Secondary Schools

Problems and Solutions To Secondary Education In Nigeria

Secondary education is education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage, i.e., it serves as the recruitment grounds for tertiary institutions in the country. S. T. MBAYUAV noted in his article “The challenges of secondary education in Nigeria: the way forward” that secondary education in Nigeria came to being in 1859 when the CMS Grammar School Lagos was opened, followed by Methodist High School Lagos. He noted that Kings College Lagos, the first Government Secondary school, was established in 1927.

Secondary Education has contributed immensely to the educational development in Nigeria and the manpower needs of the nation. However, there are problems confronting secondary education in Nigeria which need to be looked into for quick and lasting solutions.

Problems of secondary education in Nigeria


Overpopulation in this regard means too few schools for the too large population in urban and rural areas. Schools in the city centers have a population that ranges between 2000 and 4000, making administration a much more cumbersome task.

This number of students has resulted in overcrowded classrooms, i.e., a classroom meant for 35 pupils is packed with more than 100 pupils.

Effect of overpopulation

  1. The workload on teachers and consequent ineffective teaching and learning
  2. Indiscipline among students, such as truancy and street roaming during school hours
  3. Criminal tendencies in the form of exam malpractices take dangerous dimension

Inadequate development of technical education

Inadequate promotion of technical education has denied many students the opportunity for self-development and consequent decent living. Nearly all technical workshops built in the 80s are dilapidated, and new ones are not built.

The aspects of woodwork, metalwork, textile, technical drawing, arts, and crafts deserve to be accorded greater prominence in our educational system.

Lack of sporting facilities for the development of a healthy body and sound mind

Secondary education in Nigeria is no longer holistic because we have relegated some aspects of sports that should be given greater prominence. The teaching of Physical and Health Education as a subject is fast becoming unrealistic with the absence of necessary sports items to teach meaningfully.

Administrative problem

Ineffective monitoring of the implementation of educational policy is a major problem facing secondary education in Nigeria. Also, there is a discrepancy in the running and administration of schools classified as government schools and others as public schools.

The administrative problems heightened above have led to unequal treatment and distribution of facilities and equipment to categories of schools and the public scramble to get their wards admitted to “government choice” schools to enjoy a better learning and teaching environment.

Inadequate teaching equipment

Some schools still share equipment with nearby schools when their students are to take an examination in the sciences. They either have sparsely equipped laboratories or none at all. This has resulted in poor performance in the examination.

Inadequate number of teaching and non-teaching staff

In most secondary schools, less than 50% of the teachers are required to be in the schools. This has resulted in the inability of teachers to maintain the necessary personal contact with every child in his work. Furthermore, some pupils are denied the opportunity to develop in what would have to be their chosen area of interest where teachers of such subjects are not provided.

Poor electricity supply

The classrooms, laboratories, equipment in schools, etc., need electrification. And the epileptic power supply in the country is contributing to the reasons many schools don’t use this equipment to aid their students’ learning.

Solutions to the problems of secondary education

To solve the education problems in Nigeria, the solutions listed below must be looked into and implemented.

Establishment of more schools

Many schools overpopulated with students should be decongested to give room for effective teaching and learning.

Provision of furniture

The Federal and State Ministry of Education should review the design of desks and benches for pupils and teachers with greater attention given to the improved quality of materials for their production and the suitability of dimensions, shape, and style that will facilitate good sitting posture for reading and writing.

Provision of adequate instructional materials

  1. The government should arrange an adequate supply of science equipment and school teaching aids.
  2. Development of a well-stocked library in each school
  3. Provision of modern teaching audio-visual aids
  4. Parents should be encouraged to show interest in the education of their wards by providing necessary material support for effective teaching in schools.

The supervision of schools should be strengthened

Regular supervision is the most potent motivation that keeps workers more focused, consistent, and steadily improving.

A system of motivating teachers should be installed

  1. The government should endeavor to recruit more qualified teachers to restore greater effectiveness in teaching and learning
  2. The government should consider a rural teaching allowance as an incentive to reduce rural-urban drift in the teaching workforce.
  3. Residential quarters can be provided for the teachers in rural areas to encourage them to live in the village.
  4. Given incentives to teachers is one of the great ways to motivate them

Professional Education and Training

The best teachers never stop learning. A professional teacher is up-to-date with current educational thoughts and practices. Therefore, seminars should be organized regularly to review the following:

  1. The latest in teaching methodology
  2. Innovations in instructional technology
  3. Review of the syllabus in different subjects
  4. Code of ethics of the teaching profession

Read: History of education and its objectives

Bolarinwa Olajire

A tutor with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in analytical skills. Strong education professional with a M. SC focused in condensed matter. You can follow me on Twitter by clicking on the icon below to ask questions.

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