Scholars drawn from various tertiary institutions across the country have postulated that education has the potency, as an agent of change, to ameliorate Nigerians agitation for an ideal national integration devoid of insecurity, poor leadership, economic inequality among allied social vices pervading Nigeria as a nation.
This position was shared by educationists led by Professor Samuel Ogundare, at the fifth National Conference organised by School of Education, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, held recently.
The host Provost of the college, Dr Rasak Adefabi in his opening address, lamented that national integration in Nigeria is still very elusive considering the uproars of insecurity across the country.
According to him, an ideal national integration should engender the bond and the togetherness among the tribes in the country, irrespective of their religions and ethnicity, especially among the youths, the future leaders of the nation. He said the theme of the conference, ‘Education and National Integration: 21st Century Realities’ was appropriate to guide the participants to deliberate on the effective use of formal, informal and non-formal educational tools to foster national integration in our society.
Similarly, the host Dean of the School of Education in the college, Mr S.O. Raimi reiterated the urgent need to rescue the collapsing tendency of the Nigeria National integration entity, using educational instructional measures. He asserted that the eminent national disintegration tendency of this country informed the choice of the theme of the conference, using education to avert the likely sudden declaration of the state of emergency of the land as a result of increasing insurgency in Nigeria
Several papers were presented to establish the influence and impact of education on the progress and sustenance of National integration in this 21 century in Nigeria.
Dr Adeleke Owoade from the University of Calabar asserted that education is required to bridge the gap that series of insurgence caused by tribal sentiment, religious intolerance in the country of late.
According to him, Nigeria has not been able to build a united country where its people are in a better position to ably confront its crises of development, nationhood and stability, emphasising that National integration is a process of nation-building through national unity and national cohesion.
Both Professor Samuel Ogundare and Professor O. A Oyedeji in their presentations affirmed that education curriculum should be reviewed to reflect the needs and aspiration of the society on equity, cultural integration and integrative behaviour.
According to Professor Ogundare, in order to promote national integration in Nigeria, the following subjects; National History and Geography, Civic Education, Social Studies, Language, Art and Music Literature and government should focus on inculcating the right value, belief, character and moral training and national unity, as well as introducing Cultural Diplomacy education into the school system.
All the paper presenters at the conference unanimously suggested that citizenship education should be introduced at all levels of educational system.
According to them, the development would go a long way to transform not only the social system but the attitude, loyalty and thinking of Nigeria as one. It was noted at the conference that Adult education, Teacher Education development and review and upgrade of the school curriculum should be given priority in the education development process in the country.
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