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Formal Education: A Catalyst to Nation Building

A Case Study of Nigeria

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Anthony Ikechukwu Chimaka

The smallest and most remote villages in the developing countries are affected by the rapid and seemingly irresistible trend towards globalization. The limitless availability of information however necessitates education to stand out as the key factor for human and national development. But which conditions must be met by societies for education systems to perform this function effectively? Which benefits in turn must education systems provide to ensure social cohesion? These general considerations are exemplified by an analysis of the social situation of Nigeria, where one third of the whole population did not receive an education and thus cannot participate in the opportunities of modern social structures. As an advocate of the social values of freedom, dignity and charity the church stated clearly that education belongs to the inalienable human rights. The study argues that only a holistic development of each and every citizen of Nigeria will lead to the development of Nigeria as a nation. It portrays the areas where lack of formal education has slowed down the implementation and acceptance of modern techniques and as a result has hampered development. It critically analyses the Nigerian educational system and concludes by suggesting strategies towards national development.
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Chapter Five: Formal Education and some factors of Nation Building in Nigeria

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Education is an important means of growth and development of any nation. Education especially formal education provides the needed human capital for a country’s growth and progress. It equips the citizens with the necessary skills to function effectively and contribute to the nation’s development. The recognition of this importance that education has and the link of education to the development of any society are responsible for the emphasis by the international communities and governments, in recent times, on the need for all citizens to have access to basic education. “Whoever controls the education system also controls the destiny of the nation”271 and “he who controls the education of the young controls the future of the nation.”272 Nigeria as a country believes that overcoming illiteracy and ignorance will help in forming the basis for accelerated national development. Schooling or formal education brings about empowerment. It helps the citizens to participate more actively in Politics in their country, improve in their economic development and productivity, understand and appreciate more their cultures and cultural heritages and increase their chances of reducing poverty. Certain factors are important in achievement of these aims considered necessary in the process of nation building. For effective use and consequently even development certain level of formal education is required on the part of all citizens for the realization of these aims in Nigeria. This chapter, therefore, discusses the importance of formal education in dealing with some of these factors in the Nigerian set up. Such factors include:...

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