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Keywords: ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION
This research work investigated the assessment of the implementation of Universal Basic Education in Abeokuta South Local Government Area of Ogun State. The descriptive research design was used in carrying out the study. One hundred and twenty respondents were selected using the simple random sampling technique. Data collected was analysed using the simple percentage. The findings showed among others that infrastructural facilities, instructional material, trained teachers and funds are not adequately available to a high extent for the effective implementation of UBE programme in the primary schools. Also the findings of the study regarding the constraints to the effective implementation of the UBE programme revealed that lack of proper supervision of teaching and learning in primary schools, inadequate provision of instructional materials and infrastructural facilities to primary schools. Poor finding of educational programme and poor statistical data on UBE primary schools were to a high extent constraints to the effective implementation of the UBE programme in primary schools. Based on this, recommendation were made which include: that Professional and qualified teachers should be employed for the objectives of education to be achieved, Lion share of the annual budget should be given to education, Parents should be informed to encourage their children about the UBE scheme in order to reduce the incidence of drop out from the formal school system and Government should provide instructional materials and also increase the teachers’ salaries to motivate them.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Background of the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
Definition of Terms
2.1 The Concept of Universal Basic Education in Nigeria
2.2 Scope and Objectives of Universal Basic Education
2.3 The Evolution of Universal Basic Education
2.4 The Universal Basic Education: Its Nature and Objectives and
Features in Nigeria
2.5 Implementation of Universal Basic Education
2.6 Appraisal of the Literature Review
3.0 Research Methodology
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Population of the Study
3.3 Sample and Sampling Techniques
3.4 Research Instrument
3.5 Validity of Research Instrument
3.6 Administration of Data Instrument
3.7 Method of Data Analysis
4.1 Presentation of Result
4.2 Data Analysis
5.1 Discussion of the Findings
5.2 Summary of the Findings
1.1 Background of the Study
Education in all countries of the world has been considered very important for personal and societal development. Nigeria is one among the nations of the world that values education. In her National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004)Nigeria sees education as an excellent instrument for effecting national development. Thus, education will be used to achieve the nation’s needs. The policy document provides guidelines on the education of Nigerian society. It contains the philosophy of the nation’s education, levels of education and their objectives, beginning with pre-primary, through primary, secondary to tertiary education.
All over the world, primary education has been regarded as the most important as well as the most accessed by people. This perhaps may be due to the fact that it is the foundation of the whole educational pursuit, which is expected t oprovide literacy and enlightenment to the citizens. Oni (2008) posited that the importance of primary education can be seen in the sense that all beneficiaries of the other levels of education by necessity have to pass through this level. Federal Republic of Nigeria in her National Police on Education (2004) defined primary education as the kind of education given in an institution for children aged 6-11 years plus, and it constitutes the bedrock upon which the entire educational system is built. It is in view of the indispensable role of education in the development of man and modern society, particularly the primary education that various declarations on education were made at the global level. Such declaration includes The 1984 Human Rights Declaration which states that everyone has right to education, which will be free at least in the elementary school. The Jomtein Declaration on Education for All (EFA) by the year 2000. The New Delhi 1993 Declaration on E-9 Countries in 1993 (the nine countries with the largest concentration of illiteracy of which Nigeria is a member) which was later reaffirmed in Recife, Brazil (2000) by calling for a massive eradication of illiteracy within the shortest possible time span.
Based on the above declarations among others, the then president of Nigeria, Chief OlusegunObasanjo on 30th September 1999 launched the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme in Sokoto State. The launching of the programme was appreciated by many Nigerians who considered the programme a good opportunity for improving the literacy level of Nigerians as well as solving the problem of the educational system in Nigeria. Basic education, according to Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), is a type of education comprising of 6 years of primary education and 3 years of junior secondary school education. The policy stipulates that basic education shall be free and compulsory. The scheme shall include adult and non-formal educational programme at primary and junior secondary school levels for both adult and out-of- schools youths. The UBE programme has three main components, namely: Universal, Basic and Education. ‘Universal’ here means that the programme is for everyone, irrespective of tribe, culture or race and class. The term ‘Basic’ depicts that it is fundamental or essential, and that it must be given at all cost. It is on this factor that every other thing rests on, without it, nothing may be achieved. It is the root for the acquisition of any knowledge (Eddy &Akpan, 2009). UBE programme can thus be seen as that type of education that every individual must have; it should not be a privilege but a right, and it should be the sum total of an individual’s experiences no matter his class or background. The mission of Universal Basic Education is to serve as a prime energizer of national movement for the actualization of the nation’s vision. This will mobilize the nation’s creative energies to ensure that Education for All becomes the responsibilities of all (UBE, 2005).
The UBE arrangement is that the First Nine Years must be free, uninterrupted and compulsory. The goals of UBE, according to Federal Ministry of Education (2000), are to universalize access to basic education, provide conducive learning environment and to eradicate illiteracy in Nigeria within the shortest possible time.
The UBE programme as described above has realistic and laudable objectives which, if adequately planned and implemented well, will no doubt improve the literacy level of Nigerian citizens and enable them to live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the country. It is important to note that similar educational programmes introduced in Nigeria were unsuccessful. According to Mgbodile (2000), Ogbonnaya (2003) and Ukeje (2000), the problem of Nigerian educational system does not lie with adequate knowledge and policies, but with effective planning and sustainable implementation. They recalled that the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme, which was introduced by our past leaders, had in the end failed. Such failure, according to them, is attributed to several factors, among which are inadequate trained teachers, inadequate infrastructural facilities, inadequate instructional materials, inadequate fund, and lack of effective supervision.
Infrastructural facilities and instructional materials are factors that facilitate and promote teaching and learning and they include items like class rooms, furniture, libraries, administrative block, etc. Trained teachers are special brand of men and women that have received training on coaching, supervising and guiding pupil/students to achieve outstanding feats in life. Fund, on the other hand, refers to the sum of money saved or made available for a particular purpose. These resources, according to Mohammed (2004), have to be of appropriate quality and quantity to meet the minimum standard of promoting any meaningful teaching and learning. Some experts particular Okoli (2007) have observed that the responsibility for providing these facilities and resources in public schools lie with the government.
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), which is the government agency responsible for monitoring the implementation of UBE programme, in its 2013 Annual Report revealed that transformation of the education in the area of school infrastructural development has been achieved through judicious use of FGN-UBE intervention funds. It is the view of the commission that adequate allocations are made for the provision of basic education in the country. They noted that the UBE programme has been on the funding priority list of the government. This the report observed, was buttressed by the government huge allocation to State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) in the 36 states and FCT for both capital expenditure for erection of building and purchase of equipment and recurrent expenditure for the payment of salaries, services, among others. Specifically the reports showed that UBE marching grants statutory allocations to the 36 states and FCT from 2005-2013 was N200, 392, 601, 491. 67. and out of this figure N159, 734, 113, 067.03 has been accessed by the 36 states and FCT, while the sum of N1, 312,500.000 has been expended on the development of the new 9-years basic education curriculum in the year 2007.
The UBE matching grants are funds that are jointly contributed by both Federal and state governments on equal basis; it is 70% of the 2% consolidated revenue funds. The matching grant is to be utilized in the implementation of the programme as follows:
- 5% on Early Child Care Development Education (ECCDE)
- 60% on primary school education.
- 35% on junior secondary school education.
The 70% of the above funds are to be used for the provisions of infrastructural facilities, instructional materials, training and retraining of teachers, among others. (UBEC, 2013)
From the foregoing, there seems to be no doubt that the Federal Government is genuinely concerned about the provision of basic education to her citizens. According to FME (2013), the FGN/UBE initiative at the basic education started way back 2009. Till date, about 96, 326,675 books on mathematics, English, languages, Basic science and technology, social studies for primary schools and library resources materials for junior secondary schools have been procured and distributed to public basic education institutions across the country. The goal of this exercise is to attain the pupil to book ratio of 1:1 in all subjects.
In terms of contents, a new 9-year basic education curriculum has been reviewed. According to Obioma (2013), the subjects in the old curriculum are being reduced from 20 subjects to 10, and the reason was that the old curriculum was full of content repetition, and hence the need for the correction. The basic contents of the reviewed 9 -year basic education curriculum include the following.
- For primary (1-3) English language, mathematics, one Nigeria language, Basic science and technology under which are physical and health education and computer studies/ICT. Others are pre-vocational studies, comprising of Home-economics, agriculture and entrepreneurship, religious and value education, security education, cultural and creative arts, as well as Arabic language which is optional. These subjects are offered by pupils in primary 4-6 with the addition of French language while business studies is added to the subject listing for JSS1-3. Still in the new reviewed curriculum, pupils in primary 1-3 are to offer a minimum of seven subjects and maximum of eight subjects while those in primary 4-6 are to take a minimum of eight (8) subjects and maximum of nine (9) subjects. And those in JSS1-3, are to offer a minimum of nine (9) subjects and a maximum of (10) subjects in all (Obioma, 2013). Worthy of note is that the new basic education curriculum was structured into three 3 components namely:
- Lower basic education for primary 1-3
- Middle basic education for primary 4-6
- Upper basic education for JSS1-3
These subjects and contents of the new curriculum, according to Obioma (2013), will follow systematically from primary 1-JSS 3, thus the programme therefore, is one of the visible dividends of democracy in the country. Its launching became necessary as the Obasanjo- led administration came into power in 1999 and met an educational system that was in a state of decay. Teachers were poorly trained and motivated. There was high rate of illiteracy as a consequence of high dropout rates, and poor infrastructural conditions in schools. Thus, the introduction of the UBE is meant to positively transform the nation’s basic education level and to meet the context of the global vision of EFA (FGN, 2004).
Today, the UBE is here with us and it aims at equipping individuals with knowledge. In this state, people welcomed the programme in its totality. The Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) in its report of 2013 revealed that the introduction of UBE in the state was like an answered prayer because many Enugu citizens have been praying for empowerment, adding that so far, the Board has accessed a total of N4,301,175,672.00 between 2005 and 2013 from the FGN/UBE intervention funds and the state government is ensuring that qualified teachers are recruited while effective monitoring mechanism is maintained to guarantee that the programme is successfully implemented in the State. In support of this claim, Ortunaya (2013) revealed that Enugu State Government is poised to improve the educational content of its school curriculum, in terms of quality and quantity, and this would be achieved through the recruitment of qualified teachers, and provision of educational facilities such as books, classrooms, desks, chairs as well as renovation of dilapidated schools structures across the state.
Funding, administration and implementation of basic education programme are gradually becoming the responsibility of not only the government but that of the members of the communities through Parents Teachers Associations (PTAs) and Community Based Organization (CBOs). According to UBEC (2013), the self help projects of the UBE programme were designed as a strategy to involve the community and private sector participations in basic education delivery through the initiation, execution, administration and ownership of designed school projects. The self-help strategy has proved to be very rewarding in providing requisite infrastructure and services within the school environment as well as galvanizing popular community support and involvement in UBE delivery. The strategy as observed in the report has instituted transparency and accountability in resource management, paved way for community ownership of the UBE programme, and has increased the opportunity for easier access to quality and equity in UBE delivery. Additionally, the strategy has several deliverable key infrastructural
components and other facilities that are essential for the effective implementation of the UBE programme. Therefore, by introducing UBE in the country, the government has opened school doors for all, and as such all hands must be on deck to keep the doors open.
However, despite the above evidence with respect to the efforts being made by the various governments and bodies for providing the UBE schools with basic educational resources like infrastructural facilities, trained teachers, instructional materials, funding and others. There appear to be contrasting reports as to the availability, adequacy or quality of these resources for the effective implementation of the programme at all levels. Sobechi (2004) shares the view that some UBE schools lack infrastructural facilities and instructional materials especially in the rural areas; because what passed as schools are make shift structures that look more like farm shades. The facilities on the ground are less encouraging to the very few teachers, who were posted to the areas. Supporting this view, Central Bank of Nigeria (2010) reported that there are inadequate infrastructure and facilities in many schools in Nigeria. Contributing, Ahmed (2003) revealed that in most schools in the country, teaching and learning take place under unconducive environment.
Keywords: ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION
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