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Nigeria, prospects and hopes of schooling

To be a child in Nigeria is both beautiful and satisfying to a large extent then ugly and dissatisfying for the rest of it.

Respect for elders is deeply ingrained with children often growing up surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Children are raised with a strong sense of community, with neighbors and family friends playing significant roles in their upbringing too. Oral tradition is strong, with parents and elders passing down folktales, proverbs, and songs. In the old days, grandparents would often sit the children by a fire or outside under the moon and tell them tales. These stories often carry moral lessons, reflect cultural values and guide the mind of a child on how to live. But overtime this tradition has been overhauled with recent families embracing the western way of life.


Children participate in various cultural and religious festivals, such as Eid, Christmas, and local festivals like the Osun-Osogbo Festival. These events provide opportunities for cultural immersion and community bonding with children socializing on the streets with other kids where exposure teaches them the Nigerian pidgin language. Many Nigerian children grow up multilingual, learning their ethnic language at home, English at school, and often Pidgin English in social settings. This linguistic diversity enhances cognitive abilities and cultural awareness.


In Nigeria, disciplining a child is very tolerated and mandatory in raising a child with parents often promoting the saying “sparing the rod, spoiling the child”,  unlike their foreign counterparts who are viewed as impaled on the forefront of morals due to the lack of appropriate disciplinary measures.

Even young children have daily chores, such as fetching water, sweeping and cleanup duties, and helping with younger siblings. These tasks serve a purpose of instilling a sense of responsibility and contribution to household functioning.


In Nigeria, a child is not raised to believe he/she can invite the police on his or her parents for disciplining them and this has been both positively and negatively influencing. Children are very careful not to err and therefore put on their best behaviours. On the other hand, over abusive parents capitalize on this fact and abuse their children a lot.


A significant number of Nigerian children live in poverty, which affects their access to education, nutrition, and healthcare. Malnutrition, malaria, and other preventable diseases are prevalent, especially in rural areas. Efforts have been made by the government and NGOs aimed at improving health outcomes, but gaps remain. Many children lack access to clean water and proper sanitation, leading to waterborne diseases.


Education for a Nigerian child is a poor effort. Nigerian schools follow a national curriculum that usually greatly falls behind that of her international counterparts. Students have to also cope with learning in overcrowded classrooms in ratio to inadequate learning materials, and shouldered by underpaid teachers. You will find classrooms of 50 to 80 students in spaces desgned for 40. These numbers are too much for a single teaher to monitor and hence becomes difficult for the teaher to keep up with the progress of every single student.


Access to education varies significantly. Urban areas generally have better access to schools and educational resources, while rural areas may struggle with insufficient infrastructure and teacher shortages. Parents who are capable proceed to apply for extra lessons for their children and those who can’t, settle for what they have. Some children find it difficult to study at home due to poor supply of power and even classrooms sometimes are dark with no provision of electricity. But this is mainly common in the rural areas. While primary education is almost officially free and compulsory, economic challenges and cultural factors can impact enrollment and attendance. Children in some regions may drop out to support their families or due to forced early marriages. Despite these challenges, many children show remarkable resilience and determination to learn.


Street hawking and child labor are coping mechanisms for some families, and this exposes children to exploitation and harm. These children pushed to the streets are sometimes kidnapped, ritualised, or exposed to other demeaning acts.

In regions affected by conflict, such as the Northeast due to Boko Haram insurgency, children face additional hardships including displacement, trauma, and disruption of education.


The country’s diversity means that no single narrative can capture every child’s experience. However, the resilience, adaptability, and hope that Nigerian children embody are universal. As Nigeria continues to develop, addressing the disparities in education, healthcare, and economic opportunity will be crucial in ensuring that every child can reach their full potential. This i hope.

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