A comparison of education systems in Nigeria and the United States of America
The major purpose of this research study is contrived to determine and evaluate the historical backgrounds of Nigeria and the United States and its implications in the educational policies and systems of the two nations. Both these countries had their humble beginning under the British colonial administration. The United States is a developed nation while Nigeria is a developing country. The development of the United States schools antedates even the earliest immigrants to the new world in the
... e new world in the first quarter of the seventeenth century. The first thirteen states that 2 emerged in 1776 were from England and had had the firsthand knowledge of those educational policies and systems. The study has revealed that at least three percent of the male immigrants were university graduates of highly influential calibre. The opposite was the case in Nigeria. The consequence was that the American attitudes toward education follow European concepts. In Nigeria the pattern was to change from Nigerian concepts of education to the European concepts of education. Furthermore, the period the Americans were under their colonial masters was long enough to give them adequate preparations, financially and otherwise, to cope with any situation. The British rule of Nigeria lasted only sixty years as against one hundred and fifty-six years of British Rule in America with Britian historical background, culture and language. With Nigerians, the British started a new system whereas in America it was a transplantation of the system. The British colonial masters, perhaps because of what happened to them in America, were not interested in education of Nigerian children. Peter Enahoro recalled once thus; "In the Colonial days, the myth of the Government Scholar was understandable. The British didn't want to rush education. They built schools with reluctance. They didn't build a university until they had to use it as a bribe. And did everything underhanded to discourage the private students." When they began to help in Education, they introduced British educational policy and system. This was not done until 1925. The philosophy of education, naturally, is typically British. The real 3 education began with the missionaries in 1842. As in the United States in the seventeenth century, the kind of education first brought by the missions aimed primarily at religious education, and Nigerian education in the early stages was interwoven with evangelism. The missionaries relentlessly pursued efforts to educate the Nigerian people in spite of the difficulties encountered at the time. The ultimate aims and evolution of education in colonial Nigeria did not materialize until the Phelps-Stokes mission to Africa (1920-24) was undertaken. The British colonial administration produced a report which states in part, "Memorandum on Education Policy in British Tropical Africa. 11 In that report a comprehensive statement of policy of British education in her African territories was set down for the first time.