An Investigation on the Challenges Encountered by the Government in Educational Funding in Kwara State
1.1 Background of the study
Education constitutes the very foundation of meaningful socioeconomic, political, and economic growth and development of any nation. Since the implementation of the national policy on education in 1981, there have been a lot of innovations and reforms in the education system. Unfortunately, education in Nigeria, despite these reforms and the continuous huge investment by various regimes, has not sufficiently lifted the nation from the morass of technological under-development, political instability and social decadence. It can be argued that most of these reforms and innovations are poorly implemented due to unsustainable funding.
The financing of education is at the heart of the educational crisis in many countries around the world. In Nigeria, there appears to be a perennial crisis of funding and a lack of definite structures and strategies for funding education. The Universal and Compulsory Primary Education (UPE) was introduced in 1976, without adequate preparation in terms of the number of classrooms required, the number of qualified teachers available, and the extent to which available resources could last. More than thirty years after that initiative, the educational sector at all levels is still characterized by poor performance. One of the major explanations for this is the crisis of funding, definite structures and strategies for addressing the problem. This The manifestation of poor funding of Nigeria’s education from the mid 1970s into the 2000s caused widespread cases of arrears of unpaid teachers’ salaries, school infrastructure, and equipment that were non-existent, dilapidated, or grossly inadequate. This makes the effective management of the education system a Herculean task, and when the situation becomes intolerable, either the teachers or the students, or both, revolt, leading to demonstrations, strike actions, frequent and often prolonged closure of the institutions, and damage to educational quality. Therefore, for effective national development, there is a need for optional funding of education for sustainable development in Nigeria. The development of such options for funding would provide relevant data and evidence for some policy decisions on our educational enterprise, which will lead to sustainable national development.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The quest for education by the masses can hardly be overstated. In order to satisfy the insatiable appetite for education, which is seen by the populace not only as the lever for social mobility but also as a guarantee for a comfortable living. Unfortunately, the quality and standard of education in Nigeria is poor because it has not been paid adequate attention to. The increase in schools’ enrolment has put pressure on school facilities. Classes were inadequate, and the teacher-student ratio was uncomfortably high, especially in most urban schools, where the existing facilities were in very bad shape and almost inhabitable for students. The state of school facilities compelled the government to embark on massive rehabilitation of school infrastructure and the employment of more teaching personnel. The strain on the state’s finances is evidently clear and visible. However, on the part of the government, the responsibility of financing education has been met with strenuous challenges ranging from methods of disbursing funds in our educational system, corrupt practices by stakeholders, lack of manpower, poor management and accountability coupled with the fact that the resources within the limits of society in terms of funds to meet this ever-increasing demand are grossly inadequate and often times not available. Hence, it makes it challenging for the government to fully finance education. The challenges of Nigeria’s education sector in general and its funding in particular could be traced to policy and strategy instability and inconsistency, inefficient management, wastages and leakages caused by overriding macroeconomic conditions that have determined the fate of the sector. Hence, it became the compelling factor that motivated this study.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main focus of the study is to examine the challenges encountered by the government in educational funding. Specifically the study seek
- To examine the causes of cause of unsustainable funding for education in Kwara state.
- To investigate the challenges that permeates lack of educational funding in Kwara State
- To determine if lack of funding will affect the quality of education in Kwara State.
- To proffer solutions to the identified challenges.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
HO1: Lack of Funding does not have any effect the quality of education in Kwara State.
H1: Lack of Funding has a significant effect on the quality of education in Kwara State.
HO2: There are no significant challenges affecting education funding in Kwara State.
H1: There are significant challenges affecting education funding in Kwara State.
1.5 Significance of the study
Findings from this study will be helpful to government, stakeholders and other research. To government , the study will enable them to understand ways they can handle education funding challenges and enlighten them on the need to recognize basic education (that is primary and secondary education) as public good and accepts the responsibility of providing education free for all citizen. Moreso the study will add to the body of existing literature and serve as reference material for student and other academia in related field of study.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study borders on the challenges encountered by the government in educational funding. The study is however delimited Kwara state.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research
Financial constrant– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Respondent attitude: The majority of respondents failed to collect the questionnaires, and those who do collect them pay close attention to filling out and returning them, while others do not return theirs at all. Others were less accommodating and may have provided untrustworthy information because they were afraid of being exposed, despite the researcher’s promise that all information would be treated with the utmost secrecy and only for education purposes.
1.8 Definition of terms
Education: Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits.
Financing Education: Financing education means funding education, it involves sourcing and providing funds to run school programmes and ensuring the optimal distribution and utilization of the funds to achieve educational goals.