1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education in Nigeria is an instrument for excellence for affecting national development. It has witnessed active participation by non-governmental agencies, communities and individual as well as government intervention. It is therefore important for the nation to fish out in clear terms the philosophy and objectives that underlie its involvement in education. The National Policy on Education seeks to fulfill that role. Government has stated that for the benefit of all citizens, the country’s educational goals shall be clearly set out in terms of their relevance to the needs of the individual and those of the society. In consonance with the realities of our environment and the modern world.
The need for a National Policy on Education came about as a result of the 1969 national Curriculum Conference which was attended by a cross-section of Nigerians. The conference was a culmination of expressions of general dissatisfaction with the existing educational system which had become irrelevant to national needs, aspirations and goals. The deliberations of the conference were presented to a group of expert from a wide range of disciplines that screened the conference recommendations in a seminar in 1973. The seminar came up with a draft policy, which was sent to all stakeholders in education for comments. The final draft was first published as a national Policy on Education in 1977, the second and third edition in 1981 and 1988 respectively while the fourth edition was published in 2004. This reviews of the NPE reflected the changing realities of Nigeria education.These innovations and changes include positioning science, technical and vocational education in the scheme of national education for optimum performance, the integration of basic education in the programme Quaranic Schools, to ensure equal opportunity and reflective implementation of UBE, introduction of information and communication technology (ICT) into the school system; the lifting of the suspension order on open and distance learning programme by government, prescription of French Language in the primary and secondary school curriculum as a second official language, prescription of minimum number of subjects to be taken by SSCE candidates, establishment of Teachers Registration Council (TRC) revitalization and expansion of the national mathematical centre (NMC) and general contextual change to reflect the state of professional practice in education among others.
This National Policy on Education (NPE) special ties six years of primary school (equivalent to American elementary school) for children ranging from ages 6 to 11 years old. The equivalent of American middle school in secondary school bifurcated in Nigeria into three years of junior secondary (pre-vocational and academic) and three years of senior secondary with core curriculum focus. For the two levels of secondary education in Nigeria, students in age from 12-18 years. The last level in the Nigerian system (6-3-3-4) refers to tertiary education offered in colleges of education that award Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) as the minimum qualification for teaching in Nigeria primary schools. This system offers admission to the first batch of the Universal Primary education (UPE) pupils into secondary schools in September, 1982.
Government’s intervention was that the far-reaching provisions set out in all sections of the policy should transform all aspects of the nations life over time. To this end, governments setup a National Educational Policy Implementation Committee to translate the policy into workable blue prints that would guide the bodies whose duty, it would be to implement the policy. The committee was also to develop monitoring system for educational plan as it evolved.
1.2 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is supposed to be of immense significance to all Nigerians, most especially those who wish to know the origin and growth of the 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria will find the work to be of immense importance.
Above all, the research will be of immeasurable value to future researchers who may be interested in conducting future research on the 6-3-3-4 system of education with special regards to early childhood/pre-primary education, basic education, primary education, secondary education, mass literacy, adult and non-formal education, science technical and vocational, tertiary education etc.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The information made available in this study was collected from oral interviews from school teachers, lecturers and private schools administrations, administration of questionnaire and review of available literature within the reach of some educational administrations, headmasters and principals of designated primary and secondary schools in Nigeria.
However, it is the view of the researcher that these findings could provide an acceptable fact which could form a base for an effective take off and make possible improvement in our 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Are there qualified teachers for the implementation of the 6-3-3-4 national Policy on Education (NPE) Programme?
- Are there adequate facilities for the implementation of the 6-3-3-4 National Policy on Education Programme?
- Is the 6-3-3-4 National Policy on Education (NPE) curriculum well structured for the attainment of the set objectives?