A study of the inclusion of primary school children in a rural district in Nigeria

  • Moses Ewa

Student thesis: Unknown


This thesis presents the findings of a multi-site case study, which explored the inclusion of primary school children in rural Cross River State, Nigeria. The research engaged specifically with the experiences of thirty 11-16-year-olds from diverse identities, drawn from primary 5 classrooms in three public primary schools sited in different rural locations within the state. In so doing, it adopted pupil presence, participation and achievement (PPA) as a conceptual framework of inclusion to examine whether education is genuinely for all primary age children within the research sites. The study was set within the context of the outcome of the 1990 Education for All (EFA) conference, which promoted universal access to education for all primary age children worldwide. As such, the investigation considered how far the selected primary schools were able to guarantee equal access, participation and achievement of all pupils under Nigeria's national education policy. It used the PPA framework to identify the drawbacks to pupil inclusion at school and to recommend measures for addressing the obstacles experienced by some learners.Qualitative data were generated via documentary analysis, observations and interviews in schools directly featuring children. Relevant data pooled from the three sources were organised and analysed thematically based upon an interpretivist perspective. Thus, analysis of data was informed by the social constructivist theory. Data analysis indicates that current provision enables schools to allow access for nearly all children. However, despite the good intentions of national policy, girls, children from minority tribes, Muslims of Hausa/Fulani origin, and children with learning difficulties and those with impairments were vulnerable to marginalisation and exclusion within the contexts of their schools. Looking through the lens of social constructivism, the thesis strongly links the disadvantages confronting the children to limited pupil voice. The situation limited the opportunity for pupils to share their perspectives about the ways such issues as gaps in national education policy and in-school factors, including classroom practices, religious attitudes, grade repetition and social interactions were affecting their inclusion in the context. Out-of-school factors were also found to have an influence, although the study did not investigate these directly. The thesis concludes by drawing out the implications and making recommendations for reforms in policy, practice and research in favour of pupil voice within Nigeria, to promote inclusion in schools. Consideration is also given to possible implications for other developing countries.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorMelvin Ainscow (Supervisor) & David Hall (Supervisor)


  • Inclusion, pupils, primary schools, rural areas and Nigeria

Cite this