Child Rights Campaign and the Nigerian Family: Implications for Effective Child Development System in Africa
AbstractAfrica from primordial to the colonial encounter had her own ways of doing things including systems of governance, organization of economic activities, worship and systems of training and bringing up the child. Even though African child development system gave parents advantage over the child; in their vantage positions, parents especially in Nigeria are always conscious of the symbiotic exhibition of sentiments between parents and children. This cannot be ignored by child developers and proponents of theories of child development because child development tops project prioritization list of most African parents. Unfortunately, socio-economic change and child rights campaign have affected the African child development system, traditional definition; status and mentality of the child, as well as parental attitude to child development. Therefore, the aim of this study is to look inwards using Nigeria as a paradigm and suggest a suitable child development system for the African child. These issues and their consequences on child development system in Africa are explored in Bassey Ubong’s Free World Square and Tracie Utoh-Ezeajuh’s The Night of a Thousand Truths selected for study. The Piagetian theory of child development was adopted as theoretical framework. Content analysis and personal observation approaches of the qualitative research method were used to achieve research objectives. The study revealed that the cold relationship between some parents and their children, insubordination among children and increase in “lumpen” children: (Almanjeris, Area boys and Militants) in Africa may stem from failed child development system. The research showed that change, the degree of elasticity in the changing Nigerian family and child rights campaign can guarantee or thwart acceptable, positive and stable development process of the African child. Hence, there is need for an effective and positive African child development system.
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