1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In Nigeria education is one of the vital tools utilized by the political class to enhance their legitimacy and control the machinery of government and administration. A careful look at organization and administration of education in any given country will show that it is closely interwoven with its political dispensation or ideology. According to Uchendu (2000:1) Educational system and politics are symbiotically linked. Educational systems are based upon and promote the ideologies of nations. Similarly abstract education that does not serve the politics of a given clan does not exist in the world today. Formal school system has become an important component for the political system to implant its ideology on the youth. National Policy on Education FRN (2004) states that Education in Nigeria is an instrument for effecting development. It therefore seeks to fulfill that role the government has stated for the benefit of all citizens in the country. Educational goals shall be clearly set out in terms of their relevance to the needs of the individual and those of the society, in consonance with the realities of our environment and the modern world. Countries spell out in clear terms the philosophy and objectives that underline their investment in education which is generally affected by the political ideology of the country. Successive governments in the country insist on education for all, so that they can contribute meaningful, to the achievement of the ideas of a democratic form of government.
Education has been defined by authors in various ways to suit their own ideals of what education does or the gains of education. Anuna, (1996:2) defined education as the systematic socialization of the younger members of the society into learning, about the religion, morals, beliefs feelings of nationality and collective opinion of all kinds. It embraces not only the planned and deliberate process of school, colleges but also the indirect incidental experience of life.
Many authors have defined politics in different ways. Okunamiri (2005:2) defined politics as “unbridled struggle for power among individuals or groups”. Dyke (1966) defined “politics as, consisting of struggle among actors pursuing conflicting desires on public issues”. These definitions perceive politics as struggle for power which results in unhealthy competition among individuals or the groups involved. Clump, in Uchendu (2000:1) defined politics as a science and art of securing and advancing the temporal welfare, of community organized as a state. The business of politics therefore involves both laying down of general principles and their application to concrete problems. The scope of politics is the temporal well-being of the community as a whole. To say this means that politics is concerned with the relations of the members of the community between themselves and the things of the world. Again, it is concerned with the right and duties of citizens to each other and to state.
The greater participation and interaction between politics and education in the life of any nation is thus, what constitutes the major objective of community development. Technology (no matter how modest) alone does not solve problems nor does it even create friends. There is an increasing awakening that people are more important than techniques. People should have some voice in and understanding of what is being done. This is the basis of mutual benefit the world over. Symbiotic relationship between politics and education as earlier posited, comprises the people plotting their graph, the direction of their values, identifying way of catching up with the graph so plotted and working meticulously towards the realization of set goals and objectives. This implies that a mutual relationship between politics and education requires that people themselves exert their own efforts, joining with government to improve their economic, social and cultural conditions. it is concerned with total community life and needs. It should involve the entire community participation in decision-making. In another dimension Obanya (2002) perceived politics and education as interaction in the fullest and best sense for stimulation of the desire for better things and the urge to attain such better things. To her, mutual interaction of politics and education strive to educate and motivate people to self-help with a view to developing responsible local leadership among them, as well as inculcating in them a sense of citizenship and a spirit of civic consciousness. Besides, to ensure a lasting mutual relationship between politics and education, new ideas, researches and approaches must be injected into the education system. For example, Akintoye (2004) argues: Most studies of educational change have been concerned primarily with the adoption of specific education innovations. They have been conducted where research has largely focused on the diffusion concept, namely, the spread or permeation of an innovation from system to system or from school to school.
In recent times, it is generally accepted that the success or failure of any educational system depends on the political system of the area concerned. Education cannot be separated from politics because it is an aspect of political needs of the society. Education is a vital instrument for national unity and integration in Nigeria. That is one of the reasons why the federal government is involved in education at primary, secondary and university levels in Nigeria. The political system has influenced educational system over a long period even during the period of Socrates and Plato. Rowley (1971:11) observed that “educational plans are political in their nature and effect”. Adesina (1884:170) stated that “there is hardly any problem marrying politics with education”.” He further stated that in analyzing politics, the national aim of making education available to every child, the idea of using education to wipe out hunger, illiteracy, ignorance and diseases are on the whole less educational than political. Education in Nigeria, like in any other country had not been fashioned in a vacuum but had been regulated by the government policies and therefore by implication had been a necessary function of politics. Uchendu (2000:5) stated that no matter the system of education a country adopts, the likely solutions to problems that may arise from governmental attempt to regulate the aspirations of the citizens are related to politics, as politics determines the type of education that is to be adopted, so while one can take education out of politics, politics can hardly be taken out of education. Almond, (1960:27) posited that all political systems tend to perpetuate their culture, ideas and structure. And this could be achieved through education. Hence the interest of the Nigerian ruling class in education.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The government interest on education has some implications for planning and administration of education. It is planned and administered in the contest of existing governmental structure. The success or failure of any educational system depends on the political system at a time. The political issue which, has influenced education in Nigeria is equal opportunity, and according to the 1979 constitution, equal opportunity implies: the availability of places for students in the educational system, the social institutional support for attendance and the economic ability of individuals to pursue their education. The political leadership is committed to ensuring that the fundamental right of all Nigerians for equal opportunity is assured. That is the reason why the government has mounted several programmes, to attain this objective in education. The Universal Primary Education (UPE) program is expected to ensure that every Nigerian child has free access to education irrespective of historical, political, cultural or socio-economic background. There is also plans especially with the recent introduction of Universal Basic Education (UBE) in Nigeria to ensure fee-free Junior Secondary education in all the states. Institutions for special education to take care of the handicapped and disabled children and adults are being spread all over the country. Also established in many parts of the country are adult and non-formal educations for fishery communities. All these are aimed at ensuring that even these adults who lost the opportunity to go through formal school system when they were younger are availed of the opportunity to education. This however aroused the interest of the researcher to investigate the influence politics has on Nigeria education sector.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to find out the influence of politics on Nigeria education sector, however to arrive at a valid result the specific objectives of this study is to:
1. Investigate the influence of politics on availability of quality education in Nigeria
2. To discover the effects of politics on the implementation of education policy in Nigeria
3. To find out the impact of politics on academic performance of Nigeria students
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will guide the researcher during the course of this research:
1. Does politics has an influence on the availability of quality education in Nigeria
2. What are the effects of politics on the implementation of education policy in Nigeria
3. Does politics has any impact on the academic performance of Nigeria students
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will expose government at different levels, schools managements, politicians, parents and other stakeholder involve the in formulating education policy in Nigeria on the influence and effects of politics on Nigeria education sectors. Also this study will serve as a reference to other researcher who wish to continue this research or embark on the same research.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers the population of Osun state in Nigeria but due to some challenges faced by the researcher samples are taken from Olorunda local government area of Osun state.
1.7 DELIMATION OF THE STUDY
This major constraint the researcher encountered in this study is limited time and insufficient fund to visit some places.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Politics: the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.
Influence: ability to have an effects on someone of something
Education: the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university