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Problems and Prospects of Universal Basic Education in Nigeria

Education is  widely reputed to be an instrument of social reforms, economic growth and political awareness and development of a people. Primary education is therefore seen as foundation of all education and should be regarded as fundamental to success in life. It is at this level that education basic is espoused in a Chile.

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This perhaps might infomed the federal government to launch the universal basic education policy to give every Nigerian child access to education. Accordingly, no one ever attained education without passing peimary education, the important of primary educarion cannot be over emphazised.

It the level at which children of 6 to 11 years bracket are enroll. The policy of universal basic edication comprises of three major aspects, which are firatly, universal, which connotes the universal access to education  ans then the basic which connontes the very foundation of education, the foundation at every other levels of education is built upon. It is the very heart of education. In view of the above prompted the federal government of Nigeria to introduced the universal basic education.

Hovever, since after independence in Nigeria, successive government have given priority to the education of Nigerian citizens. A glance at the Nigerian education policies will that primary education was a top agenda of the successive governments sonce independence, the first introduction of primary education came about 1955 in the Western part of Nigeria as the Universal Primary Education, the policy insisted on free and compulsory education at this level.

The introduction of this marks the begining of free access to education in Nigeria. The enrollment of school children was high, this was because government then meant business hence, the training of teachers to meet the demand of the new universal primary education policy, as the budget of this education policy was on the high side.

The free and compulsory education under the Universal Primary Education was not limited to the Western region of Nigeria only, at a point the East had to launch its own free and compulsory education, though the concept of universal primary education did not appeal to the northernes because of its exsisting Islamic, but at a point too, they had to buy into the universal education policy.



Inspite of government goal of making education accessable Nigerian child through universal basic education policy, there are some challenges confronting the success of this policy. One of these challenges is the problem of funding the education policy. Funding of education policy, such as universal basic education is of utmost important, given its aims and objectives. The funds allocated by the federal government to drive the policy since when it was launched till date is not commensurate with the demand of this education policy to realized its objectives.

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This problem of lack of adequate funds to finance the education has led to poor implementation this policy. This the attitude of government when it comes to releasing funds to finance policy of this nature is very worrisome. Releasing inadequate money to fund universal basic education policy has led to unsuccessful implementation of this education policy to its fullest.

Corruption over the years has eaten deep into the fabric of  Nigerian system. The issue of corruption in Nigeria has been one of the problms why the universal basic education policy in Nigeria was not fully implemented. No matter how small the money allocated to this education may, hundred percent was did not go into that program, part of the was embazzled. Corrupt office holders in Nigeria have made life unbearable due to the diversion of public funds, which is meant for the public to personal program. Moreso, there is this saying that posited thus, ‘if you fell to plan, you are plan to fail’. This statement holds true to the problem of Nigeria with respect to universal basic education policy. A study on why the education policy was not as successful as was anticipated was that those in charge of implenting the failed to plan efficiently. For instance, popularion census has been widely described as a tool for national planning, the census exercises undertaken by Nigerian have been mareed by irregularities, allowing for wrong cesus figures for wrong plannind.

Nigerian population census more often has been characrerized with confusion, occationed by manipulation of population census frgure thus, make it uncertain, confusing and impossibe for relevant authoriry to know or deteine the population of school age children. One main purpose of population census was to ascertain the population of Nigerian in eaxh region or state including those pupils and students in each state so as to help in sharing spreading resources, aminities, development, etc. Suppose the government distributing instructional materials to all the primary schools in the country under universalbasic education and in a particular region where the number of pupils under the education program is one million for example, and you give your own population figure as seven hundred, how do you think government whose aim is to achieve the task of sharing instructional material with optimal result, how then do you think government will be able to realize this laudable task with wrong figure of population of school children? It is not posible. So this has been one of the challenges that hampered successful implementation of universal basic education in Nigeria. Such figures then, are not to be relying while planning, it will make for improper projections as to how many teachers, level and number of infrasteuctire a particular region needs.



There is no challenge without solution, the problem of full implementation of the universal basic education could have achieved, if the government and education stakeholders, including the parents and the guardance had put their heads together to devise means of moving the system forward. Education is important and crucial to the development of a child, and so the parents have this responsibility enlightening their wards on the important of education to their lives and the life of the aociery, and the must ensure that their wards are in school during school hours. Moreso, government on their part should ensure that men and women of proven integrity given public office so as to reduce the level of public funda embezzlement by corrupt officials. If all the monies allocated for universal basic education have been implemented, the UBE would not have been at the level it was.

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Joseph Athanasius

Joseph Athanasius is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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