Environmental Variables And Implementation Of Free And Compulsory Education


ABSTRACT: The study investigated Environmental variables and the implementation of free and compulsory education in Abak Local Government Area. The study adopted a survey research design, the study population was 450 respondents from the 10 public secondary schools, and the sample size for the study was 105 respondents, this was selected randomly. The main instrument for data collection was a questionnaire constructed by the researcher to answer the two (2) research questions. The method of data analysis was a sample percentage and percentage mean score. The results of the effective implementation of free and Compulsory Education in the study Area. Hence, it was recommended that; more classroom blocks should be built to accommodate the influx of students into the various schools.




1.1       Background to the Study:


                        The device for drastic reduction of illiteracy in modern societies is a basic concern of every society in the world.  This           is because education is one of the vital indices used in the    measurement and categorization of nations as underdevelopment, developed or developing. For Nigeria to be categorized are developing nation, she must enhance the quality of literacy among its citizens by ensuring that every member of the society has access to western education. Education is an important key for the     development of any society.

In fact, education is an instrument a society can use to solve her problems. Nigeria’s educational system has witnessed a service of amendment in policies and programmes. In fact many of the changes in educational policies of Nigeria are as a result of poor planning and implementation among other things. (Umoh, 2006).

Universal Basic Education is the educational activities that children, youths and adults participate; it is a rune years        free and compulsory education programme. It comprises six (6) years of primary education and three years of junior secondary education. One of its fundamental principles is that everybody must have access to equivalent education comprehensively and co-educationally.

The objectives of the Universal Basic Education programmme are to develop the entire Nigerian citizen with a strong consciousness for education and strong commitment to its vigorous promotion, provide free Universal Basic Education for every Nigerian child of school going age and reduce and other out-of-school children or adolescent through appropriate form of complementary approaches to the universal basic education (Akinbiyi, 2010).

According to Aghenta (2008), A free compulsory school system connotes an educational-programme that is tuition free and made obligatory for the corresponding school age population in the same vein, the Federal Government of Nigeria (1998) reiterates that the primary and the Junior Secondary Education shall be tuition free, Universal and compulsory. The education is for all children between the age of six and fifteen years. In effect, it encompasses education in the primary and Junior Secondary Schools. The intention of this Universal Basic Education was to make education free and also compulsory for all Nigerian inspective of age, sex, race, religion, occupation or location. It this implies that the background of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) has been constitutionally enunciated as a means of providing access to education for all. The Universal Basic Education (UBE) would this, lay the foundation for basic literacy, numeracy and communication in the society (Uyanga, 2012).

This, although the Federal Government of Nigeria land the foundation of Universal Basic Education in the country in September, 1999, the Akwa Ibom State Government in 2009, extended this program to Senior Secondary Education in the state by making it to be free and compulsory. With this policy, the state educational sector became rebranded, repositioned and completely repackaged (AKSG, 2010). Also, with the child’s right act enacted by the state government just a few months later, education in Akwa Ibom State became a foundational right for all children residing in the state (AKSG, 2010). To show its commitment to the compulsory education, the government reeled out new monitoring policy on 26th April, 2010 to ensure the full implementation and to consulate on the gains so far recorded. The government motoring policy stressed that any child of school age found on the street during school hours whether in uniform or not will be arrested alongside with parents or guardian and prosecuted accordingly (AKSG, 2010).

The environment variables that affect teaching and learning include the following:- science and computer laboratories, library facilities, adequate classroom facilities, workshop facilities and play grounds to mention but a few. Teachers and other personnel to mange and service the physical facilities are the teaching, non-teaching and the administrative staff of the school.

The availability of those resources and facilities in a given school environment influence the teaching, learning and the performance of both the teachers and the students (Nsa, 2012).

The menace of academic failure among young people in       our secondary schools has staved both the government and        stave holders in the face. The environmental of free/compulsory education in junior secondary schools in Abak Local Government include overcrowded classroom (Class size), this is seen as an upsurge in school population. This means that the number of school enrollment in the state public secondary schools has increased tremendously. With the growth in student’s population and subsequent increase in teaching staff, the effectiveness of the school administration may be faced with several challenges.

The relationship between school population and administrative effectiveness has been a perplexing one for educators. Studies have found that the physical environment, class overcrowding and teaching methods are all environmental variables that affect teaching and learning (Zockoff, 2012). Consequently, overcrowded classroom are suspected to increase the possibilities for mass failure and make students to lose interest in school. This is because over populated classes do not allow an individual student to get adequate attention from teachers, which invariably, leads to low reading scores, frustration and poor academic performance (Zockoff, 2012).

Supply of school facilities is another environmental variable that may positively or negatively affect the effective implementation of free/compulsory education, because when the school is said to be tuition free, the population explosion should go along with the  various facilities to meet with the explosion,  when there is absence of this, the efficiency of free/compulsory education may be hampered.

Hence, this study seeks to investigate environmental variables and how they relate to the effective implementation of free and compulsory education in Abak Local Government area.

1.2         Statement of the Problem

There has been an upsurge in the number of secondary school students as a consequence of the free and compulsory education policy by the state Government. On the contrary, there seems to be an increasing rate of administrative laxity in the area where administrators are not to be found to be lax. The issue is that education has been made free and compulsory in the state and there is a subsequent upsurge of student’s intake in schools. This has expectedly brought about challenges and pressures on all facts of public secondary schools administration, including among other things, dearth of statistic on student’s enrolment, paucity of qualified teachers inadequate supply of school facilities, poor school supervision, and poor managing of school budgets or funds. In line with the problems, there arises the need to empirically assess the environmental variables that could positively or negatively affect the implementation of free /compulsory education in junior secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area.

1.3         Objectives of the Study:

The main objective of this study was to determine the relationship of mental variables to implementation of free /compulsory education in junior secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area specifically, the study sought to determine;

  1. The influence of overcrowded classroom on the implantation of free/compulsory education in junior secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area.
  2. The influence of school facilities on the implementation of free /compulsory education in junior secondary schools in Abak Local Government Area.

1.4         Significance of the Study:  

                The study will be of immense significance to the following;

  1. The school administrators: it will proper solution to the problems associated with free and compulsory. This will help the administrators to think of how to manage population explosion in school.
  2. It will also make parents and guardians to be aware that it is important for them to send their children to school, and that it is free.
  3. It will also be of immense help to the Government to increase the number of classroom to accommodate the population increase or explosion in our school.


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