Paper Title
Extent of Implementation of Universal Basic Education Scheme in Nigeria: A Sina-Qua-Non for National Development
Author
Godwin C. Agbo, Ph.D
Section
Education
Abstract

The focus of this paper is on the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme which is a nine year programme being implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria, to among other things: eradicate illiteracy, ignorance, reduce the incidence of drop-out-from formal school system; and create the basis for the acquisition of skills and knowledge required for life-long learning. The paper notes that the effective implementation of UBE scheme is bedeviled by myriads of constraints viz: (i) poverty, (ii) lack of commitment by some state governments, (iii) inadequate funding, (iv) ignorance, (v) unqualified teachers, and (vi) inadequate infrastructure. The author has discussed and analysed these constraints and makes some recommendations which when effectively implemented will help in the overall development of the nation. Such implementation is necessary and should be seen as a matter of urgency. This is in view of the fact that basic education is a catalyst for national development.

 

Keywords: 

The focus of this paper is on the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme which is a nine year programme being implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria, to among other things: eradicate illiteracy, ignorance, reduce the incidence of drop-out-from formal school system; and create the basis for the acquisition of skills and knowledge required for life-long learning. The paper notes that the effective implementation of UBE scheme is bedeviled by myriads of constraints viz: (i) poverty, (ii) lack of commitment by some state governments, (iii) inadequate funding, (iv) ignorance, (v) unqualified teachers, and (vi) inadequate infrastructure. The author has discussed and analysed these constraints and makes some recommendations which when effectively implemented will help in the overall development of the nation. Such implementation is necessary and should be seen as a matter of urgency. This is in view of the fact that basic education is a catalyst for national development.

Keywords
Development, national development, education, Universal Basic Education, implementation

Introduction

Prior to the introduction of Universal Basic Education (UBE) by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, some efforts had been made in the past towards eliminating illiteracy and ignorance in the country. In 1955, 1957 and 1962, the then Western, Eastern and Northern regions respectively had introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) in their respective regions. The schemes failed basically because of ineffective implementations. Recall also that in September 1976 the then Military President of Nigeria, General Olusegun Obasanjo, launched the Universal Primary Education (UPE) scheme in Sokoto. This bold attempt to introduce the UPE on a national scale for the first time could not last long; reason being that the scheme was improperly planned, hurriedly executed and politicized (Adesina, 1977; Uche, 1984).

On 30th September, 1999, the Universal Primary Education (UPE) resurrected in the form of Universal Basic Education (UBE). The scheme which was formally launched by the same President Olusegun Obasanjo (as a civilian president) is a nine-year programme being implemented by the Federal Government to eradicate illiteracy, reduce the incidence of drop-out from formal school system, make education accessible to every Nigerian child; and create the basis for the acquisition of skills and knowledge required for life-long learning. According to Section 12 of the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2003), “basic education, to be provided by Government shall be free, compulsory, universal and qualitative”.  It comprises three stages of education viz: (i) 1-year of kindergarten (ii) 6 years of primary, and (iii) 3 years of junior secondary education.

 

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