Art Tuition in Nigerian Tertiary Schools
The history of modern art in Nigeria began around the 1920s. During this period, most parents loathed their children studying art courses at higher institutions. Those who dare to do otherwise, as their parents insist, may face certain penalties that are not conducive to their age and future. This means that no matter how much a child likes art, they were forced to dedicate themselves to disciplines such as Law, Chemical Engineering, Banking and Finance, and other similar ones that they (the parents) believe are more profitable and deserving for the future. . of their children and, sometimes, of people in their community. This was for obvious reasons, and part of it was his conviction in the exercise of such professions. For example, a lawyer would be helpful if the family has a land dispute case with another person in the village. A chemical engineer will find himself working in the oil industry and will be able to share in the nation’s oil wealth. Therefore, NNPC, AGIP, TEXACO, CHEVRON SHELL, etc. are target companies / areas where the family is putting pressure on their sons and daughters to go to work. At the bank, a typical Nigerian parent believes that there is no way for a banker to run out of money as he manages people’s money. All this makes the study of the visual arts the last option despite the fact that the child is practically performing poorly in other areas of knowledge but excelling in art.
It was not until after the Independence Exhibition of the first group of Nigerian-trained native artists from Zaria that some people (parents) began to see good prospects in the field of art. Even so, discrimination continued until the 1980s because art (as a subject) had little educational support from the government, as its inclusion in the educational curriculum was selectively addressed or implemented. In elementary school, it was a general teaching of cultural modes including theater, crafts, and performing arts. In high school, the junior section had a chance, while the senior section did not. In some situations, the subject (art) is often substituted by other subjects that the education system recognizes as vital for the continuation of school. Failing these subjects is equivalent to repeating a rewriting class to continue advancing on the academic path. This represents an obvious threat to the academic movement of the student causing him to abandon the art against his will. Given this circumstance, it can be seen that art did not have such opportunities (priorities) in curricular planning.
In the 1990s, the reality of the artistic profession, as well as its lucrative opportunities, began to affect most Nigerian families. This was the period when the enrollment of art applicants began to increase. Today, most of the tertiary institutions in Nigeria are struggling with an overwhelming number of art applicants. At Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, for example, the Department of Fine Arts, in recent years has not been able to acquit even half of all applicants who want to study art. Sometimes people go to colleges of education and polytechnics, just to be in an advantageous position for admission to universities.
The growth of private universities in Nigeria is believed to be a relief in the demands of people (applicants) who want to study art, but the case is reversed. This is because most, if not all, private universities focus essentially on the execution of academic programs or disciplines that the owners of the institutions consider lucrative enough, since the private education sector is more or less a pure business. .
Until the Nigerian education sector is completely overhauled and restructured with an increase in art learning centers, as well as the opening of new art departments at other universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, art applicants will continue to have difficulties in obtaining admission to study. artistic disciplines as dream courses.