Education and Development Disconnect in Nigeria: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as the 21st Century Imperative for Nigeria’s National Transformation, Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness

Abstract

The paper examines Education and Development Disconnect in Nigeria and makes a case for education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as the critical path to Nigeria’s sustainable development and global competitiveness. The paper submits that education is the pivot of national transformation and development, but Nigeria’s dysfunctional educational system perpetuates and deepens poverty and underdevelopment and consequently, the resource-rich Nigeria is ashamedly described as a low human development country and as a country with blunted edges in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Reports and the World Economic Forum Africa and Global Competitiveness Reports, respectively. Relying on secondary data, the paper argues that a human-rights-approach-to-education, investment in quality education, environmental education, research and innovation, achieving the millennium development goals (MDGs) and science and technology are prerequisites for Nigeria’s sustainable development and global competitiveness. Essentially, that Nigeria’s educational system, policies and practices should be reoriented towards sustainable development, which is a tripod of interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of economic growth, human development and environmental conservation, in an equitable and sustainable manner, for present and future generations. The paper submits that all curricula and taxonomies of education, including environmental education are subsumable under ESD which equips individuals and societies with the knowledge, values and skills to live and work in an equitable secure and sustainable manner and balances economic well-being and human development with cultural tradition and respect for and protection of earth’s natural resources and environment. To achieve this, the paper among other recommendations, posits a Virtuous Cycle of Education for Sustainable Development (VCESD) Model for Nigeria’s national transformation, sustainable development and global competitiveness.  Keywords:Education, Development, Sustainable Development, Education for Sustainable Development,   Global Competitivenes

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