Education: New Nation, New Schools

"The biggest thing in Nigeria today," shouted the young Yoruba against the din of a High Life band* in a Lagos café, "is education." He waved a beer glass at the sashaying High Lifers: "This is Nigeria. Why should we feel that sophistication is whisky and soda and a West End striptease? Real sophistication here is an educational system designed for Nigerians." With help and inspiration from the U.S., that is what Nigeria is fast getting.

By African standards, Nigeria is already the best-schooled new nation, as well as the most populous (40 million). In 1945 it had virtually...

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