INSECURITY AND THE THREAT TO PRIMARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Background to the study
The administration and management of primary education in Nigeria rests on the Federal, State and Local Governments. Thus, in the country’s constitution, education is on the concurrent list, but the Federal Government is empowered to regulate the sector, engage in policy formation and ensure quality control. Also, the provisions of the constitution allow each tier of government to focus its responsibilities mainly on each level of education. The Federal Government is directly responsible for tertiary education. The states take care of secondary education, while the local governments handle primary education. Despite this arrangement, the Federal Government is expected to support the state and local governments in counterpart funding to enhance the quality of education in the country (NEEDS, 2014).
The administration of the primary education system is done through the ministries of education at the federal and state levels, as well as statutory bodies referred to as commissions. There are commissions and agencies established for different subsectors of the education system and are charged with various responsibilities for the subsectors. The Federal Ministry of Education(FME) is responsible for the coherence of the national policy and procedures and for ensuring that the states’ policies operate within the parameters of the national policy as adapted for local needs (Moja, 2000). Coordination of policy at the political level is handled by the National Council of Education, the highest policymaking body chaired by the Federal Minister of Education and all the State Commissioners of Education. This body advises the Joint Consultative Committee on Education, which consists of all the Federal and State Directors of Education, Chief Executives of education statutory bodies, and Directors of University Institutes of Education(NEEDS,2014).
Primary School administration is the arrangement of school input in an order for the smooth realization of the school objectives. School administration is the process of organizing and arranging school resources to implement school programmes with the aim of achieving the school objectives. School administration is the systematical way of placing, ordering and arranging both human and materials resources for the execution of school programmes with the aim of achieving the set objectives of the school.
The effectiveness of the school administration depends on the qualities and quantities of both human and materials resources available for the implementation of the school policies and programmes. The various human resources required for effective school administration include the teaching and non-teaching staff while the materials resources include infrastructural facilities like administrative blocks, classrooms, toilets, libraries, laboratories, electricity, water, internet services, white board, ICT facilities etc.
The Nigerian education system is experiencing crises on many fronts, including in access to and quality of education. However, the recent wave of mass kidnappings of schoolchildren may represent the most serious existential threat and crisis to the education system. In less than three months from December 2020 to March 2021, more than 600 children were abducted while at school in three separate incidents.
More worrisome is the fact that increased insecurity prevails in Northern Nigeria, which is already the most disadvantaged region in terms of education. It is estimated that of the 10.5 million out-of-school children in the country, 69 per cent come from the North, where cultural customs and economic deprivation limit the active participation of children, especially women, in school. The Boko Haram crisis, with its devastating effects on economic and educational systems, is also largely concentrated in the region. Society & apos; s and parents & apos; trust in the education system can be greatly diminished, and access to quality and fair education can be seriously aggravated by the recent increase in cases of abduction of children from schools. Furthermore, as the Nigerian education system is still recovering from the devastating effects of prolonged school closures due to COVID-19, adding insecurity issues to the basket of problems can cause it to collapse hopelessly.
Schools around the world are designed to be centres for learning and promoting good behaviour. School spaces are expected to be safe, secure and quiet. When a child goes to school, one of the most important things that parents worry about is the safety of the children at school or during the trip (James,2019). Ensuring the safety of schools is a very important task that should not be taken lightly. Terrorist attacks on schools are no longer an artificial concept that can be ignored. The main objective of terrorism is to sow fear, and schools are now the main targets for creating such fear (Mutum, 2018). The mere premonition of a crime can be as debilitating as the crime itself.
Even when the real crime rate is not as bad as it seems, the fear of being a victim is real (Edwards, 2003). By any safety standard, public and private schools of all levels in Kebbi State have a low degree of safety. One of the essential elements of a school environment conducive to learning is safety and security. According to dungu (2019), attendance and academic performance are closely related to the extent to which students perceive their school environment to be safe. It is difficult for students to concentrate on a learning task when they feel vulnerable. At this level, safety and security issues are rapidly becoming an important part of any dialogue to improve academic performance throughout the school (Edwards, 2003). The concept of school safety has been considered by different academics from different angles. Thomas (2009) sees security as protecting lives and protecting against attacks or dangers.
This means that school safety is about protecting the lives of students and staff, as well as school facilities, from outside attacks and internal crimes occurring within the school itself. Arisi (2011) defined security as the existence of a relatively stable environment in which people feel protected. This means that school safety is about creating and maintaining a Peaceful school environment in which employees and students conduct their activities without fear or fear of imminent threats or attacks against schools.
Statement of the Problem
Insecurity and insurgency in Nigeria has taken a frightening dimension in which schools and colleges especially public primary schools are worst hit. Sporadic shootings in school premises, hostage taking and kidnapping of both staff and pupils have been reported on several occasions in almost every state of the federation. Violent armed robbery, cultism, shooting, rape, gangsterism and other manner of attacks which are psychologically disturbing have been witnessed in primary schools in the recent past. School environment which appears to be relatively safe and secure is now witnessing some sorts of insecurity. Armed robbery attacks on schools in the country is now the order of the day. Kidnapping of teachers for ransome while violent attacks in schools by cultists; assault on students in form of demonstration, gangsterism and hooliganism have equally been observed and witnessed in some schools in Nigeria. These ugly phenomenon has great consequence on the educational development of the nation. School attendance and enrolment is depleting despite government efforts in improving the state of infrastructures in schools. Parents are always apprehensive whenever their children are in school due to insecurity. Some parents now select days when to allow their children to go to schools while loss of concentration on teaching and learning is affected due to insecurity by both teachers and students. The goals of primary education especially at the primary schools as contained in the National Policy on Education (NPE) are being threatened due to insecurity in Nigeria. On this premise, the study seeks to establish the insecurities and threat to primary education in Nigeria with special reference to Akure South local government area of Ondo state
Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to establish the insecurity and the threat to primary education in Nigeria, Akure South as a case study
The specific objectives is
- To determine how insecurities in Nigeria pose a threat to primary education in Nigeria
- To find out the effect of insecurity on school environment
- To determine the implication of insecurity on primary education
The following research question were formulated to guide the study
- Does insecurities in Nigeria pose a threat to primary education in Nigeria
- What are the effect of insecurity on school environment
- What are the implication of insecurity on primary education ?
Significance of the Study
This study is significant in the sense that it will help to assist the government to be proactive in tackling insecurity and insurgency in the country. Also, the study would be of immense benefit to primary schools pupils in Nigeria to be very conscious of their environment and to report any security challenges to the appropriate security personnel. In addition, the study would be of immense benefit to the various stakeholders in security matters for policy making. Lastly, the study would also be of immense benefit to the scholars who want to carry for research on the same subject matter in the nearest future.
Scope of the Study
This study is on insecurity and the threat to primary education in Nigeria
. Therefore, the study will be carried out among five selected primary schools in Akure South local government area of Ondo State
Definition of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of carrying out this study:
Insecurity- is a feeling of uncertainty, a lack of confidence or anxiety about oneself
Insurgency- a usually violent attempt to take control of a government or a rebellion or uprising.
Terrorism- is unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government or its citizens to further certain political or social objectives.
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