In the recent past, primary and secondary school education have gained global recognition as necessary for the full development of the human person. For instance in 1948, the United Nations recognized education in its primary and fundamental stages as a human right. (Article 26(1), U.N. Declaration of Human Rights). Later in 1966, the General Assembly adopted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that requires Nations to provide free and compulsory primary education to its citizens. It also requires secondary education in its different forms to be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education. (Article 13(b)).
Even though the 1999 Nigerian Constitution does not recognize education as a Fundamental Human Right, it nonetheless provides in Chapter II (18) (3) that: “Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end, Government shall as and when practicable provide (a) free compulsory and universal primary education; (b) free secondary education; (c) free university education; and (d) free adult literacy programme.”