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The Netcare Education Faculty of Emergency and Critical Care (FECC) is all about empowering South Africans and their communities. The Netcare Education FECC is the best-known school of prehospital emergency care in South Africa and continues to lead the way in defining the future of paramedic and advanced life support education. The FECC is much more than just a centre to train paramedics for South Africa’s favourite emergency service, Netcare 911. This survey investigated Nigerians’ perception of recent calls for Human Rights and Peace Education (HRPE) to entrench democratic culture in the country.
1With an estimated population of about 130 million and over 250 ethnic nationalities, Nigeria ranks the most populous country in black Africa.
3Following the successful hand over of power by the military to an elected civilian leadership on May 29, 1999, hopes were raised on entrenching a lasting democratic culture which would galvanize the citizenry into positive actions for the country’s development in an atmosphere of peace and respect for human rights.
4And a major fallout of this trend was the emergence of several human rights organizations within the civil society (estimated at over 5,000 organisations in different areas of development) which “challenged the government by criticizing government policies as well as their oppressive tendencies” (Dipo-Salami, 2003:14). 5Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), particularly in the last decade, have no doubt made significant contributions in exposing the pretensions of military actors in Nigeria’s search for a politically stable, economically viable and socially vibrant nation.
It is our considered opinion that the basic provisions on human rights and civic responsibilities should be part of the curriculum of our tertiary institutions. 8The idea of development has shifted from the traditional focus on the economic growth index of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to that of holistic concept of human capital development.
9In other words, it is the people that make things happen at the level of social, political, cultural, economic, scientific and technological advancement (Adedeji, 1991).
11While it may be argued that it is the political economy of the ruling class, and not the military perse, that shapes a government’s approach towards human development or respect of human rights (Olorode 2001), it cannot be denied that the professional orientation of the military leadership has no room for dialogue, debates, dissent and other basic tenets of a democratie culture and concrete expression of fundamental rights (Fasanmi, 2002).
12In consequence, a people coming out a military government are, willynilly, like a people coming out of a war. 13When people are conscious of their rights to speak against bad government policies, for instance, they are likely to gain deeper insight into their creative potentials as agents of innovation and development.
14“Human rights education” and “peace education” are thus mentioned separately only for convemence. 15The United Nations (UN), within the context of the human development index (HD1) and in the pursuit of sustainable development, has set its nine Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) against the year 2015 and ESD is to be a key factor in realising the goals. 16Yaqub (2003:45) observes that “a tenth goal for Nigeria is the need to consolidate democracy as its process is likely to serve as a catalyst to the minimization or eventual elimination of poverty in the social formation”. 17Against the backdrop of the foregoing, this pilot investigation was carried out with the purpose of providing some baseline data for intervening in the current advocacy for human rights and peace education in the curricula of Nigerian educational institutions. How do Nigerians perceive the role of education in promoting human rights and peace issues in relation to sustainable development?
Are there significant differences in Nigerians’ perceptions of human rights, peace education and sustainable development with reference to like gender, marital status, educational qualification, geopolitical zone of origin, religion and occupation? 18The survey involved a total of 1,300 respondents who were residents of Lagos, Nigeria’s former capital city, as at the time of the investigation. 22Analysis of data involved the use of the SPSS to tease out some descriptive and inferential information for addressing the research questions. 23Table 1 presents the summary of respondents’ perceptions of human rights and peace education issues in relation to school curriculum. 24An overview of Table 1 in relation to the first research question suggests that majority of the respondents strongly believe that the numerous social, political, economic and developmental proMems facing Nigeria are caused by bad leadership. 26The first one is that the long regime of military intervention in Nigeria’s bodypolitic might have influenced a sizeable number of the people to see military rule as “part of the norm” rather than “an aberration” in the political process. 27Secondly, the use of military force to quell the not-infrequent incidence of communal, ethnic, religious and politic crises in Nigeria may have also led many Nigerians into believing that elected officiais are not sufficiently equipped to govern the country. 29This seems to be an acknowledgement of the present civilian administration’s nine-year compulsory education under the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme launched in September, 1999. 30On the second research question which probes into how Nigerians perceive the role of education in promoting human rights and peace issues in relation to sustainable development, the sampled Nigerians seemed to be favourably disposed to introducing different aspects of peace education into the school curricula. 32A cursory look at the Tables 2 and 3 reveals that there are no statistically significant differences according to gender, educational qualification and occupation.
33However, respondents are likely to differ in their views in relation to age, marital status, eopolitical zone and religion. 34There is an expressed preference for democracy as against military dictatorship in much of Africa today. 35Nigeria, being one of the architects of NEPAD, is thus challenged to pay serious attention to the prevalent conceptions of governance vis-a-vis the core elements of sustainable democracy such as opportunites for self-expression and enforcement of fundamental rights, enthronement of democratic institutions and policy environment supportive of justice and peace. 36Another major implication of findings from this study is the need for elected leaders to conduct the country’s affaire in manners that practically demonstrate the superior status of civil rule over the military.
37The current civilian administration introduced The Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 as its strategy for arresting the seemingly hydra-headed problem.
38To strengthen people’s faith in the crusade, elected officiais in Nigeria must constantly keep NEPAD’s injunction on “developing clear standards of accountability, transparency and participatory governance at the national and sub-national levels” (NEPAD, 2001:11) in focus. 39For the an enduring culture of peace and the survival of democracy in Nigeria, the parlous state of the economy, the widespread incidence of poverty, the poor state of social infrastructures (health, education, roads, etc.) and the mismanagement of environmentalresources all call for critical attention. 40This study has provided some preliminary evidence in support of the call for curricular review with the purpose of introducing thematic issues about human rights, peace promotion and sustainable development in Nigerian educational institutions. FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (1998), National Policy on Education (3rd edition), NERDC Press, Yaba-Lagos. IUCH (2003), “Supporting the United Nations Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2015)”.
Such is the quality of courses offered, that healthcare professionals other than paramedics, such as doctors and nurses, often attend.
The Netcare Education FECC also offers an outstanding first aid course for ordinary people such as teachers, workers and executives. It is also one of the most resource-endowed countries in the continent, having an enormous stock of natural resources that include petroleum, bitumen, gold, coal, and bauxite.



This was against the backdrop of widespread reports of human rights abuse by successive military administrations climaxing in the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, widely believed to be the freest and fairest in the country’s history, and the official execution of nine leading environmental rights activists in 1995.
This we see as a flrst step towards a return to the past when such courses as Civics and Social Studies had provisions on rights and responsibilities designed in them. The question, however, remains whether Nigerians across the social strata fully appreciate the issues involved. The greater the opportunites people have to develop and exercise their innate abilities in an uninhibited manner, the faster they progress on the path of a development process that would be trans-generational or sustainable. These are universal moral entitlements or basic needs without which human beings cease to be complete creatures. What then emerges is the graduai disarticulation and castration of the civil society in a manner that forces its opinion leaders “to keep quiet because their lives and the lives of their family members were (are) in danger” (Dipo-Salami, 2003).
The knowledge, skills and values people require to achieve this life-time human development goal are provided within the ambit of human rights education. The first part of the questionnaire focuses on demographie background of the respondents while the second adopts the Likert scale model focusing on issues of development, peace and human rights.
In Table 2, the resuit of the t-test of differences in the perceptions of the respondents according to sex is presented while Table 3 summarises the resuit of the analysis of variance (ANOVA) test of differences according to age, marital status, geopolitical zone, highest qualification, religion and occupation.
And thirdly, many Nigerians may not fully appreciate the implications of military governments for their rights to choose those who govern them and that opportunities for self-development and the development of the country are better guaranteed in a civilian dispensation in view of the competing manifestoes of the political parties. However, more than 50 per cent were sceptical about the possibility of achieving this, even though over 60 per cent agreed that “Free and compulsory education at primary and junior secondary school levels will provide for equal opportunity in Nigeria”. The specific dimensions of these differences are to be explored in a follow-up investigation to this study.
According to The New Partnership for Africa ‘s Development (NEPAD) adopted by African leaders in Abuja, Nigeria, in October 2001,Across the continent, democracy is spreading, backed by the African Union (AU), which has shown a new resolve to deal with conflicts and censure deviation from the norm. Evidence from this study suggests that, if the ongoing efforts at institutionalizing a lasting democracy in Nigeria are to yield the expected dividends, Nigerians need a comprehensive programme of formal and non-formal education in human rights and peace promotion.
One practical way of doing this is to squarely tackle the problem of corruption for which Nigeria’s corporate image has been severely dented. The twin evils of corruption and dictatorship have exacted a variety of costs - psychic, economic, political, social, cultural, etc - on the people and the nation-state; the costs are expensive and huge, although the exact quantum may never be known. However, many critical observers are wont to argue that the personal lifestyles and disposition of civilian officiais do not go far enough to demonstrate their sincerity in tackling the problem headlong (Yaqub, 2003), although some evidence of the potency of the crusade is beginning to emerge. When completed, the curricular review should serve as part of the country’s strategy for entrenching democratie values particularly within the contexts of MDG and ESD.
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Perceived Relevance of Human Rights and Peace Education in Post-Military Nigeria In: IFRA Special Research Issue Vol. They have commented that these programmes augment their inherent training and have provided focused insight into emergency care. Majority of them saw the interrelated problems of underdevelopment, incessant conflicts and human rights abuse as products of bad leadership, but were sceptical of the capability of elected officiais to manage the crisis-ridden polity. Its soil and climate are suitable for an all-year round farming and there is ample distribution of rivers for commercial fishing. About 70 per cent of Nigerians earn less than one dollar a day and the country’s per capita income is put at a little above US $300 (UNICEF, 2001). For instance, they lack the financial muscle to cope with the level of public information, education and communication required to sustain the entrenchment of human rights norms and ethos in Nigerians. The essence of human development in that context, Akande (2000) explains, is to enlarge people’s choices in the political, economic and social spheres of life in order to be creative, productive and enjoy personal self-respect and guaranteed human rights.
All human beings should be accorded those rights by law irrespective of their race, colour, creed, gender or social status. And with the silencing of the critical segment of the society, the problem becomes not just that of being “saddled with leaders without vision most of the time, but that the majority of the citizenry have no idea as to what they really want out of governance Biodun Ogunyemi and Kolawole Raheem except the basic necessities like food, drinkable water, shelter and good roads” (Aboyade, 2004: 65). Concurrently, the actualization of these rights equally demands certain obligations in terms of creating an enabling environment for other people and groups to enjoy their own rights as well. The justification for human rights and peace education lies in not just the national crisis which military dictatorships engender in developing countries like Nigeria, it is also imperative for regional and global understanding. The question, to paraphrase Patrick (1999:54), is: Do Nigerians have the intellectual and social capital needed to sustain and improve upon their constitutional liberal democracy through their roles as citizens? Lagos could be regarded as miniature Nigeria because nearly all the country’s ethnic nationalities (estimated at about 300) are fairly represented in the city. The major cohort of the respondents however was those with the mid-level teacher education (i.e. The last part is largely open-ended and it is meant to tease out some general comments from respondents. At least, this is the case in other societies where the military establishment limits itself to its professional calling of defending the country against internai and sxternal aggressors, unlike in Nigeria where the military sometimes take over the reigns of government purely for self-interest (Olorode, 2001; Fasanmi, 2002). The obvious conclusion here is that the respondents in the study seemed to invest much hope in the ability of the Nigerian school system to address the numerous issues that constitute the flashpoints in the process of building a stable, dynamic and progressive country. These efforts are reinforced by voices in civil society, including associations of women, youth and the independent media (NEPAD, 2001:10). Such programme should complement the activities of civil society organizations whose capacity for changing the entrenched orientation towards “militocracy” (Fasanmi, 2002) is highly circumscribed. The existential needs of the people must be addressed in a holistic and fondamental, not ad hoc, manner to make lasting impact capable of developing the stock of human capital that would guarantee the sustainable development of the Nigerian nation. Paper for the Working Document of the International Conference on Culture of Peace and Governance, Maputo, Mozambique, 1-4 September, 1997.
Many individuals belonging to or who wish to join one of the other emergency services operating in South Africa also find the courses attractive. They supported emergent calls for introducing human rights, peace education and sustainable development themes into school programmes to complement the activities of non-governmental organizations (NOGs) in the country.


Its economy is in shambles, characterized by low investment, hyperinflation, mass unemployment and heavy debt commitments to countries of Europe and America (Yaqub, 2003).
This is especially so because their foreign donors might no longer see the need to further support them in a post-military dispensation.
Are current provisions of the school system capable of achieving the goals of HRPE or is there a need for fundamental activities of curriculum review?
Such rights range from legal through moral, civil and political, economic, social and cultural, to collective or group aspects and are often enshrined in national constitutions (Makinde, 1999).
A disillusioned people produced by a military-driven Society of this nature cannot be expected to become the prime movers of innovation and ideas for a country desperately in need of development as in the case of Nigeria. Although there might have been no direct war, the fact of attack on, or deniai of, the people’s fondamental human rights in one form or the other is incontrovertible and this, in itself, constitutes an indirect war against the people. And this is at the heart of peace education which has been associated with other interrelated concepts such as disarmament education, education for non-violence, human rights education, development education or education for social justice, education for international understanding, intercultural education, non-racist education, and education for sustainable development (Swee-Hin, 1997; Lasonen, 2003). The United Nations (UN) prepared the ground for contemporary rights advocacy with its 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Lagos State is estimated to have a population of over 12 million which is about 10 per cent of the total population of Nigeria (Shekoni, 2002).
About 65 per cent of the respondents were youth between the age of 18 and 29 years; the next 32 percent were those in the 30-49 year bracket while the rest were rest were 50 years and above. Indeed, majority of the respondents believed that “Nigerians need tough leaders like military to make them do the right thing”, and that “Military leaders take over power only when it is absolutely necessary”.
One obvious implication of this is the need for serious activities of curricular review preceded by baseline studies, unlike officiai dictations from government ministries and agencies as currently going on in Nigeria (e.g. NEPAD (2001) anticipates that states in Africa will continue to rely on the global community in building their capacity to set and enforce the legal framework as well as maintaining law and order. Further analyses of determinants of Nigerians’ perceptions of the relevance human rights and peace education are required.
Lestinen (Eds.), Teaching and Learning for Intercultural Understanding, Human Rights and a Culture of Peace, Proceedings of the UNESCO Conference on Intercultural Education, 15-18 June 2003, Jyvaskyla, Finland. Social infrastructures remain iargely under-developed as evident in poor road networks, inadequate public health facilities, and underfunding of education (Oyejide, 1998; Aboyade 2004).
To what extent do Nigerians across gender, occupational, educational, ethnic, religious, age, and marital groups see relevance in introducing HRPE as part of school curricula in Nigeria?
However, in societies where the military governments hold sway (as Nigeria experienced for the better part of its post-independence history), the human rights components of the constitutions are suspended thereby undermining the citizens’ fundamental freedoms and negatively impacting the human development process which foregrounds the building of human capital. To re-focus the developmental challenges of a post-military society like Nigeria may thus require a process which put the people’s awareness of their choices on the front burners and a programme of human rights and peace education thus becomes imperative.
Respondents in this study were drawn from across the six geopolitical zones adopted by the Military Government in 1996 as represented in the city of Lagos. In addition, about 12 percent had bachelor’s degree or Higher National Diploma (HND) and another two percent had either masters or doctorate degrees. However, much is expected of a resource-endowed country like Nigeria in demonstrating continental leadership for sustainable development and its capacity to respond in the expected manner may be seriously curtalled unless its creditor nations across the world do something drastic by either writing off a substantial part of the country’s foreign debts or renegotiating many of these debt obligations which are hampering local development efforts.
Also, more studies at various sites in the 36 states and the six geopolitical zones are required to a gain a deeper insight into the profile of Nigerians’ attitude towards the military in governance, promotion of peace and human rights, and sustainable development of the country because the present study was limited to the former capital city of Lagos mainly for reason of inadequate fund. Thesis, Department of Curriculum Studies and Instructional Technology, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria. Since most NGOs are externally funded, the focal points of their activities are, more often than not, donor-driven. These questions, in particular, constitute the problematic of this preliminary investigation. Specifically, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) calls for public understanding of the principles behind sustainability, and that the social process needs to be mainstreamed into all sectors including business, agriculture, tourism, natural resource management, local government and mass media, adding value to programme development and implementation. The zones represented in the sample are southwest (544), southeast (182), south-south (207), north-central (54), north-east (84) and north-west (51). The intervention of the global community is required in this direction if Nigeria is expected to achieve much in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and be an active player during the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
The military has dominated the country’s affairs for about thirty out of its forty-four years of independence from Britain; providing the context for the pervasive social crisis and violence manifesting in ethno-religious conflicts, politically motivated assassinations, violent youth agitations, and others (Babalola, 2000). Indeed, ESD is life-long learning for all, regardless of peoples’ occupations and circumstances.
The accidental-incidental sampling technique was used for randomly selecting the respondents who were drawn from four major locations in the Lagos metropolis (Ikeja, Mushin, Ebute Metta and Victorial Island). Ogunsanya (Eds.), Teaching Human Rights in Social Studies Education, Social Studies Association of Nigeria, Ibadan, pp.
Phrases like “a giant with the feet of clay”, “the sleeping giant”, and “a land of scarcity in the midst of plenty” have thus been used at different times (Fasanmi, 2002) to portray the fact of Nigeria’s potentials which remain untapped for enhancing the people’s quality of life and for sustainable development of the country. It is therefore relevant to all nations, be they industrialized, less industrialised or agrarian. This technique involved street sampling as the trained field assistants came across willing respondents because of the largely mobile nature of the city residents. In addition, ESD calls for specialised training programmes to ensure that all sectors of society have skills necessary to relate to their world in a sustainable manner (IUCH, 2003). Akinkanye (1994) explains that this technique is helpful in situations where the study involves an unstable population. A total of 12 field assistants worked on the data collection process over a period of eight weeks.



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