CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN FINE AND APPLIED ARTS EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

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Abstract
Any nation that seeks relevance and competitiveness in the age of
globalization must make every effort togive its citizens the best education
possible. Fine and Applied Arts Education is an instrument par excellence
that a nation can rely upon to bring about self-reliance. It is against this
backdrop that this paper brings into focus the position of subject in Nigeria’s
educational system with a critical analysis of challenging issues like: the
supply and training of qualified art teachers; negative attitude of individuals
and government, social identity; lack of facilities and materials among
others. Suggestions and recommendations were proffered on the way
forward. The paper finally concludes that indeed, fine and applied art
education can truly be used as an instrument for promoting self-reliance in
the 21
st
century.
Conceptual Clarification on Fine and Applied Arts
The Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary ofCurrent English (2000), defines art as “the
creation or expression of what is beautiful, especially in visual form. Art in human conception
associated with what is distinguished as visual arts. Visual art are expressed by the skillful use of
medium, which is addressed primarily to the sense ofvision. Therefore, Fine and Applied Arts are
branches of visual arts.
Uzoagba (2000), define the word “fine” has to do with appreciation of the beautiful and is
used to describe that branch of art which has no other function than the appeal it makes to man’s sense
of beauty. Thus, fine arts include painting, sculpture, drawing art appreciation or history of art.
Applied art concept is where works of art are applied as craftwork for personal use of the
artists or individuals and also for commercial purpose or the industry. Applied arts include areas of
discipline in ceramics, graphics, textile glass technology, metal works among others.
Fine and Applied Arts Education and National Policy on Education
The National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) has provisions for the teaching of art at all
levels of education. It recognized the role of art education (Fine and Applied)as one of the powerful
instrument for self-reliant economy. It is one of the discipline in our educational programme that avail
trainees the opportunity to acquiring appropriate skills, abilities and competences both metal and
physical as equipment for the individual to live and contribute to the development of the society. But
the reality of the situation is that the teaching ofart the primary and secondary levels of education
have not been fully effected because it has not beeffectively surprised or implemented (Cornelius,
2004; Ubangida, 2005).
The National Policy on Education (UPE, 2004), objectives of art education (Fine and
Applied) at the post-primary level (College of Education, Polytechnics and Universities) stresses two
important areas in our educational system:
1. the production of self-reliant, resourceful, creative people; people with initiative and
understanding for the need to create; people with a positive identity in the community; and
2. the development of aesthetic awareness in the general public with regard to the products of
industry and the environment

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