BARRIERS TO EQUITABLE ACCESS TO BASIC EDUCATION IN KWANDE LGA OF BENUE STATE: IMPLICATIONS FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH IN NIGERIA

Terver T. Udu, Emmanuel Tile Aime, Joseph Vegher Akpera

Abstract


This survey investigated the barriers to equitable access to basic education in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State and pointed out the implications for human capital development.  The survey took place during the 2016/2017 academic session and involved both parents and head teachers. Data were collected mainly through a 26-item questionnaire developed by the researchers and validated by two experts. Its reliability coefficient using Cronbach’s Alpha yielded 0.81, meeting Pallant’s (2005) recommendation. A total of 32 head teachers and 400 parents volunteered to provide opinions, which constituted the data for the study. By using the convenience sampling procedure, it was possible to get only those respondents who were available and willing to participate in the study. A total of 432 copies of questionnaires were returned for analysis. Result of the analysis using descriptive and inferential statistics showed that in the 2016/17 session alone, 2,286 out of school children were found in the study area, and major barriers to basic education access include non-payment of fees, gender, prevalence rate of herdsmen/farmers clashes, level of parental income, and child interest. The most affected population groups include orphans, care givers, the physically challenged, girls and displaced children. A significant difference was noticed between the number of out-of-school children in towns and villages (p=0.01) and in the mean rating of barriers to children’s access to basic education by teachers and parents (p=0.03). The study suggested among others that the Government should make primary education truly free and affordable for every child. This will reduce imbalance in educational enrolment and completion between the haves and have nots. 

 

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Keywords


equity, barriers, basic education, human capital, illiteracy

References


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