Benefits of Citizenship Education – The role of citizenship education in Nigeria has been a great topic of debate. What is the usefulness of citizenship education in Nigeria? Why should citizenship education be included in the syllabus of schools? One undoubted fact is that citizenship education in Nigeria has enormous benefits.

Possible Benefits of Citizenship Education in Nigeria

This article explores the role of citizenship education in Nigeria.

What is Citizenship Education in Nigeria?

Citizenship education means the way in which a child is educated, from the formative years of his/her life, so that the child will become a well-informed, positive and transparent citizen who will not only be a participant in making decisions for the society but add value to societal discourse.

Citizenship education in Nigeria includes teaching the child to have a knowledge of the various national institutions and to train the child to recognize that social and human relationship is regulated by the rule of law. Citizenship education hinges on two features which are:

  • the individual as an important actor in the civic sphere.
  • the political rights of the citizen inherent in the constitution.

Civic education in Nigeria also includes training the child on the usefulness and value of participating effectively in the democratic process in the country.

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Objectives of Citizenship Education in Nigeria

Citizenship education in Nigeria does not only include the education of citizens but the teaching children national values in order to make them worthy adults.

The three major objectives of Citizenship education in Nigeria are:

  • To educate the young ones in the concept of citizenship and respect for rights.
  • To teach the young ones how to make proper judgments in a credible and fair manner.
  • To enlighten the young ones in the process of becoming respectable adults that understand their civic duties and responsibilities.

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What are the Benefits of Citizenship Education in Nigeria

  • Citizenship education in Nigeria will give the youths the ability to understand the values of the communities, which are vital for the growth of society.
  • It also enables the youth to appreciate freedom and create a positive plan of action in order to optimize them.
  • Citizenship education allows the youth to understand the concept of equality. Equality is the anchor in which effective citizenry stands. Citizenship education covers both political and social equality.
  • It allows youths to understand their right and demand accountability from the government
  • It provides youths with political knowledge, which will help them contribute to the democratic processes.

What are the Criticisms of Citizenship Education in Nigeria?

There are two types of criticisms levelled against school-based citizenship education.

To begin, some educational philosophers believe that most governments and mainstream policies encourage and promote flawed citizenship education techniques.

These techniques try to cultivate in learners specific attitudes that are favourable to political participation and solidarity. However, there are widely divergent viewpoints on what constitutes good citizenship and how education should foster individuality and open-mindedness.

When participation in politics and solidarity are thought of as educational goals, they don’t allow for as much critical thinking as they would if they were thought of as educational goals.

Second, some educationalists believe that simply teaching children about civic theory is useless unless schools genuinely exhibit democratic norms by allowing students to participate in decision-making.

They argue that schools are intrinsically undemocratic entities, incapable of instilling in students the dedication and belief in democratic values required for citizenship education to be effective.

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