deployment tends not to be based on supply and demand, in part due to a
lack of reliable data, but also because the process is prone to political interference. Teacher shortages
exist in some states and/or LGEAs and not in others and ten to be higher in remote rural areas.
Inevitably the lack of teachers in some schools results in overcrowded classes, which can lead to low
levels of teacher morale and to pupil absenteeism and dropouts.
Furthermore, there is a mismatch between teacher training specialisations and appointments, with
primary-trained teachers often ending up as secondary teachers and secondary subject specialists being
deployed to primary schools.
The pupil–teacher ratio (PTR) figures published in the Annual School Census (ASC) tend not to reflect the
reality in the classroom; often the figures are in line with or better than the recommended PTR when
observations suggest that in reality teachers often have to deal with much larger classes.
Pay, conditions and teacher motivation
Teacher motivation is low at the national level and attrition rates are said to be high. Teachers feel
undervalued and neglected by government, especially in rural areas. Their main complaints relate to
their poor salary, irregular payments, non-standardised salary structure (varying among states and even
within schools, depending on contacts) and the low social status of the teaching profession. Promotion
is based on years of service rather than competence, which is demotivating to some. Although a
standardised salary structure is in the pipeline, several states are rejecting its implementation. Teachers
are offered incentives for rural postings by some authorities but the incentives are often not paid.
Other teacher complaints relate to poor working conditions, including dilapidated, overcrowded
classrooms with insufficient numbers of textbooks, and a lack of access to professional support,
including meaningful continuing professional development.
Low morale and frustration result in low levels of teacher professionalism, such as high levels of
absenteeism, especially in rural areas, and unsanctioned use of corporal punishment.
In contrast, teachers involved in professional development programmes report increased job
satisfaction and enhanced self-confidence, usually feeling that their teaching has improved (although
actual improvements in teaching and learning are sometimes hard to determine).

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