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THE DEARTH OF RESEARCH IN NIGERIA WITH REFERENCE TO EKITI STATE

By

Paul Toba Ayeni


Lagos, NIGERIA E-mail: tobyeni@gmail.com

January 2012,

INTRODUCTION Dearth can be defined as the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable (online Wikipedia 2012). Research has been defined in a number of different ways. A broad definition of research is given by (Martin Shuttleworth 2008) - "In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge." Another definition of research is given by (Creswell, J.W. 2008 page 8) who states "Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue". It consists of three steps: Pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines research in more detail as "a studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws". Research is almost as old as man on earth. All that has changed over the years is the approach or method employed in particular research activities. The need to carry out investigations and 'evolve new theories is one of the most fundamental functions of the corps of the intelligentsia of a particular society. Similarly, the place of such research activities in the developmental efforts of any society has also been recognized. This is why special attention has been paid to research and documentation by countries that have been eager to develop technologically (Shehu Ahmed Jimoh 199s pg 1). For instance, according to Nkwi (1992, p. 35), following the Meiji Restoration in 1968, the Emperor of Japan was required to take five oaths, one of which stated that "knowledge will be sought and acquired from any source with all the means at our disposal, for the greatness and security of Japan". Today, Japan is a great and powerful industrial nation.

THE AIMS OF THE PAPER The orientation of this paper stems from the conviction that the search for knowledge in all its ramifications is an obligatory duty of man. Almost all religions accord it a position of eminence. Most nations have faith in it and give it due attention. Unfortunately, it does not appear that research and documentation in general and educational research in particular, has enjoyed adequate attention in Ekiti State context. This paper attempts to highlight the present state of the art in Ekiti State, the local problems facing research, and the way forward. THE PROFILE OF EKITI STATE Ekiti State was created out of the old Ondo State on 1st October 1996. The State covers the former 12 Local Government Areas in the Ekiti Province of the old Ondo State. Ekiti State, with about 2 million people spans over 7,000 sq. km and lies south of Kwara and Kogi States, east of Osun and south of Ondo State. The State is endowed with tropical climate, rain forest and Guinea savannah. The people of Ekiti State, though predominantly agrarian, embrace education warmly. Cash and food crops are grown extensively in the State. Cocoa and Timber are the main cash crops. There are quite a lot of solid minerals like alkaline, silicon, iron ore, clay, uranium and gold yet to be tapped. There are artisans and traders as well as some cottage industries. There is a textile mill at Ado-Ekiti and a ceramic factory. The speed and degree of development in the State are however limited by some inadequacies of social infrastructure like electricity, pipe borne water, road network and the need to ensure functionalism, quality, relevance and inclusion in the States educational system. LIBRARY SITUATION IN EKITI STATE PUBLIC SCHOOLS The school library has been described as the whole stock of books and other resource materials in a school. It is a collection of a wide variety of learning and teaching materials which were housed in a place and centrally organized by staff and indexed to serve readers (Waite, 1989). It could comprise not only books or periodicals but also non-print materials, films and slides and tapes. These resources could be seen in two ways namely material resources such as books, journals, materials such as CD Rom, microfilm, microfiche and dissertation abstracts and human resources such as the librarian and supporting staff. Thus,

the school library is the resource centre of any school. (Vanguard, 2004; Library Land Index Project, 2006). The decline strength of research quality is a consequence of obsolete research facilities, especially in our public institutions. Laboratories are not well-equipped or are practically non-existent. Universities and polytechnics offer computer science courses without computer laboratories, let alone Internet connectivity. Libraries have become archives of stale, archaic, and irrelevant materials. Hence, the poor quality of graduates is also caused by a shortage of learning resources. Tab le 1: Responses on the Level of Development of School Libraries in Ekiti State, Nigeria
Items Development in terms of funding In term of purchase of new books In term s of the having the latest foreign or international journals Development in terms of having provision for information technology In terms of provision of CD Rom, micro-film, micro-fiche and other facilities In terms of meeting up with the American Library Associations In term s of the provision o f standard facilities for staff an d students in school libraries In terms of having a reference section in school libraries. in terms of having sections for other types of periodicals in the school library Development in the recruitment of library staff. Development in the training of library staff Average Total

N 560 560 560 560 560 560 560 560 560 560 560 560

High

% 2.50 4.46 9.11 2.50 18.21 3.34

Moderat e

% 10.18 6.25 12.14 2.14 1.07 20.71 25.00 21.79 25.54 21.43 13.30

Low 503 511 467 548 560 552 393 406 336 417 440 467

% 89.82 91.25 83.39 97.86 100.00 98.57 70.18 72.50 60.00 74.46 78.57 83.33

14 25 51 14 102 19

57 35 68 12 6 116 140 122 143 120 74

Source: T.O Adeyemi; Asian Journal of Business Management 2(1): 1-8, 2010, page 4 Figure1: bar chart showing the development of library in Ekiti State.

Respondents Responses on the Development of School Library in Ekiti State, Nigeria


100.00% 50.00% 0.00% Low Moderate High 83.33% 13.33% 3.34%

The above bar chart shows the responses to the development of public schools libraries in Ekiti State. The researcher carefully selected staffs and students of public schools and their responses are represented in table1 and figure1 above. From the chart, it can be clearly seen that the development of library in Ekiti State public schools is extremely low. In a separate research conducted by O. Olajide, the Librarian, University of Science and Technology Ifaki-Ekiti (USTI) and F.A. Fabunmi, Principal Librarian, University of AdoEkiti in 2011 further revealed from the findings of the study that in University of Ado Ekiti, Nigeria, some of the services like selective dissemination of information (SDI), Internet services, photocopying services, E-mail services, telephone services, online public access catalogue (OPAC) and inter library loan were not available in the libraries. However, it is revealed in the study that some services like current awareness services, answering user queries, user education i.e. teaching users how best to exploit library resources and services, loan service were available but inadequate. As a result, the lecturers were not satisfied with their library. Ordinarily, lecturers and students would like to get information from their libraries easily and fast and the most convenient way is either through Internet services, online public access catalogue (OPAC) or selective dissemination of information (SDI). The library management should, as a matter of priority, improve on the automation of its library so that users can have access to library resources and services without much of their time being wasted. This way lecturers will be satisfied with both resources and services in their library. (O. Olajide, .A. Fabunmi, 2011, pg 10)

EDUCATION FINANCING IN EKITI STATE


Undoubtedly, education is the largest industry in Nigeria and particularly in Ekiti State. Also, the educational institutions engage more personnel than all other modern industrial and commercial sectors put together. (D. O. Durosaro 2010,3) Education could be aptly viewed as a process of cognitive, affective and psychomotor development of an individual. As a matter of cultural compulsion, the children born in a community must be socialized for peace and progress to exist in the community (D. O. Durosaro 2010,3). Thus, education is universally considered a fundamental human right. Education is associated with plenty of individual and collective benefits, in terms of improving opportunities and increasing the well being of the individuals and groups. The strong faith of nations in education for development
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is evidenced by the huge proportion of public and private expenditure on the sector annually. For instance, the United Nations stipulated that 26% of each nations budget should be spent on education. TABLE 2: Government Approved Estimated Expenditure in the Western Region of Nigeria between 1954 and 1966
Year Actual Education Recurrent Budget in Actual Regional Recurrent Budget in Education as % of Regional

1954-55 1955-56 1956-57 1957-58 1958-59 1959-60 1960-61 1961-62 1962-63 1663-64 1964-65 1965-66

3,806,745 3,873,305 4,496,201 5,506,880 5,616,687 7,161,303 8,773,325 8,548,829 8,891,921 6,206,949 6,554,640 7,048,530

9,283,690 11,366,931 15,522,128 14,288,000 13,604,163 22,152,351 22,769,880 21,798,923 24,948,913 18,191,071 16,946,310 19,861,290

41.00 34.08 28.97 38.54 41.29 32.33 38.53 39.22 35.64 34.12 38.68 35.49

Source: T.O Adeyemi; Asian Journal of Business Management 2(1): 1-8, 2010, page Source: Some Trends in Education in the Western Region of Nigeria 1955 65 (Pilot Project for Rural Employment Promotion (International Labour Office Mission, Ibadan, Western Nigeria,) October 1965) p. 17

Between 1954 and 1966, education attracted the largest share of the Western Regions recurrent budget, having varied between 28.9 per cent and 41.2 per cent during the period (Table 2). In the 1958-59 financial years, for instance, 41.2 percent of the total recurrent budget was devoted to education alone. This, undoubtedly, represented one of the highest proportional expenditures on education, the world over. That was an ample demonstration of the great importance that the regional government placed on education. Table 3: Trend of Ekiti State Government Budgetary Allocation to Education, 2007 2009
year 2007 2008 2009 Percentage 21.27% 19.16% 19.50%

Source: Ekiti State Ministry of Finance. HALF BAKED GRADUATE OF NIGERIA AND EKITI STATE The adequacy of Nigerian university and polytechnic graduates remains hotly debated. It is a question of particular concern to graduates who are seeking employment and to employers who consider hiring them.
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Employers complain that graduates are poorly prepared for work. They believe that academic standards have fallen considerably over the past decade and that a university degree is no longer a guarantee of communication skills or technical competence. As a result, university graduates are commonly viewed as half baked.(Andrew Dabalen& Bankole Oni 2009, 3) The messages conveyed by these managers of surveyed firms are clear: University graduates are poorly trained and unproductive on the job. Graduate skills have steadily deteriorated over the past decade. Shortcomings are particularly severe in oral and written communication, and in applied technical skills. (Andrew Dabalen& Bankole Oni 2009, 3) MENACE OF EXAMINATION MALPRACTICES IN SCHOOLS
Examination Malpractice continues to grow at all levels of the educational system. It has proved to be an incurable disease in the educational system making nonsense of the educational standard. There is a great need for Nigeria to look for a permanent solution in this millennium if education is going to be the catalyst for national development and if Nigerian certificates are going to be respected in this era of globalization. To emphasize the seriousness of cheating in examinations and its implications for professionalism (N.Y.S. Ijaiya 2004, pg 55), Rani (2004,) opines that ... considering the fact that if a medical doctor makes a mistake, the patient dies, if an engineer makes a mistake, the bridge collapses, but if a teacher makes a mistake, it affects the unborn generation, showing that while the mistake of the medical doctor and the engineer have immediate repercussions, that of the teacher is eternal (pg. 2). It is clear that many people are involved in examination malpractices. It is therefore a serious matter that must be stopped at all cost. Examination malpractice involves students, parents, teachers, school heads, examination officials, supervisors and it is for these reasons that this researcher sets out to find out who is most culpable in this crime with a view to finding out what factors conditioned them to do it and how they can be assisted out of it. The seriousness of examination malpractice and its widespread manifestation have received attention in research. It has generated both public and private discussions

PROBLEMS FACING RESEARCH IN NIGERIA AND EKITI STATE One of the major problems militating against research in general and educational research in particular is the complete absence of a clear cut philosophy of national development, a philosophy which should spell out the direction in which Nigeria wants to channel its development efforts, a philosophy that should not change no matter how frequently political power changes hands. With the frequent changes of political power in Nigeria and the attendant instability, inconsistency and incoherence in governmental policies and programmes, the practitioner in the education industry, including the researcher, is left
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confused. Before the researcher concludes an evaluative study of a particular programme or policy, it is either discarded or replaced with a different, sometimes completely divergent policy or programme. Political instability has also taken its toll on the educational and research institutes in Nigeria. The academic calendar is frequently disrupted: there are strikes, lockouts, closures and general social upheavals - and all these can influence the orientation, timing, process and quality of any research activity in the field of education. And yet, the politician or policy maker out there is waiting, with his characteristic suspicion of, and impatience with the education researcher. A consistent, coherent and comprehensive philosophy of national development is essential for concerted research effort. A gradual decline in research output in higher education became noticeable in the late 1980s. The National University Commission (NUC) noted that in terms of quality and quantity, the research output of tertiary institutions in Nigeria was about the best in subSaharan Africa up to the late 1980s (Karani, 1997). The foundations for research are good research training and motivation, availability of equipment, and good library facilities. At the onset and acceleration of the decay in the system, these ingredients faded away. By 1996, the quantity and quality of research had declined to an all-time low (Okebukola & Solowu, 2001). Summarizing the factors that contributed to this decline from late 1988 to 1996, and subsequent collapse from 1997 to date, Okebukola (2002) lists the following:

Lack of research skills in modern methods. Lack of equipment for carrying out state-of-the art research. Overloaded teaching and administration schedules which leave little time for research Difficulty in accessing research funds. Diminishing ability of seasoned and senior researchers to mentor junior researchers due to brain drain.

DEMANDS FOR ORIGINALITY IN RESEARCH Originality is emphasized as a basic requirement for doing research and being a researcher. Originality is a criterion used for grading a wide range of materials, from student essays and examinations through research grant applications, potential journal articles and book
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manuscripts to the materials presented by candidates for appointments or promotions (Johnston 2008, 120). Kiley and Mullins (2005, 249, 250) explored supervisors conceptions of good research and researchers, and found that they regard original research as both the creation of new knowledge and an innovative approach to the discovery of that knowledge. Lee (2008, 270) found that supervisors encourage original research by having students become a member of the disciplinary community who [engage in] critical thinking, where the student is encouraged to question and analyze their work. Oancea and Furlong (2007, 128) defined originality in terms of [novel] conceptualizations, systematizations, theoretical insights, methods and techniques, theoretical perspectives, or unique viewpoints.3 University criteria for research degrees require students to undertake a program of original research to uncover new knowledge either by the discovery of new facts, the formulation of theories or the innovative re-interpretation of known data and established ideas (University of Western Sydney 2009; Here originality refers to innovation, addressing new questions, producing new evidence and insights, and developing new syntheses of existing work (Johnston 2008, 132). The originality of world-class research is that which stimulates a paradigm shift and such a shift is only likely to be successful if it is rigorously sustained (Johnston 2008, 126). RECOMMENDATIONS These recommendations will ameliorate the dwindling research consciousness and skills from the people of Ekiti State and further encourage active research practices among them if they can be fully implemented by government and stake holders in Ekiti State... Students of schools of higher learning should be encouraged to carry out their final year project work on their own under a strict supervision. The idea of lecturers or other organizations writing final year projects for students for some amount of money should be investigated, prosecuted and disallowed henceforth. Centre for Research and Development of University of Ado Ekiti should be resuscitated and well structured to give rooms for Diploma in data analysis and research methodology. Government should grant the demands of the Ekiti state representatives in the National assembly to allocatae30% of its yearly allocation to Education. Research methodology and concept should be included in the scheme of work of every tertiary institution in Ekiti state to build the consciousness in the students.
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Government, and non-governmental organizations should help students to sponsor their research works Research institute should be established by the government, equiped with books, personnel, computer and necessary softwares; where people can learn and carry out their research works.

Library of secondary and tertiary institutions in the state should be equipped with modern day book that will be relevant for research work ICT centres should be established in all secondary schools and higher institutions in Ekiti state where students can access and download relevant materials for their research work.

REFERENCES: Adeyemi T.O Nigeria (2010): The school library and students learning outcomes in Secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. Akinboye, I. O. Nigeria (1986). 'Research Methodological Basis for Applied Psychology in Nigeria,' Nigerian Journal of Applied Psychology, 1, 1-21. Akongbowa Bramwell A, Nigeria, Reconfiguring economic and human development related Globalization research in Nigeria: issues and challenges Anyanwu, G. A., & Iloeje, I. C. Nigeria (1996).Graduates employment survey: A tracer Study of the graduates of University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Creswell, J.W. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd). . History of Ekiti State, Nigeria extracted from http://www.ekitinigeria.net Jimoh, S. A.. (Ed) Nigeira (199S). Research methodology in education an interdisciplinary approach, florin University Publications Committee. Michael Singh1 and Bingyi Li: Sydney 2009: Early career researcher originality: Engaging Richard Floridas international competition for creative workers N.Y.S. Ijaiya Nigeria (2004): Agents of examination malpractice in Nigerian Public examinations: the strongest links. Okebukola, P. Nigeria (2002).The state of university education in Nigeria. National Universities Commission, Abuja, Nigeria. Okebukola, P., & Solowu, O.M. Nigeria (2001). Survey of university education in Nigeria.Journal of Curriculum Studies, 223 (2) Lagos. S. Ademola Ajayi, Nigeria: The development of free primary education scheme in western Nigeria,1952-1966: an analysis. Shehu Ahmed Jimoh, (Nigeria): Educational research in Nigeria: some local forces inhibiting progress, and the way forward Department of Educational Foundations,