Project – An assessment on the impact of level of Education in political participation in Nigeria

Project – An assessment on the impact of level of Education in political participation in Nigeria.



  • Background to the Study

The relationship between education and political participation has been a subject of extensive research globally, and Nigeria is no exception. Numerous studies have explored how the level of education influences political engagement, voter turnout, and overall political awareness among Nigerian citizens. According to Verba, Schlozman, and Brady (1995), education is a significant predictor of political participation because it equips individuals with the cognitive skills necessary to understand and engage in political processes. In the Nigerian context, this relationship is particularly crucial given the country’s diverse educational landscape and varying levels of access to education.

One of the key findings in the literature is that higher levels of education correlate with increased political participation in Nigeria. For instance, a study by Bratton, Mattes, and Gyimah-Boadi (2005) found that Nigerians with higher educational attainment are more likely to vote, attend political meetings, and engage in other forms of political activities. This is attributed to the fact that educated individuals are more likely to be informed about political issues, understand the importance of their participation, and feel confident in their ability to influence political outcomes. Furthermore, education fosters critical thinking and a sense of civic duty, which are essential components of active political engagement.

However, the impact of education on political participation is not uniform across all regions and demographics in Nigeria. According to Lewis (2007), there are significant disparities in educational attainment between urban and rural areas, as well as among different ethnic and socio-economic groups. These disparities result in varying levels of political participation, with urban and more affluent populations generally exhibiting higher levels of engagement. This suggests that while education is a crucial factor, it interacts with other socio-economic variables to influence political participation in complex ways.

Moreover, the quality of education also plays a significant role in shaping political participation. As noted by Ake (2000), merely increasing access to education is not sufficient; the content and quality of education are equally important. In Nigeria, the educational curriculum often lacks a strong emphasis on civic education and political literacy, which are essential for fostering informed and active citizens. Enhancing the quality of education by incorporating comprehensive civic education programs could therefore have a profound impact on political participation rates.

The role of informal education and political socialization should also be considered. According to Almond and Verba (1963), political socialization through family, media, and community organizations can significantly influence political participation. In Nigeria, where formal education systems may be inadequate or inaccessible for many, informal education channels play a crucial role in shaping political attitudes and behaviors. Studies have shown that community-based organizations and local media can effectively promote political awareness and engagement, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

In conclusion, the level of education has a significant impact on political participation in Nigeria, but this relationship is mediated by various factors including socio-economic status, regional disparities, and the quality of education. To enhance political participation, it is essential to address these disparities and improve the overall quality of education, with a particular focus on civic education. Additionally, leveraging informal education channels can help to reach populations that are otherwise excluded from formal educational systems. Future research should continue to explore these dynamics to develop more effective strategies for promoting political engagement in Nigeria.

  • Statement of the Problem

The relationship between education and political participation has long been a subject of academic inquiry, particularly in developing nations like Nigeria. In Nigeria, a country characterized by its diverse ethnic groups, languages, and cultures, political participation is crucial for the sustenance of democracy. However, the level of education among the populace appears to play a significant role in determining the extent and nature of this participation. This study seeks to assess how varying levels of education influence political engagement among Nigerian citizens, with a focus on understanding the underlying mechanisms that either facilitate or hinder active involvement in the political process.

Education is often seen as a key driver of political awareness and engagement. In Nigeria, where literacy rates and educational attainment vary widely across different regions and socio-economic groups, the disparity in educational levels could potentially lead to unequal political participation. Individuals with higher levels of education are generally more likely to be informed about political issues, understand the importance of their vote, and feel empowered to participate in political activities. Conversely, those with limited or no education may lack the necessary knowledge and confidence to engage in the political process, leading to their marginalization and underrepresentation in governance.

The impact of education on political participation in Nigeria is further complicated by the country’s socio-political context. Historical factors, such as colonialism and military rule, have shaped the current political landscape, often resulting in a lack of trust in political institutions. Educated individuals may be more critical of these institutions and more likely to demand accountability and transparency. On the other hand, less educated citizens might be more susceptible to political manipulation and patronage, which can skew their participation in favor of certain political elites or parties. This dynamic underscore the need to explore how education influences not just the quantity, but the quality of political participation in Nigeria.

Moreover, the role of education in fostering civic skills and political efficacy cannot be overlooked. Education equips individuals with critical thinking skills, enabling them to analyze political information, engage in meaningful discussions, and make informed decisions. In Nigeria, where political discourse is often dominated by ethnic and religious sentiments, education can help bridge these divides by promoting a more issue-based and inclusive political culture. Assessing the impact of education on political participation thus involves examining how educational experiences shape individuals’ abilities to navigate and contribute to the political sphere.


The gender dimension of education and political participation also warrants attention. In Nigeria, educational opportunities for women have historically been limited, resulting in lower levels of political participation among women compared to men. This gender gap in education and political engagement has significant implications for the representation of women’s interests in policymaking. Understanding how education influences women’s political participation can provide insights into strategies for promoting gender equality in Nigerian politics.

The level of education plays a pivotal role in shaping political participation in Nigeria. This study aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of this impact by examining various factors, including regional disparities, historical influences, civic skills, and gender dynamics. By understanding the relationship between education and political engagement, policymakers and educators can develop targeted interventions to enhance political participation and strengthen democratic governance in Nigeria.

  • Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to examine an assessment on the impact of level of Education in political participation in Nigeria. The specific objectives are:

  1. To examine the relationship between educational attainment and political engagement among Nigerian citizens.
  2. To assess the influence of educational background on voting behavior and political awareness in Nigeria.
  3. To investigate the correlation between level of education and civic participation in political activities in Nigeria.
  4. To analyze the role of formal education in shaping individuals’ political attitudes and beliefs in Nigeria.
  • Research Questions

The research questions are buttressed below:

  1. What is the relationship between educational attainment and political engagement among Nigerian citizens?
  2. How does educational background influence voting behavior and political awareness in Nigeria?
  3. Is there a correlation between level of education and civic participation in political activities in Nigeria?
  4. How does formal education shape individuals’ political attitudes and beliefs in Nigeria?

1.5. Research Hypothesis

The hypothetical statement of the study is buttressed below:

Ho: Educational background has no significant impact on voting behavior and political awareness in Nigeria

H1: Educational background has significant impact on voting behavior and political awareness in Nigeria

  • Significance of the Study

The significance of studying the impact of the level of education on political participation in Nigeria cannot be overstated. Education is a fundamental pillar in the development of any society, and its influence on political engagement is profound. In Nigeria, a country with a diverse and complex political landscape, understanding how education shapes political behavior is crucial for fostering a more inclusive and participatory democracy. This study aims to shed light on the correlation between educational attainment and political involvement, providing insights that could inform policy decisions and educational reforms.

One of the primary reasons this study is significant is that it addresses the issue of political apathy, which is prevalent in many parts of Nigeria. By examining the role of education, the study can identify whether higher levels of educational attainment correlate with increased political awareness and participation. This is particularly important in a country where voter turnout and civic engagement are often low. If a strong link is found, it could lead to initiatives aimed at improving educational access and quality as a means to enhance democratic participation.

Furthermore, this study has the potential to highlight disparities in political participation among different educational groups. In Nigeria, there are significant variations in educational opportunities based on factors such as geography, gender, and socioeconomic status. By assessing how these disparities impact political engagement, the study can provide a nuanced understanding of the barriers to political participation faced by less educated populations. This, in turn, can inform targeted interventions to promote inclusivity in the political process.

The study also holds significance for policymakers and educators. For policymakers, understanding the relationship between education and political participation can guide the development of policies that encourage civic education and political literacy. For educators, the findings can underscore the importance of integrating civic education into the curriculum, ensuring that students are not only academically proficient but also equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for active citizenship. This dual approach can help build a more politically engaged and informed populace.

In addition, the study can contribute to the broader discourse on democracy and governance in Nigeria. By providing empirical evidence on the impact of education on political participation, it can challenge or support existing theories and assumptions about the role of education in democratic societies. This can lead to a more informed and evidence-based discussion on how to strengthen democratic institutions and processes in Nigeria, ultimately contributing to the country’s political stability and development.


The significance of this study extends to the global context. Nigeria, as Africa’s most populous country and one of its largest economies, plays a critical role in the region’s political dynamics. Insights gained from this study can be valuable for other countries with similar socio-political contexts, offering lessons on the importance of education in fostering political participation. By contributing to the global understanding of the interplay between education and democracy, this study can help promote more inclusive and participatory political systems worldwide.


  • Scope of the Study

The study examines an assessment on the impact of level of Education in political participation in Nigeria. The study is limited to Selected Political Parties in Nigeria.


  • Operational Definition of Terms

Assessment: An assessment is a systematic process of evaluating or measuring a particular subject, skill, or phenomenon. It involves collecting and analyzing information to understand the current status, effectiveness, or outcomes of the subject being studied. In the context of research, an assessment often aims to provide insights, identify areas for improvement, and inform decision-making.


Impact: Impact refers to the strong effect or influence that one factor or event has on another. It is the measurable change or outcome that results from a particular action, intervention, or variable. In research, assessing impact involves determining the extent to which a specific factor has contributed to observed changes or developments in a given context.

Level of Education: The level of education refers to the highest degree or stage of formal schooling that an individual has completed. It is often categorized into different stages such as primary education, secondary education, tertiary education (which includes undergraduate and postgraduate studies), and vocational training. The level of education is a key indicator of an individual’s knowledge, skills, and qualifications.

Political Participation: Political participation encompasses the various ways in which individuals engage in political processes and activities. This can include voting in elections, joining political parties, attending political rallies, engaging in public debates, participating in protests, and other forms of civic engagement. Political participation is a crucial aspect of a functioning democracy, as it allows citizens to influence government decisions and policies.

Project – An assessment on the impact of level of Education in political participation in Nigeria