The Impact Of Educational Reforms And Economic Development
The colonial system of education inherited from the British pattern of education was structured along with their values and beliefs. It was oblivious of the educational yearning and aspirations of Nigeria. Education is a service provided in all countries of the world with many objectives in mind. These objectives include the skills required for a more rapid growth of the economy and the provision of basic knowledge to the citizens. Knowledge has become the most important factor for economic development in the 21st century. Through its capacity to augment productivity, it increasingly constitutes the foundation of a country’s competitive advantage. This study was thus undertaken to examine the impact of educational reform and economic development in Nigeria.
1.1 Background of the Study
A common lexicon in the Nigerian education system has, of recent, been the issue of educational reforms. As regards its conception, goals and strategies for implementation, it has attracted the attention of all stakeholders. It is apposite from the onset to compartmentalize the major concepts which are essential in the understanding and treatment of reforms within the Nigerian education system. Such terms which need clarifications include: reform, educational reforms and information and communication technology. The term reform is etymologically derived from the Latin root reformare which means “to shape”. It is a verb that refers to improvement by alteration, a correction of error or removal of defects (Yahoo Education, 2007). Similarly, Young and Levin (1999) defined educational reforms as program of educational change that are government directed and initiated based on an overtly political analysis (that is, one driven by the political apparatus of government rather than by educators or bureaucrats), and justified on the basis of the need for a very substantial break from current practice ( p. 7). Based on the miscegenation of the aforementioned definitions, in this context, educational reforms meansfederal government induced and directed substantial alteration of the Nigerian education system (programme curriculum agencies, educational levels, etc.).
The objective of educational reform is to fulfil the world-wide commitments made on the subject of the education. When speaking of the educational reform, reference is often made to changes and transformations in the scholastic system in relation to such factors as educational philosophy, student policy, curriculum, pedagogy, didactics, organization, management, financing and links with national development in this century, the consensuses that the prime purpose of education is care for and improve holistic education in early childhood, especially for the most vulnerable and underprivileged children, and to guarantee access to free, compulsory and high quality education. Within the field of education, reforms of education are undoubtedly one of the most complex and controversial subjects, because of the effects that they generate in the societies and countries where they take place.
Nevertheless, this situation makes it possible to investigate the reasons why such reforms generate substantial changes in the school systems where they are applied. The present study takes as its object the analysis of great educational reforms across the world in order to relate some of the main lines of development: when the curricular design is changed and the consequent curricula; when the system as a whole is modernised, imposing more agile and effective dynamic for institutional operation; when decentralizing the central bureaucracy; when an attempt is made to raise the general quality of education, in order to improve the academic yield of students and reduce school failure; when an attempt is made to adapt educational formation to the demands of the labour market; when changes in pedagogical styles are introduced for educational reasons; when there is a wish to transform the institutional cultures of the schools; when the intention is to improve the organization and institutional management of schools. It is not possible to avoid the fact that the reforms arise in a historical, social, economic, and political context. Consequently, it is important to consider this when designing, implementing, evaluating or analyzing reforms. For Popkewitz (2002), educational reforms imply questions of social production and state regulation, which they in turn “construct”. Reforms, then, depend on a discourse that often remains hidden, or implicit, and that determines our way of looking at the school world; visions that produce social values and relationships of power that are not neutral. The purpose of educational reforms is to transform school structures with the aim of raising the quality of education in a country.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Education is one of the guaranteed basic rights of an individual. According to UNESCO (2007), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has it that everyone has a right to education, which should be directed to the full development of human personality, strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedom. However, access to education in Nigeria is not enough. It has been faced with challenges such as institutional challenges, policy and structural issues, capacity challenges and sociocultural challenges. These led to series of educational reforms toward fashioning out an acceptable education programme for the country.The objective of educational reform is to fulfil the world-wide commitments made on the subject of the education. When speaking of the educational reform, reference is often made to changes and transformations in the scholastic system in relation to such factors as educational philosophy, student policy, curriculum, pedagogy, didactics, organization, management, financing and links with national development in this century, the consensuses that the prime purpose of education is care for and improve holistic education in early childhood, especially for the most vulnerable and underprivileged children, and to guarantee access to free, compulsory and high quality education. It is on this premise that this study was undertaken to examine the relationship between educational reform and economic development.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study is set out to achieve the underlisted objectives:
- To determine the impact of educational reform in Nigeria.
- To examine the relationship that exists between educational reform and economic development.
- To suggest ways by which educational reform could be sustained.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study will prove significant to the authorities in education as it will as an assessment to what they have done so far and furthermore, it will expose the salient relationship that may exist between educational reform and economic development, thereby enhancing their policies towards education. More so, the study will serve as a reference guide for further studies.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The study developed and formulated for testing, the following hypotheses:
- H0: There is no significant impact of education reform on the Nigerian educational sector.
Ha: There is a significant impact of education reform on the Nigerian Educational sector.
- H0: There is no significant relationship between educational reform and economic development in Nigeria.
Ha: There is a significant relationship between educational reform and economic development in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study accommodates extensive literatures bordering on educational reform. The literatures were collected from both national scholars and international archive. However, the central point is economic development in Nigeria via the educational reforms.
1.7 Organization of the Study
The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
It is important to reiterate that the objective of this study was to examine the impact of educational reforms and economic development.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in examining the impact of educational reforms and economic development.
This study was undertaken to examine the impact of educational reforms and economic development. The study opened with chapter one where the statement of the problem was clearly defined. The study objectives and research hypotheses were defined and formulated respectively. The study reviewed related and relevant literatures. The chapter two gave the conceptual framework, empirical and theoretical studies. The third chapter described the methodology employed by the researcher in collecting both the primary and the secondary data. The research method employed here is the descriptive survey method. The study analyzed and presented the data collected in tables and tested the hypotheses using the chi-square statistical tool. While the fifth chapter gives the study summary and conclusion.
5.3 Conclusions and Recommendations
Reform which of course, brings about changes and innovation in educational system and in the society is in dilemma. Reforms in the educational institution are a collective task which must be vigorously and conscientiously pursued so that education can occupy its prime position as a major key player in national growth and development.
This will enhance Nigerian global relevance. This can only be possible if right steps are taken so that the failure of past educational reforms will not reoccur. The best possible education, where physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual development will take place must be given to the citizen especially to the youths who are the future of this nation. It should not be delayed nor done in a hurry without planning. The importance of its value should be sold to all, so as to adapt to new changes and innovation in both our educational system, especially at the secondary education and the society at large.
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