An Evaluation Of The Challenges Mitigating The Implementation Of Universal Basic Education In Nigeria
1.1 Background of the Study
Enrollment into and completing of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) program allows for the development of basic literacy and arithmetic abilities as outlined in the National Policy on Education (NPE). It also results in good behavioral changes that benefit the family, society, and nation (FGN, 2004). The completion of basic education benefits students by broadening their horizons. It offers chances for self-development throughout the rest of one’s life. It also contributes to stronger families, improved health for both parents and students, and participation in governance (World Bank, 2012 cited in Kane, 2004).
On September 9, 1976, Obasanjo’s military regime implemented the Universal Primary Education (UPE) program. This initiative, which began with zeal and great hopes of solving the country’s perceived socioeconomic needs, crashed and burned halfway through. Financial issues, insufficient proficient teachers, class sizes, narrow curriculum content, shift in family structure, absenteeism, residential location, cultural variation, and a high rate of drop-out were cited as reasons for its failure (Omotayo, Ihebereme, and Maduewesi 2008). According to Jaiyeoba (2007), low enrollment increase, teachers shortage, insufficient infrastructure, insufficient financing, and a poor family background, among other factors, contributed to the UPE program’s failure.
It should be recognized that education suffered significant neglect in the years after the demise of the UPE system. This exacerbated decay in the educational system, particularly at the basic education level, to the point where illiteracy was outrageously high, teachers were poorly trained and motivated, infrastructure was in disrepair, school drop-out was increasing at an alarming rate, and funding for basic education in particular remained inadequate (Tahir, 2003).
Many Nigerians breathed a sigh of relief on September 30, 1999, when the democratic administration of Obasanjo established the Universal Basic Education (UBE) project in an effort to remedy the aforementioned problems. The curriculum, which was designed in accordance with the National Policy on Education’s 6-3-3-4 framework, now has a 9-3-4 structure. Basic education consists of nine (9) years of continuous, free, and obligatory education, of which six (6) years are spent in primary school and three (3) years in junior secondary school. Its primary goal is to eliminate illiteracy, ignorance, and poverty while also promoting and speeding national growth, political consciousness, and national integration.
According to the Implementation Guidelines (FRN, 2000), the objectives of the UBE include: developing in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion; providing free, universal basic education to every Nigerian child of school-going age; and drastically reducing the incidence of dropout from the formal school system.
In order to attain the program’s aims, concerted efforts were required to counteract the elements that were known to have hampered the program’s goals. Despite the fact that the Universal Basic Education (UBE) program’s aims are admirable and that well-thought-out procedures have been put in place to achieve these objectives, the expected impact has yet to be realized.
It seems incomprehensible that millions of children still lack access to basic education after many years of the program’s inception, despite the federal government’s commitment to its success. This dismal record was ascribed to insufficient and inequitable access, low student learning attainment, a lack of accountability and transparency in the use of education funding, an acute scarcity of qualified instructors, infrastructure degradation and shortage, a poorly motivated, ill-equipped, and inexperienced teaching staff, and insufficient instructional resources (UBEC, 2008).
With the aforementioned examples, as well as countless more not recorded in this study, there is no denying that the basic education sub-sector is in a very bad position that requires immediate remedial remedies. Many governmental policies and programs in Nigeria perform poorly in terms of achieving their stated objectives, owing mostly to implementation failure. In light of the foregoing, the purpose of this research is to investigate the implementation and problems of Nigeria’s universal basic education program.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, the execution of the basic education program in Nigeria has faced several challenges, and the dilemma of the Nigeria educational program does not always rest with accurate knowledge and policies, but with the program’s successful execution(Jaiyeoba, 2007). The Universal Primary Education (UPE) program, which was one of the basic educational programmes launched in the country in the past, appears to have flopped owing to a number of problems, including a lack of funds, a lack of educated instructors, a lack of infrastructural facilities, poor program monitoring, and insufficient instructional materials, among others(UBEC, 2008). Likewise, t here appear to be several impediments to the present Universal Basic Education (UBE) elementary school program in Nigeria, notably in Adamawa State. Most UBE primary schools are plagued by overcrowded classes, limited funding for school activities, insufficient infrastructural facilities, a lack of an operational library, insufficient teaching materials, and poor supervision and monitoring of the school program, among other issues. All of these are obstacles to the proper execution of the UBE program in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general aim of this study is geared towards the evaluation of the challenges mitigating the implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria.
The specific objectives therefore comprises of;
- Determine whether the universal basic education was introduced to facilitate quality education for all citizens in Nigeria.
- Ascertain whether non-availability of fund, and lack of infrastructural facilities contribute to the ineffective implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria.
- Ascertain whether lack of trained teachers, and inadequate instructional materials contribute to the ineffective implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria.
- Determine whether poor supervision of the programme contribute to the ineffective implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The study will be guided by the following questions;
- Was the universal basic education introduced to facilitate quality education for all citizens in Nigeria?
- Does non-availability of fund, and lack of infrastructural facilities contribute to the ineffective implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria?
- Does lack of trained teachers, and inadequate instructional materials contribute to the ineffective implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria?
- Does poor supervision of the programme contribute to the ineffective implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study would provide information on the status of management and challenges on the UBE programme at the primary school level. This information would be useful to policy makers and education managers as it would most likely provide the basis upon which decisions can be taken to address the inadequacies in key areas like provision of teachers, infrastructural facilities, textbooks/instructional materials and funding.
The role of the teachers as the implementers of the UBE programme cannot be over-emphasized and the need to motivate them to perform their tasks optimally is very vital. It is hoped that this study would also be beneficial to the teachers as recommendations towards their welfare, training, retraining, improved infrastructure and instructional materials were made, where necessary, to boost their productivity.
The recommendations based on the findings of this study, would create an environment conducive to learning, both in terms of human and material resources provision. In this respect, students would benefit as there is bound to be improved quality education delivery.
Primary education, which comprises the lower and middle basic levels of the UBE programme, is the foundation of the nation’s educational system. This implies that the success of the other levels of education depends on it. Hence, studies to address the challenges facing the primary level of education are by extension, studies to improve the entire educational system. Ultimately, therefore, the findings and recommendations of this study, if implemented, would assist in developing a credible and sustainable educational system in Adamawa State.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study will basically focus on the evaluation of the challenges mitigating the implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria. However, the study will examine the reasons why the universal basic education was introduced in Nigeria.
The respondents for this study will be obtained from Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Definitions of Terms
Universal Basic Education
Some constraint which affects the success rate of the UBE programme in the Local Government include payment of staff salaries, in arrears, non-completion of new constructions and schools rehabilitation, insufficient teachers guide which are faced by policies.
Translation of government policies and programmes regarding UBE into reality.
Getting things done throughout people’s effort by Federal State and Local Government.
An Evaluation Of The Challenges Mitigating The Implementation Of Universal Basic Education In Nigeria
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