Education is one of the major concerns of an effective government. Thus, high-quality education delivers high-quality specialists who perform their work effectively and productively contributing to the overall wealth and prosperity, in such a manner. In this respect, the quality of education determines largely the efficiency of the state’s economy. This paper offers a comparative analysis of two educational systems: the US educational system and Nigerian educational system. These two systems will be further compared by several criteria including but not limited to demographics and statistics, education system structure, teachers, curriculum, and the students and the environment. A special focus will be likewise placed on explaining the causes of all the differences between these two systems that will be defined in the course of this comparative analysis.
From a formal perspective, the USA education has a series of advantages over Nigerian education. Thus, for instance, the USA demonstrates a larger number of teachers per 1000 students (5.49 as opposed to 3.59), substantially higher population literacy (99% as opposed to 68%), and a lower number of children who do not attend primary schools (1.76 million as opposed to 11.13 million) . The length of compulsory education in Nigeria is longer than that of compulsory education in the USA (nine years as opposed to twelve years), although the length of primary education is similar in both states (6 years). The defined above advantages of the US education over Nigerian education is primarily determined by the crucial difference in the size of the government spending on education (5.62% as opposed to 3.06%) .
The second difference between the US and Nigerian education systems is their structure. As defined above, the US compulsory education duration is twelve years which include six years of primary education and six years of secondary education (middle school and high school). Nigeria has likewise shifted towards the US education format, though the education is only compulsory for primary and middle school students (6-15 years old). Higher education in America id divided in three major levels: Undergraduate, Graduate (in pursuit of Master’s Degree), and graduate (in pursuit of Doctorate degree). Nigeria likewise offers three forms of higher education: postsecondary (non-university training for technical jobs), higher technical (education in technical colleges or polytechnics), and degree-granting institution education (which is likewise divided into bachelor degree and higher degrees).
From the standpoint of teacher education, both Nigeria and the USA require their teacher to complete special education (a college of education or a university) and get the relevant diploma to be admitted for teaching. in the USA, teachers get their accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE); in Nigeria, they obtain it from The National Commission. Once a Nigerian teacher receives the National Certificate in Education (NCE), he or she is eligible for teaching in secondary schools and technical colleges. To teach at higher levels, the teacher needs to acquire the Technical Teachers Certificate or a higher degree (e.g., Bachelor). Due to the drastic gap between the size of government spending on education, there is likewise a substantial gap in the size of teacher salaries in the two states ($150 per month as opposed to more than $3000 per month).
Another distinctive difference between the two education systems is curriculum. Thus, whereas the US curriculum is completely secular, the curriculum in Nigerian school education is strongly faith-based. This curriculum has a strong implication for encouraging Nigerians to embrace one of the two religions (Christianity or Islam). The Nigerian government has made some attempts to change the situation and to reduce the faith-based appeal, yet, these efforts did no bring any significant results and the Nigerian education system preserved its religious character. As a result, a large portion of educated individuals in Nigeria are religious (mainly Christians or Muslims).
Finally, the last distinctive different between the US and Nigerian education system is the associated environment and the way these two systems address the needs of the students. In this respect, the central idea incorporated in the US education system is that school education is all inclusive meaning that it should be made available to as many diverse populations as possible. In Nigeria, however, the access to education varies depending on a specific territory. Thus, for instance, some Muslim dominated territories are characterized by the active discrimination of female rights (girls education is completely neglected). The environment is also characterized by the corruption: its high level in Nigeria is likewise relevant to the education system so that many students demonstrate better achievements which do not reflect their true knowledge level.
To summarize, it can be seen that most differences between the US and Nigerian systems of education described in this paper are, to a larger or smaller extent, explained by the critical gap between the sizes of government spending on education. Thus, for instance, the number of teachers per 1000 individuals (which is significantly lower in Nigeria) is directly correlated with financial causes. Cultural implications likewise play an important role in determining the character of education and the associated environment. The most distinctive example of this is the complete secularization of education in the USA and, in contrast to this, strong faith-based implications related to Nigerian education system. Cultural factors further affect the curriculum and its content and, thus, affect the effectiveness of the entire education in the long run. The implicit effect on education and the associated environment in Nigeria is likewise produced by the corrupted administrative and regulation systems.
- Country vs country: Nigeria and United States compared: Education stats. Nation Master. http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/compare/Nigeria/United-States/Education. Published n. d.. Accessed October 13, 2018.