chapter  2
7 Pages

Nursery school education in Nigeria: impact on families and society

For generations, Nigerian parents have been the principal motivators in determining their children's future. Traditionally, boys followed in their fathers' footsteps; girls became housewives and mothers. With the advent of rapid technological change in the twentieth century and the impact of a formal educational system adapted from western societies, a broader range of occupations was opened to the boys and, to a lesser degree, the girls. However, parents still determined for the most part their child's future occupational career. 'We want Chuka to become a doctor.' Or 'We're preparing Kemi to become a schoolteacher.' No one was concerned about the child's interests. Chuka and Kemi did as they were told and thought what they were taught to think. Up to the present day, Nigerian parents still continue to exhibit a strong degree of control over the preparation of their child's future. With the advent of universal primary education in the 1980s, more children will be able to receive a minimum of a primary school education. Decisions about a child's future may not be shared. The school's influence may exert greater effect on the child than that of the parent. Although parents may continue to believe that they exert the greatest amount of influence, those who continue to dominate their child's acts of decisionmaking may not only damage their child's chances for independent thinking but also hinder future parent-child relationships.