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BEING A PAPER PRESENTED BY
SULAEMAN NASIRU ARISEKOLA
TO THE LECTURER OF NIGERIAN PEOPLE AND CULTURE SCLG 106
DEPARTMENT OF LAW, FACULTY OF LAW, AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA.
INTRODUCTION Nigeria s economic potential is well recognized. It is the biggest economy in the West African sub region. Given the country s considerable resource endowment and coastal location there is potential for strong growth. Yet Nigeria has realized very little of this potential. Previous efforts at planning and visioning were not sustained. The history of economic stagnation, declining welfare and social instability, has undermined development for most of the past 30 years. But in recent years, Nigeria has been experiencing a conditions seem right for launching onto a path of sustained and rapid growth, justifying its ranking amongst the N11 countries. These are the countries identified by Goldman Sachs to have the potential for attaining global competitiveness based on their economic and demographic settings and the foundation for reforms already laid. The previous administration had declared the intention to pursue the vision of placing Nigeria among the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020 and the current administration is committed to the attainment of this vision. A vision is a clear mental picture of the future which must represent a significant improvement on the current state. It however must be supported by a clear and realistic path to its realisation and requires consistent and sustained effort for its achievement. Though the key mission statement for the vision 2020 state thus:
John Dewey. and persistent ethnic and religious conflicts in a country like our (Nigeria). and prosperity. with reformation systems. A modern and vibrant education system which provides for every Nigerian the opportunity and facility to achieve his maximum potential and provides the country with adequate and competent manpower has to employ. believes that democracy was important not only because it stood for freedom and equality but because of its educational consequences. However. for Nigeria to attain the goals of vision 2020. It is a 2 . the functional educations have to be the paramount focuses. education provides the best alternative for national stability. And that is one of the reasons for the nation s underdevelopment.By 2020 Nigeria will be one of the 20 largest economies in the world able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena. one of the most influential American philosophers. THE CONCEPT OF FUNCTIONAL EDUCATION The terms "Functional Education" have several meanings: (1) In the United States and in Germany (starting around 1920). Despite its contributions the leaders of Nigeria have not given this education the attention it deserves. unity. security. writing for the America audience in the early 20th century. In a weak political and economic system. Education has been an integral part of national development strategies in many societies because of its impact on productivity and economic development. the adjective "functional" refers to education that comes spontaneously from the influence of the environment.
and they have to be combined for educational success. learn and work as a productive citizen in a global society. moral and material knowledge. "natural" education. and advanced and continuing education. and that uses the child's interest as a mechanism for activating him and towards his desirable activities. Thought. that is different from the deliberate. and enables achievement of high academic standards. Its purpose is to develop the life of the mind. just for the mutual influence of the members of society and of their life-styles that acts on every human. preparation for industry-defined work. education is a planned program of courses and learning experiences that begins with exploration of basic academic. Its aim is to develop the capacities latent in human nature and to coordinate their expression for the enrichment and progress of society. that is directed by man. with relation to practical life in the present and in the future. these are two basic processes in shaping a human. that acts from the wholeness of organic life. THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN SOCIETY 1. it is an education designed to develop occupational skills to live. by equipping children with spiritual.kind of undirected. leadership. In other words. (2) In Western Europe this term refers to education that comes from the child's needs. goal-oriented education. 3 . supports of career options and life skills. However. Aim of Education Education is a continuous and creative process.
7. and capacities that enable individuals to become conscious subjects of their growth and active responsible participants in a systematic process of building a new world order. serving the best interests of the community. irrespective of its origin. Education to Realise Truth Within this creative process. will power and goal setting competencies. True Education True education releases capacities. develops analytical abilities. 5. 6. Education as an Instrument of Change Educated persons should understand their positions as members of both a local community and the world community and they must believe that their lives can make a difference. attitudes. and instills the vision that will enable him to become self-motivating agent of social change. qualities. it is possible to achieve an essential harmony between faith and reason through an approach to education that encourages the free investigation of all reality and trains the mind to recognize truth. skills. confidence in himself. 4 . education needs an expanded definition that frees it from today's largely economic context and acknowledges its role in transforming both individual lives and entire society. 4.2. Objectives of Education Education in terms of the knowledge. 3. Education for Individual & Community Growth Education makes the child a collaborator both in his own growth and in the development of his community. Expanded Definition of Education Today.
Education not only for Economic Growth Although economic considerations are recognized as necessary in educational planning. 5 . if it is to tap the roots of motivation and produce meaningful and lasting change. and education must concern itself with these forces. Tapping Inner Forces But moral values are not the only constructive elements of social processes. must go well beyond a mere statement of purpose. More than Words Alone An educational approach directed towards personal growth and social transformation. The purpose of Education The purpose of education for individuals both male and female --. who helps overcome conflict and division thereby contributing to a spirit of unity and collaboration. however.A well-educated community member is a determined yet humble participant. 8. they are expressions of the inner forces that operate in the spiritual reality of every human being. so that they may contribute their share to an ever advancing civilization. 11. 9. and based on the belief that human beings are essentially spiritual. 10. resistance is growing against the conventional view that education is chiefly a means for only improving the individual's own economic situation. rather.is to develop the powers and capacities latent within them.
16. vigour and scope which has never been seen in human history. 13. Women & Education Women must be educated not only for the service they render to humanity as the first educators of children. and neighbours. 15. grandparents. for the special contribution women must make to the creation of a just world order. an order characterized by such compassion. The Relevance of Education Universal education must be relevant to the true needs of a community and contribute to the unification of mankind. belongs also to the community as a whole. including the father. Indeed the extended family and a close community may provide the best environment for nurturing children. It must enable people both to move in the direction of their own choosing and help them appreciate those universal qualities that distinguish the entire human race. but ultimately. Spiritual Approach to Moral Education Awareness of the necessity to free people from religious bigotry and fanaticism gives rise to a non-sectarian yet spiritual approach to moral education. 6 . Education should help self discovery Education should lead to the discovery and perfection of one's capabilities and instill a commitment to serve the best interests of the community and the world as a whole. Moral Education Community Responsibility The dual responsibility of developing the child s character and stimulating his intellect.12. 14.
it is becoming evident that education should be examined in the light of its contribution to individual growth and to bring about fundamental structural changes in society. crafts and industry.17. Service Un-Locks Capacity The realization that it is chiefly service to humanity and dedication to the unification of mankind that unlock individual capacity and release creative powers latent in human nature. agriculture. education must also act as a powerful instrument for profound social transformation. at least in the local context. 21. such as health and sanitation. 19. 18. scientific knowledge and technological knowhow lead us readily to misery as they do to prosperity and happiness. Education for Individual & Social Growth Increasingly. 7 . and harmonious environment. peaceful. Concern for Social Progress Education should lead to an adequate understanding of some of the concerns of programmes of social progress. Words and deeds supported by Moral Force When words and actions are not directed by a moral force. 20. changes which are necessary for the creation of a just. Education for Social Change At certain moments in history.
26. An Aid for Intellectual Investigation Some development of the individual s capacity for intellectual investigation as a distinguishing power of the human mind and as an indispensable instrument for successful community action. Cultivate Virtues and Skills Human beings are inherently noble.22. skills. Balance between Culture and Values Commitment to the unity of mankind implies a balance between the study of one s own cultural heritage and an exploration of those universal qualities that distinguish the entire human race. virtues and qualities as will enable them to contribute their share to the building of an ever advancing civilization. and the purpose of education is to cultivate such attributes. 25. 24. and can secure the means of existence with dignity and honour. Excellence in Productive Skill A reasonable degree of excellence in at least one productive skill through which individuals can experience the truth that work is worship. A Positive Attitude Towards Learning Indeed. the cultivation of positive attitudes towards learning is now coming to be perceived as a precondition for the achievement of most social and economic goals and objectives. 8 . when performed in a spirit of service. 23.
strong and self 9 . character and moral training. the plan emphasized modernization and technological training. implies that the teacher must be a model of nobility. a national curriculum conference was staged to overhaul the Nigerian education system. 28. it is necessary to revisit briefly what we know about education reform in Nigeria. a united. self-actualization and discipline. The aim of the NDP was to: build a free and democratic society. Dignity and Decision Making Individuals should be skilled in the art of consultative decision making and empowered with the sense of their own dignity and worth. In 1969. The federal government issued the first National Development Plan (1966-1970). developing in the child the ability to adapt to his changing environment. and the development of sound attitudes. Recognize Nobility and Capacities This notion of the student as inherently noble. 1970-1974). One of the goals as outlined in the National Policy on Education (1981) identifies citizenship education as: "a basis for effective participation in and contribution to the life of the society. Sound character is ultimately more important than intellectual brilliance.27. The teacher must also see the nobility and capacity in each student recognizing that a lack of opportunity is different from lack of capacity." In the Second National Development Plan (NDP. yet in need of patient cultivation. a just and egalitarian society. BRIEF HISTORY OF NIGERIA EDUCATION FROM 60S TO DATE As the nation evaluates the new education reform plan. the objectives of the plan became the foundation for the National Policy on Education.
stability. but to function as contributing and participatory members of a free constitutional democratic nation. 10 . and respect for public and private property of Nigerians and non-Nigerians. a new curriculum for citizenship education was developed to reflect the transition to constitutional democracy and the new Constitution in 1999. In 1996. a great and dynamic economy. skills and awareness of the rights of minority and majority groups to coexist and worship freely. 1981). The philosophy of the social studies education hinges in part on the idea that Nigerian schools should not only train individuals to be just and competent individuals. This generation of Nigerian youth must be prepared to think nationally and globally. it is crucial that the new education plan reflect the current realities in the country. This implies that students must rely on the knowledge. and a land of bright and full opportunity for all citizens (Federal Republic of Nigeria. For example. and move toward a market economy. They must be prepared to compete in the global economy. respect for law and order. and reciprocal government responsibility to citizens. and define our democracy.reliant nation. Since independence in 1960. As Federal government attempts to correct the gross injustices and level the playing field. and security through the social studies education curriculum was tied to the National Educational Policy in 1981 and to the national aspiration for citizenship education. fostering national unity. This includes the awareness of the rights and obligations of citizens to government and society. Nigerians have worked to develop a federal and unitary form of government that could effectively serve people with such disparate traditional political systems.
democracy and economic growth. With our National Domestic Product (GNP) and the petrodollars in good shape. The United Nations has recommended that African nations should allocate about 21% of their national budget to education. political reconstruction and participation. develop the skills. national identity. fundamental human rights. between 1960 and 1999. The sustained record of corruption and human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria continue to undermine our potential as a nation. the executive branch. For example. the legislature. and values needed to sustain a constitutional democratic nation. Now that our nation has embarked on sustaining unity. and political parties etc. economic goals. there have been eight military and four civilian regimes in the country. education and democracy will be enhanced. Nigeria can sustain a comprehensive educational plan. This generation of Nigerian youth therefore must demonstrate a commitment to the democratic principles. If this is done correctly. The assumption here is that the new Constitution can be a catalyst and stimulus that engenders national consciousness. the judiciary. and economic stability and growth. Nigeria became a constitutional democratic nation. The new Constitution addresses core national issues such as citizenship. the future of the country will not only be secured. the next president should make a budgetary commitment to education.In 1999. Education in Nigeria has been interrupted by regime change since independence from Britain in 1960. and ethnic sensitivity and individual development. The political corruption and the lack of human respect and human dignity combined with weak governance are attributable to the 11 .
in the west. Politically. but this will change. north central. and south west) of the country is intended to realign the political power structure and dominance of the north.years of authoritarian military rule. in the southeast. Christianity. in the north. south south. The Hausa-Fulani. they are often viewed as southerners in contrast to Hausa-Fulani northerners. The Igbo. Wole Soyinka and others continue to remind us of our responsibility as citizens and our authoritarian past. Nigeria embodies 250 ethnic groups speaking approximately 400 languages and practicing traditional African religions. The Yoruba have traditional leaders and a council of hereditary chiefs who make decisions in addition to those made by local self-governing units. The Yoruba. the Igbo and Yoruba are lumped together (not any more) because of the generally higher levels of education as a result of early exposure to Western ideas brought in by the missionaries. are mostly Christians who traditionally live in autonomous village communities and are noted for indirect democracy. north east. The challenges to education and democracy are obvious. and Islam. 12 . The regionalization (north north. Three major ethnic groups continue to strongly dominate and influence social and political events. follow a mixture of religions and lie midway between the direct democracy of the Igbo and the authoritarian systems of the Hausa-Fulani in their traditional government. These groups represent different political traditions. are mostly Muslim and traditionally support a centralized authoritarian system with a strong village chief and local Emir. Although the Yoruba and Igbo differ greatly in culture and traditional political system. as Prof. south east.
objectives. Nigeria has a blend of cultural diversity. and an instrument for political and economic growth and development. and activities that have become crucial to sustaining the goals. Such as a society must have a type of education which gives individuals a personal interest in social relationship and control.12The political leaders can make all the noise they want about transforming Nigeria into an industrialized nation.In any democratic society. and a long-term vision and commitment from our federal government to address concomitant effect of religious fanaticism." The new education plan should endeavor to create viable and enabling programs amidst the challenges of private vs. Today. instructional methods. and teacher education. This diversity is symbolic of our national unity and diversity. security. and aspirations of the nation. Dewey believes that "a society which makes provision for participation in its good of all its members on equal terms and which secures flexible forms of associated life promotes democracy. citizenship education programs. And he recently assembled a 405-member panel to realize the project. It would require a huge national effort. co-existence is seriously threatened by religious fundamentalism both in the north and now in the south. funding. Many people believe that the issue of co-existence was resolved after the Civil War ended in 1970. and the habits of mind which secure social change without introducing disorder. The major policy speeches for Yar Ardua (and his army of sycophants) these days revolve around his unrealistic aspiration of transforming Nigeria into one of the first 20 largest global economies by the year 2020. funding. education remains at the core of national stability. public education. but they should be warned that rhetoric 13 . research.
Yar Ardua s Vision 2020 and the Sevenpoint Agenda will remain a paper tiger without technical and vocational education being a major part of the strategy. Expansion is anticipated well in advance and planned for. and unable to fix its roads and bridges could be transformed into an industrialized nation in less than eleven years today must be living in a different planet. rather than cognition-centred.cannot make the society an economic super-power. so that the delicate balance between educational inputs and outputs. a significant size of enrolment in technical /vocational education and a 30% enrolment in tertiary education. facts may change rapidly but skills endure and are improved upon through life-long learning. universal access to primary and secondary education. This is because it is realised that owing to the knowledge explosion. learning is often student-centred and problem solving and skills-centred. In those countries. No society has ever become an industrialized nation without technological capability. GLOBAL TRENDS IN EDUCATION Education systems in economically successful countries tend to be characterised by universal adult literacy. which determines quality. 14 . is always maintained. teaching is fully professionalised and well remunerated in comparison with other professions. Any person who thinks that a country that lacks skilled technical manpower and cannot generate electricity for more than three or four hours in a day. In those countries. They also tend to have high transition and success rates between the various levels and in the terminal examinations and other external assessments.. In those countries. education is not merely regarded as a social sector service but as the most crucial vehicle for economic development.
9 From the above table.8 15.9 UK US Japan China Brazil Korea Iran Nigeria 170 95 102 N. one will deduce that Nigeria have some critical roles to play to be in the group of this club. proportion of GDP and national budgets spent on education etc as indicated by the Table 1 below: Comparative Education Indicators: Club of 20 Vs Nigeria The table shows comparative education between the countries is aims to attain the goals of vision 2020:20 Country Sec GER Tertiary GER %TVe Enrolment Adult Literacy Expenditure on Education as % of GDP 5. THE CRITICAL NEED IN EDUCATION FOR NIGERIA TO ATTAIN VISION 2020 Basic Education According to the Federal Ministry of Education Ten-Year Strategic Plan.COMPARATIVE BENCHMARKING ANALYSIS Nigeria appears to be lagging behind countries that it aspires to be like in most of the important indices of education such as gross enrolment ratios for all levels.1 4. Basic Education is the education offered to children aged between 3 and 14 years.3 11 112.7 3.1 110.6 Education Expenditure as % of total Govt Exp 9.1 4. It comprises: 3 years of 15 .9 0.6 35 69.3 5.A 75 60 82 51 NA 13 13 2 15 8 100 100 100 88.
11-12). Learn good habits. p. it includes the crèche. The main objectives are to: Effect a smooth transition from home to the schools. mass literacy as well as the almajirai and other vulnerable and excluded groups. Prepare the child for primary level education. the environment. the nursery and the kindergarten (p. letters. Give the child 16 . 6 years of primary and 3 years of Junior Secondary Education. through play(2004. Inculcate in the child the spirit of enquiry and creativity through the exploration of nature. Teach the rudiments of numbers. numeracy. especially good health habits. art. and the ability to communication effectively. Lay a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking. etc. Develop in the child the ability to adapt to the child s changing environment. Provide adequate care and supervision for the children while their parents are at work. It also covers special interventions directed at nomadic and migrant children. Give citizenship education as a basis for effective participation in. Inculcate social norms. Develop a sense of cooperation and team-spirit. colours etc. music and playing with toys.Early Childhood Care Development and Education (ECCDE). the life of the society. Early Childhood Care Development and Education (ECCDE) Early Childhood Care Development and Education (ECCDE) is defined by the National Policy on Education (2004) as the education given in an educational institution to children aged three to five plus prior to entering the primary school. and contribute to.31) Primary Education Primary education is described as the education given in institutions for children aged 6 to 11 plus with the following objectives: Inculcate permanent literacy. Mould the character and develop sound attitude and morals in the child.
(USAID.the opportunities for developing manipulative skills that will enable the child function effectively in the society within the limits of the child s capacity. over- 17 . less than half the percentage of GDP spent by the 19 sub-Saharan Africa countries on average. The primary school infrastructure has badly deteriorated. 2004). Moreover.3% of GDP for education. whereas to reach EFA goals it is estimated that about half of the education budget needs to go to the primary subsector. (ibid). The learning conditions in schools are alarming: paucity of teaching materials (few textbooks. children in many cases having only their exercise books for taking notes). and it is difficult to attract sufficient numbers of teachers to teach in primary schools. only about 35% of the education budget is currently devoted to primary education. At the same time. best estimates are that the country spends about 2. Provide the child with basic tools for further educational advancement including preparation for trade and crafts of the locality (NPE. some states are experiencing large numbers of teachers who are unemployed after obtaining their teaching credentials. and those who are employed frequently go through many months of uncertainty worrying about when (or whether) they will receive the salaries due them. with many of the existing structures needing repairs. in many schools no charts or teaching aides. Under-funding of the education sector is a big problem in Nigeria. 2003). although it is difficult to gauge total education expenditures because of the way the three-tiered federal system works. despite salary increases of more than 500% since 1998. Still. absence of adequate furniture in some schools.
Transition rates have increased over the years.27 million but the actual is 3.0 million as the unenrolled in Junior Secondary Schools. (ibid). Figures indicate that only a little over half of all students who complete primary education progress to junior secondary level. also has economic importance as they supply over 80% of the animal requirements of Nigeria. The completion rate is much lower at JSS level than at primary level (about 34%). It has collected baseline 18 . Nomadic Education The National Commission for Nomadic Education implements basic education with respect to nomadic groups (pastoralists.crowded classrooms. Figures also show that a higher percentage of girls are progressing to Junior Secondary School than boys (2005: 55% female. At the moment the NCNE is able to cater for the Pastoralists (the split movement group) and Migrant fisher folks. lack of ventilation. Also. 49% male). in many cases teachers appeared to be de-moralized by the conditions under which they were working and by the fact that they had so very little with which to help the children learn. According to the Road Map the expected enrolment figure for JSS is 9. leaving 6. The education of nomadic groups apart from being premised on the fact that education is the birth right of every Nigerian.27 million. and generally run-down condition of many of the school buildings. The Nigerian Federal government recognizes that the occupational roles of these groups do affect their response to education hence the tailoring of education to suit their peculiar circumstances. migrant farmers and migrant fisher folks). Junior Secondary Education This is the education received by children 12-14 years.
workers education. Its intervention in basic education is so far restricted to primary education and adult education. Arabic integrated education. continuing education. The States agencies for Mass education established in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja are responsible for the implementation of adult education programmes.data with respect to Migrant farmers in the South-East. post literacy. The NMEC is the agency established in 1990 with the mandate in the areas of monitoring. Post-Basic Education The Nigerian post-basic education cycle has three years of senior secondary education. which was 57% a few years ago is now sliding to 49%.6% of senior secondary school students were enrolled in technical/vocational education in 2005. women education.2 million children) are out of school. coordination and research on adult education. The Local Government councils are responsible for the day to day control and administration of local mass literacy and adult education programmes. Only about 28% of the children in this age cohort are attending school. remedial and vocational education. vocational education. literacy for the disabled and Prison education. functional literacy. which explains why there are serious 19 . According to ESA (2003) Adult and Non-formal education offers basic literacy. while 72% (representing 7. Only 3. Adult literacy. literacy for the blind. Adult and Non-Formal Education The National Policy on Education (2004) describes mass literacy adult and non-formal education as a form of functional education given to youths and adults outside the formal school system such as functional literacy.
000.892 non-academic staff while the numbers for the Colleges of Education are 11. When combined with the estimated number of students in other post-secondary professional institutions such as Schools of Nursing and Midwifery. 115 Polytechnics and Monotechnics. and Innovative Enterprises Institutions (IEIS). With regards to enrolment.394 academic staff and 72. 070 non-academic staff.464 consisting of 27.845. for instance. the Road Map showed that as at 2007. knowledgeable. there are currently 94 Universities in Nigeria. Colleges of Education.256 and 24. The major thrust of tertiary education is the production of highly skilled. The primary core responsibilities of this sub-sector are: academic teaching. Polytechnics. competent. Tertiary Education Tertiary Education comprises the following sub-sectors namely.skills gaps in this sector to the extent that our best plaster of Paris technicians are now Togolese or Beninois. 86 Colleges of Education and 62 Innovative Enterprise Institutions. Universities. conscientious and globally competitive citizens. According to the Education Road Map (2009). Approach to Developing the NV 2020 Education Plan 20 . there were a total of 1.952 students in all the three types of tertiary institution. 938 academic staff and 24. the Polytechnics and Monotechnics 12. the aggregate enrolment figure comes to approximately 2.621. research and community development. Monotechnics. which is about 10% of the 18-25 year old age cohort. respectively.000. The Universities have staff strength of 99.
And there are many reasons why this should be so. On July 5. we need to adopt a similar and all encompassing approach to the provision of education for us to attain the goals of vision 2020:20. the British Government introduced its National Health Service. the following parameters were considered for each level or type of the educational system: Access and Equity.In developing this plan. education is vital for our future economic successes. In Nigeria. Standards and Quality Assurance. Motivation and Development. Funding and Planning and Management. without the official realisation that education is critical not only for economic concerns but also for society as a whole. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Without a real commitment to education. 1948. for everyone. Teacher Quality. the developers of Nigeria s future industries are currently in 21 . then the civilised nature of Nigeria society will continue to be under threat. from the cradle to the grave. Equality of access. was the guiding principle. It was successful in this aim when there was the political will to guarantee that the importance of this guiding principle was honoured. Also. should be our motto. It was their aspiration that the NHS would provide first class healthcare for all people from the cradle to the grave. Education for all. We can see that the cornerstone of our recent economic development was laid in the educational achievements of earlier decades. following several years of discussion and argument on the topic of healthcare. Certainly. Infrastructure. Curriculum Relevance.
schools. and to imagine different experiences. Education offers people the ability to step outside what is usual. and expand their personal horizons beyond the norm. self. what has been their personal experience. It can incentivise people to push themselves towards greater achievements. It gives many people the capacity to appreciate that there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of our conventional day-to-day existences. build self-confidence. All of these effects have a profoundly important social benefit that is all too often overlooked in our narrower concept of what it means to receive an education. and should mean more to us than the means to earn the bread and butter of our daily lives. feel affinity for different peoples. institutes and universities around the country. But education goes to the core of our society also. 22 .awareness and a feeling of self-worth.
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