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EVALUATION OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ADMISSION POLICIES IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA (2004-2013)
This study focused on Evaluation of the Implementation of Admission Policies in Colleges of Education in Nigeria. The study sought to find out the level of implementation of JAMB cut-off mark requirement in students’ admission, examine the level of implementation of quota system of the admission policy, determine the level of implementation of JAMB 60:40 (Science/Arts) admission ratio policy, assess the level of implementation of carrying capacity in terms of available facilities and find out the implementation of staffing situation as a requirement for admission of students. Seven research questions and seven hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The target population was 2,400 which included all the Provosts, Registrars, Academic Secretaries, Deans, HODs, and Lecturers in the 24 Colleges selected for the study, 1,443 sample members responded by filling and returning the copies of the questionnaire, two each from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. The sample was selected using the stratified random sampling technique. Data were collected by the use of a structured questionnaire and analysed using statistical package for Social Science (SPSS Version 20). Descriptive statistics such as frequency counts percentages and means were used to give general description of the data. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistics was also used to test the research hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study revealed that, candidates had satisfactory cut-off point in JAMB before they were admitted. This is in line with the Federal Government’s directive which says that candidates seeking admission to Colleges of Education have to take only one common examination, the UTME as against individual college examination. The study concludes that the number of students allocated to each College depends on the carrying capacity in terms of available facilities. Based on the findings, recommendations were made which among others include, that in the interest of this nation, the admission process should continue the way it is for now, where JAMB and the Colleges are involved in the selection of candidates, so that they would serve as check on one another and cut-down some excesses and reduce Nigerian factor syndrome as much as possible. A suggestion was made that future study should be on the evaluation of availability of instructional and infrastructural facilities in private and government owned Colleges.
1.1 Background to the Study
Admission policies are laid down rules and regulations on how admissions are sought and obtained in a higher institution like College of Education. The principal aim of the admission policy of Colleges of Education is to offer admission to students of the highest intellectual potentials, irrespective of gender, social, racial, religious and financial considerations. Colleges of Education are dedicated to prepare qualified teachers at primary and Junior Secondary school levels, who will be responsible for educating the younger ones.
Teaching has been identified to be one of the oldest occupations known to man, but it is yet to be fully professionalized in the true sense of the term in Nigeria (Dare 2008). The real revolution in teacher education came with the Ashby commission of 1960. The Ashby Report pointed out that the country‟s manpower development depended largely on the availability of well-qualified teachers and recommended that priority attention be given to teacher education since the whole system of education depended on it. Following the recommendations in the report, two new schemes for teacher education were introduced. One was the well-qualified non-graduate Teachers‟ Certificate programme; the other was the full degree, that is, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science education programmes. In line with the expectations of the scheme, several activities were put in place. About 7,000 graduate teachers were expected to be trained between 1960-1970 in Nigerian Universities. Five Advanced Teachers‟ Colleges were established under the emergency scheme in 1962. The Colleges were located at Ibadan (which was later moved to Ondo),
Akoka, Owerri, Zaria and Kano. The most significant development in the teacher education sub-sector was the setting up of National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) under decree number 3 (section 5b & c) of 1989. This was in line with the policy decision to make the Colleges of Education autonomous in order to enhance their efficiency. The NCCE thus became a parastatal charged with the primary responsibility of making recommendations on the National Policy necessary for the full development of teacher education and professional preparation of teachers. The enabling decree mandates the commission to, among other functions, harmonize entry requirements and lay down minimum standards for all programmes of teacher education. This, no doubt, ensures closer monitoring, programme expansion and, of course, a boost to teacher production in the country.
Education is regarded as a tool for development of the nation. To build a strong nation, the capability and competence of its teachers have to be of high standard and equal to the task. Teachers are critical factor in qualitative education delivery. Therefore, the production of teachers is the most important parameter that builds the nation and policy is the bedrock of foundation as well as formation of a strong and dynamic nation. Primary and secondary education is the foundation for tertiary institutions and the basis for citizens to function and develop in the society. It is the realization of this right from the inception of western education in Nigeria, that teacher education has been recognized as an important part of the educational system.
In the National Policy of Education (FRN 2004), the Colleges of Education are one of the categories of tertiary and Teacher Education institutions established for the following goals and objectives, that is, to:
- produce highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for the primary and junior secondary levels of our educational system;
- encourage further the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers;
- help teachers to fit into social life of the community and the society at large and enhance their commitment to national goals;
- provide teachers with intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignments and make them adaptable to changing situations; and
- enhance teachers‟ commitment to the teaching profession
The policy also requires teachers from pre-primary to university level to be professionally trained. The ultimate goal of the policy is to make the completion of the Nigeria Certificate in Education the minimum entry qualification into the teaching profession, in Nigeria. Since the Colleges of Education programme is designed to produce a professional group, it is therefore, embedded in a socio-personal and socio-economic contexts from which it cannot be easily removed (Balogun 2001). Despite the efforts of government in terms of provision of adequate facilities and finance for teacher education, programmes, there are still problems in the system which affect implementation of policies. The efficiency of Colleges of Education will be the main determining factor in the success or failure of education in meeting the country‟s needs. The problem, however, just like every other policy in Nigeria is with the implementation. In Nigeria today, the minimum entry requirement into the Colleges of Education is slightly lower compared to that of the universities. This is because students prefer to go to the universities than the colleges of education. This
may be as a result of poor treatment teachers receive from government in terms of remuneration and prestige (Oyedele, 2000)
Shortly after the establishment of JAMB, candidates seeking admission into Colleges of Education and Polytechnics increased dramatically and problems which were similar to those associated with admission into universities became noticeable, hence the JAMB enabling law was amended to include the Monotechnics, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in matriculation examinations. The Federal Government guidelines for admission into Colleges of Education in Nigeria are based on 45% merit, 35% catchment/Locality and 20% Educational less Developed states. It should be noted that western education is at different levels of development in the different component units of the federation. This is as a result of different contact time with the western world.
The admission policies of Colleges of Education are geared towards producing quality teachers that will be the custodian of Education of Nigeria in future, but from what is happening now in terms of admission of the students, if nothing is done to rectify the abnormality, our education may collapse in the near future.
Why is it that the NCE graduate of nowadays cannot communicate effectively or impart knowledge to others? Some of the Colleges of Education admit students only as a source of additional revenue and not based on teacher manpower needs of the nation. The present trend of funding, admission procedures, staffing situation of Colleges of Education are perhaps not implemented according to the NPE or the minimum standard set by NCCE.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The dwindling fortune of education is the concern of everyone, home and abroad. There is no gain-saying the fact that the problem of falling standard of education is not only transparent in the number of products of every stratum of the educational system, but also in the quality of the products. It is true that the English and general knowledge of an average NCE graduate 15 to 20 years back is not comparable with today‟s, (Usman, 2005). The dismal failure of the system today to produce quality graduates is a source for concern for all stakeholders of the education industry. Huge investments are made in this sector in terms of time, money, human and material resources, but the recent academic performances of students have not been encouraging.
During the seventies, admissions into the first generation Advanced Teachers‟ Colleges were the sole responsibilities of the universities to which they were affiliated. Qualified students were free to apply to as many Advanced Teachers‟ Colleges as they desired or could afford. This system led to candidates receiving two or more admissions, thereby, depriving other qualified candidates admissions. The important issue of achieving national unity is the factor that led to the setting up of the JAMB. The system of admission was quite stable except in 2009 when the UTME was introduced to face-off the individual examinations for Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education. When students write these examinations, the cut-off marks are determined by JAMB after policy meeting with the Education Minister and administrators of tertiary institutions. Thus, the cut-off marks are not uniform year after year. Also, candidates with higher marks opt for Universities as compared to those with lower marks that are somewhat compelled to go to the Colleges of Education for not wanting to stay back at home for another UTME. The
Inability to absorb many candidates who met the cut off point and have 5 O‟level requirement in WASSC, SSC & NABTEB are problems not only in Colleges but in the Universities due to the policy on carrying capacities for each category of institution.
The effect of catchment area and quota system as they exasperate admission problem into Nigerian Colleges of Education cannot be over emphasized. By catchment area, preferences are given to the indigenes of a place where College is cited in considering candidates for admission. This has destroyed the idea of equal access and justice among candidates.
Much as it is good that the educationally disadvantaged areas are being encouraged, it should not be at the detriment of others. A situation where a candidate does not gain access just because of his birth place is not so good. Using the quota system to guide and regulate access to Colleges of Education has an inequitable effect, (Akpan and Undie, 2007). Considering the case of failure of the Colleges to implement the quota system, it must be admitted that the inclusion of quota as a guideline in students‟ admission raises a moral question as to whether qualified students should be denied admission simply because they are not from a given area/state.
Another major implementation challenge of quota system has been that of carrying capacity when juxtaposed with the growing demand for teacher education. This implies that the colleges need to be expanded to give broad-based access to prospective students. But on the contrary, there exists a situation of over – population and overstretching of existing available facilities. This is in terms of
adequate lecture rooms, well stocked libraries, good staff/student ratio, accommodation and laboratories.
It is the policy of the Federal Government that admissions into all Colleges of Education should tilt towards sciences. However, the dearth in the number of qualified science candidates has continued to pose problems for the Colleges, as less than 50% of graduates of the colleges are products of Science and Technology Institutions. Graduates of human
\ities and Social Sciences are far more than those of Science and Technology. This is contrary to the National Policy on Education (FRN 2004) which recommends 60% admission into Science and Technology Programmes. So right from the out-set, the mission of 60:40 ratio has been defeated. Consequently, the country tends to be producing more theoreticians than scientist. According to Ugwunga (Cited in Onyishi, 2007) in the 2004/2005 academic session, 34.9% of total enrolment into Colleges of Education was in Science, Technology and Mathematics and the related courses. This, he says, was contrary to policy stipulation of allocating not less than 60% of places to sciences and the related courses in the conventional schools.
The NCCE in 1993 published what could be described as their quality manual for Colleges of Education by name “Guidelines for Academic Programmes”. Prominent among the stipulated guidelines are those dealing with students entry requirement. The existence of a positive relationship between entry qualification and students‟ performance, makes it mandatory to regulate this quality measure. Such regulation is required in order to secure a good match between the abilities and aptitude of applicants and demands of the programme. Among the factors considered in the admission of students into Colleges of Education in Nigeria are
age, number of papers passed at credit levels at School Certificate or ordinary level examinations. Despite the stipulations, there are reports of admission of unqualified candidates into Nigerian Colleges of Education. For instance, Asuru (2002) investigated the implications of examination malpractice for sustainable development and came out with the submission that poor admission policy/unqualified candidates who get admitted into higher institutions were beneficiaries of examination malpractice. Asuru further remarks that the use of other considerations such as catchment area, educationally less developed states, college discretion coupled with endless list of PR (public relation) outside merit for admission impact negatively on our examinations.
The College runs a one-year Pre-NCE programme in all subjects, designed for students seeking admission without requirements for direct admission. Meanwhile, those students will still require to pass UTME, Post UTME and the required number of credits before they can proceed to NCE 1. It was found that the guidelines for admission of students into the Colleges of Education are selectively implemented by different colleges. While some colleges that decide to play down on some admission requirements may be enjoying a boom in students‟ population, others that insist on implementing the guidelines to the letter may be suffering from low students‟ enrolment. Worse still, is the fact that inputs of Heads of Departments are not sought before admitting students in their departments. This apparent imposition of students does not make for a healthy working relationship between the admission officers and the Heads of Departments..
Colleges of Education are not adequately funded. This makes it difficult for the managements to run the colleges properly. Oni (2007) giving an instance when he observed that poor funding manifests itself in every aspect of the school system,
as a result, there seemingly poor performance of students in JAMB and SSCE science subjects, lack of well-equipped laboratories and lack of political will on the part of government to fund education. Awanbor (2001) said that because of this poor funding, basic equipments are disturbingly lacking in Nigerian schools.
As an insider researcher observed that the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) approved a carrying capacity for the colleges in respect of each admission exercise, which was forwarded to JAMB by the NCCE for implementation. After the JAMB released the admissions, few candidates registered, the remaining candidates are left to the discretion of Academic Boards of the affected colleges..
The points highlighted so far indicate that the process of admitting students into Colleges of Education has some in built problems that prevent the most qualified candidates‟ admissions. The admission policy into College of Education in Nigeria is not being implemented as enumerated above and this is having a strong negative impact on the quality of graduates produced. Consequently, the quality of education at the primary and secondary schools is affected. This in turn, affect the quality of students admitted into tertiary institutions, and in effect low quality graduates are produced (Okebukola 2005)..Therefore, the problem of this study is the discrepancy between the lai-down admission policy into the colleges of Education and the actual admissions being laid down.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study was set to achieve the following objectives:
- find out the level of implementation of JAMB cut-off point as requirement in students‟ admission in Colleges of Education in Nigeria:
- examine the level of implementation of admission policy of 45% merit, 35% catchment area and 20% educationally less developed states in Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
- determine the compliance to implementation of JAMB‟s 60:40 ratio admission policy in favour of Science courses in colleges of education in Nigeria.
- examine implementation of five O‟Level credits at WAEC/NECO for admissions into Colleges of Education in Nigeria;
- assess of compliance to implementation of carrying capacity in terms of available facilities for admission exercises in Colleges of Education in Nigeria;
- ascertain whether successful students in Pre-NCE final examination with CGPA of 1.5 are admitted into Colleges of Education in Nigeria; and
- find out the impart of staffing situation on admissions of students in Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were used to guide the study.
- are admissions into colleges of education in Nigeria based on JAMB‟s cut-off point?
- do colleges of education in Nigeria comply with students‟ admission of 45% merit, 35% catchment area and 20% educationally less developed states?
- Do Colleges of Education comply with the 60:40 admission ratio in favour of science courses in colleges of education in Nigeria?
- What are the opinions of respondents on the implementation of five credit
O‟Level at WAEC/NECO for admissions into Colleges of Education in Nigeria?
- Do Colleges of Education comply with in the implementation of approved carrying capacity in terms of available facilities in respect of students‟ admission?
- Do successful students in the Pre-NCE final examinations with CGPA of 1.5 get admitted into Colleges of Education in Nigeria?
- What is the impact of staffing situation as on for admissions of students into Colleges of Education in Nigeria?
On the basis of the objectives, the following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
HO1. There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents concerning the admission policy of JAMB‟s cut-off point in Colleges of Education Nigeria.
HO2. There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents concerning the implementation of admission policy of 45% merit, 35% catchment area and 20% educationally less developed states in College of Education.
HO3. There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents concerning the complain to 60:40 ratio in favour of Science courses in admissions into Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
HO4. There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents concerning implement five O‟Level credits at WAEC/NECO entry requirement into Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
HO5. There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on Implement carrying capacity in terms of available facilities a requirement for admission of students into various courses in Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
HO6. There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on whether candidates with CGPA of 1.5 at Pre-NCE final examinations are admitted into NCE courses in College of Education in Nigeria.
HO7. There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on of staffing situation in students admission in Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
This study was on the assumptions that:
- Colleges of Education comply with the cut off requirement the process of admission by given by JAMB in their admission into various courses.
- Colleges of Education in Nigeria comply with JAMB‟s approved quota for their admissions into various courses.
- JAMB‟s 60:40 Admission Ratio in favour of science in Colleges of Education in Nigeria;
- minimum of five credits at WAEC/NECO are considered for admissions into Colleges of Education in Nigeria;
- facilities provided for Colleges of Education are not only inadequate but also inappropriate;
- successful students in the Pre-NCE final examinations with CGPA of 1.5 are considered for admissions in Colleges of Education in Nigeria; and.
- staffing situation has positive impact on students‟ admissions in Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
1.7 Significance of the Study
Teacher training in any system is of paramount importance. Therefore, the need for quality in the training and performance of NCE teachers in our Colleges of Education cannot be over emphasized. Similarly, all issues relating to assessment or evaluation of teacher quality are given due attention in the nation‟s educational system. Thus, the need for routine evolution of our admission policies into Colleges of Education should receive attention.
In Section 1, Sub-Section 4c, the NPE states that “there is need for equality of educational opportunities to all Nigerian children, irrespective of any real or imagined disabilities of each according to his or her ability.” In Section 6, Sub-Section 49bi, the NPE also states that among the area of academic freedom for the institutions are to select their students except where the law prescribes otherwise. Then among the goals of teacher education is the production of highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of our educational system as stated in Section 6, Sub-Section 57a of the NPE. Remember, when you talk about teacher
education, you talk about Colleges of Education, Faculties of Education, Institutes of Education, National Teachers‟ Institute and Schools of Education in Polytechnics. Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is saddled with the responsibility of with the admitting candidates into universities, and more recently, polytechnics and colleges of education. This creates a policy shift by JAMB such that students seeking admission into Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education take only one common examination known as Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) as against taking individual examination for each category of Tertiary Institution. Under this new scheme, students will also have six schools for them to choose. They students make two choices and write the examinations, depending on whether they are seeking admission into Universities, Colleges of Education or Polytechnics.
The Most appropriate time for evaluation of a programme is when it has been used for some time. The waiting time would help eliminate the “Hawthorne effect”; a situation where condition surrounding the experiment affects the result. The admission policies of Nigerian Colleges of Education under investigation were introduced a decade ago. It has rarely been evaluated stringently. An educational programme which has been in existence for more than a decade according to Best (1981) should be subjected to evaluation. Therefore, is no better time for subjecting the admission policies of Nigerian Colleges of Education programme to a summative evaluation than now. Knowledge about failure and achievement in any field of activity is essential for bringing about improvements in the field.
It was noted from literature review that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) which is saddled with the admission of candidates into Nigerian Colleges of Education rarely involves beneficiaries of the programme in admission
1.8 Scope of the Study
This research on Evaluation of the implementation of admission policies in Colleges of Education in Nigeria covered all the Colleges which are spread across all the 36 states of the country and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The Colleges are located in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, namely North-West, North Central, North East, South South, South West and South-East. However, in view of their number and locations, the study made use of samples to represent all categories of Colleges of Education. This is because the Colleges are in three categories, namely Federal, State and privately owned Colleges of Education. A general evaluation of the operation of the colleges will to determine whether the admission policies are implemented in the Colleges or not. The study was delimited to structured questionnaire as instruments for data collection. Some references were made to polytechnics and universities where necessary but they are not the focus of this study.