AN EVALUATION OF THE USE OF INTERACTIVE RADIO INSTRUCTION STRATEGY IN EDUCATING NOMADIC CHILDREN IN NORTHERN NIGERIA.
It is unarguably a fact that the provision of basic education for all citizens, especially children, remains a sacred responsibility of governments the world over. In Africa for instance, it is estimated that about 67.16 million school age children are not in school because of their inability to access it. In Nigeria, of the 30 million school-aged children, 10 million are currently not enrolled in school; of those currently in primary school, less than one third will enrol in junior secondary, with even fewer reaching senior secondary school. Of this population, nomadic children account for over 10 percent. The implication of this is that over 90 percent of nomadic school-age children were not in school before 2009. This was because of their nomadic nature and the neglect of successive governments. After the establishment of National Commission of Nomadic Education in 1989, the Commission came up with a number of strategies to educate the nomads who were before now excluded from the normal school system because they could not fit in. Subsequently, in 2009, the National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) developed the Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) strategy to educate nomadic children who could not cope in the conventional school system. Four years after the strategy was developed and used in six states, how far has it gone in raising the knowledge level of nomadic children in Nigeria? Using triangulation mixed method design, 397 nomadic pupils were studied in 15 nomadic primary schools in Kaduna, Adamawa and Plateau states in northern Nigeria. The qualitative and quantitative data generated using questionnaire, interview and observation revealed that: nomadic children participate actively in the IRI programme and as such their knowledge level has increased tremendously. However, the study revealed that the use of English in IRI programme, the religion of the nomads and the quest to attend to their flock are the major problems of the programme. Based on these findings, it was recommended among other things that the producers of IRI programme should play down on their excessive use of grammar in the programme to make it easier for the pupils to understand. Government should also provide more funding to enable the Commission to recruit more staff and develop grazing reserves to reduce constant movements of these nomads.