Training for “Global Citizenship” but Local Irrelevance: The Case of an Upscale Nigerian Private Secondary School
Through the lens of a 16-year-old Nigerian secondary school student, this case study illustrates the human development and education crisis in Nigeria where the education system (represented by the private education sector) is focused on developing citizens for “global citizenship” but fails to prepare young Nigerians to learn about themselves as cultural-historical beings and agents for local and continental leadership. Although the school highlighted in this study is fictional, the experiences presented in the case are real. The case study was developed based on several research projects on private schools in Nigeria and my own personal schooling and advocacy experience in Nigeria. Focusing on the Magnum Prep Secondary School (MPSS) (pseudonym), the case highlights that the global citizenship curriculum measures its success based on the number of students who gain admission and attend Western universities. This pursuit is achieved by immersing the students in a colonial curriculum that upholds Western standards and values as the epitome of humanity. In effect, the curriculum denies these Nigerian students their humanity and right to equitably participate in the “global society” by not teaching them about their culture and history. Students’ voice is also stifled in this school. For example, even though, students had critical and constructive views about their curriculum, student programming and student life, their views were not considered. In so doing, the school system fails to develop Nigerians who are academically nuanced and embody the capacity and human agency to drive human development in the country.
KeywordsCurriculum Global citizenship Colonialism Education
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