Boarding secondary education in the eastern states of Nigeria : influences, characteristics and problems

Enyong, Sammy Chris Taku-Nchung

March 1986

Thesis or dissertation

© 1986 Sammy Chris Taku-Nchung Enyong. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

The issue of boarding education at secondary level has been one of controversy in Nigeria at least throughout the period since Independence. From 1960 onwards the various authorities charged with the provision of secondary schooling have had to relate the educational legacies of colonialism, including the English boarding school model, to the needs and demands of a newly emerging and economically diversifying country.

This thesis is therefore concerned inter alia to identify the influences, characteristics and problems of secondary boarding schools in Nigeria, and especially in the Eastern States of that country. It attempts first to identify significant formative influences through an historical / documentary study, and then to ascertain empirically contemporary attitudes and perceptions of the various parties to the provision and operation of such schools today. In so doing, aspects such as organisation, administration, management, discipline, values, routine, facilities and infrastructure are described and discussed.

The thesis has twelve chapters, organised in three parts: Part A comprises six chapters dealing with the identification of the problem and contributing factors. Chapters One and Two outline the environmental and educational context. Chapter Three illustrates the history and nature of the problem, whilst Chapter Four provides an explanation of the research context. Chapter Five reviews some previous research on boarding and Chapter Six is a consideration of the nature and development of the most influential model, the English Public School.

Part B, the development and nature of boarding in the study area deals mainly with aspects of the history and character of boarding schools in Nigeria and especially in the Eastern States. So Chapter Seven is concerned with the long period up to and including the Nigerian civil war, which ended in 1970. Chapter Eight reviews the post-war situation which is given a more detailed focus by Chapter Nine, an account of a preliminary field survey carried out by the writer in 1981.

Part C of the thesis is concerned with the current attitudes of the various parties as ascertained by the writer's main empirical exercise, that is to say staff, students and parents. Chapter Ten describes the empirical methods selected and used, and is followed by Chapter Eleven which is a detailed account of the findings. Chapter Twelve is a discussion of the results obtained.

The thesis concludes with a summary, and recommendations for improving provision in this sector, especially in respect of the quality of facilities and staffing.

The Study confirmed what was generally assumed and suspected: that boarding school arrangements in the Eastern States of Nigeria continue to be in very high demand more than 25 years after Independence. The main conclusion was that parents, school authorities, members of the public and students, in general prefer boarding to day schools at this level despite the severe problems of plant and staff quality that are very evident.

The thesis concludes with a number of alternative strategies, recommendations and comments aimed at improving the condition and provision in this sector of schooling. It is clearly not just a matter of improving physical facilities, there is urgent need for a clarification of the objectives of such provision in modern Nigeria as well as for suitable staff development programmes that will assist their realisation.

Department of Education, The University of Hull
Brock, Colin
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