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1.1    Background of the Study:

Every society whether simple or complex, has its own system for training and educating its youth, and education for the good life has been one of the most persistent concerns of men throughout history. However, the goal of education and the method of approach may differ from place to place, nation to nation, and people to people.

In the old African society, the purpose of education was clear, functionalism was the main guiding principle. African society regarded education as a means to an end and not an end itself. Education was generally for an immediate induction into society and a preparation for adulthood.

Universal access to education has been the prime target for Nigeria, since the middle of the 1950’s when the West Minister of Education, Chief S. O. Awokoyo in July presented a comprehensive proposal for the introduction of free, universal and compulsory education, otherwise known as universal Primary Education (U.P.E) by January 1955. The proposal included a massive teaching training programme, the expansion of teacher training facilities and secondary modern schools.

Between 1952 and December 1954, considerable efforts were made to meet the January 1955 deadline. Teachers were trained in large numbers and hundreds of new school buildings were put up. The scheme was introduced as planned on 17 January 1955 without the word ‘compulsory’. Indeed, January 1955 marked the beginning of an educational revolution not only in the West but in Nigeria as a whole. In 1954, 457000 pupils were attending free-paying primary schools in the West, when the scheme was launched in January 1955, 811,000 children trained up.  These represented a jump from 35% to 61% of the 5 – 14 years old. By 1958 more than one million children were enrolled. Officially, the Government under-estimated the figures expected at the initial stages: it original estimate was 492,000 rising by 100,000 annually but more than 800,00 were registered.

The Universal Primary Education was nationally launched on September 6, 1976 by General Obasanjo and all the military governments in the nineteen states. Instead of the 2.3 million children expected, 3 million children showed up, resulting in an under-estimation of thirty percent (30%). Consequently, there was serious shortage of classroom spaces, teachers and equipment but Nigeria had launched one of the greatest education projects in the history of African education. When the UPE was launched in 1976, it meant that one (1) out of every three (3) African children attending primary school in African was a Nigerian. Enrolment figures involved from 6 million in 1975/80 by 1982 the population rose to 215 million.

The Universal Primary Education Scheme is predicated on the assumption that every Nigerian child has an indienable right to a minimum of six years of education if he is to function effectively as a citizen of a Nigeria that is free and democratic, just and egalitarian, United and self reliant with full opportunities for all citizens.

At its 36th meeting held in Akure in September 1989, the National Council on Education set up on ad hoc committee and charged it with the responsibility of working out both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of introducing a compulsory nine year schooling in our country.

This decision was prompted by two major factors which where:

  1. “that government shall direct its policy toward ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels”
  2. was a pronouncement made by Mr. President early in 1989 that education would be made free up till the Junior secondary level as from 1992.

After receiving the report of the planning committee at its Kano meeting held in March 1990, the National Council on Education set up a technical committee to study closely the recommendations contained in it and propose strategies for their implementation.

Early in 1992, the Federal Military Government announced that nine (9) years free and compulsory education would be introduced starting with the October 1992 school year. That is, every child who is enrolled in year I primary in September 1992 will remain in school compulsorily for nine (9) years, until he completes six years of primary education and three years of junior secondary.

The major trigger activity for basic education was the World Conference on Education for all which was held in Jomtien, Thailand from 5th to 9th March, 1990. This conference was organized by the World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO and UNICEF came up with a document entitled “World Declaration on Education for All and Framework for Action to meet Basic Learning Needs”. Since this document because a sort of blueprint for all countries of the world, Nigeria was encouraged to step up educational activities to achieve education for all. One of such activities was the situation and policy analysis of Basic Education in Nigeria, which was carried out nationwide from 1991 – 1993 by Denga.

Basic Education means the type of education, in quality and content, that is given in the first level of education. This concept changes from country to country. In Nigeria, Basic Education was equated with six years of primary schooling. Now, the concept is expected to cover the three years of junior secondary school into basic Education. According to the implementation guidelines for the UBE programme, the specific objectives of the programmes are:

  1. Developing in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness promotion.
  2. The provision of free universal basic education for every Nigeria child of school going age.
  3. Reducing drastically the incidence of dropout from the formal school system (through improved relevance, quality and efficiency).
  4. Catering for the learning needs of young persons who, for one reason for another, have had to interrupt their schooling through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the provision and promotion of basic education.
  5. Ensuring the acquisition of the appropriate level of literary, numeracy, manipulative, communicative and life skills as well as the ethical, moral and civic values needed for laying a solid foundation for life-long learning.

According to Achebe (1980) it is guidance and counselling that should indeed facilitate the much talked about maximum development of the individual. The concern of this study, therefore, is to find out how career counselling could facilitate the attainment of the specific objectives of the universal Basic Education programme.

Ideally, career counselling or information embodies all prices of information related to the work that can be useful in the process of career development. This career information encompasses educational information, career pattern information occupational information and psycho-social information.

1.2    Statement of Problem

Education is a veritable tool that all developing and developed nations of the world can use skillfully to accomplish whatever national objectives that they wish. Where the bedrock of the nations educational system is concerned, care should be taken that the right foundation is laid. Universal Basic Education is at the base of Nigeria’s educational system and therefore, constitutes the cornerstone of nation’s new technological and scientific education. In view of the apparent ignorance of many young people about career prospects, and in view of personality maladjustment among school children, career officers and counselors will be appointed in post-primary institutions. Since qualified personnel in this category is scarce, Government will continue to make provision for the training of interested teachers in guidance and counselling, guidance and counselling will also feature in teacher education programme. The problem of the study therefore is to find out the role of career counselling in the universal Basic Education Programme in Itu Local Government Area.

1.3    Purpose of the Study

  1. To investigate the effectiveness of career counselling in the UBE programme.
  2. To investigate the functions of career counsellors in the UBE programme.
  3. To investigate the acceptability of career counselors in the UBE programme.
  4. Investigate the role of career counselling in the UBE programme

1.4    Research Question

The study intends to provide answers to the following research questions:

  1. How effective is career counselling in the Universal Basic Education programme?
  2. To what extent have counselors been involved in the UBE programme?
  3. To what extent are career counselors accepted in the UBE programme?
  4. What role does career counselling play in the UBE programme?

1.5    Research Hypotheses 

  1. There is no significant relationship between Universal Basic Education and career counselling.
  2. There is no significant relationship between the involvement of counselors in the UBE programme.
  3. There is no significant relationship between the acceptance of career counselors in the UBE programme.
  4. There is no significant relationship in the role the career counsellor plays in the UBE programme.

1.6    Significance of the Study

In carrying out a study on the Universal Basic Education programme and career counselling;

  1. The objectives of the UBE programme must be clearly stated
  2. This work will help the counselors to design effective career counselling services to meet the needs of the UBE programme.
  3. This work will also help parents, teachers, policy makers and members of the public to be fully aware of the UBE programme.

1.7    Delimitation of the Study

The study shall concern itself with the importance of career counseling to the UBE programme in schools in Itu LGA.

1.8    Assumption of the Study

  1. It is assumed that the Universal Basic Education Programme has started fully in Itu L.G.A.
  2. It is also assumed that there are trained counselors to guide the children / students in making a good career choice.
  3. The respondent know the function of a counsellor.

1.9    Definition of Terms

Universal Basic Education (UBE)

Universal Basic Education means the type of education, in quality and content, that is given in the first level of education.


This refers to a total pattern of job held by a worker during his lifetime. It deals with the sequence of position, jobs or occupations in the life of an individual.


Counselling is a learning – oriented workshop carried on in a simple one-to-one social environment in which a counsellor professionally competent in relevant psychological skills, knowledge seeks to assist the client by methods appropriate to the latter’s needs: to learn more about himself, to learn how to put such understanding into effect in relation to more clearly perceived, realistically defined goals, to the end that the client may become a happier and more productive member of the society.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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