Background of the study
Education has served as a framework for an individual’s holistic development in a functional manner, with recipients of education becoming useful to society and the human community at large. According to Adeyi, M. O. (2017) education covers every aspect of life, including social, economic, political, emotional, and psychological factors, to name a few. Students’ social-behavioral development is important in and of itself because it contributes to their well-being and can influence current and future academic achievement as well as their conduct in society, as well as shape their developmental pathways. That is to say, through education, students should be aware of their civic rights and responsibilities, which include voter registration and voting in elections. It is also to encourage them to join press clubs, literary and debating societies, as well as civic societies, and to participate in social activities with them, such as Girls Guides, Man O’ War, Peace Corps, Civic Defense, and others.
Conversely, students, once again, are unaware of their responsibility to participate in community development activities such as clearing, digging, planting flowers to beautify the environment, and other community service activities that can promote national unity and peaceful coexistence. Hence desperate politicians appear to use students in negative ways in the name of democracy, such as destroying electioneering processes, ballot snatching, and rigging by over-voting, among other things. Jake (2016), on the other hand, believes that students should leave school with the understanding that the knowledge and skills they have gained will be used for a career and the development of their society, and that civic education should be included in the curriculum to help students understand their civic responsibilities.
Different scholars have defined civic education differently, but most definitions include activities such as learning or gaining knowledge of government, its functions, and the morally acceptable duties and responsibilities of citizenship (Collins English Dictionary, 2012). Civic education strives to increase citizen engagement in government democratization. It also emphasizes the promotion of good governance as well as a significant shift in attitudes and behaviors toward good governance. Civic education, according to Kayode-Olawoyin (2017), teaches democracy and its pillars, which provide important social and political structures for democracy’s survival. It addresses issues like corruption and civic apathy, as well as important social issues like domestic violence, examination malpractices, child and women abuse and trafficking, truancy, child labor, and other civic engagement-related issues like community development and nation building. Civic Education, according to Bello, Daramola, Yusuf, Uyanne, and Sodiq (2017), can instill positive values and attitudes in youths, enabling them to become responsible citizens in the future.
Statement of problem
No nation can evolve beyond the civic principles and features demonstrated by its residents, and this is not an exaggeration. The fact that many countries throughout the world suffer from a lack of civic obligations, for example, is well documented in literature. Similarly, ethical and moral issues emerging in social and moral issues are believed to exist in every country. As a result, in various regions of the world, establishing a civil society has become a monumental effort (Falade, 2008). The majority of empirical research and data in this area, such as Oladiti, 2013 and Adedigba & Wahab, (2015), have shown that Nigeria has yet to acquire the virtues and civic ideals inherent in these disciplines. The findings and data from these empirical research are reviewed in terms of how well classroom delivery of Social Studies and Civic Education curriculum has been employed in molding young learners in the acquisition of desired civic norms and ideals. Oladiti (2013) underlined that, because national development cannot be achieved in a vacuum, but rather involves human resources and other variables, citizens must actively engage in the process of nation-building, which necessitates effective civic responsibility discharge. According to Saka and Oyetade (2011), Nigeria is seeing a sustained fall in civic values and a declining trend in morality, similar to what has been observed in other parts of the world thus have to be corrected through education. This is because in general, every child has the capacity to establish an ideal society, what is necessary is a correct method of education to mold the child into a helpful and responsible person. Character training, crime, and other forms of behavioural aberration, according to Hayward (2005) in a Manilla Bulletin editorial, somehow reflect on the educational system of schools, as well as the home and the church, which molds the character of the young and counteracts the unwholesome influences of the environment. As a result, schools should focus on developing civility and decent values in students in addition to imparting information and abilities.
Despite the fact that the National Policy on Education (2004) and the National Council on Education (2007) both agreed that Social Studies and Civic Education are capable of instilling norms and ideals of active citizenship in young learners in schools, What is the extent to which these goals have been met? In Nigeria, what is the degree of civic responsibility knowledge among secondary school students? This is vital since civic norms and morals in Nigeria are continuing to deteriorate. Thus it is upon this premise that this study seeks to examine secondary school students awareness level on Civic Responsibilities in Nigeria.
Objective of the study
The broad objective of this study is to present and an Evaluation of secondary school students awareness level on Civic Responsibilities in Nigeria. Specifically the study sought to:
1. Examine the level of secondary school student knowledge on their civic responsibility in Nigeria.
2. Ascertain student attitude towards civic engagement as taught in civic education.
3. Determine the level of student engagement in civic responsibilities in Nigeria.
HO1: Level of secondary school student knowledge on their civic responsibility in Nigeria is Low.
HO2: Secondary school students awareness level on Civic Responsibilities does not has no significant influence on their level of civic engagement..
Significance of the study
For promotion of students’ civic engagement, the society needs to work together across venues, programmes and sectors to create a climate in which students have not just opportunities to learn, but also the skills and efficacy to do so and cultivate the positive attitude toward the progress and unity of the nation. Findings from this study would be relevant to curriculum planners, school administrator, teachers, student and the academia. The study would reinforce the need to plan the syllabus and teach Civic Education subject to focus on modification of the attitude and engagement of the secondary school students in fulfillment of their civic rights and their responsibility to be useful for their country. Empirically, the study would contribute to the body of existing literature and serve as a reference material to scholars and student who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.
Scope of the study
The scope of this study borders on an evaluation of secondary school students awareness level on Civic Responsibilities in Nigeria. The study will examine the level of secondary school student knowledge on their civic responsibility in Nigeria. The study will also ascertain student attitude towards civic engagement as taught in civic education and determine the level of student engagement in civic responsibilities. The study is however delimited selected secondary schools in Anambra State.
Limitation of the study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. Despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
Definition of Terms
Civic Responsibilities: Civic Responsibility is defined as the “responsibility of a citizen” (Dictionary.com). It is comprised of actions and attitudes associated with democratic governance and social participation. Civic responsibility can include participation in government, church, volunteers and memberships of voluntary associations.
Civic engagement: Civic engagement involves “working to make a difference in the civic life of one’s community and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference.Volunteering, national service, and service-learning are all forms of civic engagement.