Barrister Antonia Ngozika Arazu, Esq. Ifejika Okonkwo and Associates 21 Road, Number 1 P.O. Box 914 Festac Town Lagos, Nigeria
Dr. Ifejika Okonkwo Ifejika Okonkwo and Associates 4645 Valais Court P.O. Box 2262 Alpharetta, Georgia 30023
Ifejika Okonkwo and Associates 10945 State Bridge Road Suite 401-115 Alpharetta, Georgia 30022-5676
Phone #: 234-01-881076
Phone # 1-404-663-4275
Learning in Nigeria:
Nigeria has varied educational systems. The major educational systems are: Indigenous method of education, Qu'ranic form of education, and European (Western) style education.
Western type schooling was brought to Nigeria by missionaries in the 19th century, and continues to be based on the British model. Such consists of compulsory education lasting from the age of six years at entry to age of 15 years on exit. Classes are held from October to July each year, and the language of instruction in the schools is English.
Western type primary school lasts for six years, and subsequent entrance to secondary education is usually based on passing an examination. Western type secondary education is divided into junior and senior secondary, and technical and vocational education. After three years of junior secondary education, a certificate is awarded. The senior school certificate is awarded after three years of senior secondary education. Technical secondary education is offered in commercial schools, which offer six-year courses including academic subjects and trade specialization. At the end of such courses, these students are eligible to take the examinations for the senior school certificate. Students have to pass a university entrance examination to gain admission to a university.
Universities, polytechnics, professional institutions, institutes of technology, and colleges of education provide western type higher education. Technical colleges and polytechnics offer higher technical education. These institutions offer two-stage national diplomas and higher national diplomas of two years duration. Students are expected to have at least one-year industrial attachment after obtaining the national diploma to proceed to the higher national diploma program of study. Students at colleges of education study for three years at an advanced teacher training college to obtain the Nigerian Certificate of Education, which also is acceptable for university admission as an advanced or transfer student. Starting in 1998 teachers require at least a qualification not below the Nigerian Certificate of Education to teach in any institution of education in Nigeria.
Qu'ranic (Islamic) education occurs primarily in religious schools called Madrassah. Qu'ranic education includes learning to read and write in Arabic. A large number of Qu'ranic schools are in operation in Nigeria. The Qu'ranic schools do not encourage an explorative critical attitude. The particular tradition of learning found in the Qu'ranic school is based on the principles of received wisdom and unquestionable truths. The religious obligation of the students is to learn by heart and recite.
Islamic youth obtain Qu'ranic education by learning the letters of the Arabic alphabet. Knowledge of the alphabet and acquisition of balance in education by study of the Koran and reading of other religious texts written in Arabic help students pursue proper Qu'ranic education along with science and technology.
The Qu'ranic education is a most crucial social institution. In many Muslim towns and villages in Nigeria a majority of boys and a varying number of girls spend from one to several years reciting the Koran under the guidance of a teacher. They also learn important lessons concerning morals, respect and the religiously sanctioned behavior expected of them as adults. Many of the more able students pursue higher Islamic studies and become teachers, clerics, or legal scholars. The Qu'ranic school has been the breeding place for generations of Islamic clergy and scholars, Marabouts, Imams, and Islamic Judges.
Indigenous methods of education primarily involve young people learning economic, political, and social survival skills by participating in community life. Indigenous methods of education utilize oral tradition, such as the collective testimonies and recollections of the past inherited from earlier generations and transmitted in various forms of verbal testimonies. Orally transmitted information inherited from past generations may be shared in both structured and unstructured contexts.
Indigenous methods of education are fostered at all times during the day, and capitalize on every available opportunity irrespective of place. All members of the extended family and the whole community are teachers, with some being more prominent for particular age groups. Each member of the community is a teacher at some point or other. Education takes place everywhere and anytime. Training is largely by apprenticeship.
The relevance of learning in indigenous methods of education is a particular concern for the community. The skills, knowledge, and attitudes have to relate to the vocational, social, personal, and civic needs of both the learners and the community. Such education is functional. The curriculum is taught in a manner that is immediately relevant and community oriented. The indigenous methods of education mostly focus on peaceful coexistence within the community. Each person obtains education adequate to obtain skills necessary for survival in society.