SCHOOL COUNSELLOR AND PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION OF THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION (UBE) PROGRAMME
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Grassroots education is imperative if economic development is to be actualized. Therefore, it becomes necessary to study the primary school teachers’ perception of the Universal Basic Education (UBE). This study attempted to find out the primary school teachers’ perception of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme and their perceived contribution towards the success of the programme. It further examined how favorable perception towards the scheme could be a catalyst in the successful implementation of the UBE. To accomplish this task, two research questions and a hypothesis were raised to guide the study. The opinion of 200 teachers, The respondents were randomly selected. The questionnaire was used for data collection. A significant difference existed among primary school teachers in their perception and operation of the UBE scheme.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of problem
1.3 Objective of the study
1.4 Research Hypotheses
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
1.7 Definition of terms
1.8 Organization of the study
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
3.0 Research methodology
3.1 sources of data collection
3.3 Population of the study
3.4 Sampling and sampling distribution
3.5 Validation of research instrument
3.6 Method of data analysis
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
4.2 Data analysis
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Each year, about 130 million primary school-age children are denied access to education. Two-thirds of them are girls (UNICEF, 1999). More than 150 million children start primary school but drop out of school before they have completed five years of education (UNICEF, 1999). It is estimated that one in five individuals in the developing world will still be illiterate in 2010 (UNESCO, 1997). Less than two percent of children with disabilities in developing countries are included in formal education (Walkins, 2000).Education remains a social process in capacity building and maintenance of society. It could be seen as a weapon for acquiring skills, relevant knowledge and habits for survival in an ever changing world. Education seem to be identified as a dynamic instrument of change, hence developed countries and those aspiring to develop have adopted it as an instrument per excellence for effecting national development (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). Education is a tool that enhances capacity building and is responsible for the maintenance of society for decades. It is a weapon for acquiring skills, relevant knowledge and habits for surviving in the changing world. Nigeria, as a nation, needs the education of its citizens, in her onward march to technological development. The emphasis placed on education cannot be over-emphasized. It therefore needs the collective effort of all citizens to eradicate illiteracy which is dangerous, and vulnerable to the populace. However, Agada (2002) noted that education may not do the magic overnight but it would go a long way towards achieving global awareness whereby the populace would know the dynamics of what exists in their societies. This is true because education has been regarded as the highest precursor of democracy dividends. Yoloye (2004) observed that, the concept of basic education is not a completely new term to the Nigerian society and that within the last decade; it has assumed a global significance and its meanings have been broadened. The expanded vision of UBE comprises the universalizing of access and promotion of equity, focusing on learning and enhancing the environment of learning and strengthening partnerships. To enhance faithful compliance of the covenant and make the UBE programme relevant to the socio-cultural environment, the UBE has had its objectives defined. The universal basic education is a response to section 19 of 1989 Nigeria constitution which reads: “Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate education opportunities at all levels”.It is pertinent to mention that the said 1989 constitution suffered a ‘still birth’ as it was never put to use. However, that section was replicated as section 18(1) of the current 1999 constitution because the goals of the UBE programme are to universalize access to basic education, engender a conducive learning environment and eradicate illiteracy in Nigeria within the shortest possible time (Babalola, 2009). Furthermore, in September 2000, 189 world leaders met at the Millennium Summit and committed themselves and their countries to eight goals known as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) aimed at meeting the needs of the world’s poorest people (UNDP, 2005). These goals resulted from deliberations on how to make significant, measurable improvements to people’s lives, with the ultimate objective of reducing poverty throughout the world. The eight goals, which are to be met in partnership with the world’s leading development institutions by the target date of 2015 are to: eradicate extreme hunger and poverty; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and, develop a global partnership for development. For each of these goals, the world leaders established yardsticks for measuring results, not just for the developing countries but also for the developed countries that assist in providing the funds for development programmes, and for the multilateral institutions that help countries implement them (UNDP, 2005). The attainment of these goals has been a challenge to the nations of the world and significant progress has been recorded worldwide (United Nations, 2005). The progress made has, however, not been uniform across the world, or with respect to specific goals. It has been observed that Sub-Saharan African countries are lagging well behind. These countries still have continuing food insecurity, rising extreme poverty, high child and maternal mortality and a large number of people are still living in slums. The Federal Government of Nigeria faces the challenge of meeting the MDGs, and believes (rightly) that the attainment of the goals will be put in jeopardy as long as the human and material resources of the country remain untapped. One of the strategies adopted by the country in her multi-pronged approach towards attaining these goals and meeting the needs of people is the empowerment of people through education. Early and ambitious investment in basic education is also endorsed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for its capacity to foster gender equity and sustained economic growth. Investing in any form of education, however, can only have the intended impact if there are well articulated policies which are effectively implemented. The National Policy on Education, from which the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) derives its establishment clearly states the objectives of Nigerian education and indicates that the philosophy of the nation’s education is based on the integration of the individual into a sound and effective citizen and the provision of equal opportunities for all citizens at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels inside and outside the formal school system. The curricula for the various levels therefore aim at fulfilling the objectives of the policy. The basic education (primary) is given emphasis because it is at this level that a sound educational foundation ought to be laid. Education at this level (primary) is expected to develop permanent literacy and numeracy and the laying of a sound base for scientific reflective thinking (Fayose, 1995).
The introduction of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programmes is aimed at reforming specifically, the basic education sector and the Nigerian Education sector in general. One of the objectives of the blueprint for the basic education sector according to Adediran (2003) is, “enhancing and energizing the curricular and its delivery. However, the Federal Ministry of Education succinctly described the position of schools in Nigeria in a paper it presented at a 3- day Donor Agencies Co-ordination meeting describing the education sector as one of the most obvious areas of decay in Nigerian social services. Adebayo (2010:17) noted that: …schools at all levels are inadequate and as such are overcrowded with a teacher-pupil ratio of 1:76 in some urban areas. Educational structures have deteriorated, a situation that became pronounced in the last 10 years, while schools have been criticised for their curriculum relevance and mismanagement resulting in high dropout and low completion rates. This comment coming from the Federal Ministry of Education, though not new, still gives room for concern about the success of the U.B.E. Scheme more especially that little or nothing has been done to correct the situation. However, the concern of this study is not about inadequate classrooms or over-population, although they are no less important to UBE success, its focus is on the stakeholders of the programme. The UBE Information Handbook (UBEC, 2009) listed the key stakeholders as: Federal Ministry of Education (FMOE) and State Ministries of Education (SMOEs), UBE Commission, National and State Legislatures, State Universalbasic Education Boards (SUBEBs), Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs), Host Communities of Basic Education Institutions, Traditional rulers/community leaders and, Schools (their Administrators and School Management Committees). Others are Parents, Teachers, Learners (Basic 1-9), Judiciary and law
enforcement Agencies, Private Sectors/corporate organizations, Non-Governmental organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs including Faith Based Organizations FBOs), and the Media These stakeholders have a significant role to play in the successful implementation of the UBE programme. About ten years after inception of the programme, the literacy rate in the country is still 57% (Babalola, 2009). There seems to be disparities in the quality and access to education in the country particularly the North-central geopolitical zone. This situation, if not addressed, could cripple future educational policy plans of the country. There is a claim that so far, the programme has focused on eliminating failure and has made progress particularly in the areas of development of infrastructure, the supply of teachers, and the improvement of instructional facilities. The programme has also been acclaimed to have succeeded in building partnership for educational development (Mobolaji, 2002; www.nigeriafirst.org 2003 & Abu, 2004). In the area of quality education, a committee has been set up to review and enrich basic education curricula to meet individual and national needs. The World Bank is among the group of institutions that the Federal Government has entered into partnership for the implementation of its UBE scheme. One may ask; how valid are these claims and how pervading are these efforts in the North-Central zone of Nigeria? This research is geared towards the need to ascertain the progress and on-the-ground assessment of the UBE through appraisal of stakeholders’ perception on the implementation of UBE program in the North-central zone of Nigeria. From the foregoing, it is quite clear that there is a global campaign for education. It has been observed that there is no universally accepted definition for the word “education” right from Plato to the present day. The definition varies according to the individual perception of life or his sociopolitical and the culture of the community. Nevertheless, there are components of education, which are common to all societies and cultures. Based on the above observations, education has been defined in many ways.
Ehiametalor (1985) defines education “as the acquisition of knowledge, the aggregate of all processes through which a person develops ability, skills, attitudes and other forms of behaviour with posilive value in the society in which he lives”. Majasan (1995) sees education as a life long process, which enhances the individual’s quality of life, builds up his personality and enables him to contribute effectively to the development of his society at any stage of his life career. Dewey (1924) defines education as a process of fostering, nurturing, cultivating a process. All these words mean that it implies attention to the condition of growth. We also speak of rearing, raising, bringing upwards which express the different levels which education aims to cover. Etymologically, the word education means just a process of leading or bringing up. When we have the outcome of the process in mind, we speak of education as shaping, forming, molding activity – that is shaping into the standard form of social activity. Education, therefore, entails more than acquisition of knowledge, it is the aggregate of one’s ability, skills, attitudes, values, perception and acceptable pattern of behaviour by the society. Apart from parents who are involved in the process of moulding of the child, the teachers have important roles to play.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The new universal basic education programme has good and enviable objectives for the revival of the ailing educational system in Nigeria. As lofty as the objectives are, the effects are not seen in the educational outcome of students in terms of performance. Many reasons may be responsible for this situation. Amongst them may be the attitude of teachers who are meant to implement the programme in the class room. The extent to which teachers are adequately prepared to impliment the programme, will determine the success of the programme. The role of the teacher therefore is indispensable. This paper therefore intends to find out the perception of teachers on the new UBE as it affects their willingness to implement it. The findings will bring some clarity to the obstacles militating against the effective implementation of the programme.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to examine the perception of relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the UBE programme in Uvwie local government area of Delta state, Nigeria. Specifically, the study was to: 1. examine the perception of School Administrators (head teachers) on the implementation of the UBE
2. Determine the perception of parents on the adequacy of human resources for effective UBE programme;
3. Determine the perception of head teachers on the adequacy of funding for effective UBE programme.
4. Determine the factors militating against the implementation of UBE in Uvwie local government area of Delta state
Ho: There is no significant difference between male and female teachers perception of the Universal basic education programme as an educational reform policy.
Hi: There is a significant difference between male and female teachers perception of the Universal basic education programme as an educational reform policy.
Ho: There is no significant difference between rural and urban teachers perception on the Universal Basic Education programme as an education reform policy
Hi: There is a significant difference between rural and urban teachers perception on the Universal Basic Education programme as an education reform policy.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study can be seen in the light of the fact that education plays a major role in the total well being of the individual and that of society. It connotes values that should be desired and as such no sacrifice made to achieve it will be too much. Educationwill enable the individual to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life as well as contribute to the social, economic and political development of their societies. Therefore, the variety of opinions from the respondents, that is, teachers, head teachers, SUBEB officials and Education secretaries would help in reactivating the government in the mobilization and participation of the community, provisions of adequate physical, human and material resources for the implementation of the UBE programme.It is also hoped that, the public would be able to define the significance of the UBE programme as an instrument for effecting national development. Thus, the outcome will reveal the extent to which the community is mobilized and enlightened in the area of increasing pupil’s enrolment and retention in schools. The result of the research findings would improve upon the expanded vision of the Universal Basic Education program in promoting equity, access to learning, enhancing a conducive environment for learning and strengthening partnership. Therefore, the beneficiaries of this study are educational administrators, policy makers, research centres, curriculum planners, teachers and the nation at large. Specifically, the outcome of the study will assist the educational planner to know the deficiencies or other wise of the programme and guide against it in subsequent plans. Policy makers too, will benefit immensely from the outcome of this study for it is not enough to churn out policies but that, those strategies for its effective implementation is equally important.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study was aim at evaluating the school counsellor and primary school teachers’ perception of the essential requirements for the successful implementation of the universal basic education (UBE) programme particular in Uvwie local government area of Delta state.
The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.7 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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