© Kamla-Raj 2006J. Hum. Ecol., 20(2): 97-101 (2006)
Universal Basic Education in Nigeria: Matters Arising
Department of Educational Foundations, Faculty of Education, Ambrose Alli University, P.M.B. 14, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria E-mail: email@example.com
Universal. Basic Education. Primary Education. Secondary Education
This paper examines the issues considered significant in the implementation of Universal Basic Education schemein Nigeria. It employs the analytical approach as its method of explaining issues and raising vital questions on the possibility of thescheme being successful in Nigeria. It concludes that proper planning and effective implementation are required for the programmeto be successful.
Nigeria’s educational system has witnessed acatalogue of changes in policies and programmes.Some of the changes have appeared to a numberof people desirable while one continues to wonder,why some of the other changes were ever initiated.In fact, many of the changes in educational policiesin Nigeria have been described as the product of confusion (Ayeni, 2000). There is therefore, a highlevel of uncertainties, which is becloudingmeaningful planning in Nigeria’s educationalsystem. This can be very dangerous particularlyas the future of Nigeria and Nigerians will bedetermined by the level of education her nationalshave acquired.In September 1976, the Federal Governmentof Nigeria launched the Universal PrimaryEducation (UPE) Scheme. This Scheme whichwas welcomed in many quarters in Nigeria wasabandoned midway. In November 1999, thepresent administration under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo launched theUniversal Basic Education (UBE) Scheme inSokoto for the nation. The re-launching of asimilar programme to UPE by the FederalGovernment of Nigeria, indicates that there issomething desirable which the scheme isexpected to enable Nigerians achieve. The task of this paper therefore, is to analyse UniversalBasic Education, examine what it aims atachieving and assess the level of preparednessfor the scheme to allow for the realization of theobjectives of the scheme.The paper employs the analytical approachas its research method. This method of analysisis considered most appropriate to use herebecause it will enable the researcher to actuallyanalyse and raise vital questions on the plans forand the implementation of the Universal BasicEducation Scheme in Nigeria. Since this researchmethod lays emphasis on clarity, it will allow thereader understand how the researcher arrived athis conclusions. It could also help the reader todraw his conclusions that are different from thatof the researcher based on his understanding of the analysis given (Aluede, 1999).At this juncture, it will be necessary to establishour concept of UBE. Universal in this context willmean the whole people without exception. Basicwill mean that, on which anything rests. It is theroot or bottom or the foundation from which otherparts get support. While education will beinterpreted to mean the act of bringing up ortraining of a child, through instruction and in theprocess bring about the strengthening of hispowers of body and mind to be able to understandhis culture. Education is an instrument forconserving, transmitting and renewing culture. Itis therefore, the sum, total of person’s experience(Mallinson, 1980; Moore, 1982).It is worthy of note that the UBE is a newinnovative trend in Nigeria’s educational framework particularly as it is programmed to be for9 years. That is, it is designed to cater for achild’s education from primary school to the endof the Junior Secondary School. It is alsoexpected to be universal, free and compulsory.This is however, an expansion of the duration of the UPE to include the first three years of secondary education in the current UBE scheme(Enemuo, 2000).
THE GENESIS OF UBE
The current UBE scheme in Nigeria can be