Background to the Study
Education is often recognized as the most effective tool available for accomplishing national development goals. As a result, education is the most important factor in a nation’s growth. As a consequence, governments throughout the globe are increasing their investments in education in order to place it on a solid foundation in order to fulfill their national objectives and ambitions. Education, whether at the primary or secondary level, does not exist in and of itself; rather, it is realized via the use of existing human and material resources (Ejeh, Okenjom, Chizi-Woko, and Agbo, 2016; Okenjom et al., 2016). The development of human resources and the transmission of suitable skills, knowledge, and attitudes, according to Agi and Yellowe (2013), are critical to the success of any organization. It serves as the foundation for transformation and industrialisation, as well as a stepping stone to wealth development. In addition, Agi and Yellowe (2013) noted in their paper that education is seen as a tool of creating a culture of peace, establishing gender equality, and promoting good African values. Many people, therefore, believe that education leads to national change and progress via poverty reduction, as well as to peace and security in a democratic environment. The government has often devised and executed plans to increase the number of pupils admitted to and enrolled in secondary school systems around the country. A policy serves the objective of ensuring that every official action taken by an organization has a rationale or a supporting documentation. The definition of a policy, according to Terry (quoted in Okoroma, 2006), is an overarching guide that establishes the basic limitations and direction in which administrative activity will be carried out. It is said that a policy specifies the region in which choices are to be made, but it does not provide the decision itself, according to Terry (in Okoroma, 2006). Over the years, the Nigerian educational system has experienced a number of policy changes, including curricular, institutional, spending, and funding reforms, with the majority of them taking place at the higher education level. This stems from the recognition of education as the most effective tool for national development, as well as the pressing need to ensure that higher education is relevant and responsive to the requirements of society. The motivations for these reforms range from the need to increase educational access, provide students with quality education and the relevant knowledge required for their individual and national growth, prepare citizens to face the challenges of globalization, and establish assurance mechanisms in higher education institutions, among others (Imoke, 2010, Bello, 2007).
It is impossible to overstate the significance of secondary education in the educational system today. In addition to functioning as a transitional period between primary and secondary school, it gives a chance for children to gain more information, skills, and characteristics beyond the basic level of education. A major factor driving the need for secondary education in Nigeria is the fact that the education provided at the primary level is proving insufficient for a child to acquire the permanent literacy, communicative, and numeracy skills expected of him or her at the end of the training program in the country’s primary schools (Chinelo, 2011). Because it was created alongside western education, which was brought in Nigeria by Christian missionaries in 1842, secondary education is considered to be old in Nigeria (Adesina, 1977). At first, only elementary education got support from Christian missionaries, who utilized it as a means of wooing the youngsters to become Christians. Later, secondary education acquired support. It was many decades following the creation of primary education that the government began to pay attention to secondary education, especially when the necessity for primary school students to continue their education in secondary schools became crucial. A large number of ordinances, edicts, and bye laws have been enacted in Lagos State, according to Fafunwa (quoted in Ige, 2013), in order to enhance the entrance of pupils to secondary school in the state. During the era of the Colonial Governments’ stewardship in Nigeria, there were few secondary schools to offer secondary education for individuals who were interested in obtaining it at the time. According to statistics, the number of secondary schools expanded, with enrollment increasing from 168,309 in 1960 to 252,586 in 1965, 3,807,755 in 1985, and 6,536,038 in 2006, up from 168,309 in 1960. (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2009).
The admission of pupils into secondary school leaves the duty for providing the students with the essential services that will result in the achievement of the educational goals that the country has set for itself on the shoulders of the institutions of higher education. It is necessary for government educational policy to support increased admission of students into secondary schools in order to reduce the risk of unemployment, improve productivity, increase technological innovation, and stimulate economic growth in order to quell the rising tide of mediocrity in a country (Simkovic, 2012).
Statement of the Problem
A secondary school education is rapidly losing its importance in society. The issue of inadequate educational funding for secondary schools in Lagos State has been in the public limelight from time to time. As a result, according to Ige (2013), despite the fact that education has a significant impact on the economic development of any country, education in Lagos State has not received appropriate funding from the state government. Since pre-independence, the government’s yearly provision to education via budgetary allocation has not only been insufficient, but it has also been insecure and unpredictable. Despite the fact that Nigeria has consistently fallen short of the 26 percent objective set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO, 2018) for developing nations, the trend in budgetary allocation to education in Nigeria has remained stagnant. Other challenges include a delay in the release of funds, a lack of accountability for funds allocated, the government’s preference for higher education, as well as frequent and harmful political interference in education. Education policy analysts have frequently called for improved educational financing policies in the country. Inadequate admission and enrollment of students into secondary education is still a problem in Nigeria, as evidenced by the large number of adolescents of secondary school age who are frequently seen in the traffic hawking goods and commodities in the various nooks and crannies of the country while school is in session. As a result, there is an immediate need to reorganize and change the secondary school system across the nation. This is the context in which this research tries to analyze the policies of the Nigerian government regarding the admission of pupils into senior secondary schools.
Objective of the Study
The general objective of the study is an evaluation of governmental policies on the admission of students into senior secondary schools across Nigeria. Specifically, the study will be guided under the following:
- To examine the several government policy on the enrollment of students into secondary school in Oyo State.
- To examine the effect of government educational policy on admission of secondary school students in Oyo State.
- To identify the challenges of parents in getting admission for their secondary school students in Oyo State.
The study is guided by the following research questions:
- What are the several government policy on the enrollment of students into secondary school in Oyo State?
- What are the effect of government educational policy on admission of secondary school students in Oyo State?
- What are the challenges of parents in getting admission for their secondary school students in Oyo State?
Significance of the study
The study is significant to the government as it will be exposed to the lapses in the policies guiding the admission of student into the senior secondary schools across the country.
The study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to existing literature.
Scope Of The Study
This study will examine the several government policy on the enrollment of students into secondary school in Oyo State. The study will also examine the effect of government educational policy on admission of secondary school students in Oyo State. Lastly, the study will identify the challenges.