Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Nigerian university education is based on a centuries old system of knowledge organization, largely influenced by 19th century academic traditions. Universities are mushrooming all over the place, but most of them are lame at birth, while older ones are wallowing in basic infrastructure and facilities. Higher educational institutions in Nigeria are confronted with several challenges. It is a combination of limited access, increasing cost, decreasing quality, and inflexibility in course selection. These universities are confronted with several challenges, especially the government owned (public) universities. These challenges includes the following;
POOR HUMAN RESOURCES
Good quality universities feature world class teachers, researchers, and students, who invest in one another through stimulating lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences, and other academic activities. It’s unfortunate to mention that most of the human resources, both academic and non academics employed, employs on the basis of sentiments and no qualification. They are not rated according to their certificates and qualifications. It is obvious that the system will eventually collapse. Due to this shortage in the supply of human resources, classes are combined, which will eventually lead to the overcrowding of the lecture halls.
Our educational policies are not always reviewed. At other times even when we know that these policies are not working, they are not even reviewed. A good example is the educational needs of our various departments and faculties. New courses should be added to old exiting ones due to the dynamic nature of our society and environment. Also the content of most universities curriculum are static, they are not reviewed periodically to meet the yearning needs of our changing society. This makes learning old fashion and sometimes irrelevant.
University educational system in Nigeria is grossly under funded. This has lead to neglect of high profile structures and amenities. Financial restrictions also create problems that obstruct academic work, causing friction between the universities and the government, thus threatening the stability of institutions. The problems are more visible in the areas of faculty salaries, libraries, equipments, research and quality of students entering our universities today. Federal and state governments have consistently starved the education sector of funds, with the Federal Government allocating less than 10 per cent of the national budget to education, while states average below 15 per cent.
SOCIO / POLITICAL ISSUES
Political situation of the country also possess a great challenge to the Nigerian educational system. A peaceful atmosphere promotes effective learning and teaching process. The reverse is the case when the political situation and host communities where the universities are situated become hostile.
Actions such as strikes and industrial disputes often disrupt universities calendar, thereby putting the whole system at risk. During such periods, students sometimes engage in social vices. A typical example is the nation-wide ASUU strike of 2009 which lasted for a six months period as well as the 2011 strike which enveloped three months of the university calendar. Sometimes, such strikes could be peculiar to the school internal administration.