GOVERNMENT POLICY ON ADMISSION OF STUDENTS INTO SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is regarded as an instrument par excellence in achieving national development. Hence, No nation can rise more relevant than it’s education. As a result of this, countries in the world are investing heavily on education to position it on sound pedestal to achieve their national goals and aspirations. Education whether at the lower or higher level does not exists on its own, but is achieved through available human and material resources (Ejeh, Okenjom, Chizi-Woko, Agbo, 2016).
According to Agi and Yellowe (2013) education is important to the development of human resources, impartation of appropriate skills, knowledge and attitude. It is the basis for transformation, industrialization and a high way to wealth creation. Agi and Yellowe (2013) explained further that education is regarded as a means of achieving culture of peace, gender equality and positive African values. It is therefore the understanding of many that education leads to national transformation and development, through reduction in poverty with ensured peace and security.
The government has often conceived and implemented policies to enhance the admission and enrollment of students into the secondary school system. A policy serves the purpose of ensuring that every official action of an organisation must have a basis or a backing. Terry (cited in Okoroma, 2006) considers that a policy is an overall guide that gives the general limits and direction in which administrative action will take place. According to Terry (in Okoroma, 2006) a policy defines the area in which decisions are to be made but it does not give the decision.
The Nigerian educational system has undergone several policy reforms over the years such as curriculum, institutional, expenditure and financing reforms particularly at the higher education level. This arises from the adoption of education as the instrument par excellence for national development, and the ultimate need to make higher education relevant and responsive to the needs of the society. More specifically, the reasons for these reforms range from the need to expand educational access, equip students with quality education and the relevant knowledge needed for their individual and national growth, prepare the citizenry to face the challenges of globalization; and to set assurance mechanism in higher education Institutions (Imoke, 2010, Bello, 2007).
The importance of secondary education in educational system cannot be overemphasized. Apart from serving as the link between primary and tertiary education, it provides opportunity for a child to acquire additional knowledge, skills, and traits beyond the primary level. A major factor that necessitates the acquisition of secondary education in Nigeria is that the education being provided at the primary level is proving to be insufficient for a child to acquire permanent literacy, communicative, and numeracy skills expected from him/her at the end of the training (Chinelo, 2011).
Secondary education is aged in Nigeria, having developed alongside western education, which was introduced by Christian missionaries in 1842 (Adesina, 1977). At the onset, only primary education received a boost from the Christian missionaries because it was used as avenue to woo the children into Christianity. Government’s attention to secondary education started some decades after the development of primary education, particularly when the need for outputs of primary schools to further their education in secondary schools became paramount.
According to Fafunwa (cited in Ige, 2013) many ordinances, edicts and bye laws were promulgated to improve the admission of students for secondary education in Lagos State. Throughout the period of stewardship of the Colonial Governments in Nigeria, there were few secondary schools to provide secondary education for those that were then willing to acquire it. Statistics indicate that the number of secondary schools increased enrolment increased from 168,309 in 1960 to 252,586 in 1965, 3,807,755 in 1985 and 6,536,038 in 2006 (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2009).
Admission of students into secondary school places on the schools the responsibility for providing the students the necessary services that will bring about the actualization of the educational objectives, which the nation has set out to achieve. To douse the rising wave of mediocrity in a country, there is need for government educational policy to support increase admission of students into secondary schools so as to reduce the risk of unemployment, improve productivity, increase technological innovation and economic growth (Simkovic, 2012).
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Secondary school education is fast losing its value. Poor educational financing of secondary schools in Lagos State has continued to be on the spotlight for now and then. Hence, Ige (2013) asserts that despite the pivotal influence of education in the economic transformation of any nation, education in Lagos State has not been adequately funded by the government. The annual allocation of the government to education through budgetary allocation has not only been inadequate since pre-independence but also unstable.
The trend in the budgetary allocation to education in Nigeria has continuously fallen short of the 26% target as recommended by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for developing countries. There are also the challenges of delay in the release of the allocation, lack of accountability for fund allocated, the government preference for higher education, as well as frequent unhealthy political interference in education have made education policy analysts to often call for better educational financing policy in the country.
Poor admission and enrollment of students into secondary education is still very much prevalent as adolescents of secondary school age are commonly seen in the traffic hawking goods and commodities in the different nooks and crannies of Lagos metropolis during school hours. Hence, there is urgent need to restructure and transform the secondary school system in Lagos State. It is against this background that this study seeks to investigate government policy on admission of students into senior secondary school in Lagos District V.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The study is conducted with the following objectives:
i. To investigate the role of government policy on the rate of enrollment of students into secondary school in Lagos.
ii. To examine the effect of government educational financing policy on secondary school education in Lagos.
iii. To identify the challenges to admission of secondary school students in Lagos.
1.4 Research Questions
The study is guided by the following research questions:
i. What is the role of government policy on the rate of enrollment of students into secondary schools in Lagos?
ii. What is the effect of government educational financing policy on secondary school education in Lagos?
iii. What are the challenges to admission of secondary school students in Lagos?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses will be tested:
H01: There is no significant effect of government policy on the rate of enrollment of students into secondary school in Lagos.
H02: There is no significant effect of government educational financing policy on secondary school education in Lagos.