31 Dec 2012

The effects of the Nigerian Culture on Education, Intelligence & Creativity (part 4)

Another element of the Nigerian culture that affects the education of her people is the disposition of the majority towards sharing of knowledge.

Nigeria happens to be an environment where unhealthy competition has been allowed to inhibit what ideally ought to be a free flow of knowledge and information between people, with many such occurrences observed between students in higher institutions, lecturers and students, colleagues at work, and so on, all of which are areas of concern.

24 Dec 2012


This part goes further to examine other elements of the Nigerian culture which directly or indirectly affects the quality of education of her people.

21 Dec 2012


I had never questioned the essence of my getting an education until I got into the higher institution. When i was in primary school, and up until secondary school, I had always believed that I was going to school for various reasons; first, my parents wanted me to be somewhere while they worked. Second, I was there because I also wanted to be what my parents were, so that I’d also be going out in the morning and coming in at night like my parents did someday when I grow up. However, my rather naive thoughts began to change when I did get admission into the University of Lagos.

20 Dec 2012


The Nigerian culture as many understand is a rich and vastly diverse one, characterized with a number of prominent elements. For the purpose of this study, the elements with the most obvious effect on education are considered in succession and the identified effects are brought to the fore.

I must quickly mention that this work does not present a generalized viewpoint that applies to every single Nigerian and there exist a notable number of exceptions as is commonly obtainable in studies of this nature. It however presents a perspective that represents the bulk of Nigerians; especially students, stemming from firsthand experiences as a Nigerian student and some research that springs from a well grounded interest in the topic of discussion.

13 Dec 2012


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The role of education in the prosperity of a people cannot be overemphasized. In fact, it could be said that the prosperity of a nation is a direct function of the quality of education of her residents. This is vividly observable when the people especially leaders of the so called developed nations are understudied. Their education is a factor that consistently comes across in their judgement, their plans and ideas, their approach to problem solving, their creativity and on and on; the list is virtually inexhaustible.

12 Dec 2012

Lingua Franca

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The school recently just introduced a club system. For the first hour on Wednesday, the students were divided arbitrarily into groups and allotted a club. Some got the farming club to till the vegetable garden at the back of the school. Some are in the Drama club, dancing and acting their hearts out early in the morning. Some are in the reading club looking bleary eyed as a teacher keeps talking about the importance of reading. I have been assigned to the reading club as a support partner for the teacher in charge.

11 Dec 2012

Can Youth Unemployment Save Youth Education in Nigeria

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I always wanted to teach before I entered into my ‘proper’ career track. Before I moved to Nigeria, I applied to Teach For America. Teach for America is a programme that leverages the youth enthusiasm to contribute to society by placing them in schools serving predominantly underprivileged groups in
America. Teach for America hopes to create equal educational opportunity for children growing up in poverty.

10 Dec 2012

The Importance of History

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History means many things to many people, over the years scholars have debated on end with a view to providing a proper definition for a word so timeless. However it is generally agreed that History could either mean the past, or the study of the past. In the academic context, History simply means teaching the past to others; in most situations its either kids or grownups. Personally, drawing from all the definitions of history I have read, post modernist or ancient, I believe History to be the study of the past, and how it affects the future. The study of the past would be with the view to setting some sort of guideline which would provide an insight to the corrections to be made on past errors. Now am just saying this because it seems logical enough; as a historian, I have come to learn that the reason for reflection on the past is basically to smoothen the road to the future and balance the present. Maybe I am laying too much emphasis on “correcting wrongs”, maybe it all seems superfluous… I am writing this because I have noticed that History as a discipline has been relegated to the background in most academic institutions.

29 Nov 2012

Our Nation At Arms

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Giant of Africa... Bothered by a hoard of lilliputian... Sounds funny when you relate it to Gulliver's travels and his travails, however it seems like a very appropriate adjective to describe what is going on in our nation today. The Giant is slowly but surely bowing to the effects of the combined efforts of the little things that threaten to bring it to its knees. When I think of the problems we face in the country today, I wonder, how did we get here? How did this manage to catch us napping?. One would have thought that the woes of our past would have at least taught us a few lessons and thus effect a change in how things are done. However, it seems like the only thing that has happened is our leaders have perfected the act of playing us "wayo". There seems to be no end in sight for the suffering masses.

28 Nov 2012

More Than Teaching

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“I will slap you,” one of my male students yelled at his female classmate while I stood at the head of the classroom trying to establish general calm. I was first taken aback and then I realized this was another one of those teaching moments. One of the things I have realized about being a teacher is that it is more than just teaching. This is not just a public school thing.

When I was in secondary school, I struggled a bit with the emotional turmoil that came with being a teenager in an all-girls school. The only person that seems to be able to see me and hear me was my literature teacher. I remember sitting and talking to him, all through my secondary school days. He was never judgemental. Ten years later, I still call him when I have pressing concerns I need to talk about.

27 Nov 2012

Free Education

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About 4 weeks ago, shortly after we resumed from the mid-term break, I noticed a line in front of the counselor’s office. The students gathered round with their parents. They were holding brooms, hoes and the textbooks for mathematics and English. These students were registering for admission into the Senior Secondary School. It is now two weeks to the end of school and this scene has all but disappeared. The random lone student carrying their registration material as they approach the counselor’s office has replaced it. Apart from the hoes, brooms and textbooks, they will also be responsible for providing their own furniture.

26 Nov 2012

Who is a Public Teacher?

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I was in a bit of a shock when I first started teaching. I was so unsure of what approach to take. During my first weeks at the school, it had been examination period so I did not think much about the actual process of teaching. Then, before I knew it, the meager holiday was over and it was time to step into the classroom and teach. There were a few complicating factors; the previous teacher had a baby over the holiday so she was not there to show me the ropes. Also, I was scared of teaching because I was not conversant with current curriculum for literature. Even when I was told the book to teach, the fact of the matter is that my degree may say literature but my actual area of expertise is writing. Luckily, I called my mentor who also happened to have been my literature teacher when I was in secondary school. He connected me with the current literature teacher who recommended that I get Exam Focus for Literature. I was extremely grateful for the advice.

21 Nov 2012

Settling the NYSC Debate

The Debate

There have been a lot of arguments about the merits of our National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program and both sides have their points. 

The advocates are quick to point out:

NYSC: Post Camp Survival Guide

 So I have found it necessary to share this with the newly posted corp members in various states who are still in camp now. I do hope you have enjoyed every moment you have spent in camp till date, and I hope you participated in one way or the other in the different activities usually lined up for corp members during orientation. By now, most of you would be gearing up for the end of the orientation program, and subsequently, the winding up ceremony; some would have already began to speculate where they feel they would be posted, particularly those who might have taken part in one sport or the other, or been a part of the OBS crew and all that. I think there is more for “otondos” to take note of when you finally leave


So I decided to digress a bit from my usual rant on the decay in our system of education, my displeasure with the NYSC in kwara, and I thought it would be best to write about something I have always wanted to share with students in the tertiary institution (see me writing like one grandma, I only just finished my first degree), I wish I was in school, because I’d have found it easier to get “in the zone” and preach, but since I have been through school i think I would be able to pass my message across. I do hope all Nigerian youths in the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education who might read this would please not take what I’m about to write out of context, and would reflect on it.


As an otondo in camp I was able to pick a thing or two from the words that were said to us during the series of lectures organized to give us a proper orientation about what the next one year was going to look like for us. I must admit, I must have dozed off a couple of times when these lectures were held, but each time I opened my eyes, cursing the NYSC officials for “drying” us under the sun while they took shade under the pavilion, one particular thing seemed to always get my attention. There was a sort of dedication of most parts of the lecture(s) to reminding us corp members that we had a duty to play wherever we were

19 Nov 2012

Arise oh compatriots ... Or not

Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Morning this Morning, "Arise oh Compatriots". I just recalled the wording of our nations anthem, and something stirred up within me. Arise oh Compatriots? Nigeria’s Call Obey? Who is Nigeria anyways? I remember in camp, during the orientation exercise for the National Youth Service Corp, the soldiers always told us Nigeria went to sleep at 6pm and woke up by 6am and this was always signified with the sounding of the beagle. Nigeria’s call obey? Youths obey the clarion call?

Sports and Education: Ways to make it work

 As a child I loved sports, I loved to watch athletes sprint, and jump, and dart across the court playing tennis, wrestle, box etc. I loved a lot of sporting activities. I loved it so much I was a member of my school's athletic team both in primary school and secondary school. In fact, I was always ecstatic whenever it was time for P.H.E (physical health education), and we had to do the "practical" aspect. I loved giving my mates "gap(s)" as we sprinted down the 100m stretch on our school field. Even now, my best moments in school that I recall were the times I spent taking part in sports. My love for sports lives though, but my participation in sports came to an end when I gained admission into the tertiary institution.

The purpose of education (freestyle)

 Education is not and should not be about providing all the 'answers', it should be about empowering one to be a part of finding the 'answers' (I don't believe in the 'concept of absolutes'; therefore, going by the premise- that 'absolutes don't exist', I'd say that no answer is absolutely complete or fully explains anything/everything and none should be treated as such)

The purpose of education is not to destroy creativity

What is an Anwaru?

 It was Friday; it should have been a normal day. Alas, there is nothing like a normal day when you are a teacher. As has become the norm, I arrived at school and had a breakfast of bread and boiled egg with Ribena. I had my roasted peanuts for a mid-day snack. I engaged in petty conversations with the other teachers while waiting for my classes at the tail end of the school day. I went to the SS1 class to teach during the last period. I was drained already but I knew I had to discipline them because a good portion was not up-to-date on their notes. With my

Education in Nigeria: Back To The Drawing Board

In the world today, it is a generally held belief that education plays an important role in the level of development achievable by any society. While in some quarters some might still disagree with this notion, it is important to note that an educated group of people might have little or nothing to contribute to the growth of whatever community in which they are members. Now when I say Education, I don't necessarily mean being "highly learned" or possessing various qualifications from the best institutions of learning; I simply mean having a

NYSC: Tales of a Kwara Corper - 2

Opeyemi's NYSC Images
 The general belief when one leaves camp (I presume it is general because everyone thinks it) is that after the orientation corp members would be ferried away to places comfortable enough to be called a house, not necessarily a home, but a house nonetheless. Most corp members never expect what is coming when they leave camp. Especially pertaining to accommodation. Some corp members who have relatives in the states where they are posted to serve might not really understand what it is to be stranded in another man's land, if I might use such a term, without a place to lay ones head. In Kwara state here, the issue of accommodation is one that needs to be addressed.

NYSC: Tales of a Kwara Corper

My first day outside Yikpata camp in Kwara state as I recall it now was not so much to be happy about. I recall not wanting to do anything asides from update myself on what had been going on in the world on the web (there had been no internet service in camp)... I didn't pay attention to what I was meant to and I paid dearly for it days later. Initially I was posted to Ilorin East Local Government, which was the "dream" of many "otondos" while we were in camp. I was posted to the Kwara State Polytechnic, and I was glad for it, thinking all I had to do was just report and I'd get accepted, carry on with my clearance and move back home to my family.

Omu - Part 2

Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Tunde awoke for the second time that night to soft chants carried on a warm breeze. His eyes opened to the robust moon overhead, the only light in a sea of black ink. Images swam before his eyes, and settled to reveal a truly mortifying scene. Several men were standing in a ring around a long table upon which a red bundle was squirming against tightly bound ropes. The men wore flowing black cloaks, with the exception of one in white, which Tunde could tell from his stature and posture was the Baale. Another man in a red cloak circled the struggling body in the centre. Tunde tried to rise to his feet, but a sharp pain in his shoulders had him return to his sitting position. He was tied to the trunk of a large tree, forced to watch the spectacle in front of him. The men continued to chant in hushed tones, slowly increasing the pace and volubility of the chant till they were almost shouting. A few of

Omu - Part 1

Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

A dizzying, searing pain in his head reminded Tunde Gbadebo he was alive. He felt like his world had been shifted off its axis and spun twice as fast. As the black curtains were lifted from his vision, he found himself in a small room dimly lit by a kerosene lamp that was dying out. He sat upright and looked around, one hand rubbing his forehead furiously. He found that he could remember nothing at all. “I could be hungover”, he thought, but something within him knew that wasn’t true. “Calm down,” he thought to himself, “Deep breaths.” He tried to breathe evenly and slowly but his heart hammered against his chest like typewriter keys on paper. What if he had been kidnapped? His parents had lived in fear of that for the first 8 years of his life, until his sister had been conceived and his father was transferred to New York. He looked down at his hands, and knew that no kidnapper would leave his victim unbound. So what had happened? So he decided to start with simple facts and work outwards.

18 Nov 2012

What's Next?

Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net
 As I have noted I am currently completing my service year teaching in a public school. This experience has really opened my eyes to the many inadequacies of the educational system in Nigeria. One of the things I am finding disheartening is not at the secondary school level but at the tertiary level. A lot of students that finish secondary school never quite make into university because of many barriers.  I feel like a fraud sometimes when I tell my students that they just have to pas WAEC and JAMB to make it into university or polytechnic.

The Married Women’s Training Institute for the Intending.

There is something about putting a bunch of women in one room; it creates a level of community. A majority of the staff at the school I teach are women. The number of corps member also skews towards a female majority. One thing that has become quite clear, after a few months, is that the teachers consider it part of their responsibilities to instill in the female corps members ‘proper’ etiquettes.


This past week I have spent quite a bit of time looking through the essay I asked my students to write on their ten-year plan. At this point in my tenure as a teacher, I am able to put a face to my students’ names. I am lucky that I only teach about 70 students so I don’t have as many faces and names to memorize as other teachers. Being able to put faces to names means that when I am marking I can gauge if the work is independently done or they have been ‘assisted’.

I was really surprised when I started reading an essay and it was relatively coherent. I looked at the name and I was curious how the young man had

UNILORIN - Entrepreneurship and Engineering

My name is Qazeem and I love technology. I finished from the department of electrical and electronics engineering at Univeristy of Ilorin in 2012. I'm very passionate about impacting the lives of people. I want to be a leader and achieve things  that will benefit society. This very passion helped earn an award as Entrepreneur of the year in 2011 from the junior chamber international (JCI Ilorin Chapter).

I drew inspiration from the award and decided to design and construct a 3KVA power inverter for my final year project. To me it was an opportunity to learn about inverters and possibly start a small business upon graduation selling and installing inverters. Given the fact that jobs are hard to find in Nigeria, having the option of self

UNILAG - The Young and the Inadequate

In July of 2009, yours truly had just graduated young and starry eyed from a typical unremarkable secondary school in Lagos. The plan was simple, I had already achieved a more than decent score in the UTME (It was still called UME back then), and I just needed to ace the forthcoming Post-UME exams and secure myself a spot in UNILAG, studying a course I wasn’t too passionate about, but seemed an appropriate choice at the time, as I wasn’t too passionate about pretty much everything. So, when exam day rolled around, I was prepared,

Ten year plan

Ten years ago, I was a sixteen-year-old SS3 student at a small private school in Festac Town, Lagos. Ten years later, I challenged my SS3 students with an essay asking them to create a ten-year plan. It has been a difficult task for them because quite a few have no idea what comes next.  

When I look at my students’ essays, I am amazed at how many have great plans. Beneath the layers of bad grammar, bad spellings, no punctuations, and countless structural issues, many students have expressed a desire for grand careers. I can’t help but cringe because I realize that just a

First Day

I remember my first day as a teacher clearly. I was dressed in an Ankara print gown. As I was resuming on a Friday, I figured it was best I assimilated as quickly as possible. Hence, I was in the traditional attire. I arrived at the school in April during the final exams for the second term. I was quickly assigned to invigilate one of the SS1 classes. On arrival at the class, I was in shock.

Let me give you a little background at this point. I am a former student of a public school myself. I attended Queen’s College, Yaba, in the 1990s. I resumed Queen’s College in the days when classroom size in the Junior Secondary School level was hovering above a hundred students to one classroom. Somehow, the classes still

Cool Apps for your Smart Phone

So, you have an iPhone. You’ve heard of all the amazing things it can do, but you don’t know how to harness its full potential. For that, you need apps, and with over 300,000 and counting apps in the App Store, finding the best ones is a Herculean task. Never fear, I’m here to help. This is a list of some apps that I think are highly useful, fun or just simply cool. And even better, they’re free, or most of them anyway.

17 Nov 2012

Debriefing of an NYSC Teacher: Held Back

She seemed unstable; her eyes were soaked in tears. The tears brimmed over the edge of her lashes but did not roll over. She threw her head back to stop the tears from rolling down. Her hands frantically wiped at the tears. As she walked away, her steps were clumsy and she looked like she would fall over in a moment. The staff room was quiet as we all watched her leave.

Dark Knight Rises review

[Editors Note: This article was written by Ranti on the 29th of July, when our work-study program was   still in the incubator phase. Being posted now so it counts towards Ranti's work-study submissions. Thx] 

Eight years after a memorable clash with Heath Ledger’s The Joker, Batman (Christian Bale) is back in the cape and eye make-up for Christopher Nolan’s finale to one of the most memorable superhero trilogies in modern day cinema. Tended to patiently by ever loyal Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), Bruce Wayne has sunk into a hermitic lifestyle after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes as Two-face, a noble deed which has numerous criminals behind bars and off the streets of now peaceful Gotham City. However, a new threat, in the form of menacing and formidable villain Bane (Tom Hardy) arises, Wayne must don the mask to protect Gotham once again.

The film begins in a grandiose manner, featuring a plane hijacking, and the kidnap of a nuclear scientist set to composer Hans Zimmer’s percussion-heavy score. Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) is dealing with the guilt of silence while Harvey Dent is celebrated as a martyr. Anne Hathaway makes a splendid entrance

8 Nov 2012

Do people still do this???

With full respect i persuade you not no to get upset with this message as i just need a partner in my business Funmi Williams is my name am a Nigerian living and working in Manchester City, UK.I work with WALMART as an Auditor, am looking for someone to work with me as regards the sales of Iphone 5gs, BB Bold5 phones in Nigeria ,I have many links of getting at almost free of charge and i also make make paper order for the stated items some times on my own, but here is no place for supply for such items without company registration and the stuffs is of low value here no one will buy from me when the store is out there so i need someone to be my partner. kindly let me know if we can work together so we can talk about the sharing formula of the income and the postage of the goods +44702****** or send me message on akin****@gmail.com.

2 Nov 2012

A Back-to-school Guide for the Student who doesn’t want to go back to School.

Being at home during the holidays is perfection right? Freedom to do whatever you want; eat endlessly, watch all those TV shows you missed out on, hang out with your family and friends while you have actual fun, cuddle with your significant other in gorgeous Kodak moments, the list is infinite. Then tragedy strikes in form of a new semester and thoughts of all those endlessly long lectures, pop quizzes, draining walks in


You record a video of yourself reading a classic Shakespeare comedy in your native tongue.

You upload it onto YouTube

Time passes and suddenly your name is everywhere across the internet, Soon it leaks into the real world and you become quite famous for a while.

You have made yourself a viral sensation.

19 Oct 2012

Damola on Scholarships

Damola Anjorin, University of Ibadan PTDF scholarship recipient
scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.

Recently we interviewed one of the current beneficiaries of the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) Scholarship, Damola Anjorin , a 500 Level student of electrical/electronic engineering department at the University of Ibadan. Prior to meeting Damola, my perception of recipients of scholarships managed by the Nigerian government was:

The Big Bad Wolf

Courtesy nixxphotography/freedigitalphotos.net
Something all fresh-faced first-year undergraduates in Nigeria never fail to hear on a loop from their parents and other appropriately nosy adults is “Don’t join a ‘bad gang’” It is as much a mantra to the parents, who love their offspring more than life, as it is balderdash to said offspring who are poised and ready to fly away from the confines of Mommy’s onion scented hug.

When they get into the great ‘Uni’, they realize that their parents’ fear is very real and quite unexpectedly, it becomes theirs. They swerve between

When the NUC Nukes.

The National Universities Commission was established in 1962 as an advisory agency in the Cabinet Office.  However in 1974, it became a statutory body and the first Executive Secretary, in the person of Prof. Jibril Aminu was then appointed. The National Universities Commission (NUC) is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Education (FME). The Commission has a Governing Council, its Executive Secretary is Prof. Julius A. Okojie, who assumed office on August 3, 2006.

In its over 47 years of existence, the Commission has transformed from a small office in the cabinet office to an important arm of government in the area of development and management of university education in Nigeria.          

The NYSC & The North.

The recent posting of Batch B corps members into the crisis-ridden north has elicited  mixed, if not completely negative feelings amongst the "corpers”, and the country as a whole. The northern states in Nigeria are notorious for their riots and also as a hub of activity for resident terrorist group; Boko Haram who express their want for religious equality by killing innocent lamb. After spending three months at home patiently waiting for their call up letters, several of these freshly graduated students have been asked to plunge themselves into the red zones of Yobe, Borno, Plateau or Kaduna State for a mandatory year-long service.

18 Oct 2012

Introducing the 9JEducation Blog

Arise, O Compatriots

"To complement the efforts of government, l therefore urge all teachers, parents, guardians and other relevant stakeholders in the education sector to rise up and support the government in all its endeavours to enable the country achieve its target of transforming the education sector. "

-- Nigerian Minister of Education, Prof Ruqquyat Rufa’i

The Problem
Nigerian education system is a battle field claiming the lives of our young on a daily basis both