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.

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Updated: 16th January 2019 — 7:20 pm