Author Archives: Editorial Team

THE CHALLENGE OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE IN NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM THE WAY FORWARD

OKWORI SUNDAY ABEL

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

PMB 2008

KATSINA – ALA

BENUE STATE

E-mail Address: okworisundayabel@gmail.com

AN ARTICLE SUBMITTED TO THE KATSINA – ALA MULTIDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL,

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,

PMB 2008 KATSINA – ALA

BENUE STATE.

DATE: 24TH NOVEMBER, 2014

Abstract

There has been ‘hue and cry’ concerning the fall in the standard of Education in Nigeria. Arguments being raised by those in support of this assertion include among others: the myopic academic capability and standard being displayed by students of today’s educational institutions vis-à-vis their counterparts of yester-years and the prevailing cases of examination malpractices that have enveloped the entire educational system. This paper, examines this issue from the perspective of its causes and effects and challenges on the educational system. Also, suggested solutions towards combating the social menace such as pragmatic approach towards implementation of legislation by government and other agencies, empowerment of teachers, special welfare packages for examination officials were discussed.
Continue reading

Call for Articles

The Editorial Board of Katsina-Ala Multi-disciplinary Journal, College of Education, Katsina-Ala, Benue State invites  you to submit articles for consideration for publication in the forth-coming edition (Vol.2 No.3):2017. Details below: Continue reading

THE ROLE OF MATHEMATICS IN POLITICS AND POLITICAL DECISION-MAKING: AN ISSUE FOR MATHEMATICS TEACHING

BY

 

 

 DAVID DZUNGWE

MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT,

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,

KATSINA-ALA,

BENUE STATE – NIGERIA.

Abstract

 

It is an abstraction to think that mathematics is only confined to the classroom. This paper attempts to analyse how mathematics can be used in our society today through mathematical models. Attempt is also made to justify how these models can be used in mathematics teaching and teacher education. Arguments for considering the use of mathematics in politics as a useful resource for mathematics in the classroom have also been advanced.

 


 

Introduction

At Roskilde University in Denmark, the regulation for mathematics teacher education for upper secondary school level included as one of its main aims and objectives that the teachers should be able to teach mathematics modeling to students in such a way that the roles and functions of mathematics in the society should be demystified (Roskilde University, 1975, p. 1). Mogen Niss, who was the main architect behind the programme, explains in Niss. M (1977) how this programme should be seen as a cure against what he described as the crisis of mathematics instruction. The crisis, which according to him, arose because of an imbalance between the societal developments towards a highly technological society with a need for mathematical competency in the wide population as well as a quest for critical citizenship in relation to the use of mathematics in society and on the otherhand, an abstract and isolated mathematics instruction, especially at upper secondary level skewed towards a mathematical elite and without connections to the use of mathematics in the society. In Denmark, this discussion together with other developments, actually led to the inclusion of models and applications in the upper secondary mathematics curriculum (the equivalence of senior secondary mathematics curriculum in Nigeria). Facilitated by a Danish research initiative; called mathematics education and Democracy (Nissen, 1993), this period also marked the beginning of a strong trend in Danish mathematics education research focusing on the roles and functions of mathematics in society. The overall objective was to understand how mathematics teaching can contribute to the development of a democratic society (Niss, 1994). Mogen Niss followed this path in some of his research (Blum and Niss, 1991, Niss 1994 and 1996) and another internationally well-known Danish Professor, Ole Skovmose, focused his research on the roles and functions of mathematics in society and on the related issue of investigating the conditions; actual and possible for a critical mathematics education (Skovsmose, 1994, 2000 and 2004, Alro and Skovsmose, 1998). Description is to be made of some of the ideas and concepts developed by Moges Niss and ole Skovsmose and others, and illustrations with some examples of the current use of mathematics in politics in society, how their theoretical ideas can be used to analyse cases of societal use of mathematical models and how they can be transformed into teaching.

The Nigerian Situation

Some examples will be considered from the Nigerian socio-political context. Nigeria is a developing country trying to establish a democratic, just and inclusive society. The Nigerian educational institutions play a determining role in the establishment of this kind of society. So, these institutions should prepare the future citizens to actively participate in the decision-making that affects and defines the social reality of Nigeria.

In particular, the mathematical education that is being provided in the Nigerian educational institutions should pay special attention to the socio-political uses of mathematics. There is evidence showing that mathematics plays an important role in shaping the social reality of Nigeria. An example of this is the “marginalization index”, (Sanchez, 2009 and 2010) applied in Mexico, which is a measure based on a mathematical model that is used by governments to define the municipalities or local government areas that are in need of resources to promote social development such as, buildings, hospitals, roads, schools etc. Although mathematics plays an important role in shaping the social reality, the mathematics education that is provided in Nigeria does not seem to acknowledge this role. The perception of the role of mathematics within the Nigerian educational system has been discussed and was intended to provide a modest answer to the justification for teaching mathematics for social reality in Nigeria. The problem of justification, if we can underscore the Mexican example, the Ministry of Public Education in one of the documents, to some extent, provides an answer to this question in “Foundation of the curriculum for the reform of the lower secondary education”. The document states:

[mathematics is useful] to cope with fractions, to plot functions, to conclude angles, probabilities and perimeters. But also to encourage abstraction in order to facilitate reasoning, develop the argumentation and introduction to the proof (Secretaria de Education Public, 2006, p. 9) as translated.

 

Other official documents from the Ministry of Public Education portray mathematics as a tool that helps students to understand the physical phenomena around them (Sanchez, 2007). Thus the official justification for teaching mathematics is to provide students with mathematical understanding and the understanding is relevant to the society in general. Besides, mathematics is presented to the students as a topic that is important to study and to understand because it will help them to learn more about mathematics. At best, mathematics is presented to the students as a topic that will help them to understand other school topics or subjects as Physics and Chemistry. Mathematics is not presented to the students as a tool that can be used for prescribing our political and economic reality. It is believed that this perception of the role of mathematics is not specific to the educational institutions. It is common to find mathematics teachers who are not aware of the connections between mathematics and the configuration of social reality and therefore, do not include them in their teaching.

The lack of connections between mathematics and society has consequences. For example, there is a risk of making students to interprete mathematics as a school subject that exists and is only relevant within the four walls of the school. This tends to produce a poor image of mathematics in the students. Another consequence is that the school curriculum does not encourage teachers to relate mathematics to other subjects. This also contributes to create a restricted image of mathematics in the students.

If it is agreed that the idea presented in Skovmose (2000) about the need for educating the youth and our citizens, so that they begin to understand and critique the formatting power of mathematics in society, then more work is needed in order to change the general perception about the role and nature of mathematics. Part of the contribution of mathematics educators to support such a change may consist of designing mathematical activities for the classroom, aim at explicitly illustrating and analyzing such formatting power. It is thought that, in order to prepare students to identify and evaluate socio-political applications of mathematics, it is essential to show them and discuss with them real instances of such applications. Such activities could be based on authentic applications of mathematics within the political systems of our societies.

Reasons for the Use of Mathematics in Politics

The arguments for advocating the use of mathematics in politics as a resource for mathematics teaching are mainly two. Firstly, to show how mathematics is applied within the political context to give an important motivational value. There, is a research indicating that the study of authentic and contemporary applications of mathematics can arouse a great interest among students. An example of this can be found in the empirical research reported in Jankvist (2009), where modern histories of applications of mathematics are used to motivate and change student’s conception about mathematics. In this regards, the author states:-

The fact that history is a newer and fairly recent, history of mathematics seems to make it easier for the students to relate […] concerning the history of modern applications of mathematics. Some students may find it more interesting to work with such a history and possibly even more so, if they recognize elements from everyday life (Jankvist, 2009, p. 11).

 

Although, the study refers to the use of history of mathematics in the classroom, it is a case that can be used as an analogy to illustrate the motivational value that the use of mathematics in contemporary politics could have for the students. Such examples might be easy to relate to aspects of students’ daily life. However, there are other reasons to believe that the use of mathematics in politics would be interesting and motivating for mathematics students and their teachers. A specific example of this is the video, “Government and Mathematics” which was published on “YouTube” (Sanchez, 2010). Several comments from people who would have otherwise ignore mathematics at a glance, were received and many of them expressed their feelings that the topic addressed in the video was interesting and they even recommended it to other people. A very remarkable comment was the one on realization of how the politicians govern the people with limited mathematical models based on the expositions by the video. This comment actually promoted the video among his contacts in the social network, but he in turn received commendation from the users of the social network. It can be seen that this process serves as a manifestation of the interest that certain people had in mathematics based on the contents of the video, because it was related to the social reality and experience in society. Consequently, it can be argued that, the mathematics teaching that is detached from the social reality experienced by any society or country can appear demotivating for the students. Conversely, the mathematics teaching that has strong links with the social reality may be more attractive and motivating for the mathematics students. This may be perhaps, true in particular for developing countries like Nigeria.

The second argument for considering the application of mathematics in politics as a resource for mathematics teaching is that, politics is a context that can be useful to explicitly illustrate the formatting power of mathematics. In other words, it is a context that can help to make evident how mathematics can be used to legitimize and justify political decisions that directly and significantly affect the social dynamics of communities and the lives of the inhabitants. It is important to explicitly illustrate and study these kinds of applications of mathematics, because they can serve to nourish a sense of civic awareness in the students and teachers towards the use of mathematics by politician and government institutions. We think that such kind of activities would contribute to prepare students and teachers to identify, evaluate and respond critically to the consequence, of such use of mathematics. Furthermore, we believe that the discussion of such mathematical applications can enrich students’ perceptions about the nature and role of mathematics. Nevertheless, we are aware of the fact that locating instances of applications of mathematics in politics is not enough for using them into the classroom. Teachers need to have some sort of guide regarding the aspects they should focus on when discussing this kind of applications of mathematics in the classroom. We understand that mathematics education research can guide us on the aspects that could be the focus of attention when using the applications of mathematics in politics as an aid for the development of mathematics teaching.

The Integration of Mathematics in Politics in Mathematics Teaching

Whenever mathematics is used in politics to describe, predict or even prescribe reality, there is always some type of mathematical model involved (Niss, 1994, p. 369). Even the most simple statistics presupposes assumptions and choices about what to count and how to represent the results. Mathematical models used in politics or societal administration vary a lot in function, complexity, mathematical content and representation. Therefore, there is a need for theoretical ideas that can guide and structure the analysis of the use of mathematics in politics and society, but we are in need of didactical ideas that can support the transportation of such analyses into mathematics teaching practices. Some examples of these ideas as already tried out in practices of mathematics teaching in other societies, especially Denmark, are presented in this part. This is by no means a claim to have covered the areas of mathematics education research relevant for including the use of mathematics in politics in the teaching of mathematics.

Despite the great variation of mathematical models used in politics, they can all be discussed according to their role(s) in the context or contexts where they are to be applied. One very general categorization of models use in politics is the division in descriptive, predictive and prescriptive models (Davis and Hersh, 1986, p. 120). A mathematical model is descriptive when it is used to represent and communicate the current state of a situation. A predictive mathematical model is the one that is used to anticipate or predict what the future state of a situation or problem will be based on the current state. Predictive use of mathematical models is common in relation to societal decision-making, where it is important to be able to predict the effects of possible political regulations in often very complex societal systems. Models in economic planning, traffic planning, environmental planning, planning of energy supply and production are all examples for mathematical models that are used by the political or administrative systems to predict the possible effects of changes or regulations in these systems. Mathematical models are also used in society to define systems that actually shape the political or social reality in which we are living. Such use of mathematical models is characterized as prescriptive.

[….] there are plenty examples of recent and recently reinstated prescriptive mathematizations: examination grades, IQs, life insurance telephone switching systems, credit cards, zip codes, proportional representative voting… we have prescribed these systems often for reasons known only to  a few, they regulate and alter our lives and characterize our civilization. They create a description before the pattern itself exits (Davish & Hersh, 1986, p. 120-121).

 

Of course, not all the examples mentioned in the quote belong to the domain of politics and many of them are integrated in technological systems, which are, infact mathematical models, have political and societal impacts. This is just to make sure it is the functions of the models that are characterized here not the models themselves. The same mathematical model can have different functions in different contexts.

If we want to analyse and discuss applications of mathematics in politics with students, one possible and first approach is to let the students experience and discuss concrete examples of mathematical models used in the society in relation to these three categories, viz, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive models. From experiences, it is possible and motivating for students from secondary school level and above as well as for mathematics teachers to work these categories and even find examples within each category themselves. The students do not need to understand completely the mathematical structure of the models in order to work with them in relation to these categorization. The function(s) that a model plays can be organized at different educational levels. Even though these sort of discussions are somehow general, and not strongly related to the internal mathematical structure of the model, it can be very useful for enriching the students image of mathematics and its applications. For most students and even some teachers of mathematics, it appears as a surprise for them that mathematical models can play different roles and even sometimes prescribe parts of the political and economic reality we are living in.

Skovsmose has analysed deeply the roles and functions being played by mathematical models in society both from a philosophical point of view and analysis of concrete cases of societal applications of mathematical models. Skovsmose, (1990, 1994) and Skovsmose and Yasukawa (2004). In this research, it is established that mathematics through modeling and models exerts a formatting power in modern societies. Furthermore, this formatting power of mathematics constitutes a major challenge for mathematics education research and for the practice of mathematics teaching. In order for mathematics teaching to contribute to general education in favour of democratic societal developments and if its teaching needs to have the desired role in society and politics, it must be taken seriously.

During a Danish research initiative in the years 1998-2004, a number of research and developmental projects with experimental teaching were carried out in order to investigate how this challenge can be met in mathematics teaching already at lower secondary level (Skovsmose & Blomhaj, 2003 & 2006). Findings from analyses of authentic application of mathematical models were used to structure courses of lessons which aimed at including a political dimension. One example of such findings, which is relevant for mathematics teacher education, is the following four types of general side-effects in relation to the use of mathematical models in technical or societal investigation or decision-making process (Skovmose, 1990, p. 128-133), which include the following:-

  • A reformation of the problem in hand in order for it to be suitable for analysis by means of a mathematical model.
  • A delimitation of the group of people engaging in the public discussion about the problem in hand, to those who are able to understand the model and its role in the decision-making process. This group is in this case referred to as the base of critique.
  • A shift away in the discourse from the political and societal reality toward the political and societal reality towards quantitative claims and arguments related to the model. The model now becomes the object for the discourse.
  • A delimitation of the possible solutions or the alternative political actions taken under consideration to those that can be evaluated in the model.

The point here is of course not that the use of mathematical models should be avoided as a tool in political and societal decision-making because of the side effects. Mathematical modeling is an indispensable part of a modern technological society. The point here is that the use of mathematical models in society is neither good nor bad nor neutral by any means. Therefore, it is important that mathematics teaching in general education contributes to the development of a critical awareness of, and a competence to analyse the possible effects of the use of a mathematical model in a decision-making process. That the detection of such effects and the related reflections do not need to be closely related to the mathematical structure of the model involved, mathematical modeling competency is a prerequisite for conducting such analyses. Hence, it is mathematics as a subject that has to address the educational challenge related to the formatting power of mathematical models in society, and therefore, these issues must be included in mathematics teacher education, else nobody will to it.

General discussions about the types of mathematical models and their functions in politics could serve to nurture and broaden teachers’ and students’ images of mathematics and its applications. However, in mathematics curricula, say, at secondary level, it might be difficult to find space for such extra mathematical aspects. Analyses of the inner mathematical structure of an authentic model might be a way of approaching the study of mathematical applications in politics, which is easier to integrate in the practice of mathematics teaching. Such analyses can be structured according to a general model of a mathematical modeling process (fig. 1). A concrete case of modeling can be analysed with respect to one or more of the six sub-processes included in a modeling process, namely; problem formulation, systematization, mathematization, mathematical analysis, interpretation/evaluation and validation. For example, we can discuss with the students the assumptions underlying a model and what their implications are. Such kind of discussion refers to the systematization sub-process. It is also possible to discuss the role of the variables and parameters within a mathematical model; like what do they represent?, how are the values of the parameters? And what are their effects on the models’ results? This is one way of addressing the sub-process of mathematical model analysis. It is also important to discuss with students the sub-process of interpretation/validation. Questions like; on what ground(s) can the model be validated? Is it possible to obtain an alternative interpretation of the modeled situation? Or, does the model adequately capture the situation in hand? These questions are relevant within the discussion of the interpretation/validation sub-process. A typical figure of a mathematical modeling process is shown is figure 1 below:-

 

 

Figure 1

Figure 1

The point here is that the students through their work with concrete case, get acquainted with a model of a modeling cycle as a tool for analyzing the process behind models used in relation to particular political decisions. Examples from the project work at Roskilde University are found in Blomhoj and Kjeldsen (2010). Such approach is of course, relevant only for students that have previous experiences with modeling cycle as a tool for supporting their modeling activities. Last but not the least, students’ work with authentic societal and political problems can serve as a motivation for and as a means for the learning of important mathematical concepts and methods. As illustrated in examples before, it is possible for students already from lower secondary level to activate their mathematical competencies in relation to societal and political issues.

Conclusion

Politicians and government institutions use mathematics to underpin their proposals and arguments and in decision-making related to social problems. Skovsmose (1990) has warned us about some of the effects that are produced when mathematics is incorporated into the discussion of non-mathematical problems. For instance, if the original problem is reformulated into a different kind of discourse (a mathematical discourse). As a consequence, the group of people who could have participated in the discussion of the problem and its possible solution becomes smaller or reduced because of its very specific composition. It would be integrated only by those citizens with certain mathematical knowledge, who could discern and criticize the use of mathematics in the discussion.

Recommendation

It is the responsibility of mathematics educators to provide the students with a mathematical education which could enable them to take an active and critical participation in the society. A mathematical education that prepares them to identify and analyse the applications of mathematics in addressing social problems. We believe it is worth discussing with the students, examples as those that have been shown in this article. This is because, these examples clearly and explicitly illustrate the kinds of consequences that may result from the application of mathematics in such contexts. This type of mathematics education, it is believed, would positively affect their education as citizens. It is however, necessary to promote these ideas in the classroom. We need more enthusiastic teachers and researchers to conduct experiments and empirical research, reporting the type of results that this approach of mathematical education can produce. Besides, authors of mathematics books are encouraged to try to relate topics in mathematics and their applications to other subjects and also give examples in these books that are applicable to societal issues, so that mathematics cannot be seen as being an abstract subject that is only useful and discussed in the classroom.

 

 

References

Alro, H. and Skovsmose, O. (2002). “Dialogue and learning in mathematics education. Intention, reflection, critique”. The Netherlands: Kluwer. Doi:10.1007/0.306-48016-6.

Blomhoj, M. and Jensen, T. (2006). What’s all the fuss about competencies? Experiences with using a competence perspective on mathematics education to develop the teaching of mathematical modeling. In W.Blum, P.L Galbraith, H.W. Henn and M.Miss (Eds), “Modeling and applications in mathematics education. The 14th ICMI study” (pp.45-56); New York: Springer. Doii10.1007/978-0-29822-1_3.

Blomhoj, M. and Kjeldsen, T.H. (2010). Mathematical modeling as a goal in mathematics education-developing of modeling competency through project work. In B. Sondergaard and B. Sriraman (Eds). “The First Sourcebook on Nordic Research in mathematics education” (pp. 555-567). Charlotte, N.C: Information Age Publishing.

Blum, W. and Niss, M. (1991). Applied mathematical problem solving, modeling, applications and links to other subjects: state, trends and issues in mathematics instruction. “Educational studies in mathematics”, 22(1), 37-68. Doi: 10.1007/BF00302716.

Davis, P.J. and Hersh, R. (1986). Descartes Dream. Brighton: Harvester Press Limited.

Jankvist, U.T. (2009). History of modern applied mathematics in mathematics education “For the Learning of Mathematics”, 29(1), 8-13.

Niss, M. (1977). The “crisis” in mathematics instruction and a new teacher education at grammar school level. “International Journal of Mathematics Education in Science and Technology”   8(3), 303-321. Doi:10.1080/0020739770080307.

NIss, M. (1994). Mathematics in Society. In R. Bieheer, R.W. Schalz, R. Straber and B. Wenkelmann (Eds), Didactics of mathematics as a scientific Discipline (pp. 367-378) Dordrecht: Kluwer. Doi:10.1007/0-306-47204-x

Nissen, G. (1993). Der Mathematik aus ihrer isolation heraushelfen-Berich uber das daniche project. Mathemtikunterncht and Demokratic. In H. Schumann (Eds.), “Blitrage zum mathematikunterricht” (pp. 35-41). Hildesklim:Verlag Franzbecker. Translated Version in English.

Roskilde University (1975). Saer-Studieording for mathematic-gymnasie-og HF-laereruddannelse. Denmark: Roskilde Universitetescenter. English Translation Edition.

Sanchez (2007). Mathematics para la formacion de ciudadanos critcos, “La Jornada” Retrieved from http://kortlink.ruck.dk/44WR English Translation Edition.

Sanchez (2009). Uso critic de los indices y modelos matematicos gubernamentales en el desarrallo de profesores en servicio. “Educacion matematica” 21(3), 163-172. Retrieved from http://kortlink.ruc.dk/DPT2J. English Translation Edition.

Sanchez (2010). Gobierno of mathematicas [videofile]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.come/watch?v=I1s2ex6D5T0. English Translated Version.

Secretaria de Educacion Publica (2006). Reforma de la Educacion Securdaria. Fundamentarion Cirrcular: Matematicas. Mexico City: SEP. Retrieved from http://kortlink.ruc.du/WKZDQ.

Skovsmose, O. (1990). Ud over matematikken. Herning, Denmark: Systime. English edition.

Skovsmose, O. (1994). Towards a Philosophy of Critical mathematics Education. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Skovsmose, O. (2000). Aporism and critical mathematics education. “For the learning of mathematics”, 20(1),2-8.

Skovsmose, O. (2004). Critical mathematics education for the future. Regular lecture presented at the 10th International Congress on Mathematical Education, 4-11th July, 2004, Denmark. Retrieved from http://www.ieme10.dk/proceedings/pages/regla_pdf/RL_Ole_Skovsmose.pdf

Skovsmose, O. and Yasukawa, K. (2004). Formatting power of “mathematics in a packages”: A challenge for social theorizing?” Philosophy of mathematics Education Journal” 18. Retrieved from http://people.exeter.ac.uk.?PErnest/pome18/contents.html

THE NEED FOR A REVIEW OF PEDAGOGY AND PARADIGM OF TEACHING MATHEMATICS IN POST-PRIMARY INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA: THE ROLE OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATORS.

BY

David Dzungwe
MATHEMATICS DEPARTMENT,
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,
KATSINA-ALA,
BENUE STATE – NIGERIA.

Abstract

The paper tries to expose some existing myths and practices that have negative influence on the quality of mathematics teaching at the post-primary school level. Some consequences of having active mathematics educators in these schools are discussed, which include a healthy collaboration between mathematics educators and mathematicians, and maintaining an active group of mathematics educators in these schools. Recommendation towards a new pedagogy and paradigm of mathematics teaching at this level are proffered.

 

Introduction

Post-primary education is the bedrock of tertiary education in Nigeria. Research into philosophy and practices of mathematics is considered a task mandate for the development of mathematics at this level. Even among actors who have divergent views on various issues, consensus on the need for research to develop and make mathematics very relevant at this level is compelling. Infact, research at this level is the most valuable tool that can be used to develop mathematics teaching and learning. In Nigeria, post-primary education has developed very rapidly within decades of the existence of the Nation. Mathematics is one of the many subjects in the schools where academic activities are carried out. Mathematics at the post-primary level is not as complex a field to implore as at the tertiary level. Mathematics at this level prepares students for qualitative, problem solving and symbolic reasoning through general education, service and undergraduate programmes. In recent times, the attention of the stakeholders has been drawn to the perceived policy setbacks in prosecuting a sustainable mathematics education in Nigeria, especially as it relates to synegerising mathematical education at the post-primary level with science and technology researches and development (Obioma, 2002).

Some contributing factors to the above scenario include:-

  1. Acute low students enrolments in mathematics at the undergraduate level which has made it difficult to find subscribers as mathematics educators;
  2. Depreciating capacities of mathematics educators, the old generation of mathematics experts are fast disappearing and the paucity of potential post-primary mathematics teachers;
  • Obsolete curricular offerings that are out of phase with socio-economic and techno-cultural realities,
  1. Research endeavours that are not sufficiently linked to the demands of the society.

This is worrisome, especially as mathematics is considered as the bedrock of all scientific and technological breakthroughs and advancement of all activities of human development. It is the only language and culture common to all studies (Barbor-Peters, 2002, Uzo, 2002).

Mathematics is an expanding and evolving discipline as well as a way of perceiving, formulating and solving problems in many other disciplines. It is a constant interplay between the walls of thought and applications. Mathematics departments in Nigerian universities are now admitting a more diverse ability group of students than has been the case two decades ago. This calls for a new pedagogy and paradigm of teaching mathematics at both post-primary and post-secondary school levels.

Although post-primary school enrolment has increased significantly over the years, there has not been a corresponding increase in the number of mathematics majors in the universities. Hence, mathematics educators at the post-primary school level should be more aware of their students’ needs in order to attract them to read mathematics at the university level. Besides, conscious efforts on the part of the government should be made to address the acute shortage of mathematics teachers at the post-primary school level.

Generally, mathematics is categorized into mathematics educators and professional mathematicians. The mathematics educator is concerned with curriculum development, instructional development and the pedagogy of mathematics. He is a mathematician of a type and does research in the areas of curriculum instruction, learning and teaching of mathematics. At his disposal are several pedagogical theories which are readily applied to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Contrastingly by and comparatively, the professional mathematician is concerned purely with research in mathematics either in pure or applied. Research mathematicians are found in universities, departments of mathematics or mathematics research centres (e.g. National Mathematics Centre). Those at the university, departments of mathematics, lecture mathematics to students. However, some at a certain time of their career develop interest in the pedagogy of mathematics. This is why there is no clear cut demarcation between a mathematics educator and a professional mathematician. Nevertheless, the distinction between the two types of mathematicians is the specificity of functions and roles in the realm of mathematics (Fajemidagba, 1991).

Paradigm of Teaching Mathematics in Nigerian Universities.

Our universities turn out graduates of mathematics who in turn are employed in the post-primary schools as mathematics teachers. Therefore, it is pertinent to take a look at the pedagogy and paradigm of mathematics teaching at the level.

Lecturers in mathematics departments of our universities are usually separated into various groups, specializing in such areas as algebra, analysis, topology, applied mathematics, etc. There is no lecturer in the mathematics department in the university who specializes in mathematics education. This is not peculiar to the mathematics department, rather it is common to all departments of Nigerian universities outside the education faculty. In the light of this scenario, it has been continually argued over the past two decades that every university lecturer must have a teaching qualification to remain effective on the job. In particular, the Federal Ministry of Education has on several occasions expressed concern on when every university lecturer must acquire teaching qualification.

One domain noticeably missing in the mathematics departments of universities is “pedagogical knowledge”. Shulman (1986) defined this component of professional knowledge as;

“The most regular taught topics in one’s subject area, the most useful forms of representations and demonstrations-in a word, ways of representing and formulating the subject that make it comprehensive to others. Pedagogical content knowledge also includes an understanding of what makes the learning of specific topics easy or difficult”…(pp.9-10).

 

If one takes a cursory look at the instructional practices of mathematics lecturers in our universities, one will notice that there is much to be done to improve their pedagogical content to be able to impart effectively the knowledge of mathematics to the students. According to Borko and Whitecomb (2008), instructional practices in classroom discourse include;

  1. Asking questions or posing problems to begin a discussion
  2. Monitoring student participation during discussion
  • Keeping the discussion on track.

One may ask, are these observed in a mathematics lecture room at all? As far as teaching of mathematics by lecturers in mathematics departments of our universities is concerned, the teachings of very renowned, committed and dedicated lecturers who make their mark in academics can be void based on the above instructional practices.

The belief that the researcher is always a good teacher has a negative effect on the quality of teaching in the universities. Here, it is claimed that researchers are “ipso facto” good teachers. University mathematicians tend to teach as they were themselves taught. Unless they have a particular interest in teaching, they are unlikely to make changes in their teaching or to exchange views, experiences or knowledge with their colleagues in other institutions.

Emerging Paradigm of Teaching Mathematics in Nigerian Universities

The quality of mathematics graduates from the universities, who are subsequently the teachers of mathematics at the post-primary education level is of utmost importance here. Because their quality is the aggregate of all their experiences in the university as students, it is imperative to take a look at the emerging pedagogy and paradigm which are aimed at improving their performances at the post-primary education level.

The existing situation calls for a National agenda for mathematics teaching and learning in Nigerian universities. There is an increasing effort in developed nations to maintain an active group of mathematics education among the departments of mathematics. The attention of the stakeholders is drawn to some consequences of having an active mathematics educators group within the mathematics departments. The group should include anyone in a department of mathematics whose primary responsibility is carrying out research in mathematics education, developing and teaching mathematics courses for teachers, teaching history of mathematics or providing service to the department, such as overseeing learning resource centres and supervising teaching assistants. This group is distinguished from those in a faculty of education, who develop mathematics teaching methods courses and supervise student teachers. Note here that we are only concerned with staff in a mathematics department whose primary function is in mathematics education as opposed to research mathematicians who have limited involvement with such activities.

Research in mathematics education is fundamentally different from that in pure mathematics in that it tends to deal with teaching and learning problems and not with abstract mathematical problems. One ugly development in mathematics education research is the attempt to create a dichotomy between two definitions of teaching that bear little or no relation to the reality of mathematics classroom. This development is reminiscent of the sort of modern/traditional mathematics dichotomy–a series of unproductive and heated arguments between advocates of different teaching approaches (Becker and Jacobs, 2000; Boaler, 2008; Schoanfeld, 2004; Wilson, 2003). These arguments have raged in mathematics between advocates of constructivist and those of more didactic teaching in the United States (Roser, 2000).

Fortunately, mathematics education has moved beyond such thinking of dichotomy to a broader appreciation of the varied and complex roles in which effective teachers of mathematics need to engage (Boaler, 2008; Kilpatrich, Swafford and Findell, 2001; Lobato, Clarke and Ellis, 2005; Sherin, 2002). Boaler (2008) sums it this way;

Research in mathematics education has shown conclusively that, effective teaching of mathematics does not only involve the precise presentation of knowledge, it also involves changing the ways children think, building on their current understandings and addressing any prior misconceptions.

 

Boaler (2008) therefore, concludes that one of the main contributions of the field of mathematics education research has been the development of an extensive knowledge base documenting learner’s common conceptions in different mathematics domains.

A healthy development now is that specialists in mathematics education agree on playing down on teacher-centred instruction, which is generally understood to mean a teacher presenting methods to students who watch, listen and then practice the methods (Boaler, 1998). By contrast, they advocate student-centred instruction, which is approach in which learners are given opportunities to offer their own ideas and to become actively involved in their learning. (Boaler, 2008; Cobb, 1994; Confery, 1990).

Active Mathematics Educators Within a Department of Mathematics: Implications

The implications of having active mathematics educators within a department of mathematics are discussed under the following sub-headings:-

  1. Collaborative effort.
  2. Courses for teachers.
  • Undergraduate lower level courses.
  1. Mathematics resource centres.

“Collaborative Effort”

Hitherto, the contact between mathematics educators and practicing university teachers had been very poor. There is need to bridge the gap that exists between mathematics educators and university mathematicians. It is now incumbent on researchers in mathematics education to correct the serious errors that have been made. The presence of mathematics educators in the department of mathematics will initiate a collaboration of research in education that will improve the teaching of mathematics at the undergraduate level. Investigating, acquisition and development of mathematical concepts in students, effective teaching practices and improvement of problem solving abilities are examples of ongoing research efforts in mathematics education. Such research efforts can be valuable to mathematics departments for their application on programme development. In addition, research findings aid mathematics education specialists in developing texts and course materials (Bulger and Schulz, 1984).

“Courses for Teachers”

Students of the Faculty of Education usually take courses from the academic departments. These departments often provide content courses such as mathematics for elementary teachers, etc while education faculties usually provide methodology courses like psychology, philosophy and other foundation courses and arrange for students teaching practice. The need for relevant, high quality content courses for teachers taught by mathematics department staff that are professionally committed to their development and maintenance has persuaded many mathematics departments to include mathematics educators in their staff lists.

The usual misconception that anyone can teach mathematics may lead some to argue that the mathematics content of courses is not sophisticated enough to devote precious regular staff position to them. This misconception is likely to lead to disastrous consequences because the graduates at this level of education are the potential teachers at the post-primary level of education that will handle mathematics. So, these courses are never arithmetic-level courses and are focused on mathematical concepts and structure, underlying the mathematics taught in primary and post-primary schools. Unfortunately, very often, these courses are relegated to in-experienced teaching assistants, resulting in a set of courses that dampen whatever enthusiasm prospective primary school teachers may have had for mathematics. Further, the evolution of school curricula is appropriately brought into discussion in courses for primary school teachers. Mathematics educators who have taught these courses in a College of Education will agree that it is desirable to demonstrate their relevance to prospective teachers. Similar arguments can be made for courses designed for prospective post-primary school teachers.

The challenges expressed above will require special mathematics for teachers courses that will expose pre-service and in-service teachers to a wide variety of current curricular issues, such as uses of calculators and microcomputers in mathematics teaching, applications of secondary mathematics, mathematical problem solving techniques and new approaches to teaching various contents from research findings. Developing and coordinating such courses, which can be part of regular or sandwich programmes, are natural responsibilities of those in mathematics education.

“Undergraduate Lower Level Courses”

An issue of continuing concern is that of low performance of undergraduate students in their first two years in the university as mathematics students. In recent years, a tendency for students to dislike mathematics has been noted with a resulting continuous decline in the performance of students in ordinary level examinations. Before the 1980s, most students who presented themselves for admission into mathematics department had at least credit pass in Additional mathematics. With poor implementation and low student enrolments in Further mathematics, the paucity of potential tertiary mathematics students continue to dip (Obioma, 2002; Odili, 2006). Those students who accept to study mathematics do so as a last resort at the undergraduate level. The scenario at the department of mathematics, therefore, is a weak connectivity between students and the high expectations of the entry behaviours of the first two years of undergraduates in mathematics. Such students arrive on campus not prepared for what traditionally is university level mathematics. Mathematics educators in mathematics department will apply student-centred approaches that will popularize the teaching and learning of mathematics in the first two years of undergraduates in mathematics. Mathematics educators in mathematics department will also with their contacts with post-primary schools and their work with teacher organizations like; Mathematics Association of Nigeria (MAN), Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) and Curriculum Organization of Nigeria (CON), will try to bridge the gap in the entry behavior of their students.

“Mathematics Resource Centres”

Efforts to improve undergraduate instruction have led to some mathematics departments to develop learning resource centres. Such centres which vary in functions provide students with free walk-in tutoring, out-of-class testing, access to reference materials, calculators and other equipment. Mathematics educators are involved in developing and overseeing such mathematics learning resource centres.

Teaching and supervising graduate teaching assistants are major challenges facing large departments. Mathematics educators can assist the department in arranging orientation workshops for fresh students. Most departments must consequently invest in a certain number of departmental positions in mathematics education efforts. Such positions can be distributed on a part-time or full-time basis. In any event, the importance of these tasks and the demands placed on those who carry them out make it very necessary that they be assigned to sufficient number of interested mathematics educators on full-time basis. Major obstacles the departments may encounter, include resistance to appointing people according to the educational needs and difficulties in providing suitable condition of service, such as salary, promotion and job security to these mathematics educators. Nevertheless, mathematics department must surmount these obstacles standing in the way of their educational activities.

Conclusion

Nigerian universities are accepting a more diverse ability group of students than the case two decades ago. Consequently, universities must begin to adopt a role more like that of the school system and less the elite institutions of the past. The danger of creating a dichotomy between two approaches; teacher-centred and student-centred is highlighted. A healthy collaboration of mathematics educators and professional mathematicians in research efforts can be valuable to mathematics department. The presence of a mathematics educator in mathematics department will go a long way in this collaboration because some of the graduates of mathematics in the department are trained for the purpose of teaching mathematics at the post-primary school level.

Mathematics educators in the department of mathematics will teach special mathematics courses for teachers and curricular issues to pre-service and in-service teachers. They will also teach the first two years mathematics courses to the present crop of students of the department with poor entry behavior. Other services to the department like management of resource centres and supervision of teaching assistants will be an added benefit of the presence of mathematics educators in mathematics department.

Recommendations

While no single approach would suit all departments of the two tiers of education, viz post-primary and university levels, it is hereby recommended that:

  1. Mathematics teachers at the post-primary school level should not over estimate the abilities of the students in mathematics. It is common place to hear some teachers yell at students because they have not been able to answer correctly a question they perceive to be very simple!
  2. Mathematics teaching and learning at both levels must be student-centred but not teacher-centred. Infact, all teaching must be student-centred.
  • Department of mathematics should maintain an active group of mathematics educators.
  1. Professional mathematicians should intensify meaningful collaborative research with colleagues in other universities.
  2. Government should adequately fund mathematics departments in Nigeria. Government, industries and wealthy individuals should be involved in establishing resource centres and also fund in-service training of mathematics teachers.
  3. The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) should increase its efforts at staff development in the field of mathematics.
  • Universities should restore overseas training for their mathematics lecturers.


 

References

Becker, J. and Jacobs, B. (2000). Mathematics Politics: The Anti-Reform of 1997-1999. California School, Phi Delta Happen, pp. 529-537.

Boaler, J. (2008). What’s Mathematics Got to Do with It? Helping children love their least favourite subject, why its important for America, New York, Viking.

Borko, H. and Whitcomb, J. (2008). Teachers and Teacher Education, comments on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel’s Report. Educational Researcher, 37(9), 565-572.

Burger, W. and Schulz, J. (1984). The Role of Mathematics Education Specialists in Mathematical Department, America Mathematical Monthly, Nov. 1984.

Cobb, P. (1994). Where is the Mind? Constructivist and Socio cultural perspectives on Mathematical Department; Educational Research, 23(7), 13-20.

Confery, J. (1990). What constructivism implies for teaching. In R.B. Davis, C.A. Maber and N. Noddings (Eds) Constructivist views on the Teaching and Learning Mathematics, 107-124, Revon, V.A. NCTM.

Fajemidagba, O. (1990). The use of the ordering theory on the structuring of mathematical function concept through students responses; ABACUS. The Journal of the Mathematical Association of Nigeria 20(1), 19-26.

Fajemidagba, O. (1991). Trends in Mathematics Education in Nigeria: Issues and Problems, ABACUS, Journal of Mathematical Association of Nigeria, 21(1),139-153

Habor-Peters, VEA (2000). Mathematics Language for New Millennium Implication to the Society. Proceedings of Annual Conference of Mathematical Association of Nigeria.

Kilpatrich, J. Swafford J. et al (2001). Adding it Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics. Washington DC, National Academy Press.

Lobato, J., Clark, D. et al (20050. Initiating and Eliciting in Teaching: A Reformulation of Teaching: Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 56(2), 101-136.

Obioma, G. (2002). Problem Solving in Mathematics and Science Education: A Needed Attention ABACUS. The Journal of Mathematical Association of Nigeria, 19(1), 1-18.

Odili, G. (2006). Mathematics in Nigerian Secondary Schools – A Teaching Perspective. P/Harcourt, Charles and Patrick Ltd.

Odili, G. (2010). Towards A New Paradigm of Teaching Mathematics in Nigerian Universities: The Rose of Mathematics Educators.

Rosen, L (2000). “Calculating Concerns: Politics of Representation in California’s Mathematics Wars San Diego, University of California.

Sherin, M.G. (2002). A Balancing Act: Developing a Discourse Community in Mathematics Classroom”, Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 5(3), 205-233.

Shorenfeld, A.H. (2004). “The Mathematics Wars Educational Policy”, 18(1), 253-286.

Shulman, I. Swafford, S. et al (1986). Those Who Understand! Knowledge Growth in Teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(4) 4-14.

Uzo, A.N. (2002). Mathematics and Students: The Secret of a Solid Background in Mathematics. A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Students. Garki-Abuja, Cradle Crest Publishing.

Wilson, S. (2003). California: Reforming Mathematics Education. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

THE ROLE AND CHALLENGES OF THE REGULAR TEACHER IN INCLUSIVE EDUCATION CLASSROOM IN NIGERIA

1David Tyohee Annor

2Torver Iangba

1Department of Educational Psychology,

College of Education, Katsina-Ala

2Department of Primary Education Studies,

College of Education,Katsina-Ala

 

 

 

Abstract

This article discussed issues bordering on the roles the regular teacher plays daily in the inclusive classroom.  It paid particular attention to regular teacher preparation as a key weapon that will enable him to perform effectively in the inclusive classroom. Classroom organization and management are key criteria that enhance instructional function of the regular teacher which the article took care of.  Providing instructions as a major role of the regular teacher in the inclusive classroom was emphasized upon in the article, and was discussed under the following: Individualized instruction, Educational collaboration, curriculum modification and referral, challenges faced by the regular teacher as he discharges his role in the inclusive classroom involving professionals and other related authorities such as care givers, doctors were brought to light. 

 

Introduction

 

Role is the job, duties, functions, responsibilities that one carries out in his effort to perform that which is assigned to him/her in a place of work.  It is the primary assignment of an individual in an organization.  Turnbull, Lea Parkinson, Philip, Ben, Web, and Ashby (2010), defined roles as “the function or position that somebody has or is expected to have in an organization, in society or in a relationship; the role of the teacher in 11ic classroom; a part or character taken by an actor, any assumed character or function”.

Every teacher is the manager of the children’s learning.  As a teacher, you influence the children you teach-in many ways.  Because of you, many of them learn things that they will remember for the rest of their lives from him.  Dean (1993) says that as a regular teacher how you discharge this responsibility depends not only on the person you are and the relationships you are able to build with children and colleagues, even though these are also important.  The ability to organize children’s learning, the actual teaching skills you posses, you ability to observe, select, assess, evaluate and so on, are crucial and make all the difference between the group in inch most of the children come near to achieving their full potentials and in which most are under achieving.  Children are normally with the regular teacher for the majority of the time so that he or she is able to know them well.  Most regular teachers in primary schools also have some freedom to plan the work as seem best to them.  Inclusive education as the name implies includes or accepts or welcomes all persons into a class, school or community as full members not minding their conditions (abilities or disabilities, potentials or deviations) and also value them.  The center for studies in inclusive education (CSIE) as cited by Okoba (2007), defines inclusive education as “a programme for all children and young people with or without disabilities or difficulties learning together in ordinary primary provisions, schools, colleagues and universities with appropriate network of supports”.  He went further to explain that the essential marks of inclusive education are that its client are not limited to exceptional children in the traditional delineation of die term, but indeed all children having problems with learning and the normal children as well.

Inclusive education therefore is an educational placement that includes all rather than rejects anyone from being placed in the main stream of education in the class, school or community unless education in the inclusive classroom cannot be achieved satisfactory even after applying appropriate aids and services.

The inclusive classroom is a beehive of activities.  It is child-centered and based on learning centers, with every instructional material and skill in place.  Educational goals are always well defined.

This paper therefore addresses the regular teacher’s roles in inclusive education from these clear perspective:

  • Regular teacher preparation
  • Classroom organization and management
  • Providing instruction
  • Individual instruction
  • Educational collaboration
  • Curriculum modification
  • Referral
  • Challenges faced by the regular teacher conclusion.

 

Regular teacher preparation

When regular teachers are prepared only in general education curriculum, difficulties arise when he or she is faced with the provision of specia education instruction to special education needs children in the inclusive classroom.  Teacher preparation programs sometimes fail to prepare teachers to teach all the students who might be in their classroom.  This lapse makes the regular teacher incompetent and unprepared for inclusive classroom teaching.

In Nigeria, Ozoji (2003) avers that it is only of recent that teacher preparation programmes like the NCE and B.Ed have included elements of special education in the preparation of teacher to handle special education cases in the inclusive classroom.  This is very necessary considering the number of children with special education needs participating in the general education curriculum.  Even though this is the right step towards the right direction it is still not enough.  The preparation should be beyond elements of special education to addition of one or two courses which will give deeper preparation as it should be embedded in the National Policy on Education to give it a legal backing.

Ainscow (1994), opines that in the inclusive classroom, the regular teacher preparation is a task that is concerned with how to help teachers adopt a wider perspective to educational difficulties and the approaches he can apply.  He explains that teacher development programmes should be organized in a manner that facilitates their learning.  Resources to be used might include course activities, other people’s idea and perspective and evidence from elsewhere.  The importance point to note is that those external resources are intended to be used by teachers to consider their own previous experiences, the current ways of working existing beliefs and assumptions. They can be used to reflect upon wider issues that impact upon the teacher’s work.

In-service teacher training programme is another means through which regular teachers can be adequately prepared while on the job.  The aim of this programme is to equip them with recent trends in the curriculum of special needs education.  More so, the teacher in training had the opportunity to share her experience in the inclusive classroom with special teachers.

 

Classroom organization and management

It is evident that children with special education needs enrolled in normal educational settings face the problems that affect their educational progress.  The gravity of such effect demands positive actions on the part of regular teachers among others.  This section is bent on seeing how best regular classroom teachers can help pupils with special education needs meet up with challenges ahead of them.  Averson and Amwe (1996), discuss some of the ways a regular teacher can organize and manage the inclusive classroom to attain efficiency in his work.  They maintained that a pupil may require a special means of gaining access to areas of curriculum, for some it may be necessary to provide a special room or unit in which specialist teaching is carried out, others might require special equipment for use in the regular classroom.  Arrangement of furniture with the teaching area can do much to maximize these opportunities.

Pupils’ grouping irrespective of how the classroom furniture was arranged is vey important.  Teachers may be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of allowing all the pupils complete freedom of choice as regards where to sit.  This is while not to discourage the development of friendship, teachers want to ensure that all pupils derive benefit from the educational opportunities provided and to this end identify important principles with regards to the location of pupils with hearing impairment to lip-read easily; organizing group work for pupils to sit round a table etc.

The teacher will provide many manipulative and opportunities for small group learning.  In the small group for instance in a spelling activity a group of students may be assigned to cut and paste the letters from newspapers or use magnetic letters to manipulate the words, another may be asked to use coloured shaving cream to print the word.

Organizing and managing in the classroom arrangement is very important no matter how well regular teachers may be trained and prepared.  They cannot just teach anyhow.  They can only deliver when the classroom environment supports teaching by freeing teachers from having to figure out from moment what they are supposed to do, from having to discipline children, to get them line up.

Time management is yet another area that the regular teacher pays due attention to.  This takes cognizance of the fact that children work generally better when a consistent routine of activities at specific times is used within the classroom.

A regular teacher establishes classroom rules.  This aims at telling children the behaviour expected within the classroom.

 

Providing Instruction

The regular teacher’s primary assignment in inclusive education is to make sure that the wide range of children with various abilities and disabilities that have special education needs will benefit optimally according to their areas of needs.  With Ipso facto receiving instruction from the same curriculum which may present an obstacle for students with special education needs, some of these obstacles can be addressed curriculum modifications and others.  In the same vein, Hunt and Marshall (2005), say that educational collaboration can be between teachers or among peers.  They classify the teacher-directed instructional alternatives as; consultation, collaboration, co-teaching and peer tutoring.  In all these options the regular education teacher works with the one who has expertise in special education or specific area of instructional support such as educational technology, mobility in the inclusive classroom.

 

Individualized instruction

This is the instructional model that is aimed at working with an individual child in his or her particular area of educational needs or difficulty.  It involves a regular teacher, special education teacher, a peer, class assistant or older students teaching a student with special education needs in the area of his or her need in the inclusive classroom set-up.

In individualization, the regular teacher prepares and presents instruction and materials for the various range of abilities and aptitude represented in the class, though not in isolation of the special education teacher and other professionals in the field.

Since inclusive education permits a minimal number of learners in the classroom, individualized instruction is made possible for example, students with sensory impairments do not receive the same level of visual or auditory stimulus as their sighted peers or child with learning disability whose deficiency manifests in reading or writing needs a different form of instruction from a child with autism who needs behavioural tutoring.

 

Educational collaboration

This is an instructional option that describes the process whereby both regular and special education teachers identify the problems or difficulties a child is experiencing and work together to find intervention strategies.  Dettmer, Thurston and Dyck as cited by Hunt and Marshall (2005).  According to them, collaboration can be in the form of co-teaching consultation, and peer-assisted learning strategies (PALS).

 

Co-Teaching

In this method the regular teacher works with the special education teacher in the classroom.  It involves the provision of rich opportunities for general education and special education teachers to work together in the classroom.  Co-teaching model involves the following formats:

1st Model:  One person teaching in classroom, one teacher preparing materials and offering strategies but does not actually teach in the classroom.  Another format is one teach, one observes a student in the classroom and perhaps takes data, evaluates students’ responses’ response to instruction etc while the other teacher provides instruction.

2nd Model:  Two teachers in the classroom one supplementing general instruction.  One teacher teaches the other drifts.  This means that one teacher circulates around the classroom helping students with particular needs, and the co-teacher instructs the entire group.

This is an alternative teaching in which, one teacher provides remediation, enrichment, or specialized instruction for students who need it while the other provides instruction for the rest of the group.

3rd Model:  Two teachers in classroom, both delivering general instruction.  This third model involves station teaching in which the curriculum content is broken into components each teacher teaches one part of the content or group of children, then children switch to the other teacher parallel, here the class is broken into two groups of students.  Each teacher teaches the same content material.  It could also he inform of team teaching-both teachers deliver the instruction together at the same time sharing leadership in the classroom.

 

Consultation

This is another form of instructional option in which the regular teacher receives suggestion from the special teacher after the special teacher has observed the student, in the regular classroom.  The regular teacher adapts instruction or materials to meet the specific needs of the student with special education needs in his or her class.

 

The Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)

This is a form of instructional option that takes place in the regular classroom that is coordinated by the regular teacher.  According to Hunts and Marshall (2006) the regular prepare students with a seri4es of scripted lesson.  Students are grouped into dyads.  It is a form of peer tutoring in which the stronger peer helps the weaker one to learn to read.  Hunt and Marshall cite Fuchs, Fuehs, Mathes and Simmons (1996) as classifying activities in peer-assisted learning strategies into:

  • Partner reading in which the peer tutor and the other student both read for five minutes.
  • Paragraph shrinking in which both students read the text aloud,, stopping at the end of each paragraph to state the main idea in not more than ten word;
  • Prediction relay: The reader makes predictions about the content of a half page of text and then reads the text.  While this student reads the tutor corrects errors.

Curriculum Modification

Leaner (2001) is of the opinion that curriculum can be modified through the following means:  The difficulty level of the material used can be modified to meet the present performance and tolerance level of the student.  She said that the concept of reading applies here.  She is of the opinion that many students feel tasks are too difficult and the level of performance required is far beyond their present ability.  This can lead to complete breakdown in learning.  It can also be enriched or expanded for the gifted child.

Language can also be modified to enhance students learning.  To assure that language clarifies rather than confusion.  The number of pieces of work can be reduced by giving the pupil fewer pages to complete or fewer spelling words to learn.  The regular teacher can reduce the number of pictures on walls and bulletin boards.  Control the lighting and the colour of the room or furnishing, and reduce his or her own verbalization.

 

Referral

Referral is the formal procedure of initiating the special education study for the student with special education needs.  It is one of the three broad stages of assessment-teaching process.  Once referral is made school personnel follow it up.

Learner (2001) classified referral into two broad stage, pre-referral activities Referral and initial planning.

 

Pre-Referral Activities

This includes the establishment of working relationship between schools to which the regular teacher can go for help.  Regular teacher consultations with the building team about a students’ academic and behaviour problems and the implementation of suggested interventions in the classroom for example the regular teacher assistance team.  Here a team of three regular education teachers in the school plus the referral teachers meet to brainstorm and to help the referring teacher develop a plan to enhance the student’s performance in the classroom.

 

Referral and Initial Planning

Leaner (2001) says that the initial referral of a student for evaluation can come through several sources like the regular class teacher, parents or other professional who have contact with the students or a self referral by the student.  Once the referral is made, school personnel must follow up the referral.  Parents must be notified of the school’s concern and must give written permission for an evaluation.  Decision is now made about the general kinds of assessment data needed and who will be responsible for gathering the information.  In all these the regular teacher is involved in one way or the other.

Challenges faced by the regular teacher

Regular teacher in the inclusive classroom undergoes diverse difficulties in his bid to perform his duties on a daily basis.  Such challenges if not addressed will in turn hamper the achievement of inclusive education goals.

In the inclusive classroom, there is a wide range of students with abilities and disabilities.  This calls for varieties of program options to take care of the various needs of the students.  This in turn calls for diverse specialized personnel to collaborate with the regular teacher to make the work easier but where the various program options are not there and the personnel also unavailable, the regular teacher is left in a dilemma of how to go about his duties.  This can lead him into frustration and resentment of the whole system.

Regular teachers are often not prepared to work with students who have special needs that vary significantly from the needs of the other members of the class.  Affleck, Lowwenbraun and Acher (1980), says that one of the major complains of regular teachers relates to their own feelings of inadequacy in teaching the disabled child.  Teacher training does not include preparation for or knowledge about children whose learning deficit are marked by rather specific characteristics that cannot be easily remediated usual classroom teaching approach.  It can be better understood or they can be understood or identify by the professionals.

Classroom control is another bottle neck faced by regular teachers in the inclusive classroom.  The ability to manage behaviour, channel them into productive use and to create a calm atmosphere where each person-children and teachers alike can fulfil his or her role.  Affleck say that just as it is the regular teacher’s responsibility to improve the academic skills of mildly handicapped and low performing children, it is also her responsibility to promote appropriate social personal behaviour and to establish an environment conducive to that behaviour.  Just as children function well in an orderly classroom so too does the teacher.

Again her inability to collaborate with the school principal, parents, resources room, teachers, school counsellor to establish an environment that will meets her needs as a teacher and the needs of the learner in her class becomes a big laps on her part.

In most cases, the large environments and overcrowding in many inclusive classrooms leave the regular teacher without the time necessary to individualize instruction because of lack of skills in special education.

 

Conclusion

The inclusive education itself is a very laudable programme that is widely accepted and has come to stay, but looking at the role played by the regular teacher in the inclusive classroom especially in Nigeria, one discovers that it is a very challenging one.  The structure of the classroom is all encompassing the instructional options, equipment and facilities, professional in the field-and many more not being easily available all contribute to make it a difficult task for him, since he cannot work in isolation in the inclusive education classroom.

 

Recommendations

To enable the regular teacher to perform optimally in the inclusive education classroom, the writer has these few recommendations:

Educational institutions like Colleges of Education and Universities should make adequate teacher preparation to equip the regular teacher for the task ahead of him.

Other professionals in related field should support, cooperate and collaborate with the regular teacher to make his work easier.

Classroom enrolment should be as minimal as possible to make individualized instruction possible.

 

 

References

 

Affleck, J. O., Lowenbrauu, S., & Acher, A. (1980).  Teaching the mildly handicapped in the regular classroom, (2nd ed) Ohio: Charles, E. Merrill Pub. Co.

 

Ainscow, M. (1994). Special needs in the classroom: A teacher education guide.  London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd.

 

Aversion, K. V., & Amwe, D. (1996).  Needs of children and classroom considerations.  In I. Bulus., A. Nwoke, & P. Awotunde (eds). Journal of educational studies. 3(1), 109-144. Jos: Institute of education, University of Jos.

 

Dean, J. (1993).  Organizing learning in the primary school classroom. (2nd ed).  London: Routjedge.

 

Hunt, N., & Marshall, K. (2005).  Exceptional children, and youth. (4th ed.) Boston: Houhton Mifflin Co.

 

Leaner, J. W. (1985). Learning disabilities – Theories, diagnosis & teaching strategies (4th ed.). : Houhton Mifflin Co.

 

Okobali, U. M. (2007).  The what and how of inclusive education in the Universal basic education scheme.  In E. D. Ozoji., & J. M. Okouyibo (eds).  The practice and future of special needs education in Nigeria (37 – 51).  Jos: Department of Special Education, University of Jos.

 

Ozoji, E. D. (2003).  The Role of special education teacher in inclusive education in Nigeria. Jos: Deka Publications, University of Jos.

 

 

 

 

ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS IN AGRICULTURE: A STRATEGY FOR GRASSROOTS YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN NIGERIA

Dorcas U. Weor

 Moses T. Akorga

Department of Agricultural Technology, Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture Yandev, Benue State,Nigeria

Email: dorcasweor@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Abstract

 

Over the years, Nigeria has faced the serious challenge of youth unemployment. Both the public and private sectors of the nation’s economy seem to be saturated with manpower and are no longer willing to accommodate the large number of the teeming unemployed youths in the society. Most of these youths are graduates from schools, colleges and universities. The introduction of entrepreneurship studies at all levels of education is a bid to proffer solution to the problem of unemployment in Nigeria. Agriculture has many occupations which youths can acquire skills in schools, colleges and universities as well as short-term out of school programmes at grass roots levels. The acquisition of these skills is expected to equip them for gainful enterprises or businesses in agriculture with the application of entrepreneurial skills acquired through programmes. The purpose of this article was to determine the type of programmes established by government towards entrepreneurial skills to provide employment for youths in agriculture; to examine the relevance of entrepreneurial skills and prospects/occupations in agriculture for youth employment and self-reliant in Nigeria. Constraints to entrepreneurial skills development were highlighted. The article concluded that the entrepreneurial skills programmes established by government over the years have yielded little positive results and more efforts are needed for their better implementation. Suggestions were made to this effect.

Keywords: Entrepreneur, entrepreneurial skills, agriculture, youth, employment grass roots.

 

 

Introduction

 

For several decades now, the Nigerian government, the private sector and several other concerned citizens have noticed the serious challenge of graduate unemployment. Both the private and public sectors seem to be saturated and are no longer willing to absorb the large number of graduates produced on yearly basis. This challenge has drawn the attention of many scholars who attributed the problem to several factors including poor educational programmes which produce job seekers instead of job creators. The introduction of entrepreneurship studies at all levels of education in Nigeria is to help students develop skills that will make them self-employed after graduation. Graduates and the general populace need to be enterprising in order to be self-reliant for the country to move forward economically, and agricultural sector is endowed with several opportunities that will provide skills for business enterprises for the production of goods and services.

According to Anyanwoucha (2001) an entrepreneur is a person who makes plans for a business or a piece of work and gets it going. He is the chief coordinator, controller and organizer of the production process. He combines other factors of production such as land, capital and labour. Harper (2003) defined entrepreneurship as the mechanism for wealth creation, explanations of economic growth and development. Qualities of entrepreneurship include initiation, creativity, innovations, self-employment, employment in small start-up firms, and use of appropriate skills needed for success in a business (Adepeju,2009).Gwary,Kwaghe,Ja’afar-Furo and Dennis (2011) defined entrepreneurship as a process by which individuals become conscious of business ownership as an option or viable alternative, develop ideas for business and learn the process of becoming an entrepreneur and undertake the initiative of developing a business. Nwobasi (2011) identified entrepreneurial skills to include managerial skills, job/technical skills, human relations skills, innovative/enterprising skills etc.

Many able bodied and highly qualified persons who could not secure gainful employment have remained economically dependent on their parents. This is because they lack the necessary occupational skills to be self-employed and to effectively function in present-day world of work (International Labour Organization (ILO) (n.d). Combiningentrepreneurial skills with occupational skills available in agricultural sector makes agri-businesses successful ventures.

Agriculture can be defined as the art and science of cultivating crops, rearing of animals and general management of soil for human uses. It is a deliberate attempt by man to cultivate crops and rear animals for the benefits derived from them. Agriculture also involves the preparation and processing of plant and animal products and marketing or disposal of these products (Erebor, 2003). There are several occupations available in the agricultural sector. These include agronomy, horticulture, forestry, animal production, aquaculture and bee farming.

Agricultural activities can contribute greatly to the development of youths. These activities can be a source of empowerment for self-employment and self-reliant for these youths (Gwary et al., 2011). They can acquire skills for the production of goods and provision of services in these fields of agriculture.

International Labour Organization (ILO) (n.d) defines youth as a time of life, full of promise, aspiration and energy, between childhood and adulthood. It is a period to go out to secure their future and to contribute to the welfare of their families, communities and societies they may find themselves. This stage of life is very important in determining young people’s paths to achieving productive, employment and decent work. They are energetic and capable of learning and maintaining skills that can make their communities to flourish and the nation strengthen.

Youths are risk takers and more likely to have access to extension services and make use of agricultural loans more effectively (Amaza and Tashi-Kalma, 2003). They are capable of developing the attitude, knowledge and skills that make them to undertake active functions in the society and collaborate with adults to tackle serious issues of life (Gobeli, 2004). Gwary et al. (2011) gave some of the possible agricultural occupations which offer opportunities for entrepreneurial skills for youth in Nigeria. These are food crop production, livestock production, orchard management, aquaculture (fish farming), mechanization, marketing, processing and distribution and forest jobs.Youthsinvolvement in agriculture provide them with economic benefits and means of self-reliance.

Mbam and Nwibo (2013) reported that farmers who engage in farming as enterprise in the South East part of Nigeria have the benefit of poverty reduction.They were able to procure inputs, make profit in arable crops and livestock. In processing of cassava, yam, palm oil, rice legumes and nuts, there were also positive impact as well as distribution and marketing of the products when entrepreneurial skills were applied.

Short-term out of school programmes are directed towards youths who are not graduates and have no steady jobs. They are the rural or township jobless youths who roam and engage in manual jobs for a living.

The acquisition of agricultural skills is expected to equip both graduates and non-graduate youths for gainful enterprise in Nigeria. This paper highlights the roles played by Nigerian government in entrepreneurial skills development for youth employment. Furthermore it examined, agricultural skills available for youths to become self-employed and self-reliant, and be involved in acquiring entrepreneurial skills for setting up agri-businesses in Nigeria. The paper also explored the challenges of the grassroots youths entrepreneurship skills acquisition in agriculture in the Nigeria societies, and suggestedthe way forward.

 

The Role of Government in Entrepreneurship Development in Nigeria

Effots at entrepreneurship development in Nigeria started before independence. After independence, government at different periods have made efforts to encourage farmers, graduates and youths in general to become entrepreneurs in the field of agriculture by introducing different programmes. The objectives of some of these programmes addressed youth entrepreneurship development as stated by Erebor (2003). He maintained that farm settlement schemes were set up in 1959 by the then western Nigeria government. Some of their aims were:- to encourage rural development; to encourage young school leavers to take up farming as a means of livelihood; to discourage rural-urban drift of young school leavers in search of “white collar”  jobs; to show that by going through organized and scientific planning, young school leavers can own and manage farms. The programmme was aimed at training young school leavers in different fields of agriculture in six months to two years and later provide funds for them to set up their own farms.

The operation feed the nation (OFN) came on board in 1976 with the aim of making agriculture popular to involve the old and young to provide food for all Nigerians and to reduce the cost of living. Green Revolution was established in 1979 and lasted till 1983 with aims different from OFN except that it also aimed at providing job opportunities and abundant food for Nigerians.

School-to-land programme was developed by river state government. One of its aims was to create job opportunities for young school leavers. The National Directorate of Food, Road and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI) established in 1986 and National Directorate of Employment (NDE) also aimed at creating employment opportunities in agriculture. They also have as one of their aims the development of small scale agro- based industries. Other recent programmes which promote entrepreneurship in agriculture are the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN), the Young Entrepreneur (YE) and Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) of the Federal Government in 2012 ( Odia & Odia, 2013).

Relevance of Entrepreneurial skills in Agriculture for Youth Employment

The need to promote entrepreneurship education started in Nigeria in the mid 1980s. This was due to the collapse of the nation’s economy attributed to political instability and inconsistencies in the social-economic policies of successive governments (Odia & Odia, 2013). As a result, there was high youth and graduate unemployment. The introduction of entrepreneurship education was aimed at offering functional education to youths to make them self-employed and self-reliant; provide young graduates with adequate training for them to be creative and innovative in identifying business opportunities and establish careers in small and medium scale businesses among others (Nwobasi, 2011). Entrepreneurial skills can be gainfully applied at grass roots level in agriculture which hitherto has been neglected by the youths. This can be made possible through the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWIN) Programme. The YouWIN Programme is a collaboration of the Federal Ministries of Finance, Communication and Technology and Youth Development to organize an annual Business Plan Competition for young people aspiring for businesses in Nigeria. The prospective entrepreneurs are given loans to start or develop their business (Odia & Odia, 2013). Youths can be encouraged through this program to go into agri-businesses for the production of goods and services.

Food crops such as roots and tubers, cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruits, beverages, spices etc. can be cultivated and produced competitively under the YouWIN Programme for income generation. Cash crops like groundnut, soya beans, cowpea, melon etc. can be produced for small and medium scale enterprise. Production of livestock animals like poultry, swine, rabbit, sheep, goat, cattle can also serve for small and medium scale enterprises. Other areas for business enterprise include bee farming, snail rearing, fish farming, charcoal production, broom making, basket, mat, chair weaving etc.

Youths can acquire skills to render services as business enterprise in agriculture. These services are as follows; garri processing, groundnut and palm oil extraction, groundnut cake processing, soya beans meal preparation, grafting and budding of citrus and other tree crops, palm wine tapping, slaughtering of animals and meat dressing, spraying of weeds, pests and diseases on crops, etc. Services available in veterinary field are vaccination, castration, de beaking, notching and tattooing of animals. Other services include post harvest processing and preservation of farm produce like cassava, yam, and sweet potatoes. Acquisition of these skills can be through apprenticeship or mentorship.

Agricultural sector is one out of several others which Nigeria needed to explore for her resources. The ban imposed by the Federal Government with respect to the importation of live or frozen birds has helped to increase the demand for locally produced birds. Fish farming using ponds or containers or fishing in natural waters offer opportunities for enterprise (Ihugba & Njoku, 2013). According to Ladu (2015) fish is a very rich source of food to the world’s population. Fish products are useful as medicine, animal feeds, fertilizer and leather. Fish is useful for learning and research; recreation and sport, as well as a predator for biological pest control.

 

Constraints to Grass Roots Youths Entrepreneurship skills Development in Agriculture

Several constraints to youth’s involvement in programmes introduction by government and strategies toward entrepreneurship in agriculture have been identified. Farm settlement scheme did not succeed because it was ill- planned and school leavers were too young for the rigorous job of agriculture.Secondary the Ministry of agriculture exercised too much control over these youths and this did not go well with them. Finally the removal of government who introduce it led to its discontinuity. Several of the other programmes ended due to change in government and poor planning. (Erenor, 2003). Mandama (2010) stated that factors limiting youths and farming households from venturing into entrepreneurship world in Nigeria include lack of motivation and finance, inadequate management skills, poor infrastructure and forced taxation. Duniya (2010) reported that entrepreneurship development has made little impact in Nigeria due to low productively in agriculture. This leads to low income and consequently the inability for the entrepreneur to procure farm inputs and to gain access to relevant services.

Gwary, et al, (2011) identified low capital, land scarcity, lack of awareness of prospects of enterprise available in agricultural sector. Other constraints include lack of access roads, electricity, water, schools and hospitals in farming communities, land tenure problem and lack of support from government.

The attitude of youths towards agriculture is worthy of note. Agriculture is often regarded as an occupation for the resource poor and the elderly. Young people prefer to migrate to urban areas to look for other means of livelihood like motor cycle riders, road side mechanics, wheel barrow pushers, taxi drivers, hawkers of second hand clothes and the like. Beside the aforementioned challenges, entrepreneurship programmes in Nigeria hardly target the general rural youths who are not in school. Rural youths at grass roots are hardly encouraged to go into agriculture business using strategic approaches that make business in agriculture to flourish in Nigeria. Youths in rural areas who desire to go into agri-businesses do not have entrepreneurial skill, and resources like land and capital. The resources are government owned and for the adults.

 

Conclusion

This paper has concluded that the government of Nigeria has introduced several programmes towardsentrepreneurial skills development among youths as a deliberate plan to provide employment for graduates and non-graduates in Nigeria in agriculture. However, the programmes have witnessed little positive results due to poor planning and several economic and infrastructural constraints. More effort is needed to bring entrepreneurship skills to the youths in the agricultural sector for the realization of better results. The YouWIN program was seen as ideal in promoting grass roots small and medium scale enterprises for goods and services available in agriculture in Nigeria.

 

Suggestions

In view of the ongoing study the following suggestions were made:

  1. The Federal Government through Entrepreneurship education in Nigeria should re-focus on the teaching and training of ordinary youths residing in the rural areas in order to expose them to opportunities for marketing their farm produce more efficiently. This will stimulate them to be creative, innovative and to develop feasible business plans to set up better business ventures.
  2. Rural youths should be encouraged by extension workers and NGOs to engage in meaningful agricultural produce enterprises and agro-based services to generate income that will facilitate the growth of national economy.
  3. Agricultural programmes set-up by the Federal Government should be introduced to rural youths by extension workers through the traditional heads andthey should be encouraged by way of forming groups or cooperatives for young farmers to participate fully in agricultural activities.
  4. Government Land policies that will make land available for use by youths should be enforced. Elders should give youth freedom to sell and enjoy the benefit of their enterprise and exercise their skills as much as possible.
  5. Local processors of produce should be encouraged by extension arm of agriculture to form associations to market their skills.
  6. The YouWIN programme should be re-enforced to reach more farmers, especially the rural youths.
  7. Federal Government should provide soft loans for rural youths, agro-based industries and adequate marketing channels for proper marketing of perishable farm produce like vegetables and fruits.
  8. The state and local governments should revisit the law on taxation on agricultural goods to encourage farmers engaged in small and medium scale enterprises.
  9. Farm settlement scheme should be reintroduced to involve more matured youths who are between the ages of 25-30 years.

 

 

References

Adepeju, B.S. (2009). Entrepreneurship for youth empowerment. Paper delivered by Director, Lagos State Ministry of Waterfront      Infrastructure Development at the convocation ceremony of Lagos          cityPolytechnic Ikeja on February 25, 2009.

Amaze, P.S., & Tashikalma, A.K. (2003). Technical Efficiency in Groundnut Production in Adamawa State, Journal of Arid Agriculture No.13,  127-131.

Anyanwuocha, R.A.I. (2001). Fundamentals of Economics. Onitsha. African –FEP Publishers ltd.

Duniya, A.S. (2010). Challenges of entrepreneurship development in agriculture for job creation in Nigeria. Proceedings of the 24th Annual National Conference of Farm Management Association of Nigeria held at Adamawa State University Mubi 11th -14 October, 2010. Pp. 1-4.

Erebor, O. (2003). Comprehensive Agricultural Science for senior secondary schools. A. Johnson Publisher Ltd. Lagos.

Gobeli, V.C. (2004). Extension Rural Youth Programme: part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable development in developing countries. USDA, Washington DC.

Gwary, M.M., Kwaghe, P.V. Ja’afar-Fura M.R., & Dennis, A. (2011). Analysis          of entrepreneurial agricultural activities of youths in Michika Local   Government area of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Journal of Development and        Agricultural Economics 3(3), 91-97.

Harper, D.A. (2003). Foundations of entrepreneurship and economic    development. New Fetter Lane, London: Routledge

Ihugba, O.A., Odii, A. and Njoku, A.C (2013) challenges and prospects of      Entrepreneurship in Nigeria. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary studies    2 (5).

International Labour Organisation (n.d). Youth employment: Breaking gender          barrier for young women and men.

Ladu, B.M.B. (2015). Environmental change and sustainability of fish resources in the lake chad Basin. 19th Inaugural Lecture held at Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola on 10th June, 2015.

Madama, L.S. (2010). Entrepreneurship development and Nigerian transformation process: Prospects and Challenges in Agriculture. Proceeding of the 24th Annual National conference of farm management Association of Nigeria held at Adamawa State University, Mubi. 11th-14 October 2010 pp 9-12.

Mbam, B.N., & Nwibo, S.U. (2013). Entrepreneurship development as a strategy for poverty alleviation among farming households in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. Greener Journal of Agricultural Science 3(10), 736-742.

Nwobasi, P.A. (2011). The roles of technology and vocational education in enhancing entrepreneurial skills in a global economy Journal of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria 46(1), 94-100.

Odia, J.O., & Odia, A.A. (2013). Developing Entrepreneurial skills and transforming challenges into opportunities in Nigeria. Journal of         Educational and Social Research 3(3), 289 – 298.

AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF PETROLEUM SUBSIDY REMOVAL ON NIGERIA’S ECONOMY

1Ukeyima Nicholas Pever

2Dominic I. Ukura

1Registry Department

Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev –Gboko

Benue State

 pukeyima@gmail.com

2Department of Business Administration And Management

Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev-Gboko Benue State

ukuradom@gmail.com

 

 

Abstract

One of the contentious issues in contemporary Nigeria is the removal of fuel subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). The purpose of this work is to evaluate the arguments for and against subsidy removal. An empirical investigation of the impact of the fuel subsidy removal on fuel consumption was conducted using percentages and chi-square methods. Four hypotheses were stated and tested. The result of the study shows that subsidy removal has no economic benefits, but rather, leads to increase in the prices of goods and services in Nigeria. However, the study also shows that there are weak and non-transparent institutional frameworks, which cause citizens’ lack of credibility and trust in government. The study therefore recommends the maintenance of the fuel subsidy to firms to enhance high productivity and low prices of petroleum products for the well-being of the Nigerian populace.

 

 

 

Introduction

 

On 1st January, 2012 the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) announced the total removal of subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). This immediately led to an increase in the pump prices of PMS from N65 per litre to between N138 official price and N140 commercial price (Adeleke & Gafar, 2012). The increase in prices of PMS in turn led to exorbitant increase (more than double) in transport fares and prices of many market goods. All these ignited debates, strike actions and protests nation-wide.

The debates raised a number of issues such as, the concept of subsidy itself, who gains and who loses from the removal, and political economy issues such as corruption in the oil industry, wasteful spending of government, credibility, trusty and sincerity of government.

This article examines the concept of subsidy and its removal using basic economic tools of demand and supply, the expected gains of subsidy removal, subsidy consumers’ choice, subsidy and government spending as well as subsidy and the “cabal”. The gap in knowledge that needs to be filled is by answering the fundamental questions of who gains and who loses form the subsidy removal? Why and how fuel is subsidized in Nigeria? Would there be macro economic gains? Would subsidy removal ensure market competition and efficiency? And so on.

From the government perspective, withdrawal of government subsidy to firms is one of the surest routes to the elimination of price distortion. It was further contended that the removal of petroleum subsidy would have the potential of bailing out a cash-trapped economy by generating additional 6.8 million naira for the country yearly (Anyamwu, 1993). In addition, it was argued that the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy would effectively halt illegal bunkering, check smuggling as well as the adulteration of kerosene and other petroleum products.

The idea of subsidy removal on petroleum resources in Nigeria began during the administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (Ekpe, 2003). The Nigerian state under Babangida in 1986 initiated the process of withdrawal of Petroleum subsidy by announcing the withdrawal of the pump price of the product, which rose to an alarming rate. For instance, the price of gasoline and diesel which stood at 20 kobo and 11 kobo per litre in 1985, were raised to 39.5 kobo and 29.5 kobo in 1986. This represented an increase of 97.5 percent and 168.2 percent, respectively.

The Nigerian state still has implicit confidence in the subsidy removal as a means of restoring economic viability as illustrated by the Obasanjo and Jonathan regimes recent decisions to abolish government subsidy on domestic fuel sales and to hike the price cap on petrol by 54 percent. This article therefore, has attempted to analyze the impact of the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy on Nigeria’s economy.

Theoretical Framework

The growth theoretical construct has been adopted as theoretical framework for this discourse. This paradigm holds that Third World underdevelopment is primarily triggered off due to faulty and inappropriate policy prescriptions by the West and their assistant agencies in Third Wordl countries.

In the 1950s and 1960s, orthodox development theories which attempted to offer solutions to the perennial poverty in developing countries recommended balanced growth strategies (Nurkse, 1953), the unbalanced growth theory (Hirschman, 1958) and the import substitution strategy as solutions to overcoming poverty. When these strategies failed to alleviate poverty or eradicate backwardness, “direct government intervention through planning, control, protection as well as regulation of economic activities” were offered as a way forward (Tomori, 1995).

In addition to this argument, what makes economic development elusive to the Third World is that their policies for economic development are not only externally oriented, but are also implemented by local political elites who are bankrupt of viable alternative development paths. As Todaro (1977) puts it:

Having little or no really useful knowledge to enable them to come to grips in an effective way with real development problems, they often tend to become unknowing or reluctant apologists for the existing system of elitist policies and institutional structures (Todaro 1977:92).

The explanation for this kind of situation is due to inherent structural dependence. This creates among the political and bureaucratic elite a pervasive mentality that is based on their assumed powerlessness to achieve socio-economic growth without external investment and technical assistance (Ekpe, 2003). There is however broad support in virtually all empirical studies for a strong positive impact on economic growth by the investment rate and by various measures of human capital. Various kinds of public policy variables also seem to make a difference on the growth rates. Countries with relatively open economies have tended to maintain higher growth rates than countries with more restrictive policies.

Some of the most emotion-laden and ideologically tinged debates on economic growth theory deal with two questions on which no broad consensus seem likely in the near future- what sort of mixture of government planning and control versus the free market is most conducive to economic growth? What are the effects of different cultures on promoting or retarding economic growth?

Scholars like Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and many others (even Karl Marx) laid great stress on the importance of growth theory based on culturally conditioned values or attitudes (Igwe, 2012).

Although these have been little efforts to empirically verify the major assumptions of this perspective, the fact remains that its explanatory potential is not in doubt (Ekpe, 2002). This theoretical model is useful because it would provide us with concise analytical tools with which to examine the impact of the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy on Nigeria’s economy.

Hypotheses

In specific terms, the study intends to test the following hypotheses:

  1. The greater the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy, the greater the availability of disposable income for development.
  2. The greater the removal of petroleum subsidy, the greater the capacity of the economy to generate employment opportunities.
  3. The greater the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy, the greater the growth rate of the national economy.
  4. The greater the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy, the greater the extent to which external and internal debts are serviced.

Having specified the research focus, the next line of action as Babbie (1979) puts it “is to determine the best way to find it out”. In accordance with this research dictate, a statistical analysis which is based on questionnaire is adopted. Accordingly, a questionnaire that would elicit respondents’ views on specific items relating to the four hypotheses was formulated and administered.

 

Sampling Method

This study adopted a stratified sampling method. In order to obtain useful information for this research the population of 500 is to be divided into five strata of 100 respondents. The five strata comprise of lecturers, bankers, civil servants, politicians and top bureaucrats. The nominal roll of these establishments (higher institutions, and banks within Gboko town of Benue State, Nigeria as well as politicians) was used to select the respondents whose views helped in this inquiry.

Data Collection Method

The data for this research was drawn from the primary source. Accordingly, a population of 500 respondents was randomly chosen. The questionnaire was prepared and distributed to the population of 500 literate respondents who are currently serving as lecturers, bureaucrats, bankers, top ranking politicians and the like with a bias to economics, sociology and politics. Respondents were expected to strongly agree, agree, strongly disagree or to be undecided (Likert Scaling) to the questions raised in the questionnaire.

Method of Data Analysis

A frequency count of all the responses derived from each specific question relating to the hypothesis was made. The responses were tallied under the following headings: (a) Strongly agree (b) Agree (c) Strongly Disagree (d) Disagree (e) Undecided. This was followed by a scientific analysis.

The chi-square (x2) method was used in explaining the questionnaire. The questionnaire scale which is based on the various research hypotheses was then applied. This was followed by the chi-square test that attempted a comparison between the obtained and observed samples frequencies. The chi-square test deals with the application of data that are not on a continuous scale of measurement. It is denoted by the symbol (x2 ) and the formula for computing chi-square (x2 ) is as follows:

x2 = a(fo – fe)2

fe

Where:

Fo =   number of times the variable under study was observed in the sample

Fe =   number of times that the variable under study was expected to occur in the sample.

(fo – fe)= The square of fo – fe

(fo – fe)= Average number of the difference in the observed

fe            frequency

Test Of Hypotheses

The characteristics listed below were used for rejecting or accepting the hypothesis when the least possible value of x2 = 0

(a)     x2 had a positive value which increased as the difference between fo and fe increases.

(b)     x2 test was always one failed test lying always to the right hand side Fo had to be a whole number where Fe needed not be a whole number.

(c)     In taking a decision for x2 test, if x2 computed was greater the x2 table value that is critical value, then the null hypothesis (Ho) will be rejected and if x2 was less than the critical value (x2 ), then null hypothesis was accepted.

(d)     In determining the critical value (x2 value), the appropriate number on degree of freedom was given as follows:

df = (r – 1)

Where df = degree of freedom

R = Number of rows which the data tabulated.

For this study the df = 5 – 1) = 4df

Checking in the x2 value table, the critical value is 9.49 which is used in accepting or rejecting hypothesis tested on this work.

Presentation/Analysis of Data And Results

In this section, relevant data for validating null hypothesis and for answering the research questions were presented and analyzed. Also, the result of the analysis and test of appropriate hypothesis was done mainly through the use of percentages and chi-square (x2 ) analysis/test statistics. All the tests were conducted at significant level of a = 5%

 

Test Of Hypothesis

Impact of the Removal of Petroleum Subsidy on Government’s Disposable Income

Ho = Fo = Fe or (Fo – Fe = 0) i.e

There was no significant difference in the number of respondents tending to agree or disagree that the removal of petroleum subsidy did not give the Nigerian state more disposable income.

Hi = Fo Fe or (Fo – Fe’ 0) i.e

There was a significant difference in the number of respondents tending to agree or disagree that the removal of petroleum subsidy did not give the Nigerian state more disposable income.


 

Table 1: The impact of removal of petroleum subsidy on Government’s Disposable Income.

ITEM SA A U D SD TOTAL
The removal of petroleum subsidy gave the Nigerian state more disposable income 100 167 22 133 78 500
Percentage 20% 33.4% 4.4% 26.1% 15.6% 100%

 

Key: SA = Strongly Agree, A = Agree, U = Undecided, D = Disagree, SD = Strongly Disagreed.

 

 

 

Table 2: Chi-square analysis of respondents views regarding the impact of the removal of petroleum subsidy on government’s disposable income.

Responses Fo Fe (Fo-Fe)2 (Fo-Fe)2

Fe

x2 DF P
SA 100 100 0.00 0.00      
A 167 100 4489.00 44.89      
U 22 100 6084.00 60.84 121.46 4 <05
D 133 100 1089.00 10.89      
SD 78 100 484.00 4.84      
TOTAL 500 500   121.46    

 

Level of significance = a = 5%

Decision Rule: Reject Ho if x2 observe > x2 critical

x2 critical = 9.49 at a = 0.05 df = c-1=5-1 = 4

where c = No of cells (rows) = 5

thus Ho is rejected if x2 observed > 9.49

x2 observed (computed) = a(Fo – Fe)2

Fe

All cell = 121 – 46

Decision

Since x2 observed = 121.46 > x2 critical = 9.49, we reject Ho and conclude in favour of Hi, that the removal of petroleum subsidy gave the Nigerian state more disposable income.

The significance x2 value obtained in table 1 indicate that the departures of observed cells frequencies from the expected value are significant and not due to change. A close look at table 1 reveals that a large proportion of the population of respondents (33.4%) tended to agree that the removal of petroleum subsidy gave government more disposable income. A smaller proportion of the respondents (21.1%) tended to disagree withh the opinion, while (4.4%) were undecided.


 

Removal of Petroleum Subsidy Generates More Employment Opportunities to the Nigerian State

          Table 3: The Respondents view on the question regarding whether the removal of petroleum subsidy led to generation of more employment opportunities.

ITEM SA A U D SD TOTAL
The percentage of petroleum subsidy leads to the generation of more employment opportunities 44 178 11 189 78 500
Percentage 8.8% 35.6% 2.2% 37.8% 15.5% 100%

 

x2 – Analysis of Respondents, views and test of hypothesis.


Ho: There is no significant difference in the number of respondents tending to agree or disagree that the removal of petroleum subsidy led to the generation of more employment opportunity (Fo – Fe = 0)

Hi: There is a significant difference in the number of respondents tending to agree or disagree that the removal of petroleum subsidy led to the generation of more employment opportunities (Fo1 – Fe).

Relevant data for testing HO against Hi are shown in table 4 level of significance = a=5%.

Decision Rule: Reject Ho if x2 observed > x2 critical at a = 5%, x2 critical = 9.49 for df = C-1 = 5-14 where df = degrees of freedom and C = No of Cells (rows).


 

Table 4: Chi-square analysis of respondents’ views regarding whether or not the removal of petroleum subsidy led to the generation of more employment opportunities.

Responses Fo Fe (Fo-Fe)2 (Fo-Fe)2

Fe

x2 DF P
SA 44 100 3136 31.36      
A 178 100 6064        
U 11 100 7921 >9.21 225.4 64 <03
D 189 100 7921        
SD 78 100 884        
TOTAL 500 500   255.46      

 

Significant at a =5%

Decision

 

Since x2 observed = 255.46 > x2 critical = 9.49, we reject Ho (i.e that the cell observations are statistically equal) and we accept Hi, that the cell observations are significantly different.

The analysis reveals that 267 out of 500 respondents ie. 53.4% of them tended to disagree with the assertion that the removal of subsidy led to the generation of more employment opportunities for the Nigerian State. The proportion of respondents disagreeing is significantly greater than the proportion that tended to agree (44.4%) with the assertion. A small proportion of the respondents (22%) were uncertain regarding the effects of the removal of petroleum subsidy on employment generation.

 

Significance of the impact of the removal of petroleum subsidy on the Nigerian Economy

Respondents’ views regarding the significance of the impact of the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy on the Nigerian economy are shown in Table 4 below.


 

Table 4: Respondents views regarding the significance of the impact of the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy on the Nigerian economy.

No of respondents

ITEM SA A U D SD TOTAL
Removal of petroleum subsidy had no tangible or significant impact on the Nigerian economy 56 133 22 133 156 500
Percentage 11.2% 26.6% 4.4% 26.6% 31.2% 100%

 

 

The table above showed that a larger population of the respondents (57.5%) tended to disagree that the removal of petroleum subsidy had significant impact on the Nigerian economy. The statistical significance of this finding is shown in table 4 which represents an X2 analysis of respondents’ views in this regard.

X2– Analysis and Test of Hypothesis regarding the impact of withdrawal of petroleum subsidy on the Nigerian Economy.

The following null hypothesis was tested on the number of respondents tending to agree or disagree that the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy had impact on the Nigerian economy.

Hi: Fo1 fe (Overall cells) i.e there would be a significant difference in the number of respondents tending to agree or disagree that the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy had a tangible impact on the Nigerian economy.

Decision rule: We reject Ho if x2  tabulated is >9.49, at a=5%

 

 

 

Table 5: Chi-square Analysis of Respondents’ view Regarding, the Significance of the Withdrawal of Petroleum Subsidy on the Nigerian economy.

 Responses Fo Fe (Fo-Fe)2 (Fo-Fe)2

Fe

x2 DF P
SA 56 100 1936 19.36      
A 133 100 1089 10.89      
U 22 100 6084 60.84 133.84 4 <0.5
D 133 100 1089 10.89      
ST 156 100 3136 31.36      
TOTAL 500 500   133.34      

 


Decision: The calculated value of x2 = 133.34 greater than the critical value of 9.49 at a significance level of 0.05 and 4 degree of freedom. We therefore reject the null hypothesis, Ho (i.e that all the cells entries or observation are equal) and accept the alternative hypothesis that the cell observations are not all statistically equal of x=5%. We further examined the cells and found out that there was tendency for the majority of respondents (57.8%) to disagree that withdrawal of the subsidy had no significant impact on the Nigerian economy, while a smaller proportion, 37.8% tended to agree that it had significant impact on the economy, 4.4% of respondents were uncertain as to its significance or impact on the Nigeria economy.

Removal of Subsidy and Servicing of Nigeria’s External Debt

Another important aspect of this study was to examine the relevance of petroleum subsidy on external debt-servicing in Nigeria. Table VII shows respondents views regarding this fact. The table shows the number of respondents who agreed or disagreed that the removal of petroleum subsidy was meant to service Nigeria’s external debt.

 

 

 

TABLE 6: Respondents Views Regarding the Removal of Petroleum subsidy and the servicing of Nigeria’s External Debt.

ITEM SA A U D SD TOTAL
      33 122 111 500
% 13.4 33.4 6.6 24.4 22.2 100

 

 

Table VII shows that the proportion of respondents agreeing to this assertion is 46.8% (13.3% strongly agree while 33.4% agree) while the proportion tending to disagree (pooling SA and A is 46.5%). However, 6.6% of the respondents were uncertain as to whether the withdrawal of subsidy was meant to service Nigeria’s foreign debt. The significance of the difference between the cells observation opinion was further pursued through x2 = analysis and a test of the appropriate null hypothesis. This is shown in Table VIII below.


 

 

Table 7 X2 Analysis of Respondents’ Views Regarding the Withdrawal of Petroleum Subsidy and Servicing of Nigeria’s External Debt

Responses Fo Fe (Fo-Fe)2 (Fo-Fe)2

Fe

x2 DF P
SA 67 100 1089 10.89      
A 167 100 4489 44.89      
U 33 100 4489 44.89 106.72 4 <05
D 122 100 484 48.4      
ST 111 100 121 12.1      
TOTAL 500 500          

 

Ho: Fo=fe(over all cells)

Hi: Fo1fe (overall cells)


Decision: Reject Ho if X2 computed is >9.46 at a=5%, 4df

Decision: Since X computed = 106.725X2 (Critical) = 9.49, we reject Ho (all the observed cells frequencies are statistically equal). We accept Hi, that at least some of the cell frequencies are statistically not equal to some of them (i.e, all cells observations are not equal).

A close look at the table reveals that the entry causing a significant X2 value is the observation under the “Undecided”. However, we find that the number of respondents tending to give a roughly the same as those tending to disagree with the assertion that the withdrawal of the subsidy was meant to service Nigeria’s foreign debt making it difficult to take a clear-cut-decision regarding whether the majority agreed or disagreed. The researcher therefore performed the analysis further by trying the number of respondents tending to be undecided and checking up the significant difference occurring between the number tending to agree and those tending to disagree. The final table in the study (Table 8) shows the X2 analysis and results

 

.

Table 8: X2 Analysis of Respondents Views Regarding the Withdrawal of Subsidy and the Servicing of Nigeria’s debt.

Responses Fo Fe (Fo-Fe)2 (Fo-Fe)2

Fe

x2 DF P
SA/A 234.0 233.5 0.25 0.0003      
SD/D 233.0 233.5 0.25 0.0003 0.006 1 >0.5
TOTAL 467 467   0.0006      

 

 

The computed value of X2 is 0.0006, smaller than the critical value of 3.84. since X2 calculated <X2 critical (for a=0.05, df=1), we accept the null hypothesis that there is no significanct difference between the two cell entries. That is the proportion of respondents tending to agree is statistically equal to the proportion tending to disagree.

In this respect, we cannot conclude based on respondents views whether withdrawal of petroleum subsidy was meant to service Nigeria’s foreign debt or not.

Conclusion

This work sought to examine the impact of the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy on Nigeria’s economy. In order to address the fundamental issues in this work, related hypotheses were formulated and tested.

In consonance with the requirement of empirical research, four hypotheses were formulated and placed on a fifteen-item questionnaire.

Respondents’ views were statistically analyzed through the use of percentages and chi-square. The null hypotheses were tested with a view to validating them.

The findings with respect to hypothesis 1 shows that 54.4 percent of the respondents tended to agree with the assertion that the removal of the petroleum subsidy led to more disposable income for development. Only a small proportion of the respondents, i.e 4.4% were undecided, whereas 42.2 percent of the respondents tended to disagree.

With regard to hypothesis II, the analysis shows that 267 out of 500 respondents tended to disagree that the removal of petroleum subsidy led to the generation of more employment opportunities. Respondents in this category were greater than 44.4 percent that tended to agree with the assertion. After statistical analysis, the Null hypothesis was accepted.

Regarding the third hypothesis that attempted to examine the impact of the removal of petroleum subsidy on Nigeria’s  economy, majority of the respondents refused to agree that it had a significant impact on the economy. Also with respect to hypothesis four, the finding was inclusive. Based on respondents’ views, it was difficult to conclude whether or not the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy was targeted at servicing of Nigeria’s external debt.

In view of our findings, we came to the conclusion that the withdrawal of petroleum subsidy in particular and subsidy to firms in general as prescribed by the government has no significant relationship to the economic viability.

Recommendations

Giving the findings in our empirical studies, the following recommendations were made:

Nigerian policy makers must come to grip with the fact that externally oriented solutions to economic crisis are not in the best interest of Nigeria. Thus when solutions are advanced, their suitability should be ascertained before application.

A glance at the national economy reveals that unemployment rate is still on the increase. Also, the country’s inflation rate is very high and the standard of living has fallen drastically. All these have occurred regardless of deregulation attempt by the state.

We therefore, recommend that the application of ineffective and inefficient policies as enacted by the government is the root of this crisis. As a way forward, the Nigerian state should stop forthwith, excessive deregulation of the economy. In this regard, unfettered markets deregulation of the economy should be halted in favour of government intervention by the re-introduction of subsidy. We tend to agree with the same recommendation by Ekpe (2003) that fuel subsidy in Nigeria is desirable

This is because, reliance on market forces tends to distort national priorities. Government intervention has the advantage of repositioning the national economy in the direction of needs (Ake, 2001).

In the light of the above, it is recommended that in order to strengthen the productive capacity in Nigeria, government should rather improve the level of distribution of income and indeed, satisfy basic human needs. Subsidies and other incentives should be given to firms in order to boost production in particular and revitalize the economy in general. The earlier recommendations by Ekpe (2003 on “The IMF, Price Deregulation and Third World Development: An Empirical Analysis of the Withdrawal of Petroleum Subsidy on Nigeria’s Economy” is therefore upheld.

 


 

References  

Adeleke, B.L., & Gafar, T.I. (Eds.) (2012) General studies in the social sciences; some fundamental topics. Ilorin. Rajah Dynamics Printers.

Ake, C. (2001). Democracy and Development in Africa Abuja, Spectrum Books limited.

Anyawu, J.C. (1993). Monetary economics: theory, policy and institution. Onitsha, Hybid Publishers Limited.

Babbie, E.R. (1979). The practice of social research. Califonia, Wardsmorth Publishing Company, Inc.

Ekpe, A. (2002).  “Continuity and Change in Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Towards South Africa, 1975-2000”. A Ph.D Dissertation submitted to Graduate School of University of Calabar.

Ekpe, A. (2003). The IMF, price deregulation and Third World development: An Empirical Analysis of the Withdrawal of Petroleum Subsidy on Nigeria’s Economy. Journal of Globalization and International Studies. 1(1):37-50

Hirschemen, A. (1958). Strategy of economic development. Hew Haven,  Yale University Press.

Igwe, S.C. (2012). How Africa underdeveloped Africa. Port Harcourt, Prime Prints Technologies.

Nurkse, R. (1953). Problems of capital formation in underdevelopment countries. London: Oxford University Press.

Smith, A. (1948). An inquiry into the nature and cause of the wealth of nation. London, Macmillan.

Todaro, M.P. (1977). Economics for a developing world. London, Longman Group Limited.

Tomori, S. (1995). “Evolving a new development paradigm in Africa” In Onimode B and Synge, R. (Ed). Issues in African Development. Ibadan, Heinemann Educational Books Plc.

Encyclopedia Britannica (1981) London: The Macmillan press.

The MC GrawHill Dictionary of Modern Economics (1973) Boston, Harper and Row.

DETERMINANTS OF FEMALE STUDENTS’PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS IN BENUE NORTH EAST SENATORIAL ZONE (ZONE A)

Tavershima James Anom

Department of Physical and Health Education

College of Education, Katsina-Ala

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract

The determinants of female students’ participation in sports in Benue North East Senatorial Zone (Zone A) were investigated in this study.  The study was a survey research involving 365 female students in 70 secondary schools in the study area. Three research questions were used for the study.  Determinants of female students’ participation in sports questionnaire (DFSPSQ) was used to collect data from the female students.  The instrument was validated by Physical and Health Educators.  Internal consistency was calculated using Cronbach’s Alpha and was found to be 0.744.  Data collected were analyzed using frequency, percentages, mean, standard deviation and the chi-square test of goodness of fit test.  The results showed that both parental influence, teachers’ influence and influence of sports facilities were significant determinants of female students’ participation in sports.  Based on the findings, recommendations such as teachers should continue to involve themselves in training and supervision of female students’ sports activities during school sports programme among others were made.

 

Introduction

There has been a strong feeling by different authors and the public generally that women in all our societies should be involved in sports at all levels.  This is because even at the world levels, women are found participating in all sports freely.  Sport organizers always make efforts to encourage women to participate in sports due to its intrinsic and extrinsic values (Opadiji, 2002).  In spite of these efforts, there is still an apparent general apathy being shown by women to sports.  There is no doubting the fact that Nigeria sport development over the years has been one sided in favour of men.  One will easily recall names of Nigerian national and international sports men in their hundreds, while Nigerian sports women can be enumerated on the finger tips (Adamu, 1993: Adeyanju, 1999).  The apparent lukewarmness exhibited by women in sports participation led to the formation of the Nigerian Association of Women in Sports (NAWIS) on December 1st, 1990 (Omoruan, 1996).  This has remained the concern of the people interested in sports such as sports organizers, sports sociologists and those who carry out researches in sports.

In Nigeria today, sports are gradually gaining recognition as a way of life of the people.  However, Ikhioya (2001) noted that the number of sports in which the female participate are few and the frequency of this participation is also low.  Dike (2005) confirming the above observed that the extent to which the females get involved in sports leaves much to be desired because while only a few of them take active part in the competitions, majority of the females do not even watch others perform.  One of the problems associated with female sports participation is that of uneven distribution of attention to the female students.  In a survey, Dubois (1990) observed that over emphasis was laid on the training of star athletes at the expense of mass participation and hindered many girls from participating in sports.  The ultimate effect of this undue emphasis is that new talents are not discovered.

Sports as competitive games are found in most societies.  Sports have formed a way of life of Nigerians and therefore a part of their culture.  This is reflected in the space allotted to sports in the print media, radio and television, the number of stadia and amount of time spent in the evening at sports areas.  If one includes the rate of involvement in terms of participation in competitive sports, school physical education classes, sports spectatorship and followership in the mass media, then sports in industrial societies have become institutions of modern life (Porter, 2002).

Culturally in Nigeria, boys and girls are brought up to internalize from early stages, their adult sex roles.  The boys are expected to participate in sports and other activities requiring physical exertion and prowess that are marks of maleness.  The girls as future mothers are taken to be fragile and attractive since their roles are perceived to be mainly those of child bearing and home keeping (Dzongor & Anom, 2008).  It is possible that recent female sports mobilization organized by different sports associations throughout the federation such as the 2004 female soccer competition, the 2004 female basketball competition and the all female students soccer competition respectively has influenced female participation in sports (Ladani, 2006).

In view of the review above, this study is poised to identify the determinants of female students’ participation in sports.  The study aims to bring out the factors that encourage female participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State.  For better achievement, the study will also make efforts to investigate the influence of parents and teachers including the influence of facilities as perceived determinants for female students’ participation in sports.

One’s feelings of personal competence at a task is a crucial determinant of success or failure in that task, it is in line with this that Harter (1978) proposed a theory named after him, the Harter’s competence motivation theory which is purely a theory of achievement, motitation and competence. In sports, if an athlete feels that she has put in enough of her time and energy into the training she then goes into the competition with high feelings of competence and vice-versa.  The serious training therefore in turn becomes a motivational factor that leads to success in sports.  Since secondary schools exist under cultural settings, it could be rightly argued that such background may influence female perception, orientation as need for choice for rejection of certain practices in sports.  According to Frosts and Moore (2006) the teacher’s perception of need and encouragement for or pressures on the female will play a significant role in their general sports participation as well as choice of activity.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors that determine female students’ sports participation in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State.

Specifically, the study is set to determine if:

  • Parental attitudes influence female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State.
  • Teachers’ attitude determines female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State.
  • Facilities influence female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State.

To have a focus and clear direction for the study, the following research questions guided the study:

  • Does parental influence determine female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State?
  • Do teachers’ influence determine female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State?
  • Do sports facilities influence female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State?

 

 

Method:

The survey research design was adopted for the study.  The sample of the study comprised 365 female students from 70 secondary schools in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State which comprises seven Local Government Areas (Anom, 2014) see table 1 below.


 

Table 1:  The sample used for the study

S/NO LGA No of Schools Total No. of Female students per LGA
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Katsina-Ala

Vandeikya

Kwande

Konshisha

Ushongo

Ukum

Logo

Total

11

13

15

9

8

8

6

70

62

69

73

45

40

40

36

365

Source:  Field Data collected between 2009 and 2014.

 

 

All the sampled 365 female students from the population of 3,650 female students were used for the study.  The researcher considered the above sample size adequate because according to Nwana (1982) 10 percent of sample is allowed if the population is a few thousands.  Also Krisejie and Morgan (1970) agreed that all samples equivalent to 10 percent of the population are fully allowed to be used in carrying out a research. A researcher structured questionnaire named ‘Determinants of Female Students’ Participation in Sports Questionnaire (DFSPSQ) was used to collect data for the study.

The questionnaire was divided into three sections as follows:  Section A of the DFSPSQ consisted of 3 items on personal data such as name of school, level of study and parents educational background.  Section B1 was made up of five statements on parental attitudes towards female students’ participation in sports.  Section B2 was made up of 5 items on teachers’ attitude towards sports participation by female students.  Section B3 was made up of 5 items on facilities influence on female students’ sports participation.

The subjects were expected to respond to the statements on a five point Likert-type scale of strongly agree (SA) 5 points, agree (A) 4 points, undecided (U) 3 points, disagreed (d) 2 points, strongly disagree (SD) 1 point, by ticking in the column against each statement that described their opinion.

The instrument was validated by lecturers from the Physical and Health Education Department of College of Education Katsina-Ala and lecturers from Human Kinetics and Health Education Department of Benue State University, Makurdi.  Cronbach’s Alpha was considered adequate.  The copies of the questionnaire were distributed by the researcher to 365 female students of SSI and SSII in their schools and collected back on the spot after completion of all the questionnaires.

The questionnaires collected were carefully inspected and all the 365 were found to be fully completed and were used for data analysis.  The criterion mean of 3.00 was established, against which all calculated mean scores were judged to answer research questions.

Conclusion on each of the items was based on the scale computed along the 5-point likert scale used in the study, a mean of 3.00 or more was adopted but the right mean was 3.50.  Since 3.50 could be approximated to 4.00, which stand for agreement in a 5-point likert scale, scales lower than 3.50 were regarded as disagreement.  The hypotheses were tested using the chi-square goodness of fit statistics at 0.05 level of significance.

 

Results and Discussion of Findings

Analysis of Mean Responses

Table 2:  Mean responses of research variables

S/No Variable Mean SD Remarks
1.

2.

3.

Parental influence

Teachers’ influence

Facilities influence

4.40

4.70

4.14

0.68

0.74

2.07

Strong determinant

Strong determinant

Strong determinant

Analysis of parental influence on female students’ participation in sports showed that parents were interested in their female students’ participation in sports.  This is evident from an aggregate mean of 4.40 which is greater than the criterion mean of 3.50.

Research question 2 sought to find out if teachers’ influence determine female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State.  Mean analysis of this variable showed that teachers’ influence determined female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” since the mean score of 4.70 obtained was greater than the established mean of 3.50.

The study finally sought to find out if facilities determined female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State.  Mean analysis of the variable showed that facilities are a determinant of female students’ participation in sports in zone “A: since the mean score of 4.14 obtained was greater than the established mean of 3.50.

Data collected to test the determinants of female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State was analysed using chi-square goodness of fit test.  The results are presented below:

Hypothesis I:  Female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State is not significantly determined by parental influence.

Table III: summary of chi-square test of goodness of fit test on parental influence as determinant of female students’ participation in sports.

Response fo fe X2cal X2tab Df p Remarks
SD

D

UD

A

SA

0

7

17

286

55

73.0

73.0

73.0

73.0

73.0

 

 

568.249

 

 

7.83

 

 

3

 

 

0.000

 

 

Significance

Total 365 365          

X2 = 568,249, df =3, P<0.05

Table III above provides the result of the chi-square test of goodness of fit test on parental influence on female students’ participation in sports.  We can see from this table that our test is statistically significant.  Since the calculated chi-square of 568.249 is greater than chi-square table value of 7.82 at df 3, with a P value of 0.000 which is less than 0.05 (X2= 568.249, df = 3, P < 0.05), we can therefore reject the null hypothesis which stated that female students participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State is not significantly determined by parental influence.  This means that female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State is significantly determined by parental influence.


Hypothesis II:  Teachers’ Influence does not significantly influence female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State

Table 3:  Summary of chi-square test on teachers’ influence on female students’ participation in sports.

Response fo fe X2cal X2tab Df p Remarks
SD

D

UD

A

SA

6

6

15

282

56

73.0

73.0

73.0

73.0

73.0

 

 

771.397

 

 

9.49

 

 

4

 

 

0.000

 

 

Significance

Total 365 365          

X2=771.397, df=4, P=0.00

The table above provides the results of the chi-square test of goodness of fit test on teachers’ influence on female students’ participation in sports.  We can see from this table that our test is statistically significant.  Since the calculated chi-square 771.397, is greater than the table value of 9.49 at df 4 with a P value of 0.000 which is less than 0.05 (X2=771.397, df =4, P<0.05), we can therefore reject the null hypothesis which stated that female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State is not significantly determined by teachers’ influence.  Instead we can assert that female students’ participation in sports is significantly determined by teachers’ influence.

Hypothesis III:  Female student’s sports participation in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State is not significantly determined by facilities influence.

Table V:  Summary of chi-square test on facilities influence which determine female students’ participation in sports.

Response fo fe X2cal X2tab df p Remarks
SD

D

UD

A

SA

0

7

17

286

55

73.0

73.0

73.0

73.0

73.0

 

 

620.247

 

 

9.49

 

 

4

 

 

0.000

 

 

Significance

Total 365 365          

X2=620.247, df=4, P=0.05

The table V above provides the result of the chi-square test of goodness of fit test on facilities influence as determinant of female students’ participation in sports.  We can see from this table that our test is statistically significant.  Since the calculated chi-square of 620.247 is greater than the chi-square table value of 9.49 at df 4, with a P value of 0.000 which is less than 0.05 (X2=620.247, df=4,P<0.05).  We can therefore reject the null hypothesis which stated that female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State is not significantly determined by the influence of facilities.  This means that female students’ participation in sports is significantly determined by facilities influence.

The results obtained in the analysis are in line with the research questions and hypotheses.  The determinants of female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District of Benue State was the purpose of the study.  For the above purpose to be achieved, the study sets some variables as perceived determinants of female students’ participation in sports.  These included parental influence, teachers influence and influence of facilities.  These variables are discussed in the paragraphs that follow:

The finding on parental influence showed that parental influence is a determinant of female students’ participation in sports.  In support of the above results, Frost and Moore (2005) state that sports involvement in childhood, is reinforced by parents’ encouragement, continues into middle age and diminishes only in the fast stage of the life cycle.  Again, Gupta (1987) stated that parents’ educational level is positively linked to motivation of their children to participate in sports.  Supporting the above claim again, Akintunde (2001), stated that no other agent of socialization is as important to the total make up of the child as his family, her primary socialization begins in the family set up.  Siedentop (1998) regarded the family as more influential than the teacher in that if helps to mould the life of a child.  It is therefore to conclude that parental influence strongly determined female sports participation in the above mentioned study area.

This research also identified teachers’ influence as a determinant of female students’ participation in sports.  In support of the above findings, Nayeek (2007), Morakinyo (2007) and Watt (2004) have identified the school as the second home of the child and an important socializing agent as a result of teachers’ positive performance in all fields.  In addition to the above, Omoruan (1996) found that athletes and non-athletes alike receive more encouragement from teachers than from other persons.  In Uti and Ojeme’s (1997) opinion, instructional programme prepared by teachers provides encouragement and pressure on their students through varied interesting sporting activities.  Also Olajide (2007) maintained that activities in sports including success and the extent of participation are determined by the practical man (the teacher) on one hand and the sports scientist (Physical educator) on the other hand.

Again, in support of the above concerning teachers influence, Ladani (2000), stated that in order to perfect the performance, the teacher or coach must always be present for the practical activities and offer full supervision of the activities.  Poor programming of physical education activities by teachers can hinder sports participation.  In support of this statement Fasan (2002), stated that for females to be fully involved in the evening programmes of physical education, parents must fully be involved in the planning with the teachers.  Also concerning teachers’ influence on female sports participation, Dada (2005) opined that there should be a sound teacher-student relationship which must always promote effective teaching and learning in all courses including sports.

The results of this research also proved that the influence of facilities is a determinant of female sports participation.  In support of facilities that they influence sports participation, Watt (2004) noted that for an environment to become highly involved and continue effectively in sports participation area, there must be well constructed fields, courts, halls and swimming pools etc.  In support of the above Olajide (2004) stated that appropriate facilities are essential to meet the needs of women participation in sports.  Again, Dishman (1981) opined that major accesses to facilities were related to physical activity participation by both males and females.  On the whole, sports facilities are very important for both male and female athletes throughout the world.  Rao (2004), advocates that all institutions of learning throughout the world should provide adequate sports facilities which will encourage the students to take part in physical activities.  Greendorfer (1992) noted that for an individual to become involved and continue in sports effectively, he or she must be in an environment, which is highly supportive of sports facilities.  In addition to the above, Udoh and Jona (1992), opined out that it would be impossible to achieve satisfactory results from students whose training sports facilities were inadequate or sub-standard.  It can finally be concluded that an environment with standard sports facilities will surely enhance sports participation.

 

Conclusions

Based on the findings of the study, the following conclusions have been drawn:

  • Parental influence positively determines female students’ participation in sports in Zone “A” Senatorial District.
  • Teacher influence is a significant determinant of female students’ participation in sports in Benue North East Senatorial Zone of Benue State.
  • Facilities are a significant determinant of female students’ participation in sports in Benue North East Senatorial District of Benue State.

 

Recommendations

Based on the findings the following recommendations were made:

  • Parents should continue to involve their daughters in the school sports programmes.
  • Teachers should continue to involve themselves in training and supervision of female students’ sporting activities during school sports programmes.
  • Adequate facilities should continue to be given to the teachers and female students to sustain their momentum of interest in physical education activities.

 

 

References

 

Adamu, A. (1993). Key note address on mobilization of women for sport development in Nigeria:   A paper delivered at 2nd National Conference of Nigeria Association of Women in Sports Lokoja, May 6th.

 

Adeyanju, F.B. (1999).  Mobilizing women for effective participation in vision 2010 sport programme implementation”.  E.O. Ojeme, E.O. et al (Eds) Building a solid foundation for vision 2010 sports development success.  NAPHER-SD monograph.

 

Akintunde, P.G. (2001).   Administration and Organization of Physical Education  and Recreation (3rd) Ibadan:  Yew Printer.  2, 10 15.

Anom, T.J. (2014). Determinants of female students’ participation in spors in Benue State North-East Senatorial District of Benue State. Unpublished Master’s Dissertation, Benue State University, Makurdi.

 

Dada, O.B. (2005).  Improving female sports participation in the 21st century.  Nigeria. In O.A. Umeakuka (Ed) Leadership in physical education recreation sports and dance. NSUKKA:  Great AP express publishers Ltd.

 

Dike, D.O. (2005).  Determinant of participation in sports by female undergraduate.  In O.A. Umeakuka (Ed.) Leadership in Physical Education Recreation, sports and Dance (1929.138) Nsukka: Great A.P. Express Publishers Limited.

 

Dishman, T. (1981). Introduction to physical education.  London:  Plaham Books.

 

Dubois, P. (1990).  Gender differences in value orientation towards sports.   A longitudinal analysis Journal of sports Behaviour 13 (1) 14-18.

 

Dzongor, L.G. & Anom, T.J. (2008).   The insight of sports and society.  Katsina-Ala: Tudo printing and publishing co. Nigeria Ltd.

 

Fasan, R. (2002).   A theory of goal setting and task performance  (2nd Ed.). Baston: Allyn & Bacon.

 

Frost, R.S. & Moore, M.E. (2006).  Women and exercise adherence:  identification of motivational factors across young and older exercisers.  Journal of International council for Health Physical Education Recreation sports and Dance 5 (2), 5-11

 

Greendorfer, S.L. (1992).  Gender bias in theoretical perspective:  the case of female socialization into sports.  Psychology of women quarterly ii, 327-340.

Gupta, S.K. (1987).  Parents and teachers attitude and reactions towards participation in sports by young athletes of a university in Indian State International Review for sociology of sport. International Committee for Sociology of sports 22 (4), 140-145

 

Harter, S. (1978).  Effective motivation reconsidered:  Towards a development model.  Human development 21, 34-64.

 

Horine, L. (1979).  Administration of physical education and sports programmes.  United States:  Mc-Graw Hill companies.

 

Ikhioya, O.S.A.  & Okonkwo, C.N. (1998).   Functional strategies for effective sports management practices.  Guides for sports managers and administrators.   Lagos:  Sports Leisure consults.

 

Ikhioya, O.S.A. (2001).  An introduction to sports management.  Lagos:  Texts publications.

 

Krisejie, R. & Morgan, D. (1970).  Determining sample size for research Activities.  Education Psychological measurement 30, 601-615

 

Ladani, B.A. (2000).  Organization and Administration of Physical Education and Sports.   Zaira:  Ahmadu Bello University Pross 5 (2), 20-26

 

Ladani, B.A. (2006).  The History of Sports Competition in Nigeria.  Kaduna:  Sunjo A.J. global Links Ltd.

 

Morakinyo, E.O. (2007).  Laying a solid foundation for sports through Interscholastic sports in Nigeria.  ICEPER SD Journal 38 (3), 58-61.

 

Nayeek, A.K. (2007).   Sports education for students.   Lagos.  A.PH Publishing corporation Nigeria Ltd.

 

Nwana, O.C. (1982).  Introduction to educational research. Nigeria:   Courtax Press (WA) Ltd.

 

Oladije, O.A. (2007) Introduction to sports management. Yola:  Paraclete publishers.

 

Omoruan, J.C. (1996).  A hand book on physical education dance, sport and recreation.  Zaira: Amadu Bello University Press.

 

Opadiji, A.A. (2002).   Comprehensive textbook on Physical and Health Education for secondary school and colleges.  Kano:  Texts publications.

 

Porter, S. (2002). Females in Sports:  An exploration of issues and attitudes females in sports participation.  London:  Scott Porter Research and marketing.

 

Rao, V.K. (2004).  Physical Education.  India:  Efficient offset printers.

 

Siedentop, D. (1998) Introduction to physical Education fitness and sport (3rd Ed.) London:  May field publishing company.

 

Udoh, E.S. & Jona, I.N. (1992, October).   Peer group influence on the socialization of athletes into competitive sports.  Paper presented at annual conference of NASSM, held at N.I.S. Lagos 20th – 23rd

 

Uti, J.O. Ojeme, E.O. (1997).   Comprehensive Physical Education for Junior Secondary Schools (7th Ed), Onitsha:   Africana First Publishers Plc.

 

Watt, C.D. (2004).  Sports management and administration.   London:  Routledge printers.

 

 

HEALTH CARE POLICIES IN NIGERIA SINCE INDEPENDENCE: ISSUES, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS

1Nicholas Ukeyima Pever

2Emmanuel Mson

2Felix Aondona Kor

 

1Registry Department

Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev

Gboko, Benue State

2Department of General Studies

Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev

 

 

 

Abstract

 

Rising health problems among the Nigerian populace are threatening the very foundation of Nigeria as a nation. Successive governments in Nigeria have adopted various policies to solve these health challenges. In spite of these efforts, several health problems have continued to rise unabated. This has informed the need to embark on this study with a view to determining the extent to which various health care programmes of the government have helped in achieving good health for all in Nigeria. The methodology adopted for the study is a descriptive analysis. Data were sourced from published material such as textbooks, journals, Internet sources and monographs. The study showed that health care policies of successive governments were not designed and implemented to achieve sustainable health in Nigeria. The article suggested proper formulation of policies that have direct bearing on the populace and proper monitoring of the various policies and programmes to achieve sustainable health for the Nigerian populace.

 

Introduction

 

Globally, the place of health in the development of any nation is primodial. Undoubtedly, the significance of health to national life has made successive governments in many nations of the world, both developed and developing to design or formulate certain fundamental policies in order to regulate, control and guide the operations of health care services (Adeleke & Gafar, 2012). In Nigeria, over the years, various policies have been put in place in order to improve the health sector. Some of these policies include western and traditional health care integration, Basic Health Social Scheme (BHSS), Primary Health Care (PHC), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), National Action Committee on Aids (NACA) among others. These policies were put in place with certain objectives. Some of these are; to ensure that every Nigerian has access to good health care services; to ensure equitable distribution of health care facilities within the federation and at all levels of government; to maintain high standards of health care delivery; to limit the rise in the cost of health care services, to improve and harness private sector participation in the provision of health care services, and to ensure that all health care providers conform to laid down rules and regulations guiding health care operations (Adeleke & Gafar, 2012).

The implementation of these policies is often bedeviled with challenges. People’s attachment to customs, traditions, myths and legend, high level of corruption, ignorance, poverty and lack of needed commitment by the stakeholders constitute one form of problem or the other. This article examines health care as well as health related policies in the Nigerian social setting. The various problems that have hitherto constituted barriers to the effective health care services since the country attained independence in October 1960 are examined.

A critique of the past and present policies is provided in the study. The objectives of the study include among other issues; to determine the extent to which health care policies in Nigeria are subject to contingencies, to ascertain the extent to which policy attainment in good health care policies conforms to the major thrust of the World Health Organization’s policy and to determine the extent to which health care policies affect societal development. As regards review of literature, several theories by eminent scholars and researchers on health care policies are considered or reviewed to fill the existing gap in knowledge concerning the subject matter.

 

Statement of the Problem 

The Nigerian state is hit by problems of poor health care delivery. This is often associated with poor policy formulation and implementation which are attributed to factors like mismanagement of human and material resources, indiscipline, lack of the political will by the government of the country beginning from the regime that took over from the British at independence (1960) up to the present-day Nigeria. Rather than tackle health problems in the society headlong, our policy makers or the political class has appeared to sacrifice good health care at the altar of self-acquisition of personal wealth.

Some scholars, like Adeleke and Gafar (2012) are of the opinion that the present health woes in the Nigerian society are associated with poor policy formulation while Tile (2000) argued that the health problems of Nigeria are as a result of wrong policy implementation.

 

Conceptual Issues: Health, Health Care and Health Care Policies

Health: Ordinarily, health could mean a state of the body where there is no sickness. But to World Health Organization (WHO) health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being, and not merely the absence of diseases and infirmity. In a more exclusive use, health is having the ability to adapt continually to consistently changing demands, expectations and stimuli (Elwes & Ina, 1985).

 

Health Care: The concept of health care does not lend itself to a generally acceptable definition. The concept is viewed differently from person to person and from one discipline to the other. Heath care could therefore be defined in this article to mean the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases, illnesses, injury and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. Health care is delivered by practitioners in allied health, dentistry, midwifery, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, psychology and other health care providers. It refers to the work done in providing primary, secondary and tertiary care, as well as public health.

 

Health Care Policy

According to the United States of America (USA) Department of Health and Human Services, Health Care Policy is an action taken by governments (National, State or Local) to advance the public health. It deals with organizations, financing and delivery of health care services. This includes training of health professionals, overseeing the safety of drugs and medical services, administering public programmes and regulating public and private health insurance. Generally, the goal of National Health Policy is to bring about comprehensive health care system based on primary health care that is protective, preventive and rehabilitative to every citizen of the country within the available resources. This is done so that individuals and communities are assured of productivity, social wellbeing and enjoyment of good living. Thus, health care policy refers to the various rules, regulations and guidelines made by the government to operate, finance and shape health care delivery. It covers a range of health-related issues including the financing of health care; public health, preventive health care, chronic illness and disability, and long-term care and mental health. Nigeria as a nation has a health care policy which seeks to provide health for all by the year 2020. In this regard, various programmes are designed to address the issue of health problems of the populace.

 

Theoretical Framework

This study adopts “system theory” as a theoretical guide. System approach finds its brilliant manifestation in the work of Talcott Parson (1902-1979), Scott and Gordon (1994), Stressed Parson (1937) argument that the basic analytical component of the system theory is the unit act, which involves an actor, an end or goal, a situation composed of conditions, means, and collection of unit acts. Social system is a mode of organization of action elements relative to the persistence or ordered processes of change of the interactive patterns of a plurality of component actors.

This theory argues that a social system is faced by two major problems. One is the problem of production and allocation of scarce resources, the other is the problem of achieving social orders or integration. This notion gave rise to Parson’s famous development of four sub-systems, which responded to the external and internal “functional prerequisites of a system of action namely adaptation, goal attainment, integration and latency. He described this as AGIL model of social system (Ajala, 2003).

Health care policies in Nigeria are examined using the four typology enumerated above. These sub-systems are connected by flows of input and output, which Parson called “media of exchange”. These are money (representing adaptation), power (goal attainment), influence (integration) and commitment (Latency). The equilibrium of social system depends on these complex exchanges between the various sub-systems.

 

Nigeria’s Health Care Policies Since 1960

For several decades, the colonial government in Nigeria favoured the spread and expansion of western medicine in Nigeria. However, its services were only available to about 25-30 percent of Nigeria’s leaving about 70-75 percent of the population to the care of traditional medicine (Adeleke & Gafar, 2012:) However, many developing countries like Nigeria, which had similar problems, adopted the policy of western and traditional integration to combat their health problems (Hyma & Ramesh in Philip & Vergassett, 1994). The success in India, China, Indonesia and Singapore motivated several countries to seek for the integration of these medical systems. The impact and success in some of these countries led to the campaign for international recognition and general acceptability of the integration of the two systems of health care. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 1976 endorsed and approved the acceptability of the two (traditional and modern) as internationally reorganized health care services (WHO document 1984). For the purpose of global acceptability, traditional or indigenous health practice was repackaged and changed to “Alternative Medicine” (Tile, 2000). Upon the recognition of the infidelity of either western or traditional medicine to independently provide sustainable health care services in Nigeria, government then embarked on many experimental projects towards establishing linkages between traditional medicine and its western type (Ajala, 2003). The first attempt was made in 1966 at the University of Ibadan where a research programme inaugurated on local herbs: medicinal plants with reference to their medicinal properties, was sponsored by the Federal Government. Tella, (2000: p. 207) remarked that the attempt was the “first veneer” to integrate traditional medicine with western medicine.

Similarly, in 1973 the Federal and Lagos State Governments co-sponsored a conference at the Department of Chemistry, University of Lagos. It was an international conference on traditional medical therapies. The conference was attended by both scholars on the subject and traditional healers. The government as part of its efforts towards a holistic health for its citizenry, noted as essential component of Basic Health Social Scheme (BHSS), the health policy and programme established in 1975 that community health should be promoted. This was basically hinged upon the recognition of the potency of traditional medicine in certain areas especially the use of herbs during child birth. Upon the establishment of the programme, a delegation was sent to India and China in 1977 by the Federal Ministry of Health to examine the system of traditional medicine in the two countries. The delegation produced its report and recommended that the integration of traditional medicine with western medicine was desirable (Tella & Lambo, 1977).

Follow up to the development was the establishment of National Committee on the Re-training of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) by the Federal Ministry of Health. The committee established offices all over the country to upgrade the skills of traditional birth attendants in delivering babies. To facilitate its task and set national standards, the committee  produced a national syllabus for the training of TBAs.

In addition, the declaration established Primary Health Centre (PHC), which were mandatory to all the states.  The components of PHC included the community head who incorporated indigenous health knowledge into the scheme of PHC. Also in this declaration, WHO declared  health for all by the year 2000 A.D. This implied that if states had to meet up with this target, health care system must not only be affordable, but largely accessible. A critical look at this target has proved that the year 2000 has come and gone without any achievement of the targets earlier set.

However, in 1984, the Federal Government embarked upon a readjustment of the existing health policy in Nigeria. It commissioned a committee to develop an official health policy for the whole nation (Tella, 1979). The committee was headed by a renowned international expert on public health, Professor A.O. Lucas. After a thorough consideration, the committee recommended the establishment of Primary Health Care as the key to Nigeria’s health services. The recommendation was based on the global interest in the Ama-ata declaration and on the vision of the Second National Development plan, (1970-1974).

 

National Health Policy and Primary Health Care (PHC)

The National Health policy declaration of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was for the country to attain a level of health for all citizens by the year 2000 through the implementation of Primary Health Care (PHC). The policy was based on the nation’s philosophy of social justice and equity for all communities, rural and urban. Some of the objectives of PHC implementation as outlined by Akeredolu-Ale (1995) included:

  • To increase coverage of health services, extending such services to the grass-roots, especially to rural communities and the urban poor who were not well served.
  • To change the orientation of health services, with more emphasis on preventive than curative components.
  • To improve efficiency of services and coordination of health care delivery at different levels of government.
  • To involve communities in the decision making process.
  • To reduce to the barest minimum other broad range defects in our health system.

The components of primary health care include:

  • Immunization against major infectious diseases
  • Health education on prevalent health problems
  • Maternal and child health including family planning
  • Environmental sanitation
  • Control of locally endemic diseases
  • Promotion of food supply and proper nutrition
  • Treatment of ailments
  • Provision of essential drugs

It is important to note that the report of the committee did not receive any attention until 1987 when the Federal Executive Council was convinced by the Late Professor Olikoye Ransome Kuti, who was the then Minister of Health. This gave impetus to the establishment of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NAPHCDA) as a vehicle for developing and supervising the Primary Health Care. Subsequently, the Federal Government established two hundred (200) model health care centres all over the country (World Health Organization, 1994).

Furthermore, the policy recognized a 3-tier system of health care namely; Primary Health Care, Secondary Health Care and Tertiary Health Care. The implication of the division was to ensure every category of people in Nigeria was cared for. The health needs of the people at the grassroots are to be addressed at the primary health care centre. The provision of health care at this level was largely the responsibility of local governments. At the secondary level, specialized services to patients referred from the primary health care level were to be provided at the district, division and zonal levels of the state. In addition, the state government was expected to provide adequate support services such as laboratory, diagnosis, blood banks, rehabilitation and physiotherapy services. At the Tertiary level, specialized and specific services such as orthopedic, eye, psychiatric, maternity and pediatric cases were to be addressed by the teaching hospitals (WHO, 1984).

Owing to the enormous financial problem confronting the health care sector in Nigeria, the government embarked on another health policy aimed at solving this financial burden on the governments through individual involvements. It was for this reason that the Federal Government established the National Health Insurance Scheme under Act 35 of the 1999 CFRN. The idea behind the establishment of the scheme was to find a lasting solution to the financial problems that had been the major obstacle to health in Nigeria. Indeed, the concept of social insurance was mooted in 1962 by the Halevi Committee, which passed the proposal through the Lagos Health Bill. Unfortunately, the idea was truncated. In 1984, forced by the desire to source more funds for health care services, the National Council on Health under Admiral Patrick Koshoni,  the then Minister of Health, inaugurated a committee chaired by Prof. Diejomoah (Adeleke & Gafar, 2012). The committee, after a thorough study considered and advised the government on the desirability of Health Insurance in Nigeria and recommended its adoption (Ajala, 2003). Unfortunately, no meaningful action seemed to have followed the recommendation.

The scheme as part of the government’s efforts to reach every Nigerian operated through these design programmes in order to cover every segment of the country namely:

  • Former sector health insurance (usually, the civil servants)
  • Urban self-employed social health insurance programme
  • Rural community social health insurance programme
  • Children under-five social health insurance programme
  • Permanently disabled persons social health insurance programme
  • Tertiary institution and voluntary participation social health insurance programme
  • Armed Forces, Police and Uniformed services.

The scheme was launched in 2005 with over four million identity cards issued to members (Adeleke & Gafar, ibid).

 

The Structural Integration of Health Care Professionals in the Development of Health Services in Nigeria

Considering the importance of traditional medicine to the health care delivery system, Tile (2000) suggested the integration of both systems of medical practices on these grounds:-

  • The active pharmaceutical herbs of traditional healers have been found very useful and can be hygienically prepared, and appropriate dosages designed to complement the drugs of modern medicine.
  • The expert knowledge of traditional healers and their healing practices can be utilized along side with services of modern physicians or health workers.
  • Majority of people in the Third World make use of traditional healers, who are more accessible to them than modern physicians and other para-medical staff.
  • Both the traditional and modern health care services or system have many things in common, and these could provide the basis for the integration of the two service systems.
  • A substantial number of Africans continue to utilize both service systems, at times simultaneously, in their health seeking behaviour.
  • When both systems are integrated, they will facilitate greater utilization by the people, most especially those inclined towards using both systems of health care (Tile, 2000, p. 84).

Oshuntokun (1979), Ademuwagun (1979) and Jazen (1987) have also argued in favour of the merger of modern health workers and their institutions of medications. Ityavyar (1984) used the role of traditional midwives in Sokoto state who sometimes assume the role of a surgeon by cutting patients to speed delivery as a good example of integration of traditional and modern medical practices.

For efficiency, Tile (1995) developed an integration formula for combination of traditional and modern medical professionals in the development of health services in Benue state which is typical of developing societies.

 

Comparative professional health matching between modern health works and traditional healers

S/N Modern health workers Traditional healers
1 Physicians, Nurses etc Berber surgeon, bone fracture healers etc
2 Pharmacists, chemists etc Herbalist, medicine men etc
3 Modern Mid-wives etc Traditional birth attendants etc
4 Lab technologists, radiographers etc Diviners, soothsayers, sorcerers, oracle priests etc
5 Community health workers, dispensers, health assistants etc Selected lineage, family heads, or elders in the family
6 Preventive care: vaccinations/immunizations, Health education, sanitation etc Preventive care; taboos, waist bands, amulets, rituals etc.

Source: Tile W.S (1995) Ph.D thesis University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

 


Challenges of Health Care and Health Care Policies in Nigeria

Health care and health care policies in Nigeria have encountered multi-dimensional obstacles. First and foremost, political crisis experienced thwarted the good health programmes and health policies in Nigeria.

Also, there is the problem of corruption. Corruption has become endemic in the socio-political structure of Nigeria. Money that is meant for the purchase of drugs in government hospitals is often diverted by some cliques who are out to enrich themselves through corrupt means. Even if these drugs are supplied at all, they are often sub-standard (Onuoha, 2000).

This problem necessitated the establishment of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The agency was established in 1993 to check the activities of the nefarious individuals who engaged in these acts of wickedness.  Indeed, the high level of illiteracy, especially among the rural people of Nigeria, constitutes a serious problem to health care services. Many people in Nigeria still prefer traditional methods of treatment to the modern health care services. Moreover, poverty and Nigeria’s bad economy have negative impacts on the health status of Nigerians. Many people have died of trivial and treatable illnesses, because of their level of poverty. Drugs are not available in the hospitals. And even if they are, they are not affordable by the common man estimated to be between 70-75 percent of the total population (Paul, 2002). In Nigeria, to sum it up, there are good policies that have been clogged up by problem of implementation.

Despite the challenges enumerated above which continue to affect the success of health care pragrammes in Nigeria, the programmes have achieved much in the area of health promotion and sustenance. The requirement is that for every medical bill charged, the individual is required to pay only 10 percent of the amount. This in a way has reduced the financial burden on the affected citizens.

National Health Management System has also aided the provision of basic information needed concerning the health status of Nigerians. The prospects of this programme are not high due to the problems of data and record keeping in the country.

Also, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has done very well in the area of awareness on HIV/AIDS epidemic. The programme has done and is still doing very well both in the cure and prevention of the dreaded disease by provision of anti-retroviral drugs to HIV/AIDs victims to increase their immunity level and enable them live longer. In this direction, the agency has achieved reasonably well in terms of prevention and control of HIV/AIDs.

In the area of research, the National Health and Research Centre has been working round the clock to discover new methods of controlling and prevention of disease and infection in the society. Emergent diseases like sleeping sickness, cholera outbreak, measles, tuberculosis, Ebola and others are controlled through innovation/invention by experts and researchers in the institute. This has helped in coping with the health challenges facing the Nigerian state.

On the whole, the policies/programmes have contributed in one way or the other to reduce the suffering of average Nigerians who were hitherto trapped by social, political and economic constraints in their quest for access to good health services.

 

Conclusion

This article shows that health care services have gone a long way in Nigeria. Initially, the traditional health practitioners dominated the health care scene. However, the coming of the missionaries and colonial administration led to the commencement of western medicine. The colonial government favoured western health care above the traditional methods. However, after independence, the Federal Government introduced different measures to improve on the existing methods. With the approval of the World Health Organizations (WHO), there was a general clamor for integration of western and traditional medicine. This was followed by the introduction of Basic Health Social Scheme (BHSS), Primary Health Care (PHC) and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). In spite of these lucid government policies, the health care services in Nigeria are still faced with different problems.

The work has shown that in spite of the challenges faced by health policies in Nigeria, achievements have been recorded by some of these policies. This is to Adeleke and Gafar’s (2012) claim that the policies have failed to address the health challenges of the Nigerian populace. To them this explains why there is high prevalence of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

 

Recommendations 

Considering the importance of health to the wellbeing of the human society, policies concerning health should be properly formulated and implemented. This can be achieved through these ways:

  • The Government of Nigeria should set up machinery in motion with the responsibility of ensuring full implementation of government health policies.
  • Knowledge of experts such as medical doctors, pharmacists, radiographers and so on should be utilized effectively by stakeholders in the sector. This will achieve efficiency in terms of formulation and implementation of health care policies in Nigeria.
  • Government and non-governmental organisatons

should organize workshops and conferences on the best methods of integration of traditional and modern medicines as well as the efficiency of the two systems.

  • The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which is only formulated to cover all sectors of the society but is implemented for Federal Civil and Public Servants in Nigeria should cover the rural dwellers and the unemployed in the society. This will help in solving the health challenges of the Nigerian masses.
  • Other health policies and programmes should be properly monitored by government officials for effective implementation. This is because the success of health care policies and programmes depend greatly on monitoring and evaluation.

 


 

References

Ademuwagun, A. (1979). Issues in health care policy in Nigeria. University Press, Ibadan.

Adeleke, B.L., & Gafar, T.I. (Eds.) (2012). General studies on social sciences: some fundamental topics. Ilorin, Rajah Dynamic Printers Ltd.

Ajala, A.S. “Integrating traditional and Western medicines in health care system in Nigeria” in Dopamu, A. (ed) (2003) African Culture, Modern Science and Religious thoughts. African Centre for Religion and Science (ACRS), University of Ilorin.

Akeredolu-Ale, E.O. (Ed.) (1995). Integrated rural development in Nigeria: Policy issues and options. Lagos, Spectrum Books Limited.

Chia, C.T. (2014). Political leadership and poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria: 1999-2013. Being a paper presented at 1st Annual National Conference of School of Management and Business Studies, Fidei Polytechnic, Gboko on the Theme: 100 years of corporate existence and the challenges of sustainable development in Nigeria 3rd – 6th September, 2014.

Elvis, E., & Ina, S. (1985). Promoting Health- A Practical Guide to Health Education: Great Britain, John Willey and Sons Ltd.

Hyma, B., & Ramesh, A. n(1994). “Traditional Medicine” Its extent and potentials for incorporation into Modern National Health System “In Philip, D and Vergasselt, Y. (Eds.).Health and Development. Rutledge London.

Ityavyar, D. (1984). The Practice of Traditional Medicine in Nigeria. Jos, Savana Press.

Jazen, O. (1987). Health and Society, Greenbar Press, London.

Johson, S. (1968). Medicine and Society, Oxford, University Press.

Onuoha, A. (2000). Issues in Public Health, Enugu, Vougason Press

Oshuntokun, S. (1979). Medical Sociology, Ibadan, University Press.

Paul, A.I. (2002). “A History of Health Care Services in Okun-Yoruba land 1900-2000 “An unpublished Ph.D Thesis, Department of History and International Studies, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.

Tella, A (1979). The Practice of Traditional Medicine in Africa, Nigeria Medical Journal, 8 (2) pp607-612.

Tella, A, Lambo, J.O., & Janaku, F. (1977). Report and recommendations of the delegation on a fact-finding Tour to India and China on Traditional Medicine, Federal Ministry of Health, Lagos.

Tile, S.W. (1995). “The Development and utilization of Health Services in Benue State, Nigeria” Ph.D Thesis, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Tile, W.S. (2000). Medical Sociology and Social Works: Evolving profession for a Humane Society. Vougasen Ltd, Enugu.

World Health Organization (WHO), Report of the working group on the integration of Traditional Medicine in Primary Health Care. (WHO Regina Office for West Pacific (1984).

AN OVERVIEW OF METABOLIC SYNDROME AND REGULAR EXERCISE

1Titus Terwase Chior

2Florence Doolumun Chior

1Department of Physical and Health Education

College of Education

Katsina-Ala Benue State

terwasett68@gmail.com

2Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education

Benue State University

Makurdi Benue State

 

 

Abstract

The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) has dramatically increased over the last few decades and has become a major health challenge globally. Metabolic syndrome is a common pathophysiological condition with implications for the development of many chronic diseases. It is a cluster of related metabolic abnormalities and risk factors that considerably increase the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems. These include, obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance/non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and dyslipidaemia (hypertriglyceridaemia). It was first mentioned in 1966 by Casmus, and largely propagated by Reaven in 1988. The WHO projects that in the next ten years, Africans will experience the largest increase in death rates from cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory diseases and diabetes. This review is an attempt to enlighten the populace on the prevalence and incidence of the MetSyn in this part of the world and what can be done to prevent it, as well as counteract its ugly effects. In this paper, definitions of MetSyn, determinants of MetSyn, causes of the syndrome and lastly, role of regular exercise program in the treatment of the metabolic syndrome are considered.

Keywords: metabolic syndrome, risk factors, insulin resistance.

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The prevalence of chronic and non-communicable diseases is escalating much more rapidly in developing countries than in industrialized countries. The WHO estimates that by the year 2020, non-communicable diseases will account for approximately three quarters of all deaths in the developing world. Metabolic syndrome though mentioned around 1988 (Ericksson, Taimela & Koivisto, 1997) is still relatively known in Nigeria. In the western world, a lot of studies have been done on metabolic syndrome in both pediatrics and adult populations (Coquart, Boitel, Borel, Matran, Mounier-Vehier & Gorun, 2014). In the developing world, Kelishadi (2007) reported that the few studies carried out showed a considerably high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among youths.

In Nigeria, Ibrahim (2012) reported that few studies have been done on several components of the syndrome. In recent times, it has been noted that people are experiencing the occurrence of non-communicable diseases than ever before, as they suffer from high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and low HDL-c, leading to diabetes and/or cardiovascular diseases. This by implication means that many of these people would have met the criteria for metabolic syndrome if tested, without knowing it.

This review is therefore aimed at helping to bring to lime light the metabolic syndrome. Since most of these problems manifest in latter life (adult and old age), early identification, prevention, and treatment of the metabolic syndrome in young adults using exercises would help to reduce the effects of the metabolic syndrome on the populace, especially the rural and poor populace that are not readily exposed to or do not have access to some of the other (advanced) measures of controlling, or treating it.

Metabolic Syndrome (MetSyn) or Syndrome X or Insulin Resistance Syndrome (among many other names) is a cluster of related metabolic abnormalities and risk factors  that considerably increase the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems, (Ibrahim, 2012). MetSyn is also considered as a disorder of energy utilization and storage, diagnosed by co-occurrence of three out of five of these medical conditions of abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high    serum triglycerides and low high density cholesterol levels, (Livingstone, Nuriddin, Staggers & Butler, 2013).

Omeiza (2012), stated that one of the first people to introduce the metabolic Syndrome in the scientific literature was Casmus in 1966. However, it did not receive much attention until Reaven introduced Syndrome X in 1988, (Ibrahim, 2012) which was characterized by hypertension, impairment of glucose, and lipid metabolism and insulin resistance. Metabolic Syndrome (Kala & Abhilash, 2013) is a multifaceted syndrome characterized by five major abnormalities; obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance/non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and dyslipidaemia (hypertriglyceridaemia). Put in simple terms, MetSyn is characterized by excess fat deposits in the abdomen (abdominal obesity), a condition in which the hormone insulin works less effectively on the body cells, leading to high blood glucose (sugar) level; high fat and lipid levels and low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol and raised blood pressure.

Deen (2004) asserted (as cited in Chior, 2014) that when a person has many of these problems at the same time doctors commonly call it metabolic syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome is present if one has three or more of the followings:

  • Blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85mmHg.
  • Fasting blood sugar (glucose) equal to or higher than 100mg/dl.
  • Large waist circumference (length around the waist) of 40 inches or more for men and 35 inches or more for women.
  • Low HDL cholesterol of under 40mg/dl for men and under 50mg/dl for women.
  • Triglycerides equal to or higher than 150mg/dl.

This assertion is supported by that presented by Hunter (2013), who also mentioned that metabolic syndrome is present if three or more of these conditions are noted.

 

Determinants of Metabolic Syndrome

The determinants of metabolic syndrome are high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar, insulin resistance, abdominal obesity, and high cholesterol, (Kalu & Abhilash, 2013). They noted that while the pathogenesis of the syndrome is complex and not well understood, central obesity and insulin resistance are acknowledged as important causative factors.

 

High blood pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension as it is popularly known is a major health problem afflicting approximately 15 – 30% of individuals in the western societies (Ericksson, et al. 1997). It is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis, which is the most common cause of death world wide (Ibrahim, 2012). Elevated systolic and diastolic blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of developing coronary heart diseases when blood pressure (persistently) is equal to or higher than 140/90mmHg.

Regular physical exercise has been recommended for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. The blood pressure-lowering benefits that a given hypertensive individual can expect to derive from participation in exercise programs is dependent on body weight, diastolic blood pressure, and the program itself. Interestingly, the reduction in blood pressure observed with regular aerobic endurance exercise has been proposed to be due to the accumulative effects of single exercise bouts rather than long-term adaptations to exercise. A single bout of aerobic exercise reduces blood pressure for 1 to 3 hours, in a similar magnitude, as elicited by chronic exercise training (Omeiza, 2012). Studies (Ray, 2004; Diretrizes, 2006; Fagard, 2006, as cited in Ibrahim, 2012) have shown that active subjects have a lower risk of becoming hypertensive than do sedentary subjects.

Fasting blood glucose

The blood sugar concentration or blood sugar level is the amount of glucose present in the blood stream of human beings. Normally, the body maintains the blood glucose level at a reference range of between 3.6 – 5.8mmol/l. The human body regulates blood glucose through metabolic processes (homeostasis). Blood sugar levels outside the normal range are termed elevated and called hyperglycemia, while low levels of blood sugar are called hypoglycemia, (Ibrahim, 2012). Elevated blood glucose levels in the human body causes type 2 diabetes.

Exercise is considered a cornerstone in the treatment regimen for individuals with manifest NIDDM, and aerobic endurance exercise has traditionally been advocated as the most suitable exercise mode. The recommendations that exercise training can be used as a therapeutic means to lower glucose levels in NIDDM subjects stems primarily from the fact that exercise has pronounced effects upon the metabolism of glucose. Ada (2012) classified the effects of exercise on glucose control in two ways; acute effects and chronic effects. According to her, the acute effects are directly related to the increased rate of muscle glucose restoration, (how much a muscle feeds itself from glucose in the bloodstream) called muscle glycogen repletion. While chronic effects are related to the increase in metabolically active muscle. As regular exercise produces more active muscles, these muscles utilize more glucose thereby keeping the blood level control.

Insulin resistance

Insulin resistance is a term used to describe an impaired biological response to insulin (Hunter & Garvey (2008) as cited by Livingstone et al., 2013). Insulin resistance present in approximately 25% of the western population plays a central role in the metabolic syndrome being associated with most of the metabolic abnormalities (Ericksson et al. (1997) as cited in Chior, 2014). This is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. When this happens, an individual’s glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells, leading to type 2 diabetes or prediabetes

Like elevated glucose levels, insulin resistance can be regulated through regular exercise. The effects both acute and chronic exercises have on insulin sensitivity have been assessed (Kala & Abhilash, 2013). A single bout of acute exercise enhances insulin-mediated glucose disposal in normal subjects, in insulin-resistant first degree relatives of NIDDM subjects, in obese subjects with insulin resistance as well as in NIDDM subjects. They however maintained that because the increase in insulin sensitivity after acute bout of exercise is short-lived, chronic bouts of exercises should be stressed for better results.

Abdominal obesity

Body Mass Index (BMI; in kg/m2)is widely used for the classification of overweight (BMI25) and obesity (BMI) ≥30) in men and women respectively. BMI correlates reasonably with laboratory-based measures of adiposity for population studies and extremely practiced in most clinical settings according to Zhu et al, (2002) as cited in Ibrahim, 2012.

Regular exercise has been recommended for the prevention and treatment of abdominal obesity just like the other components of the MetSyn.

 

Dyslipidaemia

Dyslipidaemia associated with the metabolic syndrome is primarily characterized by hypertriglyceridaemia and low levels of HDL-cholesterol. The effects of exercise on lipid and lipoprotein profiles are fairly well known (Ericksson, et al. 1997). However, in a recent study (Ada, 2012), it was documented that physical training is associated with a lowering of serum triglyceride concentrations, particularly very- low-density lipoproteins (VLDL2) cholesterol with training.

Factors influencing the development of metabolic syndrome

The following factors among others have been considered as increasing the chances of developing metabolic syndrome according to Kelishadi, et al. (in press):

  • Age. The prevalence of MetSyn increases with age, affecting less than 10 percent of people in their 20s and 40 percent of people in their 60s. Adults who continue to gain 5 or more pounds per year raise their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by up to 45%.
  • Race. Hispanias and Asians seem to be more at risk for MetSyn than other races are.
  • Progressive weight gain. Metabolic syndrome is present in about 5% of people with normal body weight, 22% of those who are overweight and 60% of those considered obese.
  • Obesity. A body mass index (BMI) – a measure of ones percentage body fat based on height and weight – greater than 25 increases the risk of MetSyn. So does abdominal obesity – having an apple shape rather than a pear shape.
  • History of diabetes. An individual is more likely to have metabolic syndrome if he/she has a family history of type 2 diabetes or a history of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
  • Other diseases. A diagnosis of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or polycystic ovary syndrome – a similar type of metabolic problem that affects a woman’s hormones and reproductive system – also increases the risk of MetSyn.
  • Low physical activity. A sustainable exercise program, for example, 30 minutes, 5 days a week is reasonable to start, providing there is no medical contraindication.
  • Diet. A diet that is rich in “good” fats (Olive oil) and contains a reasonable amount of carbohydrates and proteins (such as from fish and chicken).
  • Lifestyle. Sedentary work, smoking, eating an excessively high carbohydrate diet, and consuming an alcohol – free diet.

 

The Role of Exercise in The Management of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome needs to be managed in order to reduce the long term risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, the syndrome can usually be reversed with lifestyle changes. The combination of weight loss and exercise produces the best effect. Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons, including strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, weight loss or maintenance and merely enjoyment. Frequent exercises boost the immune system and help prevent heart diseases, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

A combination of frequency, intensity, and duration of chronic exercise is responsible for producing a training effect, (ACSM, 1990). People with MetSyn can exercise safely if the exercise program begins slowly and progresses appropriately. The general recommendation for adults to participate in aerobic exercise on most days of the week holds for people with MetSyn; because improvements in insulin action are usually lost within 24-28 hours of exercising, (Johnson, et al., 2007). Aerobic exercises that use the large muscle groups (e.g. brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, dancing, playing ball games and other sporting activities) are appropriate and effective. To be effective it is better to aim for a minimum of 2.5 hours each week; however for weight loss, or to prevent regaining weight, exercise should be for 4 hours or more each week. Aerobic exercise can reduce waist measurement by 2-5cm, (Kay & Fiatarone, 2006) even without weight loss. For overweight or obese people, the recommended level of exercise can significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, (by approximately 5.5mm Hg each); improve control of blood glucose levels; lower blood lipids (by 0.2-0.3mmol/L, up to 1.39mmol/L; and increase HDL-c (by 0.02-0.13mmol/L, up to 0.20mmol/L.

While resistance exercises (e.g. weights training) can also benefit people with MetSyn, they may not reduce abdominal fat. However, a combination of aerobic exercise and progressive resistance training reduces the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes. It is therefore recommended to use resistance exercise to complement, but not to replace aerobic exercise training. Johnson, et al. (2007) maintained that moderate intensity aerobic exercise is best for overall improvement in the metabolic syndrome, and is more likely to be sustained than a program of vigorous exercise. A simple rule of thumb is to exercise at a level that increases your breathing and heart rate but still allows you to maintain a conversation. According to them, do 5-10 minutes of warm-up exercises (light aerobic activities) before your exercise sessions. A resistance exercise program performed at least twice a week can improve insulin action, good cholesterol and blood pressure.

Hunter (2012) recommended the use of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for people with metabolic syndrome. It is characterized by alternating periods of short, high intensity, anaerobic exercise with lower intensity, recovery periods. The HIIT has the following advantages over other exercise programs;

  • HIIT workout takes only 9-20 minutes
  • It decreases cortisol, (stress hormone) reducing inflammation and allowing the body to burn fat more efficiently.
  • HIIT results in increased growth hormone and testosterone which supercharges the body’s fat burning and muscle building.
  • HIIT reduces inflammation and resulting pain. Above all. HIIT results to an after-burn effect, as one burns energy rapidly and continues to burn fat 36 hours after completion of exercise.

 

Conclusion

This review of the prevalence of metabolic syndrome has revealed alarming rates of the syndrome in both industrialized and developing nations of the world. The desire to prevent the development of the syndrome later in life should be the concern of all, such that exercise programs can be designed to help curtail the development of the syndrome in early childhood. This article has exposed the existence of MetSyn in this part of the world. It is intended that it will help to prevent the sudden death syndrome that has become commonplace among our youths and adults, and further promote the physical activity culture among our people.

 

References

ACSM (1990). The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness in healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exercise 22: 265-274.

 

Ada, D. J. (2012). Effect of aerobic training on blood sugar lipid and blood pressure of gestational diabetic women. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Department of Physical and Health Education, ABU, Zaria.

 

Chior, T. T. (2014). Global overview of metabolic syndrome and exercise. Seminar Paper presented for Doctoral seminar I, department of physical and health education, ABU, Zaria.

 

Hunter, B. (2013). Best exercises to reverse metabolic syndrome and diabetes. From www.hindawi.com. Retrieved 20th October, 2014.

 

Ibrahim, W. (2012). Effects of aerobic and resistance training programmes on risk factors of metabolic syndrome among Nigeria adults. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, department of Physical and Education, ABU, Zaria.

 

Johnson, J. L., Slentz, C. A., & Houmard, J. A. (2007). Exercise training amount and intensity effects on metabolic syndrome. Amer Cardiol 100, (12):1759-1766.

 

Kala, S. N. & Abhilash, K. (2013). Determinants of metabolic syndrome in acute stroke patients. Scholars Journal of applied medical sciences (SJAMS) 1 (6): 783-785.

 

Kay, S. J., & Fiatarone, S. M. A. (2006). The influence of physical activity on abdominal fat. A systematic review of the literature. Obes Rev 7, (2): 183-200.

 

Kelishadi, R. (2007). Childhood overweight, obesity and the metabolic syndrome in developing countries. Epidemiological Review  29: 62-76.

 

Livingstone, I. L., Nuriddin, T., Staggers, R., & Butler, J. (2013). Globalization, stress and metabolic syndrome. A selected focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Global awareness society international 22nd annual conference.

 

Loreana, S. S., Camilla, B., Paula, A. M., Barbara, D. M. A., & Ishmael, F. F. J. (2013). Metabolic syndrome: Criteria for diagnosis in children and adolescents. Endocrine Metab Synd; 2 (3), 1-6.

 

Omeiza, S. U. (2012). Effects of continuous and interval exercise training on blood pressure, body weight and percent body fat overweight male and female adults in Nigeria. Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Department of Physical and Health Education, ABU, Zaria.