SOURCE: Bradford Associates

March 20, 2015 15:16 ET

Bradford Associates: Educating the Future of Nigeria Is a Responsibility for Which the Administration of President Goodluck Jonathan Has Received UN Accolades

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Mar 20, 2015) - Nigeria is one of Africa's more populous countries boasting the largest economy on the continent which CNN identified as being one of the top three fastest growing on Earth this 2015. (i) In order to grow successfully in the longer term one of the keys to success is a skilled workforce.

UNICEF analysis has identified that literacy rates remain high amongst males and females in the 15-24 year old range. (ii) Three out of four males and two out of three females are literate coupled with which mobile phone penetration which is near 70%. Putting advanced technology in the hands of citizens is changing behaviours and placing a renewed emphasis on education as people simply do not want to be left behind. 

In the same manner in which agricultural reforms have been handled by President Goodluck's administration -- putting seeds and fertilizer in the direct hands of farmers, so to enabling technology to diffuse quicker into society will likely accelerate progress in education. Education spending is around 8% of total government spending and the second largest area of spend. (iii) A four year strategic plan for education included funds for upgrading research facilities and adding further ICT resources at all 104 federal colleges. Another measure has been to ensure that teachers themselves are appropriately skilled starting a program involving Japan & Korea to train teachers. (iv)

In 2013, UNESCO research identified that potentially as many as 10.5 million children were not in regular school. The Government has sought to start addressing this through constructing schools in rural areas where the needs are greatest. (v)

A recent visit to Nigeria by former British Prime Minister and United Nations Special Envoy for Education Gordon Brown emphasized the widespread support for President Goodluck, "I was able to pass on messages of support from hundreds of thousands of members of the international community directly to President Jonathan," he said. (vi)

Whilst there is still much to be done it is clear that the years since President Goodluck took office that education has and remains a priority in which tangible progress is being achieved and recognized internationally.

(i) CNN Money, World's largest economies http://money.cnn.com/news/economy/world_economies_gdp/

(ii) UNICEF, Statistics http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/nigeria_statistics.html#117

(iii) United States Department of State, Factsheet http://photos.state.gov/libraries/nigeria/487468/pdfs/JanuaryEducationFactSheet.pdf

(iv) Sure & Steady Transformation, volume one, page 45

(v) Allafrica.com, Nigeria: Evaluating Achievements in Education and Health Sectors (June 17 2013) http://allafrica.com/stories/201306180354.html

(vi) UN Office of the Envoy for Global Education, STATEMENT BY UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR GLOBAL EDUCATION GORDON BROWN: "NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT JOINS SAFE SCHOOLS INITIATIVE WITH $10MILLION COMMITMENT" http://educationenvoy.org/safeschoolsannouncement/

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