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Funding teacher education: A catalyst for enhancing the Universal Basic Education in Imo State of Nigeria

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Martin Okoro
Abstract:
The goal of Universal Basic Education (UBE) launched by the federal republic of Nigeria in 1999 for the purpose of Education for All by the year 2015 is in doubt. A large body of literature has identified the challenges to its successful realization, namely: poor funding, infrastructure availability, technology resources, lack of teachers, lack of continued education and professional development of teachers, administrative and management problems etc (Hinchliffe (2002), Aduawa-Ogieghan, (2006), Okecha (2008), Rankin & Aytac, (2006), UNESCO (2004), Ayo (2002), Olaniyan & Olabanji (2008). This study was designed to inquire whether financial support for teacher initial education and continued education can enhance the successful implementation of Universal Basic Education in Imo State of Nigeria. It inquires the level of teacher preparedness for their job and whether state funding of teacher education could help the production of qualified teachers for UBE in Imo State of Nigeria. The ultimate goal is to seek to identify the best practice for planning, policy and future research The population for the study is primary school teachers in Imo State who teach primary 1-6, from which a sample of 158 emerged. A 30-item questionnaire was used to elicit information from the respondents. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistical and reported frequencies, percentages, means, analysis of variance and Post Hoc. Three research questions guided the researcher in this study. The significant findings of this research revealed that teachers in Imo state feel adequately prepared for their profession. It showed that teachers are unable to finance their initial and continuing education without the help of parents and family. The data also suggests that state funding of teacher education will positively affect UBE in Imo State. In other words, the funding teacher education could be a catalyst for achieving UBE in Imo State of Nigeria.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii DEDICATION v LIST OF TABLES vi LIST OF FIGURES viii CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of the Problem 7 Purpose of Study 11 Research Questions 12 Significance of the Study 12 Conceptual Framework 14 Delimitations 16 Explanation of Concepts 17 Universal Basic Education 17 Teacher Education 18 Organization of study 19 CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 21 Historical Perspective 23 Funding and Free/Compulsory UBE 32 Infrastructure and Facility Needs and Services 40 Teacher Availability 48 XI

In-service training and professional development Educational Technology CHAPTER III: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Research Population Sampling Instrumentation Validity and Reliability of the Instrument Data Collection Data Analysis CHAPTER IV: RESEARCH FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS Treatment of Data Review of Research Questions Teachers' preparedness for the profession Teachers' Ability to Finance their Initial and Continuing Education The Effect of State Funding of Teacher Initial and Continued Education The Effect of Teachers' Demographics on the response to Research Questions CHAPTER V: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Conclusions Recommendations for Policy and Practice Recommendation for Future Research REFERENCES APPENDICES xii

Appendix A: Teacher Education Research Questionnaire 148 Appendix B: Letters of Request for Research Permit 150 Appendix C: Letter of Solicitation of teachers 152 xm

1 Chapter I INTRODUCTION The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (as cited in UNESCO, 2000) asserted quality education as a fundamental human right. Ever since this declaration, the goal of achieving universal primary education (UPE) has been on the international agenda; that basic education be made free and compulsory for all children for various reasons. Education emancipates individuals from poverty and human slavery and gives economic empowerment (Aduwa-Ogiegbaen, 2006). As an indispensable means to unlock and protect other human rights, education provides some of the scaffolding necessary for the achievement of the rights to good health, liberty, security, economic wellbeing, and participation in social and political activities. Literacy gives access to and enjoyment of all human rights. Through good education, the imbalances in life chances are lessened (UNESCO, 2002). Education plays important role in helping people to become literate, be able to numerate, become problem solvers, achieve self-actualization, economic sufficiency, civic responsibility, and satisfactory human relationships (Brimley & Garfield, 2005). The skill and knowledge that move a nation forward economically and socially are largely as a result of good education. It is the key to improved productivity, creativity in arts, invention in the sciences, perpetuation of cultural values, and reduction of negative practices such as child labor and forced prostitution (Aduawa-Ogiegbaen, 2006). Aluede, (2009) declared that all over the world, nations have had to review their educational systems to bring about the most desired change and development. This stems from the main fact

2 that everybody has come to realize that education is the major instrument for social change. It is the only known parameter that can bring about the much desired development to any nation, (p.39). Educational achievement and economic success are clearly linked just as education is linked to the health of a nation (Dike, 2002). Literacy and education influence social welfare through indirect effects on health, fertility, and life expectancy. Education engenders in the individual a continuous development of the physical, mental, and spiritual life. In all its forms, education seeks not only to transform natural resources for the benefit of humanity, but also generates skills and techniques for the solution to the problems of humanity and for socioeconomic and cultural transformations (Ajuzie, 2001). Literacy and schooling are vital for the technical advances and growth and must be encouraged for future research and development (Galbraith, 1984). Through education an enlightened society is created and people will refrain from practices that will jeopardize nation building efforts. It provides competent human resources for governance and technological advancement of a nation. According to Campbell (n.d.) A developing nation requires government officials, qualified medical personnel, judicial departments and many other crucial elements that are involved in running a country. These responsible people need to communicate with their citizens and with other countries. Education makes this possible, (p.l) Education helps in creating professionals and technicians needed to keep the society functioning. Literacy promotes national progress as young people are trained for

3 responsible careers which impact their countries tremendously. Corroborating this view, Taylor-Kamara (2010) pointed out: With education, professionals are nurtured that will enhance nation-building. In the same way, education leads to efficient usage of a nation's resources which in turn is very crucial to nation-building because without efficient usage of a nation's resources, nation-building will not be successful. This is evident in the developed nations. To continue to build their nations, they educate their citizens because education shapes the attitudes and behaviors and values of citizens, (p.l) When any nation educates its people, it serves the good of the entire country. Citizens who are educated have a sense of purpose and the confidence to pursue careers that add stability to their nation (Taylor-Kamara, 2010). Education helps people to develop high cognitive powers for making good decisions. It acts as a formative agent in shaping the character, attitudes, and values of a child. It is a transmission agent of passing knowledge, experience, and skill from one generation to another (Taylor-Kamara, 2010). The right to education as emphasized by the Universal Declaration of Human rights is supported by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) which provides in that: 1. Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels. 2. Government shall promote science and technology. 3. Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy, and to this end, government shall as soon and when practicable provide: a. free, compulsory and universal primary education; b. free secondary education;

4 c. free university education; d. free adult literacy program ( Ch 2:18) Nigeria first adopted a universal educational policy which was launched in 1979 under the name Universal Primary Education (UPE). The UPE was not successful due to improper implementation, and it was abandoned as a result of change of national government (Obanyan, 2002). The Jomtien (Thailand) World Conference on Education for in the document "World Declaration on Education For All" (1990) advocated comprehensive policy reviews at the turn of the 1990s. This is for the purpose of enabling all nations to assess and reassess their efforts to reach the goal of education for all and to revise their plans accordingly. In pursuant of achievement of the goals of the Jomtien World Conference of which Nigeria is a signatory, the Universal Basic Education program was introduced in Nigeria. The Nigerian government in introducing the Universal Basic Education (UBE) program in September 1999, recognized the importance of education for personal, social, political, and economic development in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria. This was an attempt to enhance access to education among children and adults irrespective of their socio economic status, and geographical background. The National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1981) states that Nigeria recognizes education as the greatest investment that the country can make for the quick development of its economic, political, social, and human resources. Therefore the effort to eradicate illiteracy and improve literacy is very critical in sustaining democracy in Nigeria, restoring equal educational opportunities for Nigerians and a giant step toward providing manpower for national growth. Obanya (2000) opined that Universal Basic Education is a people oriented program. With this program, poverty will no longer deny families the access to

5 basic education, neither will social conditions, gender, geographical location, nor physical disabilities be a hindrance to basic education. Before the introduction of UBE, access to basic education was limited to those who could afford the cost. Many poor people who cannot pay for it were denied the opportunity of basic education. Moreover, in many families with limited resources, access to basic education was preferentially given to men due to cultural bias about educating women. (For example, men are thought of as those who will maintain the family lineage, while the women will marry and leave the family). Universal Basic Education in Nigeria is the means of reaching Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015, the year which UNESCO has set as the target of reaching Education for All. Universal Basic Education is a mass educational policy program through which primary and junior secondary (middle school) education in Nigeria is made free and compulsory for all children, women, and adults. The purpose is to give the opportunity of this initial education to everybody irrespective of age, ethnicity, language, or family financial strength. This educational policy is supposed to benefit all: rich and poor, physically fit and physically challenged, the brilliant, the dull, the regular students and the dropouts including every individual ready to acquire knowledge (Uko-Aviomoh, Okoh & Omatseye, 2007). The guiding principle of Nigeria's educational objectives in introducing this program is to equip her citizens with knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to live fulfilled lives and to contribute to the development and welfare of their society. Animalu (2000) stated that the UBE expanded basic literacy from the traditional 3Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic). Nigeria now hopes to prepare her citizens for effective life by the implementation of the "5Rs" paradigm of UBE. The "5Rs" are

6 contained in the policy objectives of UBE as stated in the implementation guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Education of Nigeria (FME, 2000): • Developing in the entire citizen a strong consciousness for education and commitment to its rigorous promotion. • The promotion of free, Universal Basic Education for every Nigerian Child of school-going age. • Reducing drastically the incidence of drop-out from the formal school system (through improved relevance, quality and efficiency). • Catering for young persons who, for one reason or another have to interrupt their schooling through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the provision and promotion of basic education • Ensuring the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative, communicative and life skills as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying a solid foundation for lifelong learning. As a policy designed for equal educational opportunity, the UBE has given nomads, migrants, farmers, fishermen, and women the opportunity to enroll in basic education in an unprecedented manner in the history of education in Nigeria. It is a development that makes the adaptation to the ongoing challenges of information and communication technology possible by giving rural areas the chance of being computer literate or acquiring computer education. UBE has the prospects of giving the graduates the chance of acquisition of socially desirable life skills. UBE has three components according to guidelines of the Federal Ministry of Education of Nigeria (FME, 2000): a. Formal basic education comprising the first nine years of primary and junior secondary education for all children

7 b. Nomadic education for school age children, pastoral nomads and migrant fishermen, and c. Literacy and non-formal education for out-of-school-children, youth and adults. Statement of the Problem Nigeria has been part of international arrangements and signatory to declarations aimed at eradicating illiteracy and has carried out several educational programs in the past, like the Universal Primary Education (UPE) program launched in 1979. However the program objectives were not achieved. In fact, UPE was widely regarded as a failure as it was marred by inadequate planning, insufficient infrastructure and unqualified teachers. The major concern today is whether the present UBE, launched in 1999, will be successful in terms of meeting the objective of Education for All by the year 2015. There is a wide outcry about the poor arrangements for UBE implementation, as well as skepticism about the possibility of successful realization of its objectives (Adeyemi, 2007 Aluede, 2006; Obanyan, 2002). A large body of literature has identified challenges to successful UBE, namely poor funding; non-availability of infrastructure, information and communication technology resources; inadequate level of teacher preparation and availability; lack of teacher continued education and professional development; gender inequalities in enrollment; and management problems (Aduawa-Ogieghan, 2006; Ayo 2002; Hinchliffe 2002; Okecha 2008; Olaniyan & Olabanji 2008; Rankin & Aytac, 2006; UNESCO 2004). Teachers are major actors and a force to reckon with in achieving Universal Basic Education. Their qualification, competence and quality in terms of pedagogical and subject matter knowledge are related to improvements in student performance (Okecha,

8 2008). The National Policy of Education (2005) stated the following objectives for teacher education in Nigeria: • to provide highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers; • to encourage further the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers; • to help teachers to fit into the social life of the community and society at large; • to enhance teachers commitment to the teaching profession. At the launching of the UBE program, a target was set by the federal government to train 30,000 teachers. These lofty objectives are yet to be met (Ayo, 2004). But according to Dike (2002), it is reported that 23 percent of the over 400,000 teachers employed in the nation's primary schools do not possess the Teachers' Grade Two Certificate, although the National Certificate in Education (NCE) is the minimum education requirement needed to teach in the nation's primary schools. This troubling revelation regarding the shortage of teachers and "half-baked" status of many of the teachers employed to teach in schools raise doubts about the success of UBE. It exposes the fact that the number and quality of teachers needed to successfully implement the UBE have not been attained by the government. If the standard of education is to improve and if UBE is to be achieved, society must educate and motivate teachers to perform their duties (Dike, 2002). The enhancement of good instruction can only be realized through teacher education programs which are key for understanding the skill of teaching and learning (Lawal, 2003). Teachers are important resources when it comes to educational policy implementation. According to Benson (1961)

Throughout the world, both philosophers and men of affairs appear to have reached consensus on this point: education is a major force for human betterment. Quality of education is intimately related to its financing. How much resources are made available, and how effectively these resources are used stand as crucial questions in determining the degree to which education meets the aspirations that people hold for it. (p. 122) The National Policy on Education stated that teacher education will continue to be given major emphasis in all our educational planning, since no educational system can rise above the quality of its teacher (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2005). With financial support and motivation from the government, teachers' pedagogical and management roles could be enhanced and subsequently translated into effective attainment of national educational objectives. The Global Campaign for Education report (2006) noted that with increased funding, it has been proven possible to increase the proportion of qualified teachers without lowering the length and quality of their pre-service training. For instance, Rwanda, a country in Africa, increased the percentage of trained teachers from 49 percent to 81 percent by opening new colleges, reorganizing existing ones and subsidizing two church-based training colleges that produced about 1500 teachers yearly (Global Campaign for Education, 2006). The success of any educational system no doubt depends on the competence, educational qualification level, and educational administration for its implementation (Ololube, 2006). Lassa (2000) noted that teachers and the role they play in the educative process are central to education, particularly in developing countries.

10 Numerous studies have identified that a large number of UBE teachers lack adequate academic qualification, training, and mastery of curriculum content, and they are not engaging in continuing education and professional development to remedy the situation (Adeyemi, 2007; Global Monitoring Report, 2008; UNESCO, 2004). Of all the educational problems that beset many African countries today, (Nigeria in particular), none is as persistent or as compelling as the one relating to the training of competent teachers (Global Campaign for Education, 2006). Teachers directly and indirectly influence the quality of their profession as ill-prepared teachers tend to produce their own kind (Olakulehi, 2007). Although "sandwich courses" (educational courses offered during the summer long vacations when the teachers are not teaching) are available for teachers to update their knowledge and skill, not many of them make use of it due to financial constraints and logistics. That they are poorly paid is a standard practice, but the problem becomes exacerbated by their salaries being delayed for months (Anyaegbu, Christman, & Jingpu, 2004). Leaving the funding of initial education up to teachers and their families and continuing education in the hands of under remunerated teachers, while hoping to reap a successful UBE is comparable to living in a fool's paradise. The remark of the President of Nigeria (as cited in Dike, 2002) that the nation "cannot afford to fail this time around" at the lunching of the program, should be taken seriously by Imo State government and the State Education Board. Attention to teacher education is very important and indispensible as a means to the realization of sound basic education. This is the stand of UNESCO (2005):

11 How teachers are prepared for teaching is a critical indicator of education quality. Preparing teachers for the challenges of a changing world means equipping them with subject-specific expertise, effective teaching practices, an understanding of technology and the ability to work with the community and parents, (p. 108) There is general consensus among researchers, policy makers, and the public that teachers are important resource in educational achievement. No study has looked at teachers' perspectives on the funding of their education in Imo State as a means of adequately preparing them for their profession and enhancing the implementation of UBE objectives. This is a problem that this study addresses. Available literature advocated for the funding, infrastructure, teacher resource availability, and continuing education of teachers for UBE. There is still a significant gap in the literature regarding the funding of teacher initial education in order to prepare them for their job and for effective implementation of UBE. This becomes even more necessary to research as teaching is no longer an attractive profession due to poor remuneration. There is a need to determine if state funding in the form of financial aid, grants, or scholarships for initial and continuing education of teachers could be a catalyst for the achievement of UBE. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to inquire whether financial support for teacher's initial and continued education can enhance the successful implementation of UBE in Imo State of Nigeria. Specifically, it seeks to examine the level of teacher preparedness for their job and whether state funding of teacher education could help the production of professionally qualified teachers for UBE in Imo State. Lack of training affects the

12 morale and motivation of teachers. They are thrown in at the deep end when they have little pre-service training or support structures (Global Campaign for Education, 2006). The study also seeks to identify the best practice for planning and policy purposes towards reaching competencies or reinforcing competencies that will yield the needed result-Education for All by the year 2015 through teachers' job performance. If the competencies of teachers affect their job performance, and if they are incapable of paying for the training for such competencies, policy makers and policy implementers cannot ignore the funding of teacher education because what you invest determines what you get in result. Research Questions This study is guided by three research questions Question 1 To what extent do teachers in Imo State feel adequately prepared for their profession? Question 2 To what extent are teachers in Imo State able to finance their initial and continuing education? Question 3 What effect can state funding of teacher initial and ongoing education have on the implementation UBE objectives in Imo State? Research Significance There is a significant lack of research into the impact of the government (national and state in Nigeria) absorbing the cost of teacher training, especially as the teaching profession is no longer an attractive profession due to poor remuneration (Ogiegbaen & Uwameiye, 2005; Omokhodion, 2008). This study attempts to contribute to the

Full document contains 169 pages
Abstract: The goal of Universal Basic Education (UBE) launched by the federal republic of Nigeria in 1999 for the purpose of Education for All by the year 2015 is in doubt. A large body of literature has identified the challenges to its successful realization, namely: poor funding, infrastructure availability, technology resources, lack of teachers, lack of continued education and professional development of teachers, administrative and management problems etc (Hinchliffe (2002), Aduawa-Ogieghan, (2006), Okecha (2008), Rankin & Aytac, (2006), UNESCO (2004), Ayo (2002), Olaniyan & Olabanji (2008). This study was designed to inquire whether financial support for teacher initial education and continued education can enhance the successful implementation of Universal Basic Education in Imo State of Nigeria. It inquires the level of teacher preparedness for their job and whether state funding of teacher education could help the production of qualified teachers for UBE in Imo State of Nigeria. The ultimate goal is to seek to identify the best practice for planning, policy and future research The population for the study is primary school teachers in Imo State who teach primary 1-6, from which a sample of 158 emerged. A 30-item questionnaire was used to elicit information from the respondents. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistical and reported frequencies, percentages, means, analysis of variance and Post Hoc. Three research questions guided the researcher in this study. The significant findings of this research revealed that teachers in Imo state feel adequately prepared for their profession. It showed that teachers are unable to finance their initial and continuing education without the help of parents and family. The data also suggests that state funding of teacher education will positively affect UBE in Imo State. In other words, the funding teacher education could be a catalyst for achieving UBE in Imo State of Nigeria.