This study looked at the impact of policy on the running of educational system in Nigeria. Attempt was made to find out what went wrong in the system generally with a view to finding ways of correcting the wrong ways the system was run. A random sample of opinions were collected through the use of questionnaire. One hundred and twenty questionnaires were used to get the view of the respondents on the issues raised in the research questions. It was recommended that education should no longer be used as political tool to collect votes during election. Also it was found that parents, private schools and corporate bodies should be involved in the running of the country’s educational system. Based on the major findings and the discussion on the findings it is recommended that, politics should be minimally involved in the long time planning and execution of educational programmes in the country.




Title page                                                       i

Certification                                                    ii

Dedication                                                      iii

Acknowledgement                                            iv

Abstract                                                         v

Table of Content                                              vi



1.1  Background to the Study                                  1

1.2  Statement of the Problem                          3

1.3  Purpose of the Study                                 4

1.4  Research Questions                                   4

1.5  Significance of the Study                           5

1.6  Delimitation                                             5




2.0  Introduction                                             6

2.1  Education and Politics                                7

2.2  The Concept of Educational Policy               11

2.3  Influence of Politics on Education                14

2.4. Education, Politics, Democracy and Economy       17

2.5  Structure and Management of the

Education System                                     22

  • Factors that have Influenced Education

over the Years Historical Factors                 28



3.1  Introduction                                             34

3.2  Instrument of Data Collected                      34

3.3  Data Analysis                                           34



4.1  Presentation and Analysis of Data                35




5.1  Summary                                                48

5.2  Discussion of the Finding                           50

5.3  Recommendation of Findings                      52

5.4  Conclusion                                               53

References                                               55

Appendix                                                 58



At the dawn of 2002, Nigeria was still uncertain where it was headed.

In other words, her destination is still unknown—Nigeria, particularly that of the educational sector to the merry years of military misrule.

There is a common feeling that the Military neglected the Universities because of their opposition to military rule.

But with the re-emergence of civil rule, the nation’s educational institutions are still in shambles today, with University professors still not being paid on time (some may argue that the Universities have started to claw their way back to normalcy with the reprise of civil rule, not democracy. (Boling February 1, 2002). But that remains to be seen! And society is also being rocked by labour unrests prompted by nonpayment of salaries, among other factors. The latest strike action was the police, which the federal government branded” and an act of mutiny” (The Guardian online Feb2, 2002, also see Chiahemen, Reuter February 2 2002). If strictly speaking, there is no such thing as democracy in Nigeria; it is because its past and its present history have become so interwoven into crises, which has often left the commoner in the constant struggle for survival.

But for the riches and powerful corrupt politicians, things are very rosy. The role of the ordinary person in the making of democracy is, generally speaking, not regarded or not known at all after casting his/her vote. And after the possible contributions of the people who struggled, and are still struggling, for the sustenance of democracy in the society have escaped the eyes of those who managed to rig their way into political office.

This is a terrible deviation from the norm. Nigeria is suffering terribly for that, with socio-political and economic crises strewn all over the society like a straw hat in a typhoon. This research study attempts to bring into the public domain the state of education in Nigeria and its effect on the polity. With facts, judgement and understanding of the issues facing the nation, the paper argues that the survival of Nigeria as a viable society will depend on the health of her educational instillations and how well the Professors and support staff are treated; it portrays the state of education in Nigeria as a public health issue.

As Nigerians struggle to tame the psychosocial beast known as corruption, they have particularly beamed the searchlight on the behaviour of public officials (Civil servants, Military and Police personnel, elected officials) and former public officials, contractors, and business associates of public officials.

However, one sector of society that has escaped the penetrating searchlight is education. The educational sector seems to escape critical observation regarding the conduct of educational bureaucrats, administrators of various educational institutions and the faculty.

It is argued that the educational sector is as corrupt as the public and private sectors. Therefore, the war on corruption cannot be won without making a determined effort to purge the educational sector and whatever happens in the educational sector affects the society at large.

Those in the educational sector learn and adopt predominant values generated by the educational sector.

It is necessary to clean the educational sector since education is the second or third most powerful and effective instrument of socialization; indeed, after the family and possibly religion, education follows as the most important agent of socializing children and youth.

As a result, if children and youths are not properly socialized, they are very likely to adopt destructive social values.

As can be seen, Nigerian youths, for the past twenty or more years, have increasingly adopted habits and tendencies that are destructive to social harmony because the values in society tend to push them in that direction.

Most of these habits and tendencies are eating deeply into the philosophy and moral foundation of education.

Today’s educational sector seems to produce graduates who are not sufficiently disciplined and equipped with the appropriate academic and professional skills, hence have no qualms about breaking the law, perceptively looking for shortcuts to amass wealth and become more morally bankrupt.

These developments are products associated with corruption in the educational sector, and society continues to spread corruption around.

More likely than not, it will be necessary for us to take a cursory look at “Politics, Policy, and change in Nigeria”. In order to know their impact on Nigerian Educational System

Many have been said, and volumes have been written on politics, policy, and social change. This section will offer nothing more than simple facts to emphasize the important roles of leadership.

The ruler must be concerned with the need of the ruled and must strive to gain their support. But with longstanding ethnic prejudice in a multiethnic society such as Nigeria, this has not been very easy.

The concept of politics is diverse; Aristotle and Plato defined politics as a concern with general issues affecting the whole community.

This involves the pursuit of the public interest, the operation of the state, and the formulation and execution of public policy. Contrasting public concern with private matters, they viewed public concern as morally superior. Thus political leaders have the responsibility to conform to constructive ideas and actions with a perfect goodness” (Andrain 1975, pp.12020).

In addition, it is the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government. It involves competition between trust groups (Parties) or individuals for power and leadership in a government or other group.

The winning party guides or influences policies and the distribution of resources in that policy (Dike Forthcoming August 1999).

In other words, politics does involve the struggle for power and wealth- that is, the production, distribution, and use of scarce resources. Historically, some leaders have sought the common good and others a private good. But without the politics of virtue” (that is, doing what is right), a leader may not bring about the necessary changes to benefit the general public. How does one differentiate actions that are common from those that are private? The effects of a particular policy decision are the determining factors. Making and implementing decisions involves cooperation and competition, both of which may lead to social change.

As many writers have noted, many factors are involved in social changes; no single factor can adequately account for it. (Lauer 1982, p.37). And as a society, our needs can be fulfilled only through the cooperative efforts of everyone.

Change or social change is defined as a significant alteration of social structure”. And social action and interaction, which includes norms, values, and cultural; phenomena (Moore 1967, p.3).

Other has defined variations or modifications in any aspect of social process, pattern, or form”. It is also of inter-human relationships and standards of conducts” (Fairchild, ed.1955,p.277), as cited in (Lauer 1982,p.4).

As we have seen, change can start anywhere. Changes in any of its parts alter every system. Given our leader’s penchant for corruption, Nigerians are cautiously optimistic about the positive changes that are presently taking place in Nigeria. And since what has been on the minds of the world is that Nigeria is bad, we have to get our act together. After that, we can say, “you held me in contempt now; look at me. Am I so contemptible (Allport 1979).

Can the present political leadership maintain the tempo of positive social re-engineering in the nation? For any intended change to occur in a society, the people must be convinced by the leaders that such a change is both possible and desirable. Hence the need for a systematic set of ideologies that reflects the feasibility and desirability of a particular change. Ideology interprets the past, makes meaningful the presents and portrays an ideal future.

The civil rights panel will identify the persons involved in the various abuses, the nature of the abuses, and the policy response. It will also recommend measures to ameliorate the problems and formulate strategies to forestall the incidence of human rights abuses in the society in future.


Today, due to a lack of concern for infrastructure development, modernization and rehabilitation, the Universities do not have sufficient dormitory space to accommodate students who want to live in dormitories.

It is not astonishing that University dormitories in Nigeria are always crowded with students, making it exceedingly difficult for students to concentrate more on their studies. It is not uncommon for five or six students to share the same room. The unwillingness to invest in infrastructural development, modernization and rehabilitation thwart the growth of the Universities in the country.

Furthermore, (Nigerian schools are more shadow of their past in terms of academic standards quality has been sacrificed by the dirt of the insatiable desire of politicians, some educational bureaucrats, school administrators and teachers /instructors /lecturers /professors to find the easiest means to accumulate wealth. Thus, academic performance is not taken seriously anymore.


This study looks at the impacts of politics on the Nigerian educational system in the 4th Republic. The result arrived at in this research work will be helpful to our government in order to know the areas where they are to come in; in the area of our education, it will also gear our leaders up to their responsibilities rather than for their selfish interest.


  1. Does politics contribute to corruption and lack of infrastructural development, modernization and rehabilitation of Nigerian educational institutions?
  2. Can political activities contribute to the poor state of academic standards?
  3. Are political activities one of the plights facing the educational system in Nigeria?



A higher level of corruption hinders the rehabilitation of Nigerian Educational institutions.

Political activities are responsible for the poor state of academic standards in Nigeria.

Political activities give rise to low educational achievement among Nigerians.


It is hoped that the result of these findings will help in achieving the followings:

– It will help the government to make policies on Nigerian tertiary institutions.

– It will help our government to make education a priority.

– It will improve the state of our education and make it compete with the developed countries.


This research is limited to the Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State. However, this research aims to find out the impacts of politics on the Nigerian educational system in the 4th Republic. Due to time and financial constraints, the researcher bases his research findings only on the Lagos States.


IMPACTS: Means strong effect. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (7th Edition):” the powerful effect that something has on somebody/something.

POLITICS:  Politics is emanated from the Greeks word “Polis”, which means (city-state), politics, according to the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 7th Edition. “Is the activities involved in getting and using power in public life, and being able to influence decisions that affect a country or a society”.

EDUCATIONAL: This implies something that is concerned with education or providing education. While “education is a process of teaching, training and learning, especially in schools, or colleges, to improve knowledge and develop skills.

SYSTEM: Connotes an organized set of ideas or theories or a particular way of doing something.

REPUBLIC: Republic could be referred to as a country governed by a president at politicians elected by the people where there is no king or queen.

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