1.1 Background to the Study
Education is the bedrock of every existing community or nation; its relevance to development cannot be overemphasized.No nation can aspire to greatness without adopting education as an instrument for effecting national development. This is why there has been a lot of emphasis, particularly in recent times, on the importance of all citizens of the world having access to basic education. It is also in recognition of the importance of education that the International Communities and governments all over the world have stressed the need for citizens to have access to education.
Basic education has always been an important concern for society and the government. This is because universal literacy and the success of secondary and post-secondary education depend on the extensiveness and efficiency of basic education system of a country. As a result, basic education is viewed as a service that must be provided to the populace, irrespective of affordability. It is generally considered to be the responsibility of the state to deliver primary education(Nicholas,2012).
After attaining independence in 1960, Nigerian government made efforts to reshape the education system in line with the yearnings of the time. Nigeria‟s government after independence favored a public school system that would promote a national identity over ethnic and religious differences. Successive government used public education to promote national unity, and build human resources for the exploration of the country‟s natural resources. The Nigerian educational sector at all levels is plagued by a myriad of problems which has now become a going-concern
after years of un-arrested deterioration with the primary sub-sector been the worse hit.Sunal and Ose (1994)
The current policy on education in Nigeria has its root in the curriculum conference of 1969, which was sponsored by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Educational Research Council. Adepoju (2007) noted that one of the most important gains of this conference was the birth of the 6-3-3-4 system of education which was defined in the National Policy on Education (NPE) of 1977.In addition, Awoniyi (2007) observed that by 1997, a draft policy on education was discussed by the Federal Government and, in 1998; it was approved for implementation in 1999. What attracted the nation to the 6-3-3-4 system of education was the fact that it was rooted in science and technology which are tools for economic and technological growth anddevelopment as against the former system of 6-5-4 (Adepoju, 2007).
In April 2004, the Federal Government enacted the compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act. The Act was to put the programme into law to enable all states and Local Government Areas in the country to enforce the implementation of the programme.The UBE Acts empowers the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to disburse block grants from the consolidated federal funds to the States based on agreed formula. The funding provided by the FG is complimentary to funding to be provided by States and Local Governments. Specifically, the Universal Basic Education Act (2004) and the Child Rights Act provide the legal framework for the implementation of the UBE Programme, which makes basic education not only free but also compulsory. The UBE Act 2004 stipulates that the Federal Government‟s intervention shall only be assistance to the States and Local Governments in Nigeria for the purposes of uniform and Qualitative basic education throughout Nigeria (FRN 2004)
A self-help project undertaken through voluntary efforts and the active participation of individuals and corporate groups in communities constitutes an important nucleus in grassroots Educational development. This process involves organizing community members for identification of their needs, plan; and for action(s) to meet these needs with maximum reliance on their initiatives and resources, with or without the assistance of government or Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Onyeozu(2010). The growth and development of a town is mainly a reflection of the population growth, location of industries, specialization and organization of the inhabitants of the community. In Nigeria most people believe that it is the responsibility of the government and its functionaries to provide for the needs of the communities. It was maintained that government could, and should develop communities, provide basic infrastructure, social and physical amenitiesDike (1979)