Academic journal article Education

Improving the Quality of Education in Nigeria through Effective Inspection of Schools

Academic journal article Education

Improving the Quality of Education in Nigeria through Effective Inspection of Schools

Article excerpt

It is a known fact that education is the instrument for economic empowerment and development of sustainable economy. No wonder, one of the national education goals is "the acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competencies as equipment for the individual to live and contribute to the development of the society" (FRN, 2004 pg 8). Nwangwu (2007) opined that what children learn, retain and practice after leaving school has direct impact on the nation's competencies and skills. What is learnt both formally and informally thus determines the individuals ability to contribute to national development. According to Aghenta (2006), trained or educated human resources constitute manpower and personnel that bring about national development. It therefore means that the quality of education received by the citizens determines the level of development of any nation

There has been a public outcry on the continual decline in the standards of education in the country especially as indicated in public examination and the performance of education outputs that are inadequate for employment. For instance, FME (2006) reported that an average of 13.8 percent and 20.72 percent of candidates who sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the National Examination Council (NECO) between 2000 and 2006 had five credits (including Mathematics and English) respectively. Employers of labour also complain about low performance of graduates from the nations institutions of higher learning.

A number of factors determine the level of performance in the school system especially the quality of the input and school process variables. Ochuba (2008) opined that goals of education can only be achieved with a well organized school system that would ensure that all aspects of school life are well articulated and effectively co-ordinated. For the education industry to carry out its functions of developing quality human capital, there is need for checks and balances by regular and effective supervision and inspection. Wilcox (2000) defined inspection as the process of assessing the quality and/or performance of institutions, services, programmes and projects by those (inspectors) who are not directly involved in them and who are usually specially appointed to fulfill these responsibilities. The federal inspectorate service of the Federal Ministry of Education is directly responsible for quality control and maintenance of standards in institutions below the tertiary level. Decree No 16 of 20th August, 1985 outlined it's objectives to include:

* To maintain minimum standards in education practice nation wide.

* To operate common system of education practice nation wide.

* To introduce classroom innovation

* To achieve quality education in Nigeria

Unfortunately, the inspectorate services both at the state and federal levels have not lived up to expectation. This is because the inspectorate service is plagued by a number of issues and challenges. A study carried out by Ogunu (2001) revealed that inadequate number of inspectors, inadequate funds for inspection, lack of transportation among others were some of the problems encountered by inspectors. He also noted that 88% of the respondents reported that inadequate number of inspectors was a serious constraint to school inspection. Compounding the problems of inadequate number of inspectors is the low quality of personnel recruited into the inspectorate. Ogunu's study aforementioned shows that only 15 inspectors in Edo State Inspectorate Department are to visit 1008 primary and 145 secondary schools in the state, and only 6 of the 15 inspectors had degree in education and none had specialized training in educational supervision/inspection. This inadequacy may be due to lack of policy on the recruitment and deployment of inspectors. Meanwhile, there is need to have the right quality of inspectors for effective discharge of their duties. …

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