Irene Uzezi Berezi* and Julius Michael Ognenenyoreme#
Department of Educational Foundations* and Vocational and Technology Education,
Faculty of Education, Niger Delta University,
The development of a nation strongly hinges on the viability and readiness of such economy to woo in investors. This is to say that a nation with huge security challenges and poor social contracts cannot develop. Under a chaotic economy, even the little development are destroyed due to lack of interest unification. Therefore, this paper on administration of education for social reforms and national security in Nigeria looked at how effective educational administration can bring about social reforms and national security in Nigeria. The paper is qualitative in nature and utilizes textual database in drawing conclusions. It was concluded amongst others that effective educational administration fosters rational citizens who are equip to coexist peacefully with fellow citizens, thereby forestalling possible security breaches. It was therefore, recommended that since effective educational administration fosters national reforms and better national security conditions, the government and educational administrators should engage in educational policies not only for the education of the learner, but also for the building of a better society.
Keywords: Administration, education, social reforms, national security
The role of effective and functional educational system around the global community cannot be totally and exhaustively enumerated. This is due to immediate and remote functions education plays in society. Education has been known to bring social change in societies. In the view of Segun, Jide and Dominic (2016), in preliterate societies, education focused on hunting, cooking, following stars, and obeying the gods. The power to teach then rested with parents, elders or priests. Illiterate adults had learnt from folklore, ballads, and sermons. Education at that time focuses on the transmission of essential skills (through apprenticeship) and the orally preserved traditions of the tribe or community (Encyclopaedia Americana, 2001). However, with time, the purpose of education started changing. As Azikiwe (2008) averred, educational scope became wider, education now shapes politics, culture, family, economy among others. As the society is dynamic, and constantly changing and growing, so also, education had followed suit.
Aside fostering social reforms, education can also bring about national security in seemingly lawless societies. Studies in attempt to assess the link between education and national security has indicated positive correlation between both variables (Colclough, 2005; King, 2005; Enyekit & Enyenili, 2007; Nwadialor, 2011; Tiamiyu & Babalola, 2013; Njong, 2010; Orikpe, 2013; Salaudeen, 2013; Akwara, Akwara, Enwuchola, Adekunle, & Udaw, 2013; Babalola, 2014; Odo, 2015; and Alemika, 2015). In his study on restructuring Nigeria’s educational system as an imperative for national security, Onwughalu (2017) opined amongst others that education is the milestone of every type of development; provides all knowledge to do any work in a systematic way; education helps develop a country’s economy and society. Educated population lives with silence and calm – a trait needed for peaceful co-existence. Education develops the personality of the youth of a nation and makes people independent by providing a wide array of skills.
The two dimensions discussed above are key areas where education can contribute meaningfully to society. Therefore, the issue of proper educational management for social reforms and national security has come to bear. Administration and management of education in the 21st century according to Udey, Ebuara, Ekpoh and Edet (2009) has actively experience a laudable and historic landmark as Nigerian took complete control of their destiny in education. Indeed, there are numerous positive landmarks in education in Nigeria presently. In other words, Nigeria has accomplished more in education than during the previous one hundred years of British colonial administrative rule – a period we may call home grown. Nigerian educational administration was greeted with several heights such as issues bordering on national education policies, primary education, secondary education, the Universal Basic Education (UBE) tertiary education as well as the institutional frameworks for regulating education. Successive governments in both state and federal level have continued to allocate more percentage of their budget to education (Udey, Ebuara, Ekpoh & Edet, 2009). In this paper, the authors looked at how effective educational management can be used to bring about social reforms and national security in Nigeria.
Conceptualizing Educational Administration
In any institution, organization, or group of persons, the issue of administration cannot be put aside. This is due to the fact that the very existence and sustainability of such entity depends largely on the effectiveness of its management. Hence, the discuss of effective administration is key if such entity must continue as a going concern. Accordingly, educational administration must also be effective if the purpose of education in general must be attained. Educational administration has been defined by Amadi (2008) as the process of bringing men and materials together for effective and functional teaching and learning in the school. The focus of educational administration according to Amadi is the enhancement of teaching and learning. We can define educational administration as a process through which the school administrators arrange and co-ordinate the resources available to education, for the purpose of achieving the goals of the educational system. However, Craig (2018) defined educational administration as the study and practice of managing the resources, tasks and communications involved in running a school. Effective educational management can therefore, mean appropriating educational resources for the purpose they were acquired. Additionally, it can also mean achieving the highest educational objective possible with lesser use of resources as a result of accountability and professional use. In line with the perspective of this paper, educational administration is defined as acquisition, utilization and assessment of educational resources for the sole purpose of attaining educational objectives. These objectives and philosophy of education which are in line with the attainment of social reforms and national security are as follows:
- development of the individual into a morally sound, patriotic and effective citizen;
- total integration of the individual into the immediate community, the Nigerian society and the world;
- provision of equal access to qualitative educational opportunities for all citizens at all levels of education, within and outside the formal school system;
- inculcation of national consciousness, values and national unity; and
- development of appropriate skills, mental, physical and social abilities and competencies to empower the individual to live in and contribute positively to the society (National Policy on Education 2013).
The above objectives as enshrined in the National Policy on Education (2013) indicates that effective implementation of educational plans could translates to higher security and could also mean that the status quo social bargain has to a very large extent, been reformed. This is because morally sound and patriotic individuals are not the type that will create chaos in society. Thereby making society safer to leave in. Also, this could mean that education in Nigeria has been reformed as the pre-colonial Nigerian education focuses only on apprenticeship and white collar jobs. The mere fact that national education objectives now include the development of appropriate skills, mental, physical and social abilities and competencies to empower the individual to live in and contribute positively to the society indicates that educational objectives over the years has changed. It can therefore, be said that there is a clear cut between pre-colonial educational objectives and contemporary educational objectives as enshrined in the NPE (2013).
Social Reforms in Nigeria
The Nigerian educational system is one that has metamorphosed over the years. Reforms have been a major part of the Nigerian education and have witnessed tremendous growth and development. A reform is a development in something as a result of changes. The Collins Dictionary defined a reform as consisting of changes and improvements to a law, social system, or institution. A reform is an instance of such a change or improvement. According to Provenzo (2008), the term reform is used to describe changes in policy, practice, or organization. As a verb, ‘reform’ refers to intended or enacted attempts to correct an identified problem. As an educational aspiration, its’ goal is to realize deep, systemic, and sustained restructuring of public schooling. Reforms in Education therefore, has the potential of changing how people think, how electorates intend to change their governments, the possibility of eliminating political thuggery, armed robbery, violence, and instead, building persons who are morally sound in line with NPF (2013). The potential that lays within education in reforming society cannot be overestimated. Learners are admitted into universities with numerous attitude, but at the end of the day, they are graduated with better attitude that befits persons as graduates of higher institutions. Little wonder universities especially within the Nigerian context certify graduates in learning and character. It is believed that their character have been shaped and are now ready to serve society. Education is a tool for social reform indeed!
In the current Nigerian dispensation, it is difficult to state that despite there is scarcely any external aggression, that Nigeria is secure. The numerous killings that go uninvestigated, unaccounted robbery attacks, kidnapping, raping, ritualism, cultism, tribal wars, interpersonal sentiments, marital aggression that leads to murder, child labor, child trafficking, etc. all are testament to the fact that Nigeria cannot be classified as totally secure. Although the above listed security challenges can be found everywhere in the world, it is pertinent to note that the Nigerian case has a course for concern. For instance, Aliyu (2012) opined that for many African countries, the dilemma of insecurity is even more acute and pronounced.
Faced with a growing increase in population explosion (Ogunleye-Adetona, 2010), and a corresponding decrease in economic productivity and political accountability, occasioned by many years of higher level political corruption, bad governance, weak institutions and absence of the wherewithal to transform their human and material resources, these countries turned into veritable incubation centers for the emergence of violent anti-state groups whose deriving ideology, it would seem, is antagonism against their states (Stern & Ojendal, 2010). This ideology, to a greater part, is fuelled by years of the state’s neglect and or failure to transform the aspirations of its people for meaningful, purposeful and qualitative life.
As a result, delegitimization process for many of them crept in whereby group loyalty, tribal and or religious, compete with state loyalty on one hand, and on the other hand, albeit the extreme one, crime, violence, anarchy, and lawlessness challenge the state’s continued cohesion, stability, and territorial integrity (Aliyu, 2012). The positions of Aliyu above can be corroborated with the spate of killings by the killer Fulani herdsmen without proper investigation. Also, the Boko Haram group that held sway before now, which seemed to be fading from our memory with countless bombings is another point of call (Aniekwe & Kushie, 2011). The above are issues on ground that effective educational administration can eliminate.
Administration of Education for Social Reforms and National Security in Nigeria
The channels through which effective administration of education can influence social reforms in individuals and national security abound. For one thing, highly educated minds hardly engage in social violence, no matter the economic situation. Educated minds find opportunity in society to survive irrespective of the challenges of economic recession. In the view of the Authors, contemporary educational administration should be geared towards making policies that are updated and current in order to ensure that educational outcome are in tandem with the needs of the immediate environment. That is, skills taught to students who are graduating from our institutions should be the needs that the society wanted in specific areas. Educational curriculum must then be different from previous objectives, or at least, old ones can be refined to meet current best practices.
Mudasiru and Hamdallat (2009) averred that the first serious attempt at reforming the educational programme of the country took place in 1969, through a curriculum conference held in Lagos, in 1969. The conference brought about radical changes in the country’s education system (Fafunwa, 1974). The conference’s recommendations led to the first post independent educational policy, tailored to meet the local needs of the nation. The national policy on education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, [FRN, 1977], revised 1981, 1998, 2004 and 2013) made radical departure from the educational policy bequeathed by the British colonialist (Mudasiru & Hamdallat, 2009). Other major reform policies include: the Federal Government takeover of regional universities in 1975, the Universal Primary Education Programme of 1976 (Adamu, n.d.); the Universal Basic Education Programme of 2000, among others. The civilian administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo (29th of May, 1999 to 28th of May, 2007) embarked on significant educational reforms particularly at the tail end of the tenure of the administration. These reforms are primed to bring about significant changes in the running of the Nigerian education system. The reforms cover every aspects of the Nigerian education system (grade levels, educational agencies, administration, curriculum, etc. (Mudasiru and Hamdallat, 2009). These changes in education have to a very large extent aided the reformation of societal values and skill base of the nation. Effective educational administration has made the production of better professionals possible. It has increased the skill base of the nation and even included modern technologies that ensured better educational and societal practices. The reforms above were only possible as a result of an effective educational administration that is responsive to the educational need of the nation.
Educational administration has also impacted on the national security of the nation. This is because institutions of learning, especially within the tertiary domain have awarded certification to thousands of graduate found worthy in character and learning. These awardees, where all things being equal become ambassadors for good living and patriotic citizens. As Segun, Jide and Dominic (2016) puts it, education and security can influence each other positively or negatively depending on the context of operation. This is necessarily so because it enables individuals, groups, countries and human race to explore, appreciate, understand and develop their physical and social environments for the satisfaction of their needs.
Segun, Jide and Dominic maintained that an educated person has broad view of issues as against narrow and parochial outlook as seen amongst political thugs and uneducated groups. Education also widens the scope of reasoning of individuals unlike persons of perceive things passively. Education makes people to be tolerant of other people’s religion, belief, culture, limitations and promote social harmony and security. This is exemplified in the killer herdsmen and Boko Haram who kill under the pretense of their God Allah.
The extent of religious intolerance amongst Muslims has resulted in countless deaths the world over. It equips one with the ability to listen to almost anything without losing temper or self-confidence. A good number of conflicts often arise from ignorance and manipulation of ethnic and religious identity. In fact, education (not just passing through the four walls of the school) system produces tolerant and civil citizens who are able to understand and live with people from different ethnic, economic, religious and cultural backgrounds and other forms of identities (Alemika, n.d.).
According to Segun, Jide and Dominic (2016), a country that bequeaths the right type of education to its citizens makes it difficult for such citizens to turn against their father land. In fact, it is meaningless to talk of security in the absence of the right type of education. It is therefore, not a surprise that Radda (2013) opined that education, when well imparted and utilized, has the potency of promoting national security. This is because it is mostly uneducated jobless and educated jobless youths that are easily attracted to crimes, thereby, constituting insecurity in a country. While Western education that is not geared towards self-reliance (education that makes youths job seekers) may be dangerous as far as developing countries are concerned, lack of Western education or low education is even more dangerous.
Low education often translates to absence of competitive skill, adequate income, exclusion from participating in vital political and economic and social organizations and relations; lack of access to adequate food and nutrition, housing, health care and efficient public emergency and safety services-all which are element on human security. Youths who are educated have hope of better future than youths who are not educated and failed to learn any craft. Children or youths with low education are easily recruited as thugs, insurgents and terrorists through indoctrination. Suffice to say that lack of education itself is insecurity (Alemika, n.d). Inadequate education also constitutes a problem to national security.
The above testaments revealed that education is an important remote factor that can foster better security atmosphere in Nigeria. Accordingly, effective educational administration is therefore, needed to ensure proper implementation of better educational policies for the betterment of society. In doing this, better citizens who are aware of their self and the need to be law abiding, equip with all necessary social norm and values are built. This creates a chaos free society ready for development.
This paper attempt to establish the nexus between administration of education for social reforms and national security in Nigeria. The paper looks at how effective educational administration can be used to change social behaviour in society together with security challenges in Nigeria. The paper clarified the concept of educational management, social reforms and national security. It was established that effective educational administration fosters critical reasoning amongst citizens which is a catalyst for being law abiding citizens. In Mozambique, political power takeover from president Mugabe did not result in any bloodshed. This feat was attributed to the educational level of Mozambique with a literacy rate of 48% in 2013. It was also established that education fosters religious tolerance amongst literates more than illiterates. This ensures peaceful coexistence amongst persons with different socio-religious backgrounds.
From the foregoing, it is difficult to separate education from national unity, coherence and integration. To foster social reforms and national security, the government of the day must look into the poor conditions of education in the country in order to foster adequate and affordable education that is well equipped for the training of patriotic citizens. It is only whence the educational system is well managed that we can then talk of benefits that could ensued. Benefits like resulting skill based society, obedient citizenry and reformed society.
Based on the views presented above, the following recommendations are herefore put forward.
- Since effective educational administration fosters national reforms and better national security, the government and educational administrators should engage in educational policies not only for the education of the learner, but also for the building of society.
- Educational curriculum should also be tailored to meet the moral and security needs of the society. It is only when the curriculum is so tailored that the expected results can be attained.
- Awareness and orientation programmes should be introduced to persons with strong religious leanings. This is because religious ignorance has caused a lot of security issues in Nigeria. Amongst the Muslims, it is believed that if you died in the course of Allah, seventy virgins will be in heaven awaiting you. These are the same set of persons who do not tolerate sexual immorality on earth. Therefore, there is urgent need to reorientation amongst religious bigots.
- Strong educational institutions should be established to supervise educational administration in Nigeria.
- The United Nations 26% of national budgetary allocation to the educational sector should be given due consideration. This will improve the effectiveness of educational administration in Nigeria.
- The Nigerian security apparatus should collaborate with educational institutions in all states of the Nigerian federation to integrate moral education it their curriculum as a remote way of solving possible future security challenges.
- National honours should be bestowed on citizens with outstanding moral behaviours. This will serve as example to others on the need to be good and moral. The attitude of governments on reports of airport gatemen returning huge sums of money without due honours only serve as discouraging factor for others to follow suit.
- Finally, graduates should be provided with sustainable jobs as education may be meaningless if jobs are scarce.
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