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PROJECT TOPIC: IMPLEMENTING FREE AND COMPULSORY EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN AKWA IBOM STATE THROUGH RESOURCES AVAILABILITY: A PANACEA FOR ACHIEVEMENT OF EDUCATION FOR ALL (EFA)

Project Body:


Okobiah (2003) stated that the architectural space, light, temperature, sound, furniture constitute the physical environment of the classroom. Vosko and Humstra (1998) identified the idea of physical learning environment to include anthropometry, ergonomics, proximics and synaesthetics. Anthropometry deals with design of furniture, equipment and space that will meet the learning needs of the students. Okobiah (2003) suggested that tables and chairs are better for writing than when desks are attached, although they occupy more space. The size of the classroom may be standardized for 40 students but in most cases, this number is tripled. Could such a situation support effective learning in Akwa Ibom State’s free and compulsory education prgoramme? This then brings in the concept of ergonomics which Awotua- Efebo (2004) described as the study of the comfort of those that occupy a space or use a particular piece of equipment. Mbakwem (2005) observed that some secondary schools may have enough classrooms in terms of the numbers of the available classes but not enough tables, desks and chairs. The issues here include whether students are comfortable in the classrooms, whether students have enough desks and chairs? Moreso, do students, including handicapped students occupy the seats comfortably? Udoh (2008) asserted that in classrooms, it is not sufficient to have seats but the seats should be arranged in such a manner that students can be moved around for group discussions and group work. The seats should be comfortable for students, should permit free mobility and allow for adequate and comfortable body postures. Okobiah (2003) recommended that adequate number of seats that are convenient to the student should be supplied to all the secondary schools based on the school enrolment figure and other instructional materials including classroom furniture that are qualitative and suitable to the learning needs of the pupils, if the products of the World Educators Forum5  schools in the state is to meet the standard of Education for All (EFA) by the year 2020. Obanya (2000) stated that the aims and objectives of free and compulsory education programme which have been tried for a decade in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State in particular are capable of being achieved if the government adopts more appropriate approaches for improving public enlightenment and social mobilization for community involvement, engage in data collection and analysis, get experts involvement in planning, monitoring and evaluation; handle prudently teacher’s recruitment, education, training and retraining and motivating teachers for high productivity, provide infrastructural facilities, enriched curricula, text books and instructional materials; improve funding and management of the entire process. It is the coordination of the resources made available to free and compulsory education scheme that will produce quality graduates from the educational programme. Babalola (2006) maintained that school managers must carefully and effectively handle educational resources and facilities (money materials, and human resources) put under their custody. This is important because accountability in education demands that rightly qualified teachers be recruited in adequate quantity and deployed to school to perform instructional tasks.


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