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  FACTORS AFFECTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION AND IN SOME SELECTED SCHOOLS

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FACTORS AFFECTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION AND IN SOME SELECTED SCHOOLS

 

 

                                                          ABSTRACT

This study is aimed at identifying the problems and prospects of universal basic education scheme in Nigerian education system, a case study of Owerri Municipal council with the view to correcting and guiding against the factors that led to the failure of Universal Primary Education (UPE) in Nigeria. Five researcher questions were formulated and three hundred copies of the questionnaires were administered to three hundred  respondents respectively who were purposefully chosen. The questionnaire were collected and analyzed.

The major findings shows that:

–                     Adequate enlightenment program is very necessary to motivate and educate the populace towards embracing the programme

 

–                     Adequate financial and infastructural provisions are necessary for its smooth and sustained operation. Based on the these findings the researchers made some recommendations including adequate motivation of operators, constant monitoring and supervision of teachers to avoid lapses. It was suggested that non-governmental agencies, especially international ones who would donate cash/facility to make the programme a success be involved. And finally that state government should not interfere with universal Basic education funds. Education, defined as permanent change in behavior as a result of learning, consists of all efforts (conscious or incidental) made by a society to accomplish set objectives, which are considered to be desirable in terms of the individual as well as the societal needs. In all human societies, particularly the modern ones, education therefore remains one of the most powerful instruments for both the development of man and transformation of the human society. However, the efficacy of education as an instrument of transformation depends entirely on how the government manages the project meant for the upliftment of the educational system. In this study, the challenges facing the Universal Basic Education project are examined while it also proffers solutions to meet the challenges. This paper attempts to give a general overview of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Scheme in Nigeria. It ranges from the purpose of its establishment, its objective, the framework for its operation, its implementation so far and the challenges the scheme is currently facing. The paper suggests the way forward for the Universal Basic Education Scheme in Nigeria. This was followed lastly by critiquing based on personal conviction of the writer as to the UBE scheme in Nigeria.

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

 

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Education performs major role in equipping the individual with basic skills and knowledge, which will help any nation state.

The global consensus is that education is a process that helps to develop the whole human being physically, socially and technologically to enable one function in any environment the find herself. The present demand for education in Nigeria history may not be unconnected with general level of awareness in the society and the wind of change blowing all over world.

 

The number of primary and secondary schools , Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Technology, University and Satellite University campuses and the current move by the government to set up the national open universities are no doubt all indicator of the up precedence economic and social demand for education.

 

Generally, it is accepted that the progress and economic development of a country highly depend on the level and standard of education received by their citizens and that a country cannot develop and be civilized when its citizens are ignorant and not educated.

 

Therefore the introduction of Universal basic education (UBE) is a bold step to in achieving these facts. It is conceived as a solid foundation for life long learning, and it envisages the evolution of Nigeria into a learning society. The polities of universal free education was used in the 1950s and still used today as a weapon by politicians to gain support and favour of their people. Little do we wonder that the universal basic education program was launched as one of the follow-up of  president Olusegun Obasanjo swearing in ceremony. Chief Awolowo made it clear to his supporters that the principles of his part was to intensity efforts and increase expenditure in service that promote welfare health and education of the people. It was not supprising, therefore that president Olusegun Obasanjo believed that educational development should be treated as national emergency and that it should move with the movement of revolution.

 

However deliberate and sustained changes in varying scales have become common features of school programes in Nigeria. it is however, one thing to formulate policies and another to have them implemented, politicization of the universal basic education programme became a subject or process of maximizing certain interest, values and aspiration that are at variance with scientific rationality paradoxically, the formulation and implementation of education politically rather than educational considerations. This is exemplified in the change of school calendar, lack of unit in the location of schools etc while the worse of the vices has to do with the appointment and selection of those that manage the programme. It is visible today that leadership position in education both at the Federal, state and local levels since independence date has been largely in the hands of misfits and political sycophants. So it appears that the universal basic education scheme is being sevilled with political patronage and indiscipline in its management taking the form of ethnicity, nepotism and tribalism. Education, which is one of the basic ingredients of life, is the most important instrument for any form of social engineering and moral re-generation in any society.  It is becoming apparently and glaringly clear that education for all is a right that must not be neglected.

 

A society that toys with its education stands the risk of going into extinction because it toys with its future and what the future may bring along with it.  Most aims, objectives and aspirations of any society are only realised through the provision of relevant education.  Education is therefore, the life of a society.

 

Of all levels of education the most basic is the primary level.  This is the level at which the foundations for future learning and progress are laid.  The primary education level is the pivot from which all other levels draw and gain inspiration.  This goes to prove that any attempt

to neglect this level of education may prove catastrophic for the entire system of education.  All governments take serious measures in tackling the problem of education in their societies.

 

Nigerian governments over the years have taken various measures aimed at improving education in Nigeria. Obasanjo’s administrations (both military and civilian) have introduced two important schemes – Universal Primary Education (UPE 1976) and Universal Basic Education (1999). The main focus of this paper is the latter – UBE

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

In the contemporary Nigerian society, the rate at which youths participate in the universal basic education has not been encouraging. The training and acquisition of the right caliber of teachers threathens the successful implementation of the programme. There is lack of infastructural facilities to facilitate the success of the program. So with these observations, it is necessary to find out if the universal basic education scheme in Nigerian system would be practicable. On a general level, we can say that UPE failed because of poor planning and poor management.  Some of these failures are:

  1. Lack of information on the total number of teachers required on a massive scale to teach the massive number of pupils enrolled. Assessment of this problem was also poor; as a result training of teachers was generally poorly targeted and considerably low quality.
  2. There was also no certainty on the enrolment of pupils required. As a result the implementation was basically on guesswork or rule of thumb.
  3. Classrooms requirement was not known, therefore inadequately provided.
  4. Consequently the general costs as well as the funds required and other related issues were not ascertained in the first instance.
  5. The public was not fully mobilized and as such not fully involved.
  6. Poor articulation of the philosophy and operational ideology behind the scheme.
  7. The scheme did not win the much-needed political will required at all levels of governments.
  8. Inspections have been inadequate and unsuitable

1.4     OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

This study aims at finding out

  1. To assess whether UBE scheme is achieving its targeted objectives as far as educational development is concerned.
  2. X-raying certain problems militating towards the realization of the UBE scheme objectives in Nigeria.
  3. To evaluate the assertion that implementation of universal basic education programme has been affected by politics and economics of education.
  4. To x-raying the prospect of UBE scheme in its effects to revolutionize primary and post primary education.
  5. To theoretically, identify the challenges facing the universalization of education at the primary school level in Nigeria and to suggest the way forward.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION

  1. How can one assess whether UBE scheme is achieving its targeted objectives as far as educational development is concerned?
  2. Is it possible to x -raying certain problems militating towards the realization of the UBE scheme objectives in Nigeria?
  3. Is there any assertion that implementation of universal basic education programme has been affected by politics and economics of education?
  4. Can this study x-raying the prospect of UBE scheme in its effects to revolutionize primary and post primary education?

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0:  One cannot assess whether  UBE scheme is achieving its targeted objectives as far as educational development is concerned.

H1: One can assess whether  UBE scheme is achieving its targeted objectives as far as educational development is concerned.

H0: It is  impossible to x -raying certain problems militating towards the realization of the UBE scheme objectives in Nigeria.

H1: It is  possible to x -raying certain problems militating towards the realization of the UBE scheme objectives in Nigeria.

H0: This study cannot  x-raying the prospect of UBE scheme in its effects to revolutionize primary and post primary education.

H0: This study cannot  x-raying the prospect of UBE scheme in its effects to revolutionize primary and post primary education.

H1: This study can x-raying the prospect of UBE scheme in its effects to revolutionize primary and post primary education.

1.6    SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

One of the areas maginalized in education is the primary level which is the bedrock of education. This study is therefore significant in the following ways.

 

  1. It will help the government to develop in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness for education.

 

  1. It will help the society to cater for the learning needs of you persons who for one reason or the other may be interrupted.

 

  1. It will help administration to reduce drastically the incidents of students drop-outs from the formal.

 

  1. It will help to ensure acquisation of the appropriate level of literacy, communicative and life skills as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying solid foundation for life long learning.

 

  1. It will help the government to develop the nations human resource through education as an instrument for sustainable human development as this ensures Nigeria full membership to the global world of Universal basic education scheme.

1.7     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The researchers limited this work to Owerri municipal council as the geographical limitation and have its content limitation to only civil servants, teachers and students.

1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY

Despite the limited scope of this study certain constraints were encountered during the research of this project.  Some of the constraints experienced by the researcher were given below:

  1. TIME: This was a major constraint on the researcher during the period of the work. Considering the limited time given for this study, there was not much time to give this research the needed attention.
  2. FINANCE: Owing to the financial difficulty prevalent in the country and it’s resultant prices of commodities, transportation fares, research materials etc. The researcher did not find it easy meeting all his financial obligations.

iii.     INFORMATION CONSTRAINTS: Nigerian researchers have never had it easy when it comes to obtaining necessary information relevant to their area of study from private business organization and even government agencies. Owerri municipal council finds it difficult to reveal their internal operations. The primary information was collected through face-to-face interview getting the published materials on this topic meant going from one library to other which was not easy.

 

Although these problems placed limitations on the study,  but it did not prevent the researcher from carrying out a detailed and comprehensive research work on the subject matter.

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

UBE : UBE is seen as keeping with the expanded mission of basic education as indicated by the JointJoint World Conference on Education for all (1990) and it has much wider scope and a more all-embracing coverage than UPE and any other variant of free education at all levels. Universal Basic Education was designed to ensure the attainment of dynamic and far- reaching programme in education. The scheme of UBE has been fully developed so that a critical examination of the concept, scope, and objectives could be done in a much broader and deeper manner.

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