BAN ON FOREIGN EDUCATION FOR OFFICIAL'S CHILDREN

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nigeria's education system is in disarray with schools closed for months on end as a result of strikes and underdevelopment in the education sector. Given these conditions, Nigerian students have left the country for education abroad. Nigerian students spent a total of N246 billion on education in the United Kingdom in 2009 and even Canada is working to attract Nigerian students. In reaction, Nigeria's House of Representatives is considering a bill to ban the foreign education of all public officials in the country.

THE BILL
The bill passed its first reading in the House and awaits a second reading. If formally made into law, it would require public officials to educate their children at Nigeria's primary and undergraduate institutions. In order to educate their children abroad, all public holders would have to obtain a waiver from the Minister of Education. The issuance of a waiver would be guided by the following -

  1. the "nature of the proposed course of study for an undergraduate applicant"
  2. the "medical condition [of the undergraduate applicant]"
  3. the "general national interest"
Any qualifying children already studying abroad before the bill becomes law, will automatically qualify for a waiver.
Source: Spesh's World

TROUBLING EDUCATION INDICATORS
In 2009, Nigerian Universities were shut down for 5 months, affecting an estimated 10 million students. It was no surprise then, that 2009 saw some of the worst exam results for Nigerian students. Only 25% of Nigerian students passed the Senior Schools Certificate Examination (SSCE) and a stunning 98% of Nigerian students failed the NECO.

However, one can only wonder if banning the foreign education of the children of public officials is  going to help solve the nation's educational woes. Especially as a waiver can be obtained to subvert the bill. Besides, this bill appears to simply be a move to appear populist by legislators who fail to focus on the real issue - the education of Nigeria's children.

Adequate funding for Nigeria's dilapidated education sector would have been a better indication that legislators intend to tackle the problem. Nigeria previously apportioned N210 billion for the education sector in 2008, N249 billion in 2009, and only N295 billion in the 2010 budget. This amount is far short of what is necessary to adequately educate students and prepare the nation's workforce to be competitive on a global scale. This failure to make education a priority is further troubling because 23 million of Nigeria's youth are currently unemployable and 10 million northern children beg instead of go to school.


Nigeria has a population of about 150 million people and is projected to become the 8th most populous country in the world by 2050. In order for Nigeria to be prepared for the challenges it will face as its population grows, the education of citizens must be a predominant factor. Unfortunately, the budget allocation for the sector indicates that the nation's leaders are unwilling to work in furtherance of the country's future needs. And worse yet, a supposed ban on educating certain children abroad lacks any teeth due to a waiver, and will simply be a worthless law that does nothing to help Nigeria.



From The Archives:
- Canada Luring Nigerian Students
- Nigerian Students Spend N246 BN In UK
- 23mn Of Nigeria's Youth Are Unemployable 
- Nigeria's 10MN Child Beggars

24 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

BBB said...

hmmmm
men
would i love it if that bill comes to stay
they would start taking education seriously

My world said...

hahahaha!!! why am I laughing? because this is such a joke!
with the way things are right now,they already think its a "right"!

Anonymous said...

'waivers'!!!... the bill is already programmed to fail!!!!

onosetale(damsel) said...

wow, a ban on govt offical's kids going abroad for school? well thats really not the main issue that needs solving, although it really does suck that all these gov't officials have kids in schools abroad ( from dubai to US to canada to UK) and other kids suffer because of strikes and what not.

Anonymous said...

Lol that's inconceivable!

- GentleAura from Twitter

Chancy said...

What a joke this bill is. If it actually passes, I will laugh at the joke that is our Congress. You can't just ban "foreign education" of public officials. Rather than tackle the problem (lack of funding, embezzlement, corruption, improper teacher training etc) directly and head on, they are beating round the bush with this joke of a bill.

F said...

"national interest" indeed... That isn't vague at all... Ridiculous. You nailed it SSD. "Populist" IS THE WORD.

Stanis said...

just another way of hiding the head under the sand. relevant actions needed to tackle relevant actions are never mooted by legislators, instead, as you say, they tend to go the populist way. if this bill passes, you will see every public official will veer towards the second option the "medical condition [of the undergraduate applicant]" ie all their kids will suddenly be sick and need to go abroad for treatment :)

Bunmi said...

Banning it is not to be mentioned. I agree to the fact that we need to know how the education will benefit the country. If the bill passes through and public official start claim to be sick. Then there should be an official proof be the official laboratory cos an independent proof could be fraudulent.

Bunmi said...

Banning it is not to be mentioned. I agree to the fact that we need to know how the education will benefit the country. If the bill passes through and public official start claiming to be sick. Then there should be an official proof by an official laboratory cos an independent proof could be fraudulent.

BD said...

Banning it is not to be mentioned. I agree to the fact that we need to know how the education will benefit the country. If the bill passes through and public official start claiming to be sick. Then there should be an official proof by an official laboratory cos an independent proof could be fraudulent.

Dee said...

One of the Naija house of rep. stunts that you hear, laugh out loud then move onto thinking on how you can make ends meet in your life (seeing that our law makers don’t care much about Naija people)

Perhaps this ‘word stunt’ of a bill passes, the trend would likely move on to passing a bill to automatically authorize waivers to member’s children with medical conditions…maybe after that they would pass a bill to allocate funds for the treatment of the ‘sick’ kids abroad. Indirectly paying for the study abroad :)

There you go. The cycle completed!

Naija we HAIL THEE!

**sigh**

Anonymous said...

I honestly like this idea. Perhaps the kids will be the ones to ensure that their parents (govt officials) do what they are supposed to do. I think it's a good step -we just have to see how things unfold.

Rome wasn't built in a day. I think if we had a little more faith in things, it can go a long way. Not many of us even know the meaning of faith

gidiasianbabe said...

nigerian education is just in a mess now,need total reform

Anonymous said...

Pshhhh, we are talking about Public Officers that have connections and all. They'll use their influence to waive, but now that there will be a waiver for the bill, you'll see them all waiving. I'm shaking my head at the whole situation, this is not what we need.

Anonymous said...

This may actually be a better idea than you think - the real problem with it will be flawed implementation. If we are saying to our leaders - you will have to live with the consequences of your inaction and incompetence - you may bring out the best in a few more. To accomplish this, you would have to add a transparency section - name all who have waivers and list them on a government website! One obvious flaw is that you may find that governance is left to those with children beyond school age! This would be difficult to apply to healthcare though it would be interesting to try.

RE Ausetkmt said...

shall we all act like King Julian and "Smile and Waive"..yeah. like this is kid stuff.

Andrew Harwood said...

Why is it that govt is so focused on legislation that forces control instead of allowing opportunity. Interestingly there may be some good come out of this as others have commented, force the decision makers to adhere to this and maybe the total education system will get the overhaul it needs.

Netflix Canada said...

It's too bad more nationalism among the rich couldn't some how be encouraged so that they'd take more pride in having their children study at Nigerian schools and in the process make sure to keep them up to date. Nigeria could potentially be one of the richest and strongest countries in Africa and get even more powerful if it worked on building it's image as an independent/self sufficient nation.

Parterapi said...

Why dosn´t this suprise me...MEN

webround said...

this is just a populist move and makes no sense at all.

1) not all public officials are responsible for the failure of our educational system so why make their children and the officials suffer for what they are not responsible for?

2) in the US and UK which are being used as yardsticks for the universities, tuition is not free [actually quite high] and the universities are not funded [in most cases]by the govt. in the US, most people take loans to go to school. In the UK, the educational cost is funded from the high fees charged international students. In Nigeria we want the government to fund the schools and for tuition to be free, and yet we complain about the status of the educational system? You can't eat your cake and have it.

3)by even talking about waivers, the legislators are talking from both sides of their mouth. what they would have done would be to create a way out for themselves, a booming market for a cabal to start taking bribes (to grant you waivers.

4) again, this is the legislators not addressing the root of a problem. if you increase the ability to fight corruption, how will public officials be able to steal money to send their kids abroad, if you put the right people in the right job, won't you then have the correct people making decisions for the educational system?

t said...

I am inclined to agree with Anonymous above: "April 13, 2010 10:19 PM
Anonymous said...
This may actually be a better idea than you think - the real problem with it will be flawed implementation. If we are saying to our leaders - you will have to live with the consequences of your inaction and incompetence - you may bring out the best in a few more. To accomplish this, you would have to add a transparency section - name all who have waivers and list them on a government website! One obvious flaw is that you may find that governance is left to those with children beyond school age! This would be difficult to apply to healthcare though it would be interesting to try."

culturesoup said...

I think this is a terrible idea that's bound to fail. It's certainly easy to circumvent. You could end up attracting mostly politicians to government who have grown up children and don't have to deal with this problem.

How does banning some children from studying abroad improve education for others? And why the assumption that the only legislators that should be concerned about the nation's educational system are those that have kids? They should all be interested in fixing our schools because that's part of the job which they were elected to office to do.

The issue isn't the children of officials but the failing educational system. This proposal is an extreme version of the debates you see in the US and UK about whether government officials should send their children to private or state schools. I think that the education of one's children should not be a political issue.

Anonymous said...

nigeria is the symbol of uselessness... wanna make a ban wen the schools in the country dont makes sense... and after all the struggle people come out unemployed

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