Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Education education education

The Fed Govt currently spends approx 0.76% of its annual budget on education (according to the Ministry of Education's own figures). As historical context, the Central Bank of Nigeria has figures which show that government expenditure on education fell by 78 percent in real terms between 1980 to 1998.

Compare these figures to South Africa, which regularly dedicates over 20% (yes TWENTY PERCENT) of its annual budget to education. Or compare to Ghana, which according to this site, weighs in at 22%. The British Government usually devotes around 5%.

According to World Bank figures, the average expenditure for Sub-Saharan Africa is 15.89%.

Now I don't have time to do the full research and dig out a magical table showing all countries in the world and what percentage of their budget (there's some interesting tables on the OECD's site here) goes on education, but spending less that 1% when developed countries are spending over 5 times as much and other developing countries over twenty times as much is revealing, to say the least. Where can happen to a country that continues to devalue education so much?

5 comments:

Anonymous,  3:21 a.m.  

damn thats an ugly and depressing stat. the states need to pick up the slack and do for thier people since the feds are idiots

culturalmiscellany 6:31 a.m.  

What continues to astonish me is the UK's expenditure on education given that vast swathes of the population aren't interested in receiving it.

I joined the tutorial group of my latest Open University course on Tuesday night and found myself to be the only English person there. This doesn't bother me in the fact that its a multicultural class as it will definitely liven the social science discussions. However, I do continually worry that none of my English friends are interested in education that is available at what is realistically a very low cost. I understand everyone leads busy lives but the material the OU has is fantastic and so cheap.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as much as we want educational spending to be linked to educational takeup it rarely is. People have to fundamentally want to learn to make the expenditure worthwhile.

I agree that Nigeria currently spends too little as its probably not catering for all those who currently want to learn. But, I'd question whether aiming for the UK's figure of 5% is sensible.

Chxta 10:52 a.m.  

I'd like to say : What can happen to a country that continues to devalue education so much?

And the answer to that: A lot of bullshit!

Chxta 10:53 a.m.  

@ Culturalmiscellany, wait until you see my school...

Shango,  4:59 p.m.  

Education is highly overrated, look at Jeremy (sorry bros, couldn't help taking a good-natured swipe. :-).

Seriously, I believe the only hope Nigeria and all of Africa has lies in educating its masses and not just superficially either. People there, more than anywhere else the world over, need critical thinking skills.

That said, simply throwing good money after bad isn't the answer either. A critical evaluation of the educational system is required, after which money can and should(!) be spent. Alas, the human and mental infrastructure doesn't exist. How does one go about resolving that problem?

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