Global Resources

The role of traditional education in resolving youth restiveness in Nigeria

Author: Ushe Mike Ushe
Publisher: Research on Humanities and Social Sciences
Publication Date: Jan 2014

Human society is a complex system, and both individuals and groups have different needs, aspirations, hopes, goals, opinions, views, and values, stretching across social, economic, religious, psychological or political realms. In times of increasing economic hardship, social and religious conflict, terrorism and kidnappings, and a rapidly changing and evolving society, it is little wonder therefore that certain groups can become restive with discontent. This is especially true of youths who, in their prime, find their lives disrupted, their hopes and aspirations blocked, and their expectations unfulfilled. Restiveness among youth globally, like those in Nigeria, has become a behavioral pattern which has degenerated into a topical issue, portraying a negative side of social development, and presenting a security challenge facing contemporary society. Lives, and property worth millions naira, have already been lost, vandalised, or razed down by restive youths.

In light of this growing problem, this paper, published in the journal Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, examines the role of traditional education in curbing youth restiveness in Nigeria. The study adopted an interdisciplinary approach which makes use of oral interviews, participant observation, and secondary sources to gather data. The study confirmed that youth restiveness is indeed increasing in Nigeria, and is emergent from causes are multifaceted: unequal distribution of resources; unemployment; poverty; lack of infrastructure; corruption; bad governance; ethnic or tribal conflict; and insecurity among other factors. Therefore, curbing the problem demands a multi-dimensional approach in kind. Such an approach is desperately needed; among the effects of youth restiveness are increases in civil unrest, social vices, insecurity, and a discouragement of foreign investment (and therefore employment opportunities), all of which feed back into causing more restiveness. This cycle must be broken.

The authors of the study suggest that it is undisputable that traditional religious education is an effective and necessary mechanism to use in curbing youth restiveness. An educated person is less likely to risk or waste their future and, when done right, traditional religious education is a tool to refine an individual from their biological being to becoming a social being. Based on this, the study makes the following recommendations:


  • Skill acquisition programmes should be introduced for the youth to help them develop their potential.

  • Enlightenment campaigns against youth restiveness should be encouraged to curb anti-social behaviours of young people in society.

  • Ensure that the citizens, especially youth, acquire formal education modeled towards value inculcation and citizen education at all levels of education.

  • Provision of employment opportunities, basic social amenities, and good governance are needed to curb youth restiveness.

  • There should be religious tolerance, adequate parenting of children, restricting of security agents, and fair and free elections at all levels.