1.1 Background to the Study
Education policy implementation as a field of research and practice for decades has amounted to a sort of national search for two types of policies: “implementable” policies—those that in practice resemble policy designs—and “successful” policies—those that produce demonstrable improvements in stu-dents’ school performance. This focus on what gets implemented and what works makes sense especially in education. After all, education has become a high-stakes, big-budget policy arena. Education commands a lion’s share ofstate and local budgets to levels that beg hard questions about the feasibility and value added by education policies. Given its promise to serve as a significant lever of change in an institution intended to serve all children and youth, education policy affects multiple dimensions of social welfare. And given these high stakes, education policy implementation warrants careful scrutiny.
As education has remained a social process in nation building and the maintenance of society for decades (World Bank, 1998: 11), it can be regarded as a weapon for the acquiring of skills, relevant knowledge and values for surviving in a changing world. Igbuzor (2006: 4), in stressing the importance of education, states that education is a human right that should be accorded to all human beings. Obani (1996: 5) also expresses that education improves the development of any society, leading to a strong nation. Education can therefore be seen as the best legacy a country can give to its citizens. Based on the focal position education plays in achieving individual and societal development, the provision of basic education is of great importance in Nigeria. The importance of basic education is highlighted in the National Policy on Education (NPE) of 2004 and by the Universal Basic Education Commission (1999) as free and compulsory.
According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2002: 25, also Arikewuyo & Onanuga, 2005: 1 and Adeyemi, 2007: 159-168), basic education can be conceptualised as all forms of organised education and training, including access to information to equip the individual to cope better with work and family responsibilities. The Jomtien Declaration and Framework of Action on Education for All (WCEFA, 1990) gives a similar definition of basic education, namely as a process which encourages close articulation of development of human and capital potentials. In other words, basic education is a life-long form of education involving learning to learn, mass literacy and adult education. As such, it is assumed that an adequate provision of basic education in Nigeria will serve to further develop human and capital resources in the country.
In order to pursue and bring about free, compulsory and universal basic education in Nigeria, the Universal Basic Education policy (hereafter UBE policy) was launched by the federal government in September 1999, but enacted as the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act in 2004. As a policy reform measure of the federal government, the UBE is in line with Section 18 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria:
Government shall eradicate illiteracy; to this end, government shall as and when practicable provide a free and compulsory universal primary education, free secondary education and free adult literacy programmes.
With regard to free education, the UBE (2004: Part 1, Section 2(1)) states that “[e]very Government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age”. The issue of free and compulsory basic education is further underscored by the UBE’s vision statement (2004) whereby
[a]t the end of 9 years of continuous education, every child through the system should have acquired an appropriate level of literacy,numeracy, communication, manipulative and life skills and be employable, useful to himself and the society at large by possessing relevant ethical, moral and civic skills.
In view of the above, the UBE is aimed at enabling children in the Nigerian society to participate in 9 years of free schooling (primary to junior secondary school) with the overall purpose of ensuring the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, manipulative and life skills as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying the foundation for life-long, human and capital development.
However, despite the adoption of the UBE, several researchers (Madugu, 2000: 68-77; Adebola, 2007: 53; Labo-Popoola, et al., 2009: 252; Ejere, 2011: 221-226; and Duze, 2012: 38-44) have observed that many years after the policy was launched, it is still poorly implemented. They also identified various factors that may have contributed to the failure of the implementation of UBE. These factors include inter alia inadequate and poor data; inadequacy of policy resources; fragmentation and conflict of roles or responsibilities due to many agencies involved in the implementation; and a dearth of high quality personnel in the implementing agencies at the state and local government level. Often time, teachers look at politicians as implementers of the UBE programme. This study looks at the school management team as well as teachers as primary implementers of the UBE scheme.
School management practices covers to a large extent the management of human and material resources. Human resources are the teachers, parents, pupils etc while the material resources includes instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning and accessories planning are essential In teaching-learning process. The extent to which these spaces could enhance teaching and learning depends on their location within the school compound, their structure, and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school plant will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students.
Emphasizing the importance of school plant planning to students academic performance (Oluchukwu, 2000), asserted school plant planning as an essential aspect of educational planning, he went further to explain that “unless schools are well suited, buildings adequately constructed and equipment adequately utilized and maintained, much teaching and learning may not take place.
Corroborating these, Ajayi (2007), maintained that high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. They also emphasized that structural effectiveness, proper ventilation and well sited instructional space lead to successful teaching and learning process in Nigeria secondary schools.
Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Williams, Persaud, and Turner (2008) which reported that safe and orderly classroom environment (aspect of instructional space), School facilities (accessories) were significantly related to students ’ academic performance in schools. Supporting these findings are Duncanson and Achilles (2008), who affirmed teachers and the physical environment (plant space) are two major tools that can bring about new outcomes. They submitted that unintentionally and non-verbally, teachers expose their educational philosophy in the way they use space.
In essence, a well-planned facility will be able to accommodate changes in use (e.g., class size, technology upgrades, and perhaps flexible-use rooms), be easy to maintain and upgrade, be energy efficient, and address the safety concer ns of the occupants. The custodial staff needs to be trained to maintain and operate the facility, and costs associated with this need to be include d in the costs budgeted for operating the building.
Nigeria as a nation strives to experience real growth and development. This requires a clearly defined development strategy that allows intensive utilization of resources which is endowed. These resources are the various school physical facilities that are indispensable in the educational process. They include the sitting, the building and physical equipment, recreation places for the achievement of educational objectives (Oluchuckwu, 2000).
School management with its attendant features of instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning, the teachers as well as the students themselves are essential in the teaching-learning process. The extent to which student learning could be enhanced depends on their location in the locality, within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students.
The physical characteristics of the school management have a variety of effects on teachers, students, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2002 Lyons, 2001; and Ostendorf, 2001). These factors can adversely affect student behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among student.
Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on students’ ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities, which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by students including poor concentration and hyperactivity, lethargy, or apathy, creates a stressful set of working conditions for teachers. Because stress and job dissatisfaction are common pre-cursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect upon the academic performance of students.
Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with student-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with student health problems, student behavior, and student achievement (Moore, 2002). To complement these studies, the present research examines the aforementioned areas of school plant management such as location of the school itself, class size, school facilities, and school population affect the effectiveness of schools in Nigeria.
Having noticed problems with the implementation of free and compulsory education, it is important to research the consequences of the extent of the implementation of the UBE policy. The value of this study subsequently lies with the possibility of highlighting not only the problems related to the implementation or the extent of the implementation of the UBE, but also with the proposing of recommendations relevant for consideration by policy-makers and policy-implementers for a more informed actualisation of the aim and objectives of free and compulsory education.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria’s educational system has witnessed a catalogue of changes in educational policies and programes. Some of the changes have appeared to a number of people desirable while others have not been able to meet the desired target. Many of the changes in educational policies in Nigeria have been a product of inadequate planning. There is therefore, a high level of uncertainty which is bedevilling the implementation of this programme in Nigeria schools. This situation call for much concern as the young ones is the future leaders of this country. This study aims at carrying out a research on assessing the roles of the school management team in implementatin of the Universal Basic Education in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of school management team in implemeting Universal Basic Education in Nigeria. Specifically, the study seeks to achieve the following objectives:
- To examine the relationship between school management team and policy implementation
- To examine the impact of school management practices on the implementation of Universal Basic Education
- To investigate the extent to which school management affects the effectiveness of the UBE scheme in Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
- Is there any relationship between school management team and policy implementation?
- To what extent would school management practices impact on implementation of Universal Basic Education?
- Would the school management affect the effectiveness of the UBE scheme in NIgeria?
- Does Universal Basic Education Progrmmme provide adequate facilities at the primary level of education?
- Does the Universal Basic Education Programme provide adequate instructional materials to enhance teaching/learning effectiveness in all the primary schools?
- To what extent has the monitoring unit (i.e Inspectorate division) been effective?
- Are these schools charging fees in spite of the government policy?
- Are there library provision in the primary schools?
- Are the pupils exposed to computer training in this modern technological age?
- Do the primary schools possess adequate sporting equipment?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho1 There is no significant difference between school management team and policy implementation
Ho2 There is no significant difference between school management practices on the implementation of Universal Basic Education
Ho3 There is no significant difference between school management practices and the effectiveness of Universal Basic Education
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that can aid the school to be effective in helping students to achieve their goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing these recommended factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school. In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school environment, the school facilities, class size and school plant management as it affect the academic performance of student in secondary school.
The problem therefore is that school facilities negatively impact student learning and faculty, and administrators were not properly supporting stronger facility management. The poor condition of some schools raised serious concerns about teacher and student safety. When providing quality equitable and efficient education for students, lawmakers and educators must take in consideration of the role school facilities had played in the educational and learning environment. Educators must understand and find ways to help increase student performance. Therefore, educators must understand the relationship that existed between learning and school facilities.
This study will be of great importance because it will examine the challenges associated with the implementation of Universal Basic Education in primary schools and it will also provide valuable strategies of curbing these problems.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on school plant management as determinants of students’ academic performance. This research work covers all public basic schools’ head teachers, heads of departments, the vice principals that make up the school management team in Nigerian primacy schools.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
Apart from time-frame and shortage of finance, the major limitation to this research is the inability of the researcher to cover the whole public primary schools in Nigeria as the scope of the study suggest.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Academic Achievement – Knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects by test scores.
Educational facility. The process of conceiving and selecting the structure, elements, arrangement, materials, and so on for a school building or facility; the plan or layout of the building (Australian Council for Educational Research, 2008).
Learning environment. The context for informal and formal curricula and the matrix that nurtures or inhibits learner growth (Robins, 2005).
School design patterns. Physical arrangements of the environmental components with which students interact (Tanner, 2000).
Secondary school (also”high school”)is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.
School: A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers
School Location: A school’s physical environment includes the school building and the surrounding.
Buy the complete project N20,000
Access Bank (0037853426).
Stanbic Bank (0008940792).
*737* GTBank Instant Transfer