Problems And Prospects Of Primary Education In Nigeria
Education is widely regarded as the route to economic prosperity, the key to scientific and technological advancement, the means to combat unemployment, and the foundation of social equity. Primary education is a foundational level of education that needs to be well funded, controlled and managed. Adequate provisions of education to the citizens contribute greatly to the socioeconomic development of the country. Therefore good administration of primary level of education is required to foster national growth and development.
This fact, the Federal Government of Nigeria like other developing countries has at different times made frantic efforts in increasing the number of children enrolled in primary schools though there are still many more who are not enrolled and who do not complete the programme. This massive expansion has been possible by the infusion of large sums of monetary allocation to primary education.
Although the functionality of this level of education is not doubted, in addition to the structural changes made to improve the system, it has been saddled with problems ranging from issues of enrollment, funding, infrastructure, teaching personnel and curriculum provisions. This paper discusses the functionality of primary education and some of the structural changes made to meet the demands of the society. Furthermore, it highlights the earlier identified issues as they affect primary education delivery in Nigeria.
1.1 Background of the Study
The history of primary education in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory can be traced as early as 1940s, with the advent of native authority administration now referred to as (Local Government) in the then Abuja now referred to as (Suleja) there were efforts to introduce Western Education in Kuje Area Council by then Abuja Native authority (N.A) which was under control of the Emir of Abuja (Suleja).
In 1942, the first primary school was established in Kuje town by Dami Dan Barau from Abuja (Suleja) through the effort of the community. In the early 1950s, more primary schools were established in Kuje district to supplement the existing ones. This period was regarded as the second stage in the history and development of primary education in Kuje.
With the introduction of U.P.E scheme in 1976 by the then head of state, General Olusegun Obasanjo, Kuje Area Council witnessed rapid development of primary education in the Area, through the scheme; many primary schools were established in most of the village.
Since then, primary education witnessed tremendous improvement both in number and quality.
This research is therefore dedicated to examine the problems and prospects of primary education in the area council with a view to identify the problem of the one hand, and proffers on the other.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since Nigeria’s attainment of independence in 1960, educational development has been a major challenge for successive governments. Interests along the line is to eliminate, illiteracy improve the standard of all levels of education, and above all, to eliminate poverty among its citizenry. The situation of basic education at independence and up till the early, 1970s showed picture of tremendous decay in the education industry with a very high rate of illiteracy in the country.
However, since National policy on Education, published in 1977 Nigeria has implemented various initiatives for improving education with varying degree of success studies have shown that one important area that need to be addressed is the capacity to efficiently and effectively manage education of all levels of the education system.
Therefore, in the mid 1970 universal primary Education (UPE) was introduced, followed by free education in 1979. Since then, Nigeria has continued to invest in education with varying degree of result it has however, faced many challenges such as uncontrolled population growth, civil unrest and political instability, poor capacity building higher number of school dropout e.t.c
In Nigeria, there are 36 states and federal capital city territory, 774 local government authority (LGAs) and thousands of words the federal constitution of Nigeria (1999) sets out the activities of the federal, state and local government. In the provision of education, the federal government has decided that primary education should be implemented by LGAs. The role of the federal government in implementing UBE is to provide political leadership, technical/professional co-ordination and financial support to the states and LGAs.
It is therefore vital to investigate the exeunt of the programme implementation and challenges faced using Kuje Area Council of FCT Abuja as example.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the extent of implementation of UPE programme in Kuje Area Council, the study will also enable the researcher to identify major challenges facing implementation of the programme in this local Area Council of federal capital territory. The specific objectives are to verify of access the level of implementation of UBE programme in Kuje Area Council of federal capital territory, Abuja.
Identify problems facing the implementation of the UBE in Kuje Area Council of federal capital territory Abuja find out relevant means to overcome the identified problem.
1.4 Research Question
For the purpose of accuracy and objectivity the following research question have been formulated to guide the research work.
- To what extent are LEA primary school in Kuje Area Council equipped?
- Do the schools have adequate number of qualified teachers?
- How well are the school adequately funded?
- Do school have enough facilities for learning?
- To what extent can these problems be solved?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will help to suggest recommendations on the most effective and efficient approaches to the establishment and management of primary schools the fats obtained will be useful to appropriate agencies in the educational sector more so, we hope that the study will be useful reference materials to teachers and students teachers as well as to those who will want to carry out research on similar topic in future to come.
1.6 Scope and Delimitations of the Study
The study is to be carried out with a view to find out the roles the Universal Basic Education programme has played in developing primary school in Kuje Area Council of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The scope of the study would be limited to ten primary schools.
Inadequate time drastically limited the extent the study could have been conducted, since a time frame within which to work.
The unwillingness of some respondents to give accurate information equally affected the study for example some respondents neglected questions they needed to answer.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Refers to factors that militate against the progress of something or an obstacle that brings about back wardens in something.
This refers to what might or will happen in the future or the possibility that something will happen.
Refers to an organized school of learning for children between the ages of five and eleven years, or it refers to the education given in institution for children aged 6 to 11 years plus.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This research examined the problems and prospects of primary education in Kuje Area Council of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
A descriptive survey design was used for the study in this regard questionnaire were distributed to some randomly selected head teachers and teachers from primary schools within the Area Council. Responses indicates that the government contributes to the problems of primary school education in the Area it also indicated that the head-teachers also contribute to the problems of primary school education in their school. Similarly, the study reveals that the parents/community also contribute immensely to the problems of primary school education in the Area.
From the findings of the study, the following can be drawn:
- Government contributes to the problems of primary school education in Kuje Area Council.
- The head teachers also on their part contribute to the problems of primary school education in their schools.
- The parents/community also contribute to the problems of primary school education in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
- Government should make education at primary level free and compulsory.
- There is need for awareness campaign in the area to emphasis the importance of education to parents.
- Government should provide adequate learning materials needed by the pupils from poor socio-economic background so that they can have equal educational opportunity with children from wealthy background.
- Government should make provision of in-service training for teachers.
- Stake holders should make sure that only qualified teachers are employed to teach in primary schools.
- Effective means of supervision and inspection should be put in place with a view to improving the standard of primary education.
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