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DISCUSS THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

DISCUSS THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

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INTRODUCTION

In Nigeria, children start attending primary schools (elementary schools) when they are 6 years old and spend the next six years there, graduating at the age of 12. However, most children who attended nursery schools prior to primary schools have an edge over those children who didn’t have the privilege to do so.

Therefore, they usually finish earlier. At graduation, primary school pupils are awarded the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC), which, in combination with the common entrance examination, fulfils the formal requirements for secondary school education.

 

Primary education in Nigeria is compulsory, but free under the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme introduced by President Olusegun Obansanjo on September 30, 1999. Discuss the organizational structure of primary education in Nigeria.

However, it may be an exaggeration to speak of free primary education here because in reality parents still have to pay school levies imposed on pupils, buy school uniforms and so on.

 

DISCUSS THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

Organizational Structure of Primary Education in Nigeria

A school organization is an established structure that predicts and regulates the behavior of both teachers and students. Thus, the school goal is achieved only to the extent that teachers and students subject their individual expectations to the overall goal of the school. Experience has showed that the school organization, particularly the public primary school system in Nigeria has failed to live up to expectation.

 

A large proportion of the public funds have been invested in the provision of primary education in Nigeria since 1976 when access to primary education was universalized. Yet, problems of illiteracy, moral decadence, ineptitude, unemployment, schools dropouts abound because the organizational structure that predict behavior appears to be dysfunctional and unproductive (Igomo, 2011 and Nwadiani, 2014).

 

Previous attempts through legislation to re-organize the structure and management of primary education have not yielded the desired results. Education Act. No. 17 of 1952; government take-over of schools (validation) Degree of 1975; local government edict No. 3 of 1976, Degree no. 31 of 1988; and Degree no. 3 of 1991 including the basic education Act of 2007 have persistently failed to yield the desired results. Discuss the organizational structure of primary education in Nigeria.

The current Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme has also not been able to bring about any desirable changes because of its implementation that is observably fraught with poor management of available resources (Aduke, 2005).

An examination of the present primary education organization reveals a debilitating conflict of roles among various agencies established by government to manage primary education.

 

Also, the non-delineation of specific functions for the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the States Universal basic Education Boards (SUBEB); the Ministries of Education and; the Local Education Authority (LEAs) has severely weakened the organization of primary education in Nigeria. The enormity of conflict in the primary education organization is better appreciated.

 

Appraisal of Primary School System in Nigeria

It is obvious that the Nigeria government has good intentions to fulfill primary education purpose, as the National Policy on Education stated its objectives. But it has failed in achieving the intended objectives. As good as primary education is in providing the basic skills needed to acquire permanent literacy and numeracy as well as to gain admission into secondary schools, Nigerian primary schools are not fulfilling the central purpose of primary education.

Before Nigeria’s attainment of independence, primary schools were effectively managed by the Missionaries and voluntary agencies with grant-in-aid from the colonial government. However, the management of primary education system by the Nigerians has experienced serious problems.

The introduction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) nationwide in 1976 experienced problems of under-estimation of about 30 percent of the turn-up number of the children enrolment.

 

Acute shortage of classroom spaces or over-crowded classrooms, shortage of teachers and equipment. This has indicated that primary school education is under-funding; most of the primary schools controlled and financed by the government are now in shambles.

However, this may not be unconnected with the neglect and lack of maintenance as a result of present economic depression. Thus, this inability of the government to effectively run primary schools has made people to agitate for the return of schools to the missionaries and other voluntary agencies. Also, it brought the emergence of many private primary schools presently experienced in Nigeria. Discuss the organizational structure of primary education in Nigeria.

 

Experience has shown that public primary schools tend to perform more poorly than private primary schools in Nigeria. It appears as if the private primary schools usually produce more sound products than public primary schools. In other words, the public primary schools cannot boast of literacy and numeracy competences.

Despite the fact that there is increasing provision of teachers at public primary schools yet there is constant problem of over-crowded classroom. The parents are also with the opinion that the teachers in public primary schools are no longer committed in discharging their duties due to one reason or the other.

So, a large number of parents prefer private primary schools for their wards. The public perception is that the quality of education offered is low and that standards have dropped. These perceptions are based on lack of adherence to acceptable educational practice.

 

The school environment is therefore generally not conducive to learning due to the physical condition of most schools and lack of teaching and learning resources. The annual population growth rate, estimated at 3.3 percent, contributes to the problem of the large numbers of children who have to be accommodated in schools. The financial crisis left existing facilities inadequately maintained and has retarded progress in building new facilities.

The National Policy on Education prescribes that the teacher-pupil ratio should be 1:40. The classrooms are overcrowded and in some instances schools have operated with teacher-pupil ratios of 1:76. This inadequacy of the classrooms to take care of the increased enrollment is evident in table 1 below. The national teacher-pupil ratio reported in 1995 was 1:41.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the attainment of the laudable objectives of primary education in Nigeria has remained elusive. This is so because the management/organization of primary school system is fraught with several problems ranging from bottlenecks in the bureaucracy. Also, poor utilization of available resources; poor supervision and inspection of teaching and learning among others. The emerging crisis in the management of primary education is likely to deepen unless the reforms are implemented.

 

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