ASSESSING THE ROLE OF SCHOOL MANAGEMENT TEAM IN IMPLEMENTING UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

1.1  Background to the Study Education policy implementation as a field of research and practice for decades has amounted to a sort of national search for two types of policies: “implementable” policies—those that in practice resemble policy designs—and “successful” policies—those that produce demonstrable improvements in stu-dents’ school performance. This focus on what gets implemented and what works makes sense especially in education. After all, education has become a high-stakes, big-budget policy arena. Education commands a lion’s share ofstate and local budgets to levels that beg hard questions about the feasibility and value added by education policies. Given its promise to serve as a significant lever of change in an institution intended to serve all children and youth, education policy affects multiple dimensions of social welfare. And given these high stakes, education policy implementation warrants careful scrutiny. As education has remained a social process in nation building and  the maintenance of  society  for decades  (World  Bank,  1998: 11),  it  can  be  regarded  as  a  weapon for the  acquiring  of  skills,  relevant  knowledge  and  values  for  surviving  in  a  changing world.    Igbuzor  (2006:  4),  in  stressing  the  importance  of  education,  states  that education  is  a  human  right  that  should  be  accorded  to  all  human  beings.    Obani (1996:  5)  also  expresses  that  education  improves  the  development  of  any  society, leading  to  a  strong  nation.    Education  can  therefore  be  seen  as  the  best  legacy  a country can give to its citizens. Based  on  the  focal  position  education  plays  in  achieving  individual  and  societal development, the provision of basic education is of great importance in Nigeria.  The importance  of  basic  education  is  highlighted  in  the  National  Policy  on  Education (NPE) of 2004 and by the Universal Basic Education Commission (1999) as free and compulsory. According  to  United  Nations  Educational,  Scientific  and  Cultural Organization  (UNESCO)  (2002:  25,  also  Arikewuyo  &  Onanuga,  2005:  1  and Adeyemi,  2007:  159-168),  basic  education  can  be  conceptualised  as  all  forms  of organised  education  and  training,  including  access  to  information  to  equip  the individual  to  cope  better  with  work  and  family  responsibilities.    The  Jomtien Declaration  and  Framework  of  Action  on  Education  for  All  (WCEFA,  1990)  gives  a similar  definition  of  basic  education,  namely  as  a  process  which  encourages  close articulation  of  development  of  human  and  capital  potentials.    In  other  words,  basic education  is  a  life-long  form  of  education  involving  learning  to  learn,  mass  literacy and  adult  education.  As  such,  it  is  assumed 

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