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Insecurity and Educational Development in Ondo State: The Way Forward


This study employed a quantitative survey research design to investigate the impact of insecurity on educational development in Ondo State, Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was meticulously designed to collect data from a sample of 120 respondents representing various segments of the population. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 27 was utilized for data presentation and analysis, while the t-test was employed to test the hypotheses formulated. The findings of this study revealed crucial insights into the relationship between insecurity and educational development in Ondo State. Firstly, it was found that insecurity had a significant negative impact on both the accessibility and quality of education in the state. Respondents overwhelmingly agreed that student enrollment had decreased, and the quality of education had been compromised due to security challenges. Moreover, the research identified key factors contributing to insecurity in Ondo State, highlighting the significance of ethnic and tribal conflicts, economic disparities, and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Poor governance and corruption were also identified as critical contributors to security issues. The study further revealed that implementing effective security measures, community engagement, and educational reforms could indeed enhance educational development and mitigate insecurity in the state. Respondents generally agreed that strategies such as strengthening security agencies’ presence in and around educational institutions, implementing community policing initiatives, investing in vocational and skill-based education, and establishing conflict resolution and peacebuilding programs within schools were viable approaches. In conclusion, the results of this study provide substantial evidence that insecurity significantly hinders educational development in Ondo State. Addressing the root causes of insecurity and adopting multifaceted strategies are essential steps towards improving the educational landscape and ensuring a secure learning environment. Based on the findings, it is recommended that policymakers, educational institutions, security agencies, and community leaders collaborate to implement the suggested measures. Additionally, further research should explore the long-term effects of these strategies and their potential applicability in similar contexts. This study contributes to the understanding of insecurity’s impact on education and offers practical solutions to address the challenges faced by Ondo State and other regions grappling with similar issues.




Background to the Study

In recent years, the issue of insecurity has grown to alarming proportions in various regions across Nigeria, and Ondo State is no exception to this troubling trend (Abdulganiyu, 2022). The term “insecurity” encompasses a multitude of challenges, including crime, kidnapping, communal clashes, and insurgency, which collectively pose a grave threat to the peace and stability of communities and, more significantly, hinder socioeconomic development (Abdulganiyu, 2022). These security challenges, like dark clouds looming ominously on the horizon, have far-reaching consequences on various facets of society, none more pronounced than their impact on the educational sector (Abdulganiyu, 2022). Education, often heralded as the bedrock of development, stands as the foundation upon which a prosperous and progressive society is built (Abdulganiyu, 2022). However, when education falls prey to the insidious grip of insecurity, the entire society is perilously poised on the precipice of stagnation and regression.

Ondo State, nestled in the southwestern region of Nigeria, boasts a rich tapestry of cultural heritage, abundant natural resources, and the potential for substantial educational development (Ogunode & Chijindu, 2022). Historically known for its commitment to learning and knowledge dissemination, the state has been a beacon of hope for education in the region (Ogunode & Chijindu, 2022). Nevertheless, the ominous spectre of insecurity has emerged as a formidable adversary, casting a pervasive shadow over the state’s prospects (Ogunode & Chijindu, 2022). The educational system, which should ideally serve as a powerful catalyst for development and progress, now finds itself beleaguered by the growing insecurity plaguing the region (Ogunode & Chijindu, 2022). It is against this backdrop of uncertainty and turmoil that this study endeavours to delve deeper into the intricate web of challenges posed by insecurity and its profound implications for educational development in Ondo State (Ogunode & Chijindu, 2022). Additionally, it seeks to chart a course forward, offering potential solutions and strategies to mitigate these pervasive challenges (Ogunode & Chijindu, 2022).

The multifaceted nature of insecurity in Ondo State and, indeed, Nigeria at large cannot be overstated (Abdulganiyu, 2022). This issue has transcended mere criminality to become a full-blown crisis, affecting every aspect of daily life and societal progress (Abdulganiyu, 2022). As communities grapple with crime waves, rampant kidnappings, and the devastating consequences of communal clashes and insurgency, the educational sector has not been spared from this maelstrom of instability (Abdulganiyu, 2022). It is imperative to recognize that education is not a solitary entity confined within the walls of schools and universities (Abdulganiyu, 2022). Instead, it is an interconnected web that permeates every facet of society, influencing economic growth, social cohesion, and individual well-being (Abdulganiyu, 2022). Consequently, when insecurity erodes the foundations of education, the ripple effects are profound and pervasive, permeating every aspect of life in Ondo State (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

As the research findings of Abdulganiyu (2022) have aptly highlighted, insecurity has become a menacing threat to education in Nigeria as a whole (Abdulganiyu, 2022). The adverse impact of insecurity on the educational sector can be observed in various dimensions (Abdulganiyu, 2022). Firstly, it has led to the closure of educational institutions, thereby disrupting the academic calendar and hindering the acquisition of knowledge by students (Abdulganiyu, 2022). Abdullahi and Orukpe (2016) emphasized the need for an integrated campus security alerting system, a testament to the urgency of addressing security concerns in educational settings (Abdulganiyu, 2022). Secondly, insecurity has resulted in the displacement of students, teachers, and educational staff, leading to the abandonment of schools and depriving learners of access to quality education (Adams et al., 2021; Adejumo, 2021). Adejumo (2021) has eloquently pointed out the problems and challenges posed by insecurity in Nigeria (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

Moreover, insecurity has inflicted psychological trauma on students, creating an environment where learning becomes an arduous and anxiety-inducing endeavour (Adekola & Enyiche, 2017; Akin-Ibidiran et al., 2022). This psychological toll can have lasting repercussions on the mental well-being of the youth, who are the future of Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole (Abdulganiyu, 2022). As students’ perception of campus safety deteriorates (Amoatemaa et al., 2017), it becomes crucial to address these concerns comprehensively (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

Furthermore, security challenges have disrupted the curriculum implementation process in tertiary institutions (Akin-Ibidiran et al., 2022), making it essential to investigate the factors responsible for this disruption (Abdulganiyu, 2022). The consequences of insecurity on Nigerian educational institutions, particularly in the northeastern region, are well-documented (Garba et al., 2022). The attacks on educational facilities, vividly described by Human Rights Watch (2016), have led to the destruction of classrooms and educational resources, further compounding the challenges faced by students and educators (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

While these effects of insecurity on education are well-documented, Ondo State, with its unique cultural and educational landscape, faces a similar but distinct set of challenges (Ogunode et al., 2022). The closure of schools, displacement of students, and disruption of the academic calendar have been acutely felt in the state, as evidenced by media reports (Ameh, 2021; Ogunode & Chijindu, 2022). Furthermore, the psychological trauma inflicted on students remains a pressing concern, impacting their overall educational experience (Ogunode et al., 2022).

To comprehensively address the implications of insecurity on educational development in Ondo State, it is imperative to explore the factors that contribute to this dire situation (Ogunode & Chijindu, 2022). Research conducted by Idoko (2017) has highlighted the federal government’s call for enhanced security on campuses, emphasizing the gravity of the issue (Abdulganiyu, 2022). Meanwhile, Ogunode and Madu (2021) underscored the importance of addressing education financing problems, which are intrinsically linked to insecurity challenges in Nigeria (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

The challenges faced by teaching programs in Nigerian public tertiary institutions (Ogunode et al., 2022) and the problems encountered by academic leaders in public higher institutions (Ogunode et al., 2022) also provide valuable insights into the complexities of the educational landscape in the face of insecurity (Abdulganiyu, 2022). As we delve deeper into this complex issue, it is crucial to consider the unique perspective of public universities in the South West Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria (Ogunode, 2023) and the challenges faced by state universities ineffective university administration (Ogunode & Olaitan, 2023) (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

Addressing the security threats in Ondo State’s educational institutions requires a multifaceted approach, one that considers not only the immediate safety concerns but also the long-term ramifications on educational development (Abdulganiyu, 2022). This study aims to shed light on the specific challenges posed by insecurity in Ondo State and chart a way forward that is tailored to the unique context of the state (Abdulganiyu, 2022). By drawing upon the wealth of existing research and leveraging the insights of experts in the field, we endeavour to propose practical solutions that can safeguard the future of education in Ondo State and contribute to its overall development (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

Consequently, the rise of insecurity in Ondo State has cast a sombre shadow over the state’s rich potential for educational development (Abdulganiyu, 2022). As we embark on this research journey, guided by the extensive body of knowledge and the experiences shared by experts (Abdulganiyu, 2022), we aim to unravel the complexities of insecurity’s impact on education and devise strategies that can pave the way for a brighter and more secure educational future in Ondo State (Abdulganiyu, 2022). This study recognizes the interconnectedness of security, education, and development and seeks to address the pressing issues that threaten to derail the progress of this vibrant Nigerian state (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

Statement of Problem

The statement of the problem in this study revolves around the profound and multifaceted challenges posed by insecurity in educational development in Ondo State. In recent years, the issue of insecurity has escalated to alarming levels, not only in Ondo State but across Nigeria as a whole (Abdulganiyu, 2022). This insecurity encompasses a wide range of threats, including crime, kidnappings, communal clashes, and insurgency, all of which have serious implications for the state’s educational sector (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

One of the most pressing issues facing Ondo State is the closure of educational institutions due to security concerns. This problem is not unique to Ondo State but is part of a broader national trend (Abdulganiyu, 2022). The closure of schools disrupts the academic calendar, leading to gaps in the education of students (Abdulganiyu, 2022). The resultant academic stagnation and loss of valuable learning time are detrimental to the prospects of students and the state’s educational development (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

Furthermore, insecurity has led to the displacement of students, teachers, and educational staff, creating a situation where many schools remain abandoned (Adams et al., 2021; Adejumo, 2021). This displacement not only disrupts the continuity of education but also deprives students of access to quality learning environments (Abdulganiyu, 2022). The lack of security within and around educational institutions creates a hostile learning environment, hindering the pursuit of knowledge and personal development (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

Psychological trauma inflicted on students due to insecurity is another critical problem. Students exposed to traumatic events such as attacks, kidnappings, or the constant fear of insecurity may suffer from anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues that impede their ability to learn effectively (Adekola & Enyiche, 2017; Akin-Ibidiran et al., 2022). This psychological toll on students is detrimental not only to their academic performance but also to their overall well-being and future prospects (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

The problem of insecurity in Ondo State’s educational institutions cannot be overstated, and it requires urgent attention. This study seeks to address these multifaceted issues comprehensively by examining the various dimensions of insecurity’s impact on education and proposing viable solutions that are tailored to the unique context of Ondo State (Abdulganiyu, 2022).

Objectives of the Study

This research has three specific objectives:

  1. To assess the impact of insecurity on educational development in Ondo State between 2010 and 2023.
  2. To identify the underlying causes and factors contributing to insecurity in the state.
  3. To propose effective strategies and policies that can enhance educational development while mitigating the impact of insecurity.

 Research Questions

To achieve the aforementioned objectives, this study addressed the following research questions:

  1. How has insecurity affected the accessibility and quality of education in Ondo State?
  2. What are the primary factors contributing to insecurity in Ondo State?
  3. What policy measures and strategies can be implemented to promote educational development and ensure a secure learning environment in the state?

Research Hypotheses

Based on the research questions, the following hypotheses were tested:

Null Hypotheses(H0):

  1. Insecurity has no significant negative impact on the accessibility and quality of education in Ondo State.
  2. Socioeconomic factors, governance issues, and historical tensions do not contribute to the insecurity challenges in Ondo State.
  3. Implementing effective security measures, community engagement, and educational reforms cannot enhance educational development and mitigate insecurity in Ondo State.

Alternative Hypotheses(H1):

  1. Insecurity has a significant negative impact on the accessibility and quality of education in Ondo State.
  2. Socioeconomic factors, governance issues, and historical tensions contribute to the insecurity challenges in Ondo State.
  3. Implementing effective security measures, community engagement, and educational reforms can enhance educational development and mitigate insecurity in Ondo State.

Significance of the Study

This study holds paramount significance for a diverse array of stakeholders, encompassing policymakers, educational institutions, security agencies, community leaders, and the broader public. Its outcomes and recommendations promise to furnish invaluable insights into the intricate interplay between insecurity and educational development within Ondo State, along with presenting pragmatic remedies to grapple with these multifaceted challenges.

For policymakers, this research stands to be a beacon illuminating the path toward evidence-based policy formulation and strategic planning. It will facilitate the development of nuanced, targeted policies that not only bolster educational development but also effectively address the pressing security concerns within the state. This alignment of policies with real-world challenges is crucial for sustainable growth (Ogunode & Madu, 2021).

Educational institutions, as crucial hubs for knowledge dissemination, stand to gain immensely from the findings of this study. Insights into the creation of secure and nurturing learning environments will aid these institutions in safeguarding the well-being of their students and staff, fostering a sense of safety that is conducive to effective teaching and learning (Abdulganiyu, 2022). This is especially vital given the disruptions caused by insecurity, which have left educational institutions grappling with a myriad of challenges (Adams et al., 2021).

Security agencies, tasked with safeguarding the lives and property of citizens, will discover in this research a valuable resource for informed decision-making. The study’s findings can guide these agencies in pinpointing and prioritizing their efforts in areas most severely affected by insecurity, potentially leading to more efficient resource allocation and enhanced security measures (Garba et al., 2022).

Community leaders, being pivotal figures in local governance and peace-building, can leverage the insights derived from this research to foster harmony and security within their communities. By implementing community-driven solutions rooted in the study’s findings, they can contribute significantly to mitigating insecurity at the grassroots level (Ugwu, 2021).

 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study encompasses a comprehensive examination of the intricate relationship between insecurity and educational development within the geographical boundaries of Ondo State, Nigeria. This investigation extends to various dimensions and facets of the subject matter.

Geographically, the study covers all local government areas within Ondo State, ensuring a holistic understanding of the impact of insecurity on education across different regions of the state.

In terms of educational levels, the research scrutinizes educational institutions at various stages, from primary schools to tertiary institutions. This inclusive approach encompasses both public and private establishments to provide a comprehensive view of the challenges faced by students and educators alike.

Insecurity factors are a critical component of the study’s scope. It delves into a wide spectrum of insecurity factors, including communal clashes, crime, kidnappings, and insurgency, seeking to understand their distinct implications for educational development.

The study also examines the educational impact of insecurity. It explores how insecurity affects educational access, attendance, and academic outcomes. Furthermore, it investigates the psychological toll that insecurity exacts on students and educators within the state.

Within its scope, the research evaluates existing policies, strategies, and governance structures related to education and security in Ondo State. This assessment aims to determine the effectiveness of current approaches and to identify areas that require improvement.

Community involvement and local initiatives are also within the scope. The study explores the roles of community leaders and grassroots initiatives in mitigating the impact of insecurity on education. This aspect of the scope acknowledges the importance of community-based solutions in addressing security challenges.

Regarding the time frame, while specific dates are not specified, the study considers a period that encompasses recent years. This approach ensures the inclusion of relevant data and trends while allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the evolving nature of insecurity and its impact on education.

Lastly, the research adopts an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from fields such as education, security studies, psychology, governance, and community development. This interdisciplinary perspective enriches the study’s analysis and provides a holistic understanding of the complexities surrounding insecurity and its effects on educational development in Ondo State.

Limitations of the Study

The study encountered several limitations that impacted its execution. Firstly, time constraints significantly affected the research process. The allocated time frame for the completion of the study proved to be relatively short, limiting the depth and breadth of data collection and analysis. This constraint compelled the research team to prioritize specific aspects of the study, potentially leaving some valuable avenues unexplored.

The unavailability of relevant literature posed another limitation. While efforts were made to access comprehensive and up-to-date sources, gaps in the existing literature, particularly in the context of Ondo State, hindered the ability to build upon existing research and theories. This limitation necessitated a more cautious approach to drawing conclusions and formulating recommendations.

Financial constraints also impacted the study. Adequate resources are essential for extensive data collection, fieldwork, and engagement with various stakeholders. Limited financial resources restricted the scale of the research and potentially hindered the inclusion of additional data sources and research participants.

Another significant limitation was the unwillingness of some research participants to provide necessary information. Security-related topics can be sensitive, and some individuals and institutions may have been reluctant to share information or experiences, limiting the depth of insight into specific aspects of insecurity and its impact on education.

In conclusion, these time constraints, availability of literature, financial limitations, and challenges with research participant cooperation impacted the study’s scope and depth. These limitations should be considered when interpreting the findings and recommendations, emphasizing the need for cautious generalizations and the identification of avenues for further research.

Operational Definition of Terms

To ensure clarity and precision, the following key terms are defined operationally:

Insecurity: In this study, insecurity refers to the state of being vulnerable to threats, violence, or harm, including but not limited to criminal activities, terrorism, communal clashes, and kidnapping.

Educational Development: Educational development pertains to the growth and improvement of the educational sector in terms of access, quality, infrastructure, curriculum, and overall outcomes.

Accessibility: Accessibility in education denotes the ease with which individuals can enroll, participate, and complete their educational programs without hindrance due to factors such as security concerns, financial constraints, or geographical location.

Quality of Education: Quality of education encompasses factors like the relevance of the curriculum, the competence of teachers, the adequacy of learning resources, and the overall effectiveness of the educational system in achieving its goals.

Security Measures: Security measures refer to policies, strategies, and actions implemented to safeguard educational institutions and their stakeholders from security threats and violence.

Community Engagement: Community engagement involves the active participation and collaboration of local communities, including parents, teachers, and community leaders, in the management and improvement of educational institutions and security within their areas.

Policy Implementation: Policy implementation refers to the actual execution and enforcement of policies and strategies aimed at addressing insecurity and enhancing educational development.

Socioeconomic Factors: Socioeconomic factors include economic, social, and cultural conditions that may influence or contribute to insecurity and educational development in Ondo State.



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