THE DISTRIBUTIONAL BIAS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION: CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
One of the principles of equity states “Equality before the law”; means that no one is above the law; everyone is equal before the law. On this premise, the distribution of amenities by the government to the people should be shared equitably. A particular group of people should not be more favored than the other, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. In other for equity goal to be achieved, equal distribution of resources in a country is paramount (Tawney, 1952). The opposite of this seems to be the case in Nigeria as the majority group in the country tends to receive more attention from the government than the minorities. Le Grand 1982 in one of his works asserted that in the United Kingdom (UK), public amenities like health, education, transportation, etc are mostly enjoyed by the middle class and the rich, relegating the poor in the society.
Distributional bias is very prevalent in developing countries of the world; a good example is Nigeria where public spending on education discourages children from poor homes from going to school. Those who have tried to attend primary school have the challenge of going for higher education because of finance (World Bank 2003, Chapters 2 and 7). This problem is particular to Latin America and Africa, with cases of uneven allocation of revenue within the populace. Of which if the government took care of the education expenditures (tuition fees and learning materials), free education can be offered.
Consequently, there is an obvious distributional bias in public spending on education. Geographic location of schools in Nigeria contributes to distributional bias of public education, as some good quality schools are located where the rich dwell; for instance in Lagos state, well structured and equipped schools are situated in lekki being where the bourgeoisies reside. The issue of distributional bias of public education can be tied to how weak or strong the government is. Malaysia is one country that has the lowest rate of distributional bias in public education, while Mozambique acts the reverse of the story coupled with their violation of the rule of law.
This study is out to identify the causes and consequences of distributional bias of public education.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most often in Nigeria, public funding of education is not evenly distributed, thus affecting youth’s access to education. Some Nigerian youths of poor parents are deprived of quality education because of the cost of education. These have pushed a lot of youths into the streets that some are seen hawking during school hours instead of being in school, others have been lured to join bad groups causing havoc in the society.
These are the ample effects of distributional bias of public education in Nigeria.
In addition, the government is the main brain behind distributional bias of public education; with a weak and corrupt government, such discrepancy is inevitable.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study is the distributional bias of public education: causes and consequences.
Other specific objectives include:
a) To examine the effect of distributional bias of public education on economic growth.
b) To examine the significant relationship between distributional bias of public education and the performance of student.
c) To identify ways of improving the equitable distribution of public education.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions are generated to guide this study:
a) What are the causes and consequences of distributional bias of public education?
b) What are the effects of distributional bias of public education on economic growth?
c) Is there a significant relationship between distributional bias of public education and the performance of student?
d) What are the ways of improving equitable distribution of public education?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There are no causes and consequences of distributional bias of public education.
H1: There are causes and consequences of distributional bias of public education.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is meant to inform and educate the general public, but most especially the government on the consequences of distributional bias of public education.
It is meant to draw to the attention of the government the need to evenly distribute public education, in other to improve the educational system of Nigeria, by extension its economy.
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or study.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to the risk, resources and education- public and private financing of higher education in Nigeria.
Limitations of study
- 1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- 2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- DISTRIBUTIONAL: The process of marketing and merchandising goods. Also, the way in which wealth or goods or services are allotted.
- BIAS: This is an inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.
- PUBLIC EDUCATION: This is a state school (public school), a tuition-free school, funded and operated by the government
- CAUSE: This is a thing that gives rise to an action, phenomenon, or condition.
- CONSEQUENCE: This is a result or effect, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.
Tawney, R.H. 1952. Equality London: George Allen and Unwin.
Le Grand, J. 1982. The Strategy of Equality: Redistribution and the Social Services. London: George Allen and Unwin.
World Bank. 2003. World Development Report, 2004, Making Services Work for Poor People. Washington, D.C.: A co publication with of the World Bank and Oxford University Press.