Rural Nomadic Fulbe Boys' Primary Schooling: Assessing Repertoires of Practice in Nigeria


In recent years, educational policies for boys have not been given as much attention as those for girls in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rural Nigerian nomadic boys are especially disadvantaged, considering their livelihood is based on a pastoral economy that demands constant migration to interior grasslands in search of pasture. For a more inclusive approach, the federal government of Nigeria promulgated and implemented the Nomadic Educational Policy (NEP). Despite these accommodations, existing school practices affect the boys’ access, attendance, and completion of primary schools. The article elucidates how and why Fulbe nomadic boys are still “left behind” at the primary education level despite specific educational policy developments. This discussion is based on analyzed data and past qualitative study with the boys, and re-situates the nomadic boys’ schooling experiences within some selected learning theories (Bandura, 1977; Maslow, 1971) and discussions of boys’ learning (Epstein, 1998; Gilbert & Gilbert, 1998). The paper concludes with suggestions for policy makers, teachers, and parents to minimize the challenges affecting boys in primary schools.