CHALLENGES OF EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION POLICY IN KOGI STATE, NIGERIA- 2001-2012
The Universal Basic Education (UBE) as an educational policy in Nigeria was launched in 1999 to replace the Universal Primary Education (UPE) in order to tackle the relevant areas for the Nigerian child which were not taken care of in the other policies. The rationale for the UBE as contained in the blue print on UBE policy in Nigeria are; to develop in the entire citizenry, a strong conscientiousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion, provision of free UBE for every Nigerian child of school age, reducing drastically the incidence of drop out from the formal school system; catering for young persons, their schooling as well as other out of school children or adolescent through appropriate form of complementary approaches to the provision of UBE. Inspite of these, the UBE had challenges in its implementation, hence could not realize its objectives. Some states governments failed in the funding arrangement between the tiers of government, untrained mteachers were recruited, and infrastructural provisions for primary, junior secondary, adult literacy and nomadic education were not feasible. There were not much effort to develop the citizens into a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment. Some parents were unable to allow their children who were nomads and the Almajiris to attend school that is free and universal. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the challenges to the effective implementation of UBE in Kogi State. The specific objectives of the study were to (i) ascertain whether UBE objective on education in Kogi State is being realized, (ii) identify the challenges to effective implementation of UBE policy on education in Kogi State, (iii) find what impact the UBE programme has made in Kogi State, and (iv) suggest the ways of strengthening the effective implementation of UBE in Kogi State. Data were gathered through primary and secondary sources. The primary sources were questionnaire, interviews and personal observation. While the secondary sources were from books, journals, government documents and conference/seminars/workshop papers. Stratified random sampling technique was adopted to select 300 respondents, (Teachers/Pupils/administrators) for the study. A five point Likert Scale questionnaire was constructed administered respondents. The questionnaire was divided into two parts. Part one elicited the personal characteristics of the respondents, while part two contained the questions structured in line with the research questions so as to achieve the objectives of the study. The questionnaire was face and content validated by three experts in the field of public administration and local government. The internal consistency coefficient of 0.008 was obtained for the instrument using Cronbach Alpha technique. The secondary data was subjected to content analysis, while primary data were analyzed using chi-square (X2) at (0.05) level of significance. The objectives of UBE in Kogi State were significantly realized (0.05) in the area of provision of educational opportunities for girls; good infrastructural facilities, provision of basic skill acquisition for illiterate females and early school leavers in sewing. The challenges were poor funding, non-comliance of the tiers of government to the financing of the programme at (0.05).