1 Indiana State University (UNITED STATES)
2 TGI Group Tropical General Investment Group Plot 1, TGI, Ilupeju, Oshodi- Apapa Expressway (NIGERIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 222-227
ISBN: 978-84-09-45476-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2022.0096
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
The COVID-19 pandemic took Nigeria, like the rest of the world, by surprise. The dire situation of education in the country became more evident as neither Nigerian school, students, teachers, or school boards were prepared to face the outstanding challenge of providing students with education during the 6-month long lockdown.

Nigeria is the country with the most out-of-school children in the world. At least 10,5 million Nigerian children do not attend school regularly [1], and 1 out of every 5 children out of school lives in Nigeria [2]. Nigeria is the 14th oil producer in the world; nonetheless, the enormous wealth brought by oil revenues has not spilled over to the Nigerian people. The share of the Nigerian GDP allocated to education is one of the lowest of the region, with only 5.7% of the national budget earmarked for education in 2021 [1]. Furthermore, there is a high regional inequality in Nigeria: The poverty rate of the north-western states of the country is much higher than the poverty rate in the south. This situation translates into a much lower educational attainment in the north of the country than in the south.

Aims of this study:
This study aims to analyze the response of the Nigerian education sector to the COVID-19 crisis. Two approaches are employed: The first one is a qualitative document analysis involving the response of schools in the whole country, and the second one is a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews of 25 headteachers of the southwestern states of Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Lagos and Ekiti.
School boards were unable to respond to the crisis in a consistent manner, as the more affluent schools could provide distance education to students who own devices like iPads, laptops, and smartphones, while other schools instructed their students to follow lessons broadcasted on radio or TV. Students from disadvantaged households who lacked access to the media and did not own gadgets could not follow the offered lessons and were thus left behind. While all students were affected by the lockdown due to Nigeria’s run-down infrastructure (i.e., intermittent electricity, unreliable internet connections), students from disadvantaged households, students with disabilities and girls in rural schools were the hardest hit.
The COVID-19 crisis not only made the shortcomings of the Nigerian educational system evident, but it also reproduced patterns of social injustice, further excluding the most disadvantaged students from instruction. Nigeria is unprepared to face disruptions like the COVID-19 crisis, as its infrastructure is decrepit, its teachers are not prepared to deliver online instruction and far from all students own the devices needed to participate in distance education. Nigeria has a long way to go to attain the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

[1] Madueke, O., Iheonu, A., & Emmanuel, O.E. (2020).Post Covid-19 Pandemic Nigeria: Implications for Good Governance and Development, Journal of Public Administration and Social Welfare Research Vol. 5 No. 2, January 2020.
[2] UNICEF (2022), Warns of Nigeria education crisis as world celebrates International Day of Education amid COVID-19 concerns, January 24, 2022.
Nigeria education, online education, social inequality Nigeria, COVID-19 Nigeria.