Board of Editors
Dr. Emmanuel Ikenyiri
Dr. Ben-Fred Ohia
Dr. (Mrs.) Irene Bebebiafiai
Professor J. D.Okoh
Professor J. O. Bisong
Professor Daniel N. Ogum
Professor J. C. Nnadozie
Professor (Mrs.) Blessing Ahiauzu
THE COLLOQUIUM is published by the college Conferences Seminars, & Research Committee (CCS&RC) of the Federal College o Education (Technical), Omoku, Rivers State, Nigeria. The Journal focuses on policy issues of a defined theme. Articles are reviewed by the members of the Board of Editors as they relate to their areas of specialization or by externa specialists. Some editions are compendia of articles selected following a special thematic seminar or conference. Copyrights of articles remain with the publishers but articles may be reproduced in part or in full provided they an acknowledged.
The Journal highlights certain issues of national and International significance by analyzing them as is, bringing out problems in policy and implementation and proffering suggestions and ways and means of solving problems or strengthening good policies and practices. However, the facts views, and interpretations in the articles are those of the authors and are no necessarily those of the publishers. The College, the CCS&RC, and the Board oi Editors do not accept responsibility for the accuracy of the materials in the articles or the consequences of their use. This edition was funded by the Tertian Education Trust Fund (TETF).
Some back copies can be assessed electronically from http://www.ccsconlineiournals.com
This special edition is a collectanea of review papers on issues related to education administration in several areas from the not-very-common area of estate management which a number of teachers appear to take for granted but could make a huge difference to teaching outcomes. The Editors appreciate the support of Tertiary Education Trust Fund m this effort.
DEMOCRACY, NATIONAL INTEGRATION AND COHESION IN NIGERIA
LANGUAGE POLICY IN NIGERIA: PROBLEMS, PROSPECTS
AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL INTEGRATION AND COHESION IN NIGERIA:
JUSTICE AND FAIR PLAYAS THE RECIPE
CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION FOR NATIONAL INTEGRATION
AND COHESION IN NIGERIA
MARGINALIZATION, NATIONAL INTEGRATION AND COHESION IN NIGERIA
LANGUAGES AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR NATIONAL INTEGRATION:
THE CASE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN NIGERIA
THE PLACE OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE AND NATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT, INTEGRATION AND COHESION IN NIGERIA
SPORTS AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR NATIONAL INTEGRATION
AND COH ESION IN NIGERIA
THE ROLE OF ENGINEERING IN ACHIEVING NATIONAL INTEGRATION
AND COHESION IN NIGERIA
FINE AND APPLIED ARTS EDUCATION: IMPERATIVE FOR NATIONAL
INTEGRATION AND COHESION IN NIGERIA
ENHANCING NATIONAL INTEGRATION IN NIGERIA THROUGH ADULT
AND NON-FORMALEDUCATION PROGRAMMES
WOMEN EDUCATION AS A PANACEA FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL
EMERGENCE OF PRESIDENTIALISM IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS
IN NIGERIA: PERSPECTIVES OF AN INNOVATION
SETTLING CONFLICTS IN NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS:
IMPLICATION FOR HIGH QUALITY OF WORK AND PRODUCTIVITY
- – ODILISAMUELOTUNUYA
COUNSELING THE YOUTHS TOWARDS NATIONAL INTEGRATION
AND HARMONIOUS LIVING
THE NEED FOR WOMEN’S EDUCATION IN NIGERIA:
PROSPECT FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MORALITY AND ENTERTAINMENT IN THE 21 ST CENTURY:
ACASE STUDY OF SOME CONTEMPORARY NOLLY WOOD (YORUBA MOVIES)
PATRI ARCHIST AMBIVALENT GENDER DISLOCATION IN PEPPERSOUP
AND THE ROAD TO IBADAN: A POSTCOLONIAL/WAR DISCOURSE
-OHIA, BEN-FRED Ph D 105-108
SOCIOLINGUISTIC EFFECT OF CODE – SWITCHING AND CODE – MIXING
AMONG OGBA SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH IN SOUTH-SOUTH NIGERIA
– DR. OHIA, BEN-FRED & ALBERT IREOMA NOBLE 109-115
A Multi-disciplinary Thematic Policy Journal
DEMOCRACY, NATIONAL INTEGRATION AND COHESION IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is a British creation. It tools its roots in 1914, when the Northern and southern protectorates were amalgamated into a political entity called Nigeria. Since then Nigeria has had to grapple with challenges of achieving real national unity amidst ethnic diversity especially in the areas of cultural and language differences. In the process she has to contend with among other things, tribalism, and religious intolerance. And mistrust among citizens. These factors appear to be leading to degeneration of the nation. The problem before the nation is how to foster national integration and cohesion, as this will create room for real unity and strong feeling of national consciousness and patriotism. Since democracy as a system of government has been a strong force for national integration all over the world, its tenets could be used to solve Nigeria’s problems through the agency of education. This paper highlights factors that hinder national integration and cohesion, democracy and education, and also discusses the way forward.
Nigeria is a British creation. It took its roots in 1914 when the Northern and Southern Protectorates were amalgamated into a political entity called Nigeria. Nigeria is derived from the “Niger Territory or area” which Flora Shaw (later Lady Lugard) had used in her London Times publication of 8* January, 1987 quoted in Ejituwu (1986) in Deretaka (2008). Fawehimni (1997) in Osiagor (2000) opines that Nigeria was created without a constitution and more importantly without consent of the people inhabiting both protectorates. In 1947, Chief Obafemi Awolowo had as far back as 1947 (Osiagor, 2000) noted that Nigeria is not a nation. To him, it is a mere geographical expression thatNigeria is a distinctive appellation to distinguish those who live within defined boundaries from those who do not. It can be deduced that Nigeria’s problems were caused by the British who in their own interest decided to lump together already existing empires and kingdoms made up of different ethnic groups with also cultural and language differences without consideration for the future with respect to integration and cohesion. Given that this grievous mistake had already been made by the British, it was expected that measures were taken early to ease the tensions that would arise. Early nationalists such as Herbert Macaulay, Dr. NnamdiAzikiwe and others who had dreamt of one Nigeria were later disappointed when the Richard’s constitution introduced regionalism. Bebebiafiai (2002) opines that the political parties that were formed at that time namely the NCNC the AG and others appeared to have national outlook initially, but later degenerated into regional/tribal parties after 1954. Thus, distrust was rampant among the political leaders and each one was trying to consolidate his position in his home religion. These formed the roots of hatred and disunity in Nigeria which have worsened with time.
Meanwhile there are several factors that hinder integration and cohesion in Nigeria are language, religion, revenue allocation, federal character, 1991 census and others. (Bebebiafiai, 2002). Indeed, the problems raised above can be systematically addressed through the system of government known as democracy by making use of its tenets or principles such as consultation, freedom of expression of opinion and association, rule of law, fairness, equity, respect for persons, accountability, education with a well designed curriculum of civic, and cultural education among others. Education can be used as a tool for initiating the younger generation into a democratic way of life. Democracy was originally applied to politics in the governance of states, but it is a known fact that it can also be applied in associations, organizations, institutions of learning for effective administration for optimum results. This paper reviews the meaning and concept of democracy, education, cohesion, national integration, and also highlights the factors that hinder national integration and cohesion in Nigeria and offers suggestions for the future.
Democracy has it s roots in the Greek city states. Babarinde (1995) indicates that it is made up of two Greek words “Demos,” meaning people and “Krate,” meaning rule. Democracy is thus regarded as the rule of the people. This is also in line with the most popular definition of the term democracy advanced by Abraham Lincoln, he trying to understand the term democracy, it is also vital to look at the concept
Dr. I. A. Bebebiafiai, Department of Education Foundations, Federal College ofEducation (Technical), Omoku, Rivers State.
simply in terms of descriptive and conceptualization of individuals as their perceptions are coloured by their socio-cultural environments. Thus for example, R.S. Peters quoted in Okafor (1995) conceives ofdemocracyasawayoflifeinwhich high value is placed on the development of reason and principles such as freedom, truth-telling, impartiality and respect for persons, which the use of reason in social life presupposes (p. 19). R.S. Peters evidently adopted an interpretation of democracy which fitted his country England and thereby places importance on a way of life in which matters of policy are resolved by discussions. To decide issues by discussions Peters argues would involve relevant values such as truths, respect for persons, impartiality, consideration of interest, public accountability, freedom of speech and assembly, feeling of fraternity, analytic and well informed minds capable of criticizing public policy, among other principles.
For Dewey the idea society is a democratic society in which men interact with fellow men and thereby attain their growth and maturity. The co-operative nature of human experience was upper most in Dewey’s though. It is the degree of sharing interests and communication among groups of human beings that determine the equality of life in the given group. While Peters places his emphasis on using discussions to resolve matters of policy, Dewey bases his interpretation on two criteria; these are the extent of shared interest within the group and the amount of openness to communication among groups. Communication occurs when people formulate and express their shared experiences making use of symbolic patterns such as language. Community in this context is the human association that results as individuals come together to discuss their common experiences and problems by means of shared communication by use of language. It is through the interplay of these triple concepts of common language, communication, community, that Dewey hopes that the ideal society, namely democratic society, could be built; a society where members share the widest possible variety of interests is unimpeded by any barriers of race, religion, economic disparity and co-operation in its projects and solution of life’s problems.
For Iwe (1991) in Igbokwe (2000) “Education seeks to refine man by developing his potentials and equipping him to live a meaningful, productive, and responsible life in society ” (p. 12). Thomas (1997) in Bebefiafiai (2008) asserts that education is a basic human right and its function is to develop the talents ofthe individual to the fullest extent possible to enable him to participate freely within a free society. In other words, education confers on society and individuals roles and values which tend to change them for good.
National integration has been defined by Amucheazi (1980) as “The bringing together ofthe various ethnic and social groups into a harmonious and working relationship, with the loyalty to the country placed above any other loyalty” (p.l4). This is a problem that the country has been grappling with right from the period of independence, and achieving it has been a herculean task. This is because Nigeria isacountry of multi-ethnic nationalities each seeking recognition and relevance.
Factors that Hinder National Integration and Cohesion in Nigeria
Nigeria is faced with various problems in different dimensions that threaten her existence as a single nation. To succeed as an integrated nation the following have to be taken care of:
- 1. Language: Nigeria as an independent nation is a multilingual; she does not have a national language of her own. English language is regarded as the official language although it is not understood by every citizen. The inability of citizens to understand each other naturally breeds suspicion which affects national unity.
- 2. Religion: The three major religions of Christianity, Islam, and traditional religion appear to divide rather than unite citizens.
- 3. Inter-Ethnic Discrimination/Sectionalism/Tribalism: The apparent lack of national consciousness arises from problems associated with ethnic rivalries (Echo, 19988; Ake, 1996). These inhibit the development of the necessary political consciousness and cohesion required to pursue socio-economic progress.
- 4. Federal character: The idea ofthe federal character in Nigeria appears to be no more than an ideal
because employment for instance is generally done through ethnic lines.
5 State Creation: Opajobi (1997) is of the opinion that proliferation of states has been a catalyst for
development, but it also creates bitter feelings within the state created in Nigeria. Yet the demands for new states continue.
5. National Census: National census in Nigeria has been highly politicized to such an extent that it has become difficult to get an honest census figure for Nigeria. Any census result that does not favour the ruling groups is usually rejected irrespective of the resources put into the exercise. The controversies arise because revenue allocation and political representation are based on census figures.
7. Revenue Allocation: In the pre-war period in the 1950s and early 1960s in Nigeria, the derivation policy was 50% of whatever is realized as revenue from a given area is retained by that area. The situation changed during the Civil War. At present, crude oil producing states share just 13% of revenue from those natural resources. This continues to be a source of conflict in the country.
past efforts towards national Integration and Cohesion in Nigeria
Past leaders have made deliberate efforts to ensure and strengthen the links binding the several groups in the country. These include:
- 1. In the early 1950s, when the nationalists came to power, they adopted the policy of using education for the purpose of economic and political development, by equalizing educational opportunity as a means of ensuring ethic harmony.
- 2. The Federal Government saw the need for centralization of decision-making powers on key aspects of government in central organs and institutions, and the expansion of the role of these institutions and organs like the federal ministries, the police and national universities commission, the army and so on.
- 3. Furthermore, in an attempt to stimulate, foster and maintain national unity, national consciousness, the Federal Government introduced some measures such as the National Pledge, the National Anthem, the National Youth Service Corps programme, and also the unity secondary schools, and Federal Colleges of Education.
- 4. The Federal Government also adopted the policy of using education as an instrument for the attainment of ethnic harmony. In a bid to solve the problem of language and cultural differences, which also has been posing threats to the corporate existence of Nigeria as one nation. Federal government introduced the language bill. The question now arises as to how education can be used to transform the language bill. The question now arises as to how education can be used to transform the language and cultural differences into common traditions and cherished in the process of our national integration. In response to the above, which is enshrined in the National Policy on Education (2004), it is stipulated that, each child should be encouraged to leam one of the three major languages in Nigeria such as Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. This area has also been included in the curriculum of the N igerian education system.
- 5. Another laudable step taken by the Federal Government for the attainment of ethnic harmony and peaceful co-existence in Nigeria was the creation of consolidation of administrative structures over units smaller than the former regions and provinces.
Despite these laudable efforts geared towards the enhancement of national integration and cohesion in Nigeria, they have not really solved this nagging problem that is afflicting the nation. For this reason, we still experience the incidence of religious and ethnic clashes in some parts of the country. This invariable means that the country is yet to attain complete national integration and unity.
Democratic Values/Principles and Nigerian Education Today
Democracy in education and democratic education suggest the application of the principles of uemocracy in the theory and practice in education. Thus, “as Nigeria, aspires to democracy the citizens have to be groomed and taught democratic principles/values as clearly stated in the National Policy in Education (2004), years ago, section I (one) of the National Policy on Education (NPE), is titled, philosophy of Nigerian Education and the first paragraph of the document rightly observes that education policy or philosophy of education of any society must be based on its “overall philosophy and objectives “
The second National Development (1970-1974), had outlined five main national objectives which the National Policy on Education (2004) adopted as the necessary foundations for Nigerian objectives are articulated as the building of:-
- i. A free and democratic society;
- ii. A j ust and egalitarian society;
- iii. A united strong and self-reliant nation;
- iv. Agreat and dynamic economy;
- v. Aland of bright and full opportunities for all citizens.
It is clear from the outset that those who produced the NPE and the federal government which adopted it committed themselves to use our educational system as a means of building a society committed to the pursuit and cultivation of democratic values of the five main national objectives outlined in the first two and the last one point directly to the democratic values, that is the values that make possible and sustain a democratic society. The question is, what are values? Thus, values may be defined in a variety of ways. They are standards, principles, or criteria forjudging things on one side, on the other hand, to be good worthwhile or desirable or on the other hand, bad, worthless, despicable or somewhere inbetween these extremes. Iheoma (2000) states that in addition, to enable us to judge the worth of things, values are also and more importantly principles which guide our behaviours, actions, and social interactions, in a senses, values function as beliefs and all beliefs have cognitive and affective behavioural components. They are the guiding principles of our actions as well as the force or drive behind them. Hence, it is clear that the democratic principles clearly stated in the National Policy on Education over the years were not properly taught to students at all levels of our educating system or they were not taught at all.
Nowadays perhaps because of the economic hardship and low morale, have compounded the problems of many teachers and even lecturers, because they no longer regard their work as “sacred duty deserving dedication and sense of responsibility.” The result of it is calamitous (Iheoma, 2000). This point is made clear as a result of the undemocratic culture of our educational institutions being experienced in recent times. This clearly shows that the National Policy on Education published more than thirty years ago, has remained exactly what it is. This means that we have not achieved the aims and objectives of the National Policy on Education. The values and principles clearly enshrined in the five National objectives mentioned earlier, have not really influence the recipients of our entire educational system. Viewed from the above, this means that our children and youths should be adequately taught the tenets of democracy in schools, colleges and universities. Iheoma (2000) opines that, this should be done theoretically and practically, so as to achieve optimum results. This has become imperative, since they are to be fully involved at the end, they will then be able to apply these principles effectively not only in governance, but also in associations, organizations, schools, and even in the entire Nigerian society which will in turn create room for national integration and cohesion in Nigeria.
In line with the above view Akinpelu (1988) in Bebebiafiai (2010) holds that before now subjects such as civics, social studies, government etc were included in the school curriculum for political and cultural education. For the development of learners in these areas, also for them to fully understand the tenets of democracy, but that was vcty inadequate as learners were only informed or taught the political structures, organizations, and processes in government, but were not involved theoretically and practically to enable them participate effectively in politics, and also cultural education, like what the Athenians normally do in their ‘Polis’, This is in line with Peters (1966) discussion on education and democracy who holds that “such can be done by instruction, the study of institutions, and other political and cultural development by making visits to parliaments, and council meetings, but practical experience is far more important” (p.3), this is in accord with the lucid exploration of knowledge and understanding and concludes that education implies that a man’s outlook is transformed by what he knows.
Following the above trend of events, as has been established that our students have not been adequately handled in our schools, and so they do n’t have the sound mastery of these democratic
tenets, as a result they are unable to apply them in needed situations such as in institutions of learning, in organizations, or in our communities, that is why we do not treat fellow citizens fairly, lack of respect for persons, solving problems without thorough discussions, and interactions, these breed hatred, interethnic discriminations, and so on.
One of the objectives of Nigeria is to be a democratic society. As mentioned earlier, it is only through education that we can achieve the above objective. This is so because the only way we can Ijave proper understanding of the meaning of democracy, the implications, justifications, audits relation with other principles of morality and conduct is through education. Education therefore should be a tool for initiating the younger generation into a democratic way of life.
It is necessary at this point in time, to state that, democracy and education are strongly linked. Both are inseparable. This is quite in line with the works of John Dewey. Indeed, his most celebrated book served as a prime mover in the remaking of America’s entire educational system in terms of theory and practice then, it will equally work for us in our Nigerian schools, colleges, and universities’in terms of our achieving national integration and cohesion in Nigeria, through the teaching and learning of democratic principles or tenets. Some of the tenets or conditions ofdemocracy are:
- (i) Consultation
- (ii) Freedom of expression of opinion and association
- (iii) Rule of law
- (iv) Accountability etc.
Let’s briefly discuss them for thorough clarification oftheir meanings.
I. Consultation: Thus, if a system is to be described as democratic, the people or at least those to be affected by particular government measures must be consulted, in the view of Adawole (1989) where people are not consulted on major issues and government can just make any pronouncement on what touches them directly as individuals or indirectly as members of the society, the system amounts to totalitarianism, consultation is basic to such fundamental moral principles of consideration of interests and respect for persons both of which involve an inherent disregard of public opinion and feeling of those concerned, with particular action of government. This implies non-consideration of interest as well as alack ofrespect.for persons.
(iii) Freedom of Expression of Opinion and Association: Freedom of expression of opinion and association is logically necessary for democracy, in that, without this provision being made for it consultation as a procedure will be meaningless. Adewole (1989). also stressed that individuals and groups being affected by particular government policy cannot only articulate their views but state them. To him, it is this condition such can enable them come together to put pressure to bear on government. It is only with this condition that the fundamental moral principles of liberty can be given effect to freedom of expression and association, is however not without limits, that limit is set by the need to ensure that no individual infringes into the freedom of others in the exercise of expression of his views or being a member to a particular association.
- iii. Rule of Law: The rule of law also must be provided for in any democratic system of government. Rule of law prescribes that those exercising authority must themselves conform to constitutional provisions and laws governing interpersonal relationships. Where one set of laws exists for the government, another one for the governed, the government always rules according to whims and caprices, this implies for individual citizen’s right.
- iv. Accountability: Accountability is another democratic condition or principle, which is needed to be applied in schools, colleges, universities, organizations, and in societies. This is important because the case of accountability in the school system for example rests on the fact that education involves huge expenditure of public money, and so, educators will therefore be accountable to the public, with regard to the way they run their schools. Same is applicable to organizations, associations, without which there will be problems among the members of an organization or association.
Accountability can take different forms for instance in governance, the rules or his ministers are often being required periodically to “face the people” on television and ask questions by journalists on aspects ol government policy. Adewole (1989). Also in a democracy, there is need to periodically take government to task through being required to account for its actions, or his achievements over a period of time, in recent times it is usually carried out usually in every hundred days in office.
These can be taught through subject arc.
- (i) Social studies
- (ii) Civics (now civic education)
- (iii) African/Nigerian History
- (iv) Philosophy
- (v) Govemment/Political Science
- (vi) Economics
- (vii) Jurisprudence
(viii) Languages – English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and others.
It is suggested that the above mentioned subject areas should be taught along with the ones already in the present day school curriculum. This is to enable the nation achieve more dependable outcomes. National integration and cohesion are caused by ignorance and the absence of a well designed programme for civic and cultural education in the Nigerian education system. The entire citizenry should be introduced to cultural and civic education through designed curricula. Beside programme of civic and cultural education, the teaching of democratic ideas and principles is«>: importance. This is to enable us achieve one of the main Nigerian educational objectives enshrined m me National policy on Education, which is to build a free and democratic society.
Ebo (1988) in Bebebiafiai (2010) holds that if democracy is to survive the educational system must teach certain knowledge about society and its traditions, and inculcate certain qualities so that citizens would both wish to and be able to participate in the affairs of society and even in the ruling of their society. Such an education ought to pave the way for broad mindedness, greater tolerance and accommodation of other people’s views. This is highly needed in our Nigerian society today, for peace to reign in the various ethnic groups.
Furthermore, it is necessary to also point out here that, though there arc several teaching methods, in the teaching of various subjects,but theone that is suitable to be used in this programme in order to achieve the above mentioned purpose is dialogue. The writer decided to suggest this method because there should be dialogue between the teacher and the taught, and between students and students. This means that, dialogue has to do with students, in the area of exchanging ideas in any given issues, so as to achieve truth, and good human relationships. This brings about a clearer understanding of the issues raised or in a learning situation as they dialogue.
In addition dialogue as a method o teaching creates room for critical reflection and thinking on the part of the students. This is in line with John Dewey’s views because he believe that, the degree of sharing interestsand communication among groups of human beings determines the quality of life. As mentioned earlier, students should be taught theoretically and practically, it will be very interesting for us to note here that, the early Athenians took this very seriously since education introduced their children and youths tc civic and cultural life of their city states under the supervision of their elders and older boys. As Castle (1966) quoted in Kosemani( 1988) states:
‘”They were made to learn their city’s laws, they were taken to the law courts, they listened to political discussions of their elders, they attend the finest productionsofa great dramatic tradition and mixed in the teaming and vivid life of the public places, learning what citizenship involved by seeing the city’s institutions at work”(p.\45).
In ancient Athens the schools prepared the people for life in democratic situations by giving both theoretical and practical experiences in social and political life. We also expect that Nigerian should do same for our children and youths.
Democracy, National Integration and Cohesion
It is clear from the trend above, that, ifthe proposed civic and cultural education is introduced,
and implemented in the Nigerian educational system, and the entire citizenry are adequately educated, the undemocratic life style of most Nigerians will definitely give way to a democratic way of life because they will be enabled to apply the principles of democracy in their daily lives; especially in our institutions of learning, and in our communities. This is because the citizens have been sharpened by the type of education that they have received. Also backed with the sound knowledge of the three Nigerian languages, Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, will go a long a way to solve the problem of National Integration and Cohesion in Nigerian. The principles of democracy could be applied by the recipients as follows:
Consultation : As mentioned earlier under this democratic tenet, it is demanded that, for a system to be described as democratic the people or at least those that are affected by any government measures or policy beconsulted.lt follows that, the citizens having been adequately educated in this regard have come to have the understanding that people should be consulted on policy issues affecting them. This means that, people will no longer be passive about issues of government that concerns them, but will endeavour to question government, for clarification of such issues to them. Thus, in the process of doing this, all the discussions will be based on the use of democratic tenets. For instance, they will be able to interact freely considering the interests of others and also have respect for other people’s views.
Freedom of Expression of Opinion and Association:This tenet of democracy demands that, people be allowed to express their views on matters affecting their welfare or be free to form associations and also have freedom of worship in the country to which they belong. In the same vein, citizens of our country should be allowed to express their views on matters affecting their welfare; in institutions of learning at all levels of our education system; and in all our different communities; especially where people from different ethnic groups co-exist together. This is one of the major problems afflicting the nation up to the House of Representatives where people due to misunderstanding fight openly in recent times.
Following this tenet, the people at the helm of affairs in government or Heads of Institutions, or towns or villages or communities, should be patient enough to listen attentively to such issues and problems that affect the people. This is so because most times when problems occur in our communities, universities, schools and colleges, government agencies the fault mostly is with the authorities concerned, particularly in their failure to ensure free flow of communication with the people concerned.
Furthermore, with the masses being adequately educated, all issues affecting them will be carefully handled, since there will be free flow of communications with the people and the authorities involved. They will then be able to listen attentively to their problems, and in turn sojvethem through peaceful negotiations, interactionsand discussions.
Also, the masses will come to understand that, in the exercising of their own associations whose objectives are in consonant with the purpose of the growth of the community, and the entire nation and whose views are not detrimental to other’s interest. It is believed that, the formation of these associationswill enable them to articulate their views, and also help them to solve their groups and individual problems.
In addition, under this tenet there is also the freedom of worship. In the application of this democratic tenet, it is to be ensured that, Christians and Moslems worship freely in our towns and villages without molestation of any form, or inter-religious conflicts. This will go a long way to solve the problem or religious-intolerance being experienced in Nigeria today.
Equity; This is another important democratic principle that is relevant to our discussion. This means a fair and reasonable way of behaving towards people, so that everyone is treated in the same way. This invariable means that all amenities meant for all the states should be equitably distributed nation-wide. If this important demarcate principle is appropriately applied in needed areas, it will go a long to solve the problem of our federal character whereby all the stateswill be represented in all appointments, jobs etc.it will also solve the problem of revenue allocation which is one the major problems in Nigeria till today. This definitely will foster national integration and cohesion in Nigeria. Thus, the problem of ethnic discrimination, religious-intolerance sectionalism will finally be solved.
Way Forward: At this juncture, there is need for to provide suggestion and modalities to achieve one of the fiian Nigeria educational objectives clearly enshrined in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013) the building of a free and democratic society The simple question in this regard is how can this be
achieved? The answer to this question is that, it can only be achieved through education. Thus, for this reason, the writer of this paper, is suggesting and has proposed that a system of education known as “civic and cultural education ” be introduced in the Nigerian educational system for the entire citizenry. It has also been evidently established in this paper that, it is only when Nigerians are massively and adequately educated that they will be enabled to appropriately apply the tenets of democracy in needed situations. In this way they will be enabled to make use of the tenets of democracy to solve the problems of National Integration and Cohesion which is one of the problems afflicting our nation. Below are some of suggestions and modalities to achieve the above:
- (a) Review of the Policy on Education: To achieve this will imply a functional and definitive philosophy of education with emphasis on civic and cultural education at the core. Okoh (2005) has made a “national call to Nigerians to orientate their minds to the risk of an educational system without a philosophical base Also Ubong (2012) has suggested review of the National Policy on Education by the Nigerian Education and Research Council (NERDC) towards goals on education.
- (b) Recruitment of Qualified Teachers: We can only achieve the above lofty plan with the employment of qualified teachers in our institutions of learning. Indeed, the condition under which education can be made to serve the expressed aspirations of the country revolves round the quality of the teacher. Quality education as not possible without an intelligent, well educated and professionally qualified teaching staff dedicated to the service for humanity.
- (c) Planning: Nigerians are good planners of gigantic educational programmes but often times unable to effectively implement and sustain them. For this reason therefore, thorough implementation process should be made by the Federal Government before embarking on programmes.
- (d) Physical Facilities and Learning Materials: A common problem that features in most Nigerian schools is the dearth of physical facilities and learning materials. Physical facilities and learning materials include: classroom blocks, with adequate desks, tables, chairs. While learning materials included libraries with adequate desks, tables, chairs. While learning materials included libraries with relevant textbooks, language laboratories, others, are audio-visual and visual aids, science laboratory equipment and computers.
- (e) Funding: In Nigeria, education is not often adequately funded or catered for, whereas is a known that education is an expensive venture. It is for this reason that the National Policy on Education (2004), clearly stipulates that, education is an expensive social service that requires adequate financial provisions from all tiers of government for successful implementation of various programmes. Also Ubong (2013) commenting on the underfunding of the entire Nigerian education stressed that only 3% of the Federal Government expenditure on the average went to education between 1993 to 2004, as against 26% recommended by UNESCO.
- (f) Monitoring: In addition to inspectors and supervisors of schools, the Federal Government should constitute a monitoring team for each state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and its capital territory Abuja, for the purpose of monitoring and evaluation of the activities of the proposed programmes.
As can be clearly seen from the above trend of events, the principles or tenets of democracy, as a system of government can be conveniently used to foster national integration and cohesion in Nigeria through education. For this reason, the writer of this paper has suggested the introduction of “civic and cultural education “ in the Nigerian education system for the entire citizenry. Thus, it has been evidently established in the paper that, it is only when Nigerians are adequately educated in the (proposed) programme mentioned above, that they will be enabled to apply the tenets of democracy when such need arises, and in this way foster national integration and cohesion in Nigeria. This will go a long way to create room for national unity, feeling of fraternity, patriotism, and growth and development of the economic, political and social sphere of the nation.
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