The study “assessment of the implementation of universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in North Central geo-political zone of Nigeria” is an attempt to assess the enforcement of the “free and compulsory” UBE Act 2004, impact of the UBE programme in the development of educational consciousness among the citizens, the extent of implementation of UBE Curriculum. The research is necessitated by the need to assess the progressive success and failure in the implementation process, identify bottle necks, and recommend solutions so as to ensure that the programme does not fail. The research which was conducted North-Central Geo- Political zone of Nigeria comprising Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Kwara states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja had six research questions including: To what extent has UBE programme been able to develop strong consciousness and commitment to the vigorous promotion? What is the extent of implementation of UBE curriculum in UBE schools in North central geo-political zone of Nigeria? To what extent has the “free and compulsory” UBE law been enforced in the states in North-Central Geo-political Zone of Nigeria? What is the state of teacher motivation, retraining and retention in primary and Junior Secondary Schools in UBE in North-Central Geo- Political zone of Nigeria? To what extent are teaching materials and infrastructure provided for effective implementation of UBE programme in North-Central Geo-Political zone of Nigeria? What is the quality of UBE teachers in terms of professional training in the various states in North-Central Geo- Political zone of Nigeria? The research had six research hypotheses in line with the research objectives and research questions. Appropriate literature of both empirical and conceptual nature was reviewed in line with the research topic, objectives and hypotheses. The research adopted the descriptive design and used the cross sectional survey method, the target population was 113,077 teachers and 2,951,552 students; while the sample was 400 teachers and 800 students summing up to 1,200 respondents, drawn from Benue, Nasarawa, Niger States and FCT Abuja; the research instrument used was structured questionnaires. The research instruments were administered to the sampled population, collected and analyzed using Mann Whitney and Kruscal Walis tests. The main findings of the study were that in North Central Geo-political Zone: there was significant difference among states in the implementation of the UBE Act (2004) the motivation, retraining and retention of teachers was low; the provision of teaching materials and infrastructure in UBE Schools was low, especially in rural areas; the quality of teachers in UBE programme was low. It was recommended that massive educational awareness strategies be employed to create more awareness in the zone. The use of “enter-educate” approach be employed, the Nigeria Police be empowered to enforce the UBE law, there should be adequate remuneration of UBE teachers, and the introduction of special allowances like rural teachers allowance among others.

Title Page
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of tables
List of Abbreviation

1.1       Background to the Study
1.2       Statement of the Problem
1.3       Objectives of the Study
1.4       Research Questions
1.5       Research Hypotheses
1.6       Basic Assumptions
1.7       Significance of the Study
1.8       Scope of the Study

2.1       Introduction
2.2       Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
2.2.1    UBE Programme: Implication for Education and National Development
2.3       The Concept of Universal Basic Education (UBE)
2.4       Universal Basic Education Act. 2004
2.4.1    Legal Justification for the UBE Act
2.5       UBE as a Reform Programme
2.6       The Home Grown School Feeding and Health Programme
2.7       The Universal Basic Education Commission
2.8       Funding of UBE
2.9       Monitoring and Evaluation of UBE Programme in Nigeria
2.10     Importance of Teacher Motivation and Retention in Schools
2.11     Teacher Motivation Strategies
2.12     Infrastructure/Teaching Materials in UBE
2.12.1  Classification of Teaching/Instructional Materials in UBE
2.12.2  Relevance of Infrastructure and Teaching Materials in UBE Schools
2.13     Teacher Adequacy in UBE Schools
2.14     Curriculum Implementation in UBE
2.14a. Requirements for Effective Curriculum Implementation in UBE Schools in Nigeria
2.14b   Personnel involved in curriculum implementation in UBE in Nigeria
2.14c   Curriculum Implementation Models
2.15     Community Participation in UBE
2.15.1  Some CBOs that Can be Exploited to Enhance UBE Success
2.16     Empirical Studies
2.16.1  Empirical Studies on Availability of Infrastructure / Instructional Materials in UBE Schools
2.16.2  Empirical Studies on Teacher Motivation and Retention in UBE
2.17     Summary of Literature Review

3.1       Introduction
3.2       Research Design
3.3       Population of the Study
3.4       Sample and Sampling Techniques
3.5       Instrumentation
3.5.1    Validity of the Instrument
3.5.2    Pilot Study
3.5.3    Reliability of the Instrument
3.6       Procedure for Data Collection
3.7       Control of Extraneous and  Intervening Variables
3.8       Procedure for Data Analysis

4.1       Introduction
4.2       Descriptive Analysis
4.2.1    Answering of Research Questions
4.3       Inferential Analysis
4.4       Major Findings of the Research
4.5       Discussion of Findings
4.5.1    Implications of the Findings

5.1.      Summary
5.2       Conclusion
5.3       Recommendations
5.4       Suggestions for Further Studies
5.5       Contributions to Knowledge

1.2       Background to the Study
The fact that education has been identified as a veritable instrument for enhancing individual, community and national development can no longer be disputed anywhere. According to National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) it is “an instrument per excellence for enhancing national development”. This perhaps could be why the Nigerian leaders have desired so much to make basic education available to the citizens. (Even free education), knowing that 7 out of every 10 Nigerians live on less than U.S.$1 a day, i.e. 70% of Nigerians live below poverty line National Planning Commission (NPC, 2008).

Nigerian leaders knowing the above and realizing that education is not only investment in human capital but also a pre-requisite as well as correlate for economic development (Ada, 2006) have over the years made concerted attempts to make basic education available to Nigerian citizens. As a matter of fact, many landmark events took place that paved way for the emergence of Universal Basic Education (U.B.E) in Nigeria.

At the international scene, there was declaration of human rights world wide in 1948, which includes the right to education (at least basic education), which was seen as a right for everybody. Also the 1959 U.N. declaration of child rights includes right to basic education and Nigeria is an active member of U.N.O. In 1968 there was an international conference in Paris with “the world crisis in education” as theme. This conference threw its‟ weight to the previous declarations. Another international conference which gave full support to the quest for basic education in Nigeria was the Jomtien World Conference on Education For All (WCEFA) held in 1990.

There was also The E.9 conference for 9 nations that had highest illiteracy rate in the world which Nigeria was in attendance in Delhi 1991. In this conference, the E-9 countries began to initiate ways of improving on their literacy level. Also, the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U) conference of 1992 tagged “Ouagadougou 92”, the O.A.U decade of education in Africa 1997 as well as Durban 1998 conference of commitment to E.F.A all gave boost to U.B.E in Nigeria.

In response to the above conferences, many nations have been making advancement towards providing basic education to their citizens. At the national scene, the quest for basic education in Nigeria dates back to colonial era when Nigerian elites/freedom fighters began to query the quality of education provided in the country by the colonial government. These struggles led to the introduction of free education in the western region in 1955 and closely followed by its adoption in 1957 by the Eastern Region. These free education programmes were called Universal Primary Education (U.P.E) and were restricted to primary schools in 1976, the federal government lunched U.P.E at the national level and it was enjoyed nation wide.

Besides, the 1999 constitution of Nigeria section 18 subsections 1and3 under education stipulates that;

government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy and to this end, government shall as and when practicable provide free and compulsory primary education, free secondary education, free university education and free adult literacy programmes.
This implies that U.B.E came out of a desire to implement the constitutional provision of Nigeria. These antecedents discussed above at both national and international scenes paved way for the launching of the present universal basic education programme in Nigeria on 30th September, 1999.

Universal Basic Education as used in the Nigerian context implies free and compulsory 9 years of basic education for every Nigerian child made up of 6 years of free primary education and 3 years of free junior secondary school.

U.B.E in Nigeria is designed to cater for all children of school age (6-11 years), nomadic population, migrant people in physically isolated settlements, urban slums, adult illiterates, school drop-outs as well as people that may be considered as learners with special needs (Aboyi 2004). It is a programme which Ocheta and Olele (2009) say is a mandatory education policy for Nigerian children irrespective of such bottlenecks and handicaps associated with location, occupation, religion, race and gender. This means that social, cultural, economic, religious and location factors should not be a hindrance to accessibility to basic education to the Nigerian child. This clearly shows that UBE is an attempt at eradicating illiteracy on the Nigerian soil, attempt at achieving education for all (EFA), a step towards realization of millennium development goals (MDGs) and an attempt at putting every Nigerian child at the threshold of reaping the dividends of national and global technological break through. While addressing the education mini-summit in November 1999, the then Education Minister (Prof Tunde Adeniran) said, “the critical issues that require the attention of UBE are access, equity and quality basic education.....

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