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Semaan, Leslie and John Hillian.

Victoria, Victoria International Development Education Association, 1984. 62pp (text and slide-tape script), $12.50. ISBN 0-921783-04-3, NIGERIA, videocassette. 3/4" VHS $55.00. 1/2" VHS $35.00. Slide-tape $50.00. Distributed by VIDEA, 407-620 View Street, Victoria, B.C. V8W 1J6. (Classroom Resource Kits)

Grades 5 to 9
Reviewed by Graham A. Draper

Volume 16 Number 2
1988 March

Nigeria is one of the most populated countries in Africa. With tremendous petroleum reserves, it has the potential to become a real economic power in the region. Revenues from the export of petroleum have been used to expand the education system, build roads, and develop health-care and agricultural resources. The country has an ancient culture that is still reflected in the tribal customs of the people of modern-day Nigeria. But the future is not all rosy.

Nigeria faces some tough decisions. Petroleum prices have continued to fall, reaching a ten-year low in 1986. Modernization programs built on the expectation of petroleum revenues are in jeopardy. In addition, unstable political conditions hinder the country's ability to respond to economic crises. All in all, Nigeria has many aspects that make it interesting for students in intermediate grades. This production on Nigeria is intended to give teachers a resource that can be used in the classroom. The audio-visual portion comes in slide-tape, and 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch video formats. The videotapes are simply a repackaging of the slide-tape version. A sixty-six-page guide provides the teacher with background information on the various topics, teaching suggestions using work sheets, and a script of the narration.

Technically, the program is a disappointment. Individually, the pictures are interesting and have a variety of perspectives, but the pace is slow and the narrative monotonous. Reformatting the slide-tape version does not make it any more interesting.

The content of the program also has some serious flaws. The topics are surveyed in a superficial way, offering students few details. There are also few linkages between the topics; this makes the flow choppy and the themes difficult to follow. In addition, there is no attempt to address the problems that the nation faces, such as an economy that earns ninety-five per cent of its export dollars from the sale of petroleum, rapid population growth or political instability. With these omissions, students will be left with the impression that Nigeria is a smoothly modernizing country with quaint remnants of traditional cultures.

Given the program's apparent weaknesses, its purchase is not recommended.

Graham A. Draper, Langstaff Secondary School, Richmond Hill, Ont.
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