Stakeholder perceptions of secondary education quality in Sokoto State, Nigeria

Publication Date03 April 2017
Date03 April 2017
AuthorYaro Ibrahim,Rozita Arshad,Dani Salleh
SubjectEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
Stakeholder perceptions of
secondary education quality in
Sokoto State, Nigeria
Yaro Ibrahim
Faculty of Management Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University,
Sokoto, Nigeria, and
Rozita Arshad and Dani Salleh
Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia
Purpose This study aims to obtain stakeholder perceptions of secondary education quality in Sokoto
State, Nigeria.
Design/methodology/approach A qualitative research approach was used by conducting interviews.
Data were purposively collected from a sample of 15 education stakeholders in Sokoto State, and analyzed to
extract major themes using the NVivo software program.
Findings The results of the interviews suggested that high-quality education is dened by the following
seven dimensions that fell under a systems-based framework: the provision of adequate instructional
materials, the provision of educational infrastructure, imparting the “right” knowledge, meeting education
“yardsticks”, provision of teacher support and welfare, creating a conducive learning atmosphere and
availability of high-quality teachers.
Research limitations/implications The research is conned to the Sokoto State only. Although the
ndings may be applicable to other states of the Nigerian federation, the qualitative research design limits
generalization beyond the present data. The research has methodological limitations in that only a qualitative
approach was used in obtaining and analyzing the data.
Practical implications This study presents dimensions of, and a denition of, secondary education
quality, as perceived by education stakeholders in Sokoto State, Nigeria. This systems-based denition could
be useful to the government in re-designing its educational plans and ensuring quality in secondary education
programs. Once fully applied in the educational system, issues of low-quality education and graduation of
unprepared students can be addressed more systematically. The goal of admitting more competent school
leavers into tertiary institutions could also be pursued actively. Other social challenges, such as juvenile
delinquency, can likewise be addressed. The study draws attention of those responsible for education
provision in Nigeria to look inward to focus on those dimensions that need prompt and urgent improvements
so that education quality can be ensured for a better society.
Originality/value This study provides a systems-based framework of educational quality to guide
school improvement efforts in Nigerian secondary schools that reect values of regional stakeholders. This
study demonstrates an easy-to-apply method for deriving educational quality indicators with stakeholder
involvement. The dimensions obtained are supported by theory and the literature discussed.
Keywords Secondary schools, Education stakeholders, Quality education
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
1.1 Need for attention to educational quality
Many developing countries are currently aspiring toward higher quality education systems
(David and Anna, 2015;Isa and Jailani, 2014). Indeed, countries around the world today have
made remarkable progress in not only improving the quality of education but also in making
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Received 27 April 2016
Revised 22 August 2016
29 January 2017
Accepted 31 January 2017
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.25 No. 2, 2017
©Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-04-2016-0021
education accessible to all (Bruns and Luque, 2015;Filmer and Fox, 2014;UNESCO, 2014a).
But despite these achievements, issues related to poor-quality education still persist in most
regions of Africa, Latin America and other still-developing parts of the world (Bruns and
Luque, 2015;Filmer and Fox, 2014;UNESCO, 2014a). For instance, although the Asia-Pacic
region made tremendous advances in accomplishing the Education for All (EFA) goals, there
was little evidence indicating an improvement of overall education quality in that region
(UNESCO, 2014a). Encouraging improvements were documented with regard to literacy,
participation, enrolment levels and in addressing gender equity issues, however (UNESCO,
Some countries in Africa also made gigantic efforts toward improving education quality
in their respective countries, but were handicapped because of a number of irregularities. For
instance, Nelson (2014) and Lyn and John (2014) found that inadequate human, physical and
nancial resources signicantly constrained the achievement of education quality in Kenya.
Similarly, Norman (2013) found that lack of professionalism and weak administrative
capacity hindered the attainment of education quality in Tanzania.
Nigeria also adopted various measures for improving education quality through the
nation’s education policies. These policies have been revised from time to time with a view
toward meeting international standards in achieving the EFA goals (Federal Republic of
Nigeria National Policy on Education, 2013). But, despite government efforts and the fact
that education is considered by the United Nations to be a public good of which no child
should be deprived (Dorathy, 2009), the quality of graduates produced is still very poor,
especially in Sokoto State.
1.2 Educational quality in Sokoto
Sokoto State is one of the least developed states educationally in Nigeria, with a youth
literacy rate of 33.1 per cent and an adult literacy rate of 22.1 per cent (National Bureau of
Statistics (NBS), 2010). These statistics indicate drastic educational backwardness in the
state, as compared to other regions in the nation.
In Nigeria, students’ learning outcomes at the end of completion of senior school studies
are used as a primary indicator in determining the quality of education (Olaleye, 2013). The
evaluation examination is conducted yearly for students by the West African Examinations
Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (Ojedokun and Aladejana, 2012).
As a preamble to this study, students’ “pass rates” in the selected states in Nigeria were
compared using the 2014 WAEC results. Two states were chosen from each of the six
geo-political zones of the country that comprises south-south, south-west, south-east,
north-west, north-east and north-central areas. The states were as follows: Abia, Anambra,
Akwa Ibom, Delta, Oyo and Lagos States in the South, whereas Benue, Plateau, Adamawa,
Borno, Kaduna and Sokoto States were selected from the North. Table I displays the results.
The results indicated that the northern states are far behind as compared to their
counterparts in the southern parts of the nation. The state with the least percentage of passes
in the south is Oyo State with 19 per cent passes, whereas the state with the highest
percentage of ve credit passes is Abia State with 68.62 per cent. The results also indicated
that Sokoto State has the worst quality of education dened in terms of pass rates on the end
of the year examination, with only a 7.12 per cent credit pass in ve subjects including
English and mathematics. Kaduna State has the highest credit passes with 36.38 per cent. A
credit pass is an instance whereby students scored 50 marks or above, out of total 100 marks,
on an examination.
Another way of identifying lack of quality education is in the level of school drop-outs. See
Table II. Similarly, as with the end of year examination results, two states were selected from

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