“Nigerian Unity Schools: Grace to Grass.”

“Nigerian Unity Schools: Grace to Grass”

By Akinyemi Temitope Rachel (Themmy).


According to Lawal et al (2021), the unity schools were first set up by the British colonial government after which 3 were added in 1973 at Sokoto, Warri and Enugu. There were twelve states then and the leadership of the country ensured there were such schools in all states. The Unity schools were attended by the rich, elite and even the poor that choose to educate their kids. They were very affordable and serve as instruments of cultural integration, patriotism and unity as the name implies.

I remember gaining admission into a private secondary school in 1993 and my father (of blessed memory) still insisted that Federal Government College is still the best he wants for his children. I eventually attended the two schools since one was morning and the other afternoon for 3 years, but finally finished at a unity school as it was still the preferred option. I had a good, quality, and safe education and a balanced lifestyle at Federal Government College Sokoto and I am cosmopolitan today because I attended a unity school. It is quite easy to recognize a unity school grandaunt from the way they see Nigeria, Nigerians and relate with everyone and everything about her. People came from the eastern, western and southern part of Nigeria to attend post primary school in the North and flip that around. Unity schools are in the real sense the prerequisite for the so called National Youth Service Corps that was also formed for Cultural and national integration (which is of no visible use anymore).

We learnt discipline, perseverance, hard work and kindness from the unity schools where our teachers taught us with great passion, assurance and conviction that we are definitely their pride and leaders of tomorrow. Our teachers had their children in school together with their students as they knew what was being dished and served to everyone was quality. Our meals were cooked with carefulness and we kept our environment clean always.

We learnt music through a practical music studio, French and Arabic languages from qualified linguist. We learnt to cook at a well-equipped food and nutrition room and sciences from up to date laboratories with good reagents. Metal work and wood work was practical with each lesson period full of applied and real time examples. When we are faced with related problems, it was easy to apply our knowledge to provide solutions hence passing examinations was an easy task despite standard of questions.

What happened to our Unity Schools? Where are our Unity Schools that competed with international schools few decades ago? Where are our Federal Government Colleges? Where are our Kings’ and Queens’ Colleges that produced the Kings and Queens of today? Where are the qualified teachers? Where is good education at affordable and reasonable bill? Where is the safe space for our children? Where is the serene and calm learning libraries full of books? Where is a digital library that is 21st century compliant? Where are the qualified teachers?

The rich keeps getting richer, the poor keeps getting poorer and we can’t even help ourselves because Nelson Mandela said: “No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated.”

It is our right to have answers to these questions!!!!!!!!!

No one can fight this for us but ourselves!!!!!!!

We will remain slaves to developed countries in all we have if we don’t seek this reform.



Lawal, I., Njoku, L., Ogugbuaja, Nzeagwu, U., & Godwin, A. (2021, June 14). Nigeria’s unity schools, from glory to ordinary. The Guardian. https://guardian.ng/features/education/nigerias-unity-schools-from-glory-to-ordinary/

Recommended Articles