Theresearch centres on “the assessment of free and compulsory education policy in Nigeria a study of Ebonyi State Universal Basic Education Scheme. The broad objective is to assess the performance of free and compulsory education in Ebonyi State. The specific objectives are to identify the challenges militating against the implementation of free and compulsory education in Ebonyi State, to ascertain the reasons why there are pockets of school drop outs in Ebonyi State inspite of the ongoing free and compulsory education policy in the state and to evaluate the measures that are put in place by the government to ensure that all Ebonyi children are carried along in the free and compulsory education policy. Survey design was used and data were collected using the instrumentation of questionnaire and were analyzed by table, mean and pearson correlation coefficient. Hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted system theory as the theoretical framework of analysis.
The study came up with findings and recommendations: (a) Lack of teachers’ motivation is militating against the actualization of the goals of the Universal Basic education policy in Nigeria and in Ebonyi State in particular. (b) Child labour remains the major reason why there are pockets of drop outs of students and pupils in Ebonyi State inspite of the free education policy. (c) There are lack of effective mechanism put in place to ensure the appropriate appraisal, monitoring and evaluation of the UBE policy in the country especially, in Ebonyi State. (d) Policy inconsistency negate the sustainability of the UBE programme.
Recommendations (1) In as much as Nigeria wants to eradicate illiteracy in the country come 2015 according to the MDGs target, government should demonstrate a strong political will to carry out this policy option otherwise, reverse will be the case. (2) As a matter of urgent national issue all hands must be on desks in order to wipe out this national cankerworm (illiteracy) by all and sundry. (3) Teachers salaries should be reviewed up wardly and adequate extra-compensatory measures put in place that conform to the present economic realities of time and so on.
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ASSESSMENT OF FREE AND COMPULSORY EDUCATION POLICY IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF EBONYI STATE UNIVERSAL BASIC EDUCATION