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The Problems of local government autonomy and its implications in the effective management of Primary schools

ABSTRACT

The overall goal of this research is to look into the issues of local government autonomy and how they affect the successful management of primary schools. A qualitative descriptive method was used in the research. It implores one of the more classic means of acquiring data, namely secondary data sources. Materials gathered from: Archives, Newspapers, debates, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals, among other sources, made up a significant portion of the secondary sources employed, which were examined to make the topic under discussion meaningful. The study’s findings reveal that local government has made a significant contribution to the functioning of primary education, both in mandatory and concurrent capacities with the state government, but most importantly, that local government has made a significant contribution to the functioning of primary education. As a result, the report advises that the relationship between the levels of government, notably between the state and local governments, evolve from master/servant to partner in progress in the execution of concurrent functions, particularly in primary education delivery. Furthermore, the Federal Government should boost consolidated funds to primary education through UBEC from 2% to at least 5%, ensuring that primary education is accessible to all and truly free.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Education has become a commodity that determines a country’s level of development or progress all over the world. It has evolved into a service that requires both corporate and public sector participation. Government involvement in education spanned all levels, including primary, intermediate, and tertiary education. In Nigeria, the local government is responsible for basic education under the constitution, while the state and federal governments are also responsible for performing well at all levels of education. In order to attain the cardinal aims of primary education, Nigeria’s three tiers of government must adequately address the issues of infrastructure, enrolment, planning, and money (Igidi, 2009). Local and state governments have emerged as key players in Nigerian primary education, particularly in terms of public service delivery. This is not surprising given that elementary education is essential for all residents and must be available to all, and local government acts as a vital tool for the social and economic development of the people at the grassroots. Nigeria’s 1976 Local Government Reforms mandated that basic education be provided and maintained by the three-tiered government. A local government is one that is established at the local level. Because it is a form of community government, its major role is community development. “A political subdivision of a nation or (in a federal system) State, which is created by law and has extensive influence over Local affairs, including the ability to charge taxes or to compel labor for prescribed objectives,” according to the United Nations Office for Public Administration. Such an entity’s governing body is elected. “Government at the local level exercised by representative council created by law to exercise specified functions within defined boundaries,” according to the 1976 local government reform. These powers should provide the Council with significant control over local affairs, as well as the personnel, institutional, and financial authority to start and direct the provision of services and to establish and implement projects that complement the Council’s other responsibilities.

However, in respect to the State government, the current 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stipulates that the Local Government should also engage in the provision and maintenance of primary, adult, and vocational education. In the domains of education and service delivery, this is one of the most important areas where state governments interact with local governments. Lack of cooperation between different levels of government on strategic planning and budgeting has created a complication that has resulted in duplication of functions, particularly when it comes to providing basic amenities to primary schools. According to ESSPIN (2009), inefficiencies in the primary education sector are due to duplication of effort and money, as well as a lack of consensus among the various participants.

Statement of the problem

Local government fiscal autonomy is often regarded as the most effective and efficient mechanism for delivering effective and efficient services in rural parts of federated countries like Nigeria. In other words, local governments can best serve their communities by providing basic social amenities such as portable water, electricity, education, health-care services, and recreational facilities with adequate funding, due process, and accountability (free of excessive control by higher authorities – federal and state governments). According to Anyanwu, despite the fact that the constitution allocated the aforementioned obligations to local governments, they have been unable to carry them out successfully due to meddling from other levels of government (2021). Lack of autonomy, insufficient planning, poor policy implementation, insufficient money, corruption and mismanagement, and a lack of enough manpower are all obstacles to local government effectiveness in service delivery, particularly at the elementary school level. On the state government’s interference in local affairs, David (2019) opined that while local governments have constitutionally mandated responsibilities for primary education, it is the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) that manages schools through the Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) with little or no consultation from local government councils, despite their significant contributions to primary education in Nigeria.

Objective of the Study

The overall goal of this research is to look into the issues of local government autonomy and how they affect the successful management of primary schools. The study’s objectives are as follows:

The purpose of this study is to look into the role of local government at the grassroots level.

The purpose of this study is to discover the essence of primary education.

The purpose of this study is to look into the role of the local government education authority in primary education.

To determine the issues that Nigeria’s local governments face when it comes to primary education.

Research Question

What role does local government play at the local level?

What exactly is the purpose of primary education?

In primary education, what is the role of the local government education authority?

What are the challenges of local government sovereignty in Nigeria when it comes to primary education?

Significance of the study

Citizens, statement students, and public administration researchers will all benefit greatly from this research. It will increase citizens’ understanding of the relationships between various levels of government and institutions. It will inform the general people about the services that local governments are expected to provide and empower them to demand accountability from them when they fail to do so, as well as promote transparency at all levels of government. It will educate statesmen and policymakers on the need to rethink the revenue sharing model so that the third tier can address its myriad grassroots issues, particularly in elementary education. The research will add to the body of knowledge in general.

Scope of the Study

The subject of this research is limited to issues of local government autonomy and their consequences for effective primary school management. The study will also look at the role of local government education authorities in elementary education and how their lack of economic autonomy prevents them from providing effective service.

Research Methodology

As a result, the study takes a qualitative descriptive approach. It implores one of the more classic means of acquiring data, namely secondary data sources. Materials gathered from: Archives, Newspapers, debates, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals, among other sources, made up a significant portion of the secondary sources employed, which were examined to make the topic under discussion meaningful.

 Limitation of the study

Several problems were faced over the course of the research, including but not limited to the following. These are the ones.

Financial constraints: A lack of funds impedes the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection procedure (internet, questionnaire and interview)

Time constraint: Another constraint is time, as this research had to be completed while also juggling other academic responsibilities, making it hard to conduct this study in a large, representative sample.

Definition of terms

Local Government: At the local or grassroot level, this is the third layer of government. It is mandated by law to carry out specified tasks in specific locations. It is a territorial community having non-sovereign authority to govern itself.

Service Delivery: As with infrastructure and infrastructural development, this refers to the process of delivering fundamental facilities.

Fiscal Autonomy: This is a situation in which local governments have not only distinct territorial boundaries, legal powers to accomplish or achieve certain goals, but also, most significantly, substantial financial autonomy without excessive but complementing oversight from higher authorities (ies). These include treasury ownership, distinct budgets, and accounts based on successful, dependable income creation both within and beyond the company’s jurisdiction.

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