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Authors: FAKAYODE, M. F.
Keywords: Nomadic education
Shepherd schools
North Central Nigeria
Northern Region of Ghana
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Nomads' lifestyles are shaped by their pastoral occupation, and nomadic education, established in Nigeria in 1989 and in Ghana in 1995, has been provided to cater for their special educational needs. While studies have been carried out to evaluate the programme separately, none had attempted a comparison of both programmes in the two countries. This study, therefore, compared the nomadic educational programmes in North Central Nigeria and the Northern Region of Ghana with a view to ascertaining their educational objectives and implementation, funding, infrastructural provisions, enrolment and retention between 1989 and 2009. The descriptive survey research design was adopted using the comparative stratification and human capital theories. The purposive sampling technique was used to select Niger, Kwara and Kogi states from North Central Nigeria, and Yandi, Gushegu and Benbenla provinces from Northern Region of Ghana due to the high presence of nomads in the areas. The proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to select 70 board members (Nigeria: 40; Ghana: 60 ministry officials (Nigeria: 40; Ghana: 20), 201 teachers (Nigeria: 120; Ghana: 81) and 833 pupils (Nigeria: 433; Ghana: 400) in the chosen states and provinces from the two countries. Four research instruments were used: Teachers/Facilitators Questionnaire (r=0.72), Officials of State Primary Education Board of Nomadic Questionnaire (r=0.81), Ministry Officials Questionnaire (r=0.85) and Nomadic Academic Achievement test (r=0.79), Archival materials and records on nomadic education from the two countries were consulted. In-depth interviews were also held with 20 nomadic parents in each country. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. The pupil's enrollment rate was higher in Nigeria than in Ghana with a ratio of 4:1 regardless of grade or cohort. Also, Nigeria had a teacher pupil ratio of 1:81 compared to Ghana's 1:58; with higher number of qualified and competent instructors. Infrastructural provisions and instructional materials were fairly better in Nigeria than in Ghana, though, both were grossly inadequate. Funding of nomadic education within the period of study was higher in Nigeria ($281,250) than in Ghana ($66,250), though, the level of government roles in the programmes in both countries were generally low with the Ghanaian government's role weighted average = 2.15 and that of Nigeria's = 2.01. Achievements of nomadic educational objectives in both countries were rated high, but there were differences in respondents' perception. Board members perceived the objectives as highly relevant compared with ministry officials and teachers .Generally, Nigeria had a higher implementation effectiveness of nomadic education than Ghana . Inadequate funding, instructional materials and facilities, class absenteeism, distance location, low continuity prospect, cultural barrier and low political will were similar challenges facing both programmes, but the Nigerian programme was more constrained by the problem of high attrition and low retention. The funding of nomadic educational programme was better in Nigeria, but was more effectively implemented in Ghana. However, the resources availability in the two countries was grossly inadequate.
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