1.1 Background to the Study
Quality education has been the pillar in most parts of the world. The world has been on emphasis of education, which has made it possible for the resolution that requires countries to increase budgets to 6% by the year (UNDP, 2006). East African countries, for instance have been on increase on education budgets to about 1%, which was oered in some ten years ago (1990-2000), to about 3% to 6% (2005- 2012). While the budgets are on increase in most countries, the query remains on the quality of education in most of these countries, and especially developing countries. Quality education refers to skills and knowledge that is potentially able to reflect the level of attainment. It refers to what that level of education can do based on the intent of the same. In this regard, if standard one pupil, according to the designing of the program must know to read and write, then quality of education is the ability of the pupils to demonstrate the attainment of reading and writing ability at that very level. Nigeria’s educational system has experienced many changes in policies and programs. Some of the changes have appeared desirable to people on paper, but in terms of initiation and implementation, there has been high level of uncertainty regarding meaningful planning.
This can be very detrimental especially as the future of Nigerians is based on the level of quality education her citizens acquire. Nigeria is party to various international treaties and covenants like the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which state the importance of education. These treaties establish the fact that every person has a right to basic education. It is not a gainsaying that secondary education is unique in the educational development of a child, being the link between primary and tertiary education. The knowledge, skills, values, and traits which a child acquires at this stage will complement those acquired at the primary level and when these are combined will prepare such child for tertiary education. In spite of the role of secondary education, Ajayi (2002) and Omoregie (2005) reported that it is riddled with crises of various dimensions and magnitude all of which combine to suggest that it is at crossroad. Most of the challenges of the for quality education Nigeria secondary schools includes, inadequate fund, Inadequate and low quality teachers, Inadequate and decay infrastructural facilities etc. The importance of adequate funding in educational development cannot be overemphasized. No organization can carry out its function effectively without adequate financial resources at its disposal.
According to Obe (2009), without adequate funding, standards of education at any level shall be tantamount to a mirage that is, building castles in the air. Money is important in a school because it is used to construct buildings, purchase needed equipment, pay sta’ salaries and allowances, maintain the plants and keep the services going. In Nigeria, secondary education derives its major fund from the annual allocation to the education sector. Unfortunately, allocation to the education sector on which secondary education depends has been consistently low in spite of the strategic role of the sector in the training of manpower for the development of the economy. Statistics (Central Bank of Nigeria, 2010) revealed that between 2000 and 2010, allocation to the education sector by Federal Government in Nigeria was not more than 14% of the annual budget, which was even low when compared to the allocation of countries such as Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Angola, Sierra Leone, South Africa, all in Sub-Saharan Africa (United Nations Development Programme, 2011). Secondly Teachers are the fulcrum on which the lever of educational system rests (Achimugu, 2005). Apart from students, they are the largest and most crucial inputs of educational system who influence to a great extent the quality of educational output (Fadipe, 2003). In the National Policy on Education (2004), it is stated that no educational system can rise above the quality of the teachers. In spite of the role of teachers in educational system, issues of inadequacy and low quality teachers in secondary schools in Nigeria are prevalent (Moja, 2000; Omorege, 2005; Federal Ministry of Education, 2003; CBN, 2010). The report of the road map for Nigerian Education Sector by Federal Ministry of Education (2009a) specifically revealed that there was shortfall of 581 teachers in Junior Secondary Schools and 39,023 teachers in Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria as at then, however the research is basically to examine the challenges facing quality education in Nigeria secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It is interesting to note that both primary and secondary schools had undergone series of transformations or changes partly due to changes in leadership in the country. There is no denying the fact that education in Nigeria has passed through varying degrees of problems in the process of planning and implementation. In some cases these problems defy solution, for instance explosive demand for education and the apparent lack of preparation and plan to cope with the situation have combined to aggravate the problems associated with the process of education in the country. Primary education is the recruitment ground for secondary education. If this section of education is weak it will aect the secondary education in the country. The Universal Primary Education (UPE) was launched in 1976 to boost primary education in Nigeria. This was a good scheme but did not last due to premature way it was launched. There is no doubt that the UPE program, had it been that it was properly given some time and adequate preparation for the implementation, it would have been one of the best programs that Nigeria education ever had. And now the Universal Basic Education [UBE] has been introduced, the society is yet to see its success or failure.
Consequently, the products of primary education could not prepare adequate grounds for quality production of secondary education products. Another problem is that of frequent changes in school curriculum .Both primary and secondary education suered unnecessary changes in curriculum, the reason being that every in-coming administration would like to eect a change whether positive or negative. The moment there is a change in primary school curriculum it will definitely aect the secondary education. To buttress this point further, it is important to examine the structural flowchart of the National Policy on Education (NPE). The structure or flow chart of NPE does not help matters much, other problems of secondary education in Nigeria includes; in inadequate fund, Inadequate and low quality teachers, Inadequate and decay infrastructural facilities, all this challenges however aroused the interest of the researcher to embark on examining the challenges facing provision of quality education in Nigeria secondary education.