PROBLEM AND PROSPECT OF NOMADIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
NATURE OF NOMADIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
The 12th of December 1987 marked the formulation of the policy on nomadic education.by the then president Ibrahim Babangida Administration base on the following reasons
- The problem of animal production which was hindered as a result of the economic situation of the country.
- The death of many animals as result of disease outbreak
- The difficulty experienced in importing animals from neighboring countries as Niger and chad;
- The need to educate and provide settlement for the Fulani’s who are constantly migrating.
The blue print of nomadic education was released. Section 1 of the blueprint stated the aims and objectives of Nomadic Education as follows
- To institute the awareness of national consciousness and national unity;
- To develop and build the right type of values and attitude for the wellbeing of the individual and the Nigerian society;
c To provide training to develop the mind for proper understanding of the world around him
d.To facilitate the acquisition of relevant skills, abilities and competence, both mental, social and physical development necessary to survive and contribute to the development of the society.
The approaches adopted for nomadic education program, which were handled by the collaboration of different agencies consisting of Ministry of Education, Schools Management Board, the National Commission for Nomadic Education, the Agency for Mass Literacy, and the Scholarship Board, Included the following
The use of Mobile schools consist of the use of class rooms that can easily be assembled and disassembled after use and are transferable from one location to another. Some of the classrooms are equipped with audio visual aids and can contain fifteen to twenty children.
Radio and television education
The nomads were estranged from government policies and activities and devoid of information. Therefore government provided radios, televisions and viewing centers for the nomads to alleviate their plight.
DEFECTIVE POLICIES; Nomadic education in Nigeria is plagued by defective policies which have not translated the objective of the programme into tangible realities. The programme is deterred by instability of the students, inadequate finance, wrong school assessment and placement, lack of data and cultural and religious factors. This as a result has hampered the development of the Fulani’s.
WRONG PLANNING TECHNIQUE; The non-involvement of the Fulani’s at the planning level of the programme does not effectively identify and address issues that affects the Fulani’s. As a result the deliverables of the programme cannot be easily quantified and accessed. The formal schools provide the literacy needed in modern times, but their content is too foreign to the pastoralists. They teach the value of sitting in offices behind desks, rather than the value of the land.”
LACK AND INSUFFICIENT FUNDS; the problem of funding has great impede on the development of nomadic education in Nigeria. Some States that have started nomadic schools are challenged by the cost of administering the programme effectively. Cost associated with payment of teachers’ salaries, supply of furniture’s etc. is becoming increasingly high. The drawback of the initial implementation of the program was that the expenditure of money disbursed to the state was grossly insufficient resulting to the closure of some of the schools.
INSTABILITY OF THE NOMADS; the uncertain movement of the nomads is affecting the smooth running of the programme. It affects educational planning and the monitoring of the students. This affects the motivation of the teachers who cannot do a proper assessment of the programme
LACK AND INACCURATE DATA FOR PLANNING; There is the inability to obtain accurate data for planning. Lack of data of actual number of the nomadic schools, types of school facilities and number of teachers in various locations makes planning for nomadic education very difficult.
IMPROPER LOCATION OF SCHOOLS. The in appropriate location of schools is also affecting the development of nomadic education in Nigeria. For example some few schools are located in densely populated areas, and many in sparsely populated areas.
The success of nomadic education depends largely on vigorous and continuous outreach programs in the rural areas. Consequently, government has embarked on village-level campaigns using radios, village announcers, and rural cinematography. However, because the nomads lack centralized authorities, these campaigns run into difficulties in reaching individuals in isolated areas. The nomadic educational drive is limited to a few people in village precincts, which may not be within the territories of the wandering Fulani.
LOGISTICS PROBLEM; Expanding and reaching the nomads in the rural areas is constrained by Logistic problems such as adequate vehicles, and audio visual aid.
PROBLEM OF CULTURAL AND SECTARIAN ISSUES
The Muslim are afraid that nomadic education will convert their children form Muslim to Christianity so many are afraid of releasing their children for nomadic education. As such the predominantly Muslim Fulani reject the nomadic schools, fearing that their children will become Christianized. They are acting on past experience regarding when the missionaries came with western education and also mixed it with the Christian faith and evangelism. They through this means converted many Muslims to the Christian faith. Also there are Second, accusations made by the Muslims that some of the teachers are preaching Christianity in some nomadic schools. This scenario has brought a great concern to the government who expresses fear about the success of the programme. For example a former Minister of Education in Nigeria, stated his worry about the attitude of the Nigerian Muslims about Western-style education: Since the Christian are using this medium to propagate their faith the Muslims in the north and south saw this as a definite threat to their own faith. Therefore as a measure to prevent the wholesome conversion of Muslims to Christianity, the northerners are refusing to send their children to Christian schools.
Despite the challenges encountered in the process of nomadic education there is a great prospect for the programme, This is as a result of the awakening of the consciousness of the Fulani’s of the importance of western education as it will afford their children alternative source of livelihood apart from cattle rearing. As they are aware of the uncertainty in the future of their children on the total dependence on cattle rearing.
Also they believe in the certainty of the future as education will produce leaders who will represent them in government. The Fulani’s regret that lack of education has reprieve them of the opportunity to produce leaders in government over the years.
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