Taking school improvement to scale in Nigeria: practice paper

Organisation(s): UK. Dept for International Development

Date: 2017

Pages: 16 p.


Identifying and implementing change strategies that create lasting improvement at scale is the holy grail of education reform in populous low/middle income countries such as Nigeria. The grail is made more elusive by the dual challenge of multiple providers of basic education, including different sub-national levels of government and non-State actors, and a rapidly expanding school-age population. How can providers of basic education be supported to create lasting improvement beyond introducing change interventions? What systems are required? In the context of school effectiveness, what inputs above other inputs lead to the best educational results and, therefore, what investments should providers be prioritising? How can these be sustained at scale? These and related questions continue to engage educators, researchers and development practitioners. As the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) concludes its 8th and final year the authors reflect on the efforts of six sub-national (State) governments in Nigeria to improve the schools across their States, with some external technical assistance from ESSPIN. They contribute some insights into large scale and sustainable basic education improvement in the administratively complex setting that is Nigeria. Whilst this paper does not intend to prescribe a template for improving education at scale, it is hoped that these reflections will provide small steps towards unravelling the complex phenomenon called education systems reform.

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