EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
Prof. Dr. Abdalla Uba Adamu
National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)
Jabi, Abuja, Nigeria
The ‘education for development’ (EfD) paradigm has long shaped perceptions of education as the primary tool for the social and economic advancement of developing countries. Based on a human capital theory that sees the production of qualified manpower as the main resource for development, state and international efforts have focused on the production of qualified students and other personnel as the mainstay of their EfDwork. Increased enrolment, higher retention, and even higher transition from one level of education to another is heralded as the most effective way to achieve development because it produces more and better manpower. Accordingly, from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s, governments in developed and less developed countries encouraged investment in education to enhance the quality of human productivity in hopes of spurring development.
 The EfD paradigm rests on a decades-old literature. While many early studies focused on industrialized countries, there were important contributions that compared developed and developing economies. In a study of the rates of return to educational investment in 44 countries, Psacharopoulos (1981)(cited in Fagerlind and Saha, 1989) found that primary education yields the highest social and private returns; that private returns are higher than social returns, particularly at the university level; and that all rates of return to investment in education exceed the rates of return on alternative investments in capital. He also found that developing countries’ rates of return on education investments are higher than those of advanced industrialized countries at comparable levels.