Examination of the Role of Guidance and Counselling in the Successful Implementation of the Universal Basic Education
1.1 Background of the study
Universal Basic Education (UBE) is not a new concept in Nigerian education, and access to education has been a key priority for the country since the University Primary Education (UPE) plan was implemented in the mid-1970s. The government’s Universal Basic Education (UBE) initiative is a follow-up program designed to make education more accessible to the common person. Because the objective of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) program is to provide universal access to basic education, it fosters a positive learning environment, particularly now that the program has been updated to include secondary schools. It is a known fact that one of the greatest problems in the implementation of universal primary education (UPE) in the 1970s was the emphasis on irrelevant and dysfunctional education. Education is expected to prepare us to face the challenges of life; it prepares men for worthwhile living. Until recently and still to some extent today, the Nigeria educational programme has been theoretical and academic starting from primary school to the tertiary level.
President Olusegun Obasanjo formally launched Universal Basic Education in Nigeria on 30th September 1999. The programme is intended to be universal, free and compulsory. Since the introduction of western education in 1842 (Eya 2000), regions, state and federal governments in Nigeria have shown a keen interest in education.
The program’s goal is to provide a functional, universal, and high-quality education to all Nigerians, regardless of age, gender, race, region, occupation, or location.The federal government of Nigeria defines primary education as education provided in a formal setting to children aged 6 to 11 years old.It further goes on to say that since the rest of the education system is built upon it. However, despite the amazing objectives UBE has to offer, it has met with a lot of challenges in the implementation process, thus attracting the attention of researchers to the idea that guidance and counselling could be a missing factor in the equation. As a result, the purpose of this research is to present an examination of the role of guidance and counselling in the successful implementation of Universal Basic Education.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Over the years, the implementation of basic education programmes in Nigeria has been facing lots of constraints, and it seems like the problem of the Nigeria educational programme does not always lie with adequate knowledge and policies, but in the effective implementation of the programme. The current trends in education seem to point to the fact that the quality of education has been on the decline. The rate of failures and drop – outs at the lower levels of education has been on the upsurge. This development has been attributed to so many factors working in combination, which may be socio – cultural, overcrowded classrooms, poor funding of school activities, inadequate infrastructural facilities, non-availability of a functional library, inadequate instructional materials, poor supervision and monitoring of the school programme, psychological, economic, pedagogical and so on. All these are challenges to the effective implementation of the UBE programme in Nigeria.
In the search for ways of ameliorating the problems, guidance and counseling has been identified as one powerful tool that could help in improving the quality of academic performance and, by implication, the Universal Basis of Education (UBE). It is in light of this that the federal government, in the 6-3-3-4 system of education, prescribes that institutions of learning must establish effective and functional Guidance and Counseling Centres or units (CFRN, 2004). With guidance and counseling in place, students in primary and junior secondary schools will be able to choose the right course (s) that are compatible with their innate potential, attributes, characteristics, motivations, and interests, as well as ensure that square pegs do not get stuck in round holes.The Universal Basic Education (UBE) needs guidance and counseling services to achieve these goals. The guidance counselor needs to go the extra mile by creating awareness and soliciting the assistance of the class teachers for referrals. As a result, the researcher wishes to investigate the role of guidance and counselling in the successful implementation of Universal Basic Education.
1.3 Objective of the study
The study’s main goal is to present an examination of the role of guidance and counseling in the successful implementation of Universal Basic Education.Specifically, the study will:
- Examine the goal of Universal Basis Education.
- Investigate factors affecting the implementation of UBE.
- Examine if the introduction of guidance and counseling services will be helpful for the successful implementation of UBE.
1.4 Research hypotheses
The following null hypotheses are tested in this study:
H01: There are no known factors hindering the implementation of the UBE.
H02: Theintroduction of a guidance and counselling programme will not have any significant effect on the implementation of the UBE.
1.5 Significance of the study
The research will identify areas that will benefit from the implementation of Universal Basic Education.This study will provide empirical evidence for the various stakeholders, particularly governments, programme managers, administrators, policy makers, among others, on the extent to which the programme has helped to improve the quality of schooling and the education sector in general. The study will also be useful for the State Universal Basic Education Board as it will provide them with information that will assist them in controlling the dropout rate in the UBE programme. The study will also enlighten parents/society on the prevailing realities in the UBE programme and help them see the existing disparity in rural and urban areas in regard to the UBE programme, which will pose a challenge to those lagging behind and propel them to improve in order to catch up. Furthermore, these studies will add to the body of knowledge by serving as a reference material and an opportunity for further research.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of the study borders on an examination of the role of guidance and counseling in the successful implementation of Universal Basis Education programme. The study is however limited to Kwara State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research
Financial constraint– 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.
1.8 Definition of terms
UBE: The Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme is a nine (9) year basic educational programme, which was launched and executed by the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to eradicate illiteracy, ignorance and poverty as well as stimulate and accelerate national development.Hence it is aimed at the provision of free, universal basic education for every Nigerian child of school-going age, reducing drastically the incidence of drop out and illiteracy.
Guidance: Guidance is a means of helping individuals to understand and use wisely the educational, vocational and personal opportunities they have or can develop and as a form of systematic assistance whereby students are aided in achieving satisfactory adjustment to school and to life.”
Counseling: Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist or professional counsellor listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with issues.
Guidance and counseling: These terms are used in the study to refer to counseling activities in schools, organized by professional schools counselors.