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Impact Assessment of the Factors Militating Against the Administration of Tertiary Institutional Programmes

Impact Assessment of the Factors Militating Against the Administration of Tertiary Institutional Programmes in Anambra State, Nigeria

Review of Literature and Theoretical Framework

 2.0 Conceptual Framework

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

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.2.1 Concepts of Facilitators/Constraints in Curriculum Development

Facilitators mean what make curriculum development easy; what assist in curriculum development. In short, they are the essential things which should be available before we can have a meaningful curriculum development. It could also mean the factors that influence curriculum development.  Constraints are the direct opposite of facilitators. It could also come as the impediments. The absence of facilitators constitutes the constraints.  Curriculum Development is here referred to as the totality of all the processes in curriculum enterprise, including design and planning, trial-testing, implementation, evaluation and re-design; the whole circle of curriculum processes.

There are seven major facilitators or constraints, these are:

  1. Natural factors
  2. Time factors
  3. Cultural factors
  4. Physical factors
  5. Organisational factors
  6. Personal factors
  7. Financial factors

2.1.1 Factors

Natural factors are certain phenomena that are beyond human control. They can be endowment to their host communities. For instance, we have Rivers, Hills, Plateau, Forestry, Weather, etc. These factors have implication for curriculum development because not all the subjects can be taught in all situations or circumstances. In the revering areas of the South-Southern Nigeria, for example, the unit of the Agricultural Science that is viable there may be totally different from that which is viable in the Savannah North. While Swimming, in Human Kinetic and Health Education, may be spontaneously embraced in the South-South, Hockey or Volley Ball would be happily taken in the North, as a result of the conduciveness of the terrain for different games in the different localities. Instances are many.

2.1.2 Time Factor

Every activity of man revolves around time. Similarly, the success or failure of anything depends on time. In curriculum development, time may mean duration, period, session or semester. Yet, in psychology, time means Maturity or Readiness. Whichever way one looks at it, time is very crucial in curriculum development, because content should necessarily ally with the specified time. For instance, in secondary school, there are three terms in a session; five school days in a week, and, at most, five learning hours for different subjects, in a day. This should be borne in mind while planning curriculum so that what is being earmarked for study would not exceed what it should be. Similarly, what is being slated for learning should be commensurate with the level of the student being targeted?

2.1.3 Cultural Factors

Culture is simply the way of life of a people, including religious, moral political belief and philosophy. Nigeria represents a good example of a heterogeneous society, with her diverse cultures. What is celebrated in a community may be a taboo in another. While some communities encourage co-educational system, where male and female students mix and interact freely, some others frown at this and would rather prefer separate school set-up for each of the males and females. But in the latter, there would be constraints in the implementation of the curriculum if there are female schools and there are no sufficient female teachers to teach them. Research findings have indicated that, in Nigeria, there are more male teachers than females. Connected with this is the political system of the country. Most often, the cultural diversity of a country determines her type of constitution and, by extension, the political system being institutionalized. In Nigeria, for example, no matter how attractive, one-party or two-party system cannot work in the country, and the constitution is always couched not only to reflect this but also to form the bases of major provisions. Education, here, is largely controlled by the central authority. It is the federal government that formulates the curriculum, funds and gives legal recognition to schools, issues or recognizes certificates, etc. the reason being that the arrangement could be used to achieve unity in diversity. Although, the aim is laudable, the major criticism is that it stifles initiatives of some communities. For example, some people do not see any wisdom in subjecting the diverse groups to the same curriculum content, the same examinations and certification and even the same condition of admission into the tertiary institutions. The implication of the foregoing is that culture in Nigeria is more of constraint in curriculum development, though; the little good use to which it is being put still places it as a facilitator.

2.1.4 Physical Factor

Under this, we will be talking about necessary structural and infrastructural facilities needed for a meaningful curriculum development. There must be sufficient classroom facilities, library, laboratories as well as office accommodation, all fully furnished with necessary materials, including electrical and electronic fittings. There should also be opportunity for future expansion, i.e., land mass.

 2.1.5 Organizational Factor

This factor concerns the administrative and control mechanism. In Nigeria, all levels of education except secondary have superintending commissions or agencies, apart from the overall supervisory role being played by the federal and state ministries of education. There is National Universities Commission (NUC) for the universities, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for Polytechnics, and Universal Basic Education (UBEC) for Basic Education, which includes Primary and Junior Secondary levels. Even at the school level curriculum development can be positively or negatively affected by the type of the organizational structure put in place. This could manifest in the type or calibre of people in charge, both policy formulators who are sometimes politicians and policy implementers who are technocrats. If the right people are put in charge, curriculum development would be facilitated, otherwise, there would be impediment.

2.1.6 Personal Factor

Teachers and the learners are the focus under personal factor. While teachers are the human resources, the learners are the major beneficiaries in the educational enterprise. It has often been said that no nation can rise above the quality level of her teachers. As a crucial implementers of curriculum, teachers should be considered from three perspectives. These are qualification, experience and motivation.

Considering teacher qualification as a variable in curriculum development implies putting the right personnel to teach in schools. For instance, it is absurd to deploy a holder of Nigeria Certificate in Education to teach any subject at the senior secondary level. More absurd is the issue of deploying School Certificate holders to teach at all, cases of such are common in private schools.

Experience means sufficient length of service in teaching. This is so important that qualification does not and cannot be substituted for it. We can improvise instructional materials, dubious can also fake certificate, but definitely, experience cannot be faked or purchased. It can only be acquired through constant and long practice.

Motivation is also an important variable as far as teacher is concerned. A motivated work force is a great asset that could facilitate the realisation of the set goals and objectives. The concept of motivation includes prompt Payment of remunerations, provision of conducive and enabling environment, opportunity for capacity building and utilisation and training and re-training programmes.

Student/Learner is a major factor in curriculum development. Our knowledge of psychology makes us to realise that certain things affect a child’s growth and development as a member of the society. Such things are physiological psychological and social issues.

Physiologically, a child needs the essentials that would make him grow normally, have sensory development and be physically active. Psychologically, an individual needs to be encouraged by all those who are directly or indirectly concerned about his education. Socially, he needs to be self-actualised and has his own sense of aesthetic appreciation which must be recognised and respected in.

2.1.7 Finance

The meaning, nature and importance of money hardly need debate. It is the bedrock of every human activity on which all other factors depend to play their statutory roles. Finance alone can make seeming impossibilities possible with ease. Education as a whole is a costly venture, and curriculum development which can rightly be regarded as the central nervous system of education cannot be accomplished without sufficient fund.

2.2Advocating Student Evaluation of Teachers in Higher Education in Nigeria

Black and William (1998b) define assessment “to broadly include all activities that students and teachers undertake to get information that can be used diagnostically to alter teaching and learning.” The word “diagnostically” is crucial to draw attention to the fact that assessment is not an end to itself. Assessment may be for formative or summative reasons. Boston (2002) defines formative assessment as “the diagnostic use of assessment to provide feedback to teachers and students over the course of instruction.” In the summative sense, it is used in formal reporting for perhaps disciplinary or promotional purposes. Evaluation, along with synonyms like assessment or appraisal, has been one instrument used in the personal and public domains to assess work that has been done in order to attempt to determine and quantify the level of success or failure and to make improvements in the system.

As far as evaluation is concerned, the traditional approach in educational institutions, including higher education institutions, entailed teachers’ formal assessment of their students, for inspectors to assess the teachers, and so on. In essence, it was the case that a “superior” had the mandate of formally assessing the “subordinate,” but not the other way round. It was therefore a one-sided approach, which did not provide holistic or comprehensive insight into the teaching and learning experience.

Although students have always assessed the performance of their teachers, this has always been informal, behind the scenes and not used as a definitive tool for formative or summative purposes. Prior to this time, any failure or poor performance of students/learners was rarely officially blamed on the quality of teaching, infrastructure, etc., but attributed to dullness and or lack of seriousness of the student/learner. The blame rested squarely on the learner. Current research reports showing the impact/effect of the quality of teaching, class management, class ambiance or infrastructure, among others, have changed the perception and dynamics of education evaluation.

Globally, the situation has recently changed drastically such that the “subordinate” can now assess the “superordinate,” in addition to what was the status quo ante. This is what we experience in modern educational institutions in the 20th and 21st centuries. Although this is widely practiced in the West, the traditional approach to evaluation is still predominant in many higher education institutions in Nigeria. In comparison with the USA, Canada and Germany, for instance, evaluation is a relatively new and recent development, which is still being resisted and receiving knocks in some quarters.

This study, which is based on a Project Action Plan (PAP) under the International Deans’ Course (IDC) organized by the German Academic Exchange Serviec (DAAD), German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the University of Applied Sciences, Osnabrück and the Centre for Higher Education Management (CHE), seeks to advocate a change in traditional evaluation approaches to a more balanced approach, with students making contributions through the evaluation of teachers, facilities and resources in their HEIs in order to optimize the learning experience.

2.2.2 Why Student Evaluation of Teachers (Set)?

Even in western societies, our survey on SET shows that some teachers are not too enthusiastic about the practice of SET. Debates are still ongoing on the desirability of students evaluating their teachers. Those who take a more positive attitude insist on clearly defined objectives regarding the use to which the results are put ultimately. They argue for the need to have strict controls on who should have access to the evaluation reports. We summarize the debates below.

 2.2.2 Shortcomings Associated with SET

The debates on whether or not SET should be adopted in educational institutions can be quite vociferous. Opponents of SET practice argue that SET is subject to students’ biases. Students who may not like a teacher or who think the teacher is too strict or holds different views may be downgraded. This in itself, in pursuance of the argument, is a threat to academic freedom, where teachers are expected to be free to hold any view. Another criticism is that in order to receive positive ratings from students, teachers tend to “dumb down” their courses, in other words, teachers may lower the tone of their courses to enable many students to pass. Teachers with excellent communication skills and charisma but with little intellectual content tend to receive positive assessment, as opposed to those who are not imbued with such charm, also known as the Dr. Fox phenomenon. Finally, opponents question the qualification and experience of students to evaluate course content. Other concerns relate to who is responsible for collecting the data so obtained, who has access to the data, data protection and when students should participate in the evaluation. So what then is the point of SET, given the above criticisms?

2.2.3 Benefits of SET

Those who argue in favour of SET practice make the following claims. SET is a reliable method of evaluating the performance of teachers. In addition, it is said to be a valid instrument of assessment. SET is an invaluable tool to gauge staff performance, the professional growth of the teacher (formative purposes), staff promotion, pay rise or reduction and/or discipline (summative purposes). SET is regarded as inexpensive and easy to administer; there seems to be few alternatives, and SET is considered to pass the objective test. Other suggestions have been preferred to address the criticisms. They include:

  • Capacity building programs for teachers to improve teaching and class management
  • Designing questions that will likely elicit more objective indices
  • Teachers to design their own questions based on how they can improve their performance
  • SET to be administered more than once in a semester, perhaps in the middle
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of the semester and at the end

  • Questions that elicit written comments instead of those that simply require

“True,” “False,” “Strongly Agree,” “Agree,” “Disagree,” “Strongly Disagree,”

2.2.4Empirical Studies on Student Evaluation of Programs

From insights gained from the PAP study, it is suggested that Student Evaluation of Programs (SEP) should be introduced to underscore the idea of a more comprehensive assessment, not only targeting the teachers but the overall learning environment. The result would lead to the general improvement of the learning experience – facilities, learning resources, human resources, etc. Variables that are deficient could be addressed, through retraining in the case of human resources and through the provision of adequate teaching and learning facilities in the case of infrastructure. This is where feedback is crucial. Studies have shown that even where SET is practiced, the exercise becomes largely futile without feedback.

For instance, apart from lecture staff in education faculties in HEIs, many other faculty members do not have the requisite skills for teaching at any level, simply because they have not been trained in the basic and underlying principles and practice of education. In spite of the enormous knowledge and information at their disposal, such untrained teachers may not be equipped with the philosophy behind teaching and therefore sometimes perform poorly in information dissemination in the classroom setting. In recognition of this gap, calls have been made to provide short (in-house) courses and training on the principles and practices of education to faculty members. This issue has often been ridiculed by those faculty members in most dire need of such training. This attitude can be changed through a conscious effort to raise the awareness of the teachers on these issues. Such in-house training would be beneficial to the teachers’ overall teaching performance.

This survey shows that Student Evaluation of Teachers is already in practice in a few higher education institutions in Nigeria, such as University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri and Abia State University, Uturu, as well as in other HEIs in Africa, such as in Ghana or Ethiopia. It would be ideal in terms of quality control to introduce the evaluation of programs to all HEIs in Nigeria. This would certainly improveteaching and learning, if the results were used primarily for formative purposes. Formative assessment is used to improve the teaching and learning processes and can be fruitfully exploited both from the teachers’ and students’ perspective for positive gains in the classroom setting. Indeed, studies have shown that formative assessment adds significant learning gains to the learning experience (Black and William 1998a). In this paper, it is suggested that SET/SEP be introduced in HEIs in Nigeria because it is believed that if properly implemented, the results in the teaching and learning experiences of both teachers and learners would be promising. This is a pilot study, and the findings have shown that there is substantial evidence that SET application judiciously improves higher education in Nigeria.

However, there is need for further research in the near future with a view to further improving the teaching and learning experiences.

* I acknowledge the assistance of the following colleagues for providing documents in the conduct of this study: Dr. Bruce Connell, York University, Toronto, Canada; Mr. Scott M. Grimm, Stanford University, California, USA; Dr. Ulrike Gut, University of Augsburg, Germany; Dr. Sophie Salffner, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, England; Dr. Goke Alamu, Research Institute for World Languages, Osaka University, Japan; Prof. Dr. Abebe Dinku, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; Prof. Dr. Dafydd Gibbon, University of Bielefeld, Germany; Prof. Dr. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Prof. Udo Etuk; University of Uyo, Nigeria; Dr. Margaret Okon, University of Calabar, Nigeria; Prof. Bassey Antia, University of Maiduguri, Nigeria; colleagues from the 2009 Deans Course and Dr. Iniobong Uko, University of Uyo, Nigeria, for editorial work.

3.1 Educational Reforms in Nigeria: Successive Years of Inconsistencies

The above quotation is cited from a presentation by a learned scholar Professor Omolewa. It tells in a sentence what educational reform is all about. Nigeria has witnessed several educational reforms which started at pre-independence. It was to the credit of Nigerians notably agitators for self- rule that led the British colonial rulers to change the educational system in operation in 1954 from 8-6-2-3 system that is 8year primary, 6year secondary, 2year higher school certificate and 3year university to a new system 6-5-2-3 that is 6year primary, 5year secondary, 2year higher school certificate and 3year university. The change resulted in reducing the number of years at the primary and secondary school levels. Nigerians then were more concerned about education. It is viewed as a patriotic struggle to effect a change in the educational structure for the general good of the country.

The hope in the educational reforms continued to rekindle after independence. The freedom of self-rule Nigeria was enjoying had to match with educational progress. In September 1969 there was a National curriculum conference held in Lagos. Participants at the conference were eager to see Nigeria chart a new course in its educational system. Such a system they reasoned will empower the country towards the path of scientific and technological development. They criticized colonial education system as lacking in vitality and relevance. In short, the conference recommended changes in the system, from 6-5-2-3 system to 6-3-3-4 system; that is 6year primary, 3year junior secondary, 3year senior secondary and 4year university education. The recommended new system is simply American system of education which Japan ably copied after 1945 and succeeded. The likely prayer was “O lord shall we succeed as Japanese did”

The product the participants produced at the end of the conference was beautiful especially to a country that is hungry for development, for a country that wants to brighten its future. But when political authority picked up the document and shown interest in it, they interpreted it differently. They failed to realize that the document is a proposal produced by academics and interest groups. To put proposal into practice needs a careful planning. This was not done; the far reaching proposal was implemented with a military dispatch which later backfired. The intended result of this beautiful proposal was muddled up and so was never achieved.

The Beginning of Crisis

Crisis in education started manifesting itself when government went all out to implement 6-3-3-4 system without adequate planning put in place. By planning, according to Segun Adesina(1980), as the process of applying scientific or rational procedures to the process of educational growth and development so as to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the educational system. The lower education specifically primary education was the first to suffer the effect of inadequate planning. Free Universal Primary Education was launched in 1976 but the policy on education itself appeared in 1977 one year after implementation of the programme. In this kind of situation where implementation is ahead of policy, confusion would certainly emerge. Needs assessment was not properly done; the end result was absence of adequate statistical data. For example on the launching of UPE three million children showed up as against 2.3million prepared for, a 30 percent underestimation. This has implications for classroom spaces, teachers, and equipment (Akpa 1988). The exercise triggered phenomenal rise in pupil population from 8.7million in 1976/77 to 12.5million in 1979/80 and reaching 15million in 1982.

Notwithstanding absence of correct data to implement the UPE, the Federal Government went ahead and took over all voluntary and mission schools and assumed full financial responsibility of running the scheme throughout the country. This was the period of boom; the government is awashed with petro-dollars. Ismaila (1988) commented, that 1975-1983 witnessed the launching of the gigantic educational programme in Nigeria. Above all it was a period of unprecedented financial imprudence, irrational planning, large scale corruption that culminated in a steep decline from boom to doom. In the absence of any comprehensive planning, the implementers of the programme have their leeway; they chose what was important and what was not important. Emergency contractors executing fictitious contracts became the norms, substandard buildings in the name of UPE scattered all over the country, half-baked teachers populated the teaching force, ghost workers were made part and parcel of the UPE programme.

The enormous responsibility Federal Government of Nigeria took in respect of the UPE programme cannot be sustained. The financial burden became too great that government began to shy away from its undertakings. As a face saving measure the then Obasanjo administration placed Primary education under joint control of States and Local Governments in the 1979 Constitution, where Local Governments had direct control over primary schools. To worsen the situation some states in the federation started reversing the policy by returning back voluntary and mission schools to their former owners. The falling prices of petroleum in the international market pass a dearth sentence to UPE programme. States and Local Governments could not fund primary education as such began to charge fees and what was left; UPE programme was neither free nor universal. It was simply a political expediency designed to impress Nigerian masses lacking nothing in substance.

Free universal primary Education was not designed to succeed and so destined to fail. The Military Government of Yakubu Gowon that announced the plan and the successor Government of Murtala/Obasanjo that went ahead and executed a defective educational programme with much noises and fanfare were the same actors that engineered the collapsed of UPE. The infamous burial ceremony of what was Free Universal Primary Education that met its untimely death was left to Shagari Administration. One cannot imagine that such ambitious programme as free universal Primary education could not be sustained by a nation awashed with money. Atleast the military prepared the 1979 constitution, if at all they believe in the programme , UPE should have been made sacrosanct and enshrine it as a national programme thereby protected from political and economic fallouts.  To notify Nigerians that UPE is dead, the revised National policy on Education 1998, pp 15 stated:  Government welcomes contributions of voluntary agencies, communities and private individuals in the establishment and management of primary schools alongside those provided by the states and local Governments as long as they meet the minimum standards laid down by the Federal Government. 

 Junior Secondary Schools in Limbo

Upon all the recommendations in the 1969 National curriculum conference, the three year Junior Secondary School known as JSS is the most revolutionary. Sadly, the JSS is the most bastardized, confused and poorly implemented segment of 6-3-3-4 system. Junior Secondary School was initially conceived as a stage itself made up of 3year duration. The curriculum is a hybrid of prevocational and academic subjects. The essence is to impart knowledge in Science, Arts and Technology. The 5year Secondary education is discounted as too academic and bookish and does not give room to those who are terminating their studies at that level to be useful and productive members of the society. Igwe (1988) opined that, the advantage of 3-3 system of secondary education therefore, is that it will equip its product both intellectually and vocationally depending on their areas of interest, aptitude and capability.

I think the JSS sector was meant to cut unemployment level among our youths by arming them with a sellable skill. But how was the JSS implemented. From the onset the implementers think more of buying finished technology and goods as basis of pre-vocational education. The Government busied itself shopping technology products from the cheaper Eastern Europe Markets; such as Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. These products require steady supply of electricity to function. That neither National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) nor its successor Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has the needed electricity to power these machines. Likewise alternative power arrangement was not made. Similarly the teachers required to operate these machines and teach students were not available. The end result was the machines were left to rust, stolen or wasted. The prevocational subjects which were meant to launch Nigeria into a respectable industrialized state with abundant pool of lower level manpower became a mirage. Pre-vocational subjects ended up having neither workshop nor qualified teachers. Subjects were theoretically taught just like social studies. The hope that the reform will enable schools to fabricate some of their basic needs such as chairs, desks, black-board, and beds never materialized, in fact some JSS students sit on the bare floor to receive lectures in contrast to the aims and objectives of the National Policy on Education.

Another serious issue which bedeviled JSS right from inception is the status of the sector. First and foremost the status of JSS is a contentious issue. The former old British system stubbornly refused to give way to a new order. The JSS birth though celebrated by Educational Planners as a paradigm shift in the education system designed to cut the umbilical chord that tied British education and the independent Nigeria. The essence of JSS is to launch Nigeria into a respectable industrialized nation. But, policy intent is different from policy implementation. The new JSS is housed under the old secondary school, whereas the intention was JSS should be a separate school. Host of reasons were given for the Governments(Federal and States) inability to implement the policy to its logical end; lack of funds; lack of infrastructures; lack of teaching staff; lack of land; lack of everything. One is free to ask, why should we be dragged into an educational reforms unprepared for its requirements?

Junior Secondary Education is in limbo, no one knows where it belongs. Is JSS a secondary school as originally conceived? Has JSS pushed back to primary school as extension of literacy and numeracy expected of primary education? Has the 9-3-4 system now in vogue demoted JSS to the fold of so-called basic education that now it losses its substance and incorporated as a wing of primary education? Why transfer JSS to Universal Basic Education Commission which is saddled with a multitude problems of primary education too numerous to handle? Are we tired of JSS that we decided to jettison the sector such that it will crash and disappear into primary education that will end up diluting the essence of JSS? Are we conceding that we have failed to implement a system of education that promises jobs for teeming Nigerians? America initiated the system and succeeded, Japan copied and succeeded, Nigeria copied and failed. This is the verdict.

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To be fair, JSS is a secondary education. It should not be abused and transferred  to Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC)  whose initial responsibility is to monitor and maintain the quality of primary education in the country, in other words to wash the rots of UPE. To saddle UBEC with secondary education that is both pre-vocational and academic is a misnomer. I am of the opinion that Government should start thinking of salvaging secondary education as a whole for the good of the country. It has been an established practice that every segment of education has a watchdog, universities have National Universities Commission (NUC), Colleges of Education have National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Polytechnics have National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Primary Education has Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Why not establish Secondary Education Commission (SEC) to take care of Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools? It will be a specialized commission that would learn the art of monitoring and controlling the quality of teaching and learning in tune with the National Policy on Education expected of secondary education. The Federal and States Ministries of Education can play a supervisory role of these commissions. My candid fear is we are demeaning the most important segment of the nation’s education, which is secondary education. A qualitative secondary education is insurance for progress in the country. By the time a student finished secondary education he can decide to work or continue pursuing his/her studies at tertiary institution. This can only happen if the quality of the products is assured.

3.1.2Reforms went wild

The reforms in education which in most cases probed disastrous to the system continue in the wrong direction. The success which Government credited to Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) for its ability at selling public goods at give away prices was to be extended to education. Remember sell of refineries, fertilizers, insurance and steel companies. There were talks of privatizing campuses of Federal universities and other tertiary institutions, as they said for greater efficiency of resources. It was due to the concerted opposition of lecturers and students that finally laid to rest the impending doom. The planned privatization of Federal institutions continued to rage; this time around government targeted 102 unity schools in the country for sale as public private partnership (PPP). Opposition to the programme especially by the Association of senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) did not deter the government from its intended course. The former Minister of Education Dr. Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili defended the Government with all the market forces jargons, thinking that all of us can be cajoled into accepting what was a public rape of trusteeship. As expected, Unity schools were sold in the eleventh hour of the Obasanjo administration; quite predictably to select few in Government. It is unfortunate government in Nigeria mistook education for manufacturing industry. Education is much more than a refinery, Cement Company or what. Education deals with a totality of humans, it is a right not a privilege. To privatize education is simply to render large segment of our society illiterates because poverty would not allow them access to quality education. The damage does not stay there; the unity schools actually promote unity in the country’s diverse ethnic and religious groups. Students who live and study together are most likely to tolerate and respect one another as compared with those students who were raised and nurtured in their ethnic enclaves.

In its excessive form Obasanjo’s educational reforms as championed by Ezekwesili became a cult; anyone who disagreed was shown the way out. It was not a surprise that senior civil servants in the Federal Ministry of Education kept mute, a wait and see attitude. The reverse of the transactions of the unity schools by the new Minister of Education Dr. Igwe Aja-Nwachukwu is certainly a relief to many of us who believe education is a right to all.

From the foregoing, one can discern the inconsistence and confuse nature of the Nigerian educational reforms. In the 70s government took over all voluntary and mission schools on the pretext of free universal primary education, this reform collapsed in less than a decade. Now the reincarnated Obasanjo administration gambled to sell the Federal Government Unity Schools to private capitalist, a complete 360 degrees U-turn. Then, what is the essence of educational reforms in Nigeria?

Neglect of the Inspectorate Services

One of the consequences of misguided reforms is the relegation of the Inspectorate Services, the quality control watchdog in the education sector to periphery. Federal and States ministries of Education shifted their priority to allocation of phantom contracts in the name of education.

Inspection is indispensable to acquisition of quality education. No educational programme will function effectively without a quality inspectorate service. The concept of inspection has now been changed to supervision. The change is necessitated by the perception of school inspectors as no less than police inspectors with a colonial mentality. They are seen as enforcers of discipline, their presence in a school is both fearsome and awesome to school teachers and administrators. They brook no nonsense as such do not tolerate incompetence to duty. Despite the shortcomings of the colonial inherited inspectorate services, the system is by far better than what we have today. School supervisors have lost their powers to ensure schools run according to the National Policy on Education, they are no more than insignificant nuisance in the education sector.

The repercussions of relegating the inspectorate services to periphery have manifested itself in the quality of education delivery. The standard of education has fallen, discipline in the schools has relaxed, and schools curriculums are not fully implemented. And what we end up having are examinations malpractices. Students struggle to acquire certificates at all cost without actually fulfilling the required educative process.   

2.5 Effect of Misguided Educational Reforms

What had happened to primary and secondary education would invariably meet up tertiary education. The absence of specific agenda for the Nigerian education manifested itself in the tertiary institutions. These institutions especially universities became disorganized when compared with their counterparts in other developing countries such as Brazil, South Africa, lndia etc. Closure of the universities become the norms and so the dismissal of lecturers. Unconducive teaching environment, poor remuneration and threat of dismissal all tend to dampen lecturers’ morale. The university dons could not continue to tolerate the way and manner Federal Government is handling education; therefore they take to militancy by resorting to strike actions, an NLC (Nigerian Labour Congress) style. It is painful our dons are made to behave unbecoming of their status. Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU) and Federal Government engage in running battles from the time of Babangida Administration and continuing up to today with occasional truth brokered by self-style elders, traditional rulers and politicians. The Yaradua administration inherited this fiasco which lapsed and relapsed depending on the situation.

It is the failure of education reforms that made Nigerians obsessed with paper qualifications and chains of diplomas and degrees, which in most cases are not in the sciences or technology. Some so-called big men simply purchase their certificates in the open market. We forget that we go to school to learn skills which will enable us to make a decent living, to acquire knowledge which will help us reason rationally. Education is much more than acquiring certificates, it’s a life-long pursuit. Education should help student fashion his future needs, makes him dream of possibilities, and helps him contribute productively in the development of his country. Bill gate the Microsoft guru and the richest man in the world was so overwhelmed by his dream that he dropped from university and pursue his dream of simplifying computer to users, a cutting edge technology that only few people understood. Because he dropped from school does not mean he stopped learning. He continued to study and work hard, to Bill gate and his like, education is not just acquiring knowledge for its intrinsic value, it is a competitive enterprise that one has to continue updating himself as well as pushing the frontiers of knowledge forward. We want an education that can nurture such kind of people who can think ahead.

A mere change of government in the Nigerian context can result in educational reforms which in most cases are thoughtless exercise, mindless of future consequences. One of the funniest education reform hits students’ nutrition. Food issue is delicate to learner, but Nigerians being what we are seem to believe that we can get the best out of our universities and other tertiary institutions, whereas learners going to classes with empty stomachs. Students lost privilege to subsidized food since 1984 when General Muhammad Buhari upstaged President Shehu Shagari from power, Since then it is common campus language to hear some unusual numerical terminologies, 100, 010,  001 etc. These figures signify how many times per day you ate. If it is one time it could be 100 (breakfast), 010 (lunch), 001 (dinner). Our students are busy Fasting as well as battling with their studies. Students began to lose weight and so their studies also lose weight. One would like to ask, when did hunger and learning become friends?

I am of the opinion that a lot of people were discriminated from access to tertiary education due to poverty. I believe food situation at our tertiary institutions is one of the issues the new administration in the country should seriously look into with a view to ameliorate discomfort associated with nutrition.

2.6Tertiary Education:  Growth without Development

As at 1970 there are only six universities in Nigeria, they rose to thirteen in 1979 now we have eighty nine. The growth shows federal has 27, States 30 and private sector 32. To establish as many qualitative universities is not just necessary but also desirable, on the other hand, unplanned creation of universities is not just undesirable but also dangerous.

It seems we are revisionist in our practice to tertiary education. We do not have to follow the history of evolution of universities before we have one. It is true that most oldest universities are religious establishments both in the Islamic and Christendom. Al-azhar University in Egypt evolved from mosque as Islamic centre of teaching and learning. Same with the Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England, they were meant to teach Christianity.

In Nigeria for the last eight years, the National Universities Commission (NUC) indiscriminately issued license to all sorts of interest groups; State Governments, Religious bodies, Bussiness tycoons and who knows whether local Governments would have their universities? It is imperative to ask. Do the newly licensed universities adhere to policy requirements of 60:40 science to arts admission ratio? Do these newly licensed universities have equipments and personnel for teaching and research? We have to remember that university is a community dedicated to teaching, learning, sharing of ideas, research and dissemination of research findings to the larger population, anything less than that is not a university.

It is disturbing if what the Newswatch magazine (September, 2007) was reporting about these newly licensed universities. Some of these universities are monolithic, they professed to one idea or mission as the only truth. In other words they are not just religious like Cambridge but also sectarian. Some test for HIV/AIDS, some test pregnancy in young female students, some prohibit eating of meat, and some beat their students as if university is a secondary school.

It seems we are Americanizing our tertiary institutions where all sorts of degrees are awarded and people are ready to get these junk degrees. To America, it is a choice, their system warrant that, their economy can withstand that. In nutshell, America and its education is awesome and attractive, because its science and technology is still ahead of other nations, so its economy. Out of the ten top universities in the world eight are in America and two in the United Kingdom that is why these two countries have confidence in their education. Compared with the Nigerian universities, that out of five hundred top universities in the world none is in Nigeria.

I think we have to revise growth of Nigerian universities. It has to be planned in such a way that we have a guided expansion that takes care of growth and development. University education is supposed to inspire in students to think critically on issues pertaining his society and come up with solutions that will uplift his society to a greater height.

2.7 Implementation of Universal Basic Education in   Nigeria  

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 wayntowards 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 erm 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.

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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 Universal basic 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?


 5.1 Summary

The present study has shown that both male and female unit heads are of the view that finance, politics, statistical data and manpower are constraints to planning and implementation of higher educational programmes in Anambra  State. Finance as a constraint to planning and implementation to planning and implementation recorded a high mean score of 3.01. Thus, this finding is in agreement with the work of Neave (1982) which observes that socio economic constraints affect higher education in a variety of ways. According to him these constraints makes it more difficult for higher education programmes to meet up with the needs of people because funds are not readily available for the implementation of well articulated proposed plans. However, politics as a constraint to plan implementation indicated a high score value 3.01 which simply imply that political interference plays a major role. Appointment into strategic decision making levels in educational planning and implementation is highly politicized. As a result people who do not possess the technical competence to plan find themselves occupying such technically demanding positions, either because of political lineage or the political order of the bureaucratic civil service. Even when the right persons are placed by the political decision-makers, political considerations/interest in most cases take upper hand over technical and more rational decisions as a way of sustaining the political good will of those in power. The above observation is consistent with Adesina (1982) and Agabi (1999) who reported that political constraints on planning and implementation at any level of education arise from politicization of knowledge by political leaders in power. Even in situations where technical planers try to prove the rational superiority of their decisions, there has been evidence of arbitrary use of political power to impose socio-political decisions over others.

Another finding of the study is that there is shortage of accurate statistical data. This is in agreement with the work of Agabi (1990), Ross and Mahlck (1990) which reported that in some countries like Nigeria, Malasia and Indonesia data relating to ethnicity, religion and such politically volatile variables are never analysed and published, even when collected. Sometimes the data collected are unreliable due to inappropriate collection which makes it factually wrong and misleading. At times they are deliberately falsified to reflect a particular education bias. Thus, this implies that availability of adequate and accurate data are essential factors in planning and implementation of higher education programmes in Anambra State.

This study also revealed that improper legislation is a strong constraint to planning and implementation of higher education programmes and recorded a mean of 3.21. The finding is in line with Thompson (1999) who asserted that whenever educational institutions have contributed to integrate planning; careful preparation and discussion will be reached, thus, for a programme to succeed there must be a well worked out and carefully elaborated plan and deliberation. This implies that proper legislation on educational matters influences planning and implementation.

From the study it was also revealed that judicious use of funds allocated to higher education, which recorded 3.03 will go a long way to cushion the effect of constraints encountered at the planning and implementation of higher education programmes in Anambra State. This finding is consistent with the National Policy on Education (2004) which observes that Education is an expensive social service and requires adequate financial provision from all tiers of government. Therefore provision of finance and adequate management is an indispensable tool in planning and implementation of educational programmes no matter the level.

Furthermore, from the study of manpower deficiencies which is due to inappropriate placement of personal was indicated as major constraint with a mean of 2.68. Inspite of the far reaching efforts by both national and international organizations in the training of educational planners and administrators, the educational systems in developing countries are still manned by people who have no basic training in such specialized areas. This is in line with Adesina (1993) who reported that educational planning in Nigeria is managed by people who don’t have the real knowledge of planning, which account for failure in plan implementation. He therefore insists that skilled manpower should be available for planning, in order to make implementation easier. The study also indicated that the main reason for the failure of planning and implementation of higher education programmes is inadequate funding. This manifests in three dimensions, namely, cost under-estimation, over-estimation and misappropriation. Due to unreliable statistical data it is common to find educational planners grossly under-estimating the cost of planned educational projects and programmes.

This is compounded by the unstable market trend that renders realistic plan estimates less effective during implementation time. This agrees with Fafunwa (1974), Taiwo (1980) and Agabi (1999) who reported that the development of Nigerian higher education programmes has been affected adversely by inadequate funding. Therefore, there is need for rationality in managing funds allocated for planning and implementation of higher of educational programmes and creating no room for wastage.

 5.2 Conclusion

The study concluded that the planning and implementation of higher education

programmes in Anambra State is faced with obvious constraints. Ranging from inadequate funding unreliable statistical data, lack of unskilled manpower, and political interference, it was also observed that funding as a constraint makes it difficult for higher education programmes to meet up to the needs of the people in that funds required for the implementation of the proposed plan is never available.Higher education programmes is very crucial for the development of a Nations high level manpower. It is a task that beholves on all developing nations of the world to work towards achieving. From Nigerian perspective and Anambra State in particular, it may not be realistic without an appreciable move on what is on grounds in terms of planning and implementation of higher education programmes.

5.3 Recommendations

On the basis of the findings the following recommendations are made:

  1. There is an urgent need for reviews of educational plans of both federal and state as to make it relevant to the state of the art.
  2. Funds should be made available by both state and federal to educational planners and other professionals who are involved in higher educational plan and implementation. At the same vain, funds, disbursed must be judiciously accounted for.
  • The government should draw a dividing line between technical and political decision as to guide office holders on their limits especially in technical matters like planning.
  1. There is immediate need for the establishment of a National Data Bank (NDB) which will readily provide accurate information on areas of data and statistics relating to higher education.

 Impact Assessment of the Factors Militating Against the Administration of Tertiary Institutional Programmes in Anambra State, Nigeria


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