CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
Education is regarded as an instrument par-excellence and the means of achieving human capital and national development. This underscores the aim for the introduction of universal basic education by Obasanjo’s administration. The type of education introduced to us by the colonial government was too loop sided that it does not suit the need and demand of the Nigerian citizens (FRN, 2004). According to Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), the introduction of the Universal Primary Education in September 1976 was the first major national initiative that was aimed at universal access to education. Ebuoh (2004) noted that the hindrances to Universal Primary Education are mainly ineffective personnel and inadequate material resources.
In addressing the same problem, Opara (2001) opined that UPE did not achieve its objectives and collapsed due to lack of trained manpower as well as high dropout rates, ethnic and religious influence as well as gender difference. Although the scheme collapsed it helped to sensitize parents towards sending their children and wards to schools. Its collapse according to Ukeje (1992) also led to a number of major re-organization in the educational system. Thus,the down fall of Universal Primary Education leads to the introduction of Universal Basic Education.
The Federal Government launched the Universal Basic Education on September 30th, 1999 for the purpose of achieving compulsory free and Basic Education. FRN (2004) opined that it was also Nigeria’s response to the achievement of
Education for all (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Universal Basic Education programme, as a policy reform measure, is aimed at rectifying distortions in basic education delivery in the country as well as catering for basic education in the formal and non formal sectors.
The Universal Basic Education according to Federal Ministry of Education (1999) encompasses primary, junior secondary and nomadic education as well as adult literacy is aimed at enabling all children in the Nigeria society to participate in the 9 years of schooling from primary one to Junior Secondary School three (JSS 111). In other words, Universal basic education is of low level basic and upper level basic. Low level basic encompasses primary schools while upper basic encompasses junior secondary schools. One of the main reasons for introducing the Universal Basic Education scheme is because Nigeria is a signatory to the 1990 geometry declaration of education for all (EFA) by the year 2000 and also member of the group nations committed to the total eradication of illiteracy.
The Universal Basic Education is thus intended to be universal and compulsory. Obanya (2000) opined that these terms imply that appropriate types of opportunities will be provided for the basic education of every Nigeria child of school going age up to JSS 3. This means that all Nigeria children shall be given opportunity to acquire basic education; hence Nigeria is one of the countries that signed the 2000 Dakar framework of action to ensure education for all (EFA) by the years 2015.Fabunmi (2004) intimated that basic education programmes was conceived as a response to the level of awareness and general education of the populace. The UBE scheme was introduced in order to take care of the large