Universal Basic Education in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects

Abstract:

The fundamental principle of UBE in Nigeria is that everybody must have access to equivalent education comprehensively and co-educationally. The concept of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) introduced in 1976. (6 years education) was to change into Basic education (9 years education) twenty three years later. Basic education is not completely new but its meaning has been broadened after the World Declaration on Education for All (EFA),and the Framework for Action to meet Basic learning needs. The policy provisions of these documents surpass what was on ground then. Three demographic studies on the existing national situation in the primary education sector revealed that, 12% of primary school pupils sit on the floor, 38% classrooms have no ceilings, 87% classrooms overcrowded, while 77% pupils lack textbooks. Almost all sampled teachers are poorly motivated coupled with lack of community interest and participation in the management of the schools. That was the prelude to the launching of the UBE introduced in line with Millennium Development Goals (MDGS). Consequently this paper examines the unique features of the UBE and the extent that, the Nigerian school age population can benefit from the policy. This research therefore, aims to assess the on-the-field performance of the UBE policy.