Effects of Insurgency on Universal Basic Education in Borno State of Nigeria

Olowoselu Abdulrasheed, Adaobi Onuselogu, Uzoechina Gladys Obioma

  Open Access OPEN ACCESS  Peer Reviewed PEER-REVIEWED

Effects of Insurgency on Universal Basic Education in Borno State of Nigeria

Olowoselu Abdulrasheed1,, Adaobi Onuselogu2, Uzoechina Gladys Obioma2

1Depatment of Science Education, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria

2Department of Educational Administration and Planning, Anambra State University, Anambra State, Nigeria


The study investigated effects of insurgency on universal basic education in Borno State. Basic education is the first level of education for children at primary 1 level to basic 9 which is the junior secondary school level in Nigeria. However, achieving education for all Nigerian children, Borno state need a secured teaching and learning environment. The study examined the effect of insurgent activities such as abduction of pupils and attacks on teachers in basic schools of Borno State. The sample for the study was 270 teachers of basic schools, selected on the basis of 10 teachers from each of the 27 local government area that constitute Borno State. The instrument for data collection was a 20 items questionnaire title: Effect of Insurgency on Basic Education Questionnaires (EIBEQ). Two research questions were formulated, data collected were converted to mean, standard deviation and used to answer the research questions. It was therefore recommended that the Nigerian government should provide free and compulsory education to all Borno State internally displaced children, through provision of scholarship from basic school level to university. The government should show higher commitment in mobilizing the armed forces to end the insurgency in the State and provide adequate security in schools. It was further recommended that the religious leaders should preach against violence act in their respective communities.

Cite this article:

  • Abdulrasheed, Olowoselu, Adaobi Onuselogu, and Uzoechina Gladys Obioma. "Effects of Insurgency on Universal Basic Education in Borno State of Nigeria." American Journal of Educational Research 3.4 (2015): 490-494.
  • Abdulrasheed, O. , Onuselogu, A. , & Obioma, U. G. (2015). Effects of Insurgency on Universal Basic Education in Borno State of Nigeria. American Journal of Educational Research, 3(4), 490-494.
  • Abdulrasheed, Olowoselu, Adaobi Onuselogu, and Uzoechina Gladys Obioma. "Effects of Insurgency on Universal Basic Education in Borno State of Nigeria." American Journal of Educational Research 3, no. 4 (2015): 490-494.

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1. Introduction

Historically, Borno State, which was founded in 1976, initially comprised the present Borno and Yobe State. Prior to the advent of insurgency, it has been a relatively peaceful, multicultural and dynamic State in Nigeria. The State is fortunate to have human and natural resources, which have created many opportunities for its indigenes and other Nigerians to live in harmony. Borno State started experiencing the global trend of insurgency from 2009 (Adamu, 2014). Which led to the gruesome killings of innocent Nigerian citizens perpetrated by an insurgent group called Boko Haram (Adamu, 2014). Since 2009, they have disrupts educational system in Borno State with huge negative effect on basic education. The insurgent group dislikes children attending schools, and also committed criminal offences ranging from kidnaping of school pupils and attacking teachers in schools (Adeyemi, 2014). There is major destruction of school activities in the state. Recent past, they used under-age girls to carry out suicide bombing of major shopping mall, cinema halls and bus station. Moreso, Abduction of school children and the elderly were also common in their recent styles of mindless attack.

Geographically, according to Borno State Government (BSG, 2012) the State is the largest State in Nigeria in terms of land mass territory which covers 69,435 square kilometers, which is located in the north eastern corner of Nigeria. Educationally, the State is a center for education to all its international and national neighbors such as the northern part of Cameroun, the southern part of Chad and Republic of Niger. Many students from Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe State in Nigeria had also benefited from the State basic education program. The major tribe in Borno State is called “Kanuri” which constitute the higher hierarchy in the management of basic education in the state. Occupationally, majority of the people in Borno state are famers, fishermen and herdsmen but also send their children to the basic schools. The State is having a conventional university known as University of Maiduguri, a polytechnic, colleges of education, many senior secondary schools as well as many basic schools.

The Nigerian National Policy on Education (FGN, 2004) defined basic education as the type of education received at primary school level up to junior secondary school level.

According to the Universal Basic Education Commission, the objectives of the basic education are as follows:

a) Provision of scholarship to drop out of school children through the basic education programme.

b) Ensure the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, manipulative and life skills (as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying the foundation for life-long learning.

c) Develop the entire citizens with a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its education

d) Provide free, compulsory, universal basic education for every Nigerian students of school age group.

e) Reduce drastically, drop outrage from the formal school system through improved relevance and efficiency curriculum.

Universal Basic Education is the transmission of knowledge to all Nigerian society from generation to generation. It has two main components— Universal and Basic Education. Universal means a programme that is meant for all arms of the society such as the poor and the rich, the physically challenge and all the school dropouts people in Borno State. While Basic Education means the beginning of acquisition of desirable skill, knowledge and attitude in a formal school system. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of insurgency on universal basic education in Borno State and make appropriate solution to the challenges of basic education in the State.

2. The Origin of Insurgent Group in Borno State

The authors described the Boko Haram as an insurgent group, rebels and anarchists clothed in the robes of religious deceit. Borno State is challenged with high level of insecurity especially in the northern and southern zones of the State, perpetrated by this insurgent group called: The Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah lidda Awati Wal-Jihad also known as Boko Haram. This group was founded in 2001 in ‘Maiduguri’ the capital city of Borno State, by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf the originator of Boko Haram group (Adamu, 2009). The name Boko Haram is a Hausa statement, which upon translated into English mean “Western education is forbidden. The word “Boko” in Hausa language means western education, and “Haram” is an Arabic language which means “forbidden”. Boko Haram group opposes western education and also western culture (Adeyemi, 2014). This is adduced to their wrong indoctrination and belief.

The Boko Haram group wants the Sharia Law to be applied all over the country and this will be difficult for the government of Nigeria to accept. They vowed that they would rather have a separate Islamic state carved out of Nigeria where they can practice their religion unhindered. In 2009, they started attacking police station and burning of school in Borno State (NTA, 2009).

The Federal Government of Nigeria saw these demands as unacceptable and as traits to national stability in the country; the authority quickly deployed the Nigerian Police to the trouble area (NTA, 2009) Certainly, in an attempt to dislodge the group of its remote settlement, the leader of the Boko Haram group was arrested and later passes away in the detention in 2009. Adeyemi (2014) stated that from that 2009 year, and following the assumption of a new leader, the insurgent group has continue to unlashed violence and began what can best be described as the “soft target” killing un armed patriotic civilian population of Borno states, forcefully abduction of school girls and women, sporadic shooting and bombings of public places (NTA, 2014).

3. Historical Dates of Insurgent Attacks in Borno State (April 2011 - March 2015)

* April 15, 2011 - The Independent National electoral commission was bombed in Maiduguri.

* May 29, 2011 - Multiple bombing in Borno State, killing 4 people.

* June 26, 2011 - Bombing of a social and relaxation center in Maiduguri, 25 people died.

* April 14, 2014 – Abduction of over 200 Chibok girls in government secondary school Chibok, Borno State.

* November 26, 2014 – Suicide twin bomb blast in Monday market in Maiduguri killing 15 people and injured 45 people.

* November 1, 2014 – Bomb blast occurred in Monday market in Maiduguri, Borno Sate.

* November 25, 2014 – Another twin bomb blast in Monday market killing 60 people, 120 people injured. Monday market is the main Maiduguri crowded market.

* December 7, 2014 – Abduction of 20 girls in Lassa town, Borno State.

* December 18, 2014 – Boko Haram abducted 40 girls in a village near Chibok town, Borno State.

* January 10, 2015 – Female suicide bomber blast Monday market in Maduguri killing 4 people.

* January 14, 2015 – Military repel insurgent attack in Biu town, Borno State.

* January 25, 2015 – Attacks on Monguno town in Borno State, killing 8 people..

(Researchers Field work, 2015).

4. Statement of Problem

Empathically, many basic schools in Borno State had experienced several attacks from the insurgent group; some basic schools especially in Baga towns in northern part of the State have been closed down for 2 years (BSMOE, 2015). The authors strongly stated that, insurgency should not be allowed to penetrate in to any nations, in a manner it penetrated in to Nigeria through Borno State. The problem could be traced when the Boko Haram group uses religion to set up rules in a community unnoticed, advance it with violence to the State level and metamorphous in to an insurgent group, and disturbed the peace of the State. The authors argued that, this could happen due to the negligence on the part of the then Borno State government, which served as a lesson to other countries in Africa.

Moreso, basic education in Borno State have been experiencing serious problem prior to the insurgency, there are shortage of classes for teaching and learning, shortage of instructional materials and teachers (NUT, 2007). This has indicated that basic school is under-funded by the State government. Lack of payment of teacher’s salary which lead to frequent strike by basic school teachers are also concern to many families (NUT, 2008). Moreover, while the state is struggling to overcome the existing problems, insurgent came in as a bigger challenged to the State, which now posed as a threat to many parents, and children of school age in Borno State.

All these phenomenal, prompted the researcher to conduct this study and have a researchable solutions to the effect of this insurgency on basic education in Borno state. The outcomes of this study will be of considerable benefits to Nigerian students in the area of socio-cultural value on education, also serve as an insight for other countries to study the situation in Nigeria and avert any pre-insurgency activities in their Nations.

5. Socio Constructivist Theory

This study adopted the theory of Lev Vygotsky (1978) social constructivism theory. Vygotsky theories stress the fundamental role of social interaction in cognitive development of a child. Vygotsky believed that the role of the teacher in education is crucial. In developing children abilities, terchers can guide them towards performing tasks which are just beyond their current capacity. With such guidance, children can perform beyond their own ability within certain limits. Vygotsky defined these limits as the zone of proximal development. Based on the fact that learning and development in Borno State, should be collaborative activities between the society and school. Vygotsky believed that, community plays a central role in the process of making meaning to children cognitive development. The perceptual attention and memory capacity of children are transformed by vital cognitive tools provided by culture, such as history, traditions, language, religion and social context. For learning to occur, the child must first make contact with the social environment on an interpersonal level and then internalizes this experience. This means that, what the child is able to do in collaboration today, the child will be able to do independently tomorrow. Vygotsky (1978) posited that, the culture gives the child the cognitive tool needed for development. This makes the study to lend its credence on Vygotsky social constructivism theory because of the significance to culture and social context.

6. Historical and Culture of Borno State

The history of Borno antedates the 9th century, when Arabic writers in North African first noted the kingdom of kanem, east of Lake Chad. The lake was much larger than the present-day body of water, and its basin attracted settlements and encouraged exchange. A pastoral groups which were the ancestors of the kanuri people, established a centralized state over the territory (BSG, 2012). The kanuri people governed themselves prior to the British colonial era. The amalgamation of Southern and Northern Nigeria as a one indivisible country in the 1914, collapses the Kanem empire and transformed into a region in Nigeria (BSG, 2012). Kanuri people formed the dominant social cultural group in the present Borno State; there cultures permit every individual to acquired knowledge and respect the societal principles such as respect for woman, elders and children. Prior to the insurgency, the State is adjudged to be among the peaceful State in Nigeria, based on the reason that, there were no single cases of communal clashes in the State since Nigerian independent in 1960. Educationally, the State is far behind in terms of number of children in basic school attendance and also majority of the youths in the State were uneducated (FMOE, 2014).

The researchers argue that, lack of basic education for higher numbers of children in the past, which left many youths uneducated presently, could easily be traced to the weakness of the state authority, which created loopholes for insurgency to penetrate in, and cause major setback to educational system in the State.

7. Implication of Social Constructivist Theory to Basic Education in Borno State.

If Vygotsky is correct that children develop in socio-cultural settings. For teaching and learning to go on smoothly in Borno State, basic school teachers need to adopt constructivist teacher’s ideas by creating a context for learning in which, students can become engaged in interesting activities that facilitates learning. The teachers may often guide students as they approach problems, may encourage them to work in groups, to think about issues and support them with advice as they tackle challenges that are rooted in real life situation.

Basic education teachers in Borno State can apply the following four principles of Vygotsky theory of social constructivism, in their schools to enhance teaching and learning processes of the children:

a) Learning and development is a social, collaborative activity in the society

b) The zone of proximal development can serve as a guide for curricular and lesson planning.

c) School learning should occur in a meaningful context and not be separated from learning children develop in the “real world”.

d) Out-of-school experiences should be related to the child school experience.

Certainly, this theory will be useful to basic school teachers because they can use it as a guide to a child’s development. It also allows a teacher to know what a student is able to achieve through the use of mediator, and enables the teacher to help the students attain that level by themselves.

8. Methodology

This investigation follows a quantitative research design with a survey approach. The researcher adopted this approach because, it permit the use of questionnaire to gather information from the sample group and to measure their opinions toward some issue.

Population of the study comprises of basic schools teachers in Borno state of Nigeria. Simple random sampling method was used to sample 10 teachers from each of the 27 local government areas of the State that gave a sample size of 270 teachers. The instrument for data collection was a 20 items questionnaire Title: Effect of Insurgency on Basic Education Questionnaire (EIBEQ) was designed for the study. The instrument was validated by 2 experts from educational management unit, department of science education, Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola, Nigeria. It was administered personally; all copies of the instrument administered were returned and found valid for analysis. A 4 point modified scale of strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (DA), and Strongly Disagree (SD) was used for the items.

The two research questions were answered using descriptive statistic of mean and standard deviation for the analysis. An item with a mean score of 2.50 and above was accepted, while an item with a mean score of less than 2.50 was not accepted.

9. Findings

Basic education is the provision of quality and affordable education to all children of school age, from basic one up to basic nine. The finding revealed that, the insurgency has effected basic education negatively in Borno State, there are higher response from the respondents that, majority of the school children have been hurt in the presence of other fellow students during attack in their schools, and also since the abduction of the Chibok school girls in April 14, 2014, the pupils were afraid of being kidnapped which prompted them to stay away from school in the mostly affected areas in the states.

Findings also revealed that, Majority of the schools have been closed indefinitely while most basic school teachers working in affected areas had escape death during series of attack on their communities. This means that majority of teachers are currently internally displaced, and Lack of teachers will affect basic education in the region. Findings further showed that, many respondents agreed that, Teaching and learning processes can not be properly conducted in an unsafe school environment as most education officers in the region were currently out of their states for safety. This means that, inspectors of basic education programme can not conduct termly inspection to ascertain the level of development on basic schools education programme in Borno State.

Since Borno State is adjudged to be the birth place of the current insurgent group in Nigeria (NHRC, 2014). The above findings have revealed the extent to which the insurgency had effected basic education, more specifically in the area of closure of schools and lack of teachers in Borno State (FMOE, 2014). The findings have drawn the attention of Borno State government to see and response to the challenges of basic education and safety of teachers in their state. The findings have also drawn attention of parents and religious leaders on the role to encourage their children to attend schools in other safe states in Nigeria. These findings will also provide palatable information to other researcher who will like to conduct study on insurgency in Nigeria.

10. Conclusion

Insurgency has displaced over one hundred thousand people in Borno (NEMA, 2015). It also becomes a threat to the entire north eastern region of Nigeria. Their activities have crippled the socio-economic activities between Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger Republic and Republic of Chad (Olowoselu, Onuselogu and Bello, 2014). Many Nigerian citizens are currently internally displaced in Borno State (NCRM, 2015). The insurgency in Borno State have slow down the nation abilities of achieving the Millennium Development Goals project (MDG’S), Education For All (EFA), and as well as Nigeria Vision 2020 programs. The frequent insurgent attacks have negative impact on socio-cultural values of the people in the State and wellbeing of other Nigerians (Olowoselu, Onuselogu and Bello, 2014). Presently, economic activity is low in the state, as foreign expatriate are relocating to other states in Nigeria due to the increasing security crisis. With the mindless bombings perpetrated by the insurgent, the researchers observed that most schools have been closed in Borno State.

Evidently, the current joint approaches of Nigerian government and African Union to end the insurgency have recorded tremendous success in the State. But we are also concluding that, the United Nation (UN) should aid Nigerian government and African Union effort, to put an end to insurgency in Borno State.

11. Recommendation

Authors of this article strongly agreed that, the level of educational development of a place depends on the society. The level of development of a society in terms of its politics, economy, technology, cultural values and religion depends on quality of education provided. Nigerian government should take a pro-active approach in rebuilding all the basic school buildings been hatched by the insurgent group.

Nigerian government should provide free and compulsory education to all children in Borno State up to university level, because the future of society remains in the hands of the children. The Borno State government should provide scholarship for continuous education to all other dropped out school children who were internally displaced, and sheltering outside Borno State. This will enhance their continuous schooling in that state. Moreso, the federal government should ensure that all police personnel posted to guide all schools are well motivated properly. The religious leaders should be properly enlightened, to play active role in preaching against the senseless attacks perpetrated by the insurgent group.

Similarly, peace and security studies should be incorporated in to Nigerian school curricular. The Nigerian immigration service should be overhauled with new strategies, for effectively monitor and controls all Nigerian borders against in influx of illegal aliens that support insurgent group. All schools should be properly secured with a unit of Nigerian security force especially, the schools in the border communities in Borno State. This unit will also serve as security checks for intelligent information gathering on the activities of the youths in border communities.

On schools internal security system, daily school attendance record books should be adopted by the all schools in Borno State, likewise students’ movement record book should be introduce and kept by teachers with a daily report to the school head. This will make the school authorities to understand and control the student’s movement during the school hours. Parents and religious leaders should play active role in encouraging all children in the Borno State to embrace basic education for the development of the individual and society at large.


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