COMPARE AND CONTRACT THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF NIGERIA AND SUDAN AND DISCUSS THEIR STRENGTH AND WEAKNESSESS, AND GIVE RECOMMENDATIONS.


INTRODUCTION
Nigeria is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Nigeria is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.
While Sudan is an Arab republic in the Nile Valley of North Africa, bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west and Libya to the northwest. It is the third largest country in Africa. The Nile River divides the country into eastern and western halves. Its predominant religion is Islam.
Sudan was home to numerous ancient civilizations, such as the Kingdom of Kush, Kerma, Nobatia, Alodia, Makuria, Meroë and others, most of which flourished along the Nile River. During the predynastic period Nubia and Nagadan Upper Egypt were identical, simultaneously evolved systems of pharaonic kingship by 3300 BC.[15] By virtue of its proximity to Egypt, the Sudan participated in the wider history of the Near East inasmuch as it was Christianized by the 6th century, and Islamized in the 7th. As a result of Christianization, the Old Nubian language stands as the oldest recorded Nilo-Saharan language (earliest records dating to the 9th century). Sudan was the largest country in Africa and the Arab world until 2011, when South Sudan separated into an independent country, following an independence referendum. Sudan is now the third largest country in Africa (after Algeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and also the third largest country in the Arab world (after Algeria and Saudi Arabia).
EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Education in Nigeria is overseen by the Ministry of Education. And the local authorities take responsibility for implementing policy for state-controlled public education and state schools at a regional level. The education system is divided into Kindergarten, primary education, secondary education and tertiary education.
The Nigerian educational system has traditionally been called the 6-3-3-4 system. Each number represents the number of years spent at each level of education.
The first 6 years are the numbers of years spent in Primary school; the next 3 years are spent in the Junior Secondary School (JSS); the next 3 years represent the Senior Secondary School (SSS); the last 4 years are the University years.
The years spent at the university vary from four to six years, depending on the course of study. Most of the courses in the Humanities take four years, while the courses in the Medical Sciences and Technology take over four years.
Recently, an amendment was made to the 6-3-3-4 system of education.
The new educational system is the 9-3-4 system, which merges the 6 primary school years and the 3 Junior Secondary School years.
EDUCATION IN SUDAN
Education in Sudan is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 13 years. Primary education consists of eight years, followed by three years of secondary education. The former educational ladder 6 + 3 + 3 was changed in 1990. The primary language at all levels is Arabic. Schools are concentrated in urban areas; many in the South and West have been damaged or destroyed by years of civil war. In 2001 the World Bank estimated that primary enrollment was 46 percent of eligible pupils and 21 percent of secondary students. Enrollment varies widely, falling below 20 percent in some provinces. Sudan has 19 universities; instruction is primarily in Arabic. Education at the secondary and university levels has been seriously hampered by the requirement that most males perform military service before completing their education.
The literacy rate is 70.2% of total population, male: 79.6%, female: 60.8%.
The educational system of modern Sudan is rooted in the Islamic culture of the northern riverain Arabs, and influenced by previous British imperial policy and the Mahdist nationalist sentiment prior to the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium era. In this exclusivist and missionary-minded system of education, the Arab language is the medium of instruction and socialization into the Islamic umma, or community of Muslims, distinct from those outside the community who are collectively referred to as the kafir, or nonbelievers in the message of the Prophet Mohammed. The Islamization of the Sudan has been a sometimes gradual, sometimes violent and sudden process of conversion, coalescing, integration, and intermarriage, until the various communities and social institutions of northern Sudan became woven into the very fabric of the greater Islamic umma. Islamic rituals, such as the observance of juma’a (Friday) prayers, the observance of holy days such as Eid Al Adha and Eid Al Fitr, and the establishment of Shari’a (Islamic law), identify the Muslim faithful as members of what is believed to be the universal true religion, whose adherents follow the final revelation of Allah (the one god), such revelation having been given through the Prophet Mohammed. In reciting the shahada, or the confession of the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Mohammed, “There is one God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God,” the believers submit themselves to Allah and the societal structure ordained in the Quran and the hadith, or traditions of the Prophet. Islamic societal governance is so closely intertwined with religious doctrine that the distinction between secular and sacred does not exist in fundamentalist Islamic ideology.
Unfortunately, the rule of Islamists in modern day Sudan, notably since the NIF (National Islamic Front) backed military coup of 1989, has gone against Islamic tradition. Rather than reaffirming the positive social aspects of the Islamic faith, Islam in the Sudan has been the path to political power, and a potent ideological weapon for maintaining that power. Hourani (1991) observed the dangers of such misguided use of religion for political ends:
The inherited wisdom of the ‘ulema was that they should not link themselves too closely with the government of the world; they should keep a moral distance from it, while preserving their access to rulers and influence upon them: it was dangerous to tie the eternal interests of Islam to the fate of a transient ruler of the world.
STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF THE NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
1. The educational system in Nigeria has been able to produce great intellectual minds like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ola Rotimi, etc and still producing many more like me.
2. The system has attended the much need manpower in the labour sector of the economy.
3. The Nigeria education system is short of funds to prosecute it numerous programmes
4. The system lack qualified manpower
5. The ratio of school dropout is high due to raging poverty in the country
6. The ratio of girl child attendance in the north is low, while that of the male child attendance in the south east is also low.
STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF THE SUDANESE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
1. The system in Sudan is much more centralized as government at the centre is the sole care taker of educational system in the country.
2. The educational system in the country has been islamalized.
3. The system uses the Arabic language as means of communication thereby denying other non Arabic speakers the chance to learn or speak their language
4. The educational system of modern Sudan is rooted in the Islamic culture of the northern riverain Arabs, and influenced by previous British imperial policy and the Mahdist nationalist sentiment prior to the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium era.
RECOMMENDATIONS
1. In both countries, educational infrastructure should be upgrade and provided where it’s not available.
2. Government of both countries should allow private participation in the sector so as to give room for improvement.
3. Funds should be mapped out for education programmes and its implementation should be followed with outmost political will.
4. Adequate measures should be put in place to discourage school drop outs
5. Free education should be provided at least in the primary or even in the secondary sections so as to encourage child enrolments.

CONCLUSION
Nigeria has made considerable progress in the domain of education. The education system in the country is supervised by the state. There are 27 federal and state-owned polytechnics in Nigeria. The first 6 years of primary education are mandatory in Nigeria. Nigeria is making a steady progress in the development of education. Many universities and schools have been established by the state. However, much still needs to be done.

Primary education in Nigeria is in the native language but brings in English in the third year. Higher Education has developed considerably over the years, which has resulted in a healthy literacy rate.
Education in the Sudan today has to witness radical changes in the entire educational system and in the establishment of new educational objectives, which are liable to be carried out to secure the nation’s aspiration for an active and effective education system. Many educational conferences are expected to take place to discus educational issues.

REFERENCES
1. UBEC. “About UBEC. Universal Basic Education Commission”. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
2. “Nigeria Education Profile”. U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
3. “World data on Education”. UNESCO-IBE. 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
4. “Vocational education in Nigeria”. UNESCO-UNEVOC. 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
5. http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/EXTWDRS/EXTWDR2012/0,,contentMDK:23004468~pagePK:64167689~piPK:64167673~theSitePK:7778063,00.html
6. Schultz, T.P. (2002). “Why Governments should Invest More to Educate Girls” World Development, Vol. 30 No.2 Pp 207 – 225.
7. Nussbaum, Martha (2003) “Women’s Education: A Global Challenge” Sign:: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2003, vol. 29, no. 2 Pp 325 – 355.
8. Aliu, S, (2001). “The Competitive Drive, New Technologies and Employment: The Human Capital Link”. A Paper presented at the Second Tripartite Conference of Manpower Planners. Chelsea Hotel, Abuja

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