Note on Nigerian Educational System and Languages:
children attend primary school from the ages of 6 to 12.
The next three years students attend Junior Secondary
School (JSS) followed by another three years of Senior
Secondary School (SSS) thus graduating when they are 18
years old. In 1999, the Nigerian education policy mandated
JSS as the minimum educational level for all students.
Since this policy is fairly new many students have not
yet reached this level and a considerable percentage of
Nigerian citizens are still illiterate.
There are around
250 ethnic groups in Nigeria with many diverse languages.
But largely speaking, there are three major languages. The
most prominent is Hausa and the remaining others are Yoruba
and Igbo, however English is the official language of Nigeria.
based on correspondance with the authors)
Fifty-four teachers in twenty
secondary schools, 10 federal government colleges and 10 private schools,
completed a questionnaire and oral interviews were conducted. The questionnaire
consisted of four parts with twenty-five items. Five questions concerned
general information; such as sex, qualifications, and computer experience,
six questions concerned facilities; types of hardware, computer laboratory,
and textbooks, eight questions concerned training; proficiency and the
number of teaching personnel, and six questions concerned maintenance
and funding. Around 200 junior school students were also interviewed
regarding their computer competence. The data was then analyzed using
1: To what extent have the policy objectives been achieved in schools?
Two fundamental objectives
were previously highlighted:
- To bring about a computer
literate citizenry in Nigeria by the mid-1990’s
- To enable present school
children to appreciate the potential of the computer and be able to
use the computer from Junior Secondary School (JSS) One to Senior
Secondary School (SSS) Three
Computer education is still
limited to Federal Unity Secondary Schools. It is scarcely offered in
any of the state secondary schools, which constitutes more than 80%
of Nigerian schools. Though some private schools have introduced computer
instruction into their school system, the number of schools that offered
computer education is negligible compared to the general schools’
population. From the questionnaires, the teaching of computer education
in the federal government schools is limited to JSS levels only. However,
very few private schools offered it at the SSS level. Almost 80% of
the junior school students interviewed agreed that they could not operate
computers. Therefore, the use of computers in education is rare in Nigerian
schools. Also, the computer literate citizenry envisaged almost a decade
ago is still a mirage. Very few school children have the opportunity
to experience any type of computer instruction in school.
2: How congruent
is the hardware provision in schools with policy dictates?
Policy dictates 8 personal
computers per school. This number is calculated based on the assumption
that each computer class comprises 40 students or one computer for every
5 students. Policy further stipulates the following as the standard
computer configuration for schools:
- The 16-bit microprocessor
- Monochrome graphics
- 2 floppy diskette
- 640 KB memory
- Standard keyboard
which is suitable for graphics and word- processing
- MS-DOS version
3.0 and above
- 80-column Printer
To determine the congruency
of school practice with these stipulations, the number and type of computers
in schools were obtained.
Computer Hardware Facilities
From Table 1, about 80% of schools have at least five computers. The
8 computers per school policy is not the reality in these schools. The
accepted computer class number in schools is 40 according to the policy,
but public schools greatly exceed this number with an average class
membership of almost 50. Thus the current student-computer ratio of
10:1, which is the case in public schools, is far from the policy stipulation.
Furthermore the computer configurations dictated by the policy are now
obsolete as indicated in Table 2.