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Abstract
This study centred on evaluating the status of teaching standards in Universal Basic Education schools: a case study of selected primary schools in Akaure Local Government Area. The UBE was launched in Nigeria to address the problems that brought about the failures of the previous educational policies and programmes that existed before it. The decision of the Federal and State Governments to leave the responsibility of managing primary education to the local government council brought about the down turn of the standard and quality of primary education as the pupils’ enrolment and attendance started to decline. Survey design was adopted for the study. The population of the study is 200. Data for this study were collected through the use of questionnaire to illicit response from the respondents. The data collected were analyzed using Chi-Square. The major findings revealed that unconducive environment for teaching and learning, insufficient classrooms for students, delay in paying teacher salaries, inadequate facilities to help achieve instructional objectives, poor teacher preparation and qualifications. Suggestions were made by respondents and additional recommendations were suggested by the researchers to ensure and improve teachers’ standards in U.B.E schools.
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
The Universal Basic Education scheme was launched in Nigeria in September 1999 to address the challenges that faced the previous educational policies and programmes in the country. The sole aim of the scheme was to address the agitations and yearnings of the Nigerian people for an educational system that would be more reliable and relevant to the socioeconomic, political and cultural background of the citizens. Education is generally concerned with the transmission of worthwhile values such as skills, knowledge and planned activities that can develop learners’ potentials for national development (Ochoyi and Danladi, 2008).
Education in Nigeria is faced with poor levels of teaching and learning and prevalent moral decadence in the society. These conditions reduces the teaching standards and increases the level of examination malpractices, high school dropout, cultism, and other vices as indicated in a 2006 report by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME). Ogunsaju (2004) stated that the academic standard in all Nigeria educational institutions fell considerably below societal expectations. Blumende (2001) corroborated this view when he reported that the decline in the quality of education in Nigeria cannot be ignored by anyone who is aware of the significant role of education as an instrument of societal transformation and development.
The complex and conflicting nature of education system in Nigeria led to so many trials and errors in the smooth running of schools right from primary to tertiary level largely due to inconsistence and lack of continuity in formulating education policy objectives and the methods employed to realize such objectives (Asemota, 1999). It is an open secret that the education system bequeathed to us by the colonial masters was tailored towards achieving narrow minded political objectives in which the emphasis was to produce white collar jobs for immediate post independent elites (Ajayi, 2004). However, the idea to introduce Universal Primary Education (U.P.E) was first nurtured by the then regional government of Western Nigeria in 1955 as a last resort for a massive expansion of education services to the generality of school age children in the area (Boyd and King, 1989). Consequently, the concept of U.P.E later became the watchword in the other regions as a political idea to satisfy the yearning and aspirations of their people in a slogan called, “Educational Services for All”.
Subsequently, and in line with the new revenue formula introduced in 1981, the Federal Government withdrew itself from funding primary education. Many state Governments realizing that they would not fund the scheme also left the management to the Local Government councils (Ibukun, 2004). This singular action of the Federal Government led to the down turn of the standard and quality of primary education as classrooms built for the UPE intake began to collapse, and could not be rehabilitated. The pupils’ enrolment and attendance started to decline. Instructional materials and equipment became scarce in the schools (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999). In the same vein, teachers’ salaries and allowances were not paid for several months. The whole system witnessed an unprecedented deterioration, when it was under the supervision of the Local Government councils, which echoed in every part of the country manifesting itself in the form of poor funding and gross mismanagement (Fafunwa, 1983). Such crisis and conflict in the running of primary education necessitated the introduction and the reintroduction of National Primary Education Commission (NPEC) through Decree No. 31 of 1988 and No. 96 of 1993 respectively. The introduction and reintroduction of the commission though short lived had contributed greatly in the areas of prompt payment of teachers’ salaries and allowances, renovation and rehabilitation of infrastructures, mobilization for community participation and the provision of teaching and learning material (Maduewesi, 2001). The launching of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) by the former Head of State Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at Sokoto state on 30th September, 1999 is a clear testimony of the fact that the civilian administration is also very much concerned about the general improvement of primary and junior secondary education which is the bedrock of future educational endeavours (Nwagwu, 2004). However, in order to ensure the success of the programme, adequate measures should be taken to avoid the past mistakes of the U.P.E. thus, aspects of staff welfare, provision of infrastructure, teacher training and retraining, proper utilization of curriculum as well as management and funding should be given top priority (Obanya, 2006).
Teachers are the main determinants of quality in education and are expected to be effective and committed. Hanushek and Rivkin, (2004) describe effective teachers as consistently obtaining good results from students, while ineffective teachers produce low learning growth. Therefore, according to Richard (2002), a quality teacher is said to be an effective teacher. Studies, such as Richard (2002) and Ferguson (1991) focused on investigating total teacher effectiveness revealed that in a single school year, students who were assigned to an effective teacher could gain a full grade level more than those students who were assigned to an ineffective teacher. Therefore, their studies’ observations defined quality teachers in a way that is of most interest to student achievement gain which is the main aim of education. This is also affirmed in Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (2006) that no educational system can rise above the quality of the teachers in the system. In other words, the quality of teachers in an educational system determines the quality of the system because teachers are policy implementers.
A teacher is a person whose occupation is teaching others especially children. A teacher is also someone who instructs others or provides activities, materials and guidance that facilitate learning in either formal or informal situation. Per Ighohiro (2012), teachers are those who mold student character, personality and show students the right direction to success. Ryan and Cooper (1998) explain that a teacher must demonstrate a repertoire of teaching skills that are believed to facilitate students learning and must display attitudes that foster learning and genuine human relationship. They emphasize that teachers are required to make many decisions as they plan for instruction, implement teaching strategies, and evaluate outcome of their planning and strategies.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The decision of the Federal and State Governments to leave the responsibility of managing primary education to the local government council brought about the down turn of the standard and quality of primary education as classrooms built for the UPE intake began to collapse, and could not be rehabilitated. The pupils’ enrolment and attendance started to decline. Instructional materials and equipment became scarce in the schools. In the same vein, teachers’ salaries and allowances were not paid for several months. The whole system witnessed an unprecedented deterioration, when it was under the supervision of the Local Government councils, which echoed in every part of the country manifesting itself in the form of poor funding and gross mismanagement.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the status of teaching standards in universal basic education schools. The specific objectives of this study are to;
i) Ascertains the role of U.B.E programme in educational development in Kaura Local Government Area.
ii) Identify the effects of introduction of universal basic education programme to teaching standards in Nigeria.
iii) Assess the rate at which U.B.E programme has contributed to educational development in in Kaura Local Government Area.
iv) Determine the factors that affect teacher quality practices; and identify strategies that would improve teaching standards in U.B.E schools.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated by the researcher to guide the study;
1. Does Universal basic education programme play any significant role in educational development in Kaura Local Government Area?
2. Does Universal basic education programme has any positive effect in educational development in Kaura Local Government Area?
3. Has the introduction of universal basic education scheme motivated teachers to improve on their teaching standards in U.B.E schools?
4. What is the level of contribution of universal basic education programme to educational development in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H0: Universal basic education programme played no significant role in educational development in Kaura Local Government Area.
H1: Universal basic education programme played a significant role in educational development in Kaura Local Government Area.
H0: Universal basic education programme has no positive effect in educational development in Nigeria.
H2: Universal basic education programme has a positive effect in educational development in Kaura Local Government Area.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is often imperative to find out what will be the significance of any endeavor, be it academic or otherwise. Which is also true in this study as it became pertinent to outline the significance of this study to improve quality education in U.B.E schools.
Therefore, it is anticipated that the findings of this study will be of benefit to educational policy makers, school proprietors, teachers, and pupils. The findings of this study hope to help make improved decisions that foster teacher quality practices and student achievement gains. As a result, students may be offered better learning opportunities once teacher teaching standards is improved. Also the findings of this study will serve as a reference material for students from the faculty of education in the near future.
1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
Good teaching is at the heart of good schooling. Therefore, the quality of teacher preparation is crucial to helping students reach high academic standards. To provide quality education for all students, teacher quality practices in schools should be of high standard as teachers are the key to quality education. The study on evaluating the status of teaching standards in U.B.E schools tends to be broad in nature as it investigates some of the factors that reduce teaching standards in Nigeria. The researcher therefore centered this research to some selected U.B.E schools in Kaura Local Government Area in Kaduna State. In the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some limitations which limited the scope of the study;
Staff Reluctance: In most cases non-teaching staffs and teachers in the study area, often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This result in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.
Researcher’s Commitment: The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also another hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to long hands in several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Status: This is professional position, standing or the situation at a particular time during a process.
Teachers: A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.
Teaching standards: A teacher is expected to demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct. Teachers must have proper and professional regard for the ethos, policies and practices of the school in which they teach, and maintain high standards in their own attendance and punctuality.
Academic Achievement: Academic achievement or performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Cumulative GPA and completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement.

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