This study evaluated the implementation of UBE programme in primary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. To guide this study five research questions were posed and five null-hypotheses were formulated. The design of the study was a descriptive survey design. The population comprised of 2,673 made up of 238 head teachers and 2,435 teachers of UBE primary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. The sample constituted of 40 head teachers and 80 teachers drawn from 3 local government areas of the zone. A total of 360 respondents participated in the study. A 30-item questionnaire was used for data collection. Mean rating and t-test were used in answering the research questions and testing of the null-hypothesis respectively. 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 government should recruit more teaching staff for the primary schools and provide adequate training incentives, infrastructural facilities, instructional materials and funding for the effective implementation of the UBE programme in the schools in Nsukka Education Zone.

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 to provide 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 Olusegun Obasanjo 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, un-interrupted 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.....

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