The Right to Education for Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria through Open and Distance Learning
The number of people who have been forcibly displaced across Nigeria, either as a result of environmental or conflict induced factors since the end of military rule in 1999 is estimated to be more than half a million. A distinctive challenge facing internally displaced persons (IDPs) are structural conditions that deny them access to the right to education. The main aim of the study is to investigate the role of open and distance learning in providing access and educational opportunities to the IDPs. The research methodology for this study is constructivist, adopting a case-based approach of the Middle Belt Region, an area known for its ‘crisis of citizenship’ and with the highest number of IDPs. Using two single mode open and distance learning institutions: National Teachers Institute and the National Open University of Nigeria, the study investigated how the mounting of certification programmes has significantly affected the “Four As” framework delineating the content of the right to education for IDPs: Availability; Accessibility; Acceptability and Adaptability. The paper recommends that a comprehensive framework be put in place by the government in deploying accessible educational technologies to enable those living in marginalised communities not to be excluded from Education for All Goals.
Key Words: internally displaced persons, open and distance learning, education for all goals, the right to education, national teachers institute, National Open University of Nigeria