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Home Up ANDRAGOGY UBEC-NMEC EDU, WORK & PROD MDGs THROUGH EDUC REFORMS

 

 

NETWORKING UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION (UBEC)

 AND

NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION (NMEC)

 

FOR

SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

 

 

 

by

  

Idowu Biao

 

 

CONTENT

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

 

CHAPTER TWO

THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

CHAPTER THREE

THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

CHAPTER FOUR

AN ANALYSIS OF THE OBJECIVES STRATEGIES AND GOAL OF THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION AND THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

CHAPTER FIVE

USING THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION OUTFIT TO REALIZE SOME OF THE OBJECTIVES OF THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Nigeria was born as a nation in 1914. From that time on, it showed unwavering faith in the power of education to advance development. Hence, the expansion of the formal education sector beginning from 1960, the establishment of supplementary and complementary educational agencies such as the Nomadic Education Commission, the National Mass Education Commission and the Universal Basic Education Commission.

 

In spite of the establishment of these agencies, backwardness in education is still an issue in the country as only 1 out of 3 school aged children finds a place in primary school, 1 out of 16 school aged children in secondary school, less than 35 percent of successful primary school pupils proceed to Junior Secondary School and adult illiteracy and poverty indicators remain predominantly high.

 

If Nigeria must remain relevant in the committee of nations in the 21st century, an overhauling of her education strategy must be undertaken. Currently, the universal basic education seems to be making one sided impact on the education scene; the focus being currently on children, ¾ of Nigerians needing education are left out of the education supply channel in the country.

 

To remedy this poor situation, networking UBEC and NMEC activities is here strongly advocated whereby UBEC may benefit from the matured strategies, numerous facilities and experience of NMEC in facilitating learning within the non-formal education sector even while learning is being vigorously promoted within the formal school system. Specifically, it is recommended that  UBEC and NMEC should enter into the running of joint instructional radio programmes, joint FGN-UNICEF NFE programmes and the establishment of joint learning friendly environments


 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

 

 

Before a worthwhile discussion of the general features and landmarks in Nigerian educational development can be undertaken, Nigeria needs to be presented in its geo-political context.

 

 

EVOLUTION OF THE NIGERIAN NATION

 

The process leading to the creation of the country referred to today as Nigeria went through two major stages; first, all the clans and ethnic groups living in the geographical zones known today as Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria were brought together to make up two British Protectorates, with the Lagos Colony technically belonging to the Southern Protectorate. Secondly, these protectorates were brought together in 1914 to form the present country known as Nigeria.

 

Since Nigeria came into existence, and especially since it became an independent country in 1960, it has been working towards becoming a nation; a nation is a geo-political entity made up of a discernible geographical zone and a people with an easily discernible identity and whose common and main goal is the building of a unique, virile and strong society.

 

Under the pressure of compelling socio-political events, and in an effort to make a nation out of this country, Nigeria started out with three political Regions in 1960; however, by 1963, a fourth Region was established and by 1967, twelve States were carved out of the existing four Regions; from this moment on, the country was speedily balkanized into 19 States, 21 States, 30 States and 36 States in 1976, 1987, 1991 and 1996 respectively.

 

Although, in its first 40 years of independence, Nigeria made progress as much as it could, it was beginning from 1999, that a revolutionary-like political agenda finally broke the country off its slow welfarist approach to development. Beginning from 1999, the global economy strategy was adopted, corruption was tackled head-long and education was identified as a viable tool for both individual and national development.

 

 

EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

 

The advent of formal education or the Western European model of education in Nigeria must be traced to Badagry, a town currently located in Lagos State. It was here that in 1842, the Wesleyan Methodist Society opened the first school in Nigeria. Ferguson, an ex-slave of Yoruba descent was the person that convinced the local chiefs of the inherent good in bringing Christian missionaries from Sierra Leone to Badagry for the purpose of establishing both their churches and schools (Ejiogu,1988).

 

At about this same period too, the colonial administration in Lagos submitted to the Colonial Office in London an education plan aimed at providing it with clerks and administrators (Adesina and Johnson, 1981); this plan was promptly approved by the Colonial Office. Coupled therefore with the early missionary incursion in the educational field, this approval fuelled up the growth of formal education in Nigeria.

 

Additionally, by the 1950s, the struggle for independence had begun to gather momentum in the country and a number of the liberation fighters of that time, openly expressed the desire to use education as a tool for social and economic development once the country was granted political independence.

 

All these factors contributed to the development of formal education in the country and the visible and palpable results were that between 1960 and 1983 the number of students enrolled in Nigerian institutions at all levels, quintupled; primary school enrolments increased the most in absolute terms as enrolment even exceeded the fifth fold; the number of secondary schools tripled and secondary school enrolments went up three folds; the number of teacher training institutions went up three folds and students’ enrolment in those institutions increased three folds; the number of universities doubled and a dramatic increase in university students’ enrolment was recorded. Additionally, the number of teachers increased about fourfold at primary school level, eightfold at secondary school level and threefold at the tertiary level during this same period (World Bank 1988:12 & 13).

 

When this situation is analysed in  figures, it is found that while in 1960, Nigeria’s year of independence, the country had 15,703 primary schools, 883 secondary schools and 2 universities (Adesina & Johnson, 1981:6), by 1991, the country ran 35,446 primary schools, 5860 secondary schools and 31 universities respectively (FGN, 1991). By the year 2006, the liberalization policy of the Federal and State Governments in all sectors, had facilitated the advent of private, voluntary and government primary schools the number of which is now about 202,000; one hundred and two secondary schools and 76 private and government universities equally exist in 2006.

 

Yet, as rosy and as tremendous as these educational achievements may seem, Nigeria remains backward in educational advancement and achievement. A number of reasons account for this conclusion. First, while it has been scientifically determined that only countries that would allocate a minimum of 26 percent of their  annual budget to education would be successful in keeping their populations fairly above the threshold of illiteracy, Nigeria, in the 21st century, still allocates less than 20 percent of its annual budget to education. Yet, if in 1960, traditional illiteracy was the only formidable obstacle against development in Nigeria, in the third millennium, the country will not make a headway unless it is ready to address myriad forms of illiteracy. Secondly, it has been consistently shown that only 1 out of every 3 Nigerian school aged children ever get a place in primary schools while only 1 out every 16 secondary school aged youths find a place in secondary schools (Adesina & Johnson, 1981; Biao, 1991, 1995). Naturally, less than one out of one hundred youths is currently getting a place in universities.

 

Thirdly, although by 2002, traditional literacy rate of persons aged 15  years and above in Nigeria has been put at about 60 percent (Mauch, 2003), the story of literacy has become very complex in the world; it is no more sufficient to merely read,  write and enumerate; it is now important to acquire relevant knowledge to live in the globalised world of today and to manage the heavily knowledge based economy of the 21st century. Additionally a fair knowledge of Information Communication technology is called for as part of mastering literacy of the 21st century. While Nigeria, is yet to lay the structure for the teaching and learning of the literacy of the 21st century, the few students who complete the 6-year primary school education have been found not to attain permanent literacy. Additionally, with the increase in number of urban centres, the urban literacy dimension imposes itself as an important aspect of literacy teaching and learning in the country.  An urban area is a town with a population running above three thousand; it is generally a densely populated area and a highly heterogeneous area; it is often a buoyant place with a wide range of non-agricultural occupations (Rogers, 2005). Between 1960 and the 2000s, many Nigerian communities have undergone this urban phenomenon. Consequently, almost half of Nigeria is now urbanized thereby bringing to the fore urban issues which were not earlier on prominent in literacy work in the country.

Fourthly, the poor performance at the health sector level equally serves as an indictment of the national educational sector; for example, malaria (30%), diarrhea (20%) and VPD (20%) account for 70 percent of child mortality in the country; hemorrhage (23%), sepsis (17%), malaria (11%) and anaemia (11%)  account for about 70 percent of maternal mortality in the country (UNICEF, 1998). Since the 1990s, HIV/AIDS and malaria have become the greatest health menace in the country. This situation exists because the education format and agenda of Nigeria is yet to be made quite utilitarian and relevant to the times.

 

Fifthly, poverty has remained both an issue and an endemic condition in the country not because Nigeria is not rich; indeed Nigeria is the richest black nation and indeed one of the richest countries in Africa. The trouble is that the educational policy and plan adopted in 1960 were incongruous to the aspirations of the Nigerian population and to the realities on ground at independence. Were the education of the youths beginning from 1960, made pragmatic and utilitarian by being woven around agriculture and artisanal practices, poverty would have begun to be eradicated through education. This view is supported by Thompson (1983:96-103) who stated that education of developing countries could easily produce more educated persons than the economy can employ because first, such systems may end up producing persons with the wrong kind of skills, secondly, where governments of these countries fail to create jobs on a continuous basis, the products of their educational systems would be faced with stern joblessness as education by itself cannot create jobs; thirdly since salaries paid to educated personnel in poor countries is “substantially higher by comparison with average per capita income than is the case in richer countries”, developing countries’ economies would be able to  absorb  only a small number of educated persons produced by their educational systems.

 

The National Policy on Education has been variously revised with the view to bringing education to serve as an instrument for the eradication of poverty; this document which was first produced in 1977 was revised in 1981, 1998 and 2004. It is equally being revised in 2006 with the view to repositioning Nigerian education for the actualization of the United Nations Millennium Development goals and with the view to conforming with the spirit of globalization.

 

On a sixth position, the population of the country has been found to impact on the education system negatively; this is not to say that the large population of the country is a problem or a bad thing in itself; the issue is centred around the management of this population; first, there has been extreme difficulty in accurately assessing the size of this population; this phenomenon has made it difficult to roll out any credible educational plan that may be smoothly executed. With the current estimate of 150 million Nigerians with about 45 percent of such a population aged between 0 and 15 years, educational planners have been drudging on. It is however hoped that the national census conducted in 2006, will yield most reliable data which can be used in planning future national educational schemes.

 

The beginning of the malaises in the Nigerian educational system can equally be traced to historical root of the country. Before independence, certain  steps were taken which have been found to have brought about educational imbalance in later years.

 

In the 1950s, while the Southern Regions of Nigeria were vigorously promoting Universal Primary Education (UPE), the Northern Region promoted adult education with emphasis on Ajami literacy. While in the south, the adults who were not taken along in educational campaigns grew and coalesced into thick and thicker populations of illiterate adults, in the north, the youths that were left to roam the streets soon constituted an important population of young illiterates.

 

It was not before 1976 that the educational dichotomy created by southern and northern Nigeria’s educational policies was brought to the fore and magnetized. At this time, it was discovered that neither the south nor the north was right in its educational policy. Consequently, by 1976, the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced throughout the country, the Universal Primary Education (UPE) and encouraged  all States in the federation not only to support the UPE but also to take steps aimed at stepping up their mass education efforts. 

 

The effort at addressing this imbalance went on until the mid 1980s when another crisis hit the Nigerian educational sector. This time the crisis began from an economic recession. By the 1980s, an economic recession hit not only Nigeria but all African countries; this recession began at the beginning of the 1980s and by mid 1980s, it had taken a heavy toll on the education of all African countries including Nigeria. For example, while there were 51.3 million and 11.1 million students in sub-saharan African primary and secondary schools in 1983, by the close of the 1980s, these same figures had gone down to 40 million and 7 million respectively (World Bank, 1988).

 

In Nigeria, the situation nose-dived even more catastrophically; between 1985 and 2000, many government policies threw spanners within the educational system. First, it was the introduction of the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme which came to be known as SAP that drastically reduced the flow of funds into the education sector; secondly, an authoritarian military junta seized power and made of Nigeria a parrhia State  viz-a-viz the international community and thirdly, it was the launching of Nigeria into the globalised world that equally became an issue of interest. Each of these events had their nefarious effect on the Nigerian educational system.

 

For example, between 1985 and 2000, Nigerian tertiary institutions, especially universities were awash with endless industrial actions which rendered tertiary education ineffective, unprofitable and worthless. While the salary of tertiary institutions’ teachers was too low to cater for their needs, teachers in both primary and secondary schools were left for months without salaries. Essential  educational facilities such as school buildings, laboratories, workshops and vehicles decayed and fell apart without any hope of replacement. Even chalk with which to write on the board became an essential commodity which was sought after with fervour. For lack of useful work to do, students, especially tertiary institutions’ students took to cult activities which turned the campuses into evil spots.

 

However, within the frame of this melo-dramatic educational tragedy, there have been flashpoints of hope. For example in 1989, there was established a National Commission for Nomadic Education; in 1991, the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education was established and by 1999, the Universal Basic Education Commission was founded. Each of these commissions was established with the view to salvaging the sinking educational boat of the nation and to ameliorate Nigerian educational fortunes. While Nomadic Education Commission caters for the education of the nomads, the National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and non-formal education caters for the education of adults and out-of-school youths; on its part, the Universal Basic Education Commission is to provide basic education mainly to students in primary and junior secondary schools but also to youths outside the formal school system.

 

TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

While all that has been said in the preceding chapter may be considered as general factors that encouraged the establishment of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), a few factors may here be considered as direct precipitators of the founding of this commission.

 

 

BACKGROUND TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

Although the whole world, including developing countries, has always recognized education as tool for human emancipation and national development, only developed countries took the provision of education to their citizenry most seriously. This fact was confirmed when in not too distant a past, Mr. Tony Blair, a British Prime Minister affirmed when he was asked about his priorities if he got back to office a second time, that he had three priorities the first of which was education, the second, education and the third, education.

 

If the developing world would not take the provision of education seriously, beginning from 1990 however, pressure began to be mounted on it for the purpose of bringing it to act responsibly and decisively as it concerns provision of education to its citizens. First, it was the world conference in Jomtien Thailand which held in 1990 that reviewed development in the world and came out with the conclusion that only education for all citizens of the world will sustain the level of development so far achieved and lay solid and credible foundation for future developmental achievement; consequently, at the end of that conference, a document was issued which was entitled World Declaration On Education For ALL, Jomtien 1990, which called on all nations of the world to provide all their citizens with basic education.

 

Secondly, it was at the 1993 Education Summit in New Delhi, India that 9 countries were fingered as being responsible for retarding the progress of the world; these nine countries which include Nigeria and Egypt as African representatives, hold within their borders, high illiterate populations which constitute about half of the world’s population; this situation having been identified as a future human tragedy time bomb, all wealthy countries agreed to help and without delay, the two African countries (Egypt and Nigeria) and other seven countries out of their educational predicament. These support and commitment having been given by developed countries, the 2001 Beijing Conference reviewed achievements of the E-9 countries and recommended that greater efforts be made so that the target of Education for All and the eradication of illiteracy might be met in the shortest possible time.

 

Thirdly, at many fora and especially within the context of the African Union’s (AU) Decade of Education in Africa (1977-2006), Africa has made its own efforts and declarations of good intention towards realising the dream of a literate Africa within the first part of the 21st century.

 

In statistical terms, the level of wastage recorded in Nigeria’s educational system became a justification not only for bringing in most of school aged children into the primary schools but also to ensure that all that enter primary schools, proceed to the junior secondary schools. One example of the wastage experienced in the system is shown on the following table where on the average, less than 35 percent of pupils that completed Primary 6 (Pry 6) in 1999 transited to Junior Secondary School 1 (JSS1).

 

Table 1: NUMBERS OF 1999 PRIMARY SCHOOL FINAL CLASS      PUPILS AND THE PERCENTAGE THAT TRANSITED TO JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL ONE IN ALL STATES OF NIGERIA AND ABUJA FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY

 

 

States

No of Primary VI

Pupils in 1999

No of JSS 1

Students in 2000

% Of Pupils

Transiting

Abia

102,275

16,374

16.01%

Adamawa

58,661

5,815

9.91%

Akwa Ibom

76,000

21,727

28.59%

Anambra

49,461

32,063

64.82%

Bauchi

82,756

13,785

16.66%

Bayelsa

32,708

6,269

19.17%

Benue

67,152

9,637

14.35%

Borno

81,008

6,629

8.18%

C/River

50,200

15,323

30.52%

Delta

86,537

40,536

46.84%

Ebonyi

42,283

2,513

5.94%

Edo

101,373

45,321

44.71%

Ekiti

43,840

6,127

13.97%

Enugu

42,647

23,643

55.02%

Gombe

56,766

17,650

31.09%

Imo

82,554

13,916

16.86%

Jigawa

72,927

4,656

6.38%

Kaduna

57,544

17,955

31.20%

Kano

159,741

32,286

6,31%

Katsina

74,589

13,398

17.96%

Kebbi

25,738

19,540

75.92%

Kogi

65,934

17,501

27.38%

Kwara

42,670

14,533

99.61%

Lagos

93,801

93,433

99.61%

Nasarawa

38,792

16,383

42.07%

Niger

40,432

19,296

47.72%

Ogun

59,947

41,906

69.91%

Ondo

66,757

30,295

45.38%

Osun

63,477

38,719

60.10%

Oyo

112,800

67,841

60.14%

Plateau

53,701

28,620

53.30%

Rivers

50,853

28,769

56.57%

Sokoto

52,822

11,647

22.04%

Taraba

52,004

5,728

2.43%

Yobe

78,735

9,461

12.02%

Zamfara

30,619

6,860

22.40%

FCT Abuja

20,675

10,936

52.89%

Total

2,391,779

806,811

33.73%

 

  Source: Federal Ministry of Education: Baseline Data 2001

 

Table 1 shows that only about 34 percent of all 1999 Primary VI pupils were made places for in Junior Secondary School one (JSS1) in 2000. out of 37 political entities ( 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory), only 7 States succeeded in transiting 60 percent or more pupils into JSS1. Apart from States in western Nigeria, all other States that transited about 60 percent of their pupils to JSS1, had less than 50,000 pupils to transit from primary VI to JSS1.

 

Going by the fact that only few Nigerian youths get places in primary schools, the picture just painted suggests that majority of Nigerian youths are denied education. These youths eventually grow up into adulthood to swell up the already existing large population of adult illiterates.While this situation may have brought home the picture of the wastage being discussed, all these pupils who transit to JSS1 do not usually succeed in completing the junior secondary cycle . 

 

 

Additionally, illiteracy and lack of education has always been seen as a source  and harbinger of poverty and disease. Having studied the incidences of poverty in Nigeria in 1980, 1985, 1992 and 1996, it became clear that something more serious and indeed more drastic needs be done about the provision of basic education if poverty is to be reduced to the barest level.

The table that follows, highlights the indices that have a bearing with poverty and the performance of Nigerians on these indices during the years under review.

 

Table2: INCIDENCE OF POVERTY IN NIGERIA: SELECTED YEARS (PERCENTAGE OF POOR PEOPLE IN TOTAL POPULATION)

 

 

Factor

1980

1985

1992

1996

National

Geopolitical Zones

Northeast

Northwest

North Central

Southeast

Southwest

South Central

Sector

Urban

Rural

Gender of head of household

Male

Female

Size of household

1 person

2.4 people

5-9 people

10-20 people

More than 20 people

Education of head of household

None

Primary

Secondary

Postsecondary

Age of head of household

15-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55-64

Other than 65

28.1

 

35.6

37.7

32.2

12.9

13.4

13.2

 

17.2

28.3

 

29.2

26.9

 

2.0

8.8

30.0

51.0

80.9

 

30.2

21.3

7.6

24.3

 

16.2

17.8

26.7

27.1

39.7

28.8

46.3

 

54.9

52.1

50.8

30.4

38.6

45.7

 

37.8

51.4

 

47.3

38.6

 

7.0

19.3

50.5

71.3

74.9

 

51.3

40.6

27.2

24.4

 

25.3

33.4

46.0

49.7

55.7

49.1

42.7

 

54.0

36.5

46.0

41.0

43.1

40.8

 

37.5

46.0

 

45.1

39.9

 

29.0

19.3

51.5

66.1

93.3

 

46.4

43.3

30.3

25.8

 

28.7

28.5

42.1

45.7

48.2

49.5

65.6

 

70.1

77.2

64.3

53.5

50.9

58.2

 

58.2

69.3

 

66.4

58.5

 

13.1

59.3

74.8

88.5

93.6

 

72.6

54.4

52.0

49.2

 

37.4

52.7

52.7

71.3

69.9

68.0

 

    Source:  National Planning Commission 2004

 

 

 Table 2 shows that by 1996, an almost equal percentage of men and women headed Nigerian families. Going by the level of poverty that has so far wrecked havoc in many Nigerian families, one may safely suggest that by the first decade of the 21st century, more women than men were at the heads of Nigerian families. Yet, all statistics point to the fact that while about 58 percent of Nigerians are literate, the ratio of literate men to literate women is about 2 to 1. (Mauch 2005,

NMEC1996, 2004).

 

Were these female heads of family given education and made Permanently literate, they would have not only encouraged the education of more Nigerian children, youths and adults, but they would have also helped inthe quest for utilitarian education and for the search for a Nigerian education that was more congruous with Nigerian social realities. As if the situation described

earlier was not already bad enough, table 2 shows that 72.6 percent of all heads of family in Nigeria in 1996 had no formal education whatsoever. The bulk of these heads of family are made up of Nigerians aged between 25 and 64 years; additionally, these illiterate heads of family preside over families made up of 20 persons on the average.

 

All these statistics are not encouraging at all as they give the impression that Nigeria is a gigantic country of illiterate people that may continue to recycle illiteracy perpetually unless some drastic action was taken.

 

The most positive and purposeful action that can be taken is in the form of provision of education. Education has been used in the past and in many circumstances to redress even worse situations than the ones described here. Indeed, in the words of Hinzen and Pollinger (2004), poverty is a virus against which the most efficacious weapon of combat is only knowledge. 

 

 

BASIC EDUCATION WITHIN THE NIGERIAN CONTEXT

 

All projects that intend to succeed are rested on some form of philosophy; the philosophy serving as foundation for these projects is usually betrayed through the manner in which the said projects are defined.

 

Nigeria has a bipolar conception of basic education since the following is the definition adopted:

 

“Basic Education” in the context of the law, bears a restrictive definition in section 15(1) to mean, early childhood care and education and the nine years of formal schooling while “Universal Basic Education” has been broadly defined to include, early childhood care and education, the nine years of formal schooling, adult literacy and non-formal education, skills acquisition programmes and the education of special groups such as nomads and migrants, girl-child and women, almajiri, street children and disabled groups. (UBEC, 2004: 29)

 

From the foregoing, it is within the frame of universal basic education that the practice of non-formal education is promoted. Universal Basic Education then offers opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes through both the processes of formal education and non-formal education. The structure adopted by the formal system of universal basic education is made up of the Early Childhood School, the 6-year Primary School and the 3-year Junior Secondary School; while the structure that needs to be profitably adopted by the non-formal  education, falls within the myriad of flexible arrangements for the education of the various categories of people that by necessity must be educated outside the formal school system; this non-formal education structure ranges from evening schools to distance or correspondence schools through mass media schooling to mobile educational outfits. Clients for the non-formal education are as varied as the structures that support the education of these special groups of learners; the clients for non-formal education are found in all walks of life, in all age brackets and in all sexes; they all are seeking after that basic education which will enable them live a meaningful life in the Nigerian society.

 

 

 

 

FUNCTIONS OF THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

The Functions of he Commission shall be to: -

a.                  Formulate the policy guidelines for the successful operation of the universal basic education programme in the Federation

 

b.                  Receive block grant from the Federal Government and allocate to the States and Local Governments and other relevant agencies implementing the Universal Basic Education in accordance with an approved formula as may be laid down by the Board of the Commission and approved by the Federal Executive Council; provided that the Commission shall not disburse such grant until it is satisfied that the earlier disbursements have been applied in accordance with the provisions of this Act;

 

c.                   Prescribe the minimum standards for basic education throughout Nigeria in line with the National Policy on Education and the directive of the National Council on Education and ensure the effective monitoring of the standards;

 

d.                  Enquire into and advise the Federal Government on the funding and orderly development of basic education in Nigeria

 

e.                  Collate and prepare after consultation with the States and Local Governments, and other relevant stakeholders, periodic master plans for a balanced and co-ordinated development of basic education in Nigeria including areas of possible intervention in the provision of adequate basic education facilities which include: -

 

i.                    Proposal to the minister for equal and adequate basic education opportunity in Nigeria.

ii.                 The provision of adequate basic education facilities in Nigeria; and

iii.               Ensure that the Basic National Curricula and Syllabi and other necessary instructional materials are in use in early childhood care and development centers, primary and junior secondary schools in Nigeria.

f.                    Carry out in concert with the States and Local Governments at regular intervals, a personnel audit of teaching and non-teaching staff of all basic education institutions in Nigeria.

g.                  Monitor Federal inputs into the implementation of basic education;

h.                 Present periodic progress reports on the implementation of the universal basic education to the President through the Minister;

 

i.                    Co-ordinate the implementation of the Universal Basic Education related activities in collaboration with non-governmental and multi-lateral agencies;

 

j.                    Liaise with donor agencies and other development partners in matters relating to basic education;

 

k.                  Develop and disseminate curricula and instructional materials for basic education in Nigeria

 

l.                    Establish a basic education data bank and conduct research on basic education in Nigeria

 

m.               Support national capacity building for teachers and managers of basic education in Nigeria

 

n.                 Carry out mass mobilization and sensitization of the general public and enter into partnerships with communities and all stake-holders in basic education with the aim of achieving the overall objectives of the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education in Nigeria;

 

o.                  Carry out such other activities that are relevant and conducive to the discharge of its functions under this Act; and

 

p.                  Carry out such other functions as the Minister may, from time to time, determine.

 


 

 

 

OBJECTIVES OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

The main objectives of UBEC are five; the commission is

 

  1. to develop in the citizenry, a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion;

 

  1. to provide free, universal basic education for every Nigerian child of school age;

 

  1. to reduce drastically the incidence of drop-out from formal school system, through improved relevance, quality and efficiency;

 

  1. to cater for the learning needs of young persons who for one reason or another have had to interrupt their schooling, through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the promotion of basic education;

 

  1. to ensure the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, communicative and life skills as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning. (UBE Act, 2004: 16-17) 

 

Four of these objectives, namely the first, second, fourth and fifth have direct bearing to non-formal education and therefore will be analysed more critically in this work. It must equally be stated that even the third objective which in its form does depart from the usual norm of non-formal education practice has some relationship with non-formal education as non-f0rmal education learners do mainstream into the formal education and non-formal education relies heavily on the facilities of formal education for take-off and in many cases for sustenance and support; formal education has on the other hand been found to borrow some best practices from non-formal education.

 

 TOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

 

The full and complete name under which this commission is known is National Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education. For practical exigencies however, it is referred to here simply as the National Mass Education Commission (NMEC).

 

The National Mass Education Commission was established through decree 17 of 25 June, 1990. Prior to this time, the Nigerian education system has begun to decay as mentioned earlier. While the future looked gloomy under such a situation for the youths who had no education, the whole Nigerian society was soon to be placed in the hands of an entire population of rulers who themselves would be as illiterate and as unenlightened as the youths that were denied education prior to 1990. A situation such as this was not difficult to imagine and expect because the children and youths that had no education in the 1980s would have grown into adult illiterates to whom the country would have, willy nilly, handed the reigns of power, there being no significant population of literate adults.

 

Having reflected on this foreseeable calamity, some thinkers and policy makers alerted the military government of the time on the necessity to take urgent steps to forestall the unfortunate consequences of such a situation to the nation. In positive response to this alert, the government put into motion a process which eventually led to the establishment of the Naional Mass Education Commission in 1990.

 

OBJECTIVES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION 

 

The commission was established basically to reduce, within its first few years of existence, the national rate of adult illiteracy in the first place and secondly, to put in place a mass educational structure that will not only continue in lowering the national rate of illiteracy but will prevent future rise in illiteracy in the country.

 

In general terms, the objectives assigned to the commission were the following:

 

  1. Increasing awareness of the importance of literacy and soliciting the participation and cooperation of all persons in the task of literacy for all by the year 2000;

 

  1. Developing literacy programmes for young people and adults with special attention to disadvantaged gropups like women, the disabled and rural settlers among others;

 

  1. Mobilizing other social, economical and political sectors of public life in the task of eradicating illiteracy within the shortest possible time;

 

  1. Eliminating disparities in access to education and reducing wastage;

 

  1. Highlighting the impediments to implementing The Universal Primary Education Scheme and the Mass Expansion of Literacy by sensitizing public opinion on the need to surmount these obstacles;

 

  1. Marshalling new resources and providing less expensive forms of education through improvement in the planning and management of education;

 

  1. Promoting post-literacy activities so as to help create conditions conducive to the general fulfillment of the potentials of individuals;

 

  1. Developing resource materials suitable for the realization of the new goals. (FME, 1990:4-5)

 

Consequently, the commission’s functions were made numerous. NMEC was mandated to:

 

 

a.                  Work in co-operation with all concerned to eradicate illiteracy in Nigeria

 

b.                  Design and promote strategies and programmes for the conduct and implementation of National Mass Literacy Campaign in consultation with appropriate agencies of the Federal and State Governments, the Universities and non-governmental agencies;

 

c.                   Monitor and co-ordinate activities relating to the National Mass Literacy Campaign in order to ensure rapid and successful eradication of illiteracy in Nigeria

 

d.                  Monitor and co-ordinate activities for the eradication of illiteracy in Africa and ensure the collection and dissemination of information on the implementation mass literacy programmes.

 

e.                  Organize in-service professional training courses for senior staff and operate training seminars for various levels of staff from government and non-governmental0 organizations.

 

f.                    Develop and disseminate teaching materials in distant education programmes aimed at primary school leavers as well as mass literacy adult and non-formal education personnel.

 

g.                  Request and receive from all Commissioners of Education in the States of the Federation and other mass literacy and adult education organizations throughout Nigeria, annual reports and data on their adult education programmes.

 

h.                 Conduct research in various fields such as curriculum development, learning and teaching methologies appropriate educational technologies motivation of learners and in structure and needs assessments

 

i.                    Organize annual conferences of Heads of Adult Education Departments in State Ministries, agencies and institutions of higher learning.

 

j.                    Organize writers’ workshops in order to develop and promote teaching and learning material in various languages especially for primers, for graded readers, including follow-up reading materials, posters, demonstration kits, package course audio-visual materials and flash cards;

 

k.                  Run national and international training workshops and seminars, and, also act as a co-ordinator and clearing house for national training for mass literacy, adult and non-formal education.

 

l.                    Organize conferences, workshops symposia, lectures and seminars on topical issues related to mass literacy, adult and non-formal education on a regular basis.

 

m.               Serve as a general means of exchange of personnel information experience and materials on mass literacy, adult and non –formal education on a regular basis

 

n.                 Prescribe the manner and methods for integrating mass literacy, adult and non-formal system of education and for this purpose grant such necessary accreditation and integration.

 

o.                  Lay down equivalent standard and negotiate with relevant institutions the acceptance of the standard accreditation and integration

 

p.                  Commission special research programmes and pilot projects in mass literacy, adult and non-formal education in Nigeria.

 

q.                  Receive regular progress reports on the general situation on mass literacy, adult and non-formal education in Nigeria in relation to each national development plan.

 

r.                   Allocate fund from the Federal Government to relevant institutions on all recognized mass literacy, adult and non-formal education progremmes

 

s.                   Liaise with the institutions of higher learning in Nigeria and with international organizations on matters concerning mass literacy adult and non-formal education.

 

t.                   Motivate and mobilize people to participate in mass literacy adult and non-formal education programmes through the mass media, especially the mobile cinema.

 

u.                 Liaise with agencies concerned with nomadic education in order to accelerate the development of mass literacy adult and non-formal education.

 

v.                  Carry out such other activities as are conducive to the discharge of its functions under this decree.

 

DEFINITION OF LITERACY

 

Within the context of mass education, literacy implies the acquisition of reading, writing and numeracy skills first in the mother tongue and secondly in English language, the official language of the country.

 

CLIENTELE

 

The clients for mass literacy and education have been categorized into 3 groups, namely,

 

1.       school aged children 6-11 years who are found outside the formal school;

 

2.      adults and young people who are beyond school age but are yet to master the skills of reading, writing and numeracy;

3.      school drop-out who are yet to acquire permanent literacy.

 

MASS EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES

 

For the purpose of mass literacy and education, three educational programmes were adopted; these programmes include Basic Literacy, Functional Literacy and Remedial Education.

 

Basic Literacy

 

 This is a programme which seeks to equip recipients with the skills of reading, writing and numeracy. These skills are first provided using the mother tongue or the language of the immediate environment of the recipient as the case may be; secondly, basic literacy is taught in the official language of Nigeria that is English.

 

This learning strategy tends to settle all psycho-linguistic and psychological difficulties associated with launching the African or Nigerian child and adult into learning foreign languages before mastering his mother tongue or language of the immediate environment. Naturally, a strategy such as this has the advantage of equipping  the learner with basic communication skills moulded within the hollow of his environmental symbols and significance; this process in the final analysis tends to help the individual to develop a fast and masterful understanding of his environment.

 

 

 

Functional Literacy

 

Functional literacy programmes aim at equipping participants with skills which they may exploit for livelihood. Consequently, while literacy is taught, vocational training is emphasized. In accordance with findings in adult psychology, it is expected that a programme such as this will motivate learners to remain on adult educational programmes and to acquire both basic and functional skills for the purpose of improving their lives.

 

Remedial Education

 

As the name implies, remedial education helps the individual to remedy past educational deficiencies. Numerous are they who prematurely leave the formal school system just to discover some time later that completion of a full cycle of this type of education is necessary if not imperative.

 

At this juncture, such persons search for centres that can help them complete schooling and pass examinations which they should have passed some years earlier. A frantic search for an appropriate remedial education centre usually becomes necessary when such learners are usually pass the age of formal schooling.  

 

 

ORGANOGRAM

 

Two types of organogram run by MMEC are discussed here. The first relates NMEC to the whole gamut of relevant education structures in the country while the second lays bare the structure of administration set up by NMEC for the purpose of running its activities and administration.

 

The first of these organogram lays emphasis on relationship structure hat specifically facilitates mass literacy delivery while the second describes an internal authority hierarchy that enables NMEC to carry out its activities through specifically established chain of command

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIG 1:            ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE FOR MASS LITERACY DELIVERY IN NIGERIA

 

 

 

Text Box: FEDERAL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
Text Box: NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR MASS LITERACY, ADULT AND NON-FORMAL EDUCATION
 
Text Box: UNIVERSITIES
Text Box:  
NATIONAL CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION
Text Box: 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
F. C. T
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Text Box: N.G.Os
Text Box: STATE AGENCIES FOR ADULT AND NON-FORMAL EDUCATION
Text Box: LOCAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS
Text Box:  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Text Box: LITERACY CENTRES AT THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Source: Federal Ministry of Education 1990
 

 

Figure 1 shows the Federal Ministry of Education at the apex of the structure set up to facilitate literacy delivery in the country; it also shows that NMEC is to relate to such institutions as universities non-governmental organizations and a specialized center known as the National Centre for Adult Education. This specialized centre was specifically set up to support and advance the work of NMEC through the production of relevant learning resources for purpose of motivating learner to carry on learning even outside the literacy centre. The specialized centre equally has as mandate, the production of promotional literature, which that could be used in literacy centre for the purpose of advancing and supporting learning and for keeping alive the spirit of literacy campaigns in the country through continually reminding all Nigerians of the importance of literacy acquisition and through motivating them to make themselves beneficiaries of such literacy campaigns.

 

FIG 2:           ORGANOGRAM OF THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2 shows the chain of command in NMEC. Through this chain of command, all the work of the commission is carried out.

 

THE 1990 - 2000 ACTION PLAN

 

As soon as the commission was set up in 1990, it began to plan a national mass literacy campaign; the planning reflects much thoroughness as between 1990 and 2000, specific activities were identified and earmarked for each year.

 

For example in 1990, the International Literacy Year was launched with fanfare and the National Mass Education Commission was established; the actual mass literacy training was to start in 1991 and more facilities and resources were to be provided to aid the promotion of the campaign in 1992; between 1993 and 1999, the campaign was expected to be well underway and more vigour and resources were expected to be deployed to make the campaign a success; by the year 2000, a general mop up of activities was supposed to be conducted and an overall evaluation of the campaign carried out.

 

As part of the preparation for the campaign, some basic base line survey was carried out and achievement targets fixed. For example, using a projection rate of 2.5% for 1964 to 1976 and 3.2% for 1977 to 2000, a perjection of Nigerians aged 15 and above was obtained for each year spanning from 1990 – 2000 relying on the1963 census figure as the base. The following table shows the findings obtained from such a computation.

 

Table 3:        POPULATION ESTIMATES FOR THE 1990 - 2000

LITERACY CAMPAIGN

Year

Projection of National Population

Projected Population of 15 Year Old Plus

Population of Non-literate 15 Year Old Plus

1990

119 274 517

67 986 474

40 791 884

1991

123 091 300

70 162 041

42 097 225

1992

127 030 222

72 407 227

43 444 336

1993

131 095 189

74 724 258

44 834 555

1994

135 290 235

77 724 258

46 269 260

1995

139 619 523

79 183 128

47 749 877

1996

144 087 347

82 129 788

49 277 873

1997

148 698 143

84 757 941

50 854 765

1998

153 456 483

87 470 195

52 482 117

1999

158 367 091

90 269 242

54 161 545

2000

163 434 837

93 157 857

55 894 714

 

Source: Federal Ministry of Education 1990

 

The next table also shows the literacy targets fixed for each of the years.

 

Table 4:        1990 – 2000 LITERACY TARGETS

Year

Literacy Targets in Percentage

1991

5.4

1992

7

1993

9

1994

14.3

1995

16

1996

14.3

1997

12.5

1998

9

1999

7

2000

5.4

 

Source: Federal Ministry of Education 1990

 

If these were the targets, what then were the actual achievements.

 

 

Table 5:        ACHIEVEMENT IN LITERACY RATES DURING THE 1990  – 2000 LITERACY COMPAIGN.

 

Year

Literacy Targets %

Achievent Rates %

1991

5.4

2

1992

7

3

1993

9

4

1994

14.3

1

1995

16

0

1996

14.3

0

1997

12.5

0

1998

9

0

1999

7

0

2000

5.4

1

 

Table 5: shows that none of the  literacy targets set was met during the 1990 – 2000 literacy campaign. The percentages under “Achievement rates” were arrived at after analyzing and comparing evaluation reports of he campaign issued from at least three sources (NMEC 1996, 2001; Adesina et al 1988; Onibon 2006).

 

If between 1990 and the year 2000, NMEC channeled much of its energy towards literacising the 15 year and above old, the scope of its activities expanded tremendously during the period 1999 to date.

 

If the beginning of the 1980s marked the beginning of a period of decline in Nigerian fortunes including educational fortunes, the 1990s ushered in a period when the Nigerian Educational system collapsed. It was at this period that  United Nations Organization bodies such as UNDP and UNICEF saw the urgent need to act fast to begin reviving an already comatose educational system. Since formal education is capital intensive and since only few are catered for under the formal education system, the Federal Government of Nigeria with the active support of UNDP and UNICEF started, beginning from 1993, to design flexible non–formal education projects to wedge and support the residue of the formal education system remaining on ground.

 

While both UNDP and UNICEF began work in this area in the 1990s, it is UNICEF that remained steadfast as UNDP soon backed out and left public glare. UNICEF began its work in this area by  carrying out an educational needs assessment which eventually revealed that three major areas, namely Girl–Child education, Out-of-School Boys education and Quranic School Youths education were worth paying attention to.

 

Consequently, UNICEF and Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) signed an agreement in the 1990s to promote non-formal education (NFE) schemes on a scale not experienced before.

 

 

THE UNICEF–FGN NON–FORMAL EDUCATION

 

UNICEF’s major nation–wide educational work began in Nigeria during the 1980s. In order to facilitate this work, a number of instruments were developed in the early 1990s. Chief among these instruments was the set of non-formal education curricula developed with the view to guiding UNICEF’s education work through the non-formal education path.

 

These curricula are the Girl–Child and Adolescent-Girl curriculum, the Out-of-School Boys curriculum and the Curriculum for Quranic Schools. Each of these curricula was designed to satisfy the educational need of special target clients.

 

Each of the curricula equally was so structured as to take the learners through two different stages of instruction; namely, stages one and two. Stage one of each of these curricula is a simpler section of the curricula, which uses mostly the language of he immediate environment as medium of instruction. Stage two seeks to equip learners with some amount of basic education.

 

 

THE GIRL-CHILD AND ADOLESCENT-GIRL CURRICULUM

 

As a result of both cultural and Rreligious reasons, the female child has suffered and perhaps continues to suffer far-reaching neglect and deprivation in Nigeria. Consequently, while the education of Nigerian children in general got neglected as mentioned before, the education of he female child was more neglected. The resultant effect of this age-long attitude is that more male children than female children are found in schools and since illiterate female children eventually grow into adulthood, more women are found to be illiterate than men in the country.

 

Yet, the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF HE CHILD recognizes the rights of both the male and female child to education.

 

Therefore, in order to address and eventually correct this imbalance, the Girl-Child and Adolescent-Girl Curriculum was designed. The properties of this curriculum are as follows

 

Objectives

 

The objectives which the stage two of this curriculum intends to fulfill are two: namely,

 

1.                   To equip learners with necessary knowledge for mainstreaming into the formal education system and

 

2.                  To equip learners with he skills to understand and analyse prevailing gender issues that negatively affect girl’s development.

 

e.g.

·         Join a class within the JSS

 

·         Enrol and sit for JSS examination

 

·         Continue education within the formal school system at the completion of the curriculum.

 

·         Development of a conscientised mind through highlighting of inhibiting factors existing in social, political, economic environment and through exposing flaws in religious interpretations. (sex roles-gender roles, she/he etc…).

 

Clients

 

1.                   Girl-Child: 6 –12 years

 

2.                  Adolescent-Girl: 13 – 18 years           

 

3.                  Older female learners in special cases.

 

·         May have had prior contact with modern education.

 

·         May not have had prior contact with modern education.

 

Language of Instruction

 

·         English Language

 

Structure

 

1.                   Stage One

2.                  Stage Two

·         2 years

·         6 subjects

 

Contents

 

v     6 subjects

 

1.                   English language

 

2.                  Mathematics

 

3.                  Home Economics

 

4.                  Integrated Science

 

5.                  Environmental Education

 

6.                  Social studies

 

Arrangement for teaching-learning

 

1.                   English Language, Mathematics, Home Economics, Integrated Science for 72 contact hours each a year. (6 months-24 weeks-3hrs a week; 3 meeting contacts a week where the meeting based on hour-basis; about 4 meeting contacts a week where meetings based on 40-minute contact period; 9 months-36 weeks-2hrs a week; 2 meeting contacts a week, where meeting contacts are based on hour-basis; 3 meeting contact periods a week where meetings are based on 40-minute contact period).

 

Implementation strategy

 

The curriculum designed for non-formal education setting;

                       

i NFE centres

                       

ii Flexible time table

           

 iii Non-formal Education facilitators to be recruited

 

iv In addition to NFE instructional resources, learner-generated instructional resources may be used

 

v In addition to these instructional materials other

instructional materials relevant to the fulfillment of objectives may be used.

 

2)        The teaching-learning process and all instructional resources do emphasise:

 

i.                    Gender issues and (Female facilitator?)

 

ii.                 Child’s rights

 

3)        Where religious instruction must be given in an NFE running this curriculum, existing and acceptable religious curricula should be used.

 

Entry points

 

1)         Persons that have had no contact at all with modern education.

 

2)        Persons that have had various degrees of contact with modern education. (assessment at entry points)

 

Flexibility

 

1)         The stage two is designed to be run for 2 years (adult psychological reasons for this)

 

2)        The stage can be run over less than 2 years if

 

i.                    Motivation to learn very high among learners.

 

ii.                 Meeting contact periods increased beyond recommended number.

 

iii.               Learning resources are rich and motivating (game-machines, video cassettes, computer devices, etc).

 

iv.                There exists any other good reasons.

 

3)        The stage may be run more beyond 2 years when the need arises.

           

 

Instructional Resources

 

·         Relevant instructional materials have been developed for each of the 6 subjects

 

Facilitators’ guide

 

·         Relevant facilitators’ guides have been developed in each of he 6 subjects.

 

Each facilitators’ guide addresses the following:

 

a)     Introductory part which explains purpose and relevance of development of the guides

 

b)     General knowledge needed by the facilitator in order to effectively carry on the learning-teaching activity and

 

c)      Chapter to chapter description of facilitators’ activities, learners’ activities and didactic resources to be used.

 

Monitoring tools

 

·         NMEC/UNICEF (1998) MANUAL FOR MONITORING OFFICERS has now been fully developed.

 

Evaluation tools

 

1)                  Continuous assessment

 

2)                 JSS Public examination papers

 

3)                 Other relevant materials

 

 

THE OUT-OF-SCHOOL-BOYS CURRICULUM

 

Numerous researches conducted between the mid 1970s and the late 1980s revealed that many boys from South Eastern Nigeria prefer to trade instead of engaging in any meaningful schooling. Many of these boys either do not go at all or go and stop schooling early enough to be assumed not to have gained significantly to remain permanently literate.

 

Yet, most of these boys enjoy getting married to finely schooled women some of hem even spend fortune to see to it that their spouse acquire long education which may lead in some cases to obtaining a Ph.D. degree.

 

Further interaction with these boys revealed that the boys indeed appreciate the value of education; however, many of them, having missed the initial opportunity to go to school at the right age, can no longer get themselves schooled since formal school education insists on particular ages for the purpose of schooling.

 

Consequently, it became necessary to develop the Out-Of-School-Boys Curriculum which would satisfy the educational needs of a group of people who may have passed age of formal schooling but who nevertheless desire education badly.

 

 

 

Objectives

 

The objectives which the stage two of this curriculum intends to fulfil are three: namely,

 

e.g.

 

1.                   To equip learners with necessary knowledge for mainstreaming into the formal education system and

 

2.                  To equip learners with the skill necessary for carrying out most effectively trading activities

 

3.                  To highlight gender issues.

 

·         Join a class within the JSS

 

·         Enrol and sit for JSS examination

 

·         Continue education within the formal school system  at the completion of the curriculum.

 

Clients

 

4.                  Boy-Child 6 – 12 years

 

5.                  Adolescent-boy 13 – 18 years.

 

6.                  Older male learners in special cases.

 

·         May have had prior contact with modern education

 

·         May not have had prior contact with modern education

 

Language of Instruction

 

·         English Language

 

Structure

 

3.                  Stage One

 

4.                  Stage Two

 

·         2 years

·         6 subjects

 

Contents

 

v     6 subjects

 

1.   English language

 

2.   Mathematics

 

3.   Home Economics

 

4.   Integrated Science

 

5.   Environmental Education

 

6.   Social Studies

 

Arrangement for teaching learning

 

            English Language, Mathematics, Home Economics, Integrated Science for 72 contact hours each a year. (6 months-24 weeks-3hrs a week; 3 meeting contacts a week where the meeting based on hour-basis; about 4 meeting contacts a week where meetings based on 40-minute contact period; 9 months-36 weeks-2hrs a week; 2 meeting contacts a week, where meeting contacts are based on hour-basis; 3 meeting contact periods a week where meetings are based on 40-minute contact period).

 

Implementation strategy

 

The curriculum designed for non-formal education setting

                       

i NFE centres

                       

ii Flexible time table

 

                       

iii Non-formal Education facilitators to be recruited

 

iv In addition to NFE instructional materials, learner-generated instructional materials may be used

 

v In addition to these instructional materials other

instructional materials relevant to the fulfillment of objectives may be used.

 

4)        The teaching–learning process and all instruction material are to emphasise:

 

i.                    Gender issues and

 

ii.                 Child’s rights

 

3)        Where religious instruction must be given in an NFE running this curriculum, existing and acceptable religious curricula should be used.

 

Entry points

 

1)         Persons that have had no contact at all with modern education.

 

2)        Persons that have had various degrees of contact with modern education.

 

Flexibility

 

1)         The stage two is designed to be run for 2 years (adult psychological reasons for this?)

 

2)        The stage can be run over less than 2 years if

 

iii.               Motivation to learn is very high among learners.

 

iv.                Meeting contact periods were increased beyond recommended number.

 

v.                  Learning resources are rich and motivating (game-machines, video cassettes, computer devices, etc).

 

vi.                There exists any other good reasons.

 

3)        The stage may be run beyond 2 years when the need arises.

           

Instructional Resources

 

·         Relevant instructional materials have been developed for each of the 6 subjects.

 

Facilitators’ guide

 

·         Relevant facilitators’ guides have been developed in each of he 6 subjects.

Each facilitators’ guide addresses the following:

 

d)     Introductory part which explains purpose and relevance of development of the guides

 

e)     General knowledge needed by the facilitator in order to effectively carry on the learning-teaching activity and

 

f)       Chapter to chapter description of facilitator’s activities, learners’ activities and didactic resources to be used.

 

Monitoring tools

 

·         NMEC/UNICEF (1998) MANUAL FOR MONITORING OFFICERS has been developed and attempts are at foot to develop other monitoring tools.

 

Evaluation tools

 

4)                 Continuous assessment

 

5)                 JSS Public examination papers

 

6)                 Other relevant materials

 

 

 

THE CURRICULUM FOR QURANIC SCHOOL LEARNERS

 

Basically this curriculum seeks to inject, basic education into Quranic schools. It also seeks to encourage mainstreaming of Quranic School learners into the formal school system.

 

Subjects

 

·         English Language

 

·         Mathematics

 

·         Social Studies

 

Clients

 

It was designed for both

 

·         Male and

 

·         Female Learners

 

Since the development of the first three UNICEF-FGN Non-Formal Education (NFE) curricula however, much improvement dictated by evolutionary trends has been brought into the realm of non-formal education in Nigeria. For example, non-formal education has so far come to be accepted as a viable alternative to the formal school system. So true is this submission that some States of the Federation have begun running NFE centres on a full-time basis with permanently recruited staff even if structures and essential facilities are still being shared with the formal schools. Additionally, even the original three NFE curricula have now undergone such renovation that they stand now quite new and relevant to the times. For example, there has been expansion of the original subject areas covered; also the realities in the 21st century Nigeria have been made to reflect in these curricula through numerous reviews. The latest entries into these curricula are the concerns of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

 

 

 

 

CURRENT AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE COVERED BY UNICEF-FGN NFE CURRICULA

 

Currently NFE curricula address 12 major areas of knowledge and training. These include Basic Literacy, Post Literacy, Functional Literacy, Women Education, Nomadic Education and Continuing Education; others are Arabic Integrated Education, Literacy for the Blind, Workers Education, Vocational Education Literacy Education for the Disabled and Prison Education.

 

basic literacy and functional literacy having been explained earlier, the remaining concepts mentioned here are now explained:

 

Post-Literacy

 

This is a type of literacy education embarked upon only after the basic type of literacy has been mastered. It is a slightly advanced type of literacy which usually seeks to instill permanency into the earlier basic literacy skills acquired. Depending on the orientation and aim of the post-literacy, it may go on between 1 to 2 years.

 

Women Education

 

Women education is education specially designed to bring out women from the woods. This form of education comprises all types of education dispensed non-formally with the view to accelerating access of women to useful information, skills and enlightenment.

 

Nomadic Education

 

Nomadic education is education given to the nomads. Nomads being always on the move, a specially packaged educational outfit and content are ever welcome. In Nigeria, nomads are grouped into four categories and they are found in a number of occupations such as cattle rearing, fishing, farming and the like; nomadic education is packaged in a way as to provide for the style of life nomadism dictates.

 

Continuing Education

 

Continuing education is a process of education which enables the individual to add skills, knowledge, attitude and information to whatever education he or she had acquired in the past. Through continuing education, opportunities are given to the individual to put into practice whatever education he or she may have acquired for a while and to go ahead to seek and add more education to his or her kitty when the time becomes ripe to do so.

 

Arabic Integrated Education

 

This form of education is introduced in those areas of the country where Islamic education is predominant. It encourages Islamic form of education but at the same time, it encourages the injection into this form of education some basic education that is needed for the children, youths and adults to function well within society.

 

Literacy For the Blind

 

Literacy for the blind is a process which enables the blind to acquire reading, writing, numeracy and vocational skills through the adoption of didactic methods and techniques that are appropriate for teaching-learning transaction among the blind. In addition, this form of literacy is carried out using special equipment appropriate for the teaching of the blind.

 

Workers Education

 

Workers education is a type of education that facilitates the learning and understanding of workers’ responsibilities, rights and privileges. It also facilitates the acquisition of the knowledge of the type of relationship that should exist between the employer and employee.

 

Vocational Education

 

Vocational education equips the individual with a skill which he or she can exploit for livelihood. It makes available to the individual a variety of vocations and occupations and offers techniques for carrying them out.

 

Literacy Education For the Disabled

 

This is literacy education packed in a way as to make it easy to be accessed by the disabled. Since they are many forms of disability, literacy education is packaged in a way as to neutralize the obstacles posed by each type of disability with the view to facilitating access to reading, writing, numeracy and functional skills.

 

 

Prison Education

 

Prison education is both a reformative and vocational education process. It seeks to improve the morals and psychology of the individual and at the same time prepare the individual to return within society from prison, well equipped with a skill that can be exploited for livelihood.

 

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CHAPTER FOUR

AN ANALYSIS OF THE OBJECIVES STRATEGIES AND GOAL OF THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION AND THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

For two or more bodies to engage in a successful collaborative and purposeful networking, an analysis of their objectives, strategies and goal is exposed to be carried out with the view to determining the marriageability of the bodies.

 

The two bodies will be able to collaborate if there are aspects of heir objectives and strategies that converge and if they seem to be sharing the same goal.

 

OBJECTIVES OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

For purpose of focus and emphasis, the following are the objectives of the Universal Basic Education Commission:

 

  1. To develop in the citizenry, a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion;

 

  1. To provide free, universal basic education for every Nigerian child of school age;

 

  1. To reduce drastically the incidence of drop-out from formal school system, through improved relevance, quality and efficiency;

 

  1. To cater for the learning needs of young persons who for one reason or another have had to interrupt their schooling, through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the promotion of basic education;

 

  1. To ensure the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, communicative and life skills as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning. (UBE Act, 2004: 16-17) 

 

 

 

OBJECTIVES OF NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION

For purpose of focus too, the following are the objectives of the National

Mass Education Commission:

 

  1. Increasing awareness of the importance of literacy and soliciting the participation and cooperation of all persons in the task of literacy for all by the year 2000;

 

  1. Developing literacy programmes for young people and adults with special attention to disadvantaged gropups like women, the disabled and rural settlers among others;

 

  1. Mobilizing other social, economical and political sectors of public life in the task of eradicating illiteracy within the shortest possible time;

 

  1. Eliminating disparities in access to education and reducing wastage;

 

  1. Highlighting the impediments to implementing The Universal Primary Education Scheme and the Mass Expansion of Literacy by sensitizing public opinion on the need to surmount these obstacles;

 

  1. Marshalling new resources and providing less expensive forms of education through improvement in the planning and management of education;

 

  1. Promoting post-literacy activities so as to help create conditions conducive to the general fulfillment of the potentials of individuals;

 

  1. Developing resource materials suitable for the realization of the new goals. (FME, 1990:4-5)

 

 

In order to achieve these objectives the two bodies over the years have developed appropriate strategies.

UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION’S STRATEGIES

UBEC is set to achieve its objectives through two systems of education, namely the formal education system and non-formal education system. Within the formal education system, the curricula contents are those leading to the award of the Junior Secondary School Certificate. The curricula contents of UBEC’s non-formal education programmes first enable participants to mainstream into that section of the formal school system that equips learners with basic education; secondly, the curricula contents provide learners with basic education knowledge without an award of a commensurate certificate either because participants choose not to submit themselves for the examination that would lead to such an award or because the non-formal basic education structure has neither mandate nor provision for an award of such a certificate.

 

NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION’S STRATEGIES

NMEC uses solely the non-formal education system as a strategic means of carrying out its objectives; consequently, NMEC is a gigantic non-formal education outfit.

 

Compared to UBEC, it is an older organization which has succeeded in developing effective sub-strategies in pursuing the realization of its objectives; these sub-strategies are the various educational programmes it designed and which comprise the Basic Literacy, Post-literacy, Functional literacy, Vocational Education, the 12 Non-formal Education (NFE) programmes and the Instructional Radio for Community Education and Literacy project.

 

The Instructional Radio for Community Education and Literacy project is a relatively new project; indeed it is a project which is still being pilot tested in Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Osun, Ogun, Bayelsa, Cross River, Bornu and Yobe States; the goal of this project is to both improve and accelerate delivery in the areas of community education and literacy using the radio in view of the share large number of Nigerians still in need of these information and skill and in view of the slow progress which other strategies employed up until now seem to have yielded.

 

Community Education consists of all spheres of educational programmes within a community that have relevance with the culture and development of such community. In essence, it is made up of the institutions in the community having bearing on education. Education cannot be separated from the culture of the people as the two concepts are interwoven. (Shaibu 2005: vii)

 

Within the context of Instructional Radio for Community Education and Literacy, literacy refers to both traditional literacy (Basic and Post Literacy) and functional literacy.

 

The specific objectives of the Instructional Radio for Community Education and Literacy are the following:

 

  1. To sensitize and mobilize the people for action towards community development;

 

  1. To provide access to basic adult literacy and non-formal education to the unreached and marginalized people in the country;

 

  1. To provide basic essential education for community development, through Health and Nutritional Education, Vocational Skills Acquisition, Life Skills Civic Education and Agricultural Education

 

  1.  To empower the people to be able to take necessary actions based on their acquired knowledge to address their full needs. (Shaibu 2005: viii)

 

The specific areas of knowledge promoted through Instructional Radio for Community Education and Literacy include

 

  1. Health and Nutritional Education

  2. Vocational Skills Acquisition

  3. Life Skills

  4. Civic Education and

  5. Agricultural Education

 

 

A second major strategy used by NMEC to bring its objectives to fruition is collaboration. NMEC collaborates with national and international organizations that have non-formal education as part of their mission with the view to seeking their support in the achievement of its objectives. This support could be technical, material or it could be concerned with sharing instructional functions for the purpose of maximizing both use of funds and energy. For example, NMEC mobilized and organized non-governmental organizations in the country into an association known as the Non-Governmental Organizations Association (NOGLASS) for the purpose of sharing in literacy instructional work throughout Nigeria. Experts in literacy teaching through radio from the Socialist Republic of Cuba were in the country to train Nigerians the techniques involved in teaching literacy using the radio.

 

Collaboration such as the one discussed here has equally enabled NMEC not only to import ideas that have helped it to achieve its objectives but also to import educational programmes that it has been able to adapt to the Nigerian situation.

 

 

THE GOAL OF BOTH THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION AND THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION.

 

 

The question may be asked at this juncture as to which goal do both UBEC and NMEC seek to actualize through the fulfillment of their objectives? The answer to this question is simple and it is that both organizations seek, through their work, to bring about development to the country.

 

All societal development springs up from human resource development; education promotes mental, emotional, skill and psychic development of the individual. This is why the work being carried out by the two organizations is vital to the development of the country.

 

However, the most influential development plan in the world today is made up of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); these goals are the following: -

           

  1. Reduction of the proportion of those living on less than US$1 a day to half the 1990 level by 2015; this implies reduction from 27.9 percent of all people in low and middle income economics to 14.0 percent; this goal equally seeks to bring down to half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger between 1990 and 2015.

 

  1. Achievement of Universal Primary Education (UPE) to such an extent that by 2015, children everywhere (boys and girls) are able to complete a full cycle of primary schooling.

 

  1. Promotion of gender equality and women empowerment to such an extent that by 2005, all forms of gender disparity would have disappeared in all primary and secondary schools.

 

  1. Reduction by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015 of the under-five mortality rate.

 

  1. Reduction by three quarters between 1990 and 2015 of maternal mortality rate.

 

  1. Halting by 2015 and beginning of the reversing of the spread of HIV/AIDS; also the halting by 2015 and beginning of the reversing of incidences of malaria and other major diseases.

 

  1. Integration of the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and revering the losses of environmental resources; also reduction to half by 2015 of the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

 

  1. The development of implementation strategies for decent and productive work for youths and introduction of the youths and adults to information and communication technologies all through  collaboration between developing and developed countries. (Source:  http:www.developmentgoals.org  )

 

 

These goals are expected to be all realized by the year 2015. However, by the year 2005, some aspects of the goals are expected to be already achieved so that step by step and by some form of gradual progression, the MDGs, it is hoped , will be fully actualized by 2015.

 

 

Because of their global importance and particularly because of their relevance to Nigerian realities, these goals cannot be ignored. Consequently all educational programmes in the country, including UBEC’s and NMEC’s have begun to align themselves with the demands of the millennium development goals.

 

Therefore the following chapter that seeks to examine the ways in which UBEC’s objectives may be achieved using NMEC’s outfit, takes on some concerns of the millennium development goals that may not have been adequately covered by UBEC’s objectives.

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CHAPTER FIVE

 

USING THE NATIONAL MASS EDUCATION COMMISSION OUTFIT TO REALIZE SOME OF THE OBJECTIVES OF THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION COMMISSION

 

Going by the poor state of education in the country, it is to be expected that UBEC will embrace all aspects of its mandate with the view to making an impact in the shortest possible time.

 

One aspect which may now be addressed vigorously is the non-formal basic education. In order to address this aspect in a cost effective manner, a partnership or networking needs to be entered into and built between UBEC and NMEC.

 

 

 

NETWORK AND NETWORKING

A network is an inter and intra connection of outlets for the establishment of a bridge capable of linking nations, institutions and organizations to one another.

 

Networking on the other hand is a deliberate formation of inter relationships among organizations or individuals with the view to widening opportunities and creating a better horizon for development
(Nwizu 2006). Networking is also the process through which social actors consciously build relationships, with each other with the view to enhancing sustainable development (Sarah 2005); consequently, the relationship resulting from such conscious efforts becomes formalized durable and mutually profitable. Networking is equally a process whereby individuals or organizations, on a voluntary basis, come together with the view to exchanging information or goods or with the view to implementing joint activities while keeping intact their individual autonomy (Haverhort, Veldhuizen and Alders 1993).

  

In which way then can each of the objectives of UBEC may be made realizable by NMEC’s outfit? To supply an answer to this question, an objective to objective study is now carried out. The study and discussion carried out in this section take their justification from the facts established earlier that a) many 5-15 year-old exist who cannot be accommodated in the formal sector of the universal basic education; b) a viable alternative strategy for making these left-out 5-15 year-old benefit from basic education exists in non-formal educational environment and that c) UBEC will carry out a cost effective and an effective non-formal basic education if it collaborated with an NMEC that already has plenty experience in the design, planning, development and implementation of non-formal education programmes for youths and adults.

 

 

 

Objective 1:The first stated objective of the universal basic education is: to develop in the citizenry, a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion.

 

Apart from the fact that this objective bears some resemblance to the objective 1 of NMEC’s objective, the process of achieving this objective 1 is necessarily non-formal; this is because the citizenry in whom a strong consciousness for education is to be developed is made up in the main by adult parents and youths mainly out of school. It is in fact when parents’ awareness and consciousness for education is raised that these parents come to appreciate the value of education; and it is only when the parents have come to appreciate the value of education that their children can be released for this same education. Therefore, this objective 1 targets more parents and adult citizens  than the children themselves.

 

NMEC has over the years developed a series of jingles, dramas, advertorials and publicity materials that target adults and youths within the age of reasoning whose aim is to appeal and conscientize these categories of people about the importance of education in general and especially about functional education which helps the individual to live as an integral part of society which is ever changing.

 

NMEC over the years has equally perfected the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) as a strategy for entering communities for the purpose of introducing new learning and educational packages.

 

Advocacy visits are another strategy used by NMEC to get authorities both at the local, State and Federal levels to lend an ear to messages that they may have to deliver. 

 

The Instructional Radio for Community Education will play a great part in sensitizing parents and adult populations on the need for education through its community education component.

 

If UBEC would collaborate with NMEC in the advancement of its objective 1 therefore, the strategies discussed here and more will be put at the service of UBEC and subsequently, one message will be serving both the purpose of NMEC and UBEC.

 

 

 

Objective 2: To provide free, universal basic education for every Nigerian child of school age.

 

It is obvious that UBEC alone cannot satisfy this objective of providing universal basic education for every Nigerian child of school age at least in the short term. While UBEC is therefore currently expanding educational access at the formal school level, it should join forces and resources with NMEC for the purpose of simultaneously expanding basic educational access at the non-formal educational level.

 

A combination of old strategies with innovative ones such as the Instructional Radio for Community and Literacy will come in handy here. NMEC being familiar with the non-formal education terrain will certainly have a lot to offer in this domain by way of guidance and support.

 

 

 

 

Objective 3: To reduce drastically the incidence of drop-out from formal school system, through improved relevance, quality and efficiency.

 

It has been found over the years that the NFE centres have succeeded in retaining more of their clients than have been able to do regular primary schools. Investigations have revealed that the main reason for such a situation is that NFE centres curricula contents have been found in many States of the federation to be more relevant, utilitarian and congruous with Nigerian realities.

 

Of what use is the acquisition of the skills of reading, writing and numeracy if they cannot be immediately applied to relieve hunger or to bring in some more food in a household of 10 persons where children are already hawking wares with the view to increasing family’s income? So when children aged 6 to 18 years enroll on NFE centres programmes where they begin to teach them mathematics by relating it to street accounting which they are forced to carry out by virtue of their current trade, they automatically see relevance between learning and life outside the school. This discovery motivates them to stay onto their educational programmes and thereby contribute to reduction in school drop-out rate in the country.

 

NMEC’s curricula may therefore be reexamined with the view to discovering the extent to which deliberate effort has been made to forge partnership between learning and living and between the school and the larger society.

 

 

Objective 4: To cater for the learning needs of young persons who for one reason or another have had to interrupt their schooling, through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the promotion of basic education.

 

Two types of education relevant to the fulfillment of this objective are non-formal remedial education and continuing  education.

 

Remedial education is a form of education that allows persons who  have either missed formal schooling or other forms of education which they ought to have obtained earlier, to benefit from these forms of education in later years. 

 

Continuing education on the other hand is a process of education which enables an individual to enroll and complete new cycles of education over and above an originally completed one (e.g. secondary school education after primary school education; acquisition of university certificate after completed secondary schools education)                            

NMEC has had centres running these two types of education for years; a partnership with NMEC in these areas therefore can only be a fruitful one.

 

 

Objective 5: To ensure the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, communicative and life skills as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning.

 

The specific type of education relevant to the fulfillment of this objective is the education currently dispensed in the FGN-UNICEF non-formal education centres. Apart from ensuring that all that enroll at these centres become thoroughly literacised such subjects as communicative skills and life skills and vocational skills are taught in addition to moral and civic instruction. Here again, a network between UBEC and NMEC can only be welcome.

 

 

 

SUMMARY

The story of Nigeria as it concerns its creation has been traced. After its establishment, Nigeria has achieved successes and notable failures in the field of education.

         

Although efforts have been made in the past to address these educational failures, these efforts are neither concerted nor focused enough to yield significant results. The current suggestion which aims at networking the activities of both NMEC and UBEC foresees, cost effectiveness, expanded opportunities, increased collaboration and mutual and greater understanding within the Nigerian educational terrain.       

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS         

In order to draw immediate and colossal benefits from the networking proposed here, it is recommended as follows:

 

1.                  UBEC and NMEC should urgently approach NMEC with the views to encouraging the setting up of a joint committee that shall work out modalities and strategies for carrying out:

 

a.            Joint instructional radio programmes

 

b.           Joint FGN–UNICEF non formal education NFE programmes and

 

c.                             Joint learning friendly environments

 

2.                Assistance of technical donor agencies and specialized institutions such as the universities should be sought in the establishment of this committee.

 

3.                The achievement of such a committee should be reviewed every 6 months.

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Adesina, S. & Johnson,T. (1981) Cost-benefit analysis of education in Nigeria. Lagos: Lagos University Press

 

Biao, I. (1991) “Towards a political commitment approach to the provision of education for all in Nigeria” in Kolo, I. (1991) Reading in Education for All. Lagos: Text & Leisure Publishers.

 

Biao, I. (1995) “A comparative study of adult literacy education practices in Francophone and Anglophone West Africa” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF UNIVERSITY ADULT EDUCATION XXXIV, 2:44-55.

 

Ejiogu, A. M. (1988) Landmarks in educational development in Nigeria. Lagos: Joja Publishers.

 

Federal Government of Nigeria (2004). The compulsory, free universal basic Education Act 2004 and other matters. Abuja: FGN.

 

Federal Government of Nigeria (1991). The National mass literacy, adult and non-formal education. Abuja: FGN.

 

Federal Ministry of Education (2001). Educational Baseline Data. Abuja: FGN.

 

Federal Ministry of Education (1990). Blueprint and action plan for the eradication of mass illiteracy by the year 2000: Lagos. FGN.

 

Haverhort, Veldhuizen,& Alders (19993). Network

 

 

Hinzen, H. & Pollinger, H. (2004) Adult education and combating poverty. Bonn:

 

 

Mauch, W. (2005) Adult learning and institutions of higher learning. Bangkok: UNESCO

 

Nwizu, S. (2006) Networking. (In press)

 

Onibon, F. (2006) Incorporation of non-formal education into strategic education plans in Nigeria. Paper presented at an NNCAE Advocacy meeting on Integration of non-formal education into educational projects in Nigeria, Abuja 5th May, 2006.

 

Shaibu, S. A. (2005) Instructional radio for mass literacy in Nigeria: Production guideline. Lagos Minerib Accord Ltd.

 

Thompson, A. R. (1983) Education and Development in Africa. London: the MacmillanPress

 

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