PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF SECONDARY EDUCATION INSTITUTES A STUDY OF HOLY GHOST SECONDARY SCHOOL, ABAKALIKI, EBONYI STATE NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Scholars both within and outside the educational sector have variously remarked on its multifarious input to societal development. According to Durkheim (1961) as quoted in Haralambos, et al, (2004) society can survive only if there exists among its members a sufficient degree of homogeneity; education according to him perpetuates and reinforces this homogeneity by fixing in the child from the beginning the essential similarities which collective life demands.
In Nigeria, education has been adopted as an instrument par excellence for achieving national development.
Secondary education in Nigeria over the years has been facing a myriad of problems and challenges which is continually hindering it from reaching the national objectives. These range from poor funding, lack of infrastructure, lack of qualified teachers to so many other similar challenges.
Omoregie, (2007) observed that secondary educational sector in Nigeria is fast loosing its relevance as it is battling hard to fulfill the national objectives set down in the national policy on education. This is attributed to the problems facing the sub sector.
Odia, et al, (2007) noted that secondary education is no longer the epitome of quality which it hitherto represented. What informed this according to him has been lack of adequate attention from the appropriate authorities, this had led to the falling standard of the sub sector and by extension the entire educational sector.
In view of this, Yoloye, (1978) highlighted the problems facing secondary education and the entire educational sector as follow; poor funding, poor educational infrastructures, inadequate classrooms, teaching aid, lack of incentives for staff, paucity of quality teachers and poor/ polluted learning environment. This, he maintained has adversely affected the quality of their products.
Nwangwu, (1975) trace most of the problems facing education sector to poor funding, he opined that poor funding is the bane of our education, when adequate fund is made available, the teachers are well paid and motivated, all relevant teaching aids are procured, basic learning infrastructures are put in place and the environment is thus made conducive for learning.
However, the absence of all these will result to problems which can cause the entire sector to deteriorate.
Okobia, (1994) points out that secondary education is the mediating force in the educational sector and that its significance is felt in its aims and objectives which informed it existence.
These include that it .
Provides an increasing number of primary school pupils with opportunity for higher education.
Equips students to live effectively in our modern age
Raises a generation of people who can think for themselves and respect the views and feeling of others and
Inspire its students with a desire for achievement and self improvement.
He however maintained that the realization of the above laudable aims and objectives is fraught with a number of challenges, this includes; lack of funding for the sub sector, inconsistent curriculum, ill-motivated staff, dilapidated infrastructure, lack of teaching materials, lack of quality teachers.
He attributed these problems to poor management as against poor funding, and noted that funds made available to the system are not properly managed. This has resulted to increasing falling standard of secondary education.
In the light of the above outlined state of secondary education in Nigeria, government at different periods have initiated a number of policies with the aim of alleviating the problems facing the sector so as to better the prospects for improvement.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Secondary education in its broadest terms is the mediating force between adolescent hood and adulthood, to this end, it thus sets the pace for the individual self realization and societal utilization of the individual.
However, a good number of problems has been facing the sub sector and by implication hindering if from delivering the expected social functions.
In the light of this, this study seeks to provide answers to the following:
What are the problems facing secondary education in Nigeria?
What is the nature of these problems- are they internal products of the system or externally generated.
What are the contributing factors to the problem?
How are they affecting Holy Ghost secondary school?
Is secondary education in Nigeria improving or not?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of this study is to examine the problems and prospects of secondary education in general. The specific objectives are as follow:
To examine the problems facing secondary education
To identify sources of the problems
To evaluate the relationship between infrastructure, motivation, funding and education.
To examine the impacts of the above variables on secondary education
To assess the present state of secondary education in Nigeria
To evaluate its chances for improvement and
To proffer likely solutions to the problems
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following questions will guide this study
Does infrastructure have influence on the quality of education in Holy Ghost secondary school?
Is motivation a possible determinant of staff performance in Holy Ghost secondary school?
Is low funding a major set-back to secondary education?
What is the state of secondary education in Nigeria?
Is improvement attainable?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Volumes of literatures regarding education-related challenges, problems and prospects are known to abound, therefore, this study will significantly add to the existing stock of knowledge in this area.
The study will expose the factors that militate against the development of secondary education in Nigeria with intent to enable stakeholders initiate measures that will checkmate them. Findings of the study can as well serve as a basis for further research.
Recommendation of the study will be of immense help to individuals, the general public and the government as it will serve to shape and guide decisions, policies and programmes in this area.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses shall be tested in this work.
(i) Lack of infrastructure does not constitute a problem in Holy Ghost secondary school.
(ii) There is no relationship between motivation and staff performance in Holy Ghost secondary school.
(iii) Low funding is not the cause of the problems in secondary education.
HI= ALTERNTIVE HYPOTHESIS
(i) Lack of infrastructure constitutes a problem in Holy Ghost Secondary school.
(ii) There is relationship between motivation and staff performance in Holy Ghost secondary school.
Low funding is the cause of the problems in secondary education.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following concepts has been defined in relation to this study
Problem: this means a situation that hinders the smooth function of a given system and is difficult to deal with.
Prospect: this means the chances that a given thing will survive its present state, improve and be successful.
Secondary education: this is the level of education that comes immediately after primary education and before higher education.
Institution: this means an aspect of social relations charged with the
responsibility of offering a specific function in the society.
Institute: an organization that has a particular purpose especially one that is connected with education.
Infrastructure: this refers to a basic thing which is required to enable another thing function properly
Motivation: this refers to anything that arouses a worker and makes them want to put in their best towards achieving a set goal and objective.
Funding: this means money set aside for a particular purpose.
Society: this refers to community of people in general.
Sector: an aspect of a country’s economy charged with a given function.
Sub sector: a part that forms a given sector.
1.8 THE STUDY OF AREA
The study area of this work is Holy Ghost secondary school, Abakaliki L.G.A., Ebonyi State, Nigeria.It is on record that Holy Ghost secondary school was established thirty two (32) years ago, precisely in the year 1975.It was a private initiative, however, it was commissioned by Dr. Akanu Ibiam, the then Governor of Eastern region.It started as a vocational school with eight students and a handful of teachers as pioneers. However, the school has metamorphosed into a comprehensive secondary institution offering various subjects in both sciences and Arts, ranging from JSS1 to SS3 – with a relatively grown population comprising students and teachers.