Presentation on theme: "AN APPRAISAL OF ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN NIGERIA Abiodun Olukayode OLOTUAH, Department of Architecture, Federal University of Technology, Akure, 34001,"— Presentation transcript:
AN APPRAISAL OF ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN NIGERIA Abiodun Olukayode OLOTUAH, Department of Architecture, Federal University of Technology, Akure, 34001, Nigeria & Olutunde Solomon ADESIJI School of Architecture, Planning and Landscaping, University of Newcastle upon Tyne NE 1 7RU, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
ABSTRACT This paper takes a look at architectural education in Nigeria. It examines its historical development, and its relevance to Nigerias national needs. The paper asserts that the curriculum of architectural education in Nigeria has, over the years, been developed in relation with local conditions with due emphasis placed on national needs and aspirations. The paper asserts that architecture plays a critical role in improving the quality of the built environment, and thus architectural education has a definite role to play in its achievement. It further asserts that due to rapid urbanisation in Nigeria, the quality of the environment has been grievously vitiated. This, it opines, requires major shifts in areas of emphasis of the curriculum in equipping students with necessary skills and knowledge to resolve the environmental problems emerging in the country. Keywords: architecture, curriculum, development, education, environment.
INTRODUCTION Architectural education began in Nigeria in 1952. The Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, in which was the first school of architecture, graduated its first set of students in 1961. The graduates were awarded the Diploma in architecture, which exempted them from Parts I and II of RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) examination, and it permitted them to take the final examination. In 1962 the College was upgraded into a University and the programme was restructured for the award of Bachelor of Architecture. This period (1952-1962) is the first of three distinguishable periods of architectural education in Nigeria (Uji, 2001). The only school of architecture in Nigeria then was established and run by the British and they almost completely formed the faculty.
Four schools of architecture came on stream between 1963 and 1979. In the period architects from Eastern and Western Europe dominated the faculty of the schools. This is the second period of architectural education in Nigeria, which Uji (2001) referred to as the semi-colonial period of experimentation. Since 1979 fourteen schools of architecture have been established in the country with the faculty dominated by Nigerians. It is the third period. The curriculum of architectural education in Nigeria has, in the three periods, been a subject of critical debate in several fora on its continued relevance to Nigerias national needs. Its historical background as a curriculum modeled after the British and/or American pattern and thus the Beaux-Arts tradition, has generated calls for reviews to meet local yearnings and needs, and social and cultural exigencies.
introduction contd The growth of architectural education in the country in its fifty years of existence has witnessed the development of various ideas, and philosophies by the different schools of architecture in their efforts to making architectural education reflect local and national aspiration. The schools of architecture are however guided in their programme design by the general framework provided by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in the country.
2. Architectural Education In Nigeria: historical review The establishment of the Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology in 1952 led to the birth of architectural education in Nigeria. The college was located at Ibadan, the capital of the then Western Region of Nigeria. It was relocated to Zaria in Northern Nigeria in 1955. The first set of Diploma students graduated in 1961. In 1962 the college was upgraded to a full-fledged University, named Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The course programme was restructured and graduates were awarded the Bachelor of Architecture degree, which had the same link as the earlier Diploma with RIBA. The link with RIBA was maintained till 1968, when the course programme was again restructured, into two-tier, with the offer of the Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) and Master of Science (M.Sc) degrees in architecture. The new programme took off in 1969.
The University of Nigeria, which came into existence in 1962, established a department of architecture in 1963. The new department became the second school of architecture in Nigeria. In 1970, a third school of architecture was established in the University of Lagos. At the turn of the century in 1999 the number of degree- awarding institutions in Nigeria had risen to sixteen (ten Federal and six State Universities). There were also nineteen Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology awarding National Diploma (ND) and/or the Higher National Diploma (HND) (Arayela, 2000). Two state universities (Kano and Ogun) and a private institution (Covenant University) have since established three additional degree-awarding schools of architecture (Table 1).
TABLE 1: Degree-Awarding Schools of Architecture in Nigeria Source: Field Survey, 2005. TABLE 1: Degree-Awarding Schools of Architecture in Nigeria S/N NAME OF UNIVERSITY YEAR ESTABL ISHED OWNERSHIP 1.Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria1952Federal Government 2.University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus1963Federal Government 3.University of Lagos1970Federal Government 4.Obafemi Awolowo University 1977Federal Government 5.University of Jos1979Federal Government 6.Rivers State University of Science and Technology1980State Government 7.Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma1981State Government 8.Abia State University, Uturu1982State Government 9.Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu1985State Government 10Federal University of Technology, Minna1985Federal Government 11Federal University of Technology, Akure1989Federal Government 12Federal University of Technology, Yola1990Federal Government 13Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi1992Federal Government 14Imo State University, Owerri1992State Government 15Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho1993State Government 16University of Uyo1995Federal Government 17Kano State University, Kano2002State Government 18Covenant University, Ota2002Private 19Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye2003State Government Source: Field Survey, 2005.
3. Curriculum Of Architectural Education The quality of the human habitat is central to architecture, and thus the goal of architectural education is to contribute to the attainment of a humane and responsive environment. In this endeavour schools of architecture strive to equip students with the education required to make them contribute to the promotion of an orderly development of the human environment. The programme of study leads to the production of professionals who are sensitive to human needs and aspirations, have the requisite knowledge and the intellectual and aesthetic skills to evolve expressive design solutions of problems of the built environment. They have the professional skills required for effective shaping, re-ordering and articulation of the built environment.
The goal of architectural education is subsumed in the general concept of education, which is to prepare people to improve and perpetuate their society. This is achieved by taking due cognizance of the societys political, social and economic circumstances in the design of the educational programme. Architectural programme in Nigeria was designed, at the onset, to meet the challenges of modern architecture. The programme has faced challenges in the last fifty years for it to be relevant to Nigerias national needs and aspirations, as well as meet current technological developments (Olotuah, 2000). Adeyinka (1981) has succinctly shown that education must be consciously enlisted to serve national needs, and indeed education is an instrument of power on which national survival depends.
The objectives of the educational programmes in Nigeria, as stipulated in the 3 rd National Development Plan provide a general framework within which architectural education in Nigeria is focused. These include (FGN, 1975): Consolidating and developing the nations system of higher education in response to the economys manpower needs; Rationalizing the financing of education with a view to making the educational system more adequate and efficient; and Making an impact in the area of technological education so as to meet the growing needs of the economy. Reforming the content of general education to make it more responsive to the socio-economic needs of the country;
The objectives of architectural education in Nigeria to a large extent reflect this national aspiration. These objectives stress the importance of research opportunities appropriate to the development of national resources and technological skills in meeting emerging national demands. The curriculum contents and specific subjects of study of schools of architecture in Nigeria are selected from the minimum standards stipulated by the countrys National Universities Commission (NUC). There are over a hundred different course titles from which each school of architecture draws its programmes. These courses are however categorized into seven instruction modules namely: Architectural Design; Arts and Drawing; Historical and Theoretical Studies; Building Systems Technology; Humanities and Social Studies; Environmental Control System; and Physical Sciences.
The NUC recommends the spread of these modules and their credit units over a 6-year period within a 2-tier structure. Greater emphasis is placed on the architectural design module than the other modules, and thus more than 40% of the required credits for the degrees are earned in the studio. This is informed by the centrality of the design studio to the entire architectural educational programme. The design studio is the hub and nucleus of the programme since all learnings in architecture are geared towards imparting into students skills they require in proffering solutions to problems of the built environment (Olotuah, 2000). The design studio is aimed at developing in students the awareness and skills they require in identifying architectural function, purpose, and meaning, which are then translated into appropriate designed settings. As the key integrative unit of the architecture programme, the design studio offers the unique opportunity of imparting cultural values into students and expanding the horizon of their world-view (Olotuah, 2002). Students have the opportunity to appreciate the great varieties of Nigerian traditional architecture, and their richness in content and form. Architectural education has thus fostered national unity in spite of the nations immense diversity in the cultures of its people.
4. Future Growth. Nigeria has experienced phenomenal changes since the establishment of the first school of architecture in the country in 1952. There have been growth and development in various spheres of human endeavours. Programmes of architectural education have undergone a number of changes to cope with these. Further challenges are staring architectural education in the face with increasing complexity in the nations socio-economic circumstances. Nigeria has experienced rapid urbanisation in recent years, which has led to an upsurge in the population growth of urban centres. Urbanisation in Nigeria has been described as socio-economically handicapped, because there is no concomitant, and commensurate change in the social and technological development in the urban centres (Onibokun, 1985; Salau, 1992). The resultant effects of the urbanisation process in Nigeria have been severe degradation of the urban environment, shortages in housing units, and decay in urban infrastructure and services (Olotuah, 2005). Deterioration in housing situation in urban centres has become a visible feature of urbanisation in the country. This has led to severe overcrowding in inadequate buildings (Okoko, 2001) and generation of slum conditions.
The Nigerian architect is faced with these multi-faceted urban problems. Alongside these are also problems encountered in the rural areas, particularly poor quality of housing. Architectural education in the country has to rise to the challenge of equipping students with the knowledge and skills for solving the problems. It has to foster the students creativity and strengthen their interest, motivation and commitment to improve the environment. Within the general framework provided by the Nigerian National University Commission major shifts have to be made towards emphasizing courses in Humanities and Social Studies, and Historical and Theoretical Studies. The paucity of facilities, and architect-educators to implement the curriculum in architecture schools in the country has been identified as the greatest difficulty faced by architectural education in Nigeria (Adeyemi, 1996). In order for architectural programmes to meet their set objectives skillful and qualified architects have to be employed to teach. They will also be engaged in research through which they will make original contributions to the development of an improved theoretical basis for architecture. The curriculum in architecture, though studio-based, should inculcate considerable research input into its postgraduate programme in order to prepare graduate students for a productive academic career.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD) has made tremendous inroads into architectural practice in Nigeria. Studies have shown that less than 30% of Nigerian architects learnt the use of CAD software during their course of architectural study (Olotuah, 2004). This is because most schools of architecture in Nigeria have not integrated computer-aided design and drafting into their programmes. Architectural education in Nigeria has to embrace Computing and Information Technology fully to be more relevant in the practice of contemporary architecture. Research in architectural computing should be encouraged, and collaboration can be formed with such international organizations as eCAADe (Education and Research in Computer-Aided Architectural Design in Europe), ACADIA (Association of Computer-Aided Design in Architecture), SIGraDi (Seceded Iberoamericana de Grafica Digital), CAADRIA (Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia), and CAADFutures Foundation.
5. Conclusion This paper focuses attention on architectural education in Nigeria, its historical development and curriculum design. It discusses the goal of architectural education within the context of the Nigerian National Educational objectives. The paper proffers recommendations on the improvement of architectural education to meet present national needs and future demands.
6. References Adeyemi, E.A. (1996): The Appropriate Direction of Architectural Education in Africa Region AARCHES J, the Journal of Association of Architectural Educators in Nigeria, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 38-41. Adeyemi, E.A. (2000): Lest We Forget AARCHES J. Vol. 1 No. 3, pp 1-3. Adeyinka, A.A. (1981): The Role of the Teacher in Society Education and the Nigerian Society, Obanya, P.A.I. (Ed.), Ibadan University Press, pp. 118-133. Arayela, O. (2000): Clinical Management of Architects Education in Nigeria – The Way Forward in the Twenty-First Century AARCHES J. Vol. 1, No. 5, pp 78-84. Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN (1975): Third National Development Plan, 1975-1980, Vol. 1, The Central Planning Office, Federal Ministry of Economic Development, Lagos. Okoko,
references contd Okoko E.E. (2001): Residential Crowding and Privacy in High- Density Neighbourhoods in Akure, Nigeria Ife Social Sciences Review, Vol. 19 No. 1 pp 133-144. Olotuah, A.O. (2000): Architect-Educators and The Curriculum in Architecture: Roles and Expectations in the 21 st Century AARCHES J, Vol. 1 No. 5, pp. 29-32. Olotuah, A.O. (2002): Architecture and Cultural Sensibilities: The Implications for National Unity Arts and Social Sciences Forum Journal, pp. 45-56. Olotuah, A.O. (2004): The Influence of Computer-Aided Design on Architectural Practice in Nigeria Unpublished Postgraduate Diploma Computer Science Thesis, Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria.
references contd Olotuah, A.O. (2005): Urbanisation, Urban Poverty, and Housing Inadequacy Proceedings of Africa Union of Architects Congress, 23-28 May, Abuja, Nigeria, pp. 185-199. Onibokun, A.G. (1985): Housing Finance in Nigeria: A Critical Survey of Private and Public Services Housing in Nigeria, Onibokun A. G. (Ed.) Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, Nigeria pp 199-219. Salau, A.T. (1992): Urbanisation and Spatial Strategies in West Africa Cities and Development in the Third World, Potter R.B. and Salau A.T. (eds.), Mansell Publishing Ltd, London, pp. 157-171. Uji, Z.A. (2001): Beyond the Critiques of the Curriculum of Architectural Education in Nigeria Architects and Architecture in Nigeria, A Tribute to Prof. E.A. Adeyemi, Nkwogu, U.O. (Ed.), Book of Readings, Association of Architectural Educators in Nigeria, pp. 109-122.