Implementation of the Free and Compulsory Primary Education Policy in Public Schools in Ogun State, Nigeria: Evaluation
The launching of the Universal Basic Education scheme in Nigeria in 1999 was the country’s response to the global call for universalization of access to basic education. The Universal Basic Education Act, enacted in May 2004, serves as the legal framework for the programme and it provided for primary education to be free and compulsory. Much has been done by different tiers of government to ensure the achievement of this objective. This study evaluated the extent to which primary education was free and compulsory in public schools in Ogun State, Nigeria between 2004 and 2012. The findings show that though tuition was free, pupils still paid for Development Levy and Parent Teachers Association Levy. The findings also show that parents purchased textbooks, exercise books, uniforms, sandals, socks and other school materials for their wards. Furthermore, the results show that more than half a million children of school-going age in the state were out of school during the 2012 – 2013 academic session. These show that primary education was neither free nor compulsory in the state during the period under study. The implication is that Nigeria’s objective of achieving national primary education goals within the global EFA context had not been achieved.
Keywords: Evaluation, Implementation, Policy, Primary Education, Basic Education