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1.1 Background to the Study
Economic development and underdevelopment is one aspect of the uneven spatial distribution of economic activity. Geography has a huge impact on infrastructural development. Studies have shown that geography education has a direct effect on infrastructural development especially in developing countries such as Nigeria.
Education is an important variable in augmenting productivity of the existing and potential labour force of an economy, a catalytic agent for raising the level of income, a key to the access to resources, both private and public, and a channel of income distribution, through which gains from increased growth can be filtered down to the lower income groups. Education is regarded as a productive investment, as well as an all-pervasive activity of human welfare (Rahman and Hossain, 2006). They added that, as education is continuously developing, it becomes increasingly clear that only well-informed research may contribute to enhance our knowledge on what is happening inside the system, and thus enable decision makers to take corrective measure.
The contributions of education in achieving the modernization of the country Nigeria since the early 1960 when the country gained her independence cannot be overlooked. Recently, the interests of countries abroad have centered on the role of education in achieving the economic and infrastructural development in Nigeria. Political, social and cultural factors undoubtedly contributed to the economic growth of the country, but the effects of these factors varied between countries in both kind and weight. The country Nigeria has achieved rapid economic growth. However, it has one factor in common: namely, the important role of the educational institutions. A common basis for the economic development of Nigeria has been the introduction of a modern educational system, especially the spread of general elementary education to farm families who constituted the major part of the labour force in the beginning period of modernization. Thus, the role of modernization in achieving economic development in Nigeria may be said to have been very important.
Education in the early 16th and 17th century during the medieval era supported the foundation on which the modern Nigerian economic system was created, rather than contributing directly to economic growth. In other words, the diffusion of elementary education raised the quality of the people’s skills, modernized their thought, and made it possible for them to participate successfully in modern economic activities. Hence, the high evaluation of the role of education in achieving economic development in this country should be attributed to consumption and invest the money thus saved in education. The significance of geography education is immense not only on personal level but on a larger scale as well (Craig, 2013).
Despite the improvement in the infrastructural development of Nigeria (Asaba in particular), geography education has no doubt contributed immensely to the rapid growth, urbanization and socio-economic development of the region since the creation of Delta state in 1991 and the declaration of the region as an urban center in 2002. This rapid development in both infrastructural and basic amenities is not far from the rapid population increase of the region which Asaba a capital city have been the major push pull factor for the increase in population through migration of the people in and out of Asaba. This is true to say because the creation of Delta State which gave birth to Asaba have improved the socio-economic activities of the inhabitants through the provision of electricity, road networks, communication system, improved educational facilities, environmental facilities, housing etc through geography education knowledge. Geography education has drawn State Government attention to develop the region. Individuals, public and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have also contributed immensely to the infrastructural development of Asaba through the application of geography education knowledge and learning skill. Hence, the need for this study, to examine the effect of geography education on infrastructural development in Nigeria particularly in Asaba, Oshimili North L.G.A of Delta State and make recommendations were necessary.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Geography education is a very important discipline which incorporates two distinctive field of study into its teaching; they are education and geography. It has been discovered in repeated studies that geography education has a direct effect on the infrastructural development of any region. This is because studies have shown that as the natural geographical setting and landscape of any region is rapidly being replaced by an agglomeration and clustering of both planned and unplanned building structures, its attendant consequences are enormous. The geometric increase in population, through migration has led to appreciable disturbance in the natural ecosystem of Asaba, which in turn adversely affect the infrastructural development of Asaba.
It is apparent that in all cities experiencing rapid urbanization, there is usually problems of housing congestion, corruption, increased crime rate, social vices, prostitution, urban decay among others too numerous to mention. This is especially the case of Asaba where these negative impacts are felt on the economy of the region.
In recent times there has been a call for periodic re-examination of the urban environment of cities in other to have an update and compare the situations in these cities with that of other cities in the world. Based on these calls and with these numerous problems and the neglects associated with Asaba as an urban center, the need arises to carry-out this study in order to find out the effect of geography education on infrastructural development in Nigeria especially Asaba, Delta State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study is basically meant to examine the effect of geography education on infrastructural development in Nigeria particularly in Asaba, Oshimili North L.G.A of Delta State.
However, the specific objectives include:
1. To examine the extent to which geography education has improved the infrastructural development in the area.
2. To examine the effect (positive and negative) of geography education on infrastructural development of Asaba.
3. To examine the role of geography education in enhancing infrastructural development in Asaba.
4. To proffer solution and offer suggestions the problems associated with the effect of geography education on infrastructural development of Asaba.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will be answered in this study;
1. To what extent has geography education improved infrastructural development in the area?
2. What are the effects (positive and negative) of geography education on infrastructural development of Asaba?
3. What significant role has geography education played in enhancing infrastructural development in Asaba?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypothesis stated in the null (H0) form will be tested in this study;
H01: There is no significant relationship between the effect of geography education and the level of infrastructural development of Asaba.
H02: Geography education has no significant effect on infrastructural development of Asaba.
1.6 Significance of the study
This study is basically produced to fulfil an academic requirement. Nevertheless, it is hoped that it would go a long way to encourage more meaningful development efforts on the issue on the effect of geography education on infrastructural development in Nigeria particularly in Asaba, Oshimili L.G.A of Delta State.
This study is not intended to break an entire new ground, rather, it is undertaken in the premise that it will add to the existing literature in the area of geography. In addition this study is very necessary especially at this point of Nigeria’s development, when there is massive increase in the need to map and study the infrastructural development of an area.
This work is expected to guide geographers, educationists, scientists, planners, engineers, architects, etc, and all those whose livelihood are affected to gain understanding of how geography education affect infrastructural development in Nigeria especially Asaba, Delta State. However, the findings will also provide useful background information to future research in the contribution of geography education towards nation building.
1.7 Scope of the study
The scope of this study is restricted to the effect of geography education on infrastructural development in Nigeria particularly in Asaba, Oshimili L.G.A of Delta State. The project work is also restricted to some selected areas of study in the urban and rural areas of Asaba.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
It was almost impossible to communicate to some people during the oral interview with them as language was a major barrier and thus almost hindered the collection of data. Despite all these constraints, this did not deprive the researcher from achieving dependable result. The researcher went on to use available information at his disposal to make the write up for this work.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The following terms as used in this study were clearly defined;
Development: The process of developing, growth, directed change. It is also referred to as something that has developed.
Infrastructure: An underlying base or foundation especially for an organization or system. The basic facilities, services and installations needed for the functioning of a community or society.
Effect: The result or outcomes of a cause. Impression left on the mind, sensation produced.
Education: The process or art of imparting knowledge, skill and judgment. It is also referred to as facts, skills and ideas that have been learned, either formally or informally.
Geography: The relationship between man and his immediate environment. It is also the study of the earth and its features.
Urbanization: The process of the formation and growth of cities. It also referred to the change in a country or region when its population migrates from rural to urban areas.
Transportation infrastructure: The underlying structures that support economic activities by moving goods and people, including the delivery of inputs to places of production, goods and services to customers, and customers to marketplaces (Trimbath, 2011).
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