Author Archives: Editorial Team


1Patrick Oraduen Anikpa

2Iorparegh Aer

1Department of Physics

2Department of Integrated Science

Federal College of Education,

Obudu, Cross River State





Science education is recognised as being central to the scientific and technological development of a society. As a result there have been deliberate attempts by governments globally to improve the quality of science teaching in schools and to support teachers’ motivation for enriching their teaching practices. One way of achieving this is the provision for open access to content and resources which are important factors in improving science education. This paper highlights the need of science teachers in terms of the OERs they need, how these can be used, and the challenges for using them. The paper concludes with suggestions for overcoming the obstacles for harnessing OERs for science teaching.


Key Words:  Science, Science education, Open educational resources, Science and technology, Science teaching






Science Education is globally recognised to play a significant role in nation building as well as in the lives of individuals residing there in. Scientific literacy is thus considered as a viable tool for national development and this is realizable through science Science education (Rubini & Permanasari, 2014). To ensure the development of the scientific literacy skills by citizens the curriculum for each level of education in Nigeria comprises science subjects.

There are basically three levels of education in the Nigerian education system: the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The primary education and the first three years of secondary education are implemented as a Basic Education Programme, where all children of school age are expected to have compulsory access to schooling. The science curricula applicable to each of the level are:

  • Basic Science and Technology curriculum for primary schools,
  • Basic Science for junior secondary schools,
  • Basic Technology for junior secondary schools
  • Biology, Chemistry and Physics curricula for Senior Secondary School Science.

It can be observed that curriculum materials that are produced for the various subject areas describe how teachers should plan activities after learners’ pre- requisite ideas have been identified. How the learners’ ideas can be taken into consideration in planning suitable activities is actually a cause for concern. These curricula are aimed at providing for the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes for living and thriving in the ever changing technological world.

How effective the students will acquire this knowledge, skills and the attitudes is dependent on the quality of effective science teaching. Effective teaching is one dispensed by teachers who have a broad understanding of curriculum aims and objectives, wide range of pedagogical strategies, high expectations of all students, know their students well; provide effective feedback, recognise feedback, recognise students success, have sound content knowledge, understand what the students need to make progress (Gipps, 1999; Wrags, Wrag, Hayas and Chambelain, 1998  cited in Aer, 2015).

From the above characteristics it is obvious that the students will tend to learn better when science teachers dedicate part of their time to focusing on the content with learning activities which are focused on students’ level of understanding. The performance of effective teachers is based not only on their rich knowledge about content but also how they harness available instructional resources and integrate same in their entire pedagogy. It has to be remembered that pedagogy is an act and discourse. It involves teachers’ ideas, beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, and understanding about curriculum, the teaching and learning process and their students, and which impact on their teaching practise (Alexander, 2007). The pedagogical skills demonstrated by teachers in the classroom are found to be independent of teacher’s teaching subject, the method as well as the knowledge about learner’s development and learning styles (Hill, Schilling Ball, 2003).The teacher’s content knowledge as well as the knowledge about methods are inseparably linked to the available educational resources.

Educational resources refer to resource materials that are used to facilitate the attainment of the learning objectives (Aer, 2015). It follows that the quality of science teaching in school can be assured with the provision of adequate, reliable and suitable educational resources. Apart from improving the quality of teaching, these resources also support teachers’ motivation for enriching their teaching practice. Ogunnaike (2000) asserted that resources function as stimuli and support for both teacher and learner during the teaching and learning process. The advent of Open Educational Resources provides for open access to both content and other institutional resources with the aim to improve science education.

What are Open Educational Resources?

The term Open Educational Resources (OERs) is new to the global lexicon having being coined in 2002 by UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (Larson & Mercy, 2008). Open Educational Resources refers to any type of educational material in the public domain, or released with an open license allowing the use, adaptation and distribution (UNESCO; 2014). D’Anthoni (2006) and Bissell (2009) explained OER as web – based material offered freely and openly for re-use in teaching, learning and research. The OER movement is noted to have been built around the premise that all educational content should be open and free, representing as it does a significant part of the global human heritage (Larson & Mercy, 2008), Indeed much of global OER initiative has been taking place in Europe but is rapidly spreading in other continents, including Africa.

Larson and Murray (2008) have categorised OERs specifically into: content (materials for learning or reference), tools (soft ware for development or delivery of resources), and standards (shared conventions for digital publishing of open resources). These OERs generally include full courses, course material, modules, textbooks, streaming, videos, software materials and techniques used to support access to knowledge. OERs can be embedded in customised science lessons for the students. The customized lessons are actually those that depend solely on the innovation of the teacher, the needs of his students and the national educational objectives (Charles and Rice, 2012). The use of OER requires investment of time and creative thinking so as to develop engaging technology-supported lessons for the students. This will help students in their learning and can enhance better performance.


Harnessing OERs for Science Teaching in Nigeria

Science is really required in our day to day life to provide human needs. The learning of science should give the students the opportunity to collect data and make decisions related to daily life. When developing or designing a science lesson, the key elements to address are the content, understanding, engagement and critical thinking (Ndirangu, n.d). If students should really understand the content in a lesson, such a lesson must challenge their previous views and beliefs. Such views and beliefs should be based on their prior knowledge and experiences that provide opportunity for their understanding of the lesson.

Deciding what science content to deliver to students, the type of assessment, the science process skills to be developed and the complex reasoning skills the students will engage in are dependent on the availability of resources. Science will be difficult to learn if there are no resources to facilitate science teachers’ classroom discourse and to meet students’ level of intellectual characteristics development (Suryamata, Osman & Meerah, 2010). Thus, harnessing OER adequately will go, a long way to guide science teachers’ classroom practices towards achieving science education goals in Nigeria.

To effectively use OER, the science teachers need to beware of the numerous lesson plans, lesson ideas and the lesson recommendations deposited on the Internet. For instance, science teachers who may google a lesson on “Human Reproduction” may find  it  possible to get over three million results in less than a second. Similarly, surfing for course materials for any science content may result to overwhelming results. The problem then lies in trying to know which of the lessons or materials that is reliable or in line with the set goals or standards. This is actually the primary short coming of surfing the Internet lessons or materials. To overcome this teachers have to be knowledgeable of intended teaching and learning concepts.  Nevertheless teachers who would use OERs appropriately will have their instructional fluency improved (Charles & Rice, 2012).

One of the effective instructional strategies for teaching science is the provision of the opportunity for students to be exposed to an array of materials and equipment that would facilitate engagement in different learning activities. With OERs target models and simulations are the easiest resources to use.  The models and animations surfed from the Internet allows the teacher to clarify scientific concepts and because some of these models rarely come with instructions, the teacher has the benefit to develop a menu of questions or investigations that require students to manipulate the online models in ways to agree with objectives of the lesson.

OERs can be used by teachers to revamp existing lessons which they have prepared by incorporating useful OER that would challenge students in exciting ways. The science teacher may use OERs to upgrade an existing lesson rather than starting from the scratch to develop an entirely new lesson for science teaching.

The Challenges

Despite the apparent advantages of OERs as articulated by many scholars (Daniel, 2011; Dichev& Dichev; Smith &Casserly, 2006) and international agencies such as UNESCO and the Common Wealth of Learning (COL), there are a number of challenges that hinder OER adoption and re-use especially in developing countries of the world, Nigeria inclusive (Hatakka, 2009; Larson & Muray, 2008).

Umar, Kodhandarman and Kanwar (2013) have explained some of these to include how to democratise access to education in the context of the dearth of good quality resources and inadequate resources. The dichotomy between the developed and the developing countries in terms of digital divide which has to do with the development and use of ICTs is a serious challenge. As a result developing countries in Africa account for only one percent of OER content produced globally (Hatakka, 2009; Johnstone, 2005; Willey, 2007). Apart from the inability to actually produce the content, utilization of these resources most of which are produced from the developed world is difficult as a result of low ICT facilities. There is inadequate infrastructure including hardware and software.

Since most of these OERs are developed outside Africa, the language used to develop them and its style is not appropriate to the cultural milieu of Nigeria. This is also a challenge to using them. Other challenges relate to the ability to actually find suitable resources from the Web and how to ascertain the quality of information and knowledge contained in the numerous unvented content and materials deposited on the Internet. Then availability and accessibility of ICT services to teachers and students in our institutions of learning is another major challenge to the use of OERs.

Overcoming the Challenges

First and foremost, there is a need to have OERs that are appropriate to the goals of education in Nigeria and other developing countries of Africa. Also, there is a need for these resources to be appropriate to the cultural milieu of the African nation. To achieve this, the academic community should build mutual exchange and collaborative development of these educational resources globally. Such a community would enable Africa to gradually improve on the processes leading to the production of open content and materials that would be useful and appropriate in their own setting. This will go a long way to help people not just to know how to do things for themselves but also to know who else is doing it and where.

Teachers and academics should be encouraged to develop a sharing attitude. The sharing culture is of course an invaluable experience to build on when utilizing OERs (Ng’ambi and Luo 2011). Although teachers and/or lecturers have been sharing informally, there is the need for them to share in a way anybody else would know. This can be achieved by increasing access to virtual educational facilities both in closed and open educational systems. Formation of virtual communities, virtual libraries and virtual classrooms can be good avenues for sharing knowledge and information on production and reuse of OERs.

Governments at all levels should endeavour to improve on the provision of technical resources in educational institutions. Teachers should be encouraged to acquire laptops, smart phones and other requirements necessary for surfing the Internet at subsidised costs. Above all, there should be provision for Internet services to all educational institutions. In places where Internet services may not be provided due to unavoidable obstacles efforts should be made to produce DVDs and other video resources that can easily be played on TV, laptops etc. in  the form of model and animations.

To overcome the challenges of quality and relevance, science teachers should develop their science lessons based on the approved national curriculum. The application of OER should only be a way of revamping or updating the science teachers’ lessons. After all starting from the scratch will demand more time and skills from the teachers.


From the discussion so far, it is evidently clear that OERs are descendants of the digital age. In this age, there is a gradual shift from printed materials to the digital chase. In Nigeria, the preparation for digital revolution is rather slow. As a result few facilities are being utilized for educational services. Consequently OERs are not adequately harnessed for science teaching. This paper holds the view that for effective utilization of OERs, innovation towards digital revolution is invaluable. The paper suggests different ways by which science teachers could apply OERs. It also reveals the probable challenges associated with the application of OERs and the ways to overcome some of these challenges.




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Umar, A., Balasubramanian, & Kanwar, A. (2013). Can Open Educational Resources Thrive in Closed Educational Systems. Some Reflections on OER in Developing Countries (HUKIA: Journal of the Open University of Tanzania, 13: pages). In R. McGred, W. Kinuthia & S. Marshall (Ed) Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: Innovation Research and Practice. Voncouver Canada Common Wealth of Learning (COL) and Athabasca University

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Sooter Tombowua

M.W. Wombo

Department of Early Childhood Care and Education

College of Education, Katsina-Ala







Children love to play and learn a lot through play. Play is such a significant factor in children’s development and learning that the National Policy on Education (2004) categorically stated that Government shall ensure that the main method of teaching at the Early Childhood level should be through play. This paper therefore, discusses the importance of play in the early years of life (0-5) to children’s growth, learning and holistic development, since, children’s development depends on the quality of early stimulation and experiences offered to them. However, nearly all the pre-primary education in Nigeria is provided by private proprietors. It also identified the inability of most schools to recruit competent and qualified teachers and provide appropriate play facilities among other aimed at ensuring that the policy objectives are achieved. Finally, it established that the provision of early childhood education with competent and qualified teacherswill have positive influence on the overall development of children in later life.


Keywords: Play, Children, Development, Early Childhood Education





The early years of human life present a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for healthy development. It is a time of growth and of vulnerability. Research on early childhood has underscored the impact of the first five years of a child’s life on his/her development. According to David (1998), good early childhood education through play is vital to help a child develop physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. This is a time when children particularly need high quality care and learning experiences. The preschool years require positive early learning experiences as the foundation for later success in intellectual, social, language and emotional development (Abiodun, 2011).

According to Tombowua (2012), early childhood education is a unique field of study and practice where play lies at the heart of learning and instruction. It makes a major contribution to the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and language development of children. In a good childhood institution, the development of skills and competencies is promoted largely through play, supported by a variety of play materials.

In our society, play is often not respected because it does not seem to be productive. Parents often scold their children for playing too long and always, yet, the creative achievements of scientific thought involve sustained attention, imagination and innovation, ways of perceiving, imagination and innovation are the basic characteristics of play (Tombowua, 2012).

The National Policy on Education recognises that learning at the early childhood level should be basically through play-way method. Play is therefore a veritable tool in Early Childhood Education. Children spend most of their wake time in play. Children learn and grow by playing. “All work without play makes Jack a dull boy.” While this ancient proverb may seem trite and cliché to modern scholars, it however, still holds true value when discussing children and play.


Conceptual Clarifications

There are many different definitions of play. Adults, children and young people may each have their own. Beihler (1981) defined play as self-selected activities through which children have opportunities to discover many things at their own pace and in their own way. Similarly, Hildebrand (1997) in Kolo (2010) defined play as any action that an individual chooses to do, which is fun and self motivated.

In play-work, the following definition of play, based on the work of Bob Hughes and Frank King is widely accepted: play is freely chosen, personally directed, intrinsically motivated behaviour that actively engages the child (National Playing Fields Association, Children’s Play Council & Play-link, 2000). This means that play is:

  • Freely chosen–Children choose what they do themselves.
  • Personally directed–Children choose how they do what they choose to do.
  • Intrinsically motivated–Children choose why they do what they choose. Children’s play is performed for no external goal or reward (Play Wales & Play Education, 2001).

By playing, children learn and develop as individuals, and as members of the community. All children and young people play, unless they are living in extremely difficult conditions (forced into child labour, or to be child soldiers) or they are critically ill (Lindon, 2002). Some children with disabilities or long term health problem may need additional support to enable them to participate in play activities. No wonder Abiodun (2011) saw play as a universal activity for all healthy children. He further maintained that it is a form of recreation that has great educational values and that children practice some of the roles they will later be called upon to play as adult.

The word ‘play’ is also used to describe the activities of children from babyhood until the early teenage years. There is no neat definition that will cover all the meanings given by parents, early years and play-work practitioners and other adult commentators – let alone how children talk about play when their opinions are invited. Yet there are some common themes. As outlined by Lindon (2002) in the following descriptions:

  • Play includes a range of self-chosen activities undertaken for their own interest, enjoyment and the satisfaction that results for children.
  • Very young children, even babies, show playful behaviour when they explore sound and simple actions and experiment with objects of interest.
  • Play activities are not essential to meet basic physical survival needs. But play does seem to support children’s emotional wellbeing as well as a wide range of learning within their whole development.
  • Children can play alone, but often they play with other children and with familiar adults. Even very young children engage in simple give-and-take or copying games with their peers, older siblings or with adults.
  • A playful quality in activities is shown by the exercise of choice, enjoyable repetition and invitation by children to others to join the play.
  • Yet children’s play can look serious. Players may show great absorption in the activity and disagreements can result from a difference of opinion about how the play should progress.


The Child

A precise meaning or definition of a child may prove difficult. According to Mallum, Haggai and Ajaegbu (2004) a child is a young individual between birth and adolescence.  A child could also mean a human being from conception to adolescence. The age at which a person ceases to be a child depends on the culture, purpose and law of the land. In some countries, a person may remain a child as long as he is in school. In other countries, the child is anybody who is not yet 14 years. At this period before 14 years, their criminal activities are termed juvenile delinquency. The child starts as a an organism which develops into a human being with flesh, skeleton, body fluid and grows in a social environment. He/she is born into a family from where he/she grows and goes to school.

Though the child is helpless at birth, he/she is equipped with all genetic potentials for growth. As he/she grows physically through feeding, he/she also grows psychological through maturation and learning. Because each child is endowed with different genetic potentials and grows in a different environment, he/she is different from every other child, a concept referred to as individual differences.


Child Development

Development according to Mallum, Haggai & Ajaegbu (2004) refers to quantitative and qualitative changes. In human beings, development is defined as a progressive series of changes in an orderly coherent manner. “Progressive” means that these changes are directional that is they lead forward rather than backward. Orderly and coherent suggests that there is a definite relationship between the changes taking place and those that precede or that will follow.  Child development is the process of progressive changes in the child. For example, child development is not just what children can do at each age level like sitting at five months or walking at 13 months but the conditions that cause these changes and determine the environmental factors that can facilitate such changes. Child development therefore emphasises the role played by environment and experience. In a nutshell, child development can be defined as the orderly coherent changes taking place in the child from conception to adulthood. These changes are both physical (increase in size and structure) and also mental changes in perceptual and conceptual capabilities (Mallum, Haggai & Ajaegbu, 2004).  Child development refers to the biological, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence, as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy. It is a continuous process with a predictable sequence yet having a unique course for every child. It does not progress at the same rate and each stage is affected by the preceding types of development.


Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education is referred to as the foundation for children’s growth and development. It encompasses the clear development and education of children below the age of six. Similarly, the National Policy on Education (2004) defined early childhood education as the education given in an institution to children 0-5 years prior to their entering the primary school. It includes the Crèche, Day Care Centres, Kindergarten and Nursery (FRN, 2004).

Children’s Play

Historical and cross-cultural evidence shows that all children play, unless their living circumstances are very harsh or the children are very ill. According to Lindon (2002), children’s available or chosen playthings and games vary across time and culture. Yet some playful activities seem to be very common. Some examples include play with dolls and similar figures, construction activities with whatever is available and imaginative play that recreates what children see in their own families and neighbourhood. According to Lindon (1998), children who have disabilities or a continuing health condition still want to play and are often bored and distressed, if circumstances severely limit their opportunities. Children create play and materials from whatever is available and certainly do not require expensive, commercially produced toys in order to play or learn. Children develop social games with each other sometimes absorbing a wide age range of children, even under very deprived circumstances. Only severe circumstances such as these prevent children from playing: abusive restriction of their freedoms, being part of the labour market from a very young age or when children are forced to become active in war as soldiers (Lindon, 1998).         The pattern of children’s play reflects the society in which they live, including social changes over the decades. In the United Kingdom now, commercial interests promote a huge array of toys for children, including many resources linked to ICT (Information Communication Technology). This change has led some commentators to claim that children nowadays ‘‘demand’’ expensive toys and many are promoted as ‘‘essential for your child’s learning’’. Yet objective observation of this younger generation shows clearly that they are very happy to explore simple play materials including large cardboard boxes and home-made sound makers, craft activities and lively physical games (Davy & Gallagher, 2004).


Play Types

Different types of play can be organised for children so as to ensure an over-all integrated development. According to Abiodun (2011), different types of play could be organised for children depending on their age and interest. National Playing Fields Association, Children’s Play Council and Playlink (2000), identified some range of play types to include;

  • Communication play – play using words, nuances or gestures (e.g., telling jokes, play acting, singing, and storytelling).
  • Creative play – play allowing new responses, transformation of information, awareness of connections with an element of surprise (e.g. enjoying creative activities arts and crafts, using a variety of materials and tools).
  • Deep play – play allowing the child to encounter risky experiences, to develop survival skills and conquer fears (e.g., balancing on a high beam).
  • Dramatic play – play dramatising events in which the child is not a direct participator (e.g., presenting a TV show, religious or festive celebrations).
  • Exploratory play – play involving manipulating objects or materials to discover their properties and possibilities (e.g., playing with bricks, sand, water, clay, play dough).
  • Fantasy play–play rearranging the world in the child’s way, in a manner unlikely to occur in real life (e.g. playing as being an astronaut or King /Queen).
  • Imaginative play – play where conventional rules of the real world are not applicable (e.g., playing to be a dog or a super hero).
  • Locomotive play – play involving movement in all directions for its own sake (e.g., playing chase, tag, hide and seek).
  • Mastery play – play involving control of physical aspects of the environment (e.g., digging holes, building dens).
  • Objective play – play involving hand-eye co-ordination to manipulate objects in an infinite variety of ways (e.g. examining novel uses for a paint brush, bricks).
  • Role Play – play exploring human activities on basic level (e.g. doing simple domestic chores such as sweeping with broom, making telephone calls, driving a car, with or without play equipment).
  • Rough and tumble play – play involving discovering physical flexibility and demonstrating physical skills (e.g., play fighting, chasing).
  • Social play – play involving social interaction that requires following certain rules or protocols (e.g., games with rules, conversations). (The sequence of social play involves; solitary play, parallel play, associative play, and cooperative play).
  • Symbolic Play – Play allowing controlled, gradual exploration and increased understanding without risk (e.g., using a piece of wood to symbolise a person).

These play types according to Tombowua (2012), can be grouped into three main areas of play as follows:

  1. Physical Play: Play activities that promote opportunities for children to develop their physical skills. For example, locomotor play, mastery play, rough and tumble play.
  2. Explanatory Play: Play activities that provide opportunities for children to understand the world around them by exploring their environment and experimenting with materials. For example, exploratory play, creative play, object play.
  3. Imaginative Play: Play activities that provide opportunities for children to express feelings and to develop social skills. For example, communication play, deep play, dramatic play, fantasy play, imaginative play, role play, social play and symbolic play (Lindon, 2002).


Early Childhood Education’s Role on Play and Children’s Development

As what is observed in Nigerian cities and towns today, that is early as 2 to 3 years old child starts going to nurseries or kindergarten. These types of preschool setings are muchrooming at an alarming rate, and located anywhere and everywhere in garages, in flats, in two-room houses, in terracas, in rooms on top floor of multi-storaged buildings, were aside for play. Children have no provision even for free movement and are confined to rooms only. They are encouraged only for indoor play with dolls, blocks or small machine toys. Another phenomenon that is overtaking the metropolitan child is the video games and television (T.V.). Electronic play inhibits intellectual stimulationnor fulfils any physical or emotional needs, rather restricts young children from active games affecting their physical and mental development (Chowdhiry & Choudhury, 2002).

Moreover, slow children in urban areas are mostly devoid of play activities in Nigeria as they are to engage in work to supplement family income. For these, children the age of play is cut short or done away with altogether so as to turn the child into a miniature adult expected to engage in subsistance activities before he has even learn to play. Not only children lack spale or play facilities, but they lack parental understanding regarding the velue of play and natural play materials as sand, mud, water, flowers, leaves and so on, which are so crucial for the emotional development of the child.

In rural societies particular in Nigeria, young children play with climbing trees, plucking flowers, running in fields, playing hide and seek, bath in water pools or tanks. Children become very familiar with their ecological environment vegetable, insects, birs and repitiles.

Play in tribal culture have a host of naturalx stimuli available to them for play such as sticks, grass, rocks, insects, and so on. Climbing  trees is a favourute play activity, sliding down a slope, using animals like dogs, goats as their friends and learn to mimic their voices and dancing are pass time play activities among tribal children.

Hence, play of children gets moulded according to the environment. Tribal children play facilitate physical environment, whereas urban child’s play contributes to intellectual development. On the whole, as play is an instrument of total development, variation must be taken into consideration and efforts must be made to ensure that play prpomote the overall development of children in all culture.

Play lies at the heart of early childhood education and is a means of learning and instruction (FRN, 2004). The National Policy on Education recognises that the main method of teaching at this level shall be through play. One of the key elements that guide early childhood education according to Abiodun (2011), is that it foster physical, social, emotional, intellectual and language development of children ages 0-5 years. Early childhood education can produce significant gains in children’s learning and development. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) United States of America suggested a number of reasons why early childhood education cannot be overlooked in relation to child development. For example, one reason is that children spend most of their time playing and working with materials in early childhood education. They do not wander aimlessly and they are not expected to sit quietly for long periods of time. According to Olayinka (2004), most children in Nigeria that are not in school at early age are made to sit in one place and to remain quiet or sleep so that teachers themselves can do their own personal work. Secondly, in early childhood programmes, children have an opportunity to play outside every day. Outdoor play is never sacrificed for more instructional time; whether at home or in the school, children use most of their time playing which may be meaningful to them (Banjo, 2000).


Play and Children’s Social Development

Social development is the ability to behave in accordance with the expectations of the age group and society. Since no human is born social, there is need to provide enabling opportunity for children to learn especially through play in early childhood education (Abiodun, 2011). Play aids children to cooperate with others and develop friendly relationships from social manners, behaviours and solve problems with their friends. Moreover, they learn competitions, tolerance and reciprocity with their peers. They also learn sex-role identification and how to behave in the society with same sex group as well as opposite sex groups (Heninnger, 2005). Through socio-dramatic play in Nigeria, children define the role of each actor. Leadership role may be assumed by one if the children or collective discussion approach is used. Improvisation is made for “food” in the case of family modelling. Shells of coconut may be converted to caps or plates. A short stick becomes a spoon and so on.


Play and Children’s Physical Development

Play helps children to increase ability to perform more complex physical activities, involving gross motor skills, fine motor skills and co-ordination (Lindon, 2002). Gross motor skills involve whole body movements. Examples include walking, running, climbing, jumping, skipping, etc. Children need strength, stamina and suppleness to become proficient in activities involving gross motor skills. Fine motor skills involve whole-hand movements, wrist action or delicate procedures, using the fingers. For example, the ‘‘palmer grasp’’ (grabbing and holding a small brick), the ‘‘pincer grip’’ (using the thumb and index finger to pick up a pea) and the ‘‘tripod grasp’’ (holding a crayon, pencil or pen). Examples of fine motor skills include drawing, painting, writing, cutting with scissors and so on. Children need good concentration to become proficient in activities involving fine motor skills. Coordination involves hand-eye coordination, whole-body coordination and balance. Examples of hand-eye coordination include drawing, painting, using scissors, writing and threading beads. Examples of whole-body coordination include crawling, walking, cycling, swimming and gymnastics. Coordination plays an important part in developing children’s gross and fine motor skills.

At the time of play, different parts of the body of the child are activated. Due to these activities muscles, glands and body cells are properly developed. Play also serves as an outlet for surplus energy. If the energy is not spent properly, it could make the child irritable and nervous. Outdoor play, especially gives scope for exercises in the fresh air and thereby improves health and strength and the development of large and small muscles of the body is not a wholly natural occurrence, and through specific play activities proportionate muscular development can be attained.

          In Nigerian preschools, physical activities such as running, climbing, skipping and jumping of rope, sliding down a slope contribute to physical development. However, only few preschools that have facilities like slide, swing, merry-go-round among other equipment.


Play and Children’s Intellectual Development

Intellectual (or cognitive) development involves the process of gaining, storing, recalling and using information. The interrelated components of intellectual development are: thinking, perception, language, problem-solving, concepts, memory, concentration and creativity. To develop as healthy, considerate and intelligent human being, children and young people require intellectual stimulation as well as physical care and emotional security. They are constantly thinking and learning, gathering new information and formulating new ideas about themselves, other people and the world around them (Lindon, 2002). All these can be greatly enhanced by play as it helps children to observe, concentrate, experiment and have a sense of achievement. Play helps children to observe, concentrate and experiment.

          Children in Nigerian preschools take part in play activities such as playing with sand, water, beads, stones, bottle tops among others. These materials are engage in different forms of play such as building, sorting and arranging, filling pouring, mixing, observing, drawing, weight, grouping and so on through these children develop cognitive abilities such as counting, patterning classification, weight, volume among others which explored them to mathematic skills, reading skills and so on.


Play and Children’s Language Development

Language development is the key factor in all children’s development as it provides them with the skills they need to communicate with others, relate to others, explore their environment, understand concepts, formulate ideas and express feelings. Children use a variety of ways to communicate. These modes of language are essential from being able to communicate effectively with others to being fully involved in a wide range of social interactions. Play provides opportunities for children to develop the necessary skills to become competent at communicating using different modes of language such as writing, reading, speaking, listening, thinking and verbal communication (Tombowua, 2012).

          In Nigeria, children engage in speech play. They talk to one another in the process of play. Speech play is another term for playing with language. In playing with domestic animals for instance, children are known to “talk” to the animals, as if they are talking to a fellow human being. They even order, caution, question or warn an animal, the way a senior or a parent had done to the child. They also memorize and recite poems, riddles and songs in preschool.


Play and Children’s Emotional Development

Emotional development in children consists of a gradual growth in the ability to recognise, label and appropriately respond to their feelings. Stimulus from the environment causes physiological responses in the body that lead to feelings such as anger, affection, fear, sadness, happiness and grief (Dyang, 2009). A variety of play materials and activities in the early childhood institutions can help children learn about dealing with feelings. Art materials, clay, play dough and paints are all examples of play materials that many children use regularly to express their feelings. Playing with a lump of play dough or painting a picture can be a healthy release for many children. Stories can be used to support and develop emotional regulation and self-control; play games also encourage children to control their body parts and find way to stay calm while encountering a strong emotional response. For instance, demonstrating emotional regulating techniques with puppets and role-play to practice emotional regulation, separating emotions from actions by letting the children know that all emotions are okay but not all behaviour are acceptable. For example, it is perfectly normal to get angry but not okay to hurt one another (Abiodun, 2011).

Most preschool in Nigeria engage children in a singing and dancing activities, such dancing competition which enable the children to display their talents, beauty and culture. It thus makes the whole activity lively, fun but educative.


Early Childhood Teacher’s Role

The early childhood teacher is the facilitator of play in the classroom and outside the classroom. The teacher facilitates play by providing appropriate indoor and outdoor play environment. Safety is, of course, the primary concern. Age and developmental levels are carefully considered in the design and selection of materials. The teacher should ensure that all the appropriate environments and materials are in place, and should carry out regular safety checks and maintenance of equipment to ensure that they are sound and safe for continued play.

Teachers should also facilitate play by working with children to develop rules for safe indoor and outdoor play. The teacher should ensure the appropriate use of play materials, the safe number of participants on each piece of equipment, taking turns, sharing, and cleaning up and provide the children with information to begin their play activities. This discussion needs to be ongoing because some children may need frequent reminders about rules and because new situations may arise ( equipment).

By providing play materials related to thematic instruction, the early childhood teacher can establish links between the children’s indoor and outdoor play and their programme curriculum. Thematic props for dramatic play can be placed in the dramatic play centre or stored in prop boxes and taken outside to extend the dramatic play to a new setting.

As a facilitator of children’s play, teachers should closely observe the children during play period not only for assessment purposes, but also to facilitate  appropriate  social interactions and motor behaviours. It is important that children be the decision-makers during play, choosing what and where to play, choosing role for each player and choosing how play will proceed. Occasionally, however, some children will need adult assistance in joining a play group, modifying behaviour or negotiating a disagreement. Careful observation will help the teacher to decide when to offer assistance and what form that assistance should take.

The official recognitions given to early childhood education in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) combined with a number of factors to give rise to an unprecedented expansion in the provision of early childhood institutions in the country, however, the provision of these institutions is made by private individuals and groups for mainly commercial purposes, and this has promoted certain shorcomings in the implementation of the policy on early childhood education and problems in the realization of the objectives of such a policy.

Much of the short comings lay on the failure of the Federal Government to put into effect most of the measures it stated in the National Policy on Education aimed at ensuring that the policy objectives are achieved.

There is an approval curriculum developed by Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) and the play method of teaching that is advocated in the National Policy on Pre-primary Education is not effectively used in most of the schools, as most of the instructors are not trainined on the use of it. Proprietors and teachers provide the children with toys to play with, mainly for recreational purposes and not for instruction. Very few, if not all, nursery school teachers in the country have not received formal training in use of the play method or any othe type of learning activity to inculcate social norms in preschool children as advocated in the play document (Tombowua & Wombo, 2011).

Early childhood care and education has been included in the Bachelor’s degree curriculum of the Faculty of Education of some Nigerians Universities. The concept has also been integrated in the syllabus of Colleges of Education throuhout the country. However, inservices training on the early childhood development concept and learner centered pedogogy for handling children can help teachers/caregivers in ECC/preschools.



          In Nigeria, though, appreciable progress has been made in early childhood care and education in the past years due to government policy requiring every public school to have the preprimary school linkage. However, the proportion of children enrolled in pre-primary early childhood care centre still remains low at approximately 2.3 million children (Abiodun, 2011), representing about 21 percent of the population of children in this age group. This can be attributed to a number of reasons, such as the caregivers of these centres are generally unqualified since about 85 percent do not posses basic qualification. Another major issue in Nigeria’s early childhood care and development is the poor state of the infrastructure, equipment, facilities and nonchalant attitude of parents towards this development. Therefore, the paper wish to conclude that competent and qualified early childhood educator should be recruited by both Government and private school proprietors to guide and teach the pupils at this level of educational so as lay a strong foundation for each child future career. It maintained that guided play which involves a lot of activities is better for child development.



The following recommendations are therefore proferred to help caregivers, teachers, parents and other child care providers to use their skills of observation and communication to be alert to what will work well for children in play setting and whether they may need some attention for change in Nigeria. Moreso, competent and qualified early childhood educations in Nigeria should be recruited by both the Government and private school proprietors to guide and teach the children to this level.

  • Early Childhood educators in Nigeria should always considers the level of the learners, thereby employing the pupils centered technique of teaching. So much so, that the pupils are given the opportunity and encouragement to express and manage their social and emotional status effectively.
  • Early childhood educators in Nigeria should be paid special allowance, to encourage the recruitment and retention of qualified early educators (teachers) in teaching profession.
  • Government at all levels, community based development on education and concern parents should ensure that there is serious supervision so as to make sure that earlychildhood educators do what was expected of them.
  • In as much as there are a lot of benefits in children attending early chilhood education in Nigeria, parents should not relent in sending their words to early childhood education so as to boost their social and emotional status.




Abiodun, D.E. (2011). The effect of early childhood education on social & emotional development of children ages 3-6 years. Journal of Educational Foundations, 1, (1), 13-22.


Banjo, Y. (2000). An understanding of socio-emotional problems. Ibadan: End-time Publishing House Ltd.


Brown, F. (2003). Playwork: theory and practice. Berkshire: Open University Press.


Cole-Hamitton, I., & Gill, T. (2002). Making the case for play: building policies and strategies for school-aged children. National Children’s Bureau.


Chowdhury, A. & Choudhury, A. (2002). Preschool children: development care and education. New Delhi: New Age Publishers.


David, A. (1998). Child study in educational practice. Ibadan: Macmillan Publishing Company.


Davy, A., & Gallagher, J. (2001). Playwork: play and care for children 5-15. 3rd ed. Thomson Learning.


Dyang, N. (2009). Social and emotional development. Retrieved from www.socialemotional/earlychildhood on 16.02.2010.


Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004). National Policy on Education (4th Edition). Lagos: NERDC Press.


Henniger, M.L. (2005). Teaching Young children: an introduction. Washington: University Press.


Lindon, J. (1998). Equal opportunities in practice. London: Hodder and Stroughton.


Lindon, J. (2002). Understanding children’s play in Nelson, T. & Moyles, J. (ed). The Excellence of Play. Berkshire: Open University Press.


Mallum, J.O., Haggai, M.P. & Ajaegbu, J.U. (2000). An introduction to child development. Jos: Ya-Byangs Publishers.


National Playing Fields Association, Children’s Play Council & Playlink (2000). Best Play: What Play provision should do for Children. NPFA.


Olayinka, O. (2004). Educational Psychology: Social & Emotional Development. Ibadan: End-time Publishing House Ltd.


Tombowua, S. (2012). Play and the early childhood learning in child care settings. Katsina-Ala: Prosperity Publishers.


Tombowua, S., & Wombo, M.W. (2011). An appraisal of early childhood care/pre-primary education in Nigeria since Independence. Paper presented at the 5th Annual National Conference of the School of Education, College of Education, Katsina-Ala, held on the 11th – 13th August, 2011.




M.O. Odeh,

S.E. Akwukwaegbu,

A.R. Alih

     Department of Agricultural Education,

School of Vocational and Technical

Education, College of Education, Oju.








In Nigeria, youth unemployment has assumed a serious dimension with its social challenges. Concerted efforts are required to curb it. Therefore, vocational education with its laudable objectives is being suggested to help in overcoming youth unemployment problems. This can be achieved through the training of youths, using vocational schools and their allied programmes like NDE, SUREP and other similar agencies. For the successful implementation of vocational objectives and attainment of employment, the authors are of the opinion that government should be more consistent in her policies, tackle the issue of corruption and provide more funds in her annual budget for the execution of vocational education and its programmes.

Key words: Youths; Unemployment and Vocational Education




In Nigeria, unemployment has become a social problem. This is because the current system of education being practiced in Nigeria continues to turn out graduates into the labour market who seek white collar jobs. These graduates have little or no skill to enable them venture into private business as a way of self employment. Therefore, when they are not employed by the government or companies, they constitute unemployed labour with its attendant consequences such as social vices (armed robbery,  political thuggery, kidnapping, terrorist activities like Boko Haram, etc).

It is hoped that proper vocational education that is well mounted and implemented to salvage the country from the shackle of unemployment. This is because vocational education has been tailored towards self improvement, self sustenance and being useful to the society through its contribution to the socio-economic, and political well being of the society. Any education acquired which cannot meet these objectives is worthless in the present socio-economic realities of Nigeria. It is not surprising that more attention has been focused on vocational education in Nigeria since 1982, when the 1981 National Policy on Education was revised (Unongo, 2013).

The importance of vocational education in providing skill acquisition for individuals who can stand on their own business-wise and hence lessen over dependent on government as the sole employer of labour can not be overemphasized.

Unongo (2013) reported that over 50% of the Nigerian graduates (youths) are unemployed. These groups of people are without any meaningful skill or entrepreneurship to sustain a living. The solution to this perennial problem requires the use of well designed and sufficiently implemented vocational education programmes. This is because the acquisition of appropriate entrepreneurship skills, abilities and competencies, both mental and physical are pre-requisites for the individual to live and contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the society. It is therefore, of great necessity to develop effective and functional workers who can begin to do something on their own and not necessarily looking up to government as the sole employer of labour. Hence, to overcome youth unemployment in Nigeria, it demands the use of vocational education skill acquisition for self-reliance.

Concept of Vocation Education           

Vocational education has been described and defined by different individuals in various ways based on purposes. Ayodele (1984) describes it as the education that is geared towards the transformation of inputs into outputs which involves rational organization and incorporation of scientific knowledge into a system of production.

Makoju (2003) defined vocational education as all man’s activities which enable him to acquire a particular skill in dealing with scientific, industrial, commercial or even traditional methods and their use so that he may become a productive human being or citizen. Denga (1983) had earlier affirmed that “there is a need to introduce a system of education (vocational) with the aim of developing entrepreneurship abilities, skills, attitudes and understanding that will make the youths and adults intelligent and occupational participants in the changing economic life”.

Furthermore, vocational education, according to Olawepo (1992) is the type of education or training designed for preparing the learner to earn a living, that is to be self-reliant or increase his earnings in an occupation where technical information and an understanding of the laws of science and technology as applicable to modern designs, production, distribution and services are essential for success. The author went further to define vocational education as the aspect of education which utilizes scientific knowledge in the acquisition of practical and applied skills in the solution of technical problems. Again, vocational education is defined as the acquisition of practical and applied skill as well as basic scientific knowledge which prepares individuals for gainful employment as semi-skilled, skilled workers or technicians (Osuola, 1981). The last two definitions seem to be more appropriate as they illustrate vocational education as intellectually- based.

Therefore, the aim of vocational education is to produce skilled, semi-skilled workers or technicians who will apply the acquired knowledge towards improvement and solution of their environmental problems, thus making the environment more useful and convenient to man. This is in line with the notion that the economic and technological growth of any nation depends on functional education in terms of vocational education. The concept of vocational education emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurship and skill acquisition on vocational occupation in areas such as Agriculture, Business Education, Home Economics, Technical Education and Health Education. Others include Industrial Education, Computer Studies, Fine and Applied Arts and Textile Design (Osuola, 1981).

The importance of vocational education programmes in providing skilled workers to modernized production is recognized in Nigeria, and has found expression in the National Policy on Education (1981:28) which has its broad objectives as follows:

(i) To provide trained skilled and semi-skilled workers in the applied sciences, technology and commerce, particularly at sub-professional grades;

(ii)To provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic developments;

(iii)To provide skilled workers who can apply scientific knowledge to the improvement and solutions of environmental problems for the use and convenience of man;

(iv)To give an introduction to professional studies in engineering and other technologies;

(v)To give training and impacting the necessary skills and entrepreneurship leading to the production of craftsmen, technicians and other skilled personnel who will be enterprising and self-reliant;

(vi)To enable our young men and women to have an intelligent understanding of the increasing complexity of technology. Odeh (2003) elongated the list by adding that vocational education should (vii) provide the learner with good general education to enable him communicate fluently and also have an understanding of the various sectors of economic and social life.

The Concept of Unemployment

The economy of any given society is characterized by both active and in-active population. The economically active persons refer to population willing and able to work and include those actively engaged in the production of goods and services and the inactive ones are those who are unemployed. According to Ochepo and Igbanyam (2013) unemployment refers to a situation where people who are willing and capable of working are unable to find suitable paid employment. It is one of the macro-economic problems which every responsible government is expected to monitor and regulate. The higher the unemployment rates in any economy the higher the poverty level and its associated welfare challenges.

Factors limiting self employment                  

Unongo (2013) reported that various governments of Nigeria have made concerted efforts to create self-employment without significant success. Laudable programmes were mounted with the hope of generating self-employment and reducing unemployment. For instance, the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) was established in 2001. NAPEP was vested with the responsibility of training the unemployed youths under Capacity Acquisition Programme (CAP). These youths were trained in areas like painting, repair of motor                                                                                            tyres, motor mechanic work, carpentry, fashion design, radio mechanic, electrical works, GSM repair, agricultural works, irrigation, boat making, soap making, cosmetics and so many other areas.

University graduates who were enrolled for the programmes were exposed to a mandatory attachment programme so that they learn basic vocational skills on how to set up a business and manage it well with minimum capital. At the end of the training many of these graduates were given grant between N100, 000.00 to N300,000.00 to start businesses of their own (Unongo, 2013).

Obaden (2001) had earlier observed that the Nigerian government has made several attempts to enhance self-employment through the introduction of many programmes to generate self-employment among youths. Some of these programmes have been identified by Nwachukwu (2005) as cited in Unongo (2013) as National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Agricultural Employment Programme (AEP), Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), Family Support Programme (FSP), Special Public Works programme (SPWP) and Subsidy Reinvestment and Employment programme (SURE-P).

Despite these laudable programmes and in spite of the huge financial resources invested, self-employment generation has not been achieved or sustained as more and more graduates are being turned out yearly in search of government jobs. Generally, the failure of these programmes has been attributed to so many factors.

There are several opportunities for our youths to generate self-employment to improve their life. Ekpong (2008) identified some inhibitive factors preventing individuals from generating, sustaining and benefiting from self-employment ventures. He identified such negative socio-cultural attitudes of youths as impediments which include:

(i) The fear to take risk and the stigma of failure prevent many from engaging in serious ventures, impatience and the urge for quick returns make many to abandon their small businesses for crime.

(ii) Also, many youths have no access to entrepreneurship or vocational education. Some engaged in businesses without vocational skills and sooner or later crashed out due to lack of skills.

(iii) Access to funds to finance their choice of vocation is another major challenge. Most of the youths do not have take-off grants, and credit facilities from financial institutions cannot be accessed by unemployed youths because of stiff conditions and high interest rates.

(iv) Furthermore, youths have very poor saving culture. They spend their lean resources on alcohol, social life and early marriages. Financial institutions demand some level of savings as collateral requirement for securing loans.

(v) The “get rich quick” syndrome has become the culture of Nigerians. Therefore, it is a waste of time to labour for money. Instead, they prefer to follow corrupt politicians as thugs in order to make quick money. Some others engage in oil theft, illegal smuggling, armed robbery, kidnapping etc.

(vi)Unongo (2013) further reviewed other factor to include double taxation by government revenue collectors, high inflation rate, insecurity of lives and property and high rent charges by landlords.


Ways of Achieving Employment Opportunities using Vocational Education

Vocational education produces highly skilled, semi-skilled workers or technicians, therefore proper government policies and implementation devoid of corruption would realize the objectives of vocational education and thus, solve the problem of unemployment among Nigerian youths.

Vocational education at the University, Polytechnics and Colleges is expected to produce skilled and semi-skilled workers. These classes of workers under proper government policies and implementation will train the graduates and other classes of unemployed youths without skills including secondary school graduates who could not further their education and school drop-outs.

The authors have identified some important areas through which skills can be imparted into the trainees with the view of bringing out good technicians and artisans who will really do their work well and reduce unemployment in Nigeria.

Federal, State and Local governments through the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Subsidy Re-investment and employment Programme (SURE-P), Non-governmental organizations (NGO) and other related agencies with similar objectives can be involved in the training of youths with the use of informal sector operators such as master craftsmen/women as training outlets for unskilled school leavers through apprenticeship periods long enough for them to acquire the pre-requisite skills. This should also involve the deployment of well- equipped mobile workshops to train unemployed youths in different vocations as identified below using the rural areas where informal training outlets are either inadequate or non-existent. This type of programme, according to Ameh (2012) is meant for school dropouts/secondary school leavers and graduates of tertiary institutions who desire to acquire functional and marketable skills. The authors further maintain that the programme should be implemented through the following schemes:

(i) National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (NOAS): Under this scheme, unemployed graduates, school leavers and other group of youths should be recruited by the NDE and SURE-P and attach them to private and public training centres for periods varying between six months and three years depending on the trade. The practical and vocational training provided by these centres can be supplemented with Saturday theory classes (STC) for grooming them in theoretical work. There may be need for supervision of these trainers and trainers’ capabilities.

(ii)School-on-wheels scheme (SOW): The aim of this scheme is to train unemployed youths particularly those living in the rural areas thereby strengthening and broadening their technological base especially at the grass root level. The training which should cover a period of three months can be carried out inside well equipped mobile workshops by NDE, SUREP and other related agencies. This training is expected to cover different trades as identified below. These mobile workshops should be well equipped for optimal use by the trainees with the view of appropriately imparting the desired skills in them.

(iii) Waste-To-Wealth Scheme (W-T-W-S): The scheme is designed principally to teach the participants the strategies for converting the hitherto neglected waste materials such as shells, horns, cans, aluminum etc. into decorative/ornamental objects.The above vocational entrepreneurship training can be mounted in vocational disciplines as identified below:

(i)Agriculture: Idoko (2013) identified the following areas of vocation:

  • Crop production: root tuber (cassava); stem tuber (yam); cereal crops (maize, rice, guinea corn, millet, acha); pulses or grain legumes (cowpea, soyabean, pigeon pea, groundnut); vegetables (onion, tomatoes, okra, amarathus); fruits (citrus, banana, pineapple); beverages (cocoa, tea, coffee); spices (pepper, ginger); oil crops (oil palm, shear butter); latex crops (rubber); fibre crops (cotton, jute, sisal); floriculture (growing of flowers and ornamental plants) and others (sugar cane).
  • Animal production enterprises: Poultry (broilers, layers, cockerels); goat rearing, sheep rearing; pig rearing; fish farming (aquaculture); apiculture/bee keeping and snail farming; fattening of small and large ruminants and livestock feed making; marketing of crop and animals also form aspect of agriculture enterprises etc.

(ii)Business education: Abene (2013) identified the following vocational entrepreneurship skills which can be acquired in business education: Typing/photocopying studies; Stationery store; Hair dressing salon; barbing salon; Catering outfits; Computer centre and Sale of books of all types and establishment of vocational schools etc.

(iii)Vocations in technical education are: Roadside motor mechanic works; Motor electrical work; Household electric work; Vehicle upholstery; Fabrication of farm equipment; Vehicle motor tube mending; Radio mechanic work (radio/television); GSM repair; Shoe making; Carpentry work; Welding work (gas and electrical); Mason work, plumbing work, glazing and Pipe-fitting, panel beating and blacksmithing and music playing etc.

(iv)Vocations in Fine and Applied Arts: Painting, sculpture, clay and ceramic work, tiling and interlocking work, carpentry work, landscaping work, dyed fabric work, wood work, calabash carving, bead work, drawing and painting work, colouring work, photographing, bead making, raffia crafts and needle craft work.

(v)Vocations in Home Economics are: Tailoring work, catering outfits, cake and bread making, wedding and other ceremonial cake making, fashion designing etc. Other fields in which vocational entrepreneurship skill can be acquired include computer, industrial and health works.


It is pertinent to know that government and companies cannot cater sufficiently for the employment of the teaming Nigerian youths who are unemployed. Therefore, to reduce unemployment in our society, concerted efforts should be geared towards tackling the issue of unemployment through vocational entrepreneurship skill acquisition. This will enable individuals to venture into one type of business enterprise or the other to earn a living and lessen the burden of overdependence on government as the sole employer of labour.


For successful vocational entrepreneurship skill acquisition for self-reliance, thus overcoming youth unemployment, the following suggestions have been made:

  • There should be collaboration between the Federal, State and Local Governments in setting up well equipped mobile workshops in each Local Government Area of the federation to help the youths in skill acquisition.
  • Soft credit facilities should be provided to train the youths to enable them start doing something on their own and avoid wandering from place to place.

(iii)Credit facilities should be given to the trainees immediately they have had their training instead of directing them to commercial banks.

(iv)Government should be more consistent in her policies to sustain programmes like NDE and SUREP.

(v)The three levels of government should be more honest in handling the issue of unemployment instead of playing politics.

(vi)The issue of corruption in this country should be tackled religiously on the part of policy implementers so as to ensure sufficient success of some of their policies and programmes.

(vii)Federal Government should provide more funds in her annual budget for vocational schools and Centres since vocational education and its programmes are cost intensive.

(viii)Vocational training both in schools and at the training Centres should be more practical oriented than theoretical.

(ix)Successive governments should try to sustain some of the employment programmes to help reduce unemployment.

(x)Private individuals, organizations and NGOs should assist the          government in providing employment opportunities for youths as a way of complementing government efforts.




Ameh, E. F. (2012). Contemporary issue in skill acquisition. Oju Journal of Vocational and Technical Education, Vol.2: 102-105

Abene, U. G. (2013). Repositioning entrepreneurship and business education for self-reliance and poverty alleviation, Oju J. VOTE. Vol. 3: 26-31.

Ayodele, S. O. (1984). The potency of subject associations and a more dynamic curriculum, Nigerian Journal of Curriculum Studies Vol. 2(1)

Denga, D. I. (1983). Educational and vocational guidance in Nigerian secondary schools. Jos Savannah Press Ltd.

Ekpong, A. O. (2008). Entrepreneurship education: A positive re-education for Nigeria’s national development. Journal of  Education innovations, 1:1-16.

Federal Government of Nigeria (1981). National Policy on Education. Lagos: NERDC, Government Press.

Idoko, D. A. (2013). Entrepreneurship and employment generation through agricultural education. Oju Journal of Vocational and Technical Education, Vol. 3: 153-159.

Makoju, E. J. (2003). Vocational and technical education for self-reliance and sustainable democracy. A paper presented at the 1st national conf. of the school of vocational education. Federal College of Education, Kontangora, Niger state, Nigeria.

Obaden, M. l. (2001). Poverty reduction in Nigeria. The way forward. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Economic and financial Review, Vol.  39 No.4

Ochepo, I., & Igbanyam, C. (2013). Entrepreneurship development: a solution for unemployment reduction in Nigeria. Oju J. VOTE, Vol. 3:147-152.

Odeh, A. N. R. (2003). Vocational education for self-reliance through empowering the youths. A paper presented at the 2nd annual conf. of school of VOTE, College of Education, Oju, 27th – 30th October, 2013.

Olawepo, (1992). The role of vocational-technical education in technological and national development. JOTTE (1).

Osuola, E. C. (1981). Foundation of vocational education, centre press, Allen.

Unongo, J. (2013). Integrating entrepreneurship education in vocational and technical education for enhancing self-employment amongst Nigeria youths. Oju J. VOTE, Vol. 3: 1-7.


Odeh, M. Ojor1

 Igwebuike, U. Joseph2

 Akwukwaegbu, S. Egbule1


1Department of Agricultural Education, School of Vocational & Technical Education, College of Education, Oju, Benue State


2 Department of Animal Science, University of  Maiduguri,

Maiduguri, Borno State.





Two hundred and twenty five (225) Anak-2000 day-old broiler chicks were used to evaluate the effect of replacing maize with graded levels of rice milling waste on the haematological parameters and serum biochemistry. The birds were allotted to five treatments. Each treatment had three replicates with 15 chicks each. Rice milling waste (RMW) replaced maize at O%(control), 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% in five diets that were fed ad libitum for a period of three and six weeks at starter and finisher phases respectively. The experimental design was Completely Randomized Designed (CRD). Results obtained showed that the haemoglobin (Hb), Red Blood Cell (RBC), mean corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC), monocyte, basophil and eosinophil were not significant (P > 0.05) between treatment. However, packed cell volume (PCV), Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH), and white blood cell (WBC) values were significantly different (P < 0.05). While urea, calcium and conjugated bilrubin mean values were similar (P > 0.05). The study did not reveal any adverse effect on the parameters investigated when RMW was used up to 100% level. Therefore RMW has been suggested as a possible replacer of maize in broiler chicken diets. Further study on the use of RMW as source of energy in layer diet is suggested.

Key words: Rice Milling Waste, Haematological parameters & Serum Biochemistry. 





Blood is very vital to life and before any meaningful work can be done on the biology of birds, their blood must be studied in details (Oke et al., 2001). Shortage and high cost of conventional energy sources (maize, wheat e.t.c) due to the ever-increasing demand from both as staple food for man and as industrial raw material have called for alternative feed ingredients which are of low industrial use, very low human preference and hence reduce the cost of production, (Igwebuike et al., 1995; Ibiyo and Atteh, 2000; Awesu et al., 2002). Rice milling waste (RMW) has such potentials (Olomu, 1995; Dafwang and Shwarman, 1996). Therefore, the use of alternative feed ingredients like industrial by-products particularly RMW in poultry diets has been suggested as a means of alleviating feed scarcity and providing adequate animal protein for the citizens (Ogbonna et al., 1993; Dafwang and Shwarman, 1996; Amaefule et al., 2006). This study therefore was designed to provide further information on the utilization of RMW as energy source for the replacement of maize in broiler chicken diets. The effect of this dies change on haematology and serum biochemistry of the birds was investigated.


Materials and Methods

The study was conducted at the poultry unit of University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri. A total of two hundred and twenty five (225) Anak – 2000 day-old broiler chicks were randomly distributed to five dietary treatments. RMW was used to replace maize on weight to weight basis at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% levels in diets 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 respectively. Treatment 1 served as a control. Each treatment was replicated three times with 15 birds per replicate (i.e. 45 chicks per treatment). The experimental design was the Complete Randomized Design (CRD). The chicks were brooded for 3 weeks during which times they were fed formulated test-starter and later six weeks on finisher diets. Feed and water were supplied ad libtum. Conventional management practices including vaccination were well observed in all the five treatments. The ingredient compositions of the experimental diets are shown in Tables 1 & 2.

At the end of the experiment, one bird per replicate was randomly selected and bled by severing the jugular vein. A set of blood samples were collected into bottles containing EDTA for haematological evaluation while another set of blood samples were collected without anticoagulant for blood chemistry evaluation. The bottles were kept in cooled cotton prior to analysis. Haematological parameters and blood chemistry were determined as described by Davice and Lewis (1999). Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance as described by Steel and Torrie (1980). Significant means separated by the method described by Duncan’s multiple range tests (1955).


Results and Discussion

Table 3 shows the effect of RMW based diets on the blood constituents of broiler chickens. The results indicate that haemoglobin (Hb), red blood cell (RBC), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), monocytes, basophils and eosinophils mean values showed no significant(P > 0.05)  difference from the control diet among treatments. While packed cell volume (PCV), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and white blood cell (WBC) mean values were significantly (P < 0.05) different. The WBC mean values of the broiler chickens ranged between 4.27 x 103/mm3 to 4.68 x 103/mm3. These values fall within the normal range reported by Jain (1986).


Table1: Ingredient and analysized chemical composition of broiler starter experimental diets

Ingredients TO%RMW T2 25%RMW T3 50%RMW T75%RMW T5 100%RMW
Maize 54.00 40.50 27.00 13.50 0.00
RMW 0.00 13.50 27.00 40.50 54.00
Soybean 13.00 13.00 13.00 13.00 13.00
GNC 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00
Wheat Offal 9.00 9.00 9.00 9.00 9.00
Fish meal 7.00 7.00 7.00 7.00 7.00
Blood meal 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
Methionine 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20
Salt 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.30
Pre-mix* 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
Total 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00
Analysized Chemical Composition
Dry matter (DM) 94.90 94.27 93.53 93.90 94.03
Crude Protein (CP) 24.35 24.49 24.70 24.01 25.40
Crude Fibre (CF) 10.17 9.07 9.00 8.01 7.57
Ether Extract (EE) 3.27 5.47 2.20 2.27 2.23
Ash 5.37 4.77 4.20 4.43 4.60
NFE 52.02 52.59 53.66 54.75 54.41
ME (Kcal/kg) 3012.53 3216.15 2997.03 3015.87 3276.63

* = Premix supplying the following per kg:   vitamin A = 12,000.00IU, Vitamin E = 15000mg, folic acid = 1000mg, panthotenic acid = 1500mg, vitamin B12 = 15000mg, Vitamin B6 = 2,500mg, vitamin K = 2,000mg, choline = 50,000mg,  Manganese = 10,000mg, vitamin D3 = 25,000IU, Nicotinic acid = 40,000mg, vitamin B1=2000mg, vitamin B2 = 6,000mg, Biotin = 6,000mg, Vitamin C = 3,000mg, Copper = 15,000mg, Cobalt = 250mg and selenium = 1000mg

RMW                          =          Rice milling waste,

GNC                            =          Groundnut cake,

NFE                             =          Nitrogen free extract,

ME (kcal/kg)  =          37 x %cp + 81 x %EE + 35.50 x %NFE
(Pauzenga, 1985)


Table 2: Ingredient and analyzed chemical composition of broiler finisher experimental diets

Ingredients TO%RMW T2 25%RMW T3 50%RMW T75%RMW T5 100%RMW
Maize 56.00 42.00 28.00 14.00 0.00
RMW 0.00 14.00 28.00 42.00 56.00
Soybean 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00 12.00
GNC 11.00 11.00 11.00 11.00 11.00
Wheat Offal 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00
Fish meal 6.00 6.00 6.00 6.00 6.00
Blood meal 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
Methionine 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20 0.20
Salt 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.30 0.30
Pre-mix* 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
Total 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00
Analysized Chemical Composition
Dry matter (DM) 94.57 94.13 94.97 93.90 93.73
Crude Protein (CP) 22.19 21.50 22.30 21.47 22.23
Crude Fibre (CF) 12.40 12.10 11.08 9.93 10.00
Ether Extract (EE) 4.73 4.10 3.23 3.10 2.97
Ash 4.80 4.83 4.07 3.97 3.90
NFE 52.31 53.93 52.05 56.50 56.60
ME (Kcal/kg) 3061.17 3042.06 2934.41 3053.69 3072.37
                                                           Levels of replacement of rice milling waste (Treatments)
Parameters 0%T1 25%T2 50%T3 75%T4 100%T5


 Packed cell volume (PCV, %)

Haemoglobin concentration (Hb.g/dl)

Red blood cell counts (RBC x 106/mm3)

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV,%)

Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (MCH, %).

Mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration ( %)











































 White blood cell count (WBC x 103/mm3)         4.27d                  4.37c              4.62ab            4.57b           4.68a           24.72*

Differential leucocyte Count (%)










































* = Premix supplying the following per kg:   vitamin A = 12,000.00IU, Vitamin E = 15,000mg, folic acid = 1000mg, panthotenic acid = 1500mg,vitamin B12 = 15000mg, Vitamin B6 = 2,500mg, vitamin K = 2,000mg, choline = 50,000mg,  Manganese = 10,000mg, vitamin D3 = 25,000IU, Nicotinic acid = 40,000mg, vitamin B1=2000mg, vitamin B2 = 6,000mg, Biotin = 6,000mg, Vitamin C = 3,000mg, Copper = 15,000mg, Cobalt = 250mg and selenium = 1000mg.

RMW                          =          Rice milling waste,

GNC                            =          Groundnut cake,

NFE                             =          Nitrogen free extract,

ME (kcal/kg)  =          37 x %cp + 81 x %EE + 35.50 x %NFE
(Pauzenga, 1985).


Table 3: Haematological parameters of broiler chickens fed maize and RMW – based diets


NS     =Not Significant (P > 0.05)

*a, b, c        =Values with superscripts in the same row differed significantly (P<0.05).

SEM  =        Standard error of mean


However, neutrophil mean values as recorded (33.98 – 35.01%) in this study were higher than the range of 25-30% reported by Jain (1986). Neutrophils are key players in the body defensive mechanism against bacteria infection, and basophil component that plays its significant role in some type of immunologic hypersensitivity or due to eosinophil components that are involved in certain allergic reactions and parasitic infections (Robert et al., 1993; Davis & Lewis, 1999).

Irrespective of the levels of inclusion of RMW in broiler chicken diets, there was absence of mortality during the experimental period. Given the higher mean value of WBC recorded the ability of the experimental birds to resist diseases was similar to that reported by Robert et al. (1993). The high mean values of neutrophils and eosinophils as component of WBC of birds fed both control diet and RMW-based diets suggest good quality protein of the test feedstuff. The non-significant values among treatment groups for Hb, RBC and MCHC despite increasing level of inclusion of RMW suggest good quality nature of the RMW as energy feed. Most of the mean  values of the haematological parameters obtained for all the diets fall within the normal range of haematological standard as established by Mitruka and Rawsley (1977) and Rose et al.(1978) suggesting that RMW diet were not nutritionally inferior to maize as source of energy in broiler chicken diet.

For serum biochemistry, the mean values of the treatments for total protein and serum albumin differed significantly (p < 0.05) from the control diet while calcium, urea and conjugated bilirubin values were not (Table 4). The total protein values of the broiler chickens ranged between 24.67g/dl to 36.33g/dl. Treatment 2 gave the highest blood total protein mean value while the control gave the least. However, the higher mean values of total protein in RMW diets (28.33-36.33g/dl) compared to the control diet (24.67g/dl) suggest good quality protein of the test feedstuff since the higher the value of the total protein, the better the quality of the RMW (MVM, 1986). Treatment 5 gave the highest mean value of albumin (20.33g/dl) among treatments that was significantly (P < 0.05) difference from other diets. This shows higher ability as a clotting factor in preventing haemorrhage than other diets which is in line with the report of Robert et al. (1993).  Mean value of globulin in the treatments was significantly (P < 0.05) different. This implies that all the diets have the ability to fight against diseases (MVM, 1986) but Treatment 2 was superior to others because of its observed highest value of globulin (Table 4).


Table 4: Comparison of blood chemistry of broiler chickens fed maize and RMW-based diets.                               


Parameters                                Levels of replacement of maize by rice milling waste (Treatments)

0%T1 25%T2 50%T3 75%T4 100%T5 SEM
Total protein (g/dl)

Albumin (g/dl)

Globulin (g/dl)

Sodium (mmol/l)

Potassium (mmol/l)

Alkaline phosphate (IU/l)

Bicarbonate (mmol/l)

Calcium (mmol/l)

Chloride (mmol/l)

Urea (mmol/l)

Serum creatine (mmol/l)

Cholesterol (mmol/l)

Conjugated bilirubin (mmol/l)

Total bilirubin (mmol/l)

Glucose (g/dl)




























































































NS                               =          Not significant (P > 0.05)

* a, b, c, d                   =          Values with superscripts in the same row differed          significantly (P < 0.05).



The results of this study showed that maize could be replaced with 100% level of RMW in broiler chicken diets without adverse effect on the haematological parameters and serum biochemistry indices.



Further study is recommended to be conducted on layer chickens to establish RMW as source of energy in layer diets and to establish the level of inclusion.




Amaefule, K.U., Iheukwumere, F.C., Lawal, A.S., & Ezekwonna, A.A. (2006). Effect of treated milling rice waste on performance, nutrient retention, carcass and organ characteristics of finisher broiler. Intern. J. Poultry. Sci. 5:51-55.

Awesu, J.R., Bamgbose, A.M., Oduguwa, O.O., Fanimo, A.O., & Oguntona, E.B. (2002). Performance and nutrient utilization of cockerel finishers fed graded levels of rice milling waste, Nig. J. Anim. Prod. 29:181-188.

Dafwang, I.I. and Shwarman, E.B.N. (1996). Utilization of rice offal in practical rations for broiler chicks. Nig. J. Anim. Prod. 23:21-23.

Davice, J.V., & Lewis, S.M. (1999). Practical Haematology. 8th Edition Pp. 22-68. Longman group Ltd London.

Duncan, D.B. (1955). Multiple ranges and multiple F-Test. Biometrics, 11:1-2.

Ibiyo, L. M. and Atteh, J. O. (2005). Response of starter broilers to diets containing graded levels of rice bran with or without palm oil.Nig. J. Anim. Prod. 32: 39 – 45


Igwebuike, J. U., Alade, N. K., & Anyi, H. D. (1995). Effect of feeding Sorghum waste on the performance and organ weight of growing rabbits. E. Afr. Agric. For. J. 60: 195 – 200.

Jain, N.C. (1986). Schalm’s Veterinary Haematology. 4th Edition. Lea and Febrigen. Philadelphia, USA, Pl. 34-50.

Mitruka, B.M. and Rawsley, H.M. (1977). Clinical, biochemical and haematological reference value in normal experimental animal. Manson Publishing Company, New York.

MVM (1986). The Morck Veterinary Manual. 6th Edition. Merck and Co., INC. Rahway, N.J., USA, Pp. 1-19.

Oke, O.I., Joseph, & Udo, H. (2001). Proceeding of 6th Annual Conf. ASAN, September, 17-19, 2001, Maiduguri.

Ogbonna, J.U., Adebowale, E.A., Tewe, O.O., & Longe, O.G. (1993). Replacing maize with wheat offal in the diet of cockerels with sun-dried cassava peel meal: Effect on the digestibility of cell wall constituents. Nig. J. Anim. Prod. 20: 111-121.

Robert, K.M., Paryl, K.G., Peter, A.M., & Vector, W.R. (1993). Harper’s biochemistry, 23rd Edition Pp. 665, 668 and 763.

Rose, J.G., Christie, G., Holiday, W.G. & Jones, R.M. (1978). In Poultry Vet. Record, 102:29-31.

Steel, R.G.O. & Torrie, J.H. (1980). Principles and procedures of statistics. A Biometrical Approach. 2nd Ed. McGrass Hill Books Co. Inc. New York, P. 63.




Tyodoo Iyue

Theatre Arts Department

College of Education Katsina-Ala, Benue State




This study examined the functions and value of Tiv folk theatre and showed how it can be harnessed for cultural education of secondary school students. Specifically, the study focused on character, intellectual, vocational and physical training. The researcher used the artistic methodology for data collection while the study was anchored on the folkist theory. Findings during the study indicated that folk theatre activities are on the decline in Tiv society and those who are currently practicing it are doing it for economic gains. It was also discovered that the influence of western life, especially globalization has a negative effect on the practice of folk theatre among the students. Based on the findings, the following recommendations were made: theatre arts scholars, especially those of Tiv origin must be encouraged to write plays that project aspects of Tiv customs that are fast becoming extinct. There is also the need to close the widening gap between culture and formal education in Nigeria and the certificate nature of education in Nigeria and deemphasize certificate acquisition in the Nigerian educational system. The study concluded that Nigeria’s yearning for peace, unity and progress can only be actualized through cultural education of the youth who are leaders of tomorrow.

Keywords: Folk theatre, cultural education and secondary education.




Folk Theatre has played significant roles in cultural education of societies over the ages. However, the educational value of folk theatre is not adequately being utilized in Nigeria. This is because Nigeria’s educational system is purely academic-oriented, with little attention paid to our rich cultural heritage as a bedrock for the overall development of the youth. At the primary and secondary school levels, emphasis is placed on literary materials and a host of other subjects like Primary Science, Mathematics, Social Studies and among other subjects. At the home front, the traditional practice of parents gathering their children together in the evening and engaging them in cultural activities like songs, folktales, dances, riddles and jokes is no longer in vogue. This shows that neither the school nor the home adequately employs cultural activities for the proper training and education of the youths. Making a case for cultural education Omotosho (2013) informs that:

The Africans mode of training the young ones can aptly be described as education because education is the aggregate of all the processes by which a child or young adult develop the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour which are of positive value to the society in which he lives.(p54)


This form of education held sway and was considered sacrosanct to the social and moral development of the society. This means that before the introduction of writing, various Nigerian societies depended on oral tradition (folk theatre) in passing on rich and inspirational stories surrounding their customs, traditions and values which kept them together as a people. In the traditional Nigerian societies, folk theatre was a very important aspect of communal life, for it emphasized local tradition and dealt with rural life. It was also used for personal as well as group information sharing and discussion. Generally, folk theatre utilizes the spoken rather than the written medium, which creatively captures the way of life, emotions, aspirations, manners and hopes of the people.

This study’s emphasis is on the exploration of Tiv folk theatre to capture young learner’s interest for better psycho-motor, cognitive and affective development. Nkanga (2013) puts this in perspective when he says that:

Drama and theatre in its widest sense, involves diversity in the range of style, forms and contents and is here proposed for the Nigerian Secondary Schools to promote self-empowerment by providing young learners with opportunities to examine attitudes and values, practice skills in order to make well-informed decisions about their life style and society in future.(p.151)


Dramatic approach to education advocates a dimension in teaching and learning, whereby an enabling environment is created in the classroom to help the youth explore and experiment with ideas. It offers learners an opportunity to interact within themselves and their environment, thereby becoming active participants in the learning process. This method is participatory and process centred. It allows the teacher to introduce into the classroom dynamic activities that will allow for flexibility in application by adapting to creative modifications that will facilitate the learner’s easy access to knowledge acquisition. Using artistic methodology this study brings to the forefront how folk theatre could be harnessed as a veritable tool for cultural education of Secondary School students. But then it is imperative to explain some key concepts to place this paper in proper perspective.


Conceptual Framework

          Folk theatre is a work of art where authorship is communal and derived probably from ancient rituals and ceremonies performed by rural people. Encyclopaedia Americana (2004) aptly captures the concept of folk theatre and states that: “Folk theatre in its broadest sense is the part of culture, custom and beliefs of a society that is based on popular tradition, myths and legends. It is produced by the community and is usually transmitted orally or by demonstration” (p.498). Thus, Nigeria folk theatre can actually be divided into two broad categories: the sacred and the secular. While the sacred folk theatre mainly evolved around the aspects and stories from religion, myth, legends and rituals; the secular folk theatre actually emerged as a typical form of entertainment and education. Folk theatre adopts its mode of expression amidst dance, music, folktales, puppetry, proverbs, riddles and jokes. It is spirited, dynamic and ingenuous in forms and rich in variety. Folk theatre has established itself as the powerful medium of communication in our traditional societies. It seeks to reflect the social, cultural, political, economic and religious lives of the people. Commenting on the neglect of folk theatre, Meki (2001) attest to its copious values that:

The traditional child in the wisdom of his culture develops the spirit of sharing, caring and open mindedness, through the discipline of organized children’s dances and games. The modern child in the ignorance of his culture independently indulges capricious, inward –looking, self-conscious, sitting room dance caper which ignite such negative social attitudes as selfishness, self-consciousness and loneliness. (p.49)


What is indicated from the foregoing is the fact that folk theatre bears relevance on every society at any time, since its dynamics reflect the occurrence per time in every society.


Cultural Education

Cultural education refers to the indigenous forms of education that existed before the advent of Western and Islamic forms in Nigeria. In the traditional Nigerian society, the purpose of education was clear, functionalism was the guiding principle. Fafunwa (2004) states that:

Nigerian education emphasized social responsibility, job orientation, political participation and spiritual and moral values. Children learn by doing that is to say children and adolescent were engaged in participatory education through ceremonies, rituals, initiation, recitation and demonstration (p.2)


Education in traditional Nigerian society was an integrated experience. It combined character and intellectual training with manual activities like vocational and physical training. Denga (2002) roundly asserts that: “the primary objective of cultural education is to inculcate the right attitudes and values into children so as to enable them become well adjusted and integrated into the family and wider society”(p.2).  Children were properly initiated into various forms of value systems, festivals, age grades system, home education including toilet training and eating manners and general cleanliness; cultural values including traditional social norms, history, legend, myth, belief systems, folklore, dance, music and other rituals. Cultural education was also aimed at training youth in the major occupational activities of the society, which include the production of clothes, household items, craft and other items that were essential for the survival and perpetuation of the society. This is in line with Dzurgba’s (1999) submission:

It is real. It is so important that without it, culture, human existence, survival, continuity and progress would have been impossible. Without culture, human species would have lost the knowledge of even the simplest means of survival(p.7)


Therefore, cultural education which involves folk theatre is very important. However, it has been observed that folk theatre and cultural education have received undue neglect from school policy makers and the government. These two aspects have not received as much attention as science and technology, politics and national security in recent years. Meanwhile, this neglect is depriving the Nigerian youths the benefits of cultural education.


Secondary Education

Secondary education is the education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage. The broad goals of secondary education as stated in the National Policy on Education, 4th edition (FRN, 2004) in specific terms includes the aspect to:

Offer diversified curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunities and future roles. Provide trained manpower in the applied science, technology and commerce at sub-professional grades; develop and promote Nigerian languages, arts and culture in the context of world’s cultural heritage(p.18)


To actualize the stated goals, artisans can be employed to teach the students as an interim measure, Chika (2014) expatiates:

Would it be a bad idea if we asked artisans like roadside mechanics, painters, masons, carpenters, cobblers, bricklayers and palm wine tappers to go into our classrooms and impart their knowledge and skills to our students?  Will it take away anything from our vision of greater tomorrow if the folk narrators and dancers are deployed to the classrooms to fill in the obvious gaps that exist in terms of human resources in these areas? (p.26)


As a matter of fact, those artisans have the tools, the skills and the expertise and should be encouraged to impart them to the students. Many of them can speak passable pidgin English like “edey come, edey go” “dis chicken, na me or na you?” (Is this chicken, a male like me or a female like you?) Or “we dey go die” (we are attending a burial). As it is now, Pidgin English has become another form of Nigerian language and it is very easy for every Nigerian to understand it when applied within its context. Therefore, artisans who cannot speak standard English can explore Pidgin English to teach and where the need arises; use their native language for the students. It is important to note that folk theatre and cultural education draw people closer to their roots; it has a way of connecting the students to their origin. If taught and understood, knowledge of folk theatre and cultural education will enable the students make quality contribution to the society.


Theoretical Framework

This study is anchored on the folkist theory which became pronounced during the 19th Century, when scholars began studying the unwritten stories and other artistic traditions of the rural people. They coined the word ‘folk arts’ to distinguish between the ‘fine arts’ of the literate elites.  Generally, the verbal arts comprising the narratives have been divided into several basic and recurring categories which include myths, legends, and tales.  Folk theatre is an art form that is passed down from generation to generation.  As a reservoir of culture and a mirror of societal values, a major preoccupation of folk theatre revolves round improving the moral health of the society.  It reinforces societal beliefs, values, aspirations and worldview. Folk theatre exists to entertain, educate, inform, and criticize human behaviour with the intention to point out morally accepted values upon which the society is built.  Writing about the nature and functions of folk theatre to society, Akporobaro (2006) observes that:

Verbal forms of oral communication existed long before the advent of writing or printing in 1495 which made possible the tradition and forms of printed literature.  Right from his earliest origins until the advent and popularization of printing, man resorted to spoken words, to song narratives and recitations for the exercise of his creative impulse and abilities.(33)


These verbal forms of communication included narratives, drama, dance, poetry, incantations, proverbs, riddles as well as music. Folk theatre brings out the differentiation between evil and good in its attempt to point out acceptable code of behaviours. Finnegan (1970) attests to the pedagogical values of folk theatre as follows:

Public singing of topical and political songs can take the place of the press, radio and publication as a way of expressing public opinion and bring pressure to bear on individuals including the leaders. Folk songs constitute an indirect means of communicating with someone in power in a way by which the singers hope to influence while at the same time avoiding the open dangers of speaking directly.(273)


Arguing in the same vein, Ejelinma (2008) opines that:


Songs of scandal abound in every known community in Africa, especially in the traditional setting. There are songs to ridicule and scandalize irresponsible fathers and husbands, wayward and unfaithful women, quarrelsome couples, exploitative and fraudulent craftsman, incompetent and unskilled workers, the disobedient child and the bed welter. The songs are consciously designed to affect some amount of social control and to castigate deviants(p.59).


The role of folk theatre to society is further analysed by Ukala (1996) that:

In largely non-literate communities all over the world, the morals of folktales perform the same functions of humanization, spiritualization, inculcating, reinforcing beliefs and   moral and ethical attitudes essential for peaceful co-existence and subsequent national integration.(p.267)


Folk theatre which entails the tendency to base literary creation on history, culture and concern of the folk (the people generally) and to compose and perform them in accordance with African conventions provide veritable source materials for cultural education of Secondary School Students. The modus operandi is the basis for this paper.


Tiv Folk Theatre as source material for Cultural Education of Secondary School Students

Every system of education is firmly based on some kind of philosophical foundation and cultural education is no exception. Philosophy is the people’s outlook to life which involves the way they think, believe or feel. Philosophy of education varies from one society to another and from time to time in the same society. Consistent with the above, Nwala (1997) states that:

Because of lack of written literature in most parts of ancient African society we are unaware of the various Sages who had played role in the evolution of the worldview of the various traditional societies. Consequently, ancient traditional African philosophy has largely come to us as “collective wisdom”, “group mind” or folk art.(p.113)


This is contained in the folklore, folktales, proverbs, myths, idioms, legends and religious worship of the people. In agreement with this view Gbenga (2014) submits that:

In the face of modern development, where priority is being shifted to formal education in art, science and technology and Internet technology areas of human development, there is pressing need to impart cultural education as embedded in our arts and culture to our younger ones through educational theatre that need to be refocused from its present form to embrace the cultural intrinsic values of folklore to serve as a close gap between formal and informal education.(p35)


In the Tiv society specifically, folk theatre has crucial roles to play in a bid to promote and propagate Tiv traditional arts and culture which constitute the bedrock of our identity as a people. Societies can only ignore the potent power of cultural education at their own peril. Hence it is pertinent that Tiv folk theatre be used as a veritable source material for cultural education of Secondary School Students as that would help in building peace and conflict resolution mechanism in this our very complex but culturally endowed society. To actualize these, the section has been delineated into some areas for emphasis as follows:


Character Training    

Character is a combination of the ethical principles or values which have been embedded in the mind which constitute the characteristics, features or qualities of an individual. The qualities that define a person’s character include obedience, loyalty, humility, honesty, truthfulness, gentleness, kindness, love, patience and courage. These are the positive moral qualities which inform good conduct. On the opposite side of the ethical principles, there are disobedience, disloyalty, pride, dishonesty, deception, lying, falsehood, hatred, rudeness, arrogance, impoliteness, unkindness, hypocrisy, ingratitude, selfishness, cruelty, wickedness, trickery, indiscipline and intolerance. These are the ethical features which inform bad character.

In a typical Tiv society, folk theatre was used for character training through moral education. This was achieved in many ways like the use of folktales, myths, legends, proverbs, folksongs and dances. Indyer (1985) captures this as he states that: “Tiv folktales generally aimed at fulfilling the function of providing a model through which the youth can verbalize the relationship and constitution of their society”(p.8). The prime concern of Tiv folktales therefore was to provide a set of acceptable rules and regulations which would be acceptable and beneficial to the whole society. This was done by portraying bad aspects of society and individuals and qualifying such aspects with certain consequences or calamities. For instance, the tale of two travellers, has the potentials of reforming our youth to be generous and to be their brothers’ keepers as explicated thus:

Once upon a time, two very poor farmers, Agan and Aben went on a journey together. They were both good friends; however neither of them had any money. They travelled for many days and finally, being tired and hungry stopped at a shady spot near a river. Agan went to sleep and Aben strolled to the river bank to bathe, to his utter amazement Aben saw a bag with money. He counted the money and discovered that he had two hundred thousand naira (N200, 000.00). When Agan awake, Aben showed him the money he had found. Agan answered with joy, “now we shall enjoy our trip together; so much money will buy the best food and we can satisfy all our hearts’ desires”.

How can you talk like that? replied Aben, “You were not the one who found the money, why do you say “we” shall enjoy our trip? “This money belongs to me and it is my responsibility, how I keep and spend it”. Agan was angry, but he kept quiet with the hope that Aben would be generous. At once they started their journey to the nearest city where Aben hoped to find great amusement. While they were travelling they came to a deep, dark forest through which the road led. At once five armed robbers jumped out from behind them; “Give us your money and you will not be harmed”, one said. “Oh sir, we have nothing with us, you can see by our clothes we are only poor farmers”, cried Aben. “All right, we will search you: said the robbers, and if you have spoken the truth you shall not be harmed”. First they searched Agan and found nothing; thereafter they searched Aben and found him with two hundred thousand naira (N200, 000.00). You may depart in peace said the robbers to Agan. But as for you, you are a liar, you will follow us, they shouted as they beat Aben. And so Agan returned to his own farm alone, still poor, yet happy and free. His friend Aben lost both money and life. When Agan returned home his wife asked him, ‘My man’ did you have a good journey? He replied, ‘Yes’ very good. I came back alive. I have no more or less now than when I went. I had a very good journey. This tale could encourage the youth to live a communal life. Traditional Tiv society lived a communal life whereby the wealth of an individual was collectively shared by the community.


Intellectual Training

Intellectual development of the youth is characterized by increasing ability to grasp relationships, solve difficult problems, use abstract reasoning, remember events, use language effectively in communication and use past experiences to solve present and future problems. Folk Theatre activities could encourage intellectual growth and development of the youth through observation, imitation and participation as a method of teaching/learning. Folk Theatre also avails the youth the opportunity to learn about their local geography and history. Also through dramatic enactment, proverbs and riddles, the youths reasoning skills are sharpen. Specifically riddles constitute what is called oral wisdom which means good judgement. Tiv riddles have remained largely oral expressions which communicate perpetual and valuable ideas which are practically relevant. A few examples will suffice as interpreted by Dzurgba (2011)

  1. Iyuhe ka mtwuem

(jealousy is ashes)

Interpretation: The evil you do to others will return to you.


  1. Or fe Iyange i tondon igbum ga

(One does not know when one would have a wounded toe).

Interpretation: Help the afflicted; he might later be helpful in your own trouble.


iii.      Iber hee inya yo, nom iwya va due.

(Soon after the porridge poured on the ground a male dog arrived).

Interpretation: Soon after the problem occurred, the person with the right solution suddenly arrived and would successfully deal with the problem.


  1. Kwagh hir wua alom.

(Drama has killed the hare)

Interpretation: A trickster has damaged his own interest in the cause of being deceptive.


  1. Ican i iyange imom i wough or ga.

(One-day suffering does not kill a person).

Interpretation: Without immediate proper solution, problems are to be endured with patience and calmness.(p.132)


These riddles are also used to clarify obscure points during conversation and arguments to avoid direct questions.

The intellectual training of the youth could also be enhanced through observation and participation. Observation  means seeing and noticing. In order to assist the youths to develop their intellectual capacity through observation, they should be sent on an observation assignment. This could be at a national day celebration, a political rally, children’s day or a typical market situation. They should be made to discuss their observation in groups and come up with a scene to show off their observation. The teacher may then help them to select and rehearse the best aspect of the work. In respect of participation, it entails taking part or having a share of a particular activity. To help the youth to develop their intellectual capacity through participation they should be made to write a fable and act it out. The difference between these two is that for observation, the students are made to observe a real life situation and come out with a scene to show off their observation. While in the case of participation, the students are asked to imagine a story, write it and come out with a scene. All these are means to build up the intellectual capacity of the youth.


Vocational Training

Traditionally, vocational training was by apprenticeship. Children were not trained by parents alone but by relations, friends and master–craftsmen so as to ensure that the youth were well disciplined and had maximum concentration. The strongly developed “We” (ka se) feeling in the Tiv family was a basis to bring together members of the immediate and extended family such as father, mother,  uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters to serve as  teachers of the Tiv youth. Strict discipline was taught by the parents right from the toddler age. Vocational skills were also taught to children by the family. Where some home specialized in specific vocations, the youth were encouraged to emulate their Parents. Traditional vocations basically can be divided as follows;

Practical Technology: Knowledge about scientific or industrial methods or use of those methods; Building and roofing of thatched huts; making bamboo beds and wooden chairs; construction of foot paths and wooden bridges across streams and rivers; construction of a ladder for climbing walls, and buildings, trees and the roof of a house; manufacturing pots and calabashes; carving designs and pictures of products, digging wells for drinking water.

Practical Agriculture: Cultivating the land, planting of crops, weeding the farm, harvesting tubers and grains, transporting the crops to the compound, and storing the crops in safe places. Practical agriculture also involves fishing and rearing of domestic animals.

Practical Trade: Selling and buying of goods at local and distant markets; trade in dried and fresh meat and fish.  Production and selling of tobacco, vegetables, chickens, goats, sheep, cows, dogs, cats and so on.  It should be stressed that all these vocations were carried out at subsistence levels. The last category involves professionals like doctors, Priests, Village Heads, Chiefs, Tax Collectors, Judges, the Police and Messengers.

The introduction into Tiv land of Western currency, cash crops and taxation during the Colonial period altered Tiv vocational practice, linking it to both the Nigerian and world economies. This means that vocational activities were now determined by forces that were well beyond the control of Tiv people. The result was total abandonment of indigenous technology with all its comparative advantages. But it should be noted that people stop using their indigenous technology to transform their resources into goods only when they have learnt new and better methods of production. In developed countries, technology has taken over the place of manual production. Tiv society is not industrialized and the present situation does not inspire much hope, hence the need to continue to use our indigenous technology alongside the quest for advanced technological production. Tiv society has wealth lying everywhere but the people are not making good use of the wealth. Emphasis should therefore be on informal education and education for practical living in training our youth. This implies creating awareness of self and careers in the community. It entails orientation of the youth on self understanding in relation to the various occupational clusters; their roles and characteristics.


Physical Training

          The act of playing is an inborn and vital part of the youth, through play or games the youth develop physical assets which will be of great service to them as they grow older. Engaging in physical activities can facilitate the full development of the youth and achieve a balance education. Fafunwa (2007) affirms that:

The African child likes to explore his immediate environment, observe adults in their activities and imitate them–he enjoys discovering new situations. In traditional African society the child intuitively jumps, climbs a tree, dances or performs a balancing act because his siblings or his elders do the same.(p.7)

These acts equip him with necessary skills- physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual and vocational abilities to function effectively as a member of the community. Teachers can do a lot to foster good physical and moral development of the youth; one way of doing this is by engaging them in physical exercises such as jogging, dancing, dramatic enactment and other games. This is imperative because all nationalities, all ethnic groups are heirs to a rich store house of traditional children’s games, which still possess significant cultural and educational value. Unfortunately, majority of such games are not written. If concrete action is not taken, war and the ravages of time may rob posterity of much of the games. There is a great need to ensure that the folk culture of our people is not swept off by an avalanche of social change. This is an important assignment waiting for educators and scholars to accomplish. Play activities offer the youth the proper context to develop their mental characteristics and personal traits; of special significance is the dance among the Tiv people, as Hagher (2003) attests:

We can say that all Tiv dances contribute to physical and emotional release. This is because dance itself possesses the unique opportunity for a variety of emotional expressions. The dancers are able to release otherwise inexpressible thoughts and ideas, let off steam, and also resolve social conflict.(p.76)

Tiv traditional dances are expressive in action, vibrant and vigorous in nature as they communicate meaning or power which grows out of living experiences. For instance, in the old Tiv society a careless misapplication of a particular dance song would induce uncontrollable violence in a hitherto peaceful populace. One of such songs is mnyan cier mo, by an unknown artist below:

Mnyan cier mo

Uke hide

Oo Uke hide


Mnyan cier mo

Uke hide

Oo Uke hide


Shima yam ngi

Awambe awambe

Hoon, ngi awambe awambe. 2x



I dream

The foreigners are back

Yes, the foreigners are back


I dream

The foreigners are back

Yes, the foreigners are back


My heart is bloody

Yes, it is bloody. 2x


The response to this song is spontaneous. Hagher (2003) elaborates:

People jump out of their houses, from bed, from eating, abandoning whatever they are doing and go out to first watch and join the procession which sing in unison keeping tune by stamping their feet and crossing their weapons with metallic clang.(p.80)

In this situation, dance serves as a collective force which brings the people together. It unites people and assures them of communal existence. Dance to them is therefore not mere gyration of the body parts but it is a sign of life itself which finds expression through the body.


Conclusion and Recommendations

The honour and greatness of a people is guaranteed only if they are conscious of their identity and have erudite pictures of what their needs and interests are, and are courageous and tactful in promoting and protecting their identity and in pursuing their needs and interests. With the breakup of our mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical links to our culture, due mainly to the negative impact of other influences on us, we have lost commitment to the main thrust of our culture and the instructions and injunctions handed over to us by our fore fathers. We no more consider ourselves as having a rich historical and cultural background to proudly bequeath to the in-coming generation. As a result we have become evil in our ways as a result of the influence of Western culture. But it should be noted that Tiv folk theatre has a major method of educating the youth by introducing them to the material and non-material culture, customs, beliefs and philosophy of the Tiv people. Hence the following measures are recommended as the way forward.

First, Benue State Ministry of Education and all the stake holders in education should ensure that the school curriculum is planned to take advantage of the huge creative music and dance tradition that abounds in Tivland. Furthermore, teachers, pupils and students must be convinced that creative music and dance have a justifiable place in the school curriculum. For it is not just meant to break educational boredom but to fulfil specific objective. In the same vein only professionals should be employed to handle music and dance classes. Teachers of other subjects should be encouraged to realise how their respective disciplines fit into the overall scheme of theatre related activities and what their own students stand to gain from participating in it.

Secondly, the Benue State Council for Arts and Culture should encourage research, study and performance of those other forgotten Tiv dances and include them in their repertoire for posterity. Such dances include: Gbaseela, Takera, Agbaga, Dasenda, Ange, Ingyough, Ibiamegh, Abur-abur, Divishen and a host of other dances. They should also take them round on tour to the secondary schools. This would help to remind and prick the conscience of the students towards the importance of those forgotten Tiv dances. Thirdly, parents should be encouraged to expose their children to folk theatre-related activities like storytelling, dance, music, riddles and jokes. The schools on their part should include on the time table a period for folktales. In such a period, the class teacher in conjunction with the principal or Headteacher should arrange with an experienced Tiv folk narrator who would lead the class during such a period. Also story telling competitions should be organized within the neighbouring schools where the students will attend and participate in the activities. Benue State Government on her part should encourage folktales by building wild life parks in the three Senatorial Districts of the State, so that the youth will be opportuned to have a physical look at some of the animals mentioned in the tales. Folk narrators on their part should organize themselves into associations, in order to attract Government assistance and to also share ideas for mutual help.

As Nigerians yearn for peace, unity and progress, we should realize that such can only be actualized through cultural education of youth. With the utilization of Tiv folk theatre by the primary and secondary schools, the pupils and students will be provided the opportunity to develop their creative and innovative abilities so that they can effectively contribute to the development of Tiv society and the Nation at large. It is hoped that with the recommendations above, Nigerians and the Tiv society in particular will work towards harnessing folk theatre for cultural education of primary and secondary school pupils and students in the nearest future.





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Jacob Orngu Anum


Department of Behavioural Sciences,

Benue State Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi, Benue State




This study examined women education and their socio-economic status in Benue State. Data for this study were obtained from female secondary school teachers in all the three Senatorial Districts comprising the 23 local council areas in Benue State. Eighteen (18) secondary schools, six from each of the Senatorial Zones were systematically sampled as study locations. Two hundred and sixteen (216) respondents were sampled from the study locations. These were completed and received from three (3) sets of respondents; Nigeria Certificate in Education and National Diploma Certificate holders, Bachelor’s degrees and Higher National Diploma Certificate holders; and master’s Degree certificate holders, all among female secondary school teachers in Benue State in the ratio of 1:2:3,respectively.Data were analyzed using tables of simple percentages while hypotheses were tested using Chi-square, X2  at 2 degrees of freedom and 0.05 percent level of significance. Findings showed that about four fifth (72%) of the women were aware that education enhances their socio-economic development, while 90% of the respondents affirmed that education has significantly reduced poverty among them.  Further findings identified various perceived factors hindering women’s educational attainment to include cultural and traditional beliefs, religious views, preference for a male child, and discrimination against womanhood amongst others. The study recommended among others that education of women and the girl child should be given particular attention and all forms of cultural and religious discriminations should be discouraged.




One of the most topical issues in the current debate on development worldwide has been that of the role of women in the development of their own society. This is because, women also are at the core of development economics, yet their vital contributions to society are often overlooked, underestimated or ignored by economic planners and policy makers (Ezegbe & Akubue, 2012).

The word “development” can simply be defined as, “the process whereby an economy undergoes social and economic transformation geared towards an improvement in the quality of its citizens” (Bariboloka, 2004: 34). Participation in development can either be in the economic, political or social sphere. Women have contributed towards the production of nations’ wealth through their engagement in various economic activities. They have made an indelible mark in their efforts to conquer the limitations of the past which have sought to place them permanently in the kitchen and bedroom. However, it has not all been a bed of roses for women and their empowerment. Majority of Nigerian women have not been fully mobilized and empowered to contribute to national development (Okemakinde, 2014).

Okemakinde (2014) further observed that women are traditionally active in the economy, especially in food production. In the rural areas, women are actively involved in farming, food processing, craft work such as pottery and weaving. They are also active in petty trading. The processing and storage of farm output are largely their responsibility. Entry into this area of the economy does not depend on education as in the learning of reading, writing and arithmetic but requires some training that would assist towards income generation.

In the urban areas women are mostly engaged as traders, contractors, hair dressers, and so on. Women also play an important role in white collar jobs where education is a prerequisite. These include teaching, nursing, clerical/secretarial, police, traffic wardens, drivers/ conductors etc (Adekola & Abanum, 2010).

Education is regarded as the basis for development in any society and has significantly changed the condition of women. Through education, their economic life has been reshaped from backwardness caused by illiteracy to the forefront of the struggle of women and for the general well being/prosperity of the society. The examples of some Nigerian women leaders, whose great services and sacrifices would always be fresh in the minds of Nigerians on the economic front, are Madam Tinubu of Lagos state and Queen Amina of Zauzau, the warring queen, Hajiya Ladi Kwali, among others.

In Nigeria, girls’ access to basic education, especially in the northern states, has remained low. The 2006 National School Census (NSC) revealed a net enrollment ratio (NER) of 80.6% suggesting that a substantial proportion (19%) of primary school age population (6-11 years) is not enrolled in primary schools nationwide. This represents about 5 million Nigerian children aged 6-11 years old that do not access primary education (UNICEF, 2013). In the Northern part of the country, the number of children out of school is particularly high and the proportion of girls to boys in school ranges from 1 girl to 2 boys and even 1 to 3 in two states. Although the gender gap has narrowed from 12 to 10 points, there exist wide variations across the States and zones, with the North Central including Benue State and the North West presenting worst scenarios. The net attendance ratio is at 60.10%, translating to about 40% level of non attendance among primary school age children. In the Northern part of Nigeria, where girls’ enrollment rates are already low, it is likely that those who do not participate in education are girls (UNICEF, 2013 and UNESCO, 2012).

This disparity can best be understood when one takes a look at the following statistics emerging from Benue State.


Table 1: Primary and Secondary School Enrolment in Benue State 2005-2010

           Primary School                                       Secondary School

Year M F Total % f M F Total % (f)
2005 245,646 174,222 419,868 41.5 59,248 27,463 86,711 31.7
2006 321,159 234,769 555,928 42.2 61,048 29,154 90,202 32.3
2007 328,430 254,920 603,350 42.3 86,476 40,146 126,622 31.7
2008 374,329 255,920 603,754 42.3 88,594 38, 185 126,779 30.1
2009 318,770 224,065 542,835 41.3 98,417 48,218 146,635 32.9
2010 41 1,212 319,047 730,319 43.7 100,327 51,263s 151,590 33.8
Total 1,999,547 1,305,418 3,304,964 39.5 494,110 234, 429 728, 539 32.2

Source: Statistics Section, Ministry of Education, Makurdi, 2010


Table 1, shows that while over 1.9 million (60.5%) males enrolled in primary education in the period under review, only over 1 million (39.5%) females got this chance. Similarly, while 494,110 males (67.2%) were in secondary school fewer females (234,429) (32.8 %) got this opportunity in the period under review in Benue State. One begins to wonder why there are disparities between the enrollment ratios of female to male in our schools.

One of the most devastating problems facing women is socio-cultural practices and values that hinder women’s education and their socio-economic development. Okemakinde (2014) opines that the Nigerian woman is born into a culture of male supremacy, as shown in the general preference for a “male child”. He further stated that religion is another frustration to women’s education and their socio-economic development.

According to Bariboloka (2004), discrimination against women is one of the factors that impede women’s educational status and their socio economic development. Some parents prefer to send their sons to school instead of their daughters. Research has also shown that seven-year-old girls, work more than five hours a day, while seven–year-old boys get away with only about forty minutes. Also, fifteen-year-old girls work for nine hours a day while their male counterparts work half the time, that is, four and half hour only in a day (UNESCO, 2013).

In Nigeria, women represent about 50 percent of the population (Nigeria Census, 2006), yet they are systematically excluded from participating fully in the political life of the nation, but subjected to untold hardship because of their gender. Abiola (2015) observed that more women are disadvantaged in the process of political recruitment. The condition is further complicated through various forms of discrimination, deprivation and abuse against women and gender inequality, which contradicts the principles of economic development of the nation.

Education has been one of the most important means of empowering women with knowledge, skills and self-confidence necessary for them to participate fully in the development process. This article focuses on the need to educate women for development, as they are believed to be powerful agents of development. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to establish the relationship between education and the socio-economic status of women in Benue State.

Theoretical Framework:

The Gender-Oppressive theory

The article examines education and women’s socio-economic status in Benue State through the theoretical lenses of the gender oppressive theory. The proponent of gender oppressive theory is Chardotte Perkins Gilhan in 1998 (Ritzer, 2008; Rhodes, 2005). The theory explains why gender oppression has been systematically directed at women in time and space where the patriarchal social system is practised. Women are dominated and oppressed by men directly or indirectly via social processes that support patriarchal social order and family kin and community structure. The theory rightly observes that; it is a primary power arrangement sustained by strong and deliberate intention with additional end products of gender differences, gender inequality and gender structural oppression. The assumption of the theory is that to overcome oppression and marginalization, women should fight for reforms within the existing status-quo, reforms that will give them better deals such as legal changes and promotion of equal opportunities, allowing women to have access to things on the same terms as men. This theory has attempted to explain why lack of adequate provision of education has denied women opportunity for employment and other economic activities that enhance their socio economic status. The paper adopted this theory because, it promotes equity, collective ownership of the means of production, equitable distribution of output of production, equal access to education, liberation of women who are oppressed and the abolition of the very structures that support oppression in our society.


Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study are:

  1. To assess the extent to which education enhances women’s participation in public life.
  2. To examine the extent to which education has reduced poverty among women.

Research Questions

  1. To what extent does education enhance women’s participation in public life?
  2. How has education reduced poverty among women in Benue state?


Working Hypotheses

The research hypotheses formulated for this study were stated below:

  1. Ha: Education of women has significantly reduced poverty among them.

Ho:Education of women has not significantly reduced poverty among them.

  2  Ha: Education has significantly empowered women economically.

       Ho:Education has not significantly empowered women economically.


Research Method

     Benue State lies within the lower River Benue trough in the middle belt region of Nigeria. Its geographical coordinates are located between longitude 7.470 and 100 east, Latitude 6.250 and 8.8 north of the equator. It shares boundary with five other states namely: Nassarawa to the north, Taraba to the east, Cross River to the south, Enugu to the South West and Kogi to the West. The state shares a common boundary with the Republic of Cameroon on the South-East. Benue State has a population of 5,780,389 while females formed 50.2 % of the total population accounting for about 2,990,195 (2006 Nigeria Census). The state occupies a land mass of 32,518 square kilometers.

          Data for this study were obtained from secondary school female teachers in all the three Senatorial Districts in Benue State. Systematic and simple random sampling techniques were adopted for the study. In all, two hundred and sixteen (216) female teachers in eighteen secondary schools in the state’s 23 Local Government Areas were systematically sampled. Thus, three (3) secondary schools were covered in the six (6) selected local governments areas spread across the state in order to study the female teachers in the eighteen (18) secondary schools. Therefore, twelve (12) female teachers were randomly sampled from each of the eighteen (18) selected secondary schools in the study area.

The choice of this population is deliberate, as it anchors on the fact that women in education are more likely to establish the relationship between education and economic development as it affects womanhood. More so, women may recall and report events more accurately as they affect them compared to men.


The Research Instruments

A structured questionnaire constructed by the researcher was used as the research instrument for collecting data for the study. The instrument was divided into two parts: Section ‘A’ contained items designed to elicit relevant personal information of the respondents such as age, school, religion, marital status. Section ‘B’ contained a list of thirty items on the perception of women’s education in relation to their socioeconomic emancipation. The instrument consisted of closed-ended items which had two options for respondents to complete, whether they “agreed” or “disagreed” with the questions, which were in a very clear, simple and easy to understand. The questionnaire was administered face-to-face on respondents by visiting the sampled schools in Benue state. The characteristics of the respondents were presented in simple percentages.


Results/Discussion of findings

Data gathered from the respondents were tabulated and analyzed statistically using simple percentages.


The demographic information of the respondents presented in table 1 above shows that 34 % of the respondents were within the age group 30-39 years. More married women (51%) and NCE/Diploma holders (52%) were employed for the study while Christians were in the majority (94%).


Table 2:      Education has significantly empowered women economically

Respondents Agreed Disagreed Total
NCE/ND 24 (67%) 12 (33%) 36
BED/HND 52 (72%) 20 (28%) 72
PG 79 (73%) 29 (27%) 108
Total 155 (72%) 61 (28%) 216 (100%)

Source: Field Survey

N = 36, x = 24/36 x 100 = 67%

From table 2 above, 72 % of female teachers in secondary schools in Benue State affirmed that education has empowered women economically. Further analysis shows 67 % of Nigeria Certificate in Education and National Diploma holders; 72 % of Bachelor’s Degree and Higher National Diplomas; and 73 % of post graduates with Master’s degrees holders. Thus, their education has empowered them economically, and rewarded their efforts more than their illiterate counterparts.

However, 28 % of the total respondents (female secondary school teachers) amounting to 33% opined that education has not made much impact on their economic status. On the other hand, 11 % of the respondents opposed the view that education of women enhances their participation in economic activities in the society. They said that some of their colleagues had qualifications but could not be gainfully employed.

Table 3:      Education has significantly reduced poverty among women

Opinion Agreed Disagreed Total
NCE/ND 29 (81%) 7 (19%) 36
BED/HND 67 (93%) 5 (7%) 72
PG 98 (91%) 10 (9%) 108
Total 194(90%) 22 (10%) 216 (100%)

Source: Field Survey

N = 36, x = 29/36 x 100 = 81 %

The above analysis shows that 90 % of respondents affirmed that education has significantly reduced poverty among them. Out of this, 81 % were holders of Nigeria Certificate in Education and National Diploma Certificates, 93 % were holders of Bachelor’s degree and 91 % were holders of master’s degree. Ten percent of total respondents disagreed that education has reduced poverty among them. Nineteen percent of those with Nigeria Certificate in Education and National diploma 7 % of Bachelor’s degree holders and 9 % of master’s degree holders disagreed that education has not significantly reduced poverty.

Test of Hypotheses

  1. Education has significantly reduced poverty among women

Education has not significantly reduced poverty among women.   

Table 1. Chi-square technique showing relationship between education and poverty    

                            Responses Total
Respondent                Agreed           Disagreed  
  Observed Expected Observed Expected  
NCE/ND 29 (81%) 32.34 (a) 7 (19%) 3.67 (b) 36
B.Ed/HND 67 (93%) 64.67 (c) 5 (7 %) 7.34 (d) 72
PG 98 (91%) 97 (e) 10 (9%) 11 (f) 108
Total 194(90%)   22 (10%)   216

Decision Rule 1

The decision rule is to accept the hypothesis where the computed value is less than or within the range of the critical value of chi-square, X². Using the statistical tables, the critical value of chi-square, X², at 0.05 level of significance and 2 degrees of freedom was 5.9991 which is greater than the computed value of X²=4.32.

The decision therefore, is to accept the alternative hypothesis, Ha, that education of women has significantly reduced poverty among women. Since the alternative hypothesis, Ha, has been accepted, it means that the Null hypothesis, Ho which states that education has not significantly reduced poverty among women is hereby rejected. For example, in a situation whereby a woman is educated academically and in addition, she has also acquired some skills, such a woman must have exceeded the poverty level.


  1. Education has significantly empowered women economically.

Education has not significantly empowered women economically.





Respondents            Agreed         Disagreed  
  Observed Expected Observed Expected  
NCE/ND 24 (67%) 25.8 (a) 12 (33%) 10.1 (b) 36
BED/HND 52 (72%) 51.6 (c) 20(28 %) 20.3 (d) 72
PG 79(73%) 77.5 (e) 29 (27%) 30.5 (f) 108
Total 155(72%)   61 (28%)   216


Decision Rule 2

The calculated value of chi-square, X², 0.5694 falls within the critical value of X², 5.9991. Therefore, accept the alternative hypothesis, Ha, which states that education of women has significantly empowered them economically. On the other hand, reject the Null hypothesis, Ho; stating that education has not significantly empowered them economically.


Summary of Findings and Discussion

This research investigated the women’s educational status and their socio-economic development in Benue State. Findings of this study show that over two-third (72%) of the sample was of the view that education has significantly empowered women economically to be more productive than ever. This report supports that of Bariboloka (2004), who stated that women that had acquired sufficient education, skills and knowledge are more productive than the uneducated ones. That those women who have acquired skills in their various areas of endervours are now proving to the world to be productive and outstanding in their areas of specialization. Many of these women are bread winners and supporting the economies of their children, family members and other dependents.

According to four-fifth (90%) of the sample, education has significantly reduced poverty among women in the society. This is evident in the fact that many women are bread winners; supporting their husbands and other relatives. Adekola and Abanum (2010) observed that though poverty has not been totally eradicated, it has been significantly reduced among educated women in the society. Okemakinde (2014) also found that many of the women are professional teachers, lawyers, policemen, nurses and midwives, bank managers, and heads of department in some private and international businesses. Some are employed in the public service while others are into private businesses.



The study concludes that education of women has significantly reduced poverty among women in Benue State. Education does not only mean learning how to read and write. It goes beyond reading and writing to health education, hygiene, economy, engineering, and consultancy, among others. It encompasses all forms of skill acquisition and knowledge. The study also established that education has significantly empowered women economically in Benue State. This is evident from the fact that many women are bread winners; supporting their husbands and other relatives. Though poverty has not been totally eradicated, it has been significantly reduced among educated women in the state.

The social and economic development of women means the social and economic development of over fifty percent of the population of Nigeria. However, most of the work done by women is household related and therefore not monetized to be reflected in the world economic indices. That condition is further complicated through various forms of social discrimination, deprivation and abuse against women which contradict the principles of their socio-economic development.



Based on the findings of the research, the following recommendations are hereby made towards enhancing the socio economic status of women.

  • The education of women in particular and that of the girl-child should be pursued more vigorously. Through education, women will be exposed to a variety of choices that affect them and their society.
  • Women should be encouraged to study any course of their choice. There should be no gender-related differentiation in the type of disciplines to be studied or the type of occupations to be undertaken by women and men.
  • Government should find ways to help young women envision themselves. The emphasis should change from marriage as the ultimate end for women. Rather, other fields like Engineering, Computer Science, political science etc, should also be exploited by women.
  • Government should see gender discrimination as a threat to our national development and provide permanent solution by the “glass ceiling” separating women from top level management and professional positions and dismantle all forms of discriminations against women.
  • Efforts should be made to ensure that policies and programs targeted at women are properly implemented. A nation’s human resources are very essential for its growth and development.



Abiola, A.A. (2015). Understanding gender concept its linkages to women in agriculture.  Paper presented at the workshop on Capacity Building for Small Holders Women Farmers in Benue State organized by the Women Advocates’ Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), Makurdi, Benue State.

Adekola, G., & Abanum, B. (2010). adult literacy for rural development in Rivers State, Nigeria. Being a Paper presented at the National Conference of Nigeria National Council for Adult Education. University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

Bariboloka, F.I. (2004). Women’s educational attainment and their socio economic development. Unpublished M.Sc Dissertation Benue State University, Makurdi.

Ezegbe, B.N., & Akubue, F. N. (2012). An Appraisal of the status of Nigeria women: Educational implications and National development. American Journal of Sociological Research, 2 (2), 27-31.

Ministry of Education (2010). Statistics Division, Makurdi.

Okemakinde, T. (2014). Women Education: Implications for National Development in Nigeria. European Journal of Globalization and Development Research, 9(1), 553-565.

Rhodes, J. (2005). Radical feminism, writing and critical agency. New York: University Press.

Ritzer, G. (2008). Sociological Theory. New Delhi: McGraw-Hill.

UNESCO (2012). Literacy for life. Paris: UNESCO.

UNICEF (2013). Information sheet on girls’ education. Nigeria Country Programme, Abuja.



Isaac A. Agih

Department Of History,

Kogi State College of Education, Ankpa, Kogi State








Questions have been raised regarding the inequalities between men and women in the areas of politics, property inheritance, education and other matters that affect human life. The contention is that women, have always been systematically denied access to positions of authority, leadership, property and power. Though some of these discriminations have been on the decline gender-based abuses persist. Such gender-based abuses and discriminations include forced marriages, forced prostitution, forced labour. Others are domestic violence, rape and denial of success to education. Most of the victims of the gender-based abuses are poor and illiterate women and girls. One of the effective measures of alleviating this gender-based human right abuse is girl-child education. Early girl-child education helps to create in the child an awereness of basic fundamental human rights, self-awareness, self-actualization and-confidence and serves as empowerment for women against gender-based abuses. This article therefore recommended basic education for all girls.




Nigeria’s intervention in the child’s early years of learning and development is firmly rooted in the National Policy on Education which is premised on the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen and the need for equality of access to education irrespective of gender or any real or imagined disabilities.

Education without early child education is like building a house without a foundation. Generally, it has been observed that much of a child’s brain is developed in the child’s early age. That is the more reason that any nation aspiring for  the development of its human capital, must develop the child’s early years to ensure that children have what they need to succeed. The Federal Government of Nigeria has captured this vision by the Universal Basic Education (UBE) law prescribing “one state one child education centre”, as the first step towards a total development of the Nigerian child. Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) with the support of UNICEF also came out with a policy paper on the national minimum standards of the Early Child Centre in Nigeria.

UNESCO makes extensive reference to early child education and especially the girl child education and its importance in curbing social ills, ensuring peace, security and gender equality and as a tool against gender-based abuses. To achieve the objective of giving every child the opportunity to reach his or her potential, education for him or her has been defined to encapsulate health, nutrition, sanitation and stimulation.


Concept of Education

FRN (2009, p.4) defines education as “the process by which every society attempts to preserve and upgrade the accumulated skill and attitude in its cultural setting and heritage in order to foster continuty”. In tune with the above definitions early childhood education according to the Federal Republic of Nigeria National Policy on Education, FRN (2009), p.7) “is the education given in institutions for children ages 0-5 plus”. It is the foundation of the entire educational system and one of the objectives of early childhood education is to provide opportunities for the child to develop life manipulative skills that will enable the child, (girl-child as well) function effectively in the society within the limit of the child’s capacity.


The Impact of Gender-based Abuses on the Status of Women in Nigeria

The challenge before us is the current status of women and how well to serve their interests in the Nigerian democratic dispensation. We can still go further on this to pose the question of the fate of women in the emerging world order that is focused on issues of gender and development. Based on concerted research and general observation, the conclusion has been that women are denied some basic human rights such as the right of property inheritance, limited access to education and position of influence and power under the patrilineal structures. According to Asen (2005, p.46), “the overall result of these practices is low self-esteem by women leading to depression, lack of self confidence and initiative.” This in no small measure inhibits personal development and active participation by women and girls in national development. It is equally observed that in the last decade, over 62 percent of 7.3 million children of primary school age in Nigeria who are not in school, aged between six and eleven are girls. That is why Ezigbo in Udunze (2012, p.45) argues that “apathy to girl-child education and the inability of girls to attend school lead to poverty and economic related problems and not only that but the devaluation of females’ cultural and religious prejudices, early marriage and teenage pregnancy which force girls to drop out of school”. The male dominated society like ours takes advantage of the low–esteem nature of women to deny them access to quality. All these can become veritable tools in the women empowerment process and can sufficiently raise awareness and enhance the quality of women. Based on the vital role of Education in uplifting human life the United Nations Education and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) Constitution makes extensive reference to education and its importance in contributing to peace, security and gender-equality.


Early Girl-Child Education and Gender-Based Abuses in Nigeria

The integrated early Childhood Development Approach views the survival, growth and development of young children as mutually inter-dependent since education is a powerful tool to raise women’s status and empowerment for nation building, national integration and national development. The hypothesis is that most crimes, corruption and other evils against women originate from psychological insecurity and accompanying poor sense of self-worth of women.

In addition to psychological insecurity, the absence of early child education or illiteracy and non-value based education are responsible for intolerance, women subordination, human rights violation and abuse, poor sense of equity, social justice and rule of law. Thus, the girl–child needs proper education and a dynamic and value-oriented education curriculum that include teaching moral values and lessons of patriotism. We must begin from early childhood education to lay a proper foundation and arm children with proper values that will equip them for sane and responsible life in our society in order to overcome gender based abuses. Value-based education curriculum that will instill such truth in Nigerian children at all levels will dissolve psychological insecurity that is the basis of many crimes and evils against Nigerian women.

According to Bokova cited in Abubakar (2013, p.17), “Literacy is much more than an educational priority – it is the ultimate investment in the future and the first step towards all the new forms of literacy required in the 21st century.  We wish to see a century where every child is able to read and write and to use this skill to gain autonomy”. The theme of the 2014 International Literacy Day, was “literacy and peace,” demonstrating the role of literacy in bringing people together to fight insecurity and social ills especially against women in our society. This is because ability to read and write transforms people and empowers them to cope with changes and diversity.

According to Abubakar (2013, p.18):

… the world is focusing on literacy … to emphasize the place of reading, writing and numeracy skills in enabling life-long learning and equipping all people with what they need to survive and attain their potentials in this knowledge-driven and competitive technological age.

According to the author above, some 775 million people are still considered non-literate (based on UNESCO report) of whom 85 percent live in 41 countries-Nigeria inclusive. Nigeria has globally fallen short of the Education for All goal of 2000 for a 50 percent improvement in literacy level world wide (2015). Statistics showed that 57 million children were out of school globally in 2011 and Nigeria accounts for 20 percent of this, (or over 10.5 million). Of every 5 children out of school in the world, 1 is a Nigerian. And even when our children enroll in schools, they may not complete the primary cycle. In spite of this gloomy picture, there is a determination by the Federal Government to move Nigeria forward. For instance, Brown (2014) explained with Nigeria will be receiving support to get the over 10.5 Million children who are not in school to become literate.   All personal empowerment, social and human development and other opportunities depend on literacy. Literacy is essential for the eradication of poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing social ills, coping with population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.

All children deserve to have an early start in literacy development in order to learn. This applies especially to the girl child and Ajimobi (2014, P.15) rightly notes thus:

… It is necessary to concentrate on the girl child … because most of the future of a woman is usually determined from when she is a girl. This is when her character is formed; this is when she develops her personal ideologies and idiosyncrasies. This is when the foundation that will make or mar her future is usually laid.

Education is all–encompassing; it goes beyond the formal education that is received within the four walls of a classroom and usually includes informal education such as teaching of customs, socio-cultural values, traditional norms, courtesy and etiquette. Education therefore is one of the most important tools to empower the girl child to realize her potentials in life. This is achievable in the right socio – cultural environment. Nigerian government has severally pledged to intensify efforts to improve the status of women and girls, including enhanced reproductive health measures, the fight against sexual and gender-based vices and traditional practices. The domestication of the convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, (CEDAW) pledges to end domestic and sexual violence against women and girls by enacting laws and creating awareness in communities to end the social stigmatization relating to it.

Every government has the responsibility to provide qualitative basic education, and ensure that no child is denied access because of inability to pay fees. Thus education for all is an inclusive concept, encompassing not only primary education but also early childhood education, literacy and life skills acquisition. To ensure access to quality education for Nigerian children, the Federal Government embarked among others, on the Almajiri Education Programme which was launched as part of the strategies to address the challenge of high number of out-of-school children in the case of the northern part of the country. The observation is that since 2000, the percentage of out of school children has continued to increase and in 2010, only about 47 percent of Nigerian children actually got into secondary school despite effort of the Federal Government to improve the standard of education in Nigeria. It has been discovered that the country is far from meeting the MDGs target of 2015. The report of the annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report says that “Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children in the world” Ukemena (2013,p.29).

Early childhood education is a basic right of citizens that should go beyond learning to read and write and provide critical tools and skills that can empower women. As the economic welfare of women increases the quality of life improves as well and would help to solve the low women participation in Nation building.



  • Many cultural practices such as religion, forced marriage, taboo which tend to oppress women, and girls are a clear violation of their fundamental human rights and so, should be discontinued.
  • Government should not sweep the recommendations of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, (CEDAW) under the carpet and the public should continue to remind and to hold the government accountable for its international obligations.
  • The consequences and costs to Nigeria as a nation are enormous but they can be contained and managed through proper girl-child education. Stakeholders of girl-child education should join hands in empowering and educating the younger generation of women to achieve self-actualization.
  • There should be equitable access by women and the girl child, to high quality and universal education. In tune with this suggestion, the Federal Government of Nigeria has said that it would continue to promote access and quality education that is affordable in line with the transformation agenda of the present administration. To achieve this, the need for collaboration among the national and international stakeholder should be intensified by information sharing and the domestication of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).



Women and girls in our society are being denied access to and control of vital resources, education and skills acquisition necessary to raise their economic and political power and status. As a result of the denial of early access to education, economic and political power, it has been easy for men to silence and have domineering power over the womenfolk. It is these disadvantages imposed on women to challenge the patriarchal ideology. It is important to remove the institutionalized forms of discriminations that reinforce and perpetuate gender-based crimes through the provision of early girl-child education. This way, future generation of women would have been taken through the right steps towards gender equity and equality.


Abubakar, S. (2013). illiteracy is both development and national security issue. Abuja: In Daily Trust P.17

Ajimobi, F. (2014). Let the girl child breath. Lagos: The Nation P.9

Akhigbe, A. (2014). Sexual assault in Nigeria and victims’ Culture of silence. Lagos: The Guardian P.37

Apenda, A.Z. (2006). Impact of changing socio-cultural roles of women on the national development in Nigeria. In Akpaga, A. (ed) Emerging perspectives on Nigeria culture and society, Makurdi: Microteacher and associate Ltd P.67

Brown, G. (2014). Why we are giving Nigeria N40bn. Abuja: Leadership. P.42

Federal Republic of Nigeria (2009). National Policy on Education. Lagos: Federal Ministry of Education.

Igbana, W.A. (2008) Globalization, women empowerment and labour market in Nigeria. In Okpaga, A. (ed) Emerging perspectives on Nigeria culture and society. Makurdi: Microteacher and Associates Ltd. P.220

Nwannekanma, B. (2014). Rights coalition calls for implementation of recommendations on violence against women. Lagos: The Guardian. P.80

Asen, R. (2005). The wives revolt as a protest for the recognition of women’s right to national development. Benue Valley Journal of humanities Vol. 6. No. 2 p.46.

Udunze, B. (2012). How to transform Nigerian education system. Abuja; Daily Sun.P.13.

Ugbagha, L.O. (2014) we will continually promote access and quality education-Abuja: Nigeria Pilot P.18.

Ukemena, B. (2013). Nigeria has worst education indicators. Abuja leadership P.45.



Alex Nder Kwaghtongo

Mbakuha Science and Technical College, Lessel




This article presents a comparative study of the quality of palm oil and groundnut oil sold in markets within Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State. Samples of groundnut oil and palm oil were collected from Ihugh and Agbo Markets. The aim was to assess and compare the qualities of the oils and to know the safety of such oils for human consumption. The saponification values, iodine values and acid values of the palm oils and the groundnut oils from the two markets were analysed. Manganese, iron, copper, lead and zinc were also analysed using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS). The chemical parameters and the elements analysed were compared with the standards given by Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) and CODEX standards. The result from the analysis fall within the standards of these regulatory bodies except lead (Pb) and iron (Fe) with maximum values of 2.65mg/kg and 142.24mg/kg respectively. Since the concentration of Pb and Fe exceed the acceptable limits of 0.1mg/kg and 25.0kg/mg respectively, these oils are not safe for human consumption.





Palm oil is derived from the mesocarp of the fruit of the oil palm. It has a light yellow to orange-red colour. Red palm oil gets its name from its characteristic dark red colour, which comes from carotenes, such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene which are responsible for the high vitamin A content. (Ugwu et al, 2002)  It is semi-solid at room temperatures and contains several saturated and unsaturated fats in the forms of glyceryl laurate (0.1%, saturated), myristate (1%, saturated), palmitate (44%, saturated), stearate (5%, saturated), oleate (39%, monounsaturated), linoleate (10%, polyunsaturated), and alpha-linolenate (0.3%, polyunsaturated). (Baily, 1951).

Groundnut oil is a mild tasting oil derived from groundnut plant (Arachis hypogaea), a species in the legumes family (Fabaceas).  Some common synonyms for groudnut are peanut, earthnut, goober, pinder, and ground pea. It is called “abun” by the Tiv people of Benue State. In 1753, Linneaus described the domesticated groundnut species as Arachis (derived from the Greek ‘‘arachis,’’ meaning a weed) hypogaea (meaning an underground chamber) or a weed with fruit produced below the soil. Groundnut is eaten fresh or roasted and is used in cookery, confectionery and pressed for edible oil. Both palm oil and groundnut oil are vegetable oils. Vegetable oils generally are water insoluble, edible liquids derived from plants, which consist predominantly of long-chain fatty acid esters derived from the simple alcohol, glycerol. Oil plays a crucial role in our everyday life. There are different types of oils which include edible oils, non edible oils, essential oils etc. Edible oils include palm oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil etc. Rubber seed oil is an example of non-edible oil. Essential oils include Jasmine oil, sandalwood oils etc.

The quality of palm oil and groundnut oil could be affected by improper post harvest handling, processing and storage. Again there is wide-spread speculation that palm oil is being adulterated for the sole purpose of profit maximization. The adulteration ranges from the use of dyes, water and other illegal food additives which could affect the quality of these oils, in terms of nutritive value, wholesomeness, utilization, safety and shelf-life. The quality of these oils is generally determined by the percentage of free fatty acid, moisture and dirt content. The produce is traditionally bought on a 5% free fatty acid basis with penalties for exceeding this figure (Hartley, 1988). Hence the need to assess the quality of the palm oils and groundnut oils sold in major markets in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue State, Nigeria.


Heavy Metals in Vegetable Oil

Heavy metals are metals with relatively high densities of 4.0g/cm3 and above (Baily, 1951). Heavy metals in trace amounts are of significant benefit to man. Inadequate trace elements in diet may constitute health problem that may be devastating. Heavy metals in large amounts are in general, characterized as being toxic or poisonous. Since trace elements provide nutritional value, they are sometimes referred to as micronutrients (Baily, 1951).

Palm oils and groundnut oils are essential daily condiments because of their various uses in our everyday living. These oils are therefore highly priced. Unfortunately, it has been reported that some brands of palm oils and groundnut oils are being adulterated with diesel, automobile hydrocarbon oil which is miscible with vegetable oils. This adulteration is alleged to change the quality of vegetable oils and consequently have negative effects on the consumers (Asemave, 2012).

Vegetable oils and fats contain trace levels of various metals depending on many factors such as species, soil used for cultivation, irrigational water, variety and stage of maturity, pollution, mode of processing, storage, and contaminations. These metals may enter the food material from the soil through uptake of mineral by crops, food processing, environmental contamination (as in application of fertilizer). Metals play important negative and positive roles in human life.

Hence, there is need to determine the concentration of both heavy metals, trace elements and some physicochemical parameters in these staple vegetable oils in Vandeikya Town, so that consumers will know the qualities of these vegetable oils.

Udensi et al (2004) worked on the physicochemical parameters of palm oil obtained at different locations in Abia state and reported that the saponification value (SV) ranged between 129.04 and 198.03mgKOH/g of oil. The free fatty acid (FFA) of the palm oil samples ranged between 2.73 and 2.89mgKOH/g of oil, and the iodine value (IV) between 52.61 and 53.48 gI2/g.

Musa and Suleiman (2012) did a study of the phyisco-chemical properties of some commercial groundnut oil brands sold in Sokoto. They also extracted groundnut oil from the laboratory using solvent extraction. The analysis of their result showed that the saponification value for oil samples gotten from Sokoto main market, old market, Kara market, Mabera market and their laboratory were 187, 185.13, 201.4, 215.05 and 175mgKOH/kg respectively. Bosku (2002) analysed the saponification values for turkey vegetable oil, groundnut oil and palm oil and obtained the values of 186.0, 165.0 and 140.0mgKOH/g respectively. Agbaire (2012) carried out a quality assessment of palm oil sold in some major markets in Delta State and found out that the saponification of the oil ranged

between 45.76– 198.75mgKOH/g.

Furthermore, the saponification values reported by Anyasor et al (2009) carried out for groundnut oil from seeds of six varieties: boro red, boro light, mokwa, ela, campala and guta as well as oils from three geographical zones in Northern, Eastern and Western Nigeria. He reported that the saponification values for local vegetable oil was found to be significantly higher than the refined vegetable oil The eastern oil has the highest saponification value. (140.25mgKOH/g).

Asemave (2012) carried out an analysis of some physico-chemical parameters in groundnut oil and soya bean oil in Nigeria

Musa and Suleiman (2012) also analysed the acid value of oil samples gotten from Sokoto main market, old market, Kara market, Mabera market and their laboratory to be 6.86, 3.01, 2.44, 3.2 and 1.88 mgKOH/g respectively. Asemave (2012) carried out an analysis of some physico-chemical parameters in palm oil, groundnut oil and soya bean oil in Nigeria. The acid values were found to be 5.5, 4.90 and 4.20mgOH/g respectively. The quality assessment of palm oil sold in some major markets in Delta State was analyzed and the acid values was found to range between 2.73–2.93mgKOH/g (Agbaire, 2012). The acid values as given by the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) (2000) and Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) (1992) is 3.5mgKOH/g.

Asemave (2012) also carried out comparative analysis of some metals in groundnut oil and soya bean oil in Nigeria. In groundnut oil, the concentrations (mg/kg) of Fe, Cu, Cr, Pb, Al and Cd were obtained as 8.5109, 0.0633, 2.7067, 0.1631, 1.7742 and 0.0207 respectively. For soyabean oil sample, the concentration levels (mg/kg) were 8.7519, 0.0633, 2.7067, 0.1631, 0.3837 and 0.0200 for Fe, Cu, Cr, Pb, Al and Cd respectively.



Collection of Samples

Two varieties of edible oils namely: groundnut oil and palm oil were bought from two major markets (Agbo and Ihugh Markets) in Vandeikya Local Government of Benue State Nigeria for a period of two months (September and October, 2012). Four palm oil samples of 100cm3 each were collected from two sellers on two Ihugh Market days. Also, four groundnut oil samples of 100cm3 each were collected from two sellers on two Ihugh Market days. The same method was applied in collecting palm oil and groundnut oil samples from Agbo Market, giving a total of sixteen (16) samples.

The collected oil samples were packed in polyethylene bottles and stored below 200C until analyses were carried out.

Determination of heavy metals by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS)

Sample Digestion.

Using an electronic weighing balance, 2g of each of the samples was weighed in a beaker. Concentrated nitric and sulphuric acids (5cm3) were added followed by hydrogen peroxide (2cm3) and then heated on a heating mantle until a clear solution was obtained. The content of the beaker was allowed to cool and then filtered. The resulting solutions were made up to 50cm3 using de-ionized water and then transferred into a plastic bottle for metal analysis by AAS method.








Determination of Copper (Cu)

Preparation of Copper Standard Solution

A mass of 1.00g of Cu was dissolved in 15cm3 of conc. HNO3 acid and 1cm3 of H2SO4. It was boiled until the dense white fumes of SO3 ceased. The solution was transferred into a clean 1000cm3 volumetric flask and diluted to the mark with deionized water to give 1000ppm Cu. Copper standards of 2,4,6,8 and 10ppm were prepared by several dilutions. The sample and standard solutions were aspirated at 345nm with a clean flame of burner height 24mm using air/acetylene burner. A calibration curve was prepared from the reading of the standards. The sample reading was extrapolated from the standard curve.






Cadmium, Iron, Lead, and Manganese were similarly determined.

Chemical Characterization of Palm Oil and Groundnut Oil

Determination of Acid Value.

The method used was the Dutch method (1992).     Solvent mix: 2 part toluene to 1 part ethanol (volume/volume) was prepared and neutralized with 2 drops of 0.1355M KOH. Each of the oil samples (3.0g) was weighed into a flask and 40cm3 of the solvent mix prepared was added.

The resultant mixture was warmed in a water bath to dissolve, then cooled and titrated with the 0.1355M KOH, using 3 drops of 1% phenolphthalein as indicator and a pink endpoint was obtained. A blank was prepared and the same treatment was given to the blank. The acid value was calculated using.



Determination of Saponification Value (SV)

To a weighed 4.0g sample of oil in a round bottom flask, 50cm3 of 0.532M KOH was added. Phenolphthalein (1cm3) was added from a micro pipette. A blank was also prepared: Both were separately connected to a reflux condenser under heat for 40 minutes. The resultant solution was titrated rapidly with 0.5M HCl along with the blank.

Determination of Iodine Value

Preparation of Hannus Reagent.

Hannus reagent was prepared by weighing 6.5g of iodine and 25cm3 of bromine into 500 cm3 of volumetric flask and dissolving with glacial acetic acid. The solution was made up to the mark with distilled water and stored in an amber coloured bottle. KI solution (10%) was prepared by dissolving 10g of KI in distilled water and making up to the mark in a 100cm3 flask.

A 0.1M Na2S2O3.5H2O solution was prepared by dissolving 24.80g of the thiosulphate with distilled water in a one liter volumetric flask and making up to the mark and then stored in an amber coloured bottle. 2%(W/V) starch solution was prepared by dissolving 2g of starch in a 100cm3 volumetric flask and making up to the mark.



To 4.0g of oil in a stoppered glass flask, 10cm3 of chloroform was added with shaking to dissolve the oil. Hanus reagent (25cm3) was added from the burette. Blank was concurrently prepared. Both were allowed to stand in the dark for 1 hour to complete the reaction between the double bond of the oil and the liberated iodine. Excess of the liberated iodine after adding 15cm3 of 10% KI solution and 50cm3 of distilled water was titrated with the 0.1M Na2S2O3.5H2O solution prepared to a pale yellow colour. A few drops of 2% starch indicator solution was added while the thiosulphate was added drop wise until the blue colour that developed on addition of indicator disappeared. The same treatment was given to the blank.



Chemical parameters

Palm oil and groundnuts oil obtained at Agbo and Ihugh Markets in Vandeikya L.G.A of Benue State were analyzed for chemical parameters. The results for the analyses are presented in Tables 4.1and 4.2.


Table 4.1. Chemical parameters of palm oil samples obtained from Ihugh and Agbo Markets in Vandeikya L.G.A





Mean values In Ihugh Market. Mean values In Agbo Market. SON/NIS standards (2000)


Saponification Value (KOH/g) 181.6 + 5.5 176.2 + 3.3 195-205
Acid Value (mgKOH/g) 5.4 + 0.4 7.6 + 0.3 3.5-4.0
Iodine Value (gI2/100g) 56.6 + 2.9 56.0 + 1.5 45.0-53.0


Table 4.2. Chemical parameters of groundnut oil samples obtained from Ihugh and Agbo Markets in Vandeikya L.G.A





Mean values

In Ihugh Market.

Mean values In Agbo Market. SON/NIS standards (2000)


Saponification Value (KOH/g) 169.9 + 3.5 178.1 + 2.6 195-205
Acid value (mgOH/g) 5.3 + 0.3 3.4 + 0.5 3.5-4.0
Iodine Value (gI2/100g) 75.1 + 2.3 76.7 + 2.4 45.0-53.0




                Elemental Analysis

The concentration of some metals in palm oil and groundnut oil obtained in Vandeikya L.G.A were analyzed and the results are presented in Tables 4.3 and 4.4

Table 4.3.      Average values of the elemental analysis of palm oil obtained from Agbo and Ihugh Markets in Vandeikya L.G.A




Palm oil from Agbo Market. Palm oil from Ihugh Market. CODEX Standards (2011)
Mn 7.1786 + 1.70 3.9580 + 0.91 2.7
Fe 135.69 + 7.04 107.13 + 15.85 25.0
Cu 0.2670 + 0.04 0.0687 + 0.02 0.4
Pb 2.6527 + 0.61 0.8717 + 0.28 0.1
Zn 0.6733 + 0.12 2.0209 + 0.18 2.0


Table 4.4.      Average values of the elemental analysis of groundnut oil obtained from Agbo and Ihugh Markets in Vandeikya L.G.A




Groundnut oil from Agbo Market. Groundnut oil from Ihugh Market. CODEX Standards (2011)
Mn 6.7143 + 3.50 6.7138 + 2.23 2.7
Fe 127.93 + 14.47 142.24 + 12.30 25.0
Cu 0.1051 + 0.04 0.2962 + 0.14 0.4
Pb 1.8584 + 0.56 1.2668 + 0.29 0.1
Zn 0.6538 + 0.37 2.0889 + 0.58 2.0



Chemical Parameters

Saponification Value (SV) is an indication of molecular weight of triglycerides of oils. High saponification value indicates high proportion of short chain fatty acids. Since SV is inversely proportional to the average chain length of fatty acid (Muhammad et al, 2006), the shorter the average chain length (C4-C12) the higher the saponification value. From the result in Tables 4.1 and 4.2, saponification value of palm oils in Agbo and Ihugh Markets were 176.2 and 181. 6mg KOH/g respectively while the saponification values for groundnut oil in Agbo and Ihugh Markets were reported in Table 4.1 and 4.2 as 178.1 and 169.9mgKOH/g respectively. All the saponification values are lower than the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) 2000 and Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) 1992 range of 195 – 205 mgKOH/g. The values are higher than that reported by Anyasor et al (2009) 140.25mgKOH/g but conform to the range given by Agbaire (2012) of 145.76 – 198.75mgKOH/g and that of Musa and Sulieman (2012) range of 175 – 215.05mgKOH/g.

The acid value is a measure of the free fatty acids in oils. Fatty acids are usually in the triglyceride form but during processing, they may get hydrolyzed to free fatty acids. Free fatty acids may also arise from oxidation. The higher the Acid Value (AV) the higher the Free Fatty Acids (FFA) which also means a decrease in oil quality. As shown in Table 4.1 and 4.2, the Acid Value obtained for palm oil from Agbo and Ihugh Markets was 7.6 and 5.4mgKOH/g respectively. The Acid Values for groundnut oil obtained from Agbo and Ihugh Markets as shown in Tables 4.1 and 4.2 were 3.4 and 5.3mgKOH/g respectively. It is only the acid value of the groundnut oil obtained from Agbo Market that conforms with the SON/NIS standards range of 3.5-4.0mgKOH/g while others are higher than the standards. This implies that the oil with high AV is of low quality.

The acid values for palm oil and groundnut oil obtained in Ihugh Market are comparable to 5.54 and 6.86mgKOH/g values reported by Asemave (2012) and Musa and Suleiman (2012) respectively. Acid values in this work are higher than the range of values reported by Agbaire (2012) of 2.73 – 2.93mgKOH/g.

Iodine value is the measure of the level of unsaturation in oils. The iodine values obtained for palm oil from Abgo and Ihugh Markets as represented in Tables 4.1 and 4.2 were 56.0 and 56.6gI2/g respectively. The iodine values (IV) for groundnut oil obtained from Agbo and Ihugh Markets as shown in Table 4.1 and 4.2 were 76.7 and 75.1 gI2/g respectively. Iodine values in this work are higher than the standards range stipulated by SON/NIS (2000/1992) of 45 – 53 gI2/g. Iodine values in this work are within the range of 43.72 – 95.87gI2/g reported by Musa and Suleiman (2012) and 60.90 – 81.30gI2/g reported by Buldini (2006). This means the oils are highly unsaturated.


Elemental Analysis

Considering the elemental analysis result in Tables 4.3 and 4.4, the manganese (Mn) concentration was 7.1786 and 3.9580mg/kg for palm oil in Agbo and Ihugh Markets respectively while the concentration in groundnut oil from Agbo and Ihugh Markets was 6.7143 and 6.7138mg/kg respectively. High concentrations of Mn can lead to hypertension. The procedure involved in extracting the oil which is unable to remove some impurities could have contributed to the high level of Mn and other trace metals.

Iron (Fe) has the highest concentration in all the oil samples. The concentrations of Fe was 135.6969 and 107.1383mg/kg in palm oil from Agbo and Ihugh Markets respectively. For groundnut oil from Agbo and Ihugh, the amount of Fe was 127.3294 and 142.2388mg/kg respectively. These concentrations are higher than the 11.370mg/kg for palm oil and 8.5109mg/kg for groundnut oil as reported by Asemave  (2012).  The concentration of Fe is much higher than the standard from African Food Fortification Regulation (2002) of 40.7mg/kg. Even though Fe is an essential nutrient of blood, large amounts can lead to its accumulation in the body, leading to tissue damage and hyperhaemogloburia as reported by Asemave et al., (2012).

The concentration of copper (Cu) was found to be 0.2670 and 0.0687mg/kg for palm oil obtained from Agbo and Ihugh Markets respectively. The amount of Cu in groundnut oil from Agbo and Ihugh Markets was 0.1051 and 0.2962mg/kg respectively. These values when compared to the 0.078mg/kg for palm oil and 0.0633mg/kg for groundnut oil as reported by Asemave (2012) are higher.  Excess of Cu is found to cause gastro-intestinal disorder. The results obtained are within the acceptable limits.

The concentrations of lead (Pb) in palm oil obtained from Agbo and Ihugh Markets was 2.6527 and 0.8717mg/kg respectively, while the values for groundnut oil obtained from Agbo and Ihugh Markets were 1.8584 and 1.2668mg/kg respectively. Lead level of 10µg/kg or above is a cause for concern. Lead has harmful health effects even at lower levels and there is no known safe exposure level. This means that even the low concentration of lead present in vegetable oil is harmful, if the oil samples are consumed for a very long period of time, since lead accumulates. In addition, exposure to amounts of Pb above 0.01 mg/kg is detrimental to health as it may result in possible neurological damage to fetus, abortion and other complications in children, under three years of age (Ali et al., 2005). Lead also causes cancer, interfers with Vitamin D metabolism, affects mental development in infants and is toxic to the central and peripheral nervous systems.

The concentration of zinc (Zn) was 0.6733 and 2.0209mg/kg in palm oil from Agbo and Ihugh Markets respectively, while for groundnut oil from Agbo and Ihugh, the amount of Zn was 0.6538 and 2.0889mg/kg respectively. The values obtained in this work for Zn are within the tolerable limits.



The result in this work shows that the saponification values and acid values of palm oil in both markets are higher than the values for groundnut oil. The iodine values for groundnut oil in the two markets are higher than the values for palm oil.

This implies that the groundnut oils sold in these two markets will have a longer shelf life than the palm oils. The densities, refractive indexes and colours for the two oils from the two markets showed no difference. Since the concentration of Pb and Fe differ much with the tolerable standards provided by SON and NIS, the oils are not safe for consumption and industrial use.

Considering the elemental analysis, Lead (Pb) in palm oil obtained from Agbo Market is higher (2.1413mg/kg) than the palm oil from Ihugh Market (0.8717mg/kg). Also the groundnut oil from Ihugh Market has a higher concentration of Pb (1.8002mg/kg) than that obtained from Agbo Market (1.5917mg/kg). The concentration of Manganese (Mn) found in groundnut oil from the two markets is higher than the NIS and SON standards.

Iron (Fe) concentration is quite high in all the samples from the two markets. Even though Fe is good for human health, excess accumulation may be harmful. All other elements analysed were found to be within the tolerable limit set by various regulatory bodies. If measures are taken to reduce the concentration of Pb, Mn, and Fe to the acceptable limits, then the oils obtained in this locality can be recommended for use without any fear of harm on the consumers.



The human body uses oil and fats in the diet as energy source, as structural component, and to make powerful biological regulators. These metals present in edible oils could be from the soil, pollution or even from the manufacturing process. Some elements such as Zn, Cu, Fe can act as nutrients and are important for growth and development, while others such as Pb may be harmful, especially when consumed in the wrong proportion. The dangers of these metals can be prevented. There should be an appropriate regulatory measures and establishment of facilities for sound collection and disposal of hazardous waste, containing heavy metals with high concentration. Production in both industries and at local levels should be done using stainless steel equipment. The dumping of refuse around production plants should be avoided since refuse dump areas are a common source of heavy metals.

Lastly, based on the results of this research, it can be suggested that the relevant Vandeikya Local Government regulatory departments to create awareness on the need to reduce the consumption rate of these oils until further researches prove that the concentration of Pb and Mn is within tolerable limits.




Agbaire, P.O. (2012). Quality assessment of palm oil sold in some major markets in Delta state. African Journal of Food Science and Technology Vol.3 (a) pp 223 – 226.

Anyasor G.N., Ogunwenmo, K.O., Oyelana, O.A., Ajayi D., & Dangana, J. (2009) Chemical analyses of groundnut (Aradins hypoga) oil. Pakistan journal of nutrition, 8:269 – 270.

AOAC (1989) Official methods of analysis, (15th edition). Association of official analytical chemist, Washington D C, USA, pp 95-224.

Asemave, K., Ubwa, T., Anhwange, B.A. & Gbaamende, A.G. (2012). comparative evaluation of some metals in palm oil, groundnut oil and soybean oil from Nigeria. international journal of nano and material sciences. Pp29-43.

Baily, A.E (1951) Industrial oils and fats product 2nd Edition Inter-science Pub. New.York. Pp 58-65.

Bosku, D.  in Guston, F. D. ed., (2002). Vegetable oils in food technology: composition,  properties and uses. Florida CRC Press, Pp. 244–257.

Hartley, C. W. S. (1988) The oil palm. New York,  Longman Publishers Inc. Pp. 703 – 712.

Iyaka, Y.A., Concentration of Cu and Zn in some fruits and vegetables commonly  available in north-central zone of Nigeria. Journal of environmental, agricultural food chemistry. 2007, Vol. 6, 2150-2154.

Musa, M., & Suleiman, U. (2012) physiochemical properties of  commercial groundnut oil products sold in sokoto metropolis, northwest Nigeria. Journal of biological science and bio-conservation vol. 4 pp 38 – 43.

Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS) (1992) Nigerian industrial standards for edible vegetable oil, pp 5 – 12.

Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON). (2000) Refined palm oil and its processed form. Pp 2 – 5.

Udensi, E. A., & Iroegbu, F. C. (2004) Quality assessment of palm oil sold in major markets in abia state, Nigeria. Department of food science and technology Abia state university, Uturu, Nigeria



1James Ngutor Sende

2Ordue Ishomkase

1Department of Technical Education

College of Education Katsina-Ala


2Department of Physics

College of Education Katsina-Ala.







Industrialization is critical to economic development. In fact, there is hardly any developed nation that is not industrialized. However, industrialization would only be effective if manpower is properly trained and harnessed. This can reduce cost and produce effective and sustained maintenance of the industrial sector. This can only be achieved if a functional Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system is put in place. This article examines the deficiency in infrastructure, manpower, skills, and lack of integration between the industry and academia which has continued to plague the potentials of TVET for industrial development in Nigeria; and recommends the implementation and establishment of more TVET programs and development centers to add value among others to the Nigerian industry.





Industrialization is seen by everybody as a child of necessity in a nation’s economy as it accelerates the process of economic growth and development stupendously. This makes the industrial sector very important such that its neglect by any nation makes it unsuccessful. This is why the fortune of every economy lies in the strength of the industrial sector, which makes it the heartbeat of economic development. Industrial growth for all intents and purposes is an undisputed pre-requisite for economic growth and development. If transformation is to take place and the trend of poverty is to be reduced, rapid industrialization in the African sub-region must be pursued. Evidences abound of a fairly strong relationship between economic growth and development and the industrial process. Economic growth and development needs structural changes from low to high productive economic activities. Industrialization is a key factor in the development process. High, rapid and sustained economic growth and development are strongly related to industrialization (Ibbih  & Gaiya,  2013). Industrialization is such a crucial and critical key to economic growth that it calls for improvement in systems, technologies and processes that will utilize natural resources more efficiently.

Education is a general term which refers to an exercise that engages every one. It is a process of enabling individuals to live as useful and acceptable members of a society (Aigbepue, 2011).

It is a fact that no country can develop without a quality technical and vocational education and training (TVET) sector.


Technical and Vocational Education and Training

Vocational education could be regarded as that aspect of education, which provides the recipients with the basic knowledge and practical skills needed for entry into the world of work as employees or as self-employed (Oni, 2007). Vocational education if well implemented builds practical and applied skills in an individual which are essential for national development in aspects of commerce, agriculture, industrial, economic and socio-economic development.

Technical and vocational education according to Osuala (1981) is a form of education that includes preparation for employment in any industry for specialized education for which there is societal need and which can most appropriately be acquired in schools.

According to the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004), Vocational Technical Education is defined as that aspect of education that leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge. The policy further delineated the goals of technical and vocational education as;

  1. To provide trained manpower in applied science, technology and business particularly at the craft, advanced craft and technical levels;
  2. To provide technical knowledge and vocational skills training necessary skills for agricultural, commercial and economic development;
  3. To give training and impart the necessary skills to individual who shall be self-reliant economically.

And the policy also enumerated the objectives of technical education thus;

  1. To provide trained manpower in applied science, technology and commerce particularly at sub-professional grades.
  2. To provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development.

iii. To provide people who can apply scientific knowledge to the improvement and solution of environmental problems for the use and convenience of man.

  1. To give an introduction to professional studies in engineering and other technologies needed in industries.
  2. To give training and impact necessary skills leading to the production of craftsmen, technicians and other skilled personnel who will be enterprising self-reliant and industrially useful.
  3. To enable our young men and women to have intelligent understanding of the increasing complexity of technology Vocational and technology education encompasses every aspect of education and employment. This makes it unique from other forms of education. The neglect of technical and vocational education in Nigeria is socially and economically injurious because it is robbing the nation the contribution the graduates would make to national development (Abubakar, 2010, Nwankwo, Igwe & Nwaogbe, 2013)

Since empowerment programmes are geared towards skills acquisition, human development, self reliance, self employment and poverty reduction it then implies that training cannot be completely functional if TVET is not integrated in it. This is because TVET is practical and applied skills based.


Problems of industrialization in Nigeria

Various factors have been advanced for the collapsing situation of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. The problems confronting the sector among others include: Poor power (Electricity) supply, dilapidated infrastructure, lack of access to corporate finance, policy inconsistency, multiple taxation; corruption, lack of adequate take off incentives for new business, and general poverty in the land which places serious strain on the manufacturing firms (Obi,  2011).

It has been shown that low industrial output is substantially responsible for the poor economic structure of Nigeria. One may then ask: What are the reasons responsible for this slow rate of industrial development? The problems militating against rapid industrial growth are as follows:

  1. Lack of Capital/Finance: In almost all discourses of the problems of industries whether by their owners or by those interested in their wellbeing, their financial problems have tended to overshadow others which they also encounter in their daily struggle for survival. The major source of financing industries the world over is the owner’s capital. In Nigeria as in many developing countries, this problem has accentuated the unwillingness of sole proprietors to allow the participation of outsiders in what is usually a personal/a family venture.

According to Okeke (1991), industries in Nigeria are afflicted with difficulties, chief among them is lack of capital. Besides the fact that financial constraint prevents all small scale industries from being more competitive with their large scale counterparts, it also limits their ability to engage in aggressive selling technologies (Masha, 1986).

Oshhunbiyi (1989) was in total agreement with the above observation. The author described finance as a major problem confronting industrialist at various stages of their business. The author went further to state that “whether for the establishment of new industries or to carry out expansion plans, the inability to attract financial credit has hindered the growth of this sub-sector”.

Owualah (1992) observed that financial problems of industries arise from multifarious sources which broadly can be classified as endogenous and exogenous. The endogenous problems include those due to under capitalization poor accounting and record keeping management incompetence and financial indiscipline. The origin of exogenous financial problem is partly due to the behaviour of institutional leaders and the capital market and partly, to past policy biases against them.

Finally, it is also important to state that because of our depressed economy and our debt problems, industrialist are finding it difficult to obtain enough trade credit or source capital abroad to enable them expand their operations. It is also difficult to attract direct foreign investment capital or obtain multilateral loans/ aid due to the high rate of inflation prevailing in the economy.

  1. Lack of Technical Know How: The technological knowhow and shortage of managerial man power is another problem facing the Nigeria industries. According to Ashaye (1985) it is rare for the entrepreneur to have both strong managerial and technical expertise. He said that many industrial entrepreneurs engage in industries where they do not have appreciable technological background or experience. He further maintained that “due to the size of such industrial units, technical advice and advisory departments are normally non-existent, hence there is lack of technical advice on operational problems in the workshop, development work on issues relating to efficient utilization of labour, equipment and also proper use of raw materials, improved product design, technical training for staff and know-how to resolve problems of high production cost and poor quality of products. Finally, Akinkugbe (1988) stated that the lack of efficient organizational structure and practice of modern management techniques in industries could be attributed to the lack of understanding of modern management practices. For example Presidential Task Force on Power (2014) reported that power at Kainji Dam was yet to be harnessed to its full capacity due to lack of needed technologies (technical know-how) and therefore only 3 out of the 12 turbines will be available for use in 2015, and that the Kainji Dam is still managed by foreign technicians.
  • Weak Raw Material Based: This is another problem of Nigerian industries. Due to the poor state of its agricultural sector there has been lower production of raw materials, which has resulted to excessive reliance on the imported raw materials.Nigerian industries have thus been dependent on imported raw materials and capital goods. Most of the food and cosmetic industries, cement, rubber, (plastic producing), factories depend on imported raw materials for their production.
  1. Inadequate Basic Infrastructural Facilities: Power infrastructural facilities like road network, railway, river transportation, airways, water facilities, irrigation, machinery and equipment hamper industrial development in Nigeria. This has resulted to closing down of the existing industries while new ones are not established. Also inconsistent/epileptic power supply has contributed to low production of the Nigerian industries. Although some of them have resorted to the use of diesel engine generators to run their industries, which will result to high cost of production.

The Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) in 2014 also identified the following as challenges facing the Nigerian industry:

  1. Low critical mass in scientific fields: Nigeria has not developed sufficient critical mass of experts in basic sciences and technologies. Today, most Nigerian youth study financial and social science disciplines in order to get jobs. Furthermore, most students of science and technology end up in social science jobs upon graduation, and therefore do not grow in their technical disciplines. As a result Nigeria does not have enough youth tutors, and practicing experts in technical disciplines.
  2. Inadequate Equipment – Innovation requires equipment, laboratories, and advanced tools, to develop new concepts and test results. In many countries the large Industrial private sector provides assets necessary to test new projects. However, in Nigeria, companies have not sufficiently invested in these assets.
  3. Inadequate Information Sharing: Innovation requires constant interaction between researchers, to build on existing ideas, and to deepen the overall community’s knowledge base. Nigeria needs to codify her knowledge base, track her experts, and understand where the innovation assets are in the country. This will help government and the private sector better find and deploy these knowledge assets.
  4. Weak or no interaction between the Academia, Industry, and Government: Interaction  between the Academia, Industry, and Government is inadequate, or in many cases lacking. Researchers are not sure if industry is interested in their projects, which leads to fatigue and sometimes disillusionment. Industry on the other hand is unaware of the many promising local researchers that could solve a number of their real operational challenges. As such Nigeria has not been able to develop its own technology-niche and group of proven and tested Nigerian technologies. Also, Government has historically not adequately facilitated interactions between industry, academia, and the public sector.
  5. Unclear Commercialization Path: The early stage and seed financing market is thinly capitalized with very few players. The path to commercialize new technologies and research is unclear.
  6. Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: Nigeria has already established the broad framework for adequate protection of intellectual property rights, however the enforcement of those rights is currently challenging.


Technical, Vocational Education and Training in Nigeria

As technological advances draw the world more closely together, vocational preparedness has become increasingly important. JeanClaude (2003) stated that there is ample evidence that better qualifications and skills protect individuals from unemployment while macro-economic perspectives show that higher skill level work force go hand in hand with better overall performances and also have a positive impact on social capital. It is in line with this that Lyons, Randhawa and Paulson (1991) stated that “muddling things in education industry” will no longer work in an era of international cartels. Prior to the present dispensation, Nigerians have historically considered VTE as an education programme meant for low level, less brilliant and less privileged or second class citizens (Okoro, 1993, Okolocha, 2012). VTE Curriculum according to Grubb (1985) has always had to battle against not only the resistance of academic curricula, but also the suspicion that they provide second-class education and tract to some individuals of lower class. Today, the innovative system of the current time is shifting towards skill acquisition courses, which are capable of making the youths and adults self-dependent. The major educational reforms according to Daniel (2001) have, however, been on vocationalization. It is in line with this, that different countries have come up with different framework towards repositioning their VTE programs. For instance in 2009, Germany had 53.2% of upper secondary students enrolled in TVET, Finland 55.1%, Ireland 33.9%, and Korea 24.4% (Dzeto, 2014). From the above figures, it is evident that these countries have all developed a strong manufacturing base and remain competitive partly because they were able to steer a large share of their secondary and higher education students into technical fields of study (Dzeto, 2014).

In Kenya, the 8-4-4 system was introduced with emphasis on technical and vocational education which ensured that the graduate students at every level had some scientific and practical knowledge that could be utilized for self employments,salaried employment or further training (Republic of Kenya, 1984). Nigeria therefore has joined her world counterparts in revamping and repositioning VTE program geared towards ensuring a national system of vocational education, a system that ensures that young people see vocational education as challenging and worthwhile. To achieve the objective of revamping or repositioning VTE in Nigeria, the Federal Government according to Olakunri (2006) came up with the strategy of using the Education Trust Fund (ETF) which was set up by law in 1993 to fund and upgrade the quality of VTE in Nigeria.

Integrating Skill Development in Education for All

To ensure that all learning needs of young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes is one of the six education for all (EFA) goals established at the World Education Forum in Dakar 2000. So the provision of vocational skills training in education should therefore constitute an important component in national strategies if the EFA goal is to be achieved (Ibrahim 2008). Yet developing countries including Nigeria tend to concentrate on Universal Primary Education and literacy, but do not pay sufficient attention to skill training for youths and adults, even though there are numerous initiatives focusing on providing education and training people from marginalized groups. These initiatives in most cases are often small in scale and are not always recognized as part of a comprehensive national education strategy. There is the need for government to urgently consider redesigning the curricula with emphasis on skill acquisition, in education, if the government’s target of its industrial revolution plan of 2014 and reducing or eradicating poverty by the year 2020 is to be achieved

In 2003, existing skills training programmes for the disadvantage groups were reviewed, and policies and institutional environments were analyzed in four countries in Africa and Asia (Mali, Senegal, Laos and Nepal). The experience of these selected countries was shared with other developing countries at an inter-regional seminar held at the International Institute for education planning in Paris from 22-23 January 2004 (Ibrahim, 2005). Suggestions for a more comprehensive approach to EFA was discussed and all stakeholders to EFA are to implement some of the policies and strategies for efficient result and feedback. Incorporating TVET in the EFA programme is a necessity in all developing countries because it advocates for flexible access to learning and training throughout life while downplaying the shortcoming of the beneficiary in order to accommodate a larger group for sustainable development and improve/enhance productivity (Ibrahim, 2005).

The Importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in industrial development in Summary

Industrial Development:

vocational Technical Education helps a nation develop technologically and industrially by producing people competent and capable of developing and utilizing technologies for industrial and economic development. It is a tool that can be used to develop and sustain the manpower of a nation.

Promotion of the Nigerian Economy: It promotes the national economy through foreign exchange by exporting products. The knowledge of VTE helps in the conversion of local raw materials, which reduces the importation of foreign goods and lessens our import dependency and encourage exportation of our local products.

Poverty Alleviation: Vocational and Technical Education is that type of education that emphasizes skill acquisition. Through the skills one can create wealth due to self-employment and can also earn one a job in an industry.

Creation of Job Opportunities: VTE helps to reduce the rate of drop outs or unemployment in the society. VTE could be used to develop marketable skills in individuals so that they can become easily employable. It makes an individual to become an asset to himself and the nation, thus preventing him from being a liability to the society.

Entrepreneurship Strategy: VTE offers the beneficiary the ability to be self-relevant, job creators and employer of labour (Maigida, Saba Namkere, 2013)

An outline of Some Challenges facing TVET Implementation in Nigeria

 Technical education in Nigeria is bedeviled with problems. Some of these are:

  • lack of modern facilities and materials for training teachers/instructors and students,
  • inadequate technical teachers or facilitators,
  • limited number of training institutions for technical teachers
  • mismatch between acquired skills and market needs, widespread concern about poor quality training and training environments, and
  • negative public attitudes and perceptions regarding TVET
  • Lack of finance for TVET.
  • Lack of integration between industry and the academia.



Vocational and technical education is result oriented (Musa, 2010). Therefore, it is recommended that:

  1. Nigeria, should adopt a uniform standard in training and certification at federal, state and local government levels. This will make it possible to integrate different vocational education training programmes into one national system.
  2. Government and other education funding organizations should make TVET a top priority when funding educational researches.
  3. Since TVET has been proved as a program whose curriculum stipulates practical skills acquisition and self development and job creating program, it is recommended that TVET should be incorporated in all types of youth empowerment programs.

iii. TVET programs should provide a world-class skills and knowledge with opportunities for the indigenous people to use available local materials and technology.

  1. Since it is observed that most Nigerian graduates are unemployed as a result of insufficient jobs in their field of study, it becomes necessary for emphasis to be laid on the importance of vocational and technical education for youths seeking for admission into tertiary institutions so that they can easily be self-employed on completion of their studies.
  2. No programme can thrive without financial support for start-ups, therefore, financial provision for startup capital should be provided for the beneficiaries of the empowerment programmes at the completion of their training, this is necessary since technical and vocational trades are capital intensive.
  3. Vocational and technical education should be introduced and implemented in all forms of youth empowerment programs, graduate internship and youth employment training schemes.

vii. The training should serve as a catalyst for industrial development and the transformation of industries.



The primary objective of TVET is to prepare for the country’s labour force meeting needs of the labour market, to enable people contribute to sustainable social, economic, environmental and industrial development. TVET also help to alleviate poverty through the acquisition of employable skills. The paper highlighted the fact that TVET contributes to industrial development and economic growth and economic growth is directly related to poverty alleviation. Poverty, like other macroeconomic variables such as unemployment, can be reduced by economic growth. It was noted that TVET by itself does not create jobs, but it is beneficial when it is associated with the actual needs of the labour market. This is the reason why TVET programmes should match current and future labour market needs. A standard TVET is expected to mobilize resources needed to face the present problems and future challenges. Quality TVET promotes skills acquisition through competency-based training with proficiency testing for employment, sustainable livelihood and responsible citizenship. It is largely accepted that TVET can equip men and women for the job market or self-employment, thereby increasing their self-reliance and self confidence. It is therefore seen as a means to promote skill acquisition, human resource and industrial development and consequently, it can be regarded as a panacea to combat the ever-increasing poverty problem in the country. It is therefore important to make sure that every Nigerian citizen has equal access to TVET programmes, which should be of high quality and be relevant to the needs and aspirations of our society.





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1Rachel Lar

1Judith Dabit

2Sunday Gomper


1Department of Education

Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin-Ladi;

2Department of Building/Woodwork Technology

Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin-Ladi




Education for All (EFA) is a global movement led by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), aimed at meeting the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. The article traced the history of the declaration of education as inalienable right of all humans and focuses on the attempt to pursue the goals of EFA, especially the 6th goal of providing quality education at the junior secondary level in Nigeria. The authors observed that in the midst of the good intentions of government and non-governmental agencies to achieve the goals of EFA, achieving quality education by 2015 may be a mirage because of the constraints that stand in the way of achieving these goals. Some of the constraints identified as impediments include unqualified teachers in the classroom, poor remuneration of the teacher, inadequate infrastructural facilities and equipment, examination malpractice and insecurity of the schools. The article recommended that audit of all public teachers in the junior secondary schools be undertaken to determine qualifications of the teachers, compulsory retraining of unqualified teachers should be pursued, annual reward of committed teachers and in-service training should be regular exercises, promulgation of a law to make it illegal for school proprietors not to pay the wages and salaries of teachers, infrastructure and facilities should be provided and improved upon by all proprietors; the safe school initiatives should be owned and vigorously pursued by government at all levels and community development associations.     

Key words: Education for all, Nigeria, UBE, Junior Secondary Education, Quality     Education, Constraints.





Over sixty years ago, education was declared by the United Nations as a basic human right for every person, and this was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 (Leona, 2013). Since then, it has been reaffirmed in the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1979) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) among several other international human right instruments.

In 1990, about 180 governments adopted the World Declaration on Education for All (EFA) at Jomtien, Thailand with the aim of boosting efforts towards delivering the right to education. The Universal Basic Education (UBE) is the programme which grew out of that Conference (Leona, 2013). Ten years later, according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization report (UNESCO, 2010), the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal reaffirmed this commitment and adopted the six goals for Education for All (EFA). The sixth of these goals is aimed at “improving every aspect of the quality of education, and ensuring their excellence so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.”

Governments, development agencies, civil society, non-governmental organizations and the media are some of the partners working towards achieving the six goals of EFA. Leona (2013) observed that 180 countries signed up to make these goals happen, committing to putting legal frameworks, policies and finance in place so that everyone, no matter what their circumstances, could have an education – one that is available, accessible, acceptable and adaptable. The EFA agenda assumes that public policy can radically transform education systems and their relation to society given adequate political will and resources, and that national policies and implementation must emphasize inclusion, literacy, quality and capacity development.

In pursuance of the EFA goals in Nigeria, the UBE programme was launched on 30th September, 1999. The programme was intended to be universal, free, and compulsory. Since the introduction of western education in Nigeria in 1842, regions, states, and Federal Governments in Nigeria have shown a keen interest in education. This can be seen in the introduction of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) in the Western Region on 17th January, 1955, its introduction in the Eastern Region in February, 1957, and in Lagos (then Federal Territory) in January, 1957(Unagha, 2008). Other developments include the adoption and publication of a National Policy on Education in 1977 with a review in 1983 and 2004, launching of the Universal Free Primary Education on 6th September, 1976, and the subsequent launch of UBE in 1999. The goal of all these programmes is providing functional, universal, and quality education for all Nigerians irrespective of age, sex, race, religion, occupation, or location. When the Federal Government re-launched UBE in 1999, the scheme aimed at achieving the following specific objectives:

  • Developing among citizens a strong commitment to the vigorous promotion of education.
  • The provision of free, universal basic education for every school age child.
  • Reducing drastically the incidence of drop-outs in the formal school system through improved relevance, quality and efficiency.
  • Catering for school drop-outs and out-of-school children/adolescents through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the provision and promotion of basic education.
  • Ensuring the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative, communicative and life skills, as well as the ethical, moral and civic values, needed for laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning (Iliyasu, 2005 p17-18).

It will seem as if the attainment of these laudable objectives may be a mirage looking at the various constraints hindering the attaining of these goals by 2015. The purpose of this paper therefore is to critically examine the constraints that will hinder the attainment of quality education at the junior secondary education level in Nigeria with a view of drawing the attention of all stakeholders in education to pay particular attention to the issue of quality education in the pursuance of the goals of EFA by 2015.


The Junior Secondary Education in Nigeria

The Nigerian National Policy on Education (1977) stipulates the operation of the 6-3-3-4 system of education to include 6years of primary education, 3 years of junior secondary, 3years of senior secondary and 4 years of tertiary education. The junior secondary education is now the second part of the 9-year Nigerian Universal Basic Education programme. The reforms introduced in UBE were to provide greater access and ensure quality basic education throughout Nigeria. To achieve the objectives of the UBE programme, the following implementation strategies are to be adopted:

  1. The Federal Government shall provide assistance to the states. The Federal Government intervention shall provide assistance to the states and local governments in Nigeria for the purpose of uniform and qualitative basic education throughout Nigeria.
  2. Every level of government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age
  3. Every parent shall ensure that his/her child or ward attends and completes
  4. Primary school education; and
  5. Junior secondary school education.
  6. The stakeholders in education in Local Government Areas shall ensure that every parent or person who has the care and custody of a child performs the duty imposed on him/her under the Universal Basic Education Act, 2004.
  7. Transition from primary to junior secondary school (JSS) should be automatic; as basic education terminates at the junior secondary school level thus entrance examination may no longer be necessary. Emphasis will be placed on effective continuous assessment, while final examination and certification will now be done at the end of the 9-year basic education programme.
  8. The secondary school system should be restructured so as to ensure that the JSS component is disarticulated from the senior secondary school as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (Suleiman, 2012 p28 &59).

Generally, the education that is offered at the junior secondary school level has two purposes; to prepare pupils to exit school with the necessary skills to find employment, and to prepare them to continue with academic careers. For career in higher education, the students are channeled through placements into specific programmes after the completion of junior secondary education. The options are Senior Secondary Schools, Technical Colleges, Vocational Training Centres or Apprenticeship Schemes. Placement into different streams is determined by the results obtained from the continuous assessment processes and tests that are supposed to determine academic ability, aptitude and vocational interest. In addition to individual results, a formula aimed at achieving 60% streaming for senior secondary schools, 20% for technical colleges, 10% each for vocational training centres and apprenticeship schemes is used(FGN, 2004).

Underlying the goals of education for all in the junior secondary school is the realization that mere access to education is not sufficient; the quality of education is equally important. The quality and/or standard of education offered to and received by learners in the Nigerian system of education have been subjected to a lot of criticism. These criticisms, according to Osuji (2008) tend to be pervasive, cutting across all levels of the educational enterprise. This implies that the quality of Nigerian education has been criticized from the lowest to the highest level.


Quality Education

Quality in education is concerned with the products, the process and the practice. Under the products, quality is concerned with the level of learning attainments, the ratio of educated people at various levels to the total population, proportion of educated women, pass/fail employment status of graduates, performance of graduates in the labour market etc. There are several definitions or descriptions of quality ‘found’ in the literature. According to Whiteley in Osuji (2008) quality is linked to service that is distinctive or special; while Osuji (2008) defines quality in education as the worth or appropriateness of the resources available to education.

Some descriptions of quality in education have been given for instance Ebiere and Adediran (2013) described quality in terms of the worth, appropriateness, validity and relevance of resources available for the achievement of educational goals and priorities. Fuller (2014) described quality in education as the level of material inputs allocated per students and the level of efficiency with which fixed amount of material input are organized and managed to raise students’ achievement.

On the government side, quality in education can be viewed from the angle of pass/fail ratio, the enrolment and dropouts (Ijaiya, 2013). In other words, from the government’s standpoint, quality in education implies as many students as possible enrolling and finishing their programme of study within the scheduled time, with a degree of international standards and with reduced costs. The employers of labour see quality as knowledge, skills, training and attitude obtained during the period of study. In this case the ‘product’ in question is the graduate while the process is the educational system. As for the students, quality in education is seen as the contribution of education to the individual’s development and the preparation for a position in the society. It implies that education must be linked with the personal interest and aspiration of the student and the educational process has to be organized in such a way that he can complete the study within a given period. The academic takes quality to mean a good knowledge transfer, good learning environment and a good relation between teaching and research.

Quality education in the Nigerian system is obviously in doubt. It is anything but at its low ebb. This issue has assumed an alarming proportion; it has been widely discussed in different information media. Experts in education have shown concerns that the standard of education in the country as at present is falling. Adebanjo (2012) and Duze (2011) amongst several of these experts have attributed this to the utter neglect of education in the 1980’s when the decay in education set in and the quality of education started dropping.  These experts expressed the need to raise the quality of Nigerian education but observed that cases of infrastructural decay, moral decadence, indiscipline, cultism, laxity, brain drain, fraud and a host of abnormal cases have raised their heads high in the educational circle in Nigeria. These evil practices, including examination malpractice, cheating, certificate forgery, impersonation among others, help to water down the quality in the educational system at all levels.  We see mass failures in Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by WAEC and the National Examinations Council (NECO) year in year out.  Okonjo-Iweala(2012) for instance noted that only 5.75 percent of the 803,360 private candidates that sat for the WASSCE in May/June 2010 passed with 5 Credits and above (including English Language), while only 10 percent passed with 5 Credits and above (including Mathematics).The performance of pupils in post-primary schools in science-related subjects like mathematics remains a perennial challenge. A lot of these performances are related to issues such as quality of teachers and availability of teaching materials.

The quality of education in Nigeria has fallen so badly that the tendency for affluent families and members of the ruling class to send their wards to foreign educational institutions has gained ascendancy (Rafsanjani, 2011). Rafsanjani noted that in an attempt to reverse this trend, the government has approved increased participation of the private sector at every level of education including the tertiary level but that these are however largely expensive and require such huge resources that are outside the reach of the average Nigerian household, thereby making it exclusive.

In order to improve accessibility and quality of education, the Federal Government has shown some level of commitment in the Nigerian school system over the years and has demonstrated this by injecting funds into the sector for the purpose of improving the standard of education (Alli, 2013).  Alli however regretted that even with this effort, it is common place to see students still sitting under makeshift shelters or trees outside the school building because of inadequate classrooms. To compound the issue of inadequate classrooms, Dikko (2014) observed that some of the state governments had recorded poor utilization of UBEC allocations, even when the commission had insisted that funds allocated to the states must be utilized strictly for the purpose for which they were disbursed. Dikko further indicted the states for not accessing funds allocated to them because of the nonpayment of counterpart funds. Idoko (2014) collaborated the assertion by Dikko when he noted part of the report by the Minister of State for Education as of June 2014 that none of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory had accessed the N397 million allocated to them each for 2014.The report also showed that Ebonyi State is top on the list of states that lagged behind in accessing the intervention fund, and currently has N3.4 billion un-accessed funds with the Universal Basic Education Commission, followed by Cross River State (N3.1 billion). Other states like Abia, Benue, Enugu, Kogi, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo and Plateau have over N2 billion each yet to be accessed from UBEC. States like Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Rivers, Yobe and the FCT have over N1 billion each left unaccessed with UBEC.


Constraints of Quality Education and EFA

The following are noted to be some of the constraints militating against quality assurance in the attainment of education for all by 2015 in the junior secondary schools; these are unqualified teachers in the classroom, poor remuneration of the teacher, inadequate equipment and infrastructural facilities for teaching/learning, examination malpractice and insecurity in the schools.

  1. Unqualified Teachers in the Classroom

Teacher education and preparation have always been the concern of every society knowing well that the foundation of quality and relevance of education rests on the teaching profession. The National Policy on Education (FGN, 2004) clearly stated that “no education system may rise above the quality of its teachers”; therefore preparing teachers for their assignment of imparting knowledge is paramount especially for the global age.

In Nigeria today, there are so many unqualified teachers currently teaching in the public schools with very little experience in the teaching profession.  Onuaha  (2008)  observed that government in an attempt to combat the problem of inadequate and unqualified teachers went ahead to establish the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) in 1993 with the aim of determining the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons who would want to become professional teachers. Most Nigerians in recent times have continually blamed the drop in academic standards in schools to poor teaching. The Head of the West African Examinations Council National office in Lagos in Abayomi  and Arenyeka (2014) was quoted to have said “We are very worried about the drop in students’ performance in public examinations and from our analysis, we discovered that there is a general decline in the quality of teaching and learning, and even those assigned with the responsibility of teaching are not properly equipped to do so, and if teachers do not have the competences to teach the students, there is no way students can perform well” (p2). Also lamenting on teachers’ non qualification to teach, Modibbo (2012) reported in an audit of all public schools in Nigeria, the UBEC discovered that most states in the North-west of the country had large numbers of unqualified teachers.

In order to improve the quality and competence of teachers, the Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Education, Universities and Colleges of Education have had to organize many conferences, seminars and workshops on regular basis. The reform efforts of government on education to address the issue of quality include among others:

  • Compulsory registration of all professional teachers
  • Making the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) the minimum qualification for teachers
  • Mandatory professional continuing education programmes for in-service teachers.

These reforms according to Onuaha (2009) created a number of challenges for teacher education and basic education, which he stated include:

  • The recognition of NCE as the minimum requirement of teachers had resulted in the phasing out of the Grade II Teacher Training Colleges where the bulk of the nation’s primary school teachers were trained.
  • That the inception of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) in 2000, brought about a high demand for teachers to meet the short fall in teacher demand for the implementation of the UBE programme.
  • All teachers with certificates below the NCE were required to upgrade such certificates through re-training within a limited time. Those that were affected by this requirement had to upgrade their qualification to NCE but about 49% of the teachers still possess qualifications below the NCE (Onuoha, 2009.p109 – 110).

If quality improvements are to be made within a reasonable time period and for sufficient numbers of teachers to gain the skills required to teach in primary and junior secondary schools, teacher preparation must be a priority.

  1. Poor Remuneration of  the         Teacher

A serious problem affecting the delivery of quality education in most states in Nigeria is the poor remuneration of the teacher. Teachers’ salaries, allowances and entitlements are always paid in arrears; at times they are denied these entitlements even though their remuneration is poor. In 2009, there was an attempt by all the state governments to increase the Teachers’ Salary Scale by 27.5% but very few states have implemented the new salary scale as noted by Alogba-Olukoya (2012).The poor remuneration and welfare are responsible for the poor attitude to work of most teachers, who go about doing their private businesses instead of concentrating on how to improve teaching and learning in the school. These factors have rendered teachers ineffective thus affecting the quality of teaching.

  • Inadequate Equipment and Infrastructural Facilities for Teaching and Learning

The shortage of equipment and facilities can affect the quality of teaching and learning, quality diminishes when the facilities required for imparting and learning are inadequate or at times not available. Osuji (2008) lamented that most secondary schools and tertiary institutions lack equipment for training, lack workshop and workshop facilities, have ill-equipped laboratories and libraries. The graduates of Junior Secondary Schools are supposed to be prepared for the world of work and so the students are supposed to be exposed to a work environment which will enable them to fit in and outside the school environment but this is not the case because of the dearth of infrastructure in the schools.  Alli (2013) noted that since the launching of the Universal Basic Education Act, much has been achieved in the reconstruction of dilapidated school buildings and construction of new ones, supply of desks and other needed furniture as well as the provision of toilet facilities. But it is still not enough as there is still a wide divide in what was proposed to be the basic provision in schools and the apparent lack in electricity, running water and sanitary provision in schools.

  1. Examination alpractice

Examination malpractice is one of the biggest constraints to achieving quality education in Nigeria today. Udoh (2011) noted that examination fraud has been deeply entrenched in the bones of Nigerian students to the point that controlling and eliminating it has become very difficult.



For a country to be bedeviled with this kind of attitude, quality is certainly compromised and EFA goal number (6) which is aimed at improving the quality of education is unattainable. Ugwu (2008) observed that even though a lot of researches have been carried out in this area, which revealed the origin, causes and forms of examination malpractices and the consequences, solutions were also proffered but it appears to be on the increase with new forms being adopted. The Nigerian government has also been working hard to curb this academic menace in our educational system but to no avail. Akpotu (1998) in Ugwu (2008) described examination malpractice as “a form of intellectual crime, intellectual fraud or intellectual dishonesty” while Ugwu described it as a cankerworm which is not just good for the integrity of our educational system and nations but is a threat to the foundation of our future leaders. According to Udoh (2011), examination


malpractice has brought about the falling standard of education in Nigeria and that our certificates and degrees are in doubt. The only solution in promoting quality is to stop emphasizing the possession of certificates as the bases of employment but skills and on the job performance of individuals in their chosen careers.


(v) Insecurity of the Schools

Insecurity could be seen as that state of being open to danger or threat to life and property; a lack of protection from exposure to vulnerability (Bassey, 2004). Insecurity could be seen today in the light of violence, rape, bombings, abduction, kidnap, elopement, child marriage, stealing, killing and destruction. The maintenance of internal security in the country of recent seem elusive as a result of the activities of insurgent groups like the Boko Haram and other religious militia groups rampaging and sacking several communities in the North East and North Central States of Nigeria. The consequences of these attacks are the displacement of school age pupils/students without the hope of continuing with their education while other students have been adopted like the Chibok girls for forced marriage, rape, prostitution and even the loss of their lives like the students and teachers of Buni Yadi (Idoko, 2014).

Figure 2: Adopted from Idoko (2014, p2). How secure are these students in the School? Will their School be burnt down as the one shown in the adjacent picture?

Figure 2: Adopted from Idoko (2014, p2). How secure are these students in the School? Will their School be burnt down as the one shown in the adjacent picture?



If the schools are not safe, how can the students and teachers run the educational system? How can the goals for achieving education for all be attained by 2015 when the students and teachers have abandoned the unsafe schools?



The desire for quality education in Junior Secondary Schools in Nigeria on the twilight of the attainment of the goals of education for all in 2015 is generally a shared feeling in Nigeria and other countries. Achievement of the EFA goals especially that of quality education is however bedeviled by several constraints amongst which are unqualified teachers in the classroom, poor remuneration of the teacher, inadequate equipment and infrastructural facilities for teaching/learning, examination malpractice and insecurity of the schools. Though these constraints seem daunting they are not insurmountable if stakeholders in education from the policy makers, the students, teachers, parents to government at all levels fulfill their expected roles.



The following suggestions are proffered in line with acheiving the goals of education for all by 2015 by the Junior Secondary School education level in Nigeria. These are:

  • Audit of all teachers teaching in the public junior secondary schools should be conducted to determine the qualification of the teachers. Teachers that are unqualified should be compelled to undergo further training at government expense after which they are reabsorbed into the school system.
  • Incentives of annual reward for service should become the feature of all junior secondary schools initiated and implemented by proprietors of schools to reward teachers that are dedicated to duty.
  • All employers of teachers including governments at all levels should ensure regular payment of teachers’ salaries/allowances. Any administrator found to contravene this order should be sanctioned by the law.
  • Government should double her effort in providing infrastructure and other facilities that aid teaching and learning in school.
  • The safe school initiative should be vigorously pursued by government and community development associations.






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