Problems and Prospects of Curriculum Implementation in Nigeria

See the Problems and Prospects of Curriculum Implementation in Nigeria.


A curriculum is a set of courses, course work and topics, offered in schools. A curriculum in simple terms is the aggregate of subjects/courses and topics that are being or should be offered in schools.

In Nigeria, poor curriculum implementation is a major problem. There is a great disparity between policies formulated by government and the actual implementation of these policies. Policy makers often vary from policy implementers, hence, this gaps becomes a problem in course of implementation.

It isn’t just restricted to the implementation phase, but also curriculum development in general. Having proper curriculum makes for a sound educational and academic sector because the students will be taught with respect to recent happenings and developments.

However, Nigeria is ladened by a number of problems when curriculum implementation is concerned. Here are some of the problems.

Problems and Prospects of Curriculum Implementation in Nigeria

Problems and Prospects of Curriculum Implementation in Nigeria

The problems bothering from development and planning to implementation are:

1) Lack of Teacher Participation in Decision Making and Curriculum Planning.

The teacher has a crucial role to play in the success of any educational programme in the nation and as such should be in the center and take an active part in the planning and development of the curriculum. When teachers are not actively involved in the planning of the curriculum, a problem builds up since it is these teachers that interact with the students, know what they need and in what proportion, and actually make use of the curriculum.

2. Lack of Sufficient Finance

Curriculum implementation is greatly drawn back by the lack of finance because workshops and seminars that are necessary to sensitize teachers and educationists across the country cost a lot of money. Hence the teachers are not properly tutored on every corner of the curriculum.

3. Frequent Turnover of Teachers:

The frequent turnover of teachers is caused by so many factors. One factor that plays a primary role is the excessive number of temporary and or part time teachers. For example, Youth Corpers are posted to secondary schools across the country.

They teach for less than a year and a new set of core members replace them. There is no time to settle into the system and work wit the curriculum properly. Also, a host of these temporary teachers are usually not dedicated, while others dont have the zeal and skill to teach.

4. Policy Changes

Another factor that affects curriculum development is the frequent changes in educational policies. An example is the universal primary education (UPE) which was launched in 1976 to ensure that every child who had attained such age that he or she is ripe for school, should be enrolled in school. Then the 6-3-3-4 system came. The 6-5-4 system also came, and so many others.

5. Rapid Increase in Knowledge.

The world is growing at a tremendous rate when knowledge is concerned. Due to the development of science and technology, it become more tasking for the curriculum development process as knowledge becomes obsolete quickly hence the need for constant review for the curriculum, the method and materials of instruction.

It therefore becomes difficult to stay in line with these continuous changes. For example, we were used to 9 planets in the solar system. But right now, Pluto has been removed fron the list of planets because it is simply too small to be called a planet. However, in schools today, teachers still tell their students that there are 9 planets and still include Pluto.

Read Also: Prospects and Problems of Vocational and Technical Education in Nigeria

6. Review When Needed

The curriculum in Nigeria is only reviewed when there is an obvious problem observed. This is wrong, ad the curriculum should be constantly reviewed to keep the country in line with the rest of the world.

7. Poor ICT

The world is developing at a rapid rate and there fore, even when the curriculum is updated, a new problem of meeting the requirements of the new elements added to the curriculum develops.

Since the world is advancing technologically, the new trend of curriculums require students to be familiar with computers and make use of them. However, how many students in secondary schools have laptops? How many of them even have phones? Hence, the problem.

Read Also: The Role of Information and Communication Technology ICT in Nigeria

8. Lack of trained and well informed teachers

You cannot give what you do not have. Hence, when the teachers and facilitators of the curriculum do not have the required skill level to teach correctly in accordance with he growing technology, then the students cannot learn. This makes the curriculum useless.

9. Inflexibility

The inflexibility of curriculum in Nigeria makes it difficult for teachers and students to properly optimize them. Different regions have different conditions and when the curriculum cannot work in any of them, a problem starts up.

10. Unwelcoming Attitude to Change

Some teachers are soused to how they previously taught their subject. This makes it difficult to implement a new curriculum. For example, with the introduction of International Financial reporting standard, and a change in some methods if accounting, some accounting teachers who have been teachers all their life, would still cling to their old methods of teaching.

11. Many Exam Bodies

Different examination bodies have their different standards and techniques, not to talk of approaches to questions. There is a problem on how to adequately meet the needs of these bodies.

Other problems Include

– Lack of Instructional Materials
– poor reading culture
– Poor learning conditions


1. The number of people with mobile gadgets is rapidly increasing in Nigeria. This is largely because these devices have become cheaper and more affordable. Hence, with time, Nigerian students would be able to at least keep up with the pace the curriculum is running at.

2. Students are becoming increasingly aware of the curriculum and syllabuses and know how and what to read to prepare in the right direction. Also, with globalization increasing, examination bodies are becoming more synergized and to do this, they are taking similar approaches to their questions.

3. As Nigeria begin to use the diamond based shaped curriculum by Professor Enukoha, the curriculum process will be effectively developed. This is due to the fact that this model takes into cognizance the flows of other models. It is also a Nigerian based unlike the foreign models we have been using that is alien to us.

4. Nigerian teachers are becoming more appreciative of seminars. Hence, they should be encouraged to attend more and the government should organize more workshops to better train these facilitators. There should be long vacation courses when the curriculum is updated so that the teachers can get themselves acquainted with the new face of it.

5. There should be increased and improved monitoring to ensure that teachers are indeed following the curriculum and not just doing what they like or what is easier for them.


This article talked about Curriculum implementation and the obvious problems and challenges it is ladened with in Nigeria, and it can be seen that there is hope for a brighter tomorrow in this angle.

The teachers should be involved in curriculum planning to make its implementation easier, and they should be sensitized through seminars and workshops.

The technological advancement which also causes problems with the curriculum development has been seen to also have its advantages with cheaper technological devices. The problem of curriculum implementation seems to be reducing at a constant rate in the country.

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