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Author Name: Anthony Obuegbe
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It has been said that education is the best legacy a country can give to her citizens, while illiteracy... (0) Comment

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Education is essential for Nigeria's economic success
Author: Anthony Obuegbe | July 21, 2014

It has been said that education is the best legacy a country can give to her citizens, while illiteracy is the greatest epidemic. Nigeria has made significant progress along the path to achieving the goal of beating illiteracy since achieving full independence from Britain in 1963, but there is still a long way to go. Today, as many of you will be aware, the education system is managed by the state and under the Universal Education Act (UBA) of 2004, having your child attend primary school for the first six years is compulsory. However, it has been estimated that around 4.7 million primary school age children (6 to 11 years of age) do not receive any form of formal education, which represents 40% of this age group. The figures for the northern region are the worst in the country, especially when the number of girls is taken into account. The ratio of boys to girls attending school is 1 to 2, rising to 1 to 3 in the north. One of the chief problems the country has had to face, especially over the past decade, is the massive increase in population; 40% is now aged 15 or under. This has put a huge strain not only on the education system, but also on infrastructure and public services. It is clear that the government has a number of difficult decisions to make if the country is to sustain strong economic growth over the long-term. Enrollment numbers are rising steadily, but in some areas there are simply not enough schools to cope and there is also a shortage of teachers. The government has embarked on a program to fund the refurbishment and rebuilding of derelict schools and to provide essential equipment such as desks and chairs; however, the amount being spent is widely regarded as being lower than that of many other countries in the region. One of the greatest assets the country has is a vibrant youthful population that will undoubtedly put increasing pressure on Nigerian institutions to provide a world class education system. This age group is renowned for being impatient for change, curious, hardworking and ambitious; precisely the traits required by this country if it is to achieve its maximum potential over the long-term. One of the ways philanthropic business leaders are trying to help is by setting up organizations that identify and nurture talented students, helping them become future leaders in a range of fields that include commerce and politics. The African Leadership Academy is one such organization, which âseeks to transform Africa by identifying, developing, and connecting the next generation of African leaders'. To find out more, simply search online African Leadership Academy info. Nigeria already has a number of incredibly successful entrepreneurs to shout about. Alexander Amosu made a million dollars by the time he was 24. His first company, RnB Ring Tones, grossed $1.5 million in its first year and in 2004 was sold for $15m. Meanwhile, 38 year old Sim Sagaya founded, West Africa's biggest e-commerce company, in 2012 and has already raised over $38m from a group of investors. Despite all the problems, Nigerians can be proud of the fact that the country's education system is moving slowly in the right direction and that there is a wealth of hungry young entrepreneurs ready and waiting for their turn to make their first million.

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