Many critics and International bodies have hypothesized that about 60 million uneducated adult and about 11 million out of school children are in Nigerian, and that we are certainly one of the most illiterate country in the world. In its latest report on the literacy status of various countries of the world, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) classified Nigeria as one of the countries at a serious risk of not attaining the Education for All (EFA) goal by 2015(Sunnewsonline, 2009).
However, these results were not very encouraging, but that should not make us inferior. The first serious discussions and analyses should be what is Education? Education can be described as a process of preparing an individual for a successful living in the society. In today's world, and especially with Nigeria, it is a man with chains of university degree that is educated. Today's interpretation of education overlooks much of the historical research. The Greek idea of education is to be mentally and physically fit, the Roman's idea of education is oration and military. The Norsemen idea of education from the "Great Age" of the Vikings from the 8th to the 11th century A.D is re-education of the world, and warriors roamed the world, fighting ferociously in battle and distributing moral wisdom. The Spartans believe in military power in preference to academics. The English, the man with nobility and good character is the educated man. What yardstick was UNESCO using to determine and rank illiteracy?
The Nigerian philosophy of education is the integration of the individual into a perceived unfavourable environment, where financial and monetary values in interpersonal and human relations are the most important. This philosophy sets out several illaudable goals detrimental to the development of the country. This has considerably deemphasised national consciousness and the right attitude for the survival of the Nigerian society. Nevertheless, the strategy that will escape criticism from the world over and should be our paramount goals are: (1) promotion of the physical and psychological health of the children, (2) faith in our ability to use our cultural and traditional history to make rational national decisions, (3) deemphasise British education as the ultimate bedrock of success in life and the foundation of good character. Our mentality about education should be that which should delivers us from the evil forces of ignorance and modern-day slavery, as well as delivers one from poverty. That which should put confidence in our mind to face life with hope and aspirations should be our sermon. The challenge for us is to encourage education of the mind of the youth in the right way no matter the cost, even with our blood. The need arises now more than ever to emphasise this type of education. Aside the full imitation and adoption of the western education, I am not convinced of a better future for Nigeria without this type of education.