This research examines school dropout and the management challenges in implementation of UBE programme in Kaura Local Government of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Out of the population of 2728 teachers headteachers and senior administrators a sample of 278 teachers headteachers and senior administrators was drawn through simple random sampling technique. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study. Four research questions were posed and four hypothesis were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Two different instruments for data collection were used the Universal Basic Education Implementation Assessment Questionnaire for Headteachers and Teachers UBEIAQ(H&T)and Universal Basic Education Implementation Assessment Questionnaire for Chairman and Directors UBEIAQ(C&D). Research findings revealed that teachers provision for the effective implementation of the UBE programme was inadequate. The findings also revealed that infrastructural facilities provision was inadequate for the implementation of the UBE programme. The findings revealed that for quality instruction delivery, textbooks and instructional materials are necessary. Finding reveal that Funding for the effective implementation of the UBE programme was not adequately provided according to the evidence from this study. The findings from this study imply that children in primary schools will not enjoy quality instruction owing to the fact that effective instructional materials and qualified personnel are not adequately provided. It was therefore recommended that Government should ensure that teachers are trained and routine teacher recruitment exercises should be conducted on a regular basis to meet the manpower needs of the basic education subsector. Government should build more schools and ensure that the needed infrastructural facilities like classrooms, offices, libraries, workshops, playfields, etc are put in place. Government should also provide enough textbooks and instructional materials to adequately cater for the needs of all the primary schools under the UBE scheme. The Federal Government should adequately fund the educational system in line with UNESCO’s recommendation of 26% of annual budgetary allocation to education. For further studies this study should be replicated in other Local Government of the State so as to establish a more valid generalization of the findings.
1.1 THE BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Primary schools in Nigeria are established for the purpose of inculcating in pupils, permanent literacy, numeracy, ability to communicate effectively, laying a sound basis for scientific, reflective thinking and providing basic tools for further educational advancement in life. However, during the course of pupils’ studies to contain these noble objectives, they do encounter a lot of challenges which are personal, social and educational in nature. Education enables them to make their own decisions and to influence their families positively. Education saves and improves the lives of children. It allows them greater control of their lives and provides them with skills to contribute to their societies.
Entrance into, reaction and completion of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme enables the acquisition of basic literacy and numeracy skills as provided by the National Policy on Education (NPE). It also leads to positive attitudinal changes that can benefit the family, community and the nation (FGN, 2004). The attainment of basic education brings benefit to the pupils by widening their horizon. It provides life-time opportunities for self development. It also leads to stronger families, better health for both parents and pupils and contribution to governance World Bank as cited in Kane, (2004).Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme introduced by the military administration of Obasanjo on 9th September, 1976. This programme which took off with enthusiasm and high expectations of meeting the felt socio-economic needs of the country crashed midway. Its failure was attributed to a number of factors such as financial problems, insufficient competent teachers, overcrowded classrooms, narrow curriculum content,change in family structure, absenteeism, residential location, cultural variation and high rate of drop-out (Fafunwa, 1986) as cited by Omotayo, Ihebereme and Maduewesi (2008). Jaiyeoba (2007) on his own part attributed failure to enrollment explosion, shortage of teachers, inadequate infrastructural facilities, inadequate funding, poor family background among others.
It could be recalled that in the years after the collapse of the UPE scheme, education experienced some measure of neglect. This brought about decay in the education sector especially, at the basic education level, to the extent that the rate of illiteracy was unacceptably high, teachers were poorly trained and motivated, the condition of infrastructure was appalling, school drop-out was increasing at an alarming rate, while funding of basic education in particular continued to be poor (Tahir, 2003).
It was therefore a sigh of relief to many Nigerians when in a bid to address the afore-mentioned scenario, the democratic government of Obasanjo launched the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme on 30th September, 1999. The programme which is within the context of the 6-3-3-4 structure as stipulated by the National Policy on Education now assumes a 9-3-4 structure. Basic Education comprises nine (9) years continuous, free and compulsory education of which six (6) years is for primary education and three (3) years for junior secondary school education. Basically, it is aimed at eradicating illiteracy, ignorance and poverty as well as stimulating and accelerating national development, political consciousness and national integration.
The objectives of the UBE according to the Implementation Guidelines (FRN, 2000:
Developing in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion; the provision of free, universal basic education for every Nigerian child of school-going age; reducing drastically the incidence of dropout from the formal school system.
The Implementation Guidelines further stated thus:
In seeking to achieve the objectives of the programme . . ., vigorous efforts will be made to counter the factors which are known to have hindered the achievement of the goals of the UPE programme… It is therefore envisaged that more appropriate approaches will have to be developed for improving the state of the following: Public enlightenment and social mobilization, for full community involvement; data collection and analysis; planning, monitoring and evaluation; teachers:- their recruitment, education, training, retraining and motivation; infrastructural facilities; enriched curricula; textbooks and instructional materials; improved funding; and management of the entire process.
As laudable as the objectives of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme are and despite the fact that well thought out strategies had been put in place towards achieving these objectives, the desired impact is yet to be made.
It is inconceivable that after several years of the launching of the programme, coupled with the federal government’s commitment to its success, millions of children still lack access to basic education. The former Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai attested to this fact when she was quoted as saying that 10 million Nigerian children lack access to basic education (The Tide News Online, (2010 July, 9th). According to the Education for all (EFA) Regional Overview Report that highlights the situation in sub-Saharan countries, Nigeria with an Education for All Development Index (EDI) of less than 0.8 was among 16 countries in sub-Saharan Africa very far from achieving EFA goals by 2015. This was due to widespread illiteracy and lack of access to education in the country The Nation, in Ejere (2011). Also, in the Global Competitiveness Report for the period 2009-2010, Nigeria’s primary education level was ranked 132nd out of 133 countries that were surveyed Daily Sun, cited by Ejere (2011). Furthermore, in a retreat on “The Challenges Facing Basic Education Subsector and Charting the Way Forward” organized by the Federal Ministry of Education/Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) which held at the Yankari Games Reserve, Yankari, Bauchi State from 2008 June 16th to 27th, the former Minister of state II for Education confirmed the numerous challenges facing the subsector. The minister, Hajiya Aishatu Jibrin Duku, who chaired the retreat mentioned that some of the challenges included insufficient and inequitable access, low learning achievement of students, lack of accountability and transparency in the use of funds allocated to education, acute shortage of qualified teachers, infrastructural decay and shortage, poorly motivated, ill-equipped and unskilled teaching force and insufficient instructional materials (UBEC, 2008). Also, Ibekwe (2013) reported that Nigeria’s primary education level was ranked 146th out of 148 countries that were recently surveyed in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2013–2014 by the World Economic Forum.
With the foregoing instances among several others not reported in this study, there is no gainsaying the fact that the basic education sub-sector is in a very poor state that calls for urgent drastic measures. The poor performance of many public policies and programmes in Nigeria, in terms of the achievement of their specified objectives arise primarily from implementation failure. Could poor implementation of the Universal Basic Education programme be responsible for the above state of affairs? There is therefore, the need to assess the school dropout as a management challenges in implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme with a view to proffering suggestions where necessary, for improved implementation. The three types of dropout rates are –event, status, and cohort rates Olubodun, (2010). Each one provides unique information about the student dropout population. The event dropout rate provides a measure of recent dropout experiences. Event rates are important because they reveal the proportion of students who leave primary school each year without completing a primary school program.
The status dropout rate is a cumulative rate. It is much higher than the event rate because it includes all dropouts, regardless of when they last attended school. Status rates are important because they reveal the extent of the dropout problem in the population. This rate suggests the magnitude of the challenge for further training and education that will be needed if these dropouts are to participate fully in the economy and life of the nation.
The cohort dropout rate measures what happens to a single group, or cohort, of students over a period of time. This rate is based on repeated measures of a group of students with shared experiences. cohort rates are important because they reveal how many students starting in a specific grade drop out over time. In addition, cohort rates from longitudinal studies provide more background and contextual data on the students who drop out than are available through the CPS or CCD data collections.
It is clear that the number of children enrolled in school has increased over time. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of children who start primary school are not completing this cycle. There are many factors associated with dropout, some of which belong to the individual, such as poor health or malnutrition and motivation. Others emerge from children’s household situations such as child labor and poverty. School level factors also play a role in increasing pressures to dropout such as teacher’s absenteeism, school location and poor quality educational provision. The system of educational provision of the community level generates conditions that can ultimately impact on the likely hood of children to dropout from school (Ananga, 2010). Therefore, both demand and supply driven factors are embedded in cultural and contextual realities, which make each circumstance different. There is not one single cause of dropout it is often a process rather than the result of one single event, and therefore has more than one proximate cause (Hunt, 2008).
The management structure of the UBE programme is a model in cooperative and consultative federalism. It involves the three levels the federal, the state and local governments. Each of them has clearly mapped out responsibilities all of which combine to create a smooth path for action and achievement of the UBE scheme. The federal Government’s responsibilities in regard to the UBE programme are as follows;
Initiate and launch the programme, Provide minimum standards and guidelines for its operations, Provide general oversight and monitoring of the scheme, Mobilize domestic and international support for the programme, Initiate and intervene in critical areas of need, for the success of the UBE e.g. Payment of, salary arrears of primary school teachers in, all states, construction and furnishing of, additional classroom blocks in schools, Provide support for core national institutions, for implementing key aspects of the program, Such as the National Teacher Institute (NTI)for Pivotal Teacher Training Programme, (PTTP); the Nigeria Educational Research, and Development Center (NERDC) for, curriculum development/revision; the National Institute for Education Planning and, Administration (NIEPA) for capacity, building of education administrators and planners, and the Nigeria institute for Nigerialanguages (NINLAN) for training and retaining of teachers in Nigerian languages. The state governments on their part are expected to formulate policies for universal Basiceducation in their respective states,see to the day-to-day running of the programme in their states,recruit, and discipline and promote teachers on grade level 07 and above,Pay the salary of Junior Secondary Schoolteachers,Establish and maintain State Primary,Education Boards and other state level UBE agencies,The various Local Governments are expected,to,establish and maintain Local Government Education Authority (LGAE) in theirrespective areas,see to the day to day operation of the programme in their local areas, recruit, discipline and promote teachers and other primary school level staff in their areas,pay the salary of primary school teacher intheir areas.
The challenges of the UBE programme at both federal and states are obvious. The world over, ability to allocate funds for a programme remains the greatest challenge that a programme can have. This is also a case with the funding of UBE in Nigeria between 1999. Another challenge to successful implementation of the UBE scheme or programme is lack of proper planning on the part of government UNESCO (2000). One of the factors of improper planning is faulty censusexcercises. Almost all the census exercises carried out so far in Nigeria either before Independence or after, have been marred with massive irregularities Oni, 2008). The dropout rate in primary school is another challenge considering the aims and objectives of the scheme which education for all school age children.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The main focus of this study is to examine, school dropout and the management challenges in the implementation of UBE programme. The factors identified for reinforcement in the previous subsection if properly addressed will no doubt lead to a high percentage achievement of the stated objectives of the programme. Among these identified factors, teacher factor, infrastructural facilities, textbooks/instructional materials and improved funding, insufficient competent teachers, overcrowded classrooms, narrow curriculum content, change in family structure, absenteeism, residential location, cultural variation and high rate of drop-out are very crucial to the success of any education programme.
However, it is instructive to note that it is one thing to introduce a programme with lofty implementation strategies and another thing to successfully implement it. Perhaps, the above factors were not effectively addressed in the course of implementation, hence the poor state of affairs in our basic education sub-sector. Obviously, the importance of the basic education sub-sector in our educational system cannot be over-emphasized as it provides the foundation for all other levels of education. Its failure therefore implies the failure of the entire educational system. The present poor state of basic education in our country in the 21st century, replete with advancement in all spheres of education, is therefore, worrisome and calls for urgent remedial measures. One question that comes to mind is: Could the neglect or inadequate consideration of such factors as teacher factor, infrastructural facilities, textbooks/instructional materials and improved funding in the course of implementation be responsible for the present poor state of basic education in Nigeria? This study therefore, assessed school dropout and the management challenges in the implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme taking into consideration, the above mentioned four factors.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study was to assess the implementation of the school dropout and the management challenge of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Kaura Local Government of Kaduna State. Specifically, the study sought to:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were posed to guide the study:
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested for significance at the 0.05 alpha level in the study:
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would provide information on the status of management and challenges on the UBE programme at the primary school level. This information would be useful to policy makers and education managers as it would most likely provide the basis upon which decisions can be taken to address the inadequacies in key areas like provision of teachers, infrastructural facilities, textbooks/instructional materials and funding.
The role of the teachers as the implementers of the UBE programme cannot be over-emphasized and the need to motivate them to perform their tasks optimally is very vital. It is hoped that this study would also be beneficial to the teachers as recommendations towards their welfare, training, retraining, improved infrastructure and instructional materials were made, where necessary, to boost their productivity.
The recommendations based on the findings of this study, would create an environment conducive to learning, both in terms of human and material resources provision. In this respect, students would benefit as there is bound to be improved quality education delivery.
Primary education, which comprises the lower and middle basic levels of the UBE programme, is the foundation of the nation’s educational system. This implies that the success of the other levels of education depends on it. Hence, studies to address the challenges facing the primary level of education are by extension, studies to improve the entire educational system. Ultimately, therefore, the findings and recommendations of this study, if implemented, would assist in developing a credible and sustainable educational system in Kaura Local Government of Kaduna State
1.7 THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
This section of the study intends to explore and provide an appropriate theoretical framework that will underpin the study.This study was hinged on the systems’ theory as propounded by Parsons (1951) and applied to school administration and management by Getzels and Guba (1957). A system as defined by Nnabuo in Agih (2009) is a “complex of interacting interrelated parts such that what affects one part affects the others”. Demming as cited by Okorie and Uche (2004:67) perceived a system as “a network of interdependent components that work together to accomplish the aim of that system”. The systems theory thus states that, to understand a phenomenon, organization or system, we must recognize that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It emphasizes that in the analysis of performance of an organization, it is the whole, the combination of all the various sections and departments that will provide the greater insight to organizational performance than its isolated sections.
This theory views organization, administration and systems as the case may be, holistically and thus maintains that a systematic and unified approach be adopted in the day-to-day activities of organizations, because the success of any unit or department will depend on the success of the others. The systems theory therefore can be of great value to the planning and successful implementation of the UBE programme. This is because if all but one factor is lacking in the course of implementation, then the objectives of the programme can hardly be achieved.
For further illustration, assuming that there is adequate provision of teachers, infrastructure, instructional materials, funding, enriched curricular, public enlightenment and mass mobilization, but absence of quality management of the entire process, then the stated objectives can hardly be achieved. However, if all the factors that will facilitate the successful achievement of the objectives of the scheme are conceptualized, planned and implemented in a holistic manner, then greater success will be achieved.
Structurally, the UBE programme has federal, state and local government components. In line with the systems theory therefore, all levels, parastatals and UBE Boards must work in a system-related fashion for the success of the programme, as the malfunction of one level or Board will lead to the derailment of the entire programme.
This theory under pins this study in a way that dropout is a shared problem between parent and children. The children live in the family (the family whole). The theory is chosen because it’s satisfied the following.
Individual decision making process, Cultural influence and high risk behavior and behavior change, The development change that occur during adolescent, andDeviant high risk behavior.
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study which assessed the school dropout and the management challenge in the implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in Kaura Local Government of Kaduna State, was limited to only public primary schools in the Local Government. The study covered teacher factor, infrastructural facilities, textbooks/instructional materials and funds provision for the implementation of the UBE programme.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
DROP OUT:Is any pupil who lives school for any reason before graduation or completion of a program of studies without transferring to another school or elementary.
UBE:Transmission of fundamental knowledge to all facets of the Nigerian society from generation to generation
CHALLENGE: Some constraint which affects the success rate of the UBE programme in the Local Government include payment of staff salaries, in arrears, non-completion of new constructions and schools rehabilitation, insufficient teachers guide which are faced by policies.
IMPLEMENTATION: Translation of government policies and programmes regarding UBE into reality.
MANAGEMENT: getting things done throughout people’s effort by Federal State and Local Government.