A Critical Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation with Respect to Educational Planning
The study attempted to examine the effect of educational planning and implementation in Nigerian secondary schools, and most especially, in some selected schools in Mainland Local Government Education District of Lagos State. In this study, some literatures were reviewed under sub-headings. The descriptive research survey design was employed in this study in order to obtain the opinions of the respondents using the questionnaires and the sampling technique. Two hundred (200) respondents were selected and used as samples for this study. While three null hypotheses were formulated and tested using the independent t-test and Pearson product moment correlational statistical tools at 0.05 level of significance. Also, the bio-data of the respondents and the questionnaire were analyzed using the simple percentages and frequency counts. At the end of the analyses, the following results emerged: (1)There is a significant effect of educational policy formulation on educational implementation in Nigeria. (2)There is a significant effect of poor educational planning on the standard of education in Nigeria. (3)Finally, there is no significant relationship between educational planning and implementation in Nigeria. Based on the outcomes and conclusions of the study; the following recommendations among others were forwarded by the researcher: (1)Nigerian educational plans should be short-term based. This will enable educational planners to solve short-term educational issues. (2)Manpower planning and educational development should be the watchwords of Nigerian educational managers. (3)Nigeria should plan their educational system along side with other developed nations of the world. (4)The goals of the National Policy on Education (NPE) should be enforced and implemented by educational planners and managers.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education policies are evolved and formulated in every community in order to improve the standard of living of the populace (Kola, 1996). According to Kola, free education policy in some states was to alleviate the suffering of the indigent students and parents in this austere period of our economy. Also, growing awareness in the citizenry of a nation as regards the shortcomings in their general existence on each could instigate virile educational or other sectoral policies that could proffer solutions to their existential problems. As Adeyemi (2000) puts it, the current document tagged the new National Policy on Education (NPE) evolved after a long drawn seminars and conferences on the relevance of our hitherto previous educational system in the realization of the developmental dreams of an ambitious young nation like Nigeria. In fact, the views, discussions and eventual report from these seminars and conferences, and the National Seminar on National Policy on Education formed the basis for the eventual 1977 National Policy on Education.
In essence, educational policies are need-oriented. The need to live happily in a well developed community that is free of poverty, hunger, disease etc, it could be the need of safety and security. These needs could be grouped as organic (human) and inorganic (environmental). At these two extremes, Awokoya (1982) highlights three groups of policy objectives that are apparent. These are: the individual needs on which policy objectives could be drawn; the community pressures (communal sustenance); and the degree of complexity and sophistication to which specialized personal must be educated and trained to meet these demands.
The term planning has no doubt, enjoyed wide application across all disciplines. However, different institutional context and socio-political structures determines the specific activity that can be classified as involving planning. For example, what an architect may regard as a planning activity, may slightly differ from that of a medical doctor, an engineer, an economist or an administrator. In the same vein, the content of planning in the former socialist USSR before the break up of the Republic or any other socialist country cannot be the same as that in the capitalist economy like the U.S.A. or any other capalist country (Agabi, 2001).
According to Owolabi (1998), we need to facilitate the discussion of educational planning by identifying a guiding definition. Planning has been used to mean the process of determining in advance, what is to be done, including classification of goals, establishment of policies, mapping out programmes and campaigns and determining specific methods or procedures, and fixing day to day schedules (Newman, 1993:136). It is not necessary that we identify all the possible definitions that have been put forward by scholars since the practice of planing began. In comtemporary usage, Newman (1993) definition appears limited, since it did not recognise the focal issue that has given rise to the adoption of planning in every field of economic life. That focal issue is rationality or optimization of resources use.
In this study, planning can be said to connote a process which essentially involves deciding in advance, the specific future view to optimizing the use of limited organizational resources towards desirable and specified goal attainment. What is clear from this is that planning is a conscious, deliberate, systematic and rational decision making process, designed to influence future course of action in an organisation or any field of human activity with the ultimate aim of making the most economical use of the limited resources (i.e. profit or benefit maximization) (Uzoma, 2000).
Beeby (1993:4) states that educational planning is the exercise of foresight in determining the policy, priorities and costs of an educational system, having due regard for economic and political realities, for the systems potential for growth and for the needs of the country and the pupils (students) served by the system. The planning of education is now universally embraced as a tradition. The reasons for this are many: (1) education is planned so that the limited resources of a society like finance, personnel and material can be rationally allocated among the various competing educational demands and programmes or types. Educational planning therefore enables those involved in education to gain economical insight in the use of scarce educational resources, (2) with a proper definition of objectives, educational planning helps in concretising a society educational choices in terms of specific tasks to be accomplished. This helps in giving direction to actions, permits delegation, facilitates control and provides the basis for evaluation, (3) educational planning is done to ensure that the various educational interest and demands of all those interest groups like students, parents, school managers, community members etc; are harmonized with those of the society in terms of needs, capacity and constraints, (4) the production of skilled manpower or inculcation of desirable habits through education takes a very long time to mature. Investment decision here therefore needs to be planned for ahead to time, (5) government the world over, have found the need to plan education to ensure that there is adequate investment in education. This is because the spill-over benefits and costs associated with it makes it unenticing for adequate private sector investment, (6) above all, education is planned to avoid wastages by providing just the type and quantity of educational services needed in the society (Barnes et al., 1999).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Educational policies are evolved and formulated in every community in order to improve the standards of living of the people in that community. However, certain problems militate against the planning and implementation of these policies in the educational system. For example, the planning of education and the consequent implementation of the plans have had very limited success in Nigeria. It is not likely that the stage of things will be better in the near future. There has been recurrent problems in educational policy formulation, planning and execution. These recurrent problems of educational planning and implementation are: the cart before the horse syndrome, for example, in most cases, educational planning efforts normally start after implementation. National leaders merely make public pronouncements about educational policies or programmes without any regard to the actual process. Also, the problem of poor functional differentiation where educational planning and implementation have the problem of ineffectiveness, because educational objectives in Nigeria have been very vague in implementation.
Another problem is weak data base, in Nigeria, the culture of educational planning has been without accurate data base. This has limited the progress made in education. The problems of inadequate outdated and inaccurate data have been highlighted by Ashby (1960). The lack of qualitative and quantitative data base in educational policy formulation, planning and implementation has stalled progress in that sector.
Other perceived problems that militate against planning and effective implementation in education are explosive population, inadequate resources (human and materials), the depressed economy, unprogressive administrative tradition, politics, lack of public support etc.
1.3 Research Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to examine a critical analysis of policy formulation and implementation with respect to educational planning in Lagos State.
Other specific objectives are:
(1) To find out whether there is good policy formulations in Nigerian educational sector.
(2) To examine whether there is effective implementation of educational policies in Nigeria.
(3) To identify the problems militating against effective implementation of educational policies in Nigeria.
(4) To investigate whether educational planners in Nigeria have effectively implemented the same.
(5) To proffer adequate solution to the problem of poor implementation of Nigerian educational plans.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will be raised in this study:
(1) Is there any good formulation of educational policies in Nigeria?
(2) To what extent can we examine whether there is effective implementation of educational policies in Nigeria?
(3) How can we identify the problems militating against effective implementation of educational programmes in Nigeria?
(4) To what extent can we investigate whether education in Nigeria have effectively executed?
(5) What are the possible solutions to the problems of poor implementation of educational policies in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
These research hypothesis will be formulated in this study:
(1) There will be no significant effect of educational policy formulation on educational implementation in Nigeria.
(2) There will be no significant effect of poor educational planning on standard of education in Nigeria.
(3) There will be no significant relationship between educational planning and implementation in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the study
This study will be benefited to the following people:
(1) Educational Planners: With the findings and recommendations of this study, educational planners would be in good position to plan effectively, the education of Lagos State. It also enables them to seek ways of implementing the plans made. The recommendations of this study will help educational planners in the school to brace up and explore effectively the meaningful ways of putting the policies so formulated into proper execution.
(2) School Administration: The recommendations of this study will assist educational planners who will use the proffered solutions to carry out their day to day activities in our educational sector. The recommendations will give them the needed insights on the ways of efficient implementation of the plans or policies formulated by the educational planners or policy formulators in Nigeria.
(3) Stakeholders in Nigeria Education: This study will be beneficial to the stakeholders such as parents, students, teachers and the entire society who will be adequately exposed to the benefit and importance of good policy formulation and effective implementation of educational plans in the country.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study covers the critical analysis of policy formulation and implementation with respect to educational planning in Lagos State. A case study of Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos.