AN EVALUATION OF THE CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SENIOR BASIC EDUCATION
1.1 Background Of The Study
Universal Basic Education, as defined by the Federal Ministry of Education (1999), comprises primary, junior secondary, and nomadic education, as well as adult literacy. Its objective is to ensure that all children in Nigerian society have access to nine years of schooling, from primary one to junior secondary school three (JSS 111). In other words, universal basic education encompasses both low-level and upper-level basic education. Primary schools are classified as low-level basic, whereas junior high schools are classified as upper-level basic (Ude, 2009). One of the primary reasons for implementing the Universal Basic Education scheme is that Nigeria is a signatory to the 1990 geometry declaration of education for all (EFA) by the year 2000 and a member of the group of countries dedicated to the ultimate elimination of illiteracy (Omeke, 2012).
As such, Universal Basic Education is designed to be both universal and mandatory. According to Obanya (2000), these criteria mean that enough opportunities for the basic education of every Nigerian kid of school-going age up to JSS 3 shall be given. This implies that all Nigerian children should have access to a basic education. As a result, Nigeria is one of the nations that signed the 2000 Dakar Framework of Action to provide universal access to education (EFA) by 2015. According to Fabunmi (2004), basic education programs were established in response to the populace’s level of awareness and general education. The UBE scheme was established to care for a large population of disadvantaged groups, including nomadic people, and to increase overall access to education. According to Jaibeoba (2007), basic education lays the groundwork for lifelong learning. It teaches reading, writing, and skills (FRN, 2004).
Basic education is the sort of education (in terms of both quality and content) that is provided at the primary level of education. This concept varies per nation. In the past, basic education in Nigeria was equated with six years of primary schooling. At the moment, basic education has been expanded to encompass three years of junior secondary school (FRN, 2004). According to Rediana (2014), universal basic education (UBE) encompasses formal education up to the age of 15, as well as adult and non-formal education, as well as education for underprivileged groups within Nigerian society (FRN, 2004). The primary objective of Universal Basic Education is to lay the groundwork for lifelong learning by instilling appropriate learning, self-awareness, and civic and life skills.
However, from the scheme’s inception, its execution has been poorly managed, resulting in certain difficulties. According to Vanessa (2010), the Universal Basic Education scheme has not met its objectives due to implementation challenges such as insufficient teacher training, inadequate supervision and monitoring of the scheme, insufficient funds, corruption, insufficient facilities, and inaccurate statistical data. According to Ebuoh (2004), the primary players in the implementation of Universal Basic Education are teachers and the government. According to Ebuoh (2004), teachers face a variety of children, including a lack of sufficient classrooms for Universal Basic Education students, inadequate facilities, insufficiently qualified teachers, low student performance on public examinations, an inadequate supply of teaching materials, planning and execution difficulties, and funding difficulties for Universal Basic Education.
Thus, it is critical that certain practical strategies be followed to ensure the success of the UBE program. Numerous educational policies and strategies have sought, with little success, to address problems of access, equality, pretense, quality improvement, absenteeism, dropout rates, inadequate learning, irregular attendance, and underachievement (FRN, 2004). The scenario necessitates the development of more effective strategies for achieving the government’s Universal Basic Education goals and objectives. At this point, strategies for implementing the UBE program effectively include financial strategies, supervisory strategies, and teacher training strategies. Ezeocha (1985) argued in favour of these strategies, stating that managing any system or project without appropriate funding is an uphill battle that might result in failure or dissatisfaction on the job. Thus, the fund plays a critical role in operating and implementing Universal Basic Education. In other words, the successful implementation of Universal Basic Education is contingent upon funding availability. Additionally, Ejike (2008) identifies the following strategies that may be beneficial in implementing UBE: provision of school libraries; recruitment of trained teachers; supply of classroom facilities; and supervision and monitoring of the scheme by the UBE board. This will surely ensure the program’s effectiveness at the upper level of basic education, which is junior secondary three (JSS 3).
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
The critical role of junior secondary school education in achieving Nigeria’s educational objectives cannot be overstated. Despite the efforts of the Nigerian government in introducing universal basic education, education at this level seems unsatisfactory owing to the education’s poor execution at the junior secondary school level (Ekene, 2011). Dissatisfaction with the UBE program’s implementation in junior secondary schools in Gombe state is manifested in the following areas: inadequate teaching facilities and materials, inadequate funding, insufficient planning, monitoring, and evaluation, a lack of high productivity in junior secondary schools, poor teacher performance (untrained and insufficient teachers), and inaccurate statistical data collection (Michel, 2013).
These issues, by all accounts, obstruct the correct and successful execution of UBE programming in Gombe state, rendering the program’s objectives unreachable and unachievable. As a result, the need for developing strategies for the efficient implementation of senior basic education in Gombe state becomes critical. As a result, this study focuses on the problems and strategies for implementing senior basic education effectively.
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The overall aim of this study is to critically evaluate the challenges and strategies for effective implementation of the senior basic education. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;
1. Determine whether senior basic education is being implemented in Gombe State.
2. Identify the factors impeding the effective implementation of universal senor basic education Gombe State.
3. Ascertain the strategies required for effective implementation of universal senor basic education Gombe State.
1.4 Research Question
The study will be guided by the following questions
- Is the senior basic education being implemented secondary schools in Gombe State?
- What are the factors impeding the effective implementation of universal senor basic education Gombe State?
- What are the strategies required for effective implementation of universal senor basic education Gombe State?
1.5 Significance Of The Study
The findings of this study have both theoretical and practical significance. The study was hinged on human relations theory. This is because of its central idea that the human factor is of great relevance in the achievement of an organizational goal. The important of teachers and principals in the implementation of UBE in junior secondary schools cannot be over looked. This is because the effective implementation of UBE program in junior secondary schools demands direct involvement of all the academic staff of the junior secondary level of education.
The findings of this study will also be beneficial to the following: School administrators, teachers, communities, state government and non-governmental agencies, students and researchers.The information provided by this study will enable school administrators adopt the best strategies for the implementation of educational programmes in Gombe State and in the nation as a whole.
The findings of this study will enable teachers to realize their roles in the implementation of educational programme. The findings of this study will also be of immense benefit to the state government who, it is hoped, will derive good knowledge on how to treat secondary school staffs’ (teachers and principals) who are the core implementers of UBE program for an effective result.
The study will also reveal to communities and non-government agencies, which are stakeholders in the implementation of Universal Basic Education programmers on the objectives of Universal Basic Education and need to improve its implementation at the junior secondary school (JSS 3) level of education.
The study will expose to teachers who are Universal Basic Education policy implementers in the classroom to imbibe new strategies they will use in the delivery of instruction. The study will also be of great benefit to the students, it will enable them to discover the aim and relevance of Universal Basic Education programme of which they are central figure.
The information provided by this study will also enable both the community and non-governmental agencies to know the prospects of UBE programmes. This will encourage them to support financially to the needs of the school for effective production.
Finally, the study will provide the base for other researchers who wish to carry out research in this field.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This study is structured to generally evaluate the challenges and strategies for effective implementation of the senior basic education. However, the study will further determine whether senior basic education is being implemented in Gombe State, identify the factors impeding the effective implementation of universal senor basic education Gombe State, and ascertain the strategies required for effective implementation of universal senor basic education Gombe State.
This study will be delimited to 5 selected secondary schools in Gombe State.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
Universal Basic Education: This encompasses primary, junior secondary and nomadic education as well as adult literacy is aimed at enabling all children in the Nigeria society to participate in the 9 years of schooling from primary one to Junior Secondary School three (JSS 111).
Implementation: The process of putting a decision or plan into effect; execution
Challenges: Difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.