Citizenship education is paramount in the development of a country. It’s usually taught in schools as a subject due to how broad it is. Every single topic under citizenship education is necessary for the development of a citizen.
What is Citizenship Education in Nigeria?
In Nigeria, citizenship education is a way of educating Nigerians of their values and rights in the country, so as to help them understand how to act for better living and the development of the state. Citizenship education cuts across different fields of study so Nigerians can have a broad sense of living and survival. These are the benefits of citizenship education –
1. Understanding human and civil rights
Nigerians need to understand these two concepts for them to live their lives to the fullest, and to help improve the country. If a Nigerian understands his fundamental human rights, he will be able to prevent himself from being oppressed and cheated by others and even the system. He will be able to be ambitious and also stay within the confine of the law.
On the other hand, civil rights help in educating citizens of the political rights they enjoy for being a citizen of Nigeria. Moreover, if they are of age they will be able to help the country actively, either by joining the political structure, delegated legislation, or other industries that help the country move forward.
2. Understanding political knowledge
Citizenship education teaches Nigerians how government works. This is beneficial because it reduces apathy among the younger generation. They will understand that to make the country great they need to have a say in how the government operates. Since Nigeria is a democratic state, the government is for, of, and by the people.
3. Better international relation
No country can survive on its own. It needs to transact with other countries for development. Nigeria being a third-world country, we need better international relations if this country is to be among the first-world countries.
With citizenship education, Nigerians are able to learn and understand how to relate with other countries and use their help to build Nigeria, without losing its sovereignty to such countries. Being overly dependable on one country is disastrous and no country has all that Nigeria needs, so its future leaders need to know how to relate with different countries at the same time even in times of conflict.
4. Better sociological knowledge
Before a citizen can ascend to the top of the political hierarchy, he first needs to understand how to relate with those around him, especially in the community and school. These two are usually the building and developmental stages of citizens. He will have to learn the norms and values, cultural practices, and beliefs of Nigerians. He will understand that Nigeria has a lot of tribes and their belief system is different, and if Nigeria is to remain a democracy, he must be able to live amicably. Tribalism and nepotism should be far from his heart.
The NYSC program in Nigeria helps with this by moving University graduates of one tribe to another tribe, so he can learn about the way of life and beliefs of that tribe. When such citizens are ready to take the reins of power in the country, they will be able to create solutions that favor everyone.
Apart from tribes, it also teaches about age and gender differentiation, family values, and the complexities of social relations. All these go hand in hand if Nigeria is to develop to greater heights.
5. Knowing Nigeria historical knowledge
History is meant to be a mirror to the past for us to learn from, so we can take a better approach to such situations if they occur in the future, and citizenship education teaches us about this. In schools, students are taught about the British colonization of Nigeria, the civil war, our independence, and so on. These are not just stories, they are lessons that show us our strengths and weakness, and how they can be applied in the future for better results.
Since our independence, till date, Nigeria has lost its values, sense of purpose, and worth. Every year the economy keeps declining and it’s like we are nearing the stage of being a failed state. To avert this, we need to look at our pasts and the actions we took that made us victorious. Victories like getting independence, ending the civil war, aba women riot, and so on. Citizenship education teaches all these, so the younger generation should learn from it and see how feasible it is, so they can apply it in future scenarios.
Citizenship education is a learning experience based on facts. It helps in shaping how the younger generation view the country and the world as a whole. This is what Nigerians need for this country to reach the great heights it attained back in the days.