Academic journal article Education

An Assessment of Citizenship Education in Nigeria

Academic journal article Education

An Assessment of Citizenship Education in Nigeria

Article excerpt

People in a heterogeneous society such as Nigeria are always characterized by group, class and individual interests, Intentions, motives, needs, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, fears and anxieties. These diversities however have been positively harnessed for greatness by other nations of the world. The case has been quite different in Nigeria. This is despite the fact that our heros past have long realised this as far back as the twilight of independence when they sang in our National anthem, "though tribal, tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand". This was a prompt and early reminder, that inspite of our differences which in reality were diverse and varied "we stand as one in brotherhood". These diversities in our national life manifest in music, language, culture, dance, beliefs, religion and infact a hundred other ways. Regrettably, these diversities have not been positively harnessed for development; rather they have served as the bane of social, economic and political development. Consequently, Nigeria as a nation has been besieged by an array of social, economic and political problems. These include corruption, ethnicity (Tribalism), loss of value, negative attitude to national issues, lack of patriotism political gangsterism and a host of other practices, which offend the psyche of well-meaning Nigerians and the civilized world. In the civilized world, moral values and beliefs are generally accorded a higher order of importance (Nduka 2004).

An anatomy of the Nigerian value system reveals a gap between the aspirations and dreams of the founding fathers of the nation and the current situation..

In a key note address to the Nigerian Academy of Education, Nduka (2004), observed that Nigerians exhibit deplorable ethnical attitudes in virtually every aspect of life. Indiscipline, a common feature in the country is exemplified, for by scrambling or riotous behaviour in public places, recklessness in driving, lack of respect for law and order ..." Furthermore, he noted that there is rampant avarice, cheating and exploitation of fellow citizens, lack of right attitude to work, pervasiveness, lack of commitment to a sound ethical base, pacesetters in cheating, stealing and fraud including the notorious advance fee fraud 419

Attempts at reversing these negative and unethical practices but aimed at refocusing and redirecting the Nigerian value system has resulted in the conception and launching of a number of policies, agencies and commissions. These include: war against indiscipline (WAI) 1984, National Orientation Agency (NAO) 1993, Mass Mobilization for Economic recovery, self-reliance and social justice (MAMSER) 1987, Ethical Revolution (1983) and more recently, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) 2002 and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences commission (ICPC) These were complemented by intensity in religions activities across the Country. However, it is painful and regrettable to observe that these efforts have at best been a scratch on the surface of the decay in the nation's value system. It is probably in recognition of the poor out come of these efforts that Nduka (2004) observed that

   Although our value disorientation
   is pervasive, and has infact reached
   a crisis proportion, it is the firm
   belief of the Nigerian academy of
   education that the best hope of rescuing
   ourselves from our ethical
   shipwreck and enabling the Nigerian
   developmental ship of state sail
   smoothly and confidently on the
   high seas is a revamped educational
   system.

It is in recognition of the submission of the Nigeria Academy of education that the present effort aimed at examining the impact of citizenship education on the Nigerian society becomes necessary. Citizenship education is one subject, according to Ajose (2001) that is specifically designed in content and function to produce healthy, good and active citizens, wherein a good citizen is seen as patriotic, responsible, disciplined and conscientious, morally sound with love for his state. …

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