The relative distribution of education is linked with relative social and economic development among nations and inter-regionally within the same country (Denison, 1962). Evidence from comparative studies shows that intra-national variation is usually greater than inter-national variations (Gould, 1971: 82-89) and tends to intensify among lower level political formations (Gould, 1972: 65-74).
Historical evidence indicates that the educational advantages of some regions are derived from proximity to the coast and nodal centres of growth and favorable climatic conditions conducive to missionary activities (McCaskie, 1972: 30-35). Recent studies in Africa have shown that educational development is related to sets of economic variables and modernization processes. Among these are urbanization and trade, migration and European settlement, the development of transportation network (Soja, 1968), the spread of cash crops, and emergence of new occupational structures which constitute the preconditions for the demand and diffusion of education (Foster, 1966; Brownstein, 1972). These social and economic factors, at the regional and subregional levels, exert influences that give rise to variations in enrollment at the different educational levels.
With the growing awareness of the importance of the development of human capital (Becker, 1975; Schultz, 1961: 1-17; Mincer, 1970: 1-26) and the potential political dangers when educational inequalities are linked with ethnic differentials (Diejomaoh, 1972: 318-363), public policy has become an important factor in the determination of regional distribution of education.
This paper attempts to establish the relationship between the varying regional education attainment and quantifiable regional economic, social, and locational characteristics as well as instruments of public policy. The importance of these factors over time, with a view of isolating the most potent in the attainment of the highest educational objectives, will be examined.