An Evaluation Of The Implementation Of The National Policy On Education (NPE) In Nigeria, Issues And Problems Of Implementation
The main purpose of the 6-3-3-4 national Policy on Education (NPE) is that every Nigerian child must have access to equivalent education comprehensively. This study was carried out to evaluate the 6-3-3-4 national Policy on Education Programme. In carrying out the study, the researcher started giving an introduction, stated the statement of problem, purpose of study, significance of study, formulated research questions to aid the research and defined some key areas in the first chapter. The researcher went further to consider various roles of renowned scholars for review of related literature for careful study of relevant issues. The study was of the survey design type. The Stufflebeans (1969) context, input, process and product (CIPP) evaluation model was adopted. The population of the study consists of all teachers and students in Public Junior Secondary School in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. Simple random sampling was used to achieve the fundamental purpose of this work. To achieve the fundamental purpose of this work four research questions was formulated. With the research questions an instrument for data collection was designed with the aid of data collected. From the data collected, it was found out that the curriculum of the 6-3-3-4 National Policy on Education (NPE) is suitable for attainment of the set objective, that there are no adequate teaching and learning facilities to aid learning. The teachers employed to teach under the 6-3-3-4 national Policy on Education (NPE) scheme are qualified to teach and that the product of the programme do not show any achievement. Based on the findings, government should take responsibility and make adequate provision for facilities to enhance teaching and learning quality control. Proper monitoring and evaluation should be carried out. Also seminars and workshops should be organized to sensitize teacher, parents and communities on the need for the 6-3-3-4 national Policy on Education (NPE) scheme.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education in Nigeria is an instrument for excellence for affecting national development. It has witnessed active participation by non-governmental agencies, communities and individual as well as government intervention. It is therefore important for the nation to fish out in clear terms the philosophy and objectives that underlie its involvement in education. The National Policy on Education seeks to fulfill that role. Government has stated that for the benefit of all citizens, the country’s educational goals shall be clearly set out in terms of their relevance to the needs of the individual and those of the society. In consonance with the realities of our environment and the modern world.
The need for a National Policy on Education came about as a result of the 1969 national Curriculum Conference which was attended by a cross-section of Nigerians. The conference was a culmination of expressions of general dissatisfaction with the existing educational system which had become irrelevant to national needs, aspirations and goals. The deliberations of the conference were presented to a group of expert from a wide range of disciplines that screened the conference recommendations in a seminar in 1973. The seminar came up with a draft policy, which was sent to all stakeholders in education for comments. The final draft was first published as a national Policy on Education in 1977, the second and third edition in 1981 and 1988 respectively while the fourth edition was published in 2004. This reviews of the NPE reflected the changing realities of Nigeria education.These innovations and changes include positioning science, technical and vocational education in the scheme of national education for optimum performance, the integration of basic education in the programme Quaranic Schools, to ensure equal opportunity and reflective implementation of UBE, introduction of information and communication technology (ICT) into the school system; the lifting of the suspension order on open and distance learning programme by government, prescription of French Language in the primary and secondary school curriculum as a second official language, prescription of minimum number of subjects to be taken by SSCE candidates, establishment of Teachers Registration Council (TRC) revitalization and expansion of the national mathematical centre (NMC) and general contextual change to reflect the state of professional practice in education among others.
This National Policy on Education (NPE) special ties six years of primary school (equivalent to American elementary school) for children ranging from ages 6 to 11 years old. The equivalent of American middle school in secondary school bifurcated in Nigeria into three years of junior secondary (pre-vocational and academic) and three years of senior secondary with core curriculum focus. For the two levels of secondary education in Nigeria, students in age from 12-18 years. The last level in the Nigerian system (6-3-3-4) refers to tertiary education offered in colleges of education that award Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) as the minimum qualification for teaching in Nigeria primary schools. This system offers admission to the first batch of the Universal Primary education (UPE) pupils into secondary schools in September, 1982.
Government’s intervention was that the far-reaching provisions set out in all sections of the policy should transform all aspects of the nations life over time. To this end, governments setup a National Educational Policy Implementation Committee to translate the policy into workable blue prints that would guide the bodies whose duty, it would be to implement the policy. The committee was also to develop monitoring system for educational plan as it evolved.
1.2 Significance of the Study
The study is supposed to be of immense significance to all Nigerians, most especially those who wish to know the origin and growth of the 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria will find the work to be of immense importance.
Above all, the research will be of immeasurable value to future researchers who may be interested in conducting future research on the 6-3-3-4 system of education with special regards to early childhood/pre-primary education, basic education, primary education, secondary education, mass literacy, adult and non-formal education, science technical and vocational, tertiary education etc.
1.3 Scope of the Study
The information made available in this study was collected from oral interviews from school teachers, lecturers and private schools administrations, administration of questionnaire and review of available literature within the reach of some educational administrations, headmasters and principals of designated primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
However, it is the view of the researcher that these findings could provide an acceptable fact which could form a base for an effective take off and make possible improvement in our 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria.
1.5 Research Questions
- Are there qualified teachers for the implementation of the 6-3-3-4 national Policy on Education (NPE) Programme?
- Are there adequate facilities for the implementation of the 6-3-3-4 National Policy on Education Programme?
- Is the 6-3-3-4 National Policy on Education (NPE) curriculum well structured for the attainment of the set objectives?
1.6. Rationale for the Project
As a former student in Nigeria from an underprivileged family, I attended a rural public school situated in the southern part of Nigeria. I witnessed a gross under funding of the educational sector, neglect of the maintenance of the physical facilities and a deteriorating condition of instruction which in my opinion has led to the decline in academic standards. I observed a total collapse of infrastructure, poor learning environment, insufficient classrooms, and neglect and social abuse of the students. There were also incessant strikes embarked upon by teachers which routinely disrupted the school calendar which affected academic needs of every learner in schools.
Additionally, in my short period in the teaching profession, I observed a workforce with little or no teaching resources, grossly underpaid and demotivated. Denga (1997) in agreement asserts that the inadequate salary paid to teachers make teachers vulnerable to ridiculous lifestyle. Some of them, he observes still manage to teach without salary for months, while most of them, cannot work with honest work agendas. Some of them therefore, engage in low-cost activities such as bargaining for grades with students for financial exchange as well as sale of examination papers. This, no doubt, has resulted into a pitiable educational standard in every level of education in Nigeria. However, staying out of Nigeria in the last few years have afforded me the opportunity to witness how a developed education sector works. The Masters in Education, Multidisciplinary- Leadership has also given me a broadminded perspective on the issue of schooling; hence, I am concerned by contributing to literature through my research report, and analysis of literature on policy options that will provide guidelines and implementation strategies for stake holders on how the NPE implementation strategies can be effective at the rural schooling levels in Nigeria.
1.7. Overview of the Study
This project consists of four chapters.
- Chapter one is the introduction and it is sub divided into five headings. These include the significance of the project, background of the study, personal location, research question and overview of the study.
- Chapter two is the literature review. The literature review started by reviewing existing literature about the gaps in the National Policy on Education and an overview of Nigeria`s Education. This chapter also examines the cultural contexts of the Nigerian population and their academic needs. The researcher further delves into the history of education in Nigeria and also reviewed the National Policy on Education post colonialism.
- Chapter three methodologies consist of a short discussion about the purpose of the research and the methodology adopted to answer the research questions. It is followed by the data collection, data analysis, findings and discussions in that order.
- While Chapter four started with data analysis. The coding of the data is followed by the findings, recommendations, future research, limitations of the study and conclusion.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Education is an integral part of any individual and society in general. It is a weapon capable of eliminating inequality and poverty in the society Education enhances stability and sustainable growth in a nation. Primary school education is a sure way of transforming nations hence the reason the Nigerian government should be keen in ensuring effective implementation of the education policy. The education practitioners and the government should ensure that policies are implemented to salvage the future of our society. The government, administrators, teachers and students have an obligation to eliminate the challenges that continue to hinder the implementation of the education policy. Incorporation of strategic planning, positive coordination of resources as well as effective capacity building will ensure that the inherent challenges are eliminated.
Successful implementation of the Nigerian education policy is largely dependent on the government. It is critical that the government avails sufficient resources towards infrastructural development as well as employment of sufficient and qualified work force necessary to propagate effective implementation of the education policy. Adequate funding will ensure that the rural schools have enough facilities to cater for the needs of the school-going children. The resources will also be used in motivating teachers to ensure that they adequately deliver on their mandate. Continuity in the political class is necessary so that the constant changes in leadership do not halt the implementation process. Sufficient resources should be allocated to ensure that the institutions have access to quality instructional materials, equipment and facilities.
The government should put in place a specialized body that specifically emphasizes development of education in the rural areas. The members appointed into this body should have worked in the rural education sector and have thus amassed sufficient experience of the challenges that continue to grapple the rural education sector. The members of the committee will develop and implement special policies that specifically tackle challenges in the rural areas. The members should also develop a research centre that specifically tackles challenges in the rural schools. The findings from the research centers should form the basis of discourse that will help revitalize the sector by providing adequate and novel solutions to the persistent challenges in the rural schools. This rural education committee should be empowered to develop adequate capacity that will plan, initiate and implement sustainable reforms as well as innovations geared towards specifically improving the quality of education in the rural schools. Indeed, it is projected that the presence of such a specialized body will help instill professionalism in the rural education sector.
Elimination of corruption will also help in the implementation of the education policy, as the available resources will be utilized in the right way and in the public interest. Access to education can only be achieved through affordability (Ike, 2015). It is critical for the government to ensure that every child can access education to safeguard their future. Lack of education will lead to social evils, as the future generation will lack competitive employment opportunities. The education sector practitioners should equally endeavor to develop a policy that incorporates the Nigerian cultures. Such a policy will be easy to implement as it encompasses aspects that are familiar with the majority of the people. The Nigerian ministry of education should be empowered to deliver on its mandate. Effective implementation will encompass the relevant authorities having the requisite commitment to achieve the set objective. Constant monitoring and evaluation is necessary to ensure that the education officials and teachers are undertaking their mandate as expected.
The citizens have an important role to play in the implementation process. There is need for adequate guidance to be undertaken to inform the people on the benefits of education. Parents who understand the benefits of an educated generation will be on the forefront to fight for the implementation of the education policy.
The teacher/pupil ratio is significantly high as compared to the recommended ratio. By the government, availing adequate resources to the education sector, more teachers’ needs to be employed thereby helping uplift the overall standards of education. It is recommended that a special remuneration package for the teachers be instituted in order to attract the best brains and talents into the teaching profession. A good salary and other attractive allowances and benefits will also attract many individuals into the profession, thereby helping to eliminate the persistent teacher shortage. A special allowance for the teachers in rural schools should be put in place. The allowance will act as an incentive to encourage more teachers to work in the rural institutions thereby eliminating instances of acute teacher shortage.
The government should incorporate sensitization campaigns aimed at informing the members of the public on the Nigerian education policy. It has emerged that the majority of the citizens are not aware of the existence of this policy. This implies that the ordinary citizens hardly play a leading role in enhancing the implementation of the policy. There are some instances where the schoolteacher should play a leading role in the implementation of the education policy is not aware of its stipulations. The government should initiate public awareness campaigns that will avail critical information on the education policy. Ike (2015) opines that increased awareness will equally attract other policy makers interested in investing in the education sector to collaborate with the government in order to realize the ultimate goal of educational achievement. In addition, the stakeholders from the informal sector can offer the much needed support and solutions to the unique challenges prevalent in the rural schools to tackle the problems in the education sector.
5.3 Limitations of the Study
One of the obvious limitations of this study is the researcher’s inability to have a face to face interview with the participants due to distance. The researcher was constrained by finances as well as time. Another major constrain was that because technology was employed in data collection, the researcher could not contact participant that do not have access to technology. This means that the voices of people living in rural areas with no access to technology are not conveyed.
Furthermore, the sample size appears too small to make assumption on all the rural schools in Nigeria, a country of about one hundred and fifty million. Therefore it becomes difficult to generalize the finding of this research work.
5.4 Future Research
There has been a lot of research concerning Nigeria’s educational policy. Most of the research has not focused on identifying the gaps in the implementation and challenges of Nigerian Educational Policy in rural public Schools. Given that this is an unfolding study, it is the distinct observation of this researcher that there is more research to be done on the topic and that this particular research project may become a theoretical foundation for further enquiry. Research findings on this subject matter are limited. This may eventually contribute to more knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. Future research could use a face to face interview and reach out to the stakeholders in education in both rural and urban areas of the country so as to make the findings more generalized. Future research should also establish the robustness of the results of the present study and build upon it.
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