Education Project Topics

Assessment on the Effect of Free Education Policy on Public Junior Secondary Schools





Education has been viewed as a more powerful force that may be used to effect change. Education is viewed as the light that dispels the darkness of ignorance and allows humanity to navigate the trials and tribulations of progress and civilization. (Ikechukwu, 2006) Free education is the finest and easiest approach to impart information to all those who deserve it. Making education free at the secondary level will be beneficial to our society. The term “free education” is a combination of the terms “free” and “education.” The term ‘free,’ according to the Oxford Dictionary of English, denotes “without expense or payment.” When the expense of teaching a child is carried by the government at the state or national level, or by an external agent(s) other than the parents, it is referred to as ‘free education’ (Ige, 2015). ‘Free Education’ may thus be defined as all-round education offered for a kid free of charge by the government, philanthropists, and other organizations, with neither the child nor the parent contributing a dime. In Nigeria, the concept of free education has matured. Following the division of Nigeria into three regions (West, East, and North) in 1951, education was placed on the concurrent legislative list of the federal and regional administrations. This means that both levels of government have the authority to fund and control educational establishments. In Nigeria, free education has a long history of being used to fund students’ education. The birth of free education occurred in January 1955, when the then-western region, led by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, started her fire university elementary education program (UPE). In 1957, the Eastern Region and the federal capital region of Lagos established free elementary education. The next year, tuition was implemented in the east, thereby ending free education. This effort in the East failed owing to a lack of sufficient preparation and execution. For undergraduates, free education (free tuition) is now in effect in Federal Universities. Even with free tuition, students bear a significant financial burden.

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) program is a policy reform initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria that aims to correct distortions in basic education. UBE is intended to include formal education up to the age of 15, as well as adult and non-formal education, including education of Nigerian society’s disadvantaged groups. Section 3 of the National Policy on Education, 2004 defines basic education as a form of education consisting of six years of elementary school and three years of junior secondary school. The policy states that education must be both free and mandatory. This initiative will cover both adults and out-of-school youngsters, as well as non-formal educational programs at the elementary and junior secondary school levels. The UBE is made up of three major components: Universal, Basic, and Education. The term “universal” refers to the fact that the program is open to all people, regardless of tribe, culture, race, or social status. Aluede (2006) and EddyAkpan (2009) The phrase basic refers to something that is fundamental or necessary and must be provided or obtained. Everything else is based on this component as well. Nothing can be accomplished without it. It is the foundation of all knowledge gain (Eddy and Akpan, 2009) As a result, UBE may be viewed as the form of education that every individual need. It should not be a privilege, but rather a right, and it should be the sum of an individual’s experiences.

As a result, the Universal Basic Education (UBE) program’s goal is to offer free basic education for children. However, due to inconsistencies in its implementation in the past, several states in Nigeria are now implementing partial free education, as is the case in the South-west zone. This pertains to the payment of Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), Junior School Certificate Examination (JSCE), and development levy payments. One of the implementation tactics of the Universal Basic Education initiative is the distribution of free lunches to elementary school students. Since the beginning of Western education in 1842, Nigeria has not implemented ‘free education.’ Rather, at one point or another, programs were implemented that eliminated the payment of school fees, in part or entirely, at one level or another. The elimination of school fees or other associated taxes does not make education free since there are still barriers to a child’s access to education. Some of these limitations have previously been solved. When barriers to obtaining quality and standard education are removed, allowing every child to acquire education regardless of age, gender, interest, or aptitude, we say that there is free education. Tuition-free education is not the same as free education. Free education is not provided in part, but in its entirety. How be it this notion has piqued controversy among scholars.


The purpose of free education policy is to minimize the burden on parents who invest money on education since it is recognized as the best tool for effective national development. In accordance with this view, the government has done all necessary to meet the financing and educational demands of students in order for them to gain information and enhance their intellectual ability. The government assures that students meet the conditions of this policy in terms of tuition-free education, payment of external fees, and textbook availability. It should be mentioned that this is insufficient to improve educational quality. That is, it gives uneven chances to all kids in the country, implying that not all pupils were enrolled in schools as a result of this policy.


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Surprisingly, the development of the UBE was prompted by a broad outcry about the declining level of basic education and a severe decline in the morality of primary school pupils. According to Ayodeji (2012), the UBE was confronted with the problems that basic education faced in Nigeria prior to its introduction, which included a lack of facilities, inadequate supervision, a shortage of personnel, a lack of funds, high textbook prices, incoherent curriculum implementation, and a high drop-out rate. Denga (2000). As a result, against this backdrop, this study tries to examine the impact of free education policy on public junior secondary schools.


The broad objective of this study is to examine the effect of free education policy on public junior secondary schools.  Specifically, the study sought:

i.          To determine whether  tuition-free policy influence the quality of education in some selected public junior secondary schools.

ii.        To investigate the extent does free education enhance Sustainable National Development?

iii.      To ascertain the if free education as stipulated in UBE is actually free

iv.      To determine the  challenges of universal basic education in junior secondary schools.


This study provided answers to the following questions;

i.          Does  tuition-free policy influence the quality of education in some selected public junior secondary schools?

ii.        What is the extent does free education enhance Sustainable National Development?

iii.      Is the  free education  clause  stipulated in Universal Basic Education Policy  actually free?

iv.      What are the  challenges of universal basic education in junior secondary schools?


The study is beneficial to students, teachers, educational administrators and planners, parents and to the society at large. To students, it enables them to remain focused in the acquisition of knowledge through free education policy provision in order to build their self-esteem, instill confidence in them to be able to compete with their counterparts. To the teachers, it enables them to improve in their teaching pedagogy with the use of instructional resources in accordance with the free education policy objectives. It will also help the educational planners to give feed back to the government concerning the loopholes in the educational system. To the parent, the study is beneficial to them because it lessen their burden of tuition fees and provision of necessary student’s needs. To the society at large, the output of the education system will be able to promote national development through quality education.


The study covers free education policy and quality of education which involves tuition-free policy, provision of textbooks policy, recruitment of qualified teachers and their impact on the quality of education. It involves the teachers in some Junior secondary school in Minna local government in Niger State.


Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only  Junior secondary school in Minna local government in Niger State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other secondary schools in other  States within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint  encountered during the  research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.

  Operational Definition of Relevant Terms

Education: This is the process of imparting knowledge and skills through training to enable the child or individual develop positive attitude to adjust to the society to which he/she belongs.

Basic Education: This is the education given to children in primary school to junior secondary school.

Primary Education: This is the first level of education organized in the formal school system offered to a child usually age (6-11) years in Nigeria.



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