Billions spent by UK on Nigerian education yield no results

The United Kingdom pumps money to Nigeria’s education system

Britain may have wasted N57.5b (£230m) on Nigerian education, as aids have made “no major improvement in pupil learning” a report by a United Kingdom watchdog stated.

The report by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, ICAI, revealed that UK funded educational programmes is not realising value for money due to an absence of qualified teachers and poor infrastructure.

“In a very challenging environment, with too few effective teachers, poor infrastructure and unpredictable state funding all contributing to poor learning outcomes for pupils in basic education”, said the ICAI.

The report found high numbers of out-of-school children and poor learning outcomes in nine out of ten states where the Department for International Development, DFID, is present.

ICAI found that around a third of the eligible children – an estimated 3.7 million – are still not in school, while those in school receive little in terms of education.

In one of the schools visited almost all the teachers were absent while the children were left to play football outside.

“It was the only activity at the school,” the report said.

“A bell rang but none of the pupils moved towards the classrooms. When asked about the bell, the boys said that it signalled a break – the football continued uninterrupted.”

ICAI warned that DFID’s strategy of pumping money in the hope of improving the overall school system is “not an appropriate strategy to tackle the most severe problems in the weakest schools”.

Lack of support from state governments also contributes to the problem. In one state, a trainee teacher told researchers that she and others were giving up because the state government had not released their scholarship money.

But DFID disagrees with the report, it says the report is misleading.

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