Chidoka Faults Nigeria's Quota System In School Admissions

Chidoka Faults Nigeria’s Quota System In School Admissions

Ex-Minister says designating some states rather than schools as Educationally Disadvantaged is recipe for mediocrity and disunity
1 month ago
2 mins read

Former Minister of Aviation Osita Benjamin Chidoka, has voiced his disapproval of Nigeria’s long-standing approach to the Quota Education system.

He warned that regarding some states of the Federation as educationally advantaged and some others as disadvantaged is a recipe for disunity and mediocrity.

In an exchange with Prime Business Africa, Chidoka said he supports “affirmative action (quota system, federal character, etc.) in school admission, but not as currently practised in Nigeria.” Echoing his support for quota system where a certain percentage of the selected persons (for admission) must belong to a particular gender, race, or ethnic group, the former Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), however argued that “The current designation of states as educationally disadvantaged is wrong and has unwittingly destroyed national unity, enthroned mediocrity, incentivized lack of effort, and promoted unfair and discriminatory practices that damaged the so-called disadvantaged states.”

Chidoka called for holistic reforms. He told Prime Business Africa that his proposed reform is rooted in the belief that education should serve as a tool for empowerment and equal opportunity, just as he highlighted the detrimental effects of the current system and cited instances where deserving students from disadvantaged schools are overlooked due to their state of origin.

“In our pursuit of affirmative action, we must recognize the flaws in our current approach,” Chidoka remarked.

“The practice of categorizing entire states as educationally disadvantaged overlooks the nuanced challenges faced by individual schools and communities.”

“We need affirmative action that targets the root causes of educational disparity,” Chidoka emphasized.



He said: “It is imperative that we prioritize support for disadvantaged schools and communities, rather than relying on broad state-based classifications.”

Chidoka advised that “the federal government should mandate a school assessment system that ranks schools by defined criteria to identify educationally disadvantaged schools and students from such schools provided with some affirmative action to promote equity and equal access.”

UK-based Project Manager Recounts Experience with Quota System In School Admissions

In the same vein, UK-based Project Manager, Mr Bernard Obimma in corroborating Chidoka’s submission recounted his personal experience with the controversial Education Quota System while growing up as a kid living in Northern Nigeria.

“I was born and raised in Northern Nigeria by parents who were not themselves graduates. I attended primary and secondary schools in the so-called educational disadvantaged area. Yet, because my surname happens to be Obimma, I was categorized as educationally advantaged, on the basis for which higher performance and scores were required from me during national exams.

It didn’t matter that my friend, Bello, whose parents were graduates (working with the federal government at the time) and attended a private high school at the time has far more greater advantages than me in terms of education, both at home and in the school. Yet, Bello was considered educationally disadvantaged ahead of me, who, in reality, was double times far more disadvantaged educationally than Bello.”

According to Obimma, the Quota education system “is the greatest injustice against a child in his own country.” “Weaponizing disadvantage destroys incentives and creates long-term damage that is hard to reverse.”


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