1.1 Background of the Study

The emphasis on multi-sectoral approaches to solving the problems of poverty, and other human development challenges in the developing societies of the world has become the emerging trend since the turn of the new millennium. This paradigm shift is influenced by the premises that the resources available at the disposal of the government is inadequate to cater for the enormous challenges facing mankind in his social environment. This therefore means, the government, the private sector, community and other relevant stakeholders must partner and collaborate. This new approach has been described by develop-mentalists as Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach to addressing the human development challenges in the society. It is within the context of the above that the whole concept of community participation in the running of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme of the federal government came into being. Community participation in the delivery of Basic Education Programme simply means the active involvement and participation of the members of the communities where schools are located in the management and implementation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme as envisaged by the government. The essence of this participation and involvement of the communities is to elicit the spirit of commitment and ensure project sustainability and eventual ownership of the project and school. The concept of community participation in the provision of social services has been described as botton-up approach to development.

According to Egwu (2004), it is an evolving concept which builds on community resources, expertise, supplies and the best way to utilize the development Latent Potentials which are abundant in the communities. The Universal Basic Education Programme of the federal government was a brain-child of the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration on assumption of office as President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1999. The programme was launched in Sokoto State in 1999 by former President Obasanjo in 1999. The UBE Programme is a new educational reform which focuses on the issues of access, equity and quality in the delivery of Basic Education. The Programme is intended to provide a free, compulsory, Universal Basic Education for every Nigerian child of school age as contained in the enabling law, UBE Act of 2004. The programme is primarily aimed at eradicating illiteracy, ignorance and poverty in all facets in Nigeria because education is regarded as the panacea to human and development problems of any society. The objectives of the UBE Programme includes among others as contained in the UBE Act of 2004: developing in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion, provision of free, Universal Basic Education for every child of school age; reducing drastically the incidence of school dropout from formal school system; catering for the learning needs of young persons who for one reason or another have had to interrupt their schooling through appropriate form of complementary approaches to the promotion of basic education; and ensuring the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, communicative and life civil values needed for laying a sound and solid foundation for Life-Long Learning (UBE Act, 2004).

The origin and antecedent of the present UBE Programme of the government can be traced to the various international treaties and agreements of the last Millennium. Some of these were, the Jomitien declaration and framework for Action on Education for All (EFA) in 1990, the Ouagadougou Pan-African declaration on Education of girls and women held in 1992, the Darkar – Senegal World Education Forum on Education for all which proposed the six EFA goals in 2000, and lastly and importantly, the World Millennium Summit which articulated the Millennium Development Goals agenda (MDG) in 2015. It suices to note that, the UBE Programme is a roadmap to achieving the needs of the National Economy Empowerment Development Strategic (NEEDS) and the Vision 2020 Agenda of the government which were all conceived within the Framework of the MDG thrust. The National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) Agenda also stresses on partnership and collaboration. It is suice to state here that the Motto of the Universal Basic Education reads thus “Education of all is the responsibility of all”. This motto undoubtedly captures and delivers the message that the provision of Basic Education to the Nigeria child is through collaboration and partnership.

The UBE Programme’s major goal as outlined in the enabling Law, UBE Act 2004 and Policy Guideline is; to engender positive changes which include making programme implementation more responsive to the needs of the people and ensuring that parents and communities are actively involved in the provision of Basic Education delivery. The UBE process involves, advocacy and mobilization of support to ginger education participation, empowerment of communities to take greater interest in education and eventual ownership of the schools amongst others. The Universal Basic Education Programme is Nigeria’s response to the call for “Education for All” as well as the Millennium development goals number 1–3 which are directed at addressing problems of development, illiteracy and poverty, gender equity and elimination of gender disparity in schools by 2015. In line with this policy thrust and direction, the UBE Act of 2004 mandated the UBE Commission in section 9 of the Act to perform these functions amongst others: Carry out mobilization and sensitization of the general public and enter into partnership with the communities and other stakeholders in Basic Education with the aim the overall of achieving Objectives of the compulsory, free Universal Basic Education in Nigeria. (UBE ACT 2004:4).