HIDDEN COST OF UPPER BASIC EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is a key index in development. It has been documented that schooling improves productivity, health and reduces negative features of life such as inferiority complex, child labour as well as bringing about empowerment (Subramanian, 2002). According to the National Planning Commission- NPC (2005), education opens the door for all citizens to participate in development activities and when citizens are denied education, they are excluded from the development process, which in turn puts them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis their compatriots with requisite education. This in fact explains the emphasis in recent times for all citizens to have access to basic education as a guarantee for good life. Education also helps to determine the distribution of employment and income for present and future generations through its influence on social welfare and health, fertility and life expectancy (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2005).
It is in recognition of the importance of education to development that the international community and governments all over the world have made commitments for citizens to have access to education. This notwithstanding, it has been documented that across the globe, there are inequalities in educational access and achievement as well as high level of absolute educational deprivation of some children and adults (Action Aid, 2003). In order to confront this challenge, the right based approach, which emphasizes the participation of citizens have been advocated. Meanwhile, the declaration of the World Conference on Education for All (WCEFA) which was made in Jomtien, Thailand in 1990 stated clearly in article one that “every person-child, youth and adult-shall be able to benefit from educational opportunities designed to meet their basic needs”. This declaration was reaffirmed at the world summit for children also held in 1990 which stated that all children should have access to basic education by the year 2000. The world summit for education placed a lot of emphasis on raising the levels of female literacy.