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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 Six: Targets (strategies) towards National Development

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Extract

One of the important roles of formal education is the production of men and women with values. This means that formal education produces citizens whose contributions could go a long way in producing the necessary manpower for nation building and aiding general development and growth in the country. In other to achieve meaningful success in the process of nation building attention must be paid on certain factors which are seen here as targets (strategies) towards national development. Such factors as educated manpower, agriculture and rural development, health, population, tribalism etc, are considered necessary in the act of nation building. Educated manpower is seen as an important target because of its involvement on skill and management in the process of nation building. And because the majority of Nigerian population is rural and has agriculture as their mainstay, agriculture and rural development is also considered as an important target. Health is a target because without good health, the citizens cannot achieve much in the process of nation building. Population on the other hand is considered important because if it is not checked, overpopulation can bring about disorder and difficulties in managing affairs. Tribalism is a peculiar case in Nigerian situation due to the conglomeration of people with different cultures and world views, and therefore is considered as a target. This chapter therefore discusses these factors, emphasizing their importance and the contribution of formal education towards their adequate use in the process of nation building and national development.

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