ASSESSMENT OF THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION (UBE) PROGRAMME IN THE SOUTH-EAST AND SOUTH-SOUTH GEOPOLITICAL ZONES OF NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This study examined the implementation of the Universal Basic Education Programme in the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones. The study employed evaluative survey design. The population of the study comprised of 7,563 head teachers and UBE teachers. Four research questions and one hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. The instrument for data collection was questionnaire titled: Universal Basic Education Implementation Questionnaire (UBEIQ). The research questions were answered using mean while T-test statistic was used to text the hypothesis at 0.05 level of significance. The study found that facilities needed for the implementation of UBE scheme in Imo and Akwa Ibom States are not adequate. Also, it was revealed that the opinion of respondents vary on the quality of teachers required for the implementation of the UBE in Imo and Akwa Ibom States. Similarly, it was found that several management challenges such as inadequate provision of facilities and enrolment of large number of pupils confront the implementation of the UBE scheme in Imo and Akwa Ibom States. Among the recommendations were that the government should do more to improve the quality of materials/facilities available for the implementation of the UBE scheme; suitably qualified teachers should be employed to maintain high standard of education in the UBE schools; efforts should be made to address the issue of poor funding of the scheme; and that, arrangements should be made to adequately cater for the large number of pupils that enrol in the scheme so as to avoid having over-crowded classrooms.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Table of Content
List of Tables
Abstract

Chapter One: Introduction
Background to the Study
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Significance of the Study
Scope of the Study
Research Questions
Hypothesis

Chapter Two: Review of Literature
Concept of Basic Education
National Policy on Education
Universal Primary Education
Concept of Universal Basic Education (UBE)
Global Forerunners of UBE
Legal Framework for UBE Programme in Nigeria
Objectives of UBE
Guideline for the Implementation of UBE
The Scope and Agencies of UBE
Donor Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations involved in UBE
Quality of Teachers as a Critical Factor in UBE
Infrastructural Problems
Management Challenges for the UBE
Theoretical Framework
Review of Empirical Studies on UBE
Summary of Literature Review

Chapter Three: Research Method
Design of the Study
Area of the Study
Population of the study
Sample and Sampling Technique
Instrument for Data Collection
Validation of the Instrument
Reliability of the Instrument
Method of Data Collection
Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four: Results

Chapter Five: Discussion, Conclusion, Implications, Limitations, Suggestions, Recommendations and Summary
Discussion of Findings
Implications of the Study
Limitations of the Study
Suggestions for Further Reading
Recommendations
Summary
Conclusion
References
Appendices

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study
Goal two of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which was adopted by the international community in the year 2000 proposed that by 2015, all children of school age should have free, affordable and accessible education. This goal is in response to the world conference of Education For All (EFA) held in Jomitten, Thailand from 5th to 9th March, 1990. This conference was the major trigger for the commencement of basic education (Edho, 2009). The conference, which was well attended, came out with a blue print document entitled ‘World Declaration on Education For All’ and framework of actions to meet basic learning needs (FGN/UNICEF, 2003).

Nigeria as a member of the international community became encouraged to set up educational activities to achieve EFA goals. EFA in Nigeria could be traced back to the introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) in the 1950’s in two of the then regions of the country and at the national level in 1976. Denga (2000:12) declared that “our memories may be flashed back to 1950 when the universal declaration of human rights asserted that every one has the right to education”. The right to education by citizens of school age in Nigeria has witnessed a renewed determination by the government to achieve it well before 2015 as Obasanjo (2006:1) puts it; “educating a child is closing the prison gates’. The strength of EFA cannot be overemphasized as the future of the child and nation at large depends on educational gains.


The National Policy on Education (2004) attest to Nigeria’s commitment to EFA in particular and basic education for all as each of the four policies introduced in Nigeria lays emphasis on universal, functional and qualitative education. The guiding principles of EFA in Nigeria is the “ equipping of every citizen with knowledge, skills, attitude and values as well as enable him/her derive maximum benefit from his membership of society as thus, lead a fulfilling life (FGN, 2004).

The determination of the government under the leadership of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to achieve EFA by 2015 saw the introduction of the UBE programme. Launched at Sokoto on the 30th day of September 1999, the programme actually took off in the 2000/2001 school year. The launch became necessary as the Obasanjo-led government came into power in 1999 and met an educational system that was in a state of decay (FGN, 2004). Teachers were poorly trained and motivated, high rate of illiteracy as a consequence of high dropout rates, poor infrastructure conditions in schools. Thus, the introduction of the UBE came as a result to positively transform the nation’s basic education sub-sector (FGN, 2004) and to meet the context of the global vision of EFA. The UBE aims at equipping individuals with knowledge (Obinaju, 2001).

According to the Compulsory, Free Education Bill which was passed into law in 2004, basic education means early childhood care education and nine years of formal schooling. Therefore, basic education embraces formal schooling and a variety of formal and informal public and private educational programmes designed to meet the learning needs of people irrespective of age. Also, basic education within the framework of UBE comprises of early childhood and pre-primary education, primary education, the first three years of secondary education, basic and functional literacy for school children, youths and adults, nomadic education among others.

The objectives of the UBE scheme as contained in the UBE Act (2004:19) include:

developing in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion; the provision of free, Universal Basic Education for every Nigerian child of school going age; reducing drastically the incidence of drop-out from the formal school system, through improved relevance, quality and efficiency; catering for the learning needs of young persons who, for one reason or another, have had to interrupt their schooling through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the provision and promotion of basic education; and, ensuring the acquisition of appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative, communicative and life skills as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying a solid foundation for life-long learning.

The plan is to make provision for 9 years of compulsory education that would cover primary

and junior secondary levels. The objectives contained in the UBE Act are in consonance with

that stipulated by the Federal Government of Nigeria (2000:3) gave the following as:

Formal basic education encompassing the first nine years of schooling (primary and junior secondary education) for all children; nomadic education for school-age children of pastoral nomads and migrant fishermen; and, non-formal education for out of school children, youths and literate adults.

Granted that the UBE scheme is free and compulsory, it carries with it some

inevitable obligations, problems and issues that cannot be overlooked. Universal or mass

education requires that the three tiers of government, non-governmental agencies, private

individuals and international organizations to provide human and material resources as well

as funding.

By virtue of being in the concurrent list, primary education can be legislated on by the

Federal, State and Local Governments. A people-oriented government will prioritize the

equipment of primary schools with new structures as well as oversee the maintenance of

already existing ones. The government, therefore, has to provide classrooms, construct new

buildings, provide books and writing materials as well as all other things needed for teaching

and learning in the primary schools.

The government is also required, under the principles of the UBE programme, to

provide textbooks, pencils, diaries, desks, chairs, chalk-board, as well as visual and audio....

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