CHALLENGES FACING THE PROVISION OF QUALITY EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Background of the Study
Education is one of the most powerful instruments that can bring out changes in community, society and particularly in the future dusting of nation (Shami, 1999). In education, academics play a very important role in all the civilized societies of the world. They are the people who tear down myths and solve the mysteries that stand in the way of the development of the society (Shrivastava, 2005). In education, a teacher is a person who provides education for others. In the process of education, people learn how they can better survive in the fast progressing world. Innovations and new discoveries in the fast changing world demand the humans to develop themselves in order to meet the challenges of the future.
Quality education is the one that provides all learners with capabilities they require to become economically productive, develop sustainable livelihoods, contribute to peaceful and democratic societies and enhance individual well-being. Quality education includes: outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society. Also quality education include learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, and supported in learning by their families and communities and environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide adequate resources and facilities. Furthermore quality education includes content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace. Also it comprises processes through which trained teachers use student-centered teaching approaches in well-managed classrooms and schools and skilful assessment to facilitate learning and reduce disparities; (Colby & Miske, 2002).
Throughout history, quality and organized education has served many purposes, including the transmission of tradition, knowledge and skills, the acculturation and socialization of the young, the building and preserving of political economic system, the provision of opportunity for social mobility, the enhancement of the quality of the life, and the cultivation of individual potential, among others.
In providing the quality education it has been provided that the traditional disciplines should not be too completely abandoned in attempt to link schooling with needs and interests of the learners (Noll, 2005). Provision of quality education has been the pillar in most parts of the world. The world has been on emphasis of education, which has made it possible for the resolution that requires countries to increase budgets to 6% by the year 2015 (UNDP, 2006). East African countries, for instance have been on increase on education budgets from about 1%, which was offered in some ten years ago (1990-2000), to about 3% to 6% (2005-2012). While the budgets are on the increase in most countries, the query remains on the quality of education in most of these countries, and especially developing countries such as Nigeria.
Although many factors are associated with what it takes to have quality education, the most reliable term that expresses the direction to improvement or decline of quality of education is the expression made through exams. The world over, High Distinction (First Class), Distinction (Upper Second Class), Credit (Lower Second Class) and Pass provide a fundamental weight of performance of students in the class (Norman, 2011).
The government of Nigeria recognizes the central role of education sector in achieving the overall development goal of improving the quality of life of Nigeria s. Consequently several policy and structural reforms have been initiated by the government to improve the quality of education and ensure secondary education for all so as to strengthen the link between educations provided at all levels and the socio-economic development of Tanzania (The Education and Training Sector Development Programme, 2001). The Tanzania government has invested in the Secondary Education Development Plan (SEDP) to ensure that every child has access to basic quality education. Through this plan, more students are enrolled, more classrooms have been built and money has been sent to schools to improve quality. These are some of important achievements (HakiElimu, 2004).
In the process, the Nigeria government intended to improve the quality of education offered by public secondary schools during implementation of the second phase of the Secondary Education Development Programme year 2011–2015. It was revealed that, in order to ensure that the goal for improving quality is achieved, the government would, through Secondary Education Development Programme II, train more teachers, increase the capitation grant and ensure that schools are well equipped to enable students to learn effectively. The programme was to be jointly funded by the Government and World Bank (The Citizen, 2011). In that regard, policies and curricula have been reviewed and revised with a just cause of offering quality education.
statement of the Problem
Quality education is considered a high priority (Tillya, 2006). Tillya notes that, quality education is expected to provide high level of knowledge, competencies and skills which are basic conditions for active citizenship, employment and social cohesion. Since Nigeria got her independence in 1961, measures have been taken to make sure that secondary school education is provided with a relevant and good quality. Efforts were made for instance through the Secondary Education Development Programme (SEDP) to rehabilitate secondary education, raise the enrolment and improve the quality of secondary education. Despite the good objectives of the program, to date, there is an outcry that the quality of education in Nigeria secondary schools has declined. (Tillya, 2006) Therefore, this study investigated the challenges facing the provision of quality education involving Musoma District Secondary Schools as a study case.
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