Education, Social Mobility and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria: A Sociological Perspective
Otu Ekpenyong; Aniefiok Sunday Ukommi and Emmanuel Obiahu Agha
Journal Title:Journal of Research in Education and Society
This sudy contributes to the arguments by scholars in the social sciences over the relationship existing among education, social mobility and poverty reduction using Nigeria as a case study. The argument has been championed by those in the functionalist camp who have established that education guarantees higher social mobility and poverty reduction. In fact, it is argued that it is true that higher educational attainment or qualifications are a strong predicator for higher social mobility and living above the poverty line in an open society, but this link cannot be adequately established in the Nigerian context because of high rate of unemployment. Increased unemployment has ensured that many graduates, even up to doctorates, roam the streets of Nigeria unemployed. We have also argued that this high unemployment rate perpetuates poverty among significant number of Nigerians and in turn, poverty ensures that a lot of people remain untaught (without formal education). An appraisal of some poverty alleviation programmes reveal that these programmes have failed to minimise poverty because of certain structural and policy problems such as inadequate funding, corruption, inadequate coordination, political instability, infrastructural inadequacies and lack of proper focus, among others. The study recommends, among other things, that tackling the problems of unemployment in an effective manner will inevitably reduce poverty and help Nigerians attain the quality education that can develop our nation, and that adequate funding should be provided to our educational institutions so as to guarantee their accessibility by all Nigerians.