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PROJECT TOPIC-THE ISSUES AND PROBLEMS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN OWERRI EDUCATION ZONE OF IMO STATE

PROJECT TOPIC-THE ISSUES AND PROBLEMS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN OWERRI EDUCATION ZONE OF IMO STATE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Nigeria a t t a i n e d Independence on October one, I960 a f t e r more than one hundred years of B r i t i s h i m p e r i a l r u l e over her. Within t h e long period of f o r e i g n domination, t h e

problem of education for t h e people w a s p r i m a r i l y t h e a f f a i r of the churches and t h e i r m i s s i o n a r i e s , who f o r the most p a r t used formal education as an instrument for spreading the gospel. European and Ameri.can m i s s i o n a r i e s founded churches mainly i n t h e south, while the north was dominated by t h e Moslem f a i t h . Subsequently, primary school, teacher t r a i n i n g c o l l e g e g , seminaries and secondary s c h o o l s were e s t a b l i s h e d .

These s c h o o l s and c o l l e g e s were run by the missions. For r e a s o n s yet undisclosed by t h e B r i t i s h C o l o n i a l Government, they showed very l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n e s t a b l i s h i n g schools and c o l l e g e s . Where they did e s t a b l i s h , t h e schools were few and f a r between, t o serve t h e population e f f e c t i v e l y .

Among t h e few schools they e s t a b l i s h e d mention could be made o f Kings College, Lagos; Government College Umuahia; Government College Uwerri and a few o t h e r s .

– Henry Carr, (1897, p. 21) held t h a t t h e missionary schools appear t o be unable t o emancipate themselves from the t r a d i t i o n a l curriculum and adopt t h e new; and so long as they a r e i n s o l e possession of the e d u c a t i o n a l f i e l d they s h a l l not be a b l e t o do so.

It was evident t h a t the m i s s i o n a r i e s were unable t o broaden t h e aims of t h e school^ or equip them well t o achieve those aims.

Hanry Carr, (Govt. P r i n t e r 1900.) i n c r i t i c i s i n g the voluntary agency system averred t h a t ; The time has come for t h e Government t o e x e r c i s e p u b l i c s u p e r v i s i o n over t h e Mission

Schools with a view t o promoting t h e i r e f f i c i e n c y and t e s t i n g t h e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l f o r c e . . . . h!hen schools a r e without Government i n s p e c t i o n , the tendency is t o u n d e r s t a f f them, t o underpay the t e a c h e r s , and t o ambition a m u l t i p l i c i t y of s u b j e c t s without a thorough grounding i n t h e elementary m a t t e r s of i n s t r u c t i o n ; school appliances and f u r n i t u r e , t o o , a r e ills  u p p l i e d , and no s u f f i c i e n t a t t e n t i o n is given t o t h e condition of b u i l d i n g s or of school ground. A l l t h e s e d e f e c t s and d e f i c i e n c i e s w i l l grow with the growth of southern N i g e r i a , u n l e s s t h e Government s t e p i n and take t h c schools i n hand.

The B r i t i s h c o l o n i n l governmcnt, i n s t e a d , c o n c e n t r a t e d o n – t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of t h e Provinces, t h c c o l l e c t i o n of  t a x e s , t h e promotion of export/import t r a d e and the maintenance of law and order through t h e use of l o c a l c h i e f s , n a t i v e c o u r t s , m a g i s t r a t e c o u r t s , the p o l i c e and t h e c o l o n i a l army.

The consequence w a s t h a t the missionary and o t h e r v o l u n t a r y a g e n c i e s , o f t e n i n competition with one another flooded t h e e a s t e r n provinces of Nigeria with schools of v a r i o u s grades and s t a n d a r d s ; without much regard for v i a b i – l i t y and standards.

It was not uncommon for a small town t o have within her boundary, d i f f e r e n t schools run by t h e Roman C a t h o l i c s , t h e Anglican Mission, t h e B a p t i s t , t h e P r e s b y t a r i a n , t h e Assemblies of God, t h e S a l v a t i o n Army or t h e Sudan I n t e r i o r Missionaries. These schools i n competition with one another preyed on t h e l i m i t e d human and m a t e r i a l r e s o u r c e s of t h e people. The r i v a l r y among t h e m i s s i o n a r i e s generated c o n f l i c t and d i v i s i o n among t h e e r s t w h i l e u n i t e d and homogeneous communities i n thc country.

While t h e Moslems, as it were, blocked t h e easy spread of C h r i s t i a n evangelism i n the northern provinces, expect f o r t h e Middle B e l t a r e a s of t h e country; t h e Southern Provinces, e s p e c i a l l y t h e Owerri, Onitsha and ~ n l a b a r d i s t r i c t s of E a s t e r n N i g e r i a became t h e b a t t l e g r o u n d f o r t h e Roman C a t h o l i c s and p r o t e s t a n t s , who went about i n search for schools and p r o s e l y t e s and stopped at nothing t o get at each o t h e r s t h r o a t .

A t t h e time of Independence i n 1960, education of the Nigerian c h i l d w a s still mainly, t h e preserve of t h e r e l i g i o u s o r g a n i s a t i o n s t h a t i n most c a s e s had t h e i r h e a d q u a r t e r s i n f o r e i g n l a n d s , Davidson (p, 89) quoting T a i S o l a r i n , s u c c i n c t l y s a i d t h a t : The day our independence landed on our hands, t h e r e w a s not a s i n g l e town with a modern sewage system. No compulsory education, no employment exchange except i n name, no f r e medical s e r v i c e and only one doctor t o every 50,000 people.

A c r i t i c a l i n q u i r y i n t o the reasons for t h e near complete absence of modern sewage systems, lack of compulsory educati o n , fewness of d o c t o r s , and for t h a t m a t t e r , g e n e r a l economic and s o c i a l backwardness at Indipcndence time, r e v e a l s t h e r o o t cause t o bc i n t h e education system t h a t we i n h e r i t e d .

It was church o r i e n t e d , as t h e v a r i o u s churchmen laboured t o produce men and women who saw much in l i f e a f t e r -death, and l i t t l e i n l i f e on e a r t h , There is no gainsaying the f a c t t h a t education is a very powerful instrument f o r n a t i o n a l growth and development.

This f a c t was h i g h l i g h t e d by the Federal Paramilitary Government i n t h e N a t i o n a l P o l i c y on Education (1977) where it a s s e r t e d , i n t c r a l i n : The Federal M i l i t a r y Government has adopted education as an instrument for e f f e c t i n g n a t i o n a l development. It is Government’s wish, t h a t any e x i s t i n g c o n t r a d i c t i o n , a m b i q u i t i e s and lack o f u n i f o r m i t y i n education o n a l p r a c t i c e s i n d i f f e r e n t p , w t s of t h e country should be removed t o ensure an even and o r d e r l y development.

Nothing has proved more d i s a s t r o u o than t o have a n a t i o n without a planned education system; or one t h a t has prosecuted its education policy i n d i v i s i o n , malice and h a t r e d ; or one whose education system is planned organised and prosecuted by f o r e i g n e r s . Such was t h e p l i g h t of Nigerian, when the m i s s i o n a r i e s reigned and r u l e d i n m a t t e r s r e l a t i n g t o education.

It may not be far from t h c t r u t h , f o r one t o a s s e r t t h a t B r i t i s h i m p e r i a l i s m p u r p o s e l y abandoned t h e development of n well planned and properly executed education p o l i c y i n N i g e r i a , t o delay the production of well educated Nigerian c i t i z e n r y who, no doubt, would question the r a t i o n a l e of i m p e r i a l r u l e . Both t h e i m p e r i a l r u l e r s and t h e mission a r i e s had vested i n t e r e s t i n delaying the proper evolution of Nigerian education; since they did conjecture and r i g h t l y too, ‘that such a development would engulf a l l they had labored for and possibly drive them away.

PROJECT TOPIC-THE ISSUES AND PROBLEMS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN OWERRI EDUCATION ZONE OF IMO STATE

 

THE FORMATION OF LOCAL GOVEHNFIENT BO.4RDS :

It wias i n the l i g h t of the above-stated background t h a t some n a t i o n a l i s t s s a w it f i t t o b r i n g Government i n t o the c o n t r o l of education. It must be r e a l i s e d however t h a t t h e i n t e n t i o n was not t o v i c t i m i s e t h c Voluntary ,4gencies, as some people f e l t a t the time. It was purely a n a t u r a l h i s t o r i c a l e v o l u t i o n , aimed at n a t i o n a l growth and development.

Nigeria w a s doing no more than follow t h e world p a t t e r n , where n a t i o n s c o n t r o l t h e i r dostiny through t h e i r system of education. We needed t o r e c o n s t r u c t our economy, our technology, and our s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e – A l l t h e s e could be a t t a i n e d , i f we had t h e instrument f o r n a t i o n a l r e c o n s t r u c t i o n , which is education. In f a i r n e s s t o t h e m i s s i o n a r i e s , they no doubt helped t o t r a i n most o f our e a r l i e s t n a t i o n a l i s t s , who fought for independence. But s t a t e i n t e r v e n t i o n i n t h e administrat i o n o f s c h o o l s w a s w e l l – i n t e n t i o n e d and not p u n i t i v e .

  1. E. Imokc (1965) s t r e s s e d the need for s t a t e c o n t r o l of Education, when he s a i d : “The S t a t e and not the Church h a s t h e r i g h t t o c o n t r o l education.ll On J u l y 25th, 1965, the then E a s t e r n N i g e r i a K i n i s t e r of Education, D r . S. E. Imoke announced a t Enugu i n t h e “Face t h e Nationt* T. V. Programme, t h a t t h e government of Eastern Nigeria would s e t up Regional and/or Local School Boards, as a means of t u r n i n g a l l primary or elementary sch.ools within t h e r e g i o n t o ~ t a t em anagement and c o n t r o l . The s t a t eme n t

~ t t r a c t e dm any and v a r i e d r e a c t i o n s o The Churches and t h e i r agents r e a c t e d i n opposition t o t h e move, while i n Government c i r c l e s , t h e announcement was acclnirned.

Ir, 1974, t h e t h m E a s t C e n t r a l State promulgated t h e ublic Education Edict (1974, p. 11). Among o t h e r t h i n g s , the Edict e s t a b l i s h e d D i v i s i o n a l Boards o f Education, whose

f u n c t i o n s were l i s t e d as: Subject t o t h e e x e r c i s e of f u n c t i o n s by t h e S t a t e Bond i n accordance with t h e p r o v i s i o n s of t h i s e d i c t , it s h a l l be the duty o f a Divisional Board, Subject t o and i n accordance with t h e regulations and such d i r e c t i o n s a s may be given by the S t a t e Bond, g e n e r a l l y t o administer and manage on behalf of t h e S t a t e Bonrd, the primary schools s i t u a t e d i n t h e i r a r e a and i n p a r t i c u l a r  ( a ) To t r a c s f e r t e a c h e r s and other s t a f f i n primary schools.

( b ) To maintain any premesis forming p a r t of or used i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h any such school.

( c ) To a c q u i r e on behalf of t h e a d m i n i s t r a t o r and t o o b t a i n equipment, f u r n i t u r e and o t h e r movable property r e q u i r e d f o r t h e purposes o f any such schools.

(d) To’ provide r e c r e a t i o n a l f n c i l i t i c s and school. meals.

( e ) To c o l l e c t school f e e s and other revenue.

 

PROJECT TOPIC-THE ISSUES AND PROBLEMS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN OWERRI EDUCATION ZONE OF IMO STATE

 

 

 

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