Nigerian Languages, Ethnicity and Formal Education

Olufemi Kehinde Ogunyemi, Abiodun Emmanuel Bada


One of the major concerns of African scholars is the wide linguistic and educational gaps that exist among different ethnic groups within the same country. To bridge the gaps between inter-ethnic class and struggle, there is a need to put into consideration, the linguistic and educational set up of the country. Overall, this paper examines Nigerian languages, ethnicity and formal educational practices. It contributes to the very large literature on the conformity, formation and the question of identity, culture and language in Nigerian formal education. This work concurrently links linguistic identity to educational choice in Nigeria. The work concludes that ethnicization has become the highest level of threat to national integration thereby causing a lot of wobble in our democracy. One can then deduce that ethnic sentiments spring from man’s innate (linguistic) and educational tendency to display allegiance to a particular group. The work suggests a review of the National Policy on education. The study also suggests ways of managing ethnicity and developing educationally and culturally through interaction with government agencies that disseminate policies through various indigenous languages. It also recommends the sustainability of functional education. 


Ethnicity; Ethnicization; Education; Languages; Ethnic sentiments

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