The move forward in education in the Middle Belt of Nigeria in the post-war period

The period 1945 to 1955, from the end of the Second World War to the eve of self-government, witnessed a significant forward movement in Western education throughout Nigeria as a whole, and in the North in particular, most notably in the Middle Belt (the former Plateau, Benue, Ilorin, Kabba and Nupe Provinces, roughly corresponding to the present-day Plateau, Benue, Kwara, Kogi and Niger States). The most important factor responsible for the fast tempo of educational progress in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in this period was the change in the attitude of the British colonial government towards Western education. The new thinking was that education meant social progress, that social progress went hand in hand with economic development, and that economic development in the colonies was both an imperial duty and to Britain’s advantange. The principle of liberal funding of education thus became an important strategy in the postwar years. This was particularly important for the Middle Belt, where many schools belonged to the missions. Other factors which contributed to the postwar expansion in education in the Middle Belt included the opening up of the Middle Belt to the outside world through army service, the enlargement of economic opportunities as a result of the war, and the increasing opportunities in a period of rapid constitutional change together with the enduring influence of returned migrants. Bibliogr.

Title: The move forward in education in the Middle Belt of Nigeria in the post-war period
Author: Ogunlade, F.O.
Year: 1992
Periodical: Savanna: A Journal of the Environmental and Social Sciences
Volume: 13
Issue: 2
Pages: 35-42
Language: English
Geographic terms: Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
Abstract: The period 1945 to 1955, from the end of the Second World War to the eve of self-government, witnessed a significant forward movement in Western education throughout Nigeria as a whole, and in the North in particular, most notably in the Middle Belt (the former Plateau, Benue, Ilorin, Kabba and Nupe Provinces, roughly corresponding to the present-day Plateau, Benue, Kwara, Kogi and Niger States). The most important factor responsible for the fast tempo of educational progress in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in this period was the change in the attitude of the British colonial government towards Western education. The new thinking was that education meant social progress, that social progress went hand in hand with economic development, and that economic development in the colonies was both an imperial duty and to Britain’s advantange. The principle of liberal funding of education thus became an important strategy in the postwar years. This was particularly important for the Middle Belt, where many schools belonged to the missions. Other factors which contributed to the postwar expansion in education in the Middle Belt included the opening up of the Middle Belt to the outside world through army service, the enlargement of economic opportunities as a result of the war, and the increasing opportunities in a period of rapid constitutional change together with the enduring influence of returned migrants. Bibliogr.