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NEWS ARTICLES

UBE, LANGUAGE AND COGNITION:
A CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF GENDER

Mrs. Frances Ngozi Chukwukere
Department of Linguistics and Igbo Studies
Imo State University, PMB 2000
Abstract
     This paper discusses the interaction of language, reality and gender and the implications of these for education and human cognition. By an incursion through several writers' criticisms of sexist English language, the consequent development of non-sexist equivalent by publishers, women organizations and an international body, this work discusses the relevance of language and gender studies in Nigerian education. A close reading of  texts, as in this paper's analysis of an Igbo reader, is an important discursive framework for revealing the way in which dominant images are filtered into learners' cognitive structure, informing their conceptions of selves and their world.
                       
1.0 INTRODUCTION
Effective education is one that brings the present and anticipated worlds of the learner into the learning process and helps the learner to see the perceptual world from more than one viewpoint. Language is a system through which we are socialized, an unconscious integration into our daily behavior because of its intricate bonds with other social aspects of our lives, including formal education (in a broad sense of the word). The first part of this paper surveys the universal basic education(UBE), the interaction between language and relativity for the study of gender in language. This is followed by a brief historical account of criticisms by writers over what they regard as gender discriminatory language and how these have informed modern English, especially in the educational arena. The second and last part of this paper argues that different languages are positioned differently in their representations of sexist usage, which only a close reading or critical discourse analysis would reveal. By going through the discursive field of an Igbo textbook designed for adult literacy, this work makes new, the old and familiar structure, which have erstwhile been taken for granted but which nevertheless are subtle ideological frameworks that help reinforce learner's view about themselves, others and their environment. 
 
1.1 THE GOALS OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION
     Universal Basic Education is a goal-directed government scheme aimed at eradicating illiteracy in line with United Nations declaration for the provision of functional literacy through learner's acquisition of reading, writing and numeracy skills. Functional literacy includes formal and non-formal educational activities and programmes designed to enable learners live meaningful and fulfilling lives, contribute to the development of the society and derive maximum social, economic and cultural benefits from the society. The term redemptive egalitarianism as used by Professor Ardo Ezeomah (1999) is an educational intervention aimed at equalizing access to education for the disadvantaged groups who are not in the mainstream of policy formulation, decision-making and implementation.
     Redemptive egalitarianism used rather restrictively by Ezeomah above to argue for the nomads can in a wider context be applied to all other categories of the Nigerian population in dire need of education too. As contained in the submission of Dr. Musa Moda (1999), the disadvantaged groups include street children and Quaraimic school children, migrant fishing families, disabled people and isolated communities. Others include several categories of women including women in the purdah, rural women, market women and VVF patients. As Moda (1999) rightly submits,

To mobilize the population for any meaningful participation in our national life, be it political, economic or social, mass literacy is a basic necessity.

       (Moda, 1999: 44).

As a gateway, to  higher knowledge and awareness, the educational programme should have an enriched curricula, planned, implemented and revised by objective and well-trained stakeholders.
     The educational philosophy in Nigeria is to integrate the individual into sound and effective citizen by charting a positively enhancing and purposeful direction. As Safiya Muhammed (1999) rightly observes, in order to enhance the access of Nigerian citizens to education, there should be a concomitant translation into action, of the philosophy of equality of educational opportunity for all. Education translated into functional literacy should be a tool for poverty eradication, “promotion of social justice and equity among all classes, gender and other groups of people (Olagoke, 1999: 41). As a cardinal link between education delivery and set national goals and objectives, curriculum should be relevant, appropriate and adequate. Major criticisms of educational curriculum include its overloaded and time-consuming content as well as poorly prepared teachers and insufficient resources for its effective deliverance. Review of curriculum should include among others, expunging irrelevant contents, inclusion of new ones that will be in line with the global demands for gender sensitivity, environmental and earth protection, peace education, health awareness especially on HIV and communicable diseases, VVF (Vesico Vaginal Fistula), nutrition and primary healthcare, to mention a few. Educational curriculum also stresses the need to enhance the use of the local, indigenous language as medium of instruction in the early years of learning, after which the English will be used in later educational instructions and development.

1.2  LANGUAGE AND REALITY: IMPLICATIONS FOR GENDER STUDIES
     Language is one of the most powerful means of communication and expression. It influences as well as is influenced by speakers who use it and the environment where it is used. Although a range of views exists about the nature of relationship between language and reality, language scholars are agreed that there is some interrelationship between both. Without going too deeply into this debate, we shall briefly discuss two positions held by writers about the relationship between language and reality.
     The first position subscribes to the view that language reflects reality while the second position views language as the constructor of reality. The first view, which is widespread among linguists (especially sociolinguistics) and anthropologists, is that the physical features and phenomena including social structures and organizations influence language structures, patterns and use. For instance, divergent political ideologies among several countries with a common language can affect their linguistic structures. Anne Pauwells (1998) cites an example with the German language in the former Federal Republic of Germany and the German democratic Republic, each of which differs from the other in word meanings and aspects of syntax. Pauwells observes that the differences in the German spoken by each “can be explained as resulting from their association with divergent political ideologies affecting the institutions in the respective societies” (Pauwells, 1998: 82). This framework of language-reflecting-reality informs the works of sociolinguistics like William Labov, Peter Trudgill, Lesley Milroy, and the anthropological linguist, Franz Boaz.
     A second view known variously as linguistic determinism, linguistic relativity, or the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis believes that language determines how the individual constructs and views reality. According to Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf who propounded this position,

We dissect nature along the lines laid down by our native language. [T[he world is presented in a kaleidoscopic flux of impressions, 
 which has to be organized in our minds  this means largely by the linguistic systems in our minds.
      (Whorf, 1956: 213).

Consequently, human thinking and cognition occurs primarily through language; language thus determines how we construct and view the physical as well as the social world. Dale
  Spender (1980) who holds a strong relativist view states,

[L]anguage helps inform the limits of our reality. It is our means of ordering, classifying and manipulating the world. It is through language that we become members of a human community, that the world becomes comprehensible and meaningful, that we bring into existence the world in which we live.
        (Spender, 1980: 3).

However, there is little substantial evidence that supports the above claim of strong determinism, for, as critics have been quick to point out, translation from one language to another would have be sheer impossibility. As F.R. Palmer (1996) remarks,

If we do not have the “same picture of the universe” as the speakers of other languages, we nevertheless have a picture that can be translated to and in some degree “mapped upon” the picture that others have… That this is so is proved by the fact that we can investigate other languages… and that we can translate. It may well be that we can never totally absorb or understand the “world” of other languages, but it is clear enough that we can obtain a very fair understanding of them… There may be no exact equivalence but languages are never totally different.
(Palmer, 1996: 46).

     The view that language totally determines human cognition is quite a limited notion for it does not take into account the fact that users of a language do not inherit a fixed set of linguistic usage patterns. In order to express their thoughts, humans have inherited the manipulative and creative ability over language, which sometimes leads to language change. As George Yule (1997) states,

If thinking and perception were totally determined by languages, then the concept of language change would be impossible.

       (Yule, 1997: 248).

     In spite of the above and more limitations, Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis has been re-examined in the light of discussions of the problematic relationship between language and gender. Linguists, philosophers and psychoanalysts, especially those working under the post-structuralist theoretical framework have asserted that language is a site of oppression, for the way in which we use language to construct reality about maleness and femaleness is fraught with subjectivity and discrimination. Proponents of this view include among others Luce Irigary (1985), Julia Kristera (1986), David Graddol and Joan Swann (1993), Chris Weedon (1994), Sarah Mills (1995), Deborah Cameron (1998) and Mary Talbot (1998). A view of one psychoanalyst reads:

“The question of language is closely allied to that of feminine sexuality. For I do not believe that language is universal or neutral with regard to the difference of the sexes. A language which presents itself as universal, and which is in fact produced by men only, is this not what maintains the alienation and the exploitation in and by society?

       (Irigary, 1985: 62).
                                                                
1.3   English Language and Gender: Discussions on Sexism.
Works on language and gender especially the English language have pointed out other forms of gender discrimination, the use of masculine terms for occupational nouns and titles in which both men and women are involved, the use of masculine terms as generic terms, and the large volume of female derogatory terms as against the scanty terms for male.
     Terms like “chairman”, “policeman”, other terms with no sex markings except when they describe females (e.g. lady doctor, woman professor, etc) have been highly criticized as sexist. There are yet other terms that have no sex markings but which nevertheless refer to women because of: the preponderance of women in such professions, the stigmatized nature of such professions or the inferior states accorded such occupations when compared to a predominantly male corresponding occupation. A nurse is always regarded as more inferior to a doctor, hence the gender for nurse is implicitly feminine but when a woman is a doctor, (an area regarded as masculine and more dignifying), her gender must be clearly specified as a female or lady doctor. A prostitute is a woman who collects money for sex, and interestingly there are no terms for a man who solicits her.
     The use of man and masculine pronouns as generic terms has been largely criticized on the basis of empirical research conducted by Graham (1979), Schultz (1975), Martyna (1978) to mention a few. These studies reveal that when males use he/man in their speech and writing, they think of males alone. Examining the writings of many past and present leading sociologists of that period, Schultz (1975) identifies unintentional disclosures that point to the male specificity of he/man. Graham (1975) points to the work of Erich Fromm whose claims to he/man genericity betrays his contradictory stance in the following phrase,
Man's vital interests were life, food, access to females, etc.

       (Graham, 1975: 62).
     The above discussion about the sexist nature of English language has two important implications for education in Nigeria, especially the Universal Basic Education scheme. First, Nigeria as one geopolitical entity is characterized by many ethnic groups with their languages approximately two hundred and fifty. As a former British colony, Nigeria adopted English as an official language for the unification of disparate ethnolinguistic groups that make up the country. Secondly, the National Policy on Education and Universal Basic education strives to maintain a balance between the wider international scope of English language and the restricted but emotive and psychological function of indigenous languages in the identity and cohesion of to group. Included therefore in the curriculum of education is the stipulation that learners must be taught in an indigenous language at some point in the educational hierarchy.
     Following criticisms about the sexist nature of English and the need for a methodological reform, several agencies and organizations have responded by stipulating certain measures to check indiscriminate, abusive and denigrating use of language against women. Some of these bodies include American Modern Language Association (MLA), Women's Studies International Forum, and UNESCO. MLA stipulates to academic writers and contributors below,
The MLA urges its contributors to be sensitive to the social implications of language and to seek wording free of discriminatory overtone.
       (in Pauwels, 1998: 151).

In a notice to contributors, the Women's Studies International Forum states:
A deliberate attempt should be made to use non-sexist language. Man for example is not acceptable generic term.
       (in Pauwells, 1998: 151).

Making practical,albeit in a linguistic way the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, UNESCO has in 1981 issued gender guidelines for non-sexist language for English and French, and in 1991 for German.
     Coming back home, it does appear as though our country Nigeria is oblivious of the non-sexist actions going around English, a common linguistic dominator at least for the educated group including stakeholders in educational planning. However educated group, is not by any standard, unaware of these changes but appear to be fastidious about a stiff hold to centuries of tradition, especially when such tradition protects group of interests. P.O. Fasoye (1995) demonstrates this awareness, but thinks it is insignificant, as in his submission below,
Nigeria is a patriarchal society and though there are obstacles to women's developments and self-fulfillment, the Nigerian woman is not downtrodden or held under servitude by the men.
       (Fasoye, 1995: 50).

      So far in the present paper, accounts of linguistic sexism and various international measures have been focussed on English by the reason of its significance in our education and national body politic.
     Analyses of the intersection of language and gender have oftentimes focussed on the lexical structure of language including terms of address, genericity, derogatory words and markedness. However, experiences of researchers in the field of language and gender have shown that different languages have different ways of constructing meanings, and the absence of most of the above four characteristics does not generate non-sexist or fair-sex language. Even without these, a linguistic text can still bear messages, which work on users in ways they may not necessarily be conscious of. A close analysis of texts may reveal that choices made in language may serve the interests of some people over others. In an analysis of an Igbo educational text below, the present writer postulates that as much as there are ideologies, these ideologies are not simply passed on women by men; rather the limits of the discursive framework may be used to comply with ideological constraints.

          2.0    LANGUAGE AND GENDER IN EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS:
     A UBE IGBO TEXT BOOK

     The National Planning on Education and Universal Basic Education stipulates indigenous language literacy at an early stage for learners. Below, we look at one Igbo text produced by the National Commission for Mass Education, Adult and Non-formal education. Below we briefly examine the facilitators/contributors of this book project for reasons that will come up later.
     The chief editor of this Igbo book titled Ogugu na Odide Igbo Maka Ndi Okenye (Reading and Writing Igbo for Adults) is a female in the commission. The preliminary page is used by the chief editor to acknowledge the following facilitators of the project, namely: UNICEF, one female and two male consultants in the commission and three language experts. Two of these experts are from the National Language Development Centre, NERDC Abuja, while one is a lecturer in the department of linguistics and Nigerian Languages in a renowned college of education in the eastern
part of Nigeria. These three language experts are made up of one female in the NERDC and two males, one from NERDC and the other from the college of education.
           2.1 OBJECTIVES OF OGUGU NA ODIDE…
The set objectives of Ogugu na Odide Igbo Maka Ndi Okenye are to teach reading, writing and numerical skills, agriculture and health especially family planning and primary healthcare delivery. Time, yearly calendar, simple scales of measurement, governments and letter writing are also part of the teaching and learning plan in the textbook. Considering learners' limited expertise in reading, teaching is backed up with illustrative drawings, though in black and white. We hereby classify for explanatory purposes, three groups of passages as follows: Group I: Alphabets and grammar; group II: comprehension; group III: comprehension and letter writing.

2.1.1  GROUP I: ALPHABETS AND BASIC VERBS WITH      ILLUSTRATIVE DRAWINGS.
1. A handshake between two men to teach simple greetings in Igbo (P1).
2. Four Verbs are discussed by showing three men, each in a different activity of speaking,   listening, and  reading. The fourth activity shows a hand, writing (P2).
3. Simple objects and activities. Two human figures are a boy and a man (P4).
4. Two human figures to teach two Igbo alphabets: two men greeting each other, and a male   clergy (P5)
5. Four human activities teaching four Igbo alphabets: a man cutting grass, a boy eating    oranges, a boy  regarding himself in a mirror, and somebody sweeping. The sex of this fourth  person is unclear.

2.1.2 GROUP II: COMPREHENSION WITH ILLUSTRATIVE DRAWINGS.
The second and subsequent units in this group consist of short essays and comprehension passages with illustrative drawings:
1. A male, Okeke introduces his family comprising his wife, Amaka and his three children, Obi,  Ngozi and Uche (P9).
2. Same picture above but this time an authorial voice describes the Okeke family (P13).
3. Another family is introduced starting first with the wife. Mr. and Mrs. Okoroafo have three   well-spaced children (P17).
4. A third family comprising Okoafo, his wife and their four children (P20, 21).
5. A fourth family comprising Okere and his wife Ugomma (P51).
6. A male doctor and a female nurse attending to patients in the ward (P61).
7. A woman nursing a baby in a maternity ward (P62).
8. A woman nursing a baby, and a female nurse giving an injection to patients (P69).
9. A man standing in salutary attention by the flag (P86).

2.1.3 GROUP III: COMPREHENSION AND LETTER-WRITING.
This group, like group II above is made of comprehension passage but unlike the second group, there are no illustrative drawings. Unlike the second group, the third group contains one unit of study on the techniques of letter-writing. Briefly, we look at two passages in group III below:
     First, The basic principles of banking are introduced by a short narrative about three women: Adaobi, Ugomma and Obiageri, who make good earnings from their respective trades but have different ideas about financial management. Adaobi chooses to conceal her earnings under her bed and robbers stole them. Ugomma spends hers only on expensive clothing and goes bankrupt, but
Obiageri takes good care of her family with her earnings as well as deposits some in the savings bank account.
In a second passage in Group III, a father Mr. Ogbonna in Owerri writes to his son Uche in Abuja  telling him how he has immensely benefited from the adult literacy scheme.

2.2 Ogugu Na Odide Igbo: A close reading of gender in Igbo language.
     In the illustrative diagrams of the first group under study, only male characters are shown. The second group has pictures of both men and women especially in the four families made up of Okeke, Okoroafo, Okafo and Okere families. Wives/mothers are shown standing side by side with husbands/fathers and their children. However, these picture passages contain discursive ideologies that pass as commonsensical because of their familiarity. First, only two out of these four family passages mentioned the names of the wives/mothers (Amaka and Ugomma) whereas the husbands/fathers are introduced with their names, which are also names of their households. Secondly, three of the four wives/mothers are introduced with a prefix oriaku. Consequently, the two unnamed wives/mothers only have the title oriaku. The term oriaku used as the English equivalent of Mrs. comprises two stems: an agentive (ori: consumer/eater) and a common noun (aku: wealth). The literal reading of oriaku is “eater/consumer of wealth”, and when used as in three out of the four passages, it literally reads as “eater of somebody's wealth”:
…lee oriaku Okoroafo…
…Mazi Okoroafo na oriaku ya…
(Look at the consumer/eater of Okoroafo's wealth…
…Mr. Okoroafo and the consumer/eater of his wealth…) P17.
…Mazi Okafo na oriaku ya
(…Mr. Okoafo and the consumer of his wealth…) P20.
Okere na oriaku ya, Ugomma
(Okere and the consumer of his wealth, Ugomma) P51.

The term oriaku can be used as an equivalent for wife, as seen in the first of the four family passages in which a male first-person point of view introduces his wife:
 Onye a bu nwunye m
 Aha ya bu Amaka
 (This person is my wife
 Her name is Amaka).

As discussed elsewhere (see Chukwukere, 2002), the phrase oriaku as an honorific title for a wife or a married woman is adopted from the Igbo areas of Ohafia and Arochukwu where women are generally greeted by males (especially in public gatherings) as ori ihe ,i.e. eater/consumer(of things). Women on such occasions reply to the male greetings with a corresponding male honorific: maazi. Towing the line of the colonial English language, many Igbo elite coined ori aku as an equivalent of “Mrs.” and maazi as an equivalent of “Mr.”. However, the extent to which the term oriaku (consumer of wealth) represents in convincing terms the position of a married woman in an Igbo matrimonial is debatable.

     Pictures in group II do not merely represent a family arrangement, but are suggestive of stereotypical roles and occupations (PP61, 62, 64 and 86). In page 61, the doctor is a male while the nurse is a female. In page 62, a mother breastfeeds her baby. Page 69 contains two pictures: one is a mother breastfeeding her baby and the other a female nurse giving an injections. P86 describes the principles of good citizenship, showing a picture of a man, Okoro as a patriotic Nigerian who pays his taxes and is therefore qualified to vote as well as contest in an election.
     The first of the two passages in the last group (Group III), which teaches banking does so by using three women to demonstrate the consequence of human indiscretion. It is significant that this is the only passage that touches upon the perils of human excesses, and women are used as points of reference. The second and last passage in this group contains a letter in which a father proudly writes to his son, congratulating himself for learning successfully the skills of letter writing as well as the procedures of banking transactions.
                                             
3.   CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS, COGNITION AND THE      IDEOLOGY OF  GENDER IN  EDUCATION.
     Critical discourse analysis considers among other issues, how texts address readers as well as how readers, according to their sexes, are positioned by the texts in the interactive framework. It is a textual analysis that moves away from examining sexism at or below sentence level and focuses in greater details on the analysis of sexist discourse from a critical linguistic perspective. As Talbot (1998) clarifies, the word critical as specifically applied to this type of analysis is the process of “examining something in order to unearth hidden connections, assumptions, etc.” (Talbot, 1998: 149). While it is widely acknowledged that the effects of sexism including linguistic sexism is most pernicious in the early stages of socialization and education (nursery, primary, and post-primary schools), it is pertinent to address, as in the attempt by the present study, the ways in which adult learning maintains and reaffirms stereotypes. A close examination of texts through critical discourse analysis demonstrates among other issues, that artistic and verbal codes are drawn from a repertoire of choices; Although choices may appear familiar and  natural as per the scope of human reality, each is only one choice out of many. Some female protagonists are nameless, consumers or wives of, or are used to teach a moral lesson. The male protagonists from the first group through the second to the last groups are used in grammatical teachings, they have names, one is a good citizen and one can communicate his learning experiences through letter writing. Claims to an egalitarian system of education is questionable in this type of discriminatory arrangement as well as in a submission by a renounced scholar in curriculum development, below:
So education is (and must be) concerned with the transformation of the total environment  physical and social  for the sake of man.
       (Onwuka, 1996: 40).
The genericity of man as used by the writer above comes fifteen years after the  UNESCO guidelines for nonsexist language for English and French.
     H.D. Thornburg (1975) has rightly remarked that effective teaching process is one that brings the present and anticipated world of the learner into the classroom and helps the learner to see the perceptual world from more than one viewpoint. By precipitating a positive direction for learners, education incorporates into the learners' cognitive structure, new ideas that will give some measure of self-understanding. Language is a system through which we are socialized; an unconscious integration into our daily behaviour because of its intricate bonds with other social aspects of our lives. As remarked by Joyce Penfield (1987), language touches “the most ingrained and unconscious aspects our personal social identities” (Penfield, 1987: xi). The characterization of language as a
reflective neutral mirror to an objective reality presupposes an expression of rigid, closed truths about reality. Contrary to this view, language can shape and create reality by filtering a dominant set of properties, images and information, which map out the role of the learner. Elements are presented as commonsensical, obvious or self-evidentially true. As Christine Hendricks and Kelly Oliver (1999), and David Lee (1992), variously assert, language has the ability to “help our conceptions of self and of the world” (Hendricks and Oliver 1999”: 1). In Lee's submission below;

Given that language is an instrument for the adjustment of the phenomena of human categories to conceptual categories it is clearly not simply a mirror that reflects reality. Rather it functions to impose structure on our perceptions of the world. Language… is highly selective, and in this sense… the process of linguistic encoding involves significant degree of abstraction from reality.
       (Lee, 1992: 8).

To the extent that our educational materials such as Ogugu na Odide Igbo Maka Ndi Okenye contains selective constraining models of gender representation, language can be said to impose into learners' cognition a dominant, one-sided, subjective form of reality, the sex of contributors and facilitators of this project notwithstanding. The problem of sexist language in education is an important task for curriculum planners, language educators, publishers, editors and all stakeholders in education and, most importantly women working as individuals, group, in ministries, etc. As examples in the work of Cooper (1989) show, languages of Palestine, England, Norway, Greece, Slovakia, Bohemia, Estonia to mention a few gained official recognition from pioneering works of single individuals in these countries. Similarly, Gordon Lindsay (1990) in a chapter titled A Dead Language Comes Alive gives an account of how Ben Yehuda “single-handedly… made Hebrew the generally accepted language of the people of Israel” (Lindsay, 1990: 26). The lesson of this information is that demand for changes, renovation or official recognition of interests seldom comes from government or official language agencies, they come from individuals and groups who are directly affected by what they deem discriminatory or reinforcement of prejudice. Citing an example with the humor and prejudice with which speakers of standard language perceive other dialects, W.N. Francis (1983) recalls that provincial newspapers in England and the United States often had weekly columns of jokes and anecdotes in local dialects and minority languages. However,

[w]ith our increasing sensitivity about ethnic minorities and their languages and customs, this sort of essentially innocent humor has declined in recent years.
       (Francis, 1983: 7).

The blueprint for non-sexist reform proposals is better taken up in further discussing that is outside the scope of the present paper; but an important lesson to learn from reforms in other languages, is that individuals, women groups, government or semi-government agencies, and international or super national organizations do engage in nonsexist language planning in pursuance of the philosophy of egalitarianism in language, education and society.

CONCLUSION
     The category of gender is an important one that helps us to make useful sense of our selves, others and our environment. From birth, our biological makeup of maleness and femaleness are defined to a large extent by the instruments of language. Language thus helps us form important distinctions that assist in constituting a way of life for us speakers. Nigeria as a signatory to United Nations declaration for the eradication of illiteracy and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, has an obligation to translate these ideals into practical actions in its educational planning, implementation and evaluation. Since language does not only reflect but also helps construct and perpetuate a gender discriminatory reality, a linguistic action through critical discourse analysis could, not only help alert people in the pervasiveness of sexism in language, but also give opportunities for the expression of other perspectives and experiences. For sure, linguistic action alone cannot eliminate all forms of discrimination, but by increasing people's awareness that language is not a neutral medium for translating ideas and values, this paper argues for a self-reflective, objective educational programme designed under a broader context of redemptive egalitarianism.
 

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Cooper, R.L. (1989), Language Planning and Social Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ezeomah, A.C. (1999). “The Place of Nomadic Education in the Implementation of Universal Basic Education Programme”. In Universal Basic Education (UBE) for Nigeria. Proceedings. Federal Ministry of Education. PP. 98-114.
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Graddol, D. and Swann, J. (1993), Gender Voices. Oxford: Blackwell.
Graham, A. (1975), “The Making of Non-sexist Dictionary”. In Thorne B. and  Henley N. (eds.), Language and Sex: Difference and Dominance. Rowley: Newbury House.
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Irigary, L. (1985), This Sex Which is not One. New York: Cornell University Press.
Kristeva, J. (1996),  The Kristeva Reader. ed. T. Moi. Oxford: Blackwell.
Lee, D. (1992), Competing Discourses : Perspective and Ideology in Language. London: Longman.
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Martyna, W. 1983), “Beyond the he/man Approach: the case of Nonsexist Language”. In Thorne B, Kramarae, C. and N. Henly (eds.), Language, Gender and Society. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House.
Mills, S.(1995), Feminist Stylistics. New York: Routledge.
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Muhammed, S.I. (1999), “Female and girl-child education in Nigerian”. In UBE, proceedings PP. 79-87.
Olagoke, M. (1999), “NGOs participation in Nigeria's Universal Basic Education”. In UBE proceedings. PP. 140-144.
Onwuka, U. (ed.) (1999), “Curriculum: An Inevitable Aspect of Society” in Curriculum Development for Africa. Ibadan: AfricanaFEP. Pp28-46.
Palmer, F.R. (1996), Semantics, 2nd edition. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.
Pauwells, A. (1998), Women Changing Language. New York: Longman. 
National Commission for Mass Education, (1990), Ogugu na Odide Igbo Maka Ndi Okenye. Onitsha: Summer.
Penfield, J. (ed.) (1987), Women and Language in Transition. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Spender, D. (1998), Man made Language New York: Pandora.
Schultz, M. (1975), “The Semantic Derogation of Women”. In Thorne B. and N. Henley (eds.)
Talbot, M.M. (1998), Language and Gender: An Introduction. Oxford UK: Blackwell.
Thornburge, H.D. (1975), Development in Adolescence. California: Brooks and Cole.
Weedon, C. (1994), Feminist Practice and Poststructuralist Theory. Cambridge MA: Blackwell.
Whorf, B.L. (1956), Language, Thought and Reality: Selected Writings of   Benjamin Lee Whorf. ed. J.B. Carroll. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Yule, G. (1997), The Study of Languages. 2nd ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

 

 

 

 

FREQUENCY OF CODESWITCHING
AMONG ENGLISH-IGBO BILINGUALS

R. I NDIMELE
DEPT OF LINGUISTICS/COMMUNICATION STUDIES
ABIA STATE UNIVERSITY UTURU


1.0 INTRODUCTION
Most speakers command several varieties and codes, and bilingualism, even multilingualism is the norm for many people rather than unilingualism. In multilingual or bilingual speech communities, languages in contact influence each other through borrowing, codeswitching and codemixing. We will begin by defining these terms. The data used in this study are from conversations recorded during research.  Most of the speakers were not aware of the writer's intention so there were no external motivation. A simple percentage method is adopted in the analysis to determine the frequency of codeswitching among English - Igbo bilinguals.

 

1.1 BORROWING
Hudson (1980:56) treats borrowing as one of the mixtures of varieties alongside codeswitching and codemixing. According to him

another way in which different varieties may become mixed up with each other is through the process of borrowing… what is meant by borrowing is when an item is taken over lock, stock and barrel from one variety into another….

An attempt at a distinction between borrowing and codeswitching is necessary here. According to our investigation, borrowing may occur in the speech of those with only monolingual competence while codeswitching implies some degree of competence in two languages. Borrowing shows monolingual  speech behaviour.  It is the occasional use of items from one language in utterances of another language. It is also a feature of monolingualism.

Borrowing arises from the fact that no language can be regarded as self-sufficient. Every language borrows from another. Essien (1995:270) notes that such borrowings commonly and eventually become the property of the language as a whole, not just that of the first person or group of persons who first introduced them. And Abdul-Kadir (1998:3) states that borrowing is

natural for the expansion of lexicon through importation, modification, translation, substitution and creation of new words to enable the recipient language to cope with the exigencies of modern science and technology, philosophy, et cetera.

Borrowing between languages goes beyond temporary possession, as the loan words most of the time remain permanent in the recipient language. This is why monolinguals use such loan words without being proficient in the lending language. A good example of borrowing from English to Igbo language is 'window”.

1.2 CODESWITCHING
Gumperz (1976:59) defines codeswitching as “the juxtaposition within the same speech exchange or passages of speech belonging to different grammatical systems or subsystems. Codeswitching according to Hudson (1980:57) is a situation in which a single speaker uses
different varieties at different times. He equally notes that this phenomenon is an automatic consequence of the existence of many registers. Hudson (ibid) distinguished between metaphorical and situational codeswitching indicating that in the former, a change in topic involves a change in language, and in the later a change in situation involves a change in language. When a speaker however switches within a single sentence and may even do so many times, it is conversational codeswitching.

Codeswitching occurs equally in diglossic situations where there are socially based and culturally valued functional differentiation between the codes in the speech community. In this situation for example, a man may use his L1 in his house and switch over to another code while on the bus, and yet switch to another when he gets to his office.

1.3 CODEMIXING
Codemixing is the use of usually single lexical items from one language in an utterance made in another language. We can go ahead to say that codemixing involves the speech and the mixing of different languages in a particular stretch of speech utterance. Essien (1996:2) defines codemixing as “a language phenomenon in which two codes or languages are used for the same message or communication”. The emphasis here is on the use of two or more codes in a single speech event.

1.4 CODESWITCHING AND CODEMIXING
It is necessary for a distinction to be attempted between codeswitching and codemixing. Ahukanna  (1990:175) uses the two terms interchangeably. He defines codeswitching and codemixing as “intrasentential switching in language which characterise the speech behaviour of bilinguals”. Kachru (1978:80) states that both show evidence of language interference but that in codemixing, “mixing takes place rapidly, frequently and almost unconsciously within a single social event within a text and in fact several times within a single sentence”. The observation of this writer during research shows that
v Codeswitching is more of a conscious act while codemixing is subconscious.
v Codemixing comes naturally. It is as if there is a pressure that cannot be resisted.   Sometimes the required expressions are not readily available to the system of the   speaker.  
 From the definitions cited above (Hudson 1980, Essien 1995/6)  we can deduce that:
v codeswitching and codemixing are complex phenomena of language use, which   involve the use of more than one language by interlocutors in the execution of speech   utterances.
v codeswitching takes place among bilinguals or multilinguals but that codemixing   takes place among monolinguals as well, and
v while codeswitching is regarded as a norm in multilingual speech communities,    codemixing is  seen as a deviation from the norm, or as Lipski (1982:192) prefers to    call it, “evidence of internal mental confusion'.
Codemixing can take place amidst codeswitching. Below is an  example of a single utterance exhibiting instances of both codeswitching and codemixing in English and Yoruba.
Mo drive lo si Ibadan lana, but I didn't see the accident at Ikare. (I drove to Ibadan yesterday but I didn't see the accident at Ikare). With this example, we can agree that codeswitching is inter-sentential use of two codes while codemixing is intra-sentential use of two codes. If Essien (1996:5) accepts this view, then his examples on inconsistencies in codemixing among speakers of the same language needs to be re-examined.


1. Mmaakid the man. Owo Odo odo stupid. (I saw the man. The man is stupid).

2. I saw the man. Aseesime. (I saw the man. He is stupid).
 Could it be that in sentence 1, the speaker codemixed, but in sentence 2, he    codeswitched? Where then does codemixing end and codeswitching begin?

From a socioloinguistic point of view, codeswitching implies some degree of competence in two languages. Since individuals play many roles, participate in multiple social relations, belong to many groups and play different roles, they need different codes.

Nigerian speech communities are prone to the linguistic phenomena of codeswitching and codemixing because of their multilingual nature. Ahukanna (1990:175) however notes that the Nigerian situation is unique in the sense that it is 'unidirectional'. Unlike in other situations where languages in contact are complimentary, the Nigerian situation portrays the predominance of the exoglossic official language (English) over the indigenous languages during codeswitching or codemixing. In the case of the Igbo-English bilingual, the English language almost always interfers in Igbo based speech events in both formal and informal settings and rarely vice versa. The dimension and direction of this act is one of the aspects we shall attempt to determine in this study.

1.5 REASONS WHY THE IGBO  ENGLISH BILINGUALS     CODESWITCH.
The Nigerian linguistic situation recognizes the exaggerated importance of the English language in the Nigerian speech community. This upliftment among other factors influences the choice of code in a speech event. There are many reasons why the Igbo-English bilinguals codeswitch or codemix. Our findings reveal that these reasons among others are based on
v Lexical inadequency
v The situation
v As a stylistic device (for emphasis)
v Portrayal of language competence

 LEXICAL INADEQUENCY
The Igbo Language, like other indigenous Nigerian languages, seem to lack some expressions for modern scientific and technological items. The lexicon of the Igbo language is updated with the use of loan words. Technical items without Igbo equivalents/expressions therefore lead to borrowing.
Data 1 reveals the  unavailability of Igbo expressions for the  words in italics.
i. Ada, gbanye radio ahu, (Ada, switch on that radio)
ii. Uche biko mechie window ahu, (Uche please close that window)
iii. Moto m kuru engine. (My car knocked engine)
iv. Bia hu m na classroom (come and see me in the classroom)
v. Anyi ebidola lectures. (We have started lectures)
The lexical items in italics lack Igbo expressions because they are modern scientific and technological items which the Igbo culture inherited through contact with the Western world. In the third example above, moto has an Igbo equivalent (ugboala) but Igbo speakers, even the not so literate, simply use the English expression. In most cases the Igbo expressions adopted to replace the English items are so long and cumbersome that speakers prefer the shorter and simpler English ones. For example, the item Radio in Igbo expression is  Igwe
na-ekwu okwu. This is rather too long (Igbo being an agglutinating language) for a speaker when a shorter and simpler form (radio) is available.

SITUATIONAL REASONS
The situation a bilingual speaker finds himself determines the code(s) he/she uses. The speaker may as well switch from one code to another to suit the situation. During a visit to a government establishment, this writer noted the variation in the speech event of an applicant in his interaction with a messenger and a senior officer.

Applicant:  Goodmorning sir,
Messenger:  Goodmorning. Kedu? (Goodmorning . How are you?)
Applicant: Fine. Biko achoro m ihu your director.
(Fine. Please I want to see your director).
Messenger:  Baa gaa hu ya, but ewestikwala time.
 (Go in and see him but don't waste time)

Applicant: Good morning sir,
Boss:  Good morning. What can I do for you?
Applicant: Please sir, I need employment in your office. Please nyere m aka.
(Please sir, I need employment in your office. Please help me.
Boss:  What is your qualification?
Applicant: I am awaiting my result. The last G.C.E efevoghi m.
         (I am awaiting my result. The last G.C.E did not favour me).
Boss:  All right. Go and come back next month. I will see what I can do for you.
Applicant: Thank you sir. Adi m very grateful. (Thank you sir.
  I am very grateful).

From the above data, we can observe that in his discussion with the messenger, the applicant used more Igbo expressions than English. Likewise the messenger in his replies. But in his discussion with the boss, English is the dominant code. This can be explained by the fact that the applicant considers where and whom he is speaking with. With the messenger, he feels at 'home'. With the boss, he uses 'good English' to impress the boss and sound more educated. The Igbo words mixed during their discussion could be an unconscious act, or to elicit ethnic sentiment. Therefore, the situation an Igbo-English bilingual finds himself determines the extent and direction of his codeswitching or mixing.

CODESWITCHING AS A STYLISTIC DEVICE
Another good reason why an Igbo-English bilingual switches codes (either way) is for stylistic effect. If a speaker wants to be emphatic, he devices a method that is different for his usual style. This is more noticeable when an instruction is given or a threat issued. Consider this discussion between a mother and her child, and that between a buyer and a seller.

Mother: Si ebea pua before I change my mind
(Go away from here before I change my mind).
Son:  Mummy biko gbahara m. Forgive me (Mummy please forgive  me. Forgive me).
Mother: I metu cup a aka, I will break your head. (If you touch that cup,
  I will break your head).
Buyer:  Resi m akwa nwere good quality (Sell a good quality cloth to me)
Seller:  Quality nke a bu the best, ma na o bu N100.00 last.
  (This quality is the best, but the last price is N100.00)
What these examples show us is that the Igbo  English bilingual can switch from Igbo to English when he wants to be emphatic on an issue. The question now is this: is this type of codeswitching unidirectional? Can the Igbo language be interposed in an English speech event to show emphasis? The writer observed some cases and recorded these examples.

I was going to his house before I noticed that their road jogburu onwe ya.
(I was going to his house before I noticed that their road was terrible)
Please start reading your books, makana e me ngwangwa, e meghara odachi. (Please start reading your books because a stitch in time saves nine).


INCOMPETENCE IN NATIVE LANGUAGE
Some Igbo speakers codeswitch or codemix because they are not proficient in their native tongues. This is common among children brought up in linguistically heterogeneous towns where the medium of communication is usually Pidgin. When these children get to their native homes, they mix the few Igbo words they were able to learn to facilitate communication with their people. The observation of this writer while recording the data below is that the pattern of such mixes/switches are haphazard.
I want to yiri my dress (I want to wear my dress)
O ji my thing n'aka left (He is holding my thing in his left hand)
M choro to see my uncle (I want to see my uncle.
M choro ihu my uncle (I want to se my uncle).

The above sentences are ungrammatical because switches will tend to occur at points where the juxtaposition of elements  from the two languages does not violate  a syntactic role of either language.

PORTRAYAL OF LANGUAGE COMPETENCE
This could be bi-directional. Our investigation shows that it is not only Igbo based speech events that witness English interference. In some cases (few) Igbo words interpose in English speech events. When an Igbo speaker of English wants to prove his Li competence, he switches from English to Igbo. In the few cases we observed, speakers switched to Igbo to use the rich Igbo proverbs for effective communication.Data V were recorded during an orientation programme for students in a higher institution. Majority of the students happen to be native speakers of the Igbo language.
It is our duty to train you to become responsible citizens. Your success is ours and so is your future because O na-abu
otu mkpisiaka ruta manu, o zuo mkpisiaka  dum.

(It is our duty to train you to become responsible citizens. Your success is ours and so is your failure because when one finger touches the (palm) oil, it will stain other fingers).
 
Any other Igbo speaker who is not conversant with Igbo proverbs and the norms for their usage would complete the address without switching. The speaker's act of switching from English to Igbo is deliberate and conscious. On the other hand, in Igbo based speech events, it is very common to find speakers switch to English. Sometimes it is subconsciously done and sometimes a conscious way of proving to their listeners that they are proficient in the two languages. Below is an excerpt from the conversation of two classmates in a higher institution.
Speaker A: Nna, ndi a chokwara ka m risitie this course.
  Kezi ka izu handout si di compulsory?

  (Nna, this people want me to resit this course. Why is it that buying handouts is    compulsory?.

Speaker B: The thing gwuru ike. Can you believe that na m emefuola N500.00 na only
  Handouts.
  (I am fed up with this issue. Can you believe that I have spent N500.00 on handouts only).


2.0  THE FREQUENCY OF CODESWITCHING  AMONG IGBO-ENGLISH BILINGUALS

 This section seeks to examine the pattern and frequency of codeswitching in the
discourse of Igbo-English bilinguals. Evidence from the various datacollected show that the frequency or degree of codeswitching is high and consequently, this phenomenon has unofficially acquired a name- Engligbo (a hybrid of English and Igbo languages) (Okore 1997:20). This alarming rate of  codeswitching has attracted the attention of Igbo scholars like Ogbonna (1985:150); Okore (1998:32) and Ahukanna (1990:175) among others. These scholars see this new medium of communication among Igbo-English bilinguals as 'linguistic sabotage. Our reaction to this is that the positive influence should be considered too, because codemixing (in particular) enriches Igbo language as codemixed expressions can become  loan words when they have earned wide currency thereby increasing the lexicon of the language. Evidence of the high rate of codeswitching can be got in the markets, churches, (especially during testimonies) schools or even when one listens to Igbo programmes on the radio or television.
 The pattern of Igbo-English codeswitching can be said to be  unidirectional as postulated by Ahukanna (1990:175). The evidence available to this writer shows that the switches are rather more frequent in Igbo speech events than they are in English speech events. This should be attributed to the fact that the English language has a richer lexicon with more technical items/expressions, and because of the institutional support English enjoys as the dominant language. A dominant language in a multilingual situation enjoys what Essien (1996:2) labels  'prestige', “self confidence' and 'power'.
The data below will help us to calculate the number of complete sentences in Igbo and English languages as against those codeswitched or codemixed, to enable us determine the frequency and pattern in percentages.
Setting:- A Pentecostal church
Nature of discourse:- Testimony.  
Audience  congregation.
Textual evidence
Praise the Lord.

 Testimony m na-enye bu ihe mere just last month. O tego ekwensu ji na-e use friends na edeceive m. O nwere one boy mu na ya di friendly, but amaghi m na o bu onye oshi. This boy gara zuru ego the father wee disappear, ndi police wee bia mee m arrest. O nweghi ihe m na-emeghi explain iji gupu onwe m but the dad gwara ndi police na m di aware of the boy's hideout. M wee kpokuo Chukwu, O wee za ekpere m.  Ndi police nabatara aririo m wee release em Nke a na-egosi na chi anyi na-efe di mma. The Lord is good.

ENGLISH:
 (Praise the Lord.
The testimony I am giving is what happened just last month. The devil has used friends to deceive me for a long time. There is one boy who is friendly with me and who is a thief without my knowledge. This boy stole his father's money and disappeared. Then the police arrested me. There was nothing I did not explain to exonerate myself but the father told the police that I was aware of the boy's hideout. I then called on God and he answered my prayers. The police accepted my pleas and released me. This shows that the God we serve is a merciful God. The Lord is good).

Table showing frequency of switches among English-Igbo bilinguals

 

 

 

 The table above shows that the frequency of switches, 63%, is higher than complete Igbo and English sentences, which recorded 18% each.
 CONCLUSION/IMPLICATIONS
The result of the study we carried out seems to reveal these facts about codeswitching among Igbo-English bilinguals:
v that codeswitching makes for easy communication because it is speech     accommodating,
 v that codeswitching is more common in Igbo based speech events than in English   based speech  events,
 v that switches are often random,
 v that codeswitching among Igbo English bilinguals can be conscious or subconscious.  We observed that the motivation of a speaker need not be conscious always, for   apparently, many speakers were not aware that they have switched/mixed languages,

Codeswitching among Igbo-English bilinguals have some sociolinguistic implications no doubt. Firstly, it affects the proficiency of the speaker. Instead of searching for the Igbo equivalents of English words, he switches into English or mixes English expressions. Secondly, it could lead to culture conflict when these bilinguals become schizophrenic.

Most speakers however see nothing wrong in exhibiting their ability to speak more than one language since they will end up communicating, any way. Since this act seems inevitable, we would suggest that when switches or mixes occur, either because there are no synonymous lexical items which can adequately express the intended concepts in the receiving language or because such concepts are culture based therefore not subject to direct translation, appropriate loan words should be adopted to enable speakers  use such words without difficulty.

 

REFERENCES

Abdulkadir, H.N.  (1998) “Linguistic diffusion as an aspect of development of Hausa  language”
 (A paper presented at LAN conference, Aba)

Ahukanna, J.C {1990 }“ Billingualism and codemixing in language use in   Nigeria: the case of Igbo-English  Bilinguals” (pp 175-185) in Emenanjo (ed)

Emenanjo, E,N  (1978) Elements of modern Igbo Grammar. Ibadan : Oxford University Press

Essien, O. (1995) “The English language and codemixing: a case study of the phenomenon in Ibibio.
  (pp 269-284) in Bamgbose, et al (ed)
______ (1996) “ Code switching and code-mixing in Nigeria: a study of the phenomena among some ethnic groups (A paper presented  to the Department of linguistics, University of Ghana, Legon.

Kachru, B.B. (1978) “Towards structuring codemixing: an Indian perspective” International Journal of sociology.
Goke-Pariola, A. (1982) “ Codemixing among Yoruba-English bilinguals”
             Anthropological Linguistics  Vol. 25, N0 1.

Gumperz,  J. (1976) “The Sociolinguistic Significance of Conversational Codeswitching”. Working paper of the language behaviour research  laboratory. #46 Berkely: University of California.

Hudson, R.A (1980)  Sociolinguitiscs. Cambridge: University press.

Hymes, D.H. (ed) (1964). Language in culture and society. New York:  Harper and Row.

Lipski, J.M (1982) “Spanish-English Language Switching in Speech and Literature: Theories and Models”. The Bilingual Review. Vol 9. N0. (pp 191-200)

Ogbonna, C.C. (1985) “Immortalizing Igbo Language” Nigerian Statesman Jan. 8, Owerri (p5)

Pride. S. N. (1978) “ On the Functions of Codemixing in Canada.” International
 Journal of the Sociology of language. No 16.

Wardhaugh, R. (1996). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics Great Britain: Page Bros. Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE FACTOR IN THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION (UBE) PROJECT

VALEN EMEKA OBINNA (PH.D)
DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS,
IMO STATE UNIVERSITY, OWERRI.

ABSTRACT
Over the years, the language question, in general terms, has always occupied a pride of place in Nigeria’s Educational Policies - Maternal / Mother Tongue. Official and Foreign (French)

In case of the present programme, University Basic Education (UBE), which seems a greater dimension. As regards foreign  languages, th question directs Nigeria and no longer foreign )

French in the Universal basic Education (UBE) Programme poses these issues that demand urgent answers:
- The whole concept of Universal Basic Education
- The language in Nigeria in general;
- Foreign language in Nigeria and in Education
- French in Primary School Teaching
- The French factor in Nigeria’s overall development.
 
We intend therefore in the paper, to highlight basic areas of interrogation, problems and challenges in order to arrive at a more harmonized Educational situation (systems) and truly developing and progressing society that is Nigeria - both domestic and international 

INTRODUCTION
 The launching in September 1999 of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme could be likened to a “Renaissance”. It is indeed a “Rebirth” by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as he had earlier as Military Head of State, in 1976, launched the Universal Primary Education: could it be that the earlier programme failed or that it was abandoned by succeeding regimes? “Yes” for both or one or “No” for both or either could be the truth. It only needs to be affirmed that Nigeria continues to grapple with a general “Education blindness”  not for lack of ideas but more for a surfeit or them and “Tokunboism” (Borrow and Jettison).
 When a coordinator was first appointed for the programme (UBE), he was charged, according to NUT NEW LETTER (2002:11)

“With the task of restructuring the National Primary Education Commission (NPEC), as a platform for i9mplementing the UBE” (1).
 
We have always had noble policies but the zeal and will for implementation lack and slack often and too soon. We now have a very brilliant and well-packaged programme with the best of intentions: for the development in the
“Entire citizenry a strong consciousness for Education and strong commitment to its vigourous promotion” (2)

 In very “strong terms, the University Basic Education (UBE) scheme provides a good opportunity to launch Nigeria into a well balanced, organized and developed society. Our best brains have put in the best wording into the programme. The  NUT NEWSLETTER (March 2002: 12) again puts it so aptly thus:

“The Basic Education is programme to be all embracing and incorporating all forms of education  formal, non formal and informal approaches. It is equipped to inculcate all values in the Young school ones and to bring Nigerian Literacy to the level of advanced world” (3).

As these brilliant ideas and intentions keep thriving and recurring (re-occurring in our Educational policies over years and decades, we intend to confront the language component to the programme more specifically the French Language implication.

THE LANGUAGE QUESTION IN THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION (UBE) SCHEME
Generally, Education is about “knowing” via teaching and learning the teachers and the learners (pupils, students, apprentices, et cetera). In this “knowing  transaction”, we talk about imparting knowledge”, including “ideas, facts and thoughts, including literacy and “numeracy”. Information summarizes all the above: Education is about informing and being informed.
 Thus the information enterprise is again tied up in “Communication” without which Education would resemble the dumb talking to the deaf. Especially in our modern world and “the global village” reality, communication is as perfectly presented by Roger and Albert  Hesse (1984: 14).

“Springing from the deepest roots of man's history, spreading its branches through out the ages, the tree of communication has now reached the stars. Man and communication are inseparable” (4).

Bringing even closer the communication matter to a much closer “globalization” reality, Agba (2001:VIII).

“Thanks to the advances in communication technology, the entire world has shrunk into a small community. Thus, one's neighbour is no longer only the fellow who lives next door. He could be in the remotest part of the hemisphere separated from one not only by time and distance but also by differences in Language, culture, norms and values. Yet what happens to one is known by the other and vice versa within a split second” (5).

 The Language component in the educational system is at the root of the matter as Human beings make the greatest communicative sense and impact through speaking and writing and other more sophisticated forms, audio-visuals, computers and now Fax, Electronic mail and Internet.
 The Language issue in the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Scheme poses an almost existential question for our country in terms of identity, identification and definition. As Noah (1998:1) says it all:

“The faculty for language stands at all center of our conception of man… Man's speech makes him human and his literacy makes him civilized” (6).
 
Our Nigerian situation poses a very knotty linguistic situation and makes the Universal Basic Scheme equally challenging. Our Pluri-ethnic and multi-lingual complexion is quite daunting as we count up to three hundred different kinds and groups with as many “tongues” that break further into distinct and “confused” dialects. Our colonial experience has brought us into the English Language “Lingua Franca” obligation as a convenient official language  We still have the pidgin or broken English fall out  - some bit of Arab in the Northern Islamic reality. All these language facts matter in the formulation of educational policies, especially with regards to the language question itself.

 As we experiment with the compulsory vernacular philosophy of teaching and learning in the primary school for the first three years, English coming in thereafter, it all remains to be seen how Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo (the three main languages have been incorporated in all Nigerian Primary and Secondary schools (in the first three years of Post-primary education).
 Are the teachers and pupils grappling well with the various Nigerian languages and pidgin English and the official standard English? Are our general literacy and numeracy reflecting well in a balanced linguistic environment? The Universal Basic Education Scheme still has more questions than answers for now as we battle with sundry odds bothering on qualification (professionalisation, materials, environment, motivation, remuneration, promotion, and students' attitudes, aptitudes, orientation, perspective and socio-cultural “Packaging”).

2. FOREIGN LANGUAGES IN NIGERIA'S EDUCATION PROGRAMMING
 In our context (Nigerian), the concept of “foreign languages” should apply to all those “means” of expression and communication that are non-indigenous and “local”  maternal/vernacular Nigerian languages. All languages that were “imported” into the Nigerian language family of families should ordinarily fall into the “foreign” language constituency.
 However, English has become a “home-boy” in Nigeria due to historico-colonial intervention and its adoption as our official language of education and work and a “lingua franca” of convenience  in the absence of a consensus on any other.
 As things are now, when we talk of “foreign languages”, Nigerians very readily mention French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and the rest of them (Japanese, Chinese, et cetera). Even Arab seems to be a very “local” foreign language especially in Northern Nigeria  where, due to the Islamic Religion  cultural admixture, the language of the Koran plays a very vital linguistic and cultural role.
 There are some good reasons to mention these foreign languages in our educational and developmental programmes. GERMAN leaves a historical echo in Cameroun (Anglo-German pact of Bakassi) and Togo (ECOWAS) as well as the present technological importance of German. Portuguese equally leaves a historical reference in Nigeria of the earlier centuries and in the present Angola and Mozambique. Spanish has left a mark in Equatorial Guinea, in Spanish Sahara, Libya and elsewhere. Other languages of today only have peripheral or politico-sentimental implications for us (Russian, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, et cetera).
 The main foreign language which occupies a special place and a seriously solid mention, consideration and recurring” experimentation” in our Educational system as well as in economic, political and diplomatic permutations is indeed “French” language intricately symbolized in France as a very beautiful powerful country in the world and an inevitable super force in Africa  especially in West Africa.

3. THE FRENCH LANGUAGE IN NIGERIA'S EDUCATIONAL PLANNING.
 French is known all over the world as a Super International Language of communication and diplomacy. Only second to English World-wide in importance and in the United Nations and in the African Union, French carries along the historical, cultural, technological and diplomatic greatness of France universally.
 Right here in Africa, and even more in West Africa, Nigeria looks like a big “Anglophone island”. Our francophone neighbours seem overwhelming in number and the implied unavoidable French connection (France is right here within and around  Cameroun, Chad, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, Burskina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Cote d' Ivoire (all these ECOWAS members are French  speaking).
 The Head-quarters of ECOWAS is in Nigeria (a minority Anglophone country, not minding our population)  most of the member countries are Francophone. So many French enterprises  and
companies have been and are springing up in Nigeria  ELF, MICHELIN, PEUGEOT, SCOA, CFAO, AFRIBANK, SOCIETE GENERALE, DUMEZ, UTA, FOUGEROLLES, BOUYGUES, and many others.
 The problem has not been the recognition of the above facts and statistics. It is not even in the formulation of beautiful policies such as three years of the secondary school system. The main problem is that of meaningful and significant commitment to the entrenchment and sustenance of French into our Educational frame-work.
 All that fill the books and Hand-outs of Education and language policies in Nigeria are perfect wordings and structuring of dreamy intentions. As Dada (1979:32) quotes so well R. Akpofure, a former Federal Commissioner (Minister) of Education:

 “We are interested in French language itself because of its importance as an international as well as an intra-African vehicle of communication. We are also interested in it because of our multi-lingual problems, we can open the doors of solving many other problems both national and international” (7).

 Earlier in 1970, S. Cookey, a former Federal Commissioner (Minister) of Education had established the same beautiful framing of the French language implication in our Educational development. said he:

 “We in the Federal Ministry of Education regard French as a very important subject in schools all over the federation. We want our schools to produce people who can speak the language and thus help to establish more contact between English speaking and French speaking African countries” (8).
 Anyaehie (1998:3) brings back the issue and raises further the question of our National Planning seriousness and our educational and linguistic philosophy:

“It is finally assumed that the view, vigorously canvassed, of making French a second non-indigenous national language in Nigeria would fit harmoniously into the existing language arrangement so as not to repeat the futile experiment of the early seventies when French was projected to an enviable status in Nigeria and in other newly independent Anglophone African countries. The idea then was to make every African speak English and French fluently so as to form one continent family without communicative problems” (9).

 While other Anglophone African countries pursue vigorously the policy of positive “French Assimilation” into their education and linguistico-strategic programme, and while the francophone countries have been striving to catch up and meet up in English (sometimes about to surpass the Anglophones), Nigerians continues to make just beautiful and accurate pronouncements that end up in the archives and “libraries”.

 We need to rethink and rethink the French “Priority” reality: we need to support the private primary schools that have introduced French in the fifth and sixth years  let all primary schools borrow the good idea. Their secondary schools need to really and seriously incorporate French into the programme  of learning. The Tertiary institutions need more encouragem4ent and motivation to give French a larger, wider and deeper ground in their curricular and syllabi

CONCLUSION
The foreign languages factor in the Universal Basic Education (UBE) project and the overall educational system of Nigeria specifically revolves around the French and its variety of linguistic, cultural, historical, economic, political and international implications. As we re-emphasis the need to introduce French in all Public Primary School in the fifth and sixth year, we equally insist that all Secondary Schools should be made to have French compulsorily taught and learnt from JSS 1 to JSS 3  with a serious motivation for continuation at the senior secondary level. 
 Beyond the secondary level (in Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities), French has to be taken more seriously and in specialized institution/institutes like the Defense Academy, Nigerian War College, Nigerian Institute for Strategic Studies, Law School, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Nigerian Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Voice of Nigeria (International Services).
 French in Nigeria should be made more pronounced and entrenched in schools, in public service, in private enterprises and in general application. We need a higher literacy of French among our teachers, soldiers, priests, diplomats, journalists, business tycoons, lawyers, sportsmen and women, musicians and tourists  these are the Ambassadors of Nigeria and they can better influence the world by knowing French. The only way (the best indeed) to play greater roles in the United Nations, African Union, ECOWAS and such International bodies is by knowing French along with English to become Secretary General of United Nations, influencing the World Court and the International Court of Justice (Bakassi again!), to have a strong voice in FIFA, CAF, OLYMPICS, INTERPOL, UNESCO, UNICEF, et cetera, we should take French much more seriously.
 For a truly balanced linguistic situation, we should take our maternal languages as the first assignment, then English, our official language and the first world language, and then French, a very strong force in Africa and in West Africa, and the second most important language in the world and in the United Nations.
 We thus disagree entirely with the suicidal suggestion of Omari (1985:20) in his quest for total indigenization and “backward integration”.

“English and French are imperialist and colonial languages which must be abandoned if we want to engage ourselves in the emancipation process. To write in these languages is to support the imperialists and colonialists in their exploitation of the Masses” (10).

 We do not need to wait until our Ambassadors and representatives are embarrassed at international fora for inability to speak or write French. We should stop grumbling about exclusion and disqualification of our citizens from world bodies and international positions  let us go back to the school of simple and basic French for a real strategic integration into the “global village” and the intricacies of World and African Politics.
 If we refuse to assimilate French and combine it with our Anglophone disposition, we might continue to be assimilated by French and Francophony via a concatenation and network of intrigues, manouevres and diplomatic superstructuring. We need to boldly embrace the French language in order to make the best of all the Science and Technology, philosophy, literatures, history and civilization as well as the geopolitical and economic permutations on the super high way of communication, computerization, and ideological manipulation.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. “Universal Basic Education” in NUT NEWS LETTER, March 2002, Lagos: NUT SECRETARIAT.

2. “Universal Basic Education: What is it All About” in NUT NEWS LETTER, 2002, Lagos, NUT SECRETARIAT.

3. Rogers, D and Albert-Hesse, J. (1984): The Communication Tree, Paris: UNESCO.

4. Agba P. C. (2001):  Electronic Reporting. Heart of the New Age. Nsukka: University of Nigeria Press.

5. Noah Paulinus, 1998, “From Utterance to Text: The Bias of Language in Speech and Writing” in The Language Professional No. 2, September, Okigwe: FASMEN EDUCATIONAL & RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS (FERP).

6. Dada, Ayorinde (1979): “The Teaching of French in Nigeria  Getting our Priorities Right”, in Audio  Visual Language Journal: Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching Technology, Vol. XVII, No. 1, Bangor.

7. Anyaehie Evaristus (1988): “The Primary School Child and Nigeria's Multi-Lingual Culture” in Studies in Language and Culture, Okigwe: FERP  FASMEN.

8. Omari, Cutbert K. (1985): “Writing in African Languages towards the Development of a Sociology of Literature” in Presence Africaine No. 133/154 Paris: Edition de la Presence Africaine.

CULTURAL  AND CREATIVE ART WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION: COMPLEXES AND OPENINGS

NTAGU PIUS AZUKA
Department of Creative and Applied Arts
Faculty of Humanities, Imo State University, Owerri

ABSTRACT

The Art of any people is the exponent of its social and political virtues. Also the Art of general productive and formative energy of any people is an exact exponent of its ethical life. This paper examines Art Education as a means of promoting high standards in our schools, It also discusses the role of Art teacher vis-avis the UBE Programme with emphasis on complexes and openings.
 The purpose is to equip the Art teacher and students alike with relevant information for optimism performance. Finally  suggestions are proffered.
INTRODUCTION
 The desire for quality Education and reform is not new to Nigeria and other developing countries in Africa.  In Nigeria, perhaps, the most recent programme is the Universal Basic Education (UBE), which is in line with the world conference on education for all, held in Jomiten, Thailand (1990).  The framework of the conference is to meet the basic learning needs of all citizens of a nation.
 Basic Education in this context should aim at equipping every individual child, youth and adult with such knowledge and skills which help him/her acquire appropriate attitudes and values that would enable him/her to become productive and fully functional members of his/her society. 
 Surely, UBE as a programme means that no child, irrespective of sex will be denied the right to education.  In other words, through education, every child would derive maximum benefits socially, economically and culturally.  UBE will therefore create an opportunity for the child to learn and also provide an enabling environment for the potential learner to explore his environment creatively towards developing a positive self concept and a sense of identity as well as establishing a set of beliefs and values system that would guide his behaviour and actions.
 From the above reasoning, there exists a sense of urgency on the part of the government, to improve the quality of education of its citizens that was absent in the past.  But recent development in Nigerian Education especially the opportunity for basic education has resulted in a new dimension of problems in schools and the nation at large.  The programmes in the curriculum, with special reference to cultural and Creative Arts, for instance, were introduced to enable student have a choice to occupational live in accordance with their interests, ability (academic/financial) viability.  The point being made here is that career paths mostly chosen could not be relevant to the society because of infective classroom delivery system.  In that aspect, problems existed. The system (6334 system of education) opened up various learning paths, which were meant to cater for the various interests of individuals and the Nigerian economy.  Unfortunately, this system became so wrongly implemented that students and the society, at large, viewed education generally with disdain, as the impression created as regards the school-based vocational and technical education could not yield or lead to the economic and social independence sought for every body in the society.   This fact of improper implementation is the core problem because it has been argued that if the programme was well implemented more and more Nigerians would have picked up interest in vocational and technical education.
 On the other hand, there are many schools which do not offer educational guidance to their students, such students were not able to relate curriculum tracks to occupational groups.  Albeit, these educational guidance were meant to assist individuals to make informed decisions about their educational paths.
 Happily, the launching of the (UBE) programme in Sokoto on September, 30th, 1999, became a vital force of reshaping and encouraging education for all and sundry.  It became a universal access to basic education and a pedestal for higher educational pursuits.
 The different views on (UBE) depends on individual perception and disposition in the knowledge of the programme.  Some schools of thought see (UBE) as one of those “elephant projects” meant to siphon money out of federal government's treasury.  Another school of thought sees it as a re-lunch of the former Universal Primary Education (UPE) of 1976, whose varied problems were identified by analysts as inadequate planning, politics, improper budgeting, mismanagement of funds, social resistance, lack of teacher expertise, inadequate employment prospects and unsolved problems of design of effective classroom delivery system.  (Ukeje et al, 1992, Heyneman, 1985).
 At Nigerian level, the educational system cannot be said to have been a huge success.  Perhaps the most convincing argument for the (UBE) scheme in the 6334 system of educational programme has been the common understanding that investment in formal and non-formal education and training for all, has exceptionally high social and economic returns, and is one of the best means for achieving social development and economic growth that is both sustained and sustainable.  Most significantly, UBE scheme comprises a wide variety of formal and informal educational activities.  Popoola, (2001) noted that it is a scheme meant to be the foundation of sustainable life and self-reliance.  The 6334 system of education is in place and is no longer in doubt.  What is in doubt is:- whether the student could have the opportunity to choose what he/she wants, within the scope of his/her interest and ability and whether the right type of trained or retrained staff could be engaged in the system.  Certainly, the answers to the above will differ from persons to persons and from state to state. 

ART EDUCATION AND UBE SCHEME
 The National Policy on Education (1981:38) observes that “no education can rise above the quality of its teachers”.  Given the fact that there can never be a single answer to human problems, these ideas have had their influences on educational thinking in Nigerian.  Education became adopted therefore as an instrument per excellence for effective national development (FME, 1981).
 A review of Beijing declaration shows that Education is a right and an essential tool for achievement  the goals of equality, development and peace.  It should be noted that despite the good intentions of the Government, Nigerian intellectuals and academicians who are experts, should advocate the strong use of Art as a foundation course in all levels of our educational system.  A false dichotomy continues to exist in people's minds, by which the practice and enjoyment of Arts are placed in a remote and special category of human experience, divorced from what are taken to be the really important concerns of life.  (Bassett, 1974).
 Vision is instantaneous.  A thing seen is more vivid than a thing read of.  According to Bassett, (1974).
A subtle degrading environment is not the worst consequence of neglecting the education of our eyes.  When we become uncritical of our aspect of living, we tend to become uncritical of others.  We slip easily into distrust of our ability to change anything.  Blindness to environment becomes an aspect of conformity.

Keen observation on the other hand is an instrument of individuality, of direct personal reactions, of an intuition that is quicker than reason, Basset, 1974 continues that it is no accident that language borrows the metaphor of vision.  The words “imagination”, “foresight”, “scope” and a host of others all bear witness to the fact that a good look at a thing is a condition of understanding it.
 Training the eye is a sort of directing attention and celebrating the visual symbolic language of art.  However, Art is the only subject that trains the eyes, it supports the humanities in a curriculum heavily weighted toward science, and gives a student a golden chance to be creative.  The real value
of creativity in education is that it helps a student to be definite in his attitudes and enlarges his general capacity for perceiving, thinking and feeling.      
 Trained manpower is therefore indispensable in execution of any programme.  There is no sector of human activities which can progress without competent teachers to operate the training programme.  This accounts for the indispensability of the service of teachers in nation building.
 For the UBE to actually succeed, professional teachers must be engaged in the system.  Emphasis should be laid on vocational orientated subjects and programmes that would provide experiences and intellectual challenges to the recipients of the scheme.  To cope with the present day challenges in the constantly changing world environment, it is not the duration spent in school that matters, but skills acquired aided by art education, as it would lay the solid foundation needed for shaping the consciousness and perception of Nigerian child within his environment.
 With perception we are more at home.  It is a situation in which the quality of an object is mysteriously established and fortified by the memory of things seen before.  The faculty grows with our experience in the world and can only be developed in the school by a teacher.
 The most obvious function of an Art teacher as regards UBE programme would be the teaching of cultural and creative arts.  Cultural and creative arts is a subject embracing every field of human endeavour, from which it draws its knowledge.  It is a vehicle for understanding and appreciating ones environment, Cultural and creative arts is the bringing together of technology, music, dance, drama and fine arts.  The rallying point becomes the child against his cultural background.  (Ntagu, 1993 : 121).
 The teacher at the primary level leads, guides and assists the learner using a participatory approach which encourages openness in a non-threatening school environment at a given art programme.  Many children go to school without knowing what they are supposed to do and leave school without any idea of what type of job or career they should pursue. 
 The failure of education lies not only in poor teacher training but also in what is taught and how it is being taught.  The concern of UBE must go beyond gaining access but rather to ensure advancement by providing a solid foundation of Art programmes to the children right from the start.  As much talked about, transfer of technology will be meaningless if the majority of Nigerians are ignorant in Art.

THE ROLE OF ART EDUCATION AND UBE SCHEME
(a) COMPLEXES
 Recent decades have witnessed a growing confusion in our educational system.  People appear to prefer educational poverty to economic poverty.  Perhaps the deteriorating standard of education as it affects the individual could be based on wrong concept of life.  But an educated person is seen to be both more productive economically and more satisfied politically.  Education is then observed as affording the individual an opportunity to explore his environment for future development.  Failure, of a society to provide basic education to majority of her citizens will result in a failure of these citizens to be able to take advantage of investments in higher levels of training and skills development later.  In other words, a society cannot advance unless its system of teaching and learning exhibits progress.  But to what extent has the quality of academic programmes offered in schools, with emphasis on Art education, been developed?  What investment strategies or learning experiences, have been employed to alleviate poverty and to enhance the quality of life of an individual?
 Unfortunately, Art education has ever remained the minority interest in the school curriculum.  In schools today the picture invokes pity.  In most primary schools, the subject, art, is sometimes emasculated under the “garb” handicraft (instead of cultural and creative art).  At the secondary level in particular, it has been pushed to that curriculum “ghetto” called “elective”.  It is no irony then that students drop the subject as they advance in their academic careers.  The problem of Art education in our institutions is historically enormous even with the introduction of the 6334 system of education. 
 However, within the confines of this section, one can just sketch the barest outlines of the problems and implications an individual may have on the growth of art consciousness within our environment.  For example, the creative force in our society has become limited by vision of despair and materialism.   This has resulted in the perceptible breakdown of the society to the point where education was highly effected.  It became obvious that civilization has reduced its citizens to such a skinny and pitiful existence.
 Many therefore have little or no understanding of themselves and of their environment.  Many individuals left school and ended up in the streets.  A sizeable number are moving from one job to another in other to meet their interests and capabilities.  These show that the individuals did not prepare themselves for life in their environment.  More so, that the individuals are not aware of their potentials.  To be aware of one's abilities, interests, values and potentials, one has to be assisted from the very foundation of one's education with skills needed to cope with different situations one encounters in life.

OPENINGS
 Creative art in school is both a body of knowledge and a series of activities which the teacher organizes to provide experiences related to specific goals.  The aims of teaching creative arts include:-
1. Training the child on how to visualize and distinguish forms, tones, colours, how to memorize what has been seen and present the same carefully.  In other words to develop visual perceptions within his environment.
2. Help develop physical muscles.
3. Help train the child's observation.
4. Give ample chance for job opportunities and means of livelihood in later years. 
The purpose of Art Education is to reveal aspects of the universal beauty or truth.  The artist by training reads the open secret of his environment.  This goes to show that mental growth depends upon rich and varied relationship between an individual and his environment.  Such relationship is a basic ingredient of a creative art experience.  This implies that an individual learns through his senses.  The ability to see, feel, hear smell and taste provides the contact between man and his environment and the development of his perceptual sensitivity is the most important aspect of educational process.
 When a teacher organizes a good art programme the ability to ask question, to seek answers, to find forms and order, to imagine and restructure and finding relationships are qualities an individual develops.
 The National Policy on Education (1981) affirms that the acquisition of appropriate skills, ability and competence in the three domains (cognitive, psychomotor and affective) is a necessary equipment for the individual to live and contribute to the development of his society.
 In Cultural and Creative Art Education, emphasis is placed on the development of an individual as a person as well as a producer and consumer of art works.  On the other hand, teaching generally, can either be beneficial or harmful.  What determines the value of teaching in general or art teaching / instruction in particular is the teaching methods employed.  Faulty Art teaching therefore, can create a thorough dislike for art programmes that may remain with someone forever.
 No doubt Art Education should be an indispensable tool of Nation building, of which the study of art would promote visual literacy, by making people more careful and accurate in observing objects, people and activities around them.
 In the Primary School, the curriculum of Art Education is an integration of several aspects.  The only common mistake is to teach Art as a single rather than as an integration of subjects.  The integrative approach requires that events and activities which are capable of bringing the relationship between technology, music, dance, drama, fine and applied arts, to the limelight are used as topics for teaching.  This would create more opportunities for students to contribute to national wealth and stability.

CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS
 The dominant values in our cultural environment are still reflected in the quest for wealth, success and upward social mobility.  Within this scheme of values Art is often treated as little more than a leisure time pursuit, a decorative addition to life or a symbol of wealth and social sophistication.  This is evident of the fact that deeper meanings of Art Education are poorly understood and largely unrealized.  However, the development of creative thinking generally and in relation to Art in the early childhood education is one of the most salient and critical areas in the teaching and learning process.  Therefore, every primary school and junior secondary schools students should acquire adequate skills and abilities to enable him or her sharpen his/her chosen career and contribute maximally to the development of the society.
 In Culture and Creative Art Education, emphasis is placed on the development of the individual as affected by the ideas that school must be a place where peoples go, not merely to learn but to carry on a way of life.  In order to acquire skills and abilities to live and shape ones everyday environment.
 Therefore, any nation without Art Education is moribund.  It is a nation in distress.  The growth of such a nation will be stunted if not distorted.  Furthermore, the young people in such a nation, will remain largely disillusioned as the will have no place in contemporary human society.
 Strategies suggested for the effective implementation of UBE programme along side the teaching and learning of Art Education include:
Improving educational environment.
Less politicization of government policies.
Let there be adequate funding.
Efficient management.
Instituting appropriate guidance and counseling services
Appointment of professional Art education for effective classroom delivery system.
No doubt these suggestions will go along way in putting the lost glory of Art teaching in its proper perspective as well as enhancing the success of the UBE programme in Nigeria.

 

REFERENCES

1. Bassett R. (Ed) (1974) The open eye in Learning: The Role of Art in General Education
 London: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2. Cacace P. 1978 The Leaching of Art and Craft in Primary School, London Macmillan Education.

3. Federal Republic of Nigeria (1981) National Policy on Education.  Lagos: Government Printer.

4. Heyneman, S. (1985) “ Diversifying Secondary School Curricula in  Developing Countries: 
 An Implementation History and some Policy Options”,
 International Journal of Educational Development V. (4).

5. Ntagu P. A. (1993) “Cultural and Creative Arts:  A Resource for Primary School Teachers”.
  In (Obujes) Obudu Journal of Educational Studies Vol. 1 (2) December Makurdi:
 Onaivi Press for FCE Obudu.

6. Popoola F. O (2001) “Nigeria Universal Basic Educational Scheme: 
Learning from Universe Primary Education, University of Lagos.

7. Ukeje B. O., Abogu G.G. (1992) Educational Administration Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers.

 

 

 

 

 

SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS EXPOSURE TO EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTING IN NIGERIA:
AN ASSET TO UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION

Nosa Owens-Ibie (Ph. D) and Abigail Ogwezzy
Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos  Akoka- Lagos

ABSTRACT
This article examines educational broadcasting in Nigeria. Specifically, it investigates the exposure of secondary school students to educational broadcasting against the backdrop of the Universal Basic Educational (UBE) programme. The paper takes a panoramic view of education in Nigeria and delves into the prospects and challenges of educational broadcasting. It argues that educational broadcasting is an asset to UBE as it makes education more accessible to all and sundry in addition to promoting educational equity and justice since majority of the programme's target audience are likely to have access to the same educational broadcast programmes irrespective of the socio-economic background. Survey was used for data gathering from July 2-Sept, 29, 2000. The paper concludes that generally, secondary school students are exposed to educational broadcast programmes.


INTRODUCTION
As the debates for increased access to basic education heats up both nationally and internationally, this paper assesses how the media can make knowledge more accessible under the UBE programme.

The international community, including virtually all the Governments of the world, have undertaken a commitment at the World Conference on Education for All at Jomtien, Thailand, to increase significantly educational opportunity for over 100 million children and nearly 1 billion adults… who at present have no access to basic education and literacy. In fulfilment of the commitment, specific measures must be adopted …(a) the expansion …universal access to basic education, including completion of primary education or equivalent learning achievement by at least 80 per cent of the relevant school age children…vocational training and preparation for employment and increased acquisition of knowledge, skills and values through all educational channels, including modern and traditional communication media (emphasis is our's)…(Unicef, 1990:18-19)

 What this means is that it is not the duration spent in school that matters, but skills acquired through any medium. This acknowledges the educational function of the media the others being, informing, persuading, and entertaining.  The potency of the media, especially broadcasting in enhancing the quality of education children, youths and adults receive has been acknowledged. According to Onabajo (2000:79). 'There is a consensus amongst Educationists and broadcasters that educational broadcasting is no substitute for the classroom teacher, but it can assist him in many ways…Educational broadcasting can appeal to the minds of youths and children and their imaginations, thereby expanding their worldviews; …helpful in providing support for the teacher in science and social science subjects…' Hence when combined with face-to-face teaching is a good 'marriage' for the UBE programme.  Thus, assumptions about the educational impact of the mass media played a formative part in guiding the direction of this paper. Insofar as international bodies, educationist and communication scholars acknowledge the potency of the media in education, it is important that the UBE programme tap into the power of the media in the programme execution. It is on the account of this, that this paper explores the impact educational broadcasting may have on the UBE programme in Nigeria.  It takes up the theme of 'UBE and the Media', but looks at it from the
vantage point of making education more accessible to all and sundry in addition to promoting educational equity and justice through the UBE programme since majority of the programme target audience are likely to have access to the same educational broadcast programmes irrespective of the socio-economic background.

POLICY FRAME WORK
Education is acquired either formally or informally. Formally, it is acquired in a classroom or      other formal settings while informally, it is commonly in the home or community via socialization process.  Education constitutes a critical variable in national development. Policy makers and scholars share this view, hence we have slogans like 'Literacy for all by the year 2000'. In December 1990, about 155 countries Nigeria inclusive accepted the Jomtien Declaration of Education for All (EFA). It emphasises the need to find suitable and innovative means of giving basic education to the masses especially children to enable them achieve a higher standard of living and be able to favourably and effectively cope with present day challenges in the constantly changing world. Also, the Nigeria Government in reaction to the 1993 New Delhi, the 'Side Summit' at Copenhagen (1995) and the Ministerial Review Meeting at Bali, Indonesia (1995), pledged to provide basic education for all by the year 2000 (Agunbiade, 2000 cited in Oke, 2001). Essentially, the World Conference on Education for All held at Jomtien, Thailand, was on how to increase significantly educational opportunity for millions of children and nearly 1 billion adults.
Despite these efforts, however, it is no longer debatable that the educational sector in Nigeria is facing crisis, which according to   the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), is as a result of poor funding, which leaves the sector with obsolete equipment, poor facilities, brain drain, demonstrations and protracted strikes by students and workers respectively. These have resulted in incessant closures. Scholars and concerned citizens opine that as a result of the problems, private tuition centres, home coaching, private schools (at all levels) have become the vogue in Nigeria. Some wealthy Nigerians send their children to schools abroad to acquire 'better quality' education. As Onabajo (2001:253) citing Hall (1981) puts it: 'there is a growing discontent with the quality, quantity and cost of educational approaches…' As a result, there have been various educational summits meant to review the curricula of schools at various levels, as there have been claims that many young people lack vocational skills and that graduates produced at various levels are of poor quality. Thus there have been various education policies in Nigeria to address this down turn in education and honour various international declarations on making basic education accessible to all. Generally, the aim of these educational reforms is to make education functional and to enable output of the system be 'employable' and 'self-reliant'. It was to encourage vocational and technical education that would give relevance to the needs of the Nigerian society (FOS, 1998).
 In 1976 under the military administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo, the Universal Primary Education (UPE) was launched. Also, the 6-3-3-4 system of formal education in Nigeria was introduced in the 80s. This means 6 years of primary education, 3 years of junior secondary; 3 years of senior secondary and 4 years of tertiary education. Again, as a democratically elected president, Obasanjo launched the Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Sokoto on September 30, 1999. Many see this as a re-launch of the UPE programme with some modifications. Irrespective of people's thoughts, the UBE programme is expected to make basic education more accessible to all and sundry in addition to promoting equity and justice' (Duru, 2001:14). Basically, there are six fields of operation in the UBE programme  'programme/initiative for early childhood care and socialisation; education programmes for the acquisition of functional literacy, numeracy and life skills; special programmes for nomadic populations; the out-of-school non-formal programmes for updating the knowledge and skills of persons who left school before acquiring the basic(s) needed for lifelong learning; non-formal skills and apprenticeships training for adolescents and youths who have not had the benefit of formal education; and the formal school system from the beginning of primary education to the end of the junior secondary school' (emphasis is ours) (Onwuakpa, 2000:43) in Oke (2000:16).  This position lends credence to UNESCO (1976:240) that sees television as a support to better education that should assist school and out-of-school education. Although, it says primary education should be given priority. It also recommends that experiments at other levels of education should also be carried out and TV should disseminate information about specific aspects of science and technology, agriculture, health, family planning etc. Hence this paper advocates that educational broadcasting should be utilised in the implementation of the UBE programme that targets both in-school and out-of-school children and adults. UNESCO (1976) position, led to the introduction of the Satellites Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) in India.
This paper isolates those aspects of the fields of the UBE operations (programme/initiative for early childhood care and socialisation; and the out-of-school non-formal programmes for updating the knowledge and skills…) in examining whether or not educational broadcasting is an asset or a liability to the UBE programme. Literature reviewed and data analysed shall reveal the effectiveness and gains of educational broadcasting to enhancing access to knowledge and skills by children and adults. Reaching a conclusion on this is based on a research that investigated secondary school students exposure to educational broadcasting in Nigeria, and using it the findings to make input into the UBE programme taking cognisance of the goal of UBE.
Advocates of the UBE programme claim that UBE possess the panache to transform education in Nigeria. They opine that Nigerian children through the programme will be empowered to compete with their counterparts from other parts of the world. Accessibility of knowledge and skills enhances empowerment. According to Oke (2001:25), achieving greater accessibility of knowledge and skills by UBE target audience, requires the adoption of 'self-learning techniques and adoption of non-institutional methods as well as groups and individual activities….Group activities include workshops, seminars, study groups, lectures, conferences and close circuit television, (emphasis is ours), while individual activities include audio-cassette tapes, (emphasis is ours)   reading, video-cassette tapes, (emphasis is ours) on line materials, Internet, telephone information systems, cable television, video discs and observations. Furthermore, since training and retraining of teachers is part of the UBE programme, Imhabekhai and Ojogwu (2001) recommend correspondence education, radio educational programme, television educational programme and radiovision programme as ways of educating teachers.
Apart from the 6-3-3-4 system of education, the UPE and UBE programmes, the Nigeria government has put in place a policy framework on educational broadcasting. The policy on educational broadcasting is one of government's strategies targeted at enhancing and updating knowledge and skills of millions of children and adults. Thus in April 1978, the Murtala/Obasanyo Military Government enacted the Decree No. 8 establishing the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), amongst other functions empowers the corporation, 'to organize, provide, and subsidize for the purpose of broadcasting educational activities and public entertainment'. The FRCN decree has been effective in the area of providing adequate expression of the culture, characteristic and affairs of each state or zones as stipulated under sections 5 and 7 of the Decree. This shows a visible effort to harness energies in promoting educational development.
At this juncture, it is important to emphasise that the primary functions of the mass media (print and electronic) are surveillance and correlation of the environment, entertainment and transmission of cultural heritage (which is its basic educative function). However, there is a paradigm shift in the educative function of the mass media from mere transmission of cultural heritage to the proper design of programmes for the purpose of formal education. This is increasing as a result of improved information technology, global experience on the gains and favourable broadcast policy framework. Therefore, educational broadcasting is one of the gains of the information age, occasioned by modern technology.
According to Lenglet (1985: 153) ' Much hope has been set on the use of communications technology for reaching the large group of school  age children and illiterate adults with appropriate messages of high quality'. Therefore, it is not surprising that educational broadcasting, a contemporary approach to enhance formal education is now becoming common in developing countries including Nigeria, lending credence to the uses and gratification theory of mass communication that looks at the how and why people use media contents. Therefore is has been acknowledged that educational broadcasting enhances education as in Nigeria today, people sit in the comfort of their homes to learn science and art subjects through various educational broadcast programmes. The findings of this study will reveal the true picture.
Thus, this paper examines the exposure of secondary school students (SSS) to educational broadcast programmes, using it to make input into a projected 'balance sheet' for the UBE programme. The findings from the study will reveal whether or not the exposure of secondary school students (SSS) to educational broadcast programmes is an asset or a liability to the UBE programme. Specifically, it answers to the following questions are sought through this study:
1. What level of exposure do secondary school students have to educational broadcast programmes?
2. To what extent do sex, type of school, residential status, and level of education affect exposure of secondary school students to educational broadcast programmes?
3. Does subject interest affect students' exposure to educational broadcast programmes?
4. Do students understand the aims of educational broadcast programmes?
5. How popular are some TV and Radio educational programmes?
         6. Are educational broadcast programmes to students?  
7: Do students prefer foreign to local educational programmes?  
8. What factors attract students to educational programmes?  
9. What factors turn-off students from educational programmes?  

 Below, the paper turns to navigate the history of educational broadcasting before presenting the findings of the study.


HISTORY OF EDUCATIONAL BROADCASTING
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
The British Broadcasting Company established broadcasting enterprise in 1922. News, education and entertainment-educational programmes, including plans for school broadcasting, were stressed, as major programme areas. However, school broadcasting was not initiated until 1924, when British Broadcasting Company was transformed into British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Approximately 200 schools were using school broadcasts by the end of that year. Two years later in 1926, 2000 schools were using them. In the 1920s and 1930s, broadcasting development was still in a developmental stage in Japan; and until after World War II school broadcasting hardly existed in the countries of Latin America (Nishimoto, 1969:205).
An analysis of a survey by BBC with financial assistance from the Carnegie foundation, confirmed the possibility of educational effectiveness by offering educational materials in music, drama, foreign languages and current events through radio school broadcasting. It further confirmed that educational effectiveness was achieved as a result of using school broadcasting for geography, history, biology and science, if relevant visual were used. The report says that 20 minutes programme duration was the most suitable. Also from 20 - 30 students together with their teacher could listen. This report brought to the fore the importance of school broadcasting not only in England, but also throughout the world (Nishimoto, 1969).
In Japan, an experimental broadcasting station was established in March 1925 at Shibaura, Tokyo, with three major programme areas - news, education and entertainment. Having fully established broadcasting in 1926, Italy educational broadcasting became well established in June 1934. It was known as Radio RWALE. However, as from 1933 school broadcasting was an important weapon for spreading national policy under the Nazi government. (Nishimoto, 1969).
In 1930s and 40s, Japan was the only country that developed school broadcasting in Asia and Africa. Thailand started preparations for broadcasting in 1954. Thailand started educational broadcasting in 1958 with programmes for English, Social Studies and Music. The programmes were of twenty minutes duration and targeted at middle class students and broadcast Monday through Friday from 9.00 am to 2.00 pm. For optional utilization, the programmes (all of them) were repeated four times (Nishimoto, 1969).
France established broadcasting as an enterprise in 1921, and the first school broadcasting was conducted in 1933 at Grenoble. Nishimoto (1969), observed France educational television in 1958 and reports that in France, Telescuola initiated school broadcasting. It was segmented into five areas: middle school, adult education, science education, teachers' in-service education; and educational and vocational guidance courses. They were telecasting four times a week - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday for thirty minutes duration, starting from 2.20 pm. Thursday was included for educational television because schools were closed on that day for home religious education. To maximize airtime and activate the differing capabilities of TV and Radio, the two media were given specialized roles. Priority was given to disciplines requiring communication of a visual nature on TV especially scientific disciplines.
UNESCO (1976) position, which sees television as a support to better education that should assist school and out-of-school education. led to the introduction of the Satellites Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) in India The Ministry of Education in India decided that SITE should concentrate on nursery and primary education, however, the economic and sociological factors which dampen the enthusiasm of parents are factored into programmes targeted at adult audiences during evening transmission. Programmes targeted at children of the age group 5 - 12 are broadcast in the morning hours. They are packaged to relieve the atmosphere of boredom in the school. They further train the village teachers indirectly, which professionally enhance their skills (UNESCO, 1976). The aim of the programmes is to make education interesting, creative, purposeful and stimulating in order to reduce the incidence of stagnation. Also, while trying to create a positive attitude to formal education, the programmes try to broaden children's horizon and familiarize them with facts normally beyond their observation and experience.

NIGERIAN PERSPECTIVE
Educational broadcasting in Nigeria was first attempted in 1953 - 54 under the Nigerian Broadcasting Service which became the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in 1957. That broadcast was short-lived. However, in 1959, the Ford Foundation of America provided N150, 000.00 grant to start a Federal School Broadcasting Service at the request of NBC. The BBC supported the programme by providing recording facilities. On April 12, 1961, the first experimental programme under the scheme was on air. In January 1962, country wide service started on termly basis. Broadcast time was three hours per day for five days in a week. The funding from Ford Foundation continued till 1966. In spite of this Radio Nigeria Educational Service commenced full day transmission on 4.932 MHZ in the 60 meter band wave, starting at 05:30 hours till 12:00 midnight every day of the week (FRCN, 1984).
Educational broadcasting started on RN1 in 1961.  Ford Foundation provided its take off grant. Also the Ministry of Education gave financial support to RN1 for the programmes and radio sets were provided for schools to encourage teachers to tune in during airtime so that students could listen to the broadcast. The teachers also explain more on the grey area in such broadcast to students. Furthermore, during the Second Republic, RN1 published notes, which were given to teachers. The notes contain the titles of programmes that would be aired, summary and aims of the programmes. It also contains the preparation teachers should make before the broadcast, what students should do during the broadcast, and also what the teacher should expose students to after the broadcast.
RN1 started with broadcasting to secondary school students (SSS), but later included primary school pupils in their programming. During this period, there was a separate channel for broadcasting educational programmes, which broadcast for eighteen hours daily, starting from 5:30 am to 12:00 midnight. Radio Nigeria One (RN 1) airs about fifteen educational programmes. Out of the fifteen programmes, three are targeted at primary school student, and they are 'Stories for Children', 'Speaking English', and 'Junior Science'. Three are also targeted at teachers. They are 'Guidance and Counselling', 'The Children You Teach', and 'Principles and Practice of Education'. The other nine programmes are targeted at SSS. They are 'Introductory Technology', 'Chemistry', Parlez Vous Francais', 'Agric
Science', 'Mathematics', 'Economics', 'Biology', 'Physics' and 'English Language for Secondary School Students.
In the early 80's, RN 1 employed educational liaison officers, with the aid of government. These officers were sent out to schools to monitor the response of students to educational programmes. They visited schools, played some of the educational programmes in the schools, asked for comments, criticisms and recommendations, and went back to the station with the feedback.
Radio Nigeria Two (RN 2) and Radio Nigeria Three (RN 3) do not produce educational broadcast programmes. They hook up with RN 1. Also, all state affiliate of the FRCN used to broadcast educational programmes by hooking up with RN 1.
Furthermore, different ministries of education of each state, used to produce notes, in contribution to the success of the programmes. For instance in the early 80's, the Lagos, Enugu, and Akure States Ministries of Education, produced notes on Social Studies, Science and History respectively.
Again in 1985, during the Buhari/Idiagbon regime, Radio Nigeria was stopped from broadcasting educational programmes for eighteen hours a day. The hours were reduced to six daily. The educational liaison officers were sacked, as the government complained that there was no money to pay them. RN 1 now relies on letters and phone calls to get feedback on their educational programmes.
Currently, RN 1 broadcasts educational programmes for one and a half hours, every week day, starting from 9:15 am to 11:00 am. Their target audiences are primary school pupils, SSS and teachers. The method of presentation of most of the educational programmes is the instructional method, which involves a person giving lectures to the audience. But sometimes drama, music, dialogue and magazines are introduced into programmes to make them more interesting. The presenters of the programmes are RN 1 staff, who are university graduates (see appendix I for other of educational programmes of some broadcast station). They prepare the programmes based on the syllabus prepared by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), a body that regulates education, particularly at secondary school level in Nigeria.
 It is crucial to point that the mode of presentation of educational programmes on television is not different from that of radio. However, television has the advantage of combining audio and visual elements. Furthermore, the diversity of target audience necessitates a difference in the scripting of educational programmes. Thus various programme formats are used when mechanizing scripts, but the format chosen must be one that will ensure that listeners understand the message. The programme formats commonly used are drama, talk, dialogue, magazine, and quiz. In mechanizing a script, it essential to keep it simple for easy comprehension.
From the above discussion, it can be seen that funding is a major threat to the sustenance of these programmes as only a few are sponsored. Other problems are technical. For example epileptic transmitters that trip on and off, recording equipment in bad shape, unavailability of tapes leading to recycling, which reduces quality of production; quality of production; reluctance of principals to release students, difficulty in managing kids during rehearsals leading to time wastage; transportation problem for kids going to and from the studio; unstable scheduling; poor evaluation of programmes; commercial orientation and poor remunerations of staff among others. Despite these constraints, a major factor responsible for sustaining some of these educational programmes in the face of funding constraint is high audience interest. So if audience are interested in learning through educational broadcast programmes, then educational broadcast programmes should be seen as assets to the UBE programme that aims to make knowledge accessible to about 100 million children and about 1 billion adults.

SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW
From the literature review, the paper presented the success of educational broadcasting during the colonial period, plus the growth of educational interest in the country, reinforcing the conviction that a prime tool for UBE programme should be educational broadcasting. Also with the various educational broadcasting programmes that are contained in appendix I, it is obvious that there is a way in the use of educational broadcast, but is there a will?
 
METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION/RESEARCH AREA/SAMPLE/DATA ANALYSIS/DISCUSSION
The survey research was employed in data gathering. Lagos was chosen as the research area because of the relative high concentration of broadcast stations in the state compared to other states in Nigeria. The sample for this study consists of 208 secondary school students (26 students per school) drawn from eight secondary schools in Lagos State. The sample of this study was made up of 100% secondary school students drawn from two federal, three state and three private schools. The federal schools are, King's College and Nigerian Air Force Secondary School; state schools are Ikeja High School, Holy Child College and State High School; and the private schools are Vivian Fowler Memorial College, Home Science Association Secondary School and Adrao International School. The study was conducted from July 2 to September 29, 2000. Out of the 208 respondents, 112 are in Junior Secondary School (JSS) 2 and 96 are in Senior Secondary School (SSS) 2. To ensure fairness in representation, JSS 2 and SSS 3 students were chosen as respondents because those classes are the median in the two levels of study in the secondary school. Besides, educational broadcasting programmes are targeted at both JSS and SSS. However, JSS students dominated the respondents, since the emphasis of the UBE programme is on primary and JSS levels of formal education. Data was descriptively analysed.

Research Question 1: What level of exposure do secondary school students have to                       educational broadcast programmes?

Table 1:  Exposure of Students to Educational Broadcasting
  Exposure Frequency 
  Yes  183 
  No  19 
  Total  202  

Table 1 above reveals that out of the 202 respondents, a significant proportion (183 respondents) have been exposed to educational broadcasting.

Research Question 2:  To what extent do sex, type of school, residential status, and level of     education affect exposure of secondary school students to       educational broadcast programmes?

Table 2a:  Exposure of Students to Educational Broadcasting by Sex
Sex 
  Exposure Male Female Total 
  Yes 63  120  183  
  No 8  11  19  
  Total 71 131  202  

 Table 2a reveals that the respondents are made up of 131 females and 71 males. Also out the 131 female respondents, 120 have been exposed to educational broadcast programmes. Also a significant proportion of male students 63 of the 71 male respondents have also been exposed to educational broadcast programmes. This shows that students avail themselves of educational broadcast programmes irrespective of their sex. Hence educational broadcast programmes should be seen as an asset to the UBE programme that promises to provide equitable access to education.

Table 2b:  Exposure of Students to Educational Broadcasting by their Types of School

Types of School 
  Exposure Private  Public  Total 
  Yes  63   120   183  
  No  6  13  19 
  Total  69  133  202 

Generally both students of private and public schools are exposed to educational broadcasting. Out of the 69 respondents from the private schools, 63 are exposed to educational broadcast materials, while 120 out of the 133 of respondents from public schools are exposed to educational broadcasting (see table 2b above).

Table 2c: Exposure of Students to Educational Broadcasting by their Residential Status
Residential Status 
  Exposure Day student Border  Total 
  Yes  153   30   183  
  No  19   -  19  
  Total  172   30   202  

Table 2c above reveals that out of the 202 respondents, 172 are day students while 30 are Borders. All the 30 boarding students and a significant proportion of the day students (153 out of the 172) are exposed to educational broadcast programme.  Therefore, if utilized in the UBE programme making education accessible, educational broadcasting will be an asset to the programme.

Table 2d: Exposure of Students to Educational Broadcasting by level of education
Level of education 
  Exposure JSS2  SSS2  Total 
  Yes  95   88  183 
  No  17  2   19 
  Total  112   90  202  

Table 2d above reveals that out of the 90 SSS 2 respondents, 88 have been exposed to educational broadcasting, while out of 112 JSS student, a significant proportion i.e. 95 have been exposed to educational broadcasting. This corroborates Nishimoto (1969) findings on France educational television that target audience are segmented into five-middle school, adult education, teachers, etc and the programmes reached them. Therefore, educational broadcasting should be seen as an asset to the UBE programme, if utilized as it audience cut across different levels of study.

Research Question 3: Does subject interest affect students' exposure to educational   broadcast programmes?

Table 3: Exposure of Students to Educational Broadcasting in their Areas of Interest
Areas of Interests 
  Exposure Science Arts  Total 
  Yes  104   79   183  
  No  10   9   19  
  Total  114  88  202  

  Table 3 reveals that 104 and 79 respondents are interested in science and art programmes respectively. This shows that irrespective of the subject interest of students' educational broadcasting can cater for various categories of students and possibly enhance their knowledge and
skill. This supports Nishimoto (1969), which reports the findings of a BBC survey on the effectiveness of educational broadcasting material in drama, foreign languages, current affairs, geography, history, biology and other sciences; and the findings of France educational broadcast programme that deals with science education, educational and other vocational guidance courses.

Research Question 4: Do students understand the aims of educational broadcast programmes?

Table 4: Level of Understanding of the Meaning and Purpose Educational Broadcasting
Level of Understanding 
 Class  Correct  Wrong  Total 
 JSS 2  34   78   112  
 SSS 2  80   10   90  
 Total  114   88   202  

 Out of the 112 JSS 2 respondents, only 34 understood the meaning and purpose of the   programme, while 80 out of the 90 SSS 2 understood the meaning and purpose of the programme (see table 4 above). This shows that with maturity students have a better understanding of the meaning and purpose educational broadcast programmes. Thus both policy makers and planners of Nigeria's educational system, should ensure that educational broadcasting programmers devise means of explaining their aims to target audience and that at higher levels of study, students understand the aims of educational broadcast programmes.

Research Question 5: How popular are some TV and Radio educational programmes?

Table 5a: Popularity of TV Educational Programmes Among Students
Programmes   Stations      Frequency 
Teen Issues   MBI       33 
I Need to Know  Ogun State Television (OGTV) and NTA 10  12 
Telecast   AIT       70 
Young Brains   NTA       8 
French for Beginners  LTV       5 
The Growing Child
by Transtel   NTA       2 
Speak Out   NTA       20 
Contact by CNN  NTA       5 
Mathematics Time  NTA 2       8 
Junior Debate   NTA 10      10 
Grammar Time  DBN       10 
Bournvita Brain Match LTV/NTA      5 
Brain Bright   AIT       6 
Scrap Palace   AIT       8 
Total    -       202 
 On the popularity of TV programmes, AIT 'Telecast' is the most popular educational programmes, followed by MBI 'Teen Issues' and NTA 'Speak Out' (See table 5a above). All these are local programmes. This supports the data presented in table 7.

Table 5b:  Popularity of Radio Educational Programmes Among Students
   Programmes  Stations  Frequency 
   Youth Time  Ray Power  3 
  Guidance and Counseling OGBC   2 
   Our Time  Ray Power  8 
   Radio Class  Radio Lagos  80 
   Rhythm Quiz  Rhythm  50 
      Rhythm Question Challenge Rhythm  40 
   Total   -   183 
 'Radio Class' on Radio Lagos is the most popular educational radio programme, followed by 'Rhythm Quiz' and 'Rhythm Question Challenge' respectively (see table 5b above). Implementers of the UBE programme can tap into these programmes for effectives and efficiency.

Research Question 6: Are educational broadcast programmes to students?  
 able 6:  Usefulness of Educational Broadcasting to Students' Studies

  Usefulness  Frequency 
  Yes   138  
  Partly   48  
  No   16 
  Total   202  

Table 6 reveals that 138 out of 202 respondents consider educational programmes useful and 48 partly useful. This finding supports the views of (Onabajo, (2000); Onabajo, (2001); Oke, (2001); and Imhabekhai and Ojogwu (2001) that advocate the use of educational broadcasting in teaching and learning. Therefore, it may be said that the use of educational broadcasting in implementing the UBE programme is an asset.

Research Question 7: Do students prefer foreign to local educational programmes?  

Table 7:  Students Preference for Educational programmes by Sex
Sex 

  Educational Programmes Male  Female  Total 
  Local programmes  60   104    164 
  Foreign programmes  11   27  38  
  Total    71   131   202  

Table 7 above shows a general preference for local programmes by both males and females as 164 of the total respondents preferred local programmes. Out of the 131 female respondents, 104 preferred local programmes. Similarly out of the 71 male respondents 60 preferred local programme. This shows that the implementors of UBE do not need to spend foreign exchange in sourcing foreign educational programme, but should look inwards for home produced programme. This save money and provides opportunity for local experts in the field of broadcasting.

Research Question 8: What factors attract students to educational programmes?  
Table 8: Frequency Distribution of Factors that Attract Students to Educational Programmes
 Factors        Frequency 
 Qualitative Information and Education    30 
 Watching what could not be Demonstrated in the formal Class  45 
 Providing More Knowledge      54 
 More Qualitative Teaching with Simple Methods   20 
 Interesting Nature of the Teaching     10 
 Easy Understanding       12 
 Good Spoken English       8 
 Fun         4 
 Total         183 
 Furthermore, table 8 reveals several reasons that attract students to educational broadcast programmes. 54 respondents and 45 respondents are attracted to educational broadcast programmes because they provide more knowledge and demonstrate what could not be demonstrated in the formal classrooms, respectively. In these days when many schools are lacking qualified teachers, equipment, and teaching aids, educational broadcasting as the findings on table 10 reveals can enhance the knowledge and skills of students. Thus it may be seen also as an asset to if used in implementing the UBE programme.
Research Question 9: What factors turn-off students from educational programmes?  

Table 9:Turn-offs in Educational Programmes

  Turn-offs      Frequency 
  Bad/Poor Productions     15 
  Incoherence of Teachers    40 
  Short Duration of Programmes   55 
  Dour Expression of Male Teachers   3 
  Irregularity of Programmes    30 
  Not Giving Assignments    5 
  Interruption with Adverts    25 
  Repetition of Topics     10 
  Total       183 

Table 9 reveals that, 50, 40, and 30 respondents said that the duration of programmes, mistakes by presenters and regularity of programmes respectively are turn offs for audience, therefore if the implementers of the UBE programme is have the will to use educational broadcasting as a tool, they should carry out a research in the areas highlighted on table 11 above as turns, but more especially, utilize qualified presenters.

PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES
Educational broadcasting provides education to a mass audience. Diverse audiences from different socio-economic groups get the same quality education, so long as they have a receiver and power supply. In fact education from the electronic mass media is at no extra monetary cost to the audience who has a Radio/TV receiver. However, because of poor power supply in Nigeria, it is not unlikely that people in the upper socio-economic group may have more access as they are also more likely to have private source of power supply. This leaves a gap in access between audiences. Thus, audience from a lower socio-economic class may miss some programmes and may not truly follow some topics, especially those treated in series. Also, some target audience may not even have receivers, and can not tune in to such programmes even when there is power supply. Furthermore, some children and adolescents i.e. major target audience of some educational programmes go out to work to earn money and may not even have the time to watch the programmes. However, the fact that the same educational broadcast programme is accessed by anybody who cares to tune in recommends as an asset to the UBE programme that emphasises equity and justice in the provision of education.
Another challenge is the language used in packaging educational programmes. Nigeria is a multi-ethnic country and the official language is English, which is mostly used in packaging the programmes. The level of English language proficiency of the target audience is not the same. Thus, the degree of programme comprehension may also differ.
Furthermore, most educational programmes are packaged without proper diagnostic test/research to find out audience needs. They are packaged without audience input. Thus a diverse audience may have access but programme destinations may not be 'fertile' and thus may not yield desired fruits, especially when they do not address audience needs.
Again, the audience may have the receiver, power supply, good knowledge of English language, the programmes may also treat audience educational needs, but the audience may choose not
to attend to the programme. Thus the dissemination of educational programmes may not equate access and may not yield the optimal result as success of such programmes depend on other factors. Essentially, educational broadcasting cannot achieve the desired aim in isolation. It works through a nexus of factors to reach the audience. These challenges are not insurmountable. However, addressing these challenges needs a concerted effort from government, corporate bodies and individuals.
The government should come up with favourable policies that can make receivers affordable, ensure constant power supply, provide resource centres where people can view/listen to educational broadcast programmes, better economic policies that could reduce the need for children/adolescents to work for money and create enough awareness on the need for people to view/listen to educational programmes in order to maximise the potential of educational broadcast programme.
Development agencies, ministry of education and corporate bodies should provide funding for educational programmes; broadcast outfits should embark on research before designing programmes and embrace the use of simple English in producing programmes. Also audience should use any available opportunity to attend to educational messages as this could reduce the quality gap in education among audience from different socio-economic groups.
If the various stakeholders in educational broadcasting are committed to its success, the initiative has prospects, especially in the renewed drive to address poor quality education in Nigeria through the UBE programme.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The starting point for this paper was a concern to find out if educational broadcasting is an asset to the UBE programme, using the findings of a survey on the exposure of secondary school students educational broadcasting, presented in the paper as a basis. The findings of the survey reveal that a significant proportion of secondary school students are exposed to educational broadcast programmes. This result is closely tied to the goal of the UBE programme  making basic education more accessible to all and sundry in addition to promoting educational equity and justice. This finding lends support to the call by some scholars Oke (2001); Onabajo (2000); Onabajo (2001); and Imhabekhai and Ojogwu (2001) who advocate the use of educational broadcasting in teaching and learning, saying that it can also enhance the UBE programme.

CONCLUSION
The key conclusion drawn from this study is that generally secondary school students are exposed to educational broadcast programmes, irrespective of sex, level, residential status, and subject areas of interest. Although it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions about the place of educational broadcasting on the UBE programme on the basis of this study, the study offers some tentative explanation for the observed patterns. Therefore, since the findings of this study reveal that majority secondary school students are exposed to educational broadcast programmes, irrespective of sex, level, residential status, areas of interest, educational broadcasting may be considered an asset to the UBE programme that is expected to make basic education more accessible to all and sundry in addition to promoting equity and justice.
However, it should be noted that there is a general preference for local educational programmes. Since many of the respondents do not understand the meaning and purpose of the programmes, research into this arena is crucial. These should guide planners and implementers of the UBE programme.
The position taken in this paper is that educational broadcasting could enhance the UBE programme. Educational broadcasting was not conceived as a competitor with other UBE tools but as capable of enhancing the success of the programme. Generally, the educative function of the media has a related implication for the UBE programme. First, one programme is aired to all and sundry (cuts across various socio-economic strata). Consequently, educational broadcasting provides a 'fertile field' for the UBE programme while building alliances/partnerships in the quest for equitable access to education under the UBE scheme.  Therefore local/international NGOs, donor agencies, ministry of education and private sector should form alliances to fund educational broadcasting programmes.
Since empirical research and theoretical arguments see educational broadcasting as an asset to the UBE programme, this paper concludes that if educational broadcasting is placed on the balance sheet of the UBE programme, it will be an asset thus 'a marriage of convenience'. It suggests that educational broadcasting be used as a tool in implementing the UBE programme.


REFERENCES

Agunbiade, S. (2000) “Education for All is the Responsibility of All” in Education Today in Oke, G. G. (2001)'Major Issues in Technical Manpower Development in the Nigeria Universal Basic Education Programme' in Journal of Educational Thought Vol. 1. No.2 Lagos: University of Lagos
Clenglet, F.B (1985). ' Educational Television in Ivory Coast' in Ugboajah, F.O. (ed) 1985) Mass Communication Culture and Society in West Africa New York: Hans Zell Publishers
Decree No. 8 of 1st April 1978.
Duru, R. (2001). “UBE and Official Rhetorics” The Post Express, Tuesday September, 18 P.14 Lagos
Federal Office of Statistics (1998) Annual Abstract of Statistics Abuja: Federal Office of Statistics.
FRCN (1984) Programme Schedule: September Term 1983 and January Term 1984. Broadcasting House Ikoyi, Lagos: Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Educational Service.
Imhabekhai, C. I. And Ojogwu, C. N. (2001) “Training and Retraining as Instruments for Enhancing Teachers' Job Performance in the Universal Basic Education Programme in Nigeria” in Journal of Educational Thought  Vol. 1. No.2 Lagos: University of Lagos
Nishmoto M. (1969) The Development of Educational Broadcasting in Japan. Sophia University in cooperation with Charles E. Tuttle Company Tokyo.
Oke, G. G. (2001)'Major Issues in Technical Manpower Development in the Nigeria Universal Basic Education Programme' in Journal of Educational Thought Vol. 1. No.2 Lagos: University of Lagos
Onabajo, O. (2000) Principles of Educational Broadcasting Lagos: Gabi Concept Limited
Onabajo, O. (2001) “Implementing the Nigeria Universal Basic Education Programme Through the Broadcast Media” in Journal of Educational Thought Vol. 1. No.2 Lagos: University of Lagos
Onwuakpa, F. I. W. (2000) “Dimension of Monitoring and Evaluation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme in Nigeria” Education Today 8 (2), 43-45 in Oke, G. G. (2001)'Major Issues in Technical Manpower Development in the Nigeria Universal Basic Education Programme' in Journal of Educational Thought Vol. 1. No.2 Lagos: University of Lagos
UNESCO (1976) Planning for Satellite Broadcasting The Indian Instructional Television Experiment Paris: UNESCO No. 78.
Unicef (1990) First Call for Children: World Declaration and Plan of Action from The World Summit for Children/Conventions on the Rights of the Child New York: United Nations Children's Fund

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX I
Radio Lagos started operation in 1979 and its first educational programme, 'Younger Generation Club' (YGC), started the same year. Since then it has experienced five producers. Other educational 15 minutes programmes started in 1980 as snippets. Such programmes included 'Kiddies World' (started in 1980 and is practically dead) and 'Tender Age' (1983). Part of the obstacle to these programmes is the station's commercial broadcast policy. Since educational broadcasting does not generate revenue for the station,  it was de-emphasized. The target audience for Radio Lagos educational programmes are children, pre-school age, teenagers, those who are about to leave secondary school or are in higher institutions. For instance YGC is one of the programmes targeted at teenagers. It runs for thirty minutes and has guests on the show. Experienced people come on the show to talk about life experiences and to advice youths.
Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Channel 10 local educational programmes include 'Junior Debate' 'Children's Variety', 'Under Fives', 'Great Brains', 'Youth Scene', 'Children Telefast' , 'Youth Dimensions', 'Kidivision 101', 'Children's World', and 'Tales by Moonlight'. Their foreign educational programmes include 'Peter's Toybox', 'Sesame Street', 'Exploring Science' 'Square One TV', 'Groovy Gollies', 'Barney' and 'Bright Sparks'.
NTA 2 Channel 5 educational programmes are similar to that of NTA Channel 10. Some NTA 2 Channel 5 educational programmes include Cartoons e.g. 'Birdman', 'Croovy Crollies', 'The Tiger the Bear and others', 'Animal Kingdom', 'Peonichen is Lost', 'Children's World' 'Tales by Moonlight', 'Bright Sparks' 'Kidivision 101', 'Mole and His Friend', 'Toy Box', 'Fun with Physics', 'Science World', 'Reach Out', 'Speak Out', 'Kids in the Crate', 'Great Moments in Science and Technology', 'Barney, 'Dodo', 'Physics', 'Superforce', 'JETS', 'Oride and the Gang', and 'Magic School Bus'. Programmes that feature on both NTA Channel 10 and NTA 2 Channel 5 are normally network programmes.
It is important to note that many state NTA Stations hook up to NTA networks educational programmes. Such NTA Stations also have local educational programmes. For instance some NTA Jos local educational programmes include 'Playmate' and 'Kumatso Yaza'.
Some state broadcasting service television stations such as Edo broadcasting Service television (EBSTV) has 'TV French Lesson', Mondays 7:00pm  7:30pm; 'Waste to Wealth', Tuesdays 4:50pm  7:30pm; and 'Home Industry', Wednesdays 11:00  11:30am.
AIT, a private television station broadcasts 'Telecast' an educational programme, which it started on 2nd July 1997. It is produced and sponsored by AIT, aired on Wednesdays 4:00-5:00pm and   repeated on Fridays 5:00-6:00 pm.  It is recorded at Igbinedion Educational Centre, Benin City in Edo State. Subjects taught on the programme are Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geography. The philosophy of the programme is to take audio-visual techniques in education beyond the classroom. Teachers are the resource persons for script writing and presentation.
The outline of various educational programmes local and foreign on Lagos television (LTV), Murhi International Television (MITV) and Degue Broadcasting Network (DBN) from the first quarter of 1996 to the first quarter of 1997 are also presented below.
  Lagos television (LTV) educational programmes are 'Tiny Tots', 'Kiddies Show Time' ,' and Adiitu' 'Tiny Tots' a half hour educational programme designed for toddlers, pre-school         age children,  between three and five years of age. It is aimed at preparing the children for School and designed to teach the children while playing, by introducing alphabets and numbers. 'Kiddies Show Time' is a 30 minute children's variety programme. It is a weekly children's party or yuletide pack programme designed to educate and entertain children between the years of six and twelve. Formerly, 'Kiddies Show Time' was sponsored by various corporate bodies and individuals with Seven-Up Bottling Company as the major sponsor. 'Adiitu' is a Yoruba quiz programme designed for couples with quiz (questions) essentially on Yoruba culture. 'Adiitu' is presently off the list of local production at LTV due to lack of funding and functional equipment. Before the break in the production of Adiitu, public interest, donation from corporate bodies or conceded individuals, had been the sources of sustenance.

    Murhi International Television (MITV) educational programmes are 'Success Line', 'Career Counseling', 'Miss    Gibsy and the Children', 'Youth World', 'Auto Safety', 'Health Wise', 'Eve' and 'Omi Ogbon'. 'Success Line' is designed for children and teenagers. Its aims to counsel and educate the viewers on subjects that will ensure proper and clear vision of the viewers in their various endeavours. 'Career Counseling' is designed for children, teenagers and adults with the purpose of educating and enlightening them on various careers and how to choose a career. While 'Miss Gibsy and the Children' is designed to educate on morals and various aspect of life; 'Youth World' is created to educate the viewers (youths) on morals, sex, education, health, cooking and diet; 'Auto Safety' is designed for motorists. 'Auto Safety' educates on the use, maintenance and so on, of automobiles, machines; 'Health Wise' is created to educate the viewers on health, medicine and therapy, 'Eve' is a programme designed basically for women's general education; and 'Omi Ogbon' is a Yoruba programme that educates on the various Yoruba culture and events in the Yoruba land. It also deals with real life situations among individuals and societies in the Yoruba land.
DBN started operation in December 1994, but most of their programmes started in 1995. Educational broadcasting at DBN started on April 5, 1995. Some of DBN's educational programmes are 'On The Edge', 'Adam Smith - Money World', 'Vogue', 'Parenting', 'Teen TV', 'Drugscope', 'Computer Chronicles', 'What's Cooking', 'Working Woman' and 'Azimuths'. Most of these programmes are enlightenment programmes and about thirty per cent of them are local programmes, while the others are foreign. 'Vogue' features mainly fashion, anything that is in vogue is on 'Vogue'. 'Parenting' deals with teaching and enlightening parents on how to take care of their kids, from their childhood until they reach the age when they would leave home. 'Teen TV' is a talk show for children where they bare their minds. It is usually presented by the children themselves. They discuss their worries and help themselves to find solutions. 'Drugs cope' enlightens the audience on how to manage clinical drugs and herbal medicine. It also deals with how to control drug abuse. 'What's Cooking' deals with how to prepare various dishes and advise on some culinary skills. 'On the Edge' focuses on the touch subject of drug abuse and the use of narcotics. 'Working Woman' is a magazine programme which features the achievements and worries of a career woman. 'Azimuths' is an enlightenment programme which features Third World countries. It pinpoints development in these countries and how other Third World countries can learn from their fellow Africans, Asians and Latinos. Both 'Perspective' and 'Science World' are science documentaries that feature the achievements or breakthrough in the science world. 'Living with Health' is a health programme which enlightens the audience on health matters.
The various educational programmes on DBN have different target audiences which include children, teenagers and adults. In planning the programmes, these target audience are always considered. Therefore, the broadcast hour is during children's time belt, which is around 3:00 PM, when children would be back from school. The second belt is at 6.00 pm which features programmes that can be watched by the whole family, for example 'Vogue'. Airtime is fixed after a comparative analysis of the programmes of other competing television stations, as programmes are used to counter that of competing stations. Most of these programmes are shown twice weekly, once during the week and once at weekends, probably for those who could not get to watch it at one time or the other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY IN THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION (UBE) SCHEME;
A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY

Mrs. J. Nwagwu
College of Education, Imo State University, Owerri

ABSTRACT
Education is the key to human and national development.  The federal government showed its determination to eradicate illiteracy through the introduction of the Universal  Basic Education programme.  This is part of the dividend of a democratic government.  Everybody is a stakeholder when it comes to the issue of education.  Part of the social contract in every democracy is that government provides social amenities and facilities while the people on their part participate in democratic governance by ensuring that government programmes are implemented.  The paper therefore discussed the possible contributions of parents towards the success of the Universal Basic Education programme.  They include, reorientation and motivation of children to stay in school; complementing the efforts of government in the provision of educational materials; ensuring the proper moral upbringing of their children; breaking up cultural stereotypes which inhibit the education of the girl child.  Moreso, ignorant parents should also change their attitudes towards schooling and accord education its pride of place.

INTRODUCTION
 The Universal Basic Education (UBE) was formally launched by President Olusegun Obasanjo on 30th September, 1999.  It is aimed at achieving the following specific objectives;
(a) developing in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its   vigorous promotion.
(b) the provision of free, universal basic education for every Nigerian child of school-going age.
(c) reducing drastically the incidence of drop-out from the formal school system (through improved relevance, quality and efficiency).
(d) catering for the learning needs of young persons who, for one reason or another, have had to interrupt their schooling through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the provision and promotion of basic education.
(e) 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 foundations for life-long learning. (Federal Ministry of Education, 2000).   Previous governments instituted similar programmes in different nomenclatures.  Going down the memory lane, in the middle 1950s in the former Western Region of Nigeria, the government there implemented a policy of free, universal primary education (UPE), with crusading zeal.  To achieve success in implementing the free UPE programme was not left to the Ministry of Education in the Western Region at that time.  Premier Obafemi Awolowo who won the election to the western House of Assembly in 1952 made it clear to the members of the house that his government would give education top priority.  He spread the gospel of Universal Primary Education (Akaraogun, 2002).  Six years after the introduction of the universal primary education in Western Nigeria, the government set up the Banjo Commission to review the existing structure and the working of the primary and secondary (grammer and modern) school systems in the region, the adequacy or otherwise of the teacher-education programme, and the interrelationships between primary education and the various types of secondary education including pre-university education (Fafunwa; 1974).

 Continuing, he noted that the Commission observed that  falling standards in primary school work were due largely to a preponderance of untrained teachers, a lack of continuity in staffing, an emphasis on teacher's private studies at the expense of the children, too large classes, the presence of under-aged children, an unsatisfactory syllabus, ceasation or restriction of corporal punishment, lack of co-operation by parents and guardians, and inadequate supervision of schools either by the inspectorate or the voluntary agency supervisors.
 In 1956, then eastern government made a proposal for the adoption of free primary education in the region.  The scheme was launched in the region in 1957.  The Northern region could not adopt universal primary education in the region principally for financial reasons.
Lt. General Obasanjo launched a free universal primary education programme in September, 1976.  The universal primary education became a federal military government programme covering the whole federation and supported by all the states (Taiwo, 1980).  The reason for the prior attention to the universal primary education was the urge to improve the overall school enrolment in the country and to correct the educational imbalance between one part of the country and another (Ibid).  Surprisingly, after all the acclamation, the UPE failed because of stagnating and shrinking economies and the structural adjustment programme (SAP) introduced by the then government placed a constrain on education financing.  This led to the exodus of many trained teachers for the programme especially when government could no longer pay their salaries.  The universal basic education has kicked off in Imo State for primary school children from classes one to six.  According to the Federal Government of Nigeria (2000).
 Detailed, strategic planning is needed to ensure the unqualified success of the UBE programme...
 The progressive (and cumulative) nature of this approach will be as follows;
 UBE year I  - class 2000/2002
 UBE year II  - primary 1 & 2 classes 2001/2002
 UBE year III  - primary 1, 2 and 3 classes 2002/2003
 UBE year IV  - primary 1, 2, 3, 4 classes of 2003/2004
 UBE year V   - primary 1-5 classes of 2004/2005
 UBE year VI  - primary 1-6 classes of 2005/2006

Education is a preventive strategy to social problems like human trafficking, child labour, prostitution, professional baby-sitting.  Iliteracy subjects people to menial jobs like restaurant attendants, cooks, stewards, hewers of wood and fetchers of water.  Statistics show that 60 percent - 80 percent of girls in sex trade in Europe are Nigerians of 15 years and above (Nwoni; 2002).  Also, recent estimates put the issue of child trafficking at 700,000 each year (Ohia; 2001).
As part of democratic dividend, government has decided to institute a type of education that will be of benefit to all.  The UBE scheme is taking off with the following assumptions; that the education so given will be qualitative and will meet the needs and aspirations of the beneficiaries.  By this gesture, the federal government has already set aside a large chunk of its expenditure on education.  Education budget will be safeguarded and will never be diverted to other uses.  The government has set a strong body that will regulate the affairs of these schools.  This body will be responsible for the inspection, supervision and monitoring of the schools to ensure standards.  Other assumptions are that most primary schools have been renovated and more primary school buildings have been constructed as most primary schools are bundles of dilapidated buildings.  The elementary schools which will serve as bedrock for the take off of the scheme have fascinating facilities in the areas of having well equipped libraries, conducive learning atmosphere with spacious classrooms and spotting equipment.  The curricular has been designed to meet the challenges of scientific and technological development.  The teachers are of a professional class and will participate fully in curriculum development and social mobilization of the people for the  efficiency of the programme.
 The progress in preparing for the provision of adequate manpower for the UBE scheme was demonstrated by the federal government in charging the National Teacher's Institute (NTI) Kaduna, with the responsibility of designing, developing, and running the pivotal teacher training programme
(PTTP) using its tried and tested distance learning system.  A number of remarkable achievements have already been recorded.  The PTTP as it appears, is designed for senior secondary certificate holders who possess four passes and above.  This category are recruited and trained as teachers for the nation's primary schools.  The progrmame according to NTI manual on PTTP prepares beneficiaries not only to teach UBE pupils but to ultimately enter the mainstream teaching profession through a continuing education programme up to NCE level (Onehi; 2001).  These solid foundations are necessary in order not to repeat the mistakes of past governments as the universal primary education which was a similar education plan failed mainly because of poor financing of the programmes preponderance, of untrained teachers, large classes etc.
 Moreso, no educational plan succeeds without the cooperation of parents and guardians.  Beneficiaries and implementers of government programmes are the masses/the people.  The remaining part of this paper will therefore discuss the ways the family can contribute towards the success of the UBE scheme.


PROBLEM
 The family plays a crucial role in the development of societies.  The family is the basic unit or basic building block of the society as it is responsible for bringing forth and training human beings that make up the society (Okereafor; 2001).  The functions of the family as a social unit include; socialization of young ones, education of the child.  It is the family that cares for a child throughout the child's school years.  The importance of educating the child cannot be over-emphasized.  Education is a means of transmission of culture.  It provides skills to the citizens.  It is a tool for national development of which every citizen of Nigeria is a stakeholder.  The present government is determined to eradicate illiteracy.  She hopes to achieve this through the introduction of Universal Basic Education (UBE).  The launching of the UBE scheme also shows the priority government accords the educational sector.  This measure will also help in the economic and social development of the people.  Keeping children at school reduces the child's vulnerability to child slavery and the extent he/she is used as domestic servants at home.  Implementation of this laudable scheme needs the sacrifice and support of all.  Part of the social contract between government and the people should be the involvement of grassroot formations in the implementation of government programmes.  Also participatory governance includes aligning and cooperating with government for the promotion of government programmes which are for the well being of all.  It involves showing commitment in the implementation of government programmes.  The pertinent questions then to ask are how can parents be positively oriented towards the success of the UBE programme?  What should be the role of parents in the implementation of the UBE programme?  These constitute the problem of the study.

THE FAMILY AND UBE
The family takes care of the child's physical, emotional and spiritual development.  Parents should encourage, reorientate and motivate their children to be in school.  This is important because in some rural communities, children do not go to school in some market days.  In such market days as Afor, Nkwo, etc. they hawk and sale for their parents.  The attitude of ignorant parents towards schooling is appauling.  Some parents in this category refuse totally to send their children to school.  Some parents withdraw their children prematurely from school.   Moreso, a large number of  teenagers do not go to school.  According to the 1999 NDHS, 33 percent of 11-15 year olds and 59 percent of 16-20 year old are not in school. (National Planning Commission and UNICEF Nigeria, 2001).
 Considering the socio-economic pecularities of some parents, most of them are put off totally when challenged to pay levies imposed by parent teacher's association of the school (P.T.A. levies).    Worse still is when illegal levies or registration fees are imposed on parents by the management of public schools.  The monies paid by parents in form of levies and other fees often amount to thousands of Naira.  This scares some parents.  A study in 1998 in Lagos found that the annual average cost borne by households to send their children to primary school was N16,800 () for public schools in urban centres, N9,250 () for rural public schools, N43,200 () for private urban schools and N28,100 () for private rural schools.  (Okebukola and Olaruyonu, 1998 in National Planning Commission and UNICEF; 2001).  Education is the birth-right of every child.  The cost has to be paid by its stakeholders - parents and government.
 Often times, poverty is given as an excuse for not giving the education of a child priority.  Let us not forget the fact that some of our own parents received education despite the socio-economic status of their own parents.  The negative attitude of parents towards their children's education should change especially now that the drop-out rate of boys and girls from school is high.  The percentage of female enrolment in primary schools dropped from 44 percent in 1995 to 41.7 percent in 1996.  At the secondary school level, the percentage of female enrolment dropped from 48.6 percent in 1994 to 43.0 per cent in 1995 and continued to drop to 39.2 percent in 1996.  (Federal Office of Statistics; 1997).
 Boys drop out and go into business while in some parts of Nigeria, the girls are encouraged to leave school for early marriages.  Parents should discourage these practices and have a positive attitude towards their child's education.  There is need to invest in the education of a child because children are leaders of tomorrow and educating them will help them in meeting the challenges they may face in future.
 Parents should also ensure the proper moral upbringing of their children so that they do not constitute disciplinary problems at school.  Children who lack proper moral upbringing usually acquire a plethora of bad manners which is usually carried into the school.
 It is also parents' duties to break up cultural inhibitions especially against women's education so that both boys and girls will benefit from the scheme.  The child rearing practice should be such that importance is given to both the boys and girl's education.
 It is also the role of parents to provide adequate nutrition to the children.  This is because intellectual empowerment of children prepares them for national development.
 Parents should also make out time to go to their child's school to discuss the child's studies and progress at school.  They should as much as possible get acquainted with the child's teacher especially to find out problems faced by the child at school.  They should also support school activities like financing  of sports tournaments and other projects carried out in the school.  The literate ones could act as resource persons in areas of need of the school like in teaching English, Mathematics, Physics, etc.

 

CONCLUSION
 The UBE scheme is a tool by which government hopes to eradicate illiteracy.  Educational programmes are established for the sake of the child.  Every child has the right to be educated.  Every citizen should contribute to the success of the scheme.  It is wrong for us to be cynical over government programmes or to sit on the fence.  Nigerians have to be alife to their responsibilities and obligations to the child.  Every hand must be on deck to evolve a result-oriented programme so the contributions of the family towards the success of the UBE scheme should not be overlooked.

 

 

 

 


REFERENCES

Akaraogun O. (2002) “War against illiteracy”, Sunday Champion, June 20.

Ejeme H. (2001) “Unauthorised levies in Imo Schools”, The Leader, March 18.

Fafunwa Babs A. (1974) “History of Education in Nigeria”, NPS educational.

Federal Ministry of Education (2000), Implementation guidelines for the Universal Basic Education (UBE programme).

Federal Ministry of Statistics (1997) “The Progress of Nigerian Children”, Abuja.

National Planning Commission and UNICEF (2001), “Children's and Women's Rights in Nigeria; A Wake-Up Call”, United Nations Children Fund, Lagos.

Nwonu R, (2002) “Education as a preventive strategy to human trafficking”, The Post Express, June 4.

Onehu (2001) “Training teachers for UBE”, Daily Champion of June 18.

Okereafor L, (2001) “Saving families and ourselves” Daily Champion,     July 4.

The Proprietors (1984) “Education in Crises”, West Africa, 3rd September.

 

 

 

 

 

FOSTERING NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT NATION BUILDING
AND INTEGRATION THROUGH THE UNIVERSAL
 BASIC EDUCATION PROGRAMME

ODIFE, IKENNA
HISTORY/INTERNATIONAL STUDIES DEPARTMENT
NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA ANAMBRA STATE

ABSTRACT

Nigeria is an ethnically, culturally and religiously heterogeneous state, whose peoples are also at varying levels of economic, social and educational advancement. This state of affairs has impeded national development and hampered nation building and integration. Attempts by successive administrations to address these problems have not yielded much fruit, owing to poor execution and lopsided nature of the programmes. This paper contends that the Universal Basic Education Programme could serve as a veritable instrument for fostering national development, nation building and integration if primordial parochialism is de-emphasized in its implementation. It further argues that a dynamic and eclectic programme should be designed to attend to the varying needs of the peoples and eliminate the rigidity and staticism, which were the bane of the previous government programmes.

A. INTRODUCTION
Nigeria is blessed with policy makers and project initiators that can design such beautiful programmes that could enhance development and radically transform the society industrially, economically, educationally, socially and so on. Yet the levels of infrastructural and human resources development in Nigeria seem appalling and are in sorry state, the enormous financial and human resources committed to them notwithstanding. Government programmes have either been aborted at the foetal stages, were still born, crippled from infancy or even suffered a derailment from the focus of its goals and objectives. This state of affairs has been explained in terms of discontinuities in government policy, the pursuit of sectional or clannish agenda by some government functionaries and the cankerworm of corruption, which has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society. The corollaries of this are under development, disunity bickering and recrimination amongst the region groups.
One vital solution to this problem, which has beset the Nigerian society, is education. It is in this light that President Olusegun Obasanjo has introduced the Universal Basic Education Scheme. But there is need for caution in order to save it from derailing and going the ways earlier mentioned of government programmes. This paper contends that the scheme if judiciously executed could foster national development and enhance nation building and integration. And for these to be practicable, parochialism and sectional interests should be eliminated in its execution. Again, the curriculum should be dynamic and eclectic to meet diverse and ever changing needs of the people. Therefore, in order to address these issues, the paper will first operationalize the major concepts in this study. Secondly, it gives an over view of the features of Nigerian state, followed by the reasons for the failure of government policies and programmes. Next, it highlights the philosophy, goals and objectives of the UBE scheme, drawing from which it then states how the scheme could foster national development and enhance nation building and integration. It again makes a case for a frequent review of the curriculum as well as the contents of the programme to meet the needs of the diverse Nigerian. peoples and that of the ever charging society. Finally the paper offers some recommendation and presents the conclusion.


B. OPERATIONALIZATION OF CONCEPTS
Four basic concepts namely, Education, National Development, Nation building and National Integration, stand out in this paper. This section of the paper puts them in the right perspectives for a clearer picture of their meanings.
i. Education
Education, according to Mc Henry (1992) is the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society. Its primary purpose is to integrate the citizen into his community or society. No

Wonder the National Policy on Education (1981: 8), states the educational aims and objectives as
(a) The inculcation of national consciousness and national unity.
      (b)     The inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the   individual and    Nigeria society.
       (c)     The acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competences both mental and   physical as           
       equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his   society.

 The key issue in the aims and objectives of education in Nigeria is equipping the citizens    recipients of education, to become better-adjusted individuals who could also contribute   meaningfully to the development of the immediate society and nation. And these could be   attained through the transmission of accumulated knowledge, at the instance of the school.

Ii. National Development
National Development is indeed a complex phenomenon consisting of multi-dimensional process involving the totality of man in his political, economic, psychological and social relations among others.  It is best seen as the development of citizens of a particular country. This is so because a
Country's development cannot be measured in abstract terms or purely in terms of the territory at occupies.  In the same vein, the extent of a nations development cannot be measured only by the number of prestigious physical projects or structures it owns, no matter how costly, magnificent and important they may be.
National development is human oriented; whatever a country does in terms of national planning, economic growth and advancement can only be meaningful and relevant if geared forwards the benefit of the citizens. For this reason, national development has to be seen as that which promotes the material and spiritual welfare of the citizens based on social justice. It therefore, entails economic as well as social advancement of the citizenry. Since the focus of national development is on the individual good and collective well being of the citizens, it is proper to think of what the citizenry needs at a particular time and how they can combat those forces that have held them down. It is in this perspective that education can play a vital role.

iii. Nation Building
Nation building is a process of mobilizing available resources, be they human, material and financial, for socio-economic and political development of a given state. It also involves the transformation of existing structure through the collective efforts of the citizens of a state. The right frame of mind is necessary for the citizens to effectively discharge this function, and education should serve as the key. In recognition of the fact that the transformation of the society for the better is a cardinal principle of nation building, Igiehon (1975) rightly argues that “to build the nation is about change, change in Nigeria's political and social structures to meet the present needs of the people, their demands, their just expectations and future aspirations”. It contains proposals designed to bring about long-term political stability, rapid economic development and visible social justice. It also entails formulation of such policies that could elicit the positive qualities in the citizens of a given state.


iv. National Integration
National integration consists of those conscious actions and programme of activities designed to wield together the diverse and desperate groups that make up a particular country. Nigeria is an ethnically and religiously heterogeneous state. It is believed that there are more than two hundred ethnic and linguistic groups in the country. These ethnic groups are at different levels of economic and political advancement and equally have different dreams, goals and aspiration. The main concern of national integration should be to harmonize the aspirations; bridge the existing gaps amongst Nigerians and thereby foster national cohesion.
Amaucheazi (1980) describes national integration efforts as “collaborative activities, which should outweigh disintegrative ones”. One notable way through which this could be achieved, is a well-designed and purposeful civic education curriculum.  

C. FEATURES OF THE NIGERIAN STATE
Nigeria is a cultural, ethnically and linguistically heterogeneous state, with more than two hundred and fifty ethnic groups and presently has a population of over one hundred million. She was colorized by the British and secured political independence in 1960. The heterogeneous nature of the society has affected most policies and programmes of the succeeding administrations in the country. Some of the major features of the Nigerian State are examined in this section of the paper.

i. Vestiges of Colonial rule.
By far the most outstanding impact on the Nigerian society were the vestiges of colonial rule. The British created modern Nigeria as a result of the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorates by Lord Lugard in 1914. Unfortunately the amalgamation was not done in such a way to unite or even unify Nigeria. Instead, it was done in such a way that the differences among the Nigerian peoples were deepened. In the first place, there was unevenness in the sizes of the region created by the British. The Northern region was larger than east and west put together, thus placing the former in a dominant position. Furthermore, the British introduced the policy of divide and a rule, as a result of which the two parts of the country did not develop national consciousness or outlook on issues.
Secondly, official pronouncements and attitudes continued to discourage national consciousness or unity among Nigerians of different cultural backgrounds. Instead, their differences were emphasized, encouraged and portrayed as beyond reconciliation. For instance, strangers' quarters (sabon garis) were created for Nigerians resident outside their cultural areas, particularly in the Northern part of the country. The ultimate result was that the immigrants rarely identify themselves or aspirations with those of their fellow Nigerians among whom they live.

ii. Disparity in the levels of social and educational advancement.
 There exists a wide gap in the levels of social and educational advancement between the Northern and Southern section of Nigeria. The south is advanced educationally because it embraced western education early. On the other hand, the level of its acceptance in the north has remained low. This is due to colonial policies, which disallowed the Christian missions from proselytizing in the north and equally prohibited the establishment of schools. More so, the wide gap could also be seen in the context of the religious differences, which has further deepened with the recent attempts to introduce the Islamic penal code (sharia) in the northern states. This has led the series of unrests leading to murder and arson as the result of which several lives has been lost and property value some million of naira destroyed.

iii. Unity and diversity
 The nation is diverse in several respects. Yet in the diversity are contained ingredients that unify or unite their groups through interdependence. Geographically, the country is endowed with different weather conditions, which also determine the nature of economic activities and agricultural products of the zones. Each zone supplies the others those products that are available in their environment. For instance the grassland savannah of the middle belt is conducive for grain cultivation and supplies the grain needs of the rain forest area, while the former supplies palm oil and root crops to other regions. Similarly the north supplies onions, tomato and grains to other parts of the country. The south and delta areas are rich in mineral oil, which generates revenue for the nation; this creates interdependence and further strengthens complimentarity in the economic relations of the various sections of the country. Furthermore, the rain forest climate supplies pasture for herdsmen of the arid north. It is common sight to see herdsmen with their cattle in several parts of the south. This engenders social interaction between the members of the host communities and such immigrant herdsmen.
 Secondly, religion equally provides a unifying force. The two dominant religions have their membership spread across the length and breadth of the nation and are fastly making incursion and wining converts in areas where they hitherto had minimal presence. This has led to increase in the awareness and understanding amongst members of the various religions groups. Though, it could be stated that most disturbances and unrests that have bedeviled the country are precipitated by ethnic and religious differences, hope still exists for a more harmonious relationship. There is no doubt that inter-ethnic and inter-religious collaboration in business, in friendship and even in marriages is a common feature of modern Nigeria.


D. REASONS FOR THE COLLAPSE AND FAILURE OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMMES.
There is no gain saying the fact that Nigeria is endowed with material and human resources, which can sustain any development project. And succeeding administrations have initiated several worthwhile projects and programmes. Unfortunately, these have not yielded the desired result. Several reasons may account for this ugly trend. This section o f the paper attempts to highlight them and profer some remedies.  It is pertinent to state this in order to forestall the collapse of the UBE scheme as well as the derailment from its focus.
i. Corruption
 This is the bane of the success of most government projects. Corruption in Nigeria takes different forms and dimensions. The problem of corruption is compounded by the fact that agencies set up to curb them have also become victims of corruption and corrupt practices. Attempts made by successive administrations have been lip services and smoke-screen actions. Unless something is done urgently, the situation may for a very long time remain unabated.

ii. Political Consideration
 Most projects have been initiated just to further the political interests of those in power and, achieve ethnic balancing. The case of sitting an oil refinery at Kaduna readily comes to mind. The cost of the underground movement of crude oil from source to Kaduna is enormous. Yet, the government out of political expediency embarked on the project, which defies all economic sense.


Iii. The activities of international financiers and financial institutions.  
 Nigeria has often relied on loans from financial institution, which are obtained at outrageous interest rates to finance and execute projects. This puts the country on edge especially when the time is due for repayment. A note of warning is necessary at this point. The Federal Government has negotiated for loans from the World Bank for the implementation of the UBE scheme. This ought not to be so, since the programme does not generate income and revenue. Funds for projects such as the UBE should be sourced internally. Special taxes could be levied on companies and corporate organization to raise revenue for the funding of such projects.

iv. The triumph of mediocrity.
 The multi-ethnic nature of the Nigerian society necessitates the introduction of policies such as the quota system and federal character principle. Acceptably, these are veritable instruments of nation building and integration. But their application has not been properly guided. Mediocres have rode on their back to assume offices and position, which they are ill equipped to occupy. This has affected the quality of output of such offices and also bred discontentment in the less favoured group.

   v.  Discontinuities in government projects.
Successive governments in Nigeria have not shown keen interest in the continuation of the projects initiated by their predecessors. Each leader that assumes office immediately jettisons existing projects for its own. This is due to problems associated with succession to office. A survey of the nations political history reveals that with the exception of military hand over to civilians in 1979 and 1999, the other administrations and regimes came on board through the instrumentality of a coup d'etat. None has shown willingness to continue the programmes initiated by its predecessors. A few examples may suffice. The Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) of Gen Olusegun Obasanjo was supplanted by president Shehu Shagari's Green Revolution. Similarly, the OMPADEC (Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission) initiated Gen. Ibrahim Babangida has now given way to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). President Olusegun Obasanjo has scrapped the Petroleum Trust Fund of late Gen. Sanni Abacha. Judging by there developments, one does not require a prophetic vision to state that the UBE scheme might be in jeopardy if the leader that initiated it leaves office.

vi. Lack of long term planning
A good project should survive for several years, or may even become a permanent phenomenon. Projects and schemes, which are expected to be permanent hardly, survive beyond a few years. This is the result of lack of focus and long term planning. Often, adequate projections are not made on the viability of such projects and so, they flounder shortly after take-oft. A case in point here is the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme. It was a grandiose scheme that took off with great zeal, which the initiators did not project into the financial commitment required for its future sustenance. Thus, with the downturn in the nations economy, the scheme collapsed before its first set of recipients could graduate from the primary school.

E. THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION SCHEME: PHILOSOPHY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
 According to the Federal Government (1999) implementation blue print for the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme, the UBE scheme is designed to provide free and compulsory education up to junior secondary school level for all Nigerian children. Basic Education is the foundation for sustainable life long learning. It provided reading writing and numeracy skills. It comprises a wide variety of formal and non-formal educational activities and programnmes designed to enable learners acquire functional literacy. The scope of the Basic Education programme covers primary, junior secondary and normadie as well as adult literacy. 

i. Aims of the Basic Education Programme .
 Basic education is aimed at enabling individuals to acquire such knowledge, attitudes and   skills that will among others things, enable him to:
      a.       Live meaningful and fulfilled lives;
b. Contribute to the development of the society;
c. Derive maximum social, economic and cultural benefits from the society:
d. Discharge his civic obligations competently.

ii. Goals and objectives of the UBE scheme
 The goals of the UBE scheme are to universalize access to basic education, create a conducive learning atmosphere and eradicate illiteracy in Nigeria, within the shortest possible time. The specific objectives of the scheme are to;
       a.      Develop in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness for education and a strong     commitment to its   vigorous promotion.
b. Provide free compulsory universal basic education for every Nigeria child of school going age.
c. Reduce drastically; drop out rate from the formal school system, through improved relevance and efficiency.
d. Cater for dropouts and out-of school children/adolescents through various forms of complimentary approaches to the provision and promotion of basic education.
e. Ensure the acquisition of appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative skills (as well as the ethical, moral and civic values) needed for laying the foundation for life-long learning.
iii. Components of the scheme
There are three component of the UBE scheme, namely;
i. Formal basic education encompassing the first nine years of schooling (primary and junior secondary education) for all children.
ii. Normadic education for school age children of pastoral nomads and migrant fishermen.
iii. Literacy and non-formal education for out-of-school children, youths and illiterate adults.
Certainly, the UBE scheme is designed to inculcate in its recipients the right attitude to life in society. President Olusegun Obasanjo rightly observed this when he started that “the rationale behind the free and compulsory education is to ensure that the children of all Nigerians have equal access to education which is a vital instrument of nation building”. (Quoted in Ademola 2000). Furthermore, the UBE could reduce the level of ignorance in the country to the barest minimum, enhance general awareness, empower the citizens as well as enhance their ability to contribute towards meaningfully harnessing the nations abundant resources. Hence nations with high literacy level tend to grow more rapidly than those with low literacy level. This underscores the need, relevance and importance of the scheme. However, to achieve these, it is universally acknowledged that the educational pattern should be tailored to meet the aspiration of the state or society. Thus, it can be stated that for education to serve as a veritable instrument for accelerated socio-economic development, it must be designed to satisfy the national aspiration, which are embodied in national development, nation building and integration. This establishes the need for a frequent review of the curriculum and the contents of the scheme to meet the needs of the diverse and disparate groups in the country.  

F. A CASE FOR FREQUENT REVIEW OF THE CURRICULUM AND    CONTENTS OF THE UBE SCHEME
 It is an undisputable fact that education is indispensable in national development. However, only a functional education can achieve this purpose. And for education to be functional, there is need for frequent evaluation and review of its curriculum, in order to improve upon it and make it meet the needs of the changing society. What then is curriculum? Some definitions are offered.
 Wheeler, (1978) defines curriculum as planned experiences offered to the learner under the guidance of the school. Onwuka (1981) sees curriculum as a structured series of intended learning experiences. It embraces purposeful experiences provided and directed by educational institutions to achieve pre-determined goals. For Tyler (1979), curriculum embraces programme of study educational purposes and experiences provided to the learner.
 The foregoing definitions have a common feature. The experiences provided under the guidance, control and co-ordination of the school to the learner. Therefore these guided experiences should be evaluated and reviewed from time to time in order to keep them in line with those needs and aspirations of the learner that are relevant to national development. Civic education is a key issue in this matter. It will equip the learner with the right attitude, orientation and most especially, remind him of his contributions to national development. Again, consideration should be given to the needs of the diverse Nigerian peoples within the context of the national goal. This can make each people to be properly adjusted and equipped for effective participation in national issues, which is a sine qua non for national development nation building and integration. The widening of the scope of the scheme to include nomadic education for school age children of pastoral normads, migrant fishermen as well as adult literacy is most commendable. This will raise the literacy level in the country and inculcate in the citizenry the requisite attitude to nation building. Secondly, the society is in constant flux and therefore susceptible to forces of exchange from within and without. The curriculum should be designed to equip the citizenry meet the demands of an ever-changing society, especially those that impinge on it from without. This will foster a sense of patriotism and an aversion for foreign tastes and way of life.

G. RECOMMENDATIONS
 This paper makes the following recommendations.
      a.       The UBE scheme should be allowed to stay.
b. It should be closely supervised so as to prevent it from derailing from its goals and objectives.
c. The educational needs of the various Nigerian peoples should be considered while designing the curriculum and content of the UBE scheme.
d. Seminars should be arranged for field officers of the state Primary Education Board (SPEB) to keep them abreast with the changing demands of the programme. They will in turn hold refresher courses for the teachers.
e. The aspirations of the recipient of Islamic and that of Western education should be harmonized in order to bridge the gap that exists between them.
f. Government should intensity its present efforts to encourage normadic education for the school age children of pastoral mormads and migrant fishermen.
g. Islamic education should be closely supervised by relevant government agencies so as to equip its recipients with learning experiences relevant to life in the contemporary society.

H. CONCLUSION
 Education is the key to nation building, national development and integration. The introduction of the UBE scheme to provide free education up to the junior secondary school level and those out-of-school children of school age as well as adult literacy programme, certainly will eradiate illiteracy and equip majority of Nigerians to participate in nation building. Government agencies responsible for the implementation of the scheme should assiduously discharge their responsibilities so that the objectives could be achieved. The curriculum and content of the programme should be frequently evaluated and reviewed to meet the needs of the changing society as well as those of the various Nigeria peoples. Certainly, this will bridged the gap existing in the relations between the Nigerian peoples and launch the nation into greatness.

 

 

REFERENCES

Ademola Adeyemi (2000, May 7) “Functional Education and quest for Development”
 Sunday Champion, p. 32.

Amaucheazi, Elochukwu (1980) Readings in social sciences Enugu: Fourth Dimension publishers.

Federal Government Implementation blue print for the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme.

Federal Republic of Nigeria (1981) National policy on Education, Lagos, Government printer.

Igiehon Nosa (1975) To build a Nigerian Nation Elms Court, Arthur Stockwell Ltd.

Mc Henry, Albert (1992) “Education”, Encyclopedia Americana Vol III.

Onwuka, Uga (1981) Curriculum, Development for Africa. Onitsha, African-Feb Publishers.

Tyler, R. W. (1979) Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction. Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Wheeler D. K. (1978) Curriculum process. London, Hodder and Stoughton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINORITY LANGUAGES AND SOCIAL MOBILIZATION
FOR THE UBE

DR. (MRS.) M. M. OKON AND MR. E. E. AKPAN
DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGES AND LINGUISTICS
UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR

ABSTRACT
The role of the community in education cannot be over emphasized.  This is why the UBE proposes grassroots community participation in public enlightenment and social mobilization towards its successful implementation (Implementation Guidelines of the UBE Programme 2000:4).
Grassroots community participation suggests the use of grassroots languages.  Unfortunately, the use of such languages in Nigeria is restricted to the oral medium and to certain domains like religion and culture largely because the implementation of the national language policy as regards indigenous languages is still fairly fluid.
This paper takes a look at the level of intellectualization of one of the “main” languages (Bamgbose, 1992) and how prepared it is to enable the UBE realize its set objectives in the communities where it is spoken.  It therefore advocates the development and use of grassroots languages given the crucial role they have to play not only in the UBE programme but also in national development in general.
     
INTRODUCTION
This work seeks to explain the importance of (and the enviable position we will find ourselves) using our minor languages as a medium of instruction for mass mobilization for the UBE.  One likes to lean on someone one can interact freely with and in addition understand what one's interactant says.  This applies to language also; a speaker of any language understands fast what he hears spoken in his own mother tongue.
The case of mass literacy programme is not new to linguists and language teachers especially when it concerns language teaching.  Mass education and permanent literacy initiated by the government, using the name UBE, is a commendable one and a step in the right direction because education is a prerequisite for social, economic and political reconstruction in any given society.
Our indigenous languages, whether major or minor play significant and strategic roles in our daily communication needs.  There is need for the government to participate fully in the mass literacy programmes which have been advocated.  The programme will bring gain to the government in the long run.  Fyle supports the above proposition when he said that:

Universal literacy would yield much more than specific economic advantages; it would also produce the unquantifiable but invaluable benefit of the education of the mind and spirit particularly if it is literacy in the mother tongue; it would yield richer awareness of culture and, perhaps, the development of a new civilization. (1926:16).

Fyle is saying, in effect, that universal literacy (now Universal Basic Education) is nothing but literacy for a stronger labour force, a bigger and better yield … This is true when we remind ourselves of big industrial nations like Japan and China which developed dynamic and successful mass literacy programmes in their mother tongue and now have one of the best organized labour in the world.  Bamgbose (1984) in support of the above said that “children cope better academically when they are taught by a teacher who can instruct them in their own mother tongue.” (1984:3).
According to a study undertaken by the Federal Ministry of Education and ratified by the National Council on Education, it is observed that eighty percent (80%) of the Nigerian population live in the rural areas and mass literacy programmes or campaign must be made to their benefit.  The question now is who will do this?
In answer to this question, on mass education, the Director General of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said that:

“… it is not the children of today who hold the present destiny of Africa in their hand; it is the adults.  So it is only by establishing them to adjust to rapidly changing world, that an immediate impact can be made on the urgent problems of society and essential programme be brought about.” (1972:11).

This calls for effective community participation in public enlightenment, and social mobilization towards the successful implementation of the scheme (Implementation Guidelines of the UBE Programme, 2000:4).  To meet the fast moving world of today, mass education has an important role of facilitating mass mobilization and ultimately, general development.  As we can see, illiteracy impedes our social, political and economic well being and for this country to achieve effective and efficient development for its citizenry, a dynamic and result-oriented mass literacy programme must be established.  It is literacy which is the only vehicle that can get rid of plights like the blithe of disease, ignorance, superstition and poverty.
Iwuoha (1998) drew our attention to the fact that great men such as Mahatma Gandhi of India, Azikiwe of Africa and Kwame Nkruma of Ghana are products of education whose eyes were opened to the evils of colonialism and so became available weapons to fight against such colonial maladies and finally attained political independence in their respective countries.  Government is interested in Mass Education because of the goals inherent in it which, if achieved, will go a long way to bringing about the much needed all round developments, which is essential to the political, social and economic progress of a country.

POLITICAL GOALS OF MASS LITERACY
There are some political objectives that the government will achieve if the mass education is given to the country's citizens who are the recipients of the programme.  Politics is important in our daily communication with people within and outside the country.  The masses must be properly informed in order to participate effectively in the political programmes of the government.  With mass education, people are made to be aware of their environment and their roles in the present political transition programmes of the government.  Political education is an avenue for social mobilization.  With mass literacy, which is the main objective of the UBE, it will be easier for the government to reach out to the rural areas with the greatest number of illiterates with its programmes and administration.  With mass literacy, people will come to know their voting rights because what they could not do politically as illiterates, they could do when they become literate.  They would be able to identify party symbols when voting during elections, select the candidate of their choice without being coerced by greedy politicians who are always out to milk the masses to achieve their goals.
Government had political goals in mind when it set-up the Mass Mobilization for Social Justice and Economic Recovery (MAMSER) and fused it with mass literacy.  This did not succeed because it did not work closely with mass literacy at least in the mother tongue during the implementation of the programme.

SOCIAL GOALS OF THE UBE PROGRAMME
Socially, the goals to be derived from implementing the UBE scheme (to make the masses literate at least in their Mother Tongue (MT) will be advantageous to the recipients and their communities.  Adults will be equipped to inculcate in themselves the spirit of oneness and togetherness.  The UBE scheme will go a long way in “maintaining an adult population up to the standard of competence in knowledge, wisdom and skill which society requires.  The UBE scheme, if successfully implemented will, in the words of Oyinola (1989), make people in a community aware of their individual and collective needs and provide the means to grapple with current individual and community problems; facilitate greater and more meaningful communication and raise the overall level of rationality of the community which in turn contributes to rapid development, bring about improved social interaction and puts an end to ignorance and apathy”.  This social transformation will eventually lead to a dynamic development of the rural dwellers.

ECONOMIC GOALS OF UBE
On functional literacy, Anyanwu (1988) said: “one of the greatest aims of functional literacy is to make its acquisition help any body engaged in any developmental work to become more competent and better equipped for his work.”  Thus the farmer, artisan, industrial worker, and infact, anybody engaged in one form of development or another all require functional literacy, which the UBE will provide, to perform their tasks.
With mass literacy, the economic goal of self-sufficiency in food production will be achieved.  Farmers will form themselves into co-operative societies and this will improve their economic lot.  They will be able to send representatives to the Ministry of Agriculture to hire machines for cultivation instead of using the traditional hoes and apply fertilizer to their crops for improved yield as against their illiterate impression that fertilizer kills crops.  Those on skilled jobs will now be able to improve upon their output because they will be able to read instructions on manuals about their machineries and their operations and also write letters by themselves instead of sharing their secrets with others.
These goals cannot be achieved without the use of grassroots languages.  Unfortunately, Nigeria has so many languages, some of which cannot be identified.  Linguists have used the tripartite nomenclature to classify the identified ones as major, main and small groups languages.  The earlier division into majority/minority was kicked against by Essien (2002:16) who rather suggested a dichotomy between major and non major to get away with the pejorative terms: minor/minority.
Some of these grassroots languages have no orthographies, let alone literacy materials.  They are either underdeveloped or undeveloped.  These must be developed and made use of in the UBE programme mounted by the Federal Government of Nigeria, so that these languages are not limited in use to oral medium alone or use in churches and in culture.

IBIBIO LANGUAGE AND ITS PREPAREDNESS FOR UBE
We are all aware that education has a central and crucial role to play in the mobilization of the rural population for specific national development programmes.  The Ibibio linguists, language teachers and even non-linguists have been able to build up Ibibio language with literacy materials which are being used in schools today and will continue to be used in the future.
Mobilization has already been started by the local communities (the traditional rulers, opinion moulders, religious leaders, respected citizens, parent-teacher associations and even the ordinary people in very ordinary settings) to make the UBE a success in Akwa Ibom State.
Akwa Ibom Broadcasting Corporation, the media organ of the state, has been fully used to spread the gospel of the UBE to the grassroots people, showing the long-term benefits it confers both to the individual and the local communities and the Nigerian society in general.  This, Ibibio people have done to counter the lukewarm attitude some Ibibios have towards education.
To them, schooling no longer leads directly to paid employment.  Ibibio linguists and language teachers have already developed curricula for teaching Ibibio language both in primary and secondary schools.  The language has been up-graded and has become a WAEC and NECO examining subject.  We commend the noble efforts of the producers of this curriculum.
Already, adult education programme had been in existence and teachers have been trained to handle this.  Though the output is small, this serves as a foundation for the success of the UBE in Akwa Ibom State.  Since the UBE programme is intended to be for all, free and compulsory, it is presumed that the output then will be more encouraging than what it is now as sanctions will be imposed on persons, and societies who will prevent children, adults and even youths from benefiting from the UBE programme.  (Implementation Guidelines for UBE Programme 2000:2).
The physically handicapped in Akwa Ibom State have been given a vocational training centre, where they learn certain crafts, all in a bid to prepare them for a life long learning and the Akwa Ibom State Government caters for their welfare.
The adult education and vocational training mentioned above contribute a lot in providing skills needed for rural development projects and other aspects of life in a modern society in the area of health education, family planning, child welfare, home craft etc.  Everything considered, it is clear that this kind of Education (aimed at the total mobilization of the rural communities) is best achieved by the use of the indigenous or local languages e.g. Ibibio understood by the majority of the rural population.  The Ibibio language is used in disseminating information on the UBE programme in the electronic as well as in the local media, in schools, churches, village meetings all geared towards the success of the UBE programme.
UBE is an excellent opportunity for Akwa Ibom State to confront head-on the challenges and to take full advantages of the possibilities offered by the new information and communication technologies for improving the quality of education being fully aware that now is the age of knowledge.  Akwa Ibom State cannot stay outside this knowledge age and operate in a world that is now run by knowledge.  She has joined the rest of the world in the integration of computer awareness, computer literacy and applications in UBE.  Recently primary school teachers sent representatives from each school for a five-day computer education as the Government intends to equip each school with a computer for the training of the other teachers and the school children.  This is a right step in the right direction for the success of the programme in Akwa Ibom.

RECOMMENDATIONS
For the UBE programme to succeed, we recommend that the government should form an independent ministerial monitoring committee which will be directly under the Federal Ministry of Education with branches in the states for effective co-ordination and implementation at the grassroots level.
The discrimination against the minority languages in both the Nigerian constitution and the National Language Policy should be dismantled and revised in such a way to accommodate the minority languages (Essien 1986) and all languages should be given equal rights as it is done in Russia.
To avoid the mistake of the past whereby the mass literacy work of mamser and that of Adult and non-formal education was duplicated, we strongly suggest that all matters relating to mass literacy programme (UBE) implementation should be given to Adult and non-formal education unit of State Ministry of Education because it has professional and capable staff to handle it.
May we suggest again that before the UBE co-ordinators embark on the programme at the grassroots level, a careful analysis of the socio-economic environment of the recipients should be carried out.  The recipients must be taught with examples from their environment to avoid absenteeism and total dropout from classes.  The curriculum should be tailored to the environment.
There is great need for the mass media to publicize the importance of our indigenous languages and mass literacy programme for the masses to know and appreciate it; for the writer to write and be proud in writing in our mother tongues.  In short, every one should strive to see that we write, speak and promote our mother tongues.

CONCLUSION
In today's world, education has (or should have) ceased to be a privilege.  It is a fundamental human right and government action in most parts of the world is directed at providing access to and equal opportunities for education.  The world Conference on Education for all held at Jometien, Thailand in March, 1990 reaffirmed the pivotal role of Education as follows in Articles III and V of the World Declaration on Education For All:

“Article III (1) Basic Education should be provided to all children, youths and adults.  To this end, basic education services of equality should be expanded and consistent measures must be taken to reduce disparities.
 (2) For basic education to be equitable, all children, youths and adults must be given the opportunity to achieve an acceptable level of learning.

Article V    The main delivery system for basic education is primary schooling.  Primary education must be universal and ensure that the basic learning needs of children are satisfied …” (wcefa 1990a:4-5)

 We Nigerians have witnessed the greater dominance given to English by Nigeria's language policy to the detriment of our mother tongues.  It is good to associate with a language that opens up limitless possibilities for international communication but we should bear in mind that using the language involves imbibing the values and cultures associated with that language.  We pray, Nigerians should remember the need for authenticity and cultural awareness created by our local languages and develop a policy that stresses the use of Nigerian languages along side English.

 UBE is a laudable programme and all efforts must be geared towards making it a success.  No sacrifice will be considered too great in ensuring the sustainability and success of UBE.  All the nation's creative energy must therefore be mobilized for this purpose, as Education For All is the responsibility of us all. (13)


REFERENCES
Anyanwu, C. N. (1988). “Functional Literary Programmes at Local Government Level: Methods of Approaches.” A paper presented at the 16th Annual Seminar on Functional Literacy, University of Ibadan.

Bamgbose, A. (1992). “Speaking in Tongues: Implications of Multilingualism for Language Policy in Nigeria.” Nigerian National Merit Award.

Essien, O. E. (1986). “The Future of Minority Languages in Nigeria”: A Lead Paper at the 7th Annual Conference of the Linguistic Association of Nigeria (LAN), University of Maiduguri.

Essien, O. E. (1990). “The Future of Minority Languages”: In Multilingualism, Minority Languages and Language Policy in Nigeria (ed) E. N. Emenanjo: Agbor, Central Books Ltd.

Essien, O. E. (2002). 'The Majority Question Revisited'.  A Lead Paper presented at the valedictory Symposium organized by the University of Port Harcourt April 10-11, 2002, in honour of Professor Kay Williamson.

Fyle, E. (1976). “The Use of the Mother Tongue in Education in Sierra Leone” in Ayo Bamgbose (ed) Mother Tongue Education: The West African Experience.  London: Hodder and Stonington Educational and UNESCO Press.

Federal Ministry of Education (2000). “Implementation Guidelines for the Universal Basic Education.” Lagos: Education Press.

Iwuoha, P. (1998). “The Mass Literary Programme and the Public” The Nigerian Statesman, Friday April 7.

Oyinola, A. A. (1988). “Mass Education Efforts in Nigeria: A Case Study of Niger State”.  A Paper presented at the National Conference on Functional Education.

World Conference on Education for All WCEFA (1990a) “World Declaration on Education For All and Framework for Action to Meet the Basic Learning Needs”.  Jometien: Thailand in March 5-9.  New York: WCEFA Working Documents.

World Conference on Education For All (WCEFA) (1990b).  “Coping with the Crisis in Education in Nigeria”.  A Paper presented by the Nigerian Delegation at the WCEFA Round Table.  Jometien: Thailand 5-9 March.  New York: WCEFA.