African Traditional Education
Long before the Europeans arrived, education had been part of Nigerians. The Children were taught about their culture, social activities, survival skills and work. Most of these education processes were impacted into the children informally; a few of these societies gave a more formal teaching of the society and culture.
In these Societies, there are formal instructions that governed the rites of passage from youth into adulthood. The youth is expected to have attained the necessary social and survival skills as well as having a grounded knowledge in the culture. These are the foundations of education in Nigeria, and upon them were the western education implemented upon.
European or Christian Education
European Education was introduced into Nigeria in the 1840s. It began in Lagos, Calabar and other coastal cities. In a few decades schooling in English language gradually took roots in the Nigeria. During the Colonial years, Great Britain did not promote education. The schools were set up and operated by Christian Missionaries. The British colonial government only funded a few schools.
The policy of the government was to give grant to mission schools rather than expand the system.
In the northern part of Nigeria, which was predominantly Muslim populated, Western-style education was prohibited. The religious leaders did not want the missionaries interfering with Islam. This gave way to establishing Islamic school that focused primarily on the Islamic education.