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Impact of politics on Education (Nigeria A case Study)

There is a thin line between politics and education and according to Ijov et.al, Politics fashions education and education modifies politics. And because of the relationship, there are impact of politics on education which is discussed in this article. Some of the relationship between politics and education that was mentioned by Ijov et. al include amongst many:

  • Every education system has political goals
  • Politics comes before education
  • Politics determines the type of education to be adopted
  • The education of the youths is probably the most fundamental takes of society
  • The political order of society sets the pace for education
  • Politics is an aspect of the political needs of the society

This means the political system of a nation has an influence on the educational system of such nation viz-a-viz. And this is why it is believed that no nation can outgrow the quality of its education.

As it is known that politics involves the allocation of scarce social, economic and cultural resources to individuals, groups, regions, and classes, the allocation that goes into education are politically influenced. For this reason, some nations like Nigeria fail to meet the UNESCO standard on the amount that should be allocated to education because of poor educational policy.

The state of education in Nigeria has been affected by the persistent change in the educational policy and poor funding. These two factors are because of poor political ideology in Nigeria. It is not news that most Nigerian politicians often use sustainable development in education as a central manifesto in their campaigns. Instead of their campaign promises on education to yield a positive result, its impact on education negative.

For example, the friction between Ogun state governor and academic staff union of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic was majorly because of the upgrade of Moshood Abiola polytechnic into a University of science and technology that wasn’t properly taught about and handled by the government. This friction led to a strike which affected the students and the Polytechnic community.

Negative Impact of politics on Education

Many politicians have the notion of appearing as the best governor or president and in the process they commit a blunder while introducing policies that may have negative effect on education. Recently, one of my lecturers told me that the reason why JAMB cut-off mark was far below 200 in 2017 was politically motivated and was done to favor certain people. Many people speak against this policy but their voices make no difference because it was eventually implemented. There have been a lot of policies that have been introduced by politicians in Nigeria which have shipwrecked our educational system.

According to Kayode Olu. Ijaduola et.al, the faces, and voices currently leading the education reform movement in Nigeria are appointees and self-proclaimed reformers who, while often well-meaning, lack significant expertise or experience in education. This is because the appointment or leadership position is politically attained. And this has resulted in the following:

(i)  Poor staffing and inadequate of professionals

(ii)  Monetization of the admission process.

(iii)  Incessant strike

(iv)  Dilapidated facilities for effective teaching and learning.

(v)  Examination malpractice

(vi)  Low quality of graduates


Finally, the role of government in the provision of quality education cannot be overemphasized. It is important government place education in the wider context of public service reform, as an essential element in fostering values of openness and democracy. And this can be achieved when people with adequate experience or expertise as educators or scholars attain leadership positions responsible for forming and implementing education policy.


Ijov, Terlumun Mark, Dr. Alye, David Sar (2015) “The Concepts of Politics, Education and the Relationship between Politics and Education in NIGERIA”

Kayode Olu. Ijaduola Ph.D, K. Oluwafemi Odunaike Ph.D and Victor Babatunde Ajayi (2012) “The Interplay between Politics and Education in Nigeria: Any Symbiotic Relationship?

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