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This project titled the challenges of improving free and compulsory education is timely and an active field of research.This means tuition free; free feeding, free books, free accommodation, free transportation, uniform and other personal needs of the learners, research hypothesis was postulated and tested in the work using the chi square method.
The results arethat Limited funding, lack of learning facilities and instructional materials and limited qualified teachers are the challenges of free and compulsory education implementation in AkwaIbom State and the challenge of free and compulsory education positively impacts the performance of students in public schools in AkwaIbom state.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is an investment on human being, the investment and characteristics of education given by the society can easily be assessed by the quality of its products. The input is assessed by the output. It is a truism that the success of an education system depends on effective and efficient utilization of quality and quantity resources made available to schools. Schools resources in any situation imply the totality of everything which the school’s system needs for its smooth running and that include money, man and materials available in the realization of the organizational goals. Denga (1996) described educational resources as the human capital and the technical capital used in attainment of educational goals and objectives. The degree of provision and utilization of educational inputs may affect the performance of a school and its programmes. Udoh (1998) stated that the selection and use of educational resources depend on its availability, the characteristics of the resources, the objectives of the educational programmes, and the level of civilization of that society. Over the years, education has been ranked as the best legacy any conscientious leader, government or parent could leave for her/his people (Otu, Charles &Akpabio, 2011). This is increasingly important because the quality of education given to a people determines the standard of growth achieved.
Amaele (2001) asserted that free education means the establishment of various kinds of schools and expansion of school curriculum to make each child develop according to his or her ability, age and interest. It includes the establishment and provision of library facilities, technical and vocational equipment, recruitment and retention of qualified and adequate man power. It means tuition free; free feeding, free books, free accommodation, free transportation, uniform and other personal needs of the learners. Free education entails the removal of every socio-cultural impediment to education. The sum total of all these, makes education free. The partial implementation of the above can never qualify the system as free because the presence of any one of the above constitutes constraint to the child’s access to education.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Free and compulsory education in Nigeria and AkwaIbom state particularly is faced with several problems primarily because the poor allocations to the education sector are at variance with the UNESCO provisions (Akpabio and Sammy, 2015). In addition, mounting evidence abound of the declining students’ performances in schools and public examinations in AkwaIbom State. This is likely linked to the fact that students graduating from the state-owned secondary schools where free and compulsory education programme is implemented perform poorly. This is compared with their counterparts in the private schools where learning resources are more available and frequently used for instruction. There has been also outcry from the society on examination malpractice, truancy, falsification of result and incessant strike action by teachers.
These challenges are what the researcher intends to investigate and proffer solutions
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of the study:
1. To identify the need for effective implementation of free and compulsory education in AkwaIbom state.
2. To determine the several challenges of free and compulsory education implementation in AkwaIbom state.
3. To determine the impact of the challenges of free and compulsory education on the performance of students in public schools in AkwaIbom state.
1.4 STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESES
As a guide to achieve the objectives of the study, the following hypotheses were formulated:
Ho: Limited funding, lack of learning facilities and instructional materials and limited qualified teachers are not the challenges of free and compulsory education implementation in AkwaIbom State.
Ha: Limited funding, lack of learning fascilities and instructional materials and limited qualified teachers are the challenges of free and compulsory education implementation in AkwaIbom State.
Ho:Thechallenge of free and compulsory education positively impacts the performance of students in public schools in AkwaIbom state.
Ho: The challenge of free and compulsory education negatively impacts the performance of students in public schools in AkwaIbom state.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that this research work will be beneficial to the government of AkwaIbom State in the following ways:
1. It will help in buttressing the fact that lack of adequate funding is a major cause for the poor implementation state of free and compulsory education in AkwaIbom state.
2. It will help in identifying the challenges to successful implementation of free and compulsory education in Nigeria.
3. The study will also reveal the reason for the poor performance of students in public schools.
4. The study will serve as a useful resource material to individuals and students.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research work is focused on the challenges of improving free and compulsory education in AkwaIbom state in Nigeria a case study of Government of AkwaIbom state, Nigeria.
The study was limited by the following factors:
Financial Factor: Inadequate funds affected the way data were collected since the researcher had to travel long distances for the distribution of the research questionnaire forms.
Time Factor: This affected the reduction in the size of the sample used for the study because the researcher had less than two months to complete the study.
Material Factor: Shortage of relevant materials for literature review posed a great difficulty.
The study was also limited to the information gathered from primary and secondary records.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
EDUCATION: The process or art of imparting knowledge, skill and judgment.
FREE: Obtainable without any payment.
COMPULSORY: To make something obligatory or a must.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
In this research study, the researcher took a critical look at the challenges of improving free and compulsory education in AkwaIbom state in Nigeria a case study of Government of AkwaIbom state, Nigeria. The research work was divided into five chapters.
Chapter one was on the background of the study, as well as statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, statement of hypothesis, significance of the study scope and limitation of the study, organization of the study and definition of terms.
Chapter two reviewed the related literature on the subject matter and contributions of different authors.
Chapter three is on the research Design and methodology, it presents the research design, population of the Study, Sample and Sampling Technique, Instrumentation, Method/Plan for Data Analysis and Problems of Data Collection.
Chapter four takes care of the data presentation, analysis and interpretation as well as discussion of findings.
Chapter five (5) encapsulates the summary, findings, conclusion and recommendations made by the researcher.
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