The Nomadic Education Centre, University of Port Harcourt (NEC), was commissioned on May 10th, 1999 as the fourth Centre for the education of nomads in Nigeria. Before the commissioning of the Centre, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was endorsed by the University of Port Harcourt on the one hand, and the National Commission for Nomadic Education (representing the Federal Government) on the other hand. The MOU clearly specifies the responsibilities of both the University and the Federal Government towards the development, maintenance and sustenance of the Centre.
• Conducting research on all aspects of the lifestyle and education of migrant fisherfolk.
• Conducting training courses for teachers posted to primary schools for children of migrant fisherfolk.
• Developing relevant instructional materials (Textbooks, Teachers’ Guides, Primers, etc.) for the education of children of migrant fisherfolk and their parents;
• Relating closely with the other three University Centres in Maiduguri, Sokoto
and Jos, as well as with other relevant stakeholders.
The Centre’s activities involve a population of about 3.8 million migrant fisherfolk (with about 1.3 million children of school age) in twenty States of the Federation (with the largest concentrations in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Edo States).
The States which came under the Centre at inception are [Northern States] Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Benue, Kwara , [Southern States]
Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River, AkwaIbom, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Anambra and Ebonyi.
RESEARCH & ACHIEVEMENTS
The achievements of the Centre since inception could be summarized as follows corresponding to the Centre’s mandates.
As a basis for progress and improvement in the attainment of the goals of the educational programmes for migrant fishing communities in Nigeria, NEC, Uniport was quick to commence, as soon as it was established in 1999, a study to update itself on the relevance of existing national education programmes vis-à-vis the culture of migrant fishing communities in the Niger Delta. Arising from this and other research efforts, significant information has been documented on the culture and education needs of migrant fisherfolk in Nigeria
Furthermore, with sponsorship from the National Commission for Nomadic Education, NEC, Uniport has, since October, 1999, been working on how to use a Participatory Rapid Appraisal /Participatory Learning Activity (PRA/PLA) approach to provide community-led and affordable educational programmes for migrant fishing communities – beginning with the Niger Delta. This project is being carried out under a co-operative arrangement between NCNE/NEC, Uniport and Akassa Community Development Project (ACDP)/Pro Natura International (Nigeria). The pilot project is designed to be carried out in Akassa, BayelsaState.
From 17th to 20th January, 2000 (i.e. within seven months of the Centre’s existence), NEC, Uniport conducted a Training Workshop (in Benin City)for Co-ordinators and Supervisors of the Education Programme for children of migrant fishing communities in Nigeria. The Workshop was to equip the beneficiaries with the knowledge and techniques they require for effective and efficient performance of their roles.
The objectives of the teacher training workshops are three-fold as follows:
• To enable the teachers to have a firm grasp of the contents of the Curricula Guides published by the NCNE ;
• To update the skills and knowledge of the teachers, particularly on how to
use the Curricula Guides in the Classroom, and
• To provide a forum for interaction between the teachers and their trainers on
the one hand and the Commission’s staff on the other.
In 2001, NEC, Uniport organized a workshop for the development of Instructional Materials (Text books, and Teachers’ Guides) in Mathematics, Social Studies, English Language and Primary Science & Technology for levels 1-3 of Primary Schools for .children of Nigeria’s migrant fisherfolk. The manuscripts have since been printed and distributed nationwide by the National Commission for Nomadic Education..
In 2008, two more workshops were held at NEC Uniport for the development of Pupils’ Textbooks and Teachers’ Guides for primary education (Levels 4 -6) of Children of migrant fishing communities in Nigeria. The Textbooks and Teachers’ Guides were in the areas of Primary Mathematics, Primary Science and Technology, English Language and Social Studies. The Centre has since produced clean copies of the developed materials and has forwarded same to the National Commission for Nomadic Education for printing and distribution.
NEC, Uniport has maintained direct and constant communication with the various Zonal Officers, State Co-ordinators, the other three University Centres, concerned Education Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries, in the bid to attain the goals of the educational programmes for the migrant fishing communities. Through such linkages, good working relationships have been forged between NEC, Uniport and the said stakeholders. The interactions have also led to the generation of a databank by NEC, Uniport providing various statistics relating to the education of migrant fisherfolk in Nigeria.
Linkages with external bodies and organizations are required to be routed through the National Commission for Nomadic Education. Accordingly, our links with UNESCO, COL (Commonwealth of Learning), the Commonwealth Secretariat (London), DFID, UNEP UNDP, etc., have been through the Commission.
The Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) Programme
In October 2002, a World-Bank-Assisted Radio Transmission and Recording Studio was approved for installation at NEC, Uniport for the production and transmission of interactive radio instruction programmes for the education of migrant fishing communities in Nigeria.
Nomadic Education Centre
University of Port Harcourt
Phone: +234 (0) 8033409995
Director: Professor B.A. Eheazu, mnae