EFFECT CIVIC EDUCATION ON NATION BUILDING IN NIGERIA
Background to the study
The emergence of Nigeria since 1914 amalgamation is an evidence of a failed state. Pundits in policy analysis have described the coming together of Nigeria as marriage of inconvenience to ease admini8strative bottleneck of the colonial masters. Nigeria is at the cross road, no doubt about this, where virtually every sector of Nigeria political, economy and socio-cultural are not working. The need for national unity and stability is greater now in Nigeria than ever before, especially with rampant ethnic violence, religious crises and security challenges. Many highly placed Nigerians on the page of newspapers such as odumegwu ojukwu, umaru Dikko, and Adesanya Abraham have often described one-Nigeria as temporarily a dream and Utopia (punch, May 16, 1999). Banks and Cleggs (1977) hold that ideas of citizenship education emerged about a century ago as a kind of panacea to solving problems confronting human-kind It was upheld that an adoption or adaptation of ideals intrinsic in this kind education could go as long way towards ameliorating or solving the problems arising from mans inhumanity to man. Thus, Russell(1977) regretted that our world has become a mad place; he observed that ever since the first world war, the world ceased to be constructive because men will not apply their intelligence in creating international co-operation bu8t persist in retaining the divisions of mankind into hostile groups. He disclosed the prevalence of general collective failure in many parts of the world, on the part of men, to use the intelligence they possess for the purpose of self-preservation. He lamented that many factors which have been allowed to operate vulgarly ion many societal frameworks are all dragging or rather tending society towards a situation of social; disorder. Russell (1977, pp.21-22) recounted some of these problem, which includes, force of religion, sex, education, nationalism, class feeling and competition which have been allowed to operate irrationally in many parts of the world to the extent of producing in the young insanity, stupidity, readiness for homicide,econom9ic injustice and ruthlessness forces of intolerance, hatred, pain and misfortune which have engulfed and consumed many minds such that they have lost the power of balanced judgment which is needed for an emergence from the slough in which mankind is staggering a characterization of many societies by displays of disharmonies in their political and social frameworks a menace from problems of uncertainties which not only wedge many developing countries from each other but which also militate against socio-economic advancement; and problems of imbalance, inequality and the like which handicapped many developing countries their emancipation from their colonial and apartheid history into a life which is based on equal footing with others in the world of mankind.
In effect, citizenship education sprang up as an outcome of the deliberations of many worried minds about the foregoing predicaments. Thus Corbin (1983) describes citizenship education as a curriculum instrument which is largely tailored at bringing about the breaking of barriers amongst our youth through meaningful exposures to education, mediated through the language of the curriculum during teaching learning situations. Shaftel (1968) reiterate that this endorsement is very vital particularly if youths are to be groomed into prospective and effective citizens. He reflects this endorsement thus:
If formal education is man-made, we can dare take the responsibility for directing our social; evolution through the curriculum offerings of our schools, which help to guide the development of youth people into individuals of integrity, who can face and tolerate the demands of continually changing society, who can cope with emerging problems creatively and emphatically, who can commit themselves to responsible group behavior necessary for social-c civic living in their community.
In almost the same Patten, as portrayed in the foregoing reflections, Mezieobi (1996:8) concedes that schools generally assume and accept the responsibility for traini8ng and socializing learner both for character building and civics development on the one hand and for an achievement of academic powers on the other hand. He discloses that the curricular imperatives which these developments demand through classroom operations represent uphill tasks or teachers. Mezieobi (1996:8) recognition in this feat is reflected thus:
Through an application of the behaviors and or dispositions of learners and their productive application of the values, knowledge, attitude, skills and competencies acquired in schools situations into real life settings, can the effectiveness of schools in terms of achieving socio-civic goals and objectives be measured national importance. The Nigeria situation these days is very pathetic, where cultural and moral values have eroded the country in all facet of life, the traditional institution that supposed to uphold there values haves lost focus due to undue politicalisation of the traditional institutions. As a result of the above, the idea of the above study was conceived to know the effect of citizenship education on the stability and nation building in Nigeria.
Statement of the problem
Since the declaration of the years 2005-2014 as the United Nations (UN) decade of education for sustainable development (ESD), UNESCO in particular has organized a number of global education conferences aimed at giving people the opportunity to discuss why and how to integrate the value inherent in sustainable development into teaching and learning processes. The aim is to use education tom encourage changes in behaviors that will create more sustainable future in term of citizenship education, good governance, national building, environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society for present and future generation (UNESCO 2009, p.l). The need to redirect educational efforts toward the achievement of sustainable development is a global one but6 it appears to be more pronounced in developing countries such as Nigeria. In the past three decades, Nigeria has witnessed dramatic oppressions from military dictators and has seen one authoritarian regime after another topped in the mist of deferent forms of political violent. Even with the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, ethnic conflict, massive corruption, kidnapping, religion violence, canalization of public facilities, call for confederacy and secession, suspicion and distrust among the various ethic groups are among the problems which Nigeria currently faces (Ajiboye, 2009; Alutu & ifedili, 2012; mogbor & mogbor, 2002). Further, the spate of corruption in Nigeria is alarming and pervades every aspect of national life from the technocrats to the politicians. Consequently, the loss of value, the imbibing of false value, the lack of self-spiritedness, patriotism etc. have become the lots of Nigerians. These social ills have pervaded all sectors, all aspects of the society that they constitute the essential problems with which in really Nigerians have to contend. These ills are likely to have been cause by what Chins man (1996, p, iii) summed up as:
The seemingly perpetual subservience of the Nigerian population, their incapability to empower themselves and put themselves on the drivers seat of the vehicle for development, their powerlessness to engineer political, social and economic change and transformation, have collectively create the environment that led to this present poor conditions. As a result of the above, this study is conceived to examine the effect of civic education on nation building in Nigeria.
Significance of the study
Authors such as Akpan (2001) and Edozie (2009) agreed that the absence of an informed and participatory citizenship is responsible for these problems of historical, political, economic crisis facing the country. This implies that a good number of Nigerians are yet to understand and demonstrate the type of citizenship qualities necessary for human and materials development of the country. Hence, Ali (2008) and Oluniyi (2011) opined that the best way to change the Nigerian situation, strengthen her democracy and meet the challenges of this millennium is to guarantee a universal, qualitative and excellent citizenship education for every child in this country. This is line with Walson-jack (1990) who noted that a world class citizenship ed8ucation is essential to combating the fear, the ignorance, the prejudice, and apathy that undermine freedom today in form of ethnic, religion, racial and economic depressions.
Citizenship education in its ideal form seeks to engage citizens in their communities and school by teaching them skills necessary to effectively participate in civil society. Citizenship or civics education is constructed broadly to encompass the preparation of young people for their roles and responsibilities as citizens, in particular, the role of education (through schooling, teaching and learning) in that preparatory process (Kerr, 2004). Effective citizenship education that teachers people how to participate and effect positive change within their environment is critical to the development of a lasting commitment to civic participation (magstadt, 2001, mhlauli, 2012a; Mathews & Dilworth, 2008). According to Oluniyi (2011), the aim of citizenship classes is to develop young people into responsible citizens, who understand their rights and responsibilities and can play an active part in society. The subject should educate children in how to be politically literate using real issues. This is because being taught to respect the law without5 learning how bad laws can change and better ones promoted, tend to create apathetic subjects rather than active citizens. Citizenship education involves shaping the development of character with a view to the improvement of man and ultimately the society. In this regard, citizenship education shares close affinities with Education for sustainable development which according to UNESCO (2009, p.1) enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the ways we do things, individually and collectively, both locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future.
To this end, a functional citizenship education must convey fresh knowledge, develop existing aptitude and impart useful skills so as to help learners develop the type of quality life that involves respect not only for human beings but also for resources, fauna and flora existing on planet. The Nigerian government in the national policy on education recognized the place of citizenship education and consequently included it in the schools curricula (federal republic of Nigeria, 2004). Further, the Nigerian Educational research and development council (2007) developed a civics curriculum for the inculcation of citizenship education in Nigeria primary and junior secondary schools.
The curriculum package contains relevant themes that would to a large extent, make schools place where students would be taught basic values and ideals that would presumably make them responsible citizens.
Objective of the study
The purpose of the study is to examine the effect civic education on nation building in Nigeria; therefore the specific objectives for the study are as follows:
1. To know the value of citizenship education on students to achieve stability, peace and nation building
2. To know the essential ingredients of citizenship education in Nigeria to achieve national development
3. What citizenship education disposition should student and citizen should posses for the maintenance of Nigeria nation
4. To examine the challenges facing the implantation of citizenship education in tertiary institution in Nigeria.
5. To suggest solution and recommendation to the problems of nation building in Nigeria through citizenship education
This study was guided by five research questions
1. What should be the central medium for imparting citizenship values on students to achieve national importance?
2. What should be the essential components of citizenship education in Nigeria to achieve national development
3. What civic dispositions should citizen and student posses for the maintenance and improvement of the Nigerian nation?
4. What other major issues should be included in citizenship education curriculum for the colleges of Education?
5. What are the challenges that are confronting implementation of the curriculum of citizenship and civic education in schools and tertiary institution in Nigeria?
The study will use both primary and secondary source of data. The secondary source of data would be used to gather relevant information for the study. Secondary sources of data include textbook, newspapers, magazines, journals and other relevant internet materials. The primary source will be the information gathered through the use of questionnaire. The method of data analysis for the study is content and descriptive analysis.
H0: there is no significance relationship between imparting citizenship education on the citizen to achieve national important in Nigeria.
H1: there is significance relationship between citizenship education and national building in Nigeria.
Justification of the study
The need for national unity and stability is greater now in Nigeria than ever before, especially with rampant ethnic violence and religious crisis. Many highly placed Nigerians on the page of newspapers such as odumegwu ojukwu, umaru Dikko, and Adesanya Abraham have often described one-Nigeria as temporarily a dream and Utopia (punch, May 16, 1999). Education is a potent instrument that can be used to foster peace and unity. Therefore we should evolve a type of education that will inculcate in the learners the ideal of national consciousness and awareness. In essence citizenship education should be introduced at all level of our educational system. This position on the role of Education is a consequence of the experience of some other countries.
It is hoped that research work will be immense benefit to all students of various institutions, who are interested in knowing the significance of citizenship education in engineering and as a panacea to nation-building as stability in democratic state.
The study also aimed towards emphasizing the fact that Nigerians are full of expectation, and indeed have the right to positively expectant. But Nigerians also have the responsibility not to allow political charlatans to divert their national aspiration and capabilities. To understand the future of Nigeria; there is the need to explore into past, most importantly the fractured history.
The study is also designed to give room for further research and recommendation reached will be of great value to the realization of sustainable socio-economic, political and human developments and the peaceful co-existence of all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
Nigeria pluralistic tendencies, ethnicity, history, political, social and economic crisis hampers citizenship education, democracy and nation building
Military intervention in Nigeria Government and polities has constraint the spate of citizenship and nation-building
The greater the alienation of an ethnic group in the political process, the lessen the impact of citizens and related groups in contributing to nation-building
Scope of the study
The purpose of the study is to examine the role of citizenship education as a course of study in schools in Nigeria to achieve nation building. Therefore the will cover the role of the subject since 1978; it has been introduced as a subject or course of study in Nigeria tertiary institution.
Definition of the terms
Education: education is a significant factor in every society of the world. The existence and mutual understanding of citizens are based on this level of education. Education is so germane and inevitable to the society and human existence thus; castle E.B (1965) define education as simply what happe3n to you from the day we were given birth to till the day we would die i.e. human being learn every day, education represent all the influence to which we are continually subjected by the physical, biological and social environments we live.
While j.s mille fasuyi (2001:13); education can be define as whatever we do for ourselves and whatever is done for us by others for expressed purpose of bringing us near to perfection of our nature. Babnatunde fafunwa define education as a process of transmitting culture in term of development and growth and for the disseminating knowledge either to ensure social control or to guarantee rational direction of society or both (osaluyi 2002:5)
Fafunwa (1974) define education as the aggregate of all processes by which a child or young adults develops the abilities, attitudes and other form of behaviour which are positive values to the society in which he lives. Ere education is regarded as the totaling of all forms of brilliant ideas, usable skills and desirable value orientations that can nurture individuals into responsible competent citizens, such educated men and women would use their competence, experience and vision of good society to create wealth of nation building.
Across the world, education is a vital process in human development and environmental management. Education is a process of transmitting refining and preserving the collective values embedded in the culture of the society. Thus, education is the society’s culture reproductive system (farrant, 1980). By education, a network of worthwhile knowledge, skills and the habits is passed on the next generation for effective citizenship and collective benefits of the society.
These definitions point to the fact that education function to fit the individual to his society to be a living one.
Nation building: a nation is large number of people who see themselves as a community or group above any conflicting loyalties. They often share one or more of the following traits. Language, culture, religion, political and other institution, history destiny they people usually occupy contagious territory. The people comprising a nation state customarily develop a sense of nationalism. If the nation achieves the status nation state, it develops a political framework that protects the people and fosters the growth for the nation’s institutions. In developing nationalism, the people may subordinate individual attitudes to add to the independence prestige, prosperity and power of the nation.
According to omonijo (2005) for the individual, the ideal nation is of good community reflected through a policy with regulation and laws the individual readily obeys without offending his conscience. Nation-building in the context of research shall be taken the process of having citizens of a country to imbibe and accept the spirit of nationhood, that is, the citizens will see and treat each other as the same, without considering tribal, language, ethnicity, race education, religion belief and some other issues.
Citizenship education citizenship education as a system for the acquisition and internalization of the values, sentiment and norms of society in which they live and actually get involved to ensure that the common good of citizens is catered for including resisting anti- social and unguided youthful exuberance. Probably, that is why omare (1999) states that the manifestation of citizenship education can be seen in the behaviors trait such as critical thinking, political activism, inquire, goals and value of good citizenship. According to Dave (2006), the aim of citizenship classes is to develop young people into responsible citizens who understand their right and responsibilities and can play an active part in society. In other words, citizenship education required a citizen to be well informed, gather facts, reject ethnocentrism, religious jingoism and encourage national consciousness. That means that citizenship education will develop in individual skills, attitudes and values that will enable them show concern for the wellbeing and dignity of others, respecting the worth of others and approaching civil decision in a rational manner.
Organization of chapters
The study comprises of five chapters. The chapter one will examine background to the study, statement of problem; significant of the study, objective of the study, research hypothesis, scope of the study, definition of the terms and organization of chapters.
Chapter two will consider literature review and theoretical framework. Chapter three examines the research methodology, where sampling method, study area, data analysis would be considered. Chapter four loos at data presentation and interpretation lastly, chapter five examines the summary, recommendation and conclusion.
Ali, A.A (2008): introduction to citizenship education in Nigeria, college press ltd Ibadan
Banks, J.A. and clegg, A.A (1977): teaching strategies for political and social studies, enquiry value and decision making, reading; Addison Wesley publishing company
Castle, E.B. (1965) foundation of education, London oxford university press