THE EFFECT OF FREE EDUCATION ON THE
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS
IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
This work analyses the effect of free education on the academic performance of students in secondary schools using six selected schools in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State as a case study.
Chapter one gives a general background of the study on the concept of education, how important education is and also laws governing educational practices at federal, state and local government.
Chapter two deals on the review of related literatures. It explains the concept and system of education, history of free education in Nigeria, financing education as aided by the world bank as well as benefits of free education.
Chapter three shows the research methodology employed while chapter four analyses and interprets the data obtained mainly through the administration of questionnaire.
Chapter five summarises the whole research work and also gives the researchers conclusion and recommendation
1.1. BACK GROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is of paramount importance in a growing nation. It is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens especially the youth. This is because the development of any nation or community depends largely on the quality of education of such a nation. Not only is education the greatest force that can be used to bring about redress, it is also the greatest investment that a nation can make for the quick development of its economic, political, sociological and human resources. (Nigeria, National policy on Education.) The very process of learning to read and write should be made an opportunity for acquiring information that can immediately be used to improve living standards.Education is viewed in different perspective by different authors.
Oyakan (2000) opined education as the aggregate of all process by which a child or young adult develops the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour which are of positive values to the society in which he lives. Here education is regarded as the totality of all form of brilliant ideas, visible skills and desirable value orientations that can nurture individuals into responsible competent citizen, such educated men and women would use their competence, experience and vision of a good society to create wealth for nation building. Nigeria like any other developing nations has witnessed military rule for a long time and aborted civilian administrations which necessitated the promulgation of decrees, edicts and laws concerning educational practices at federal, state and local government levels. The inconsistent continuation of government due to coup detat de-emphasized the continuity in the implementation of educational laws and policies since 1970’s till the present time. This generally laid the foundation of fallen standard in education at the primary and secondary school levels. (Shittu 2004). According to Olutu (1994) looking for means of survival, the nation has evolved series of socio-economic and educational measures and policies such as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP), Austerity measures, Universal Primary Education (UPE), Universal Basic Education (UBE) and Devaluation of the Naira. These measures have not improved the social-economic and educational status of families (olutu 1994). Also many rural and sub urban dwellers can no longer pay the schools fees of their wards. These ugly situations have promoted young school students to dropout of school to engage in subsistence farming and become housemaids or engage in other menial jobs to support their academic pursuit. Hence many students have since taken schooling as a secondary assignment and school attendance on rotational basis. The resultant problem posed by this is poor academic performance in school examination like National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC). This trend is posing huge problems to parents, governments, political parties and stakeholders in education.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This research arose as a result of increase number of students, increased absenteeism, and differences in the nature, performance and characteristic of students experienced since the introduction of free education.
1.3. RESEARCH QUESTIONS.
This work will seek to provide answers to the following questions:
(1) Is there any effect of free education on the academic performance of students?
(2) Are there problems associated with higher enrolment of students?
1.4. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to know the reason for embarking on free education and its influence on the academic performance of secondary school students in NGOR OKPALA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, IMO STATE.
The specific objectives are:-
(1) To know the effect of free education on the academic performance of students.
(2) To know the influence of free education on the enrolment rate of secondary school students.
1.5. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.
This study will be used to formulate further educational policies by the government to adopt in order to increase the academic performance of students in secondary school. The result can also be used by curriculum planners, educators and some government agencies in determining the population of those above or below the working age. On the other hand, the study will equally help the parents to have their children educated with lesser financial burden.
1.6. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study focuses on the influence of free education on the academic performance of secondary school in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area, Imo State. This study was limited to only six schools due to time, energy and cost.
1.7. HYPOTHESIS: - There is no significant effect of free education on the academic performance of students in secondary school
(A CASE STUDY OF NGOR OKPALA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF IMO STATE)