Date of Conferral







J. Don Jones


The Nigerian government has been concerned in recent years with students’ achievement gaps in basic science. Currently, there is not enough research on the perspectives of administrators and teachers concerning their practices and experiences of Universal Basic Education (UBE) programs and their influence on students’ science achievements. In this basic qualitative study, the perceptions of three administrators and eight basic science teachers in a selected school were explored regarding their practices and experiences utilizing the UBE program to bridge achievement gaps among ninth grade students in basic science. The conceptual framework was based on the Fullan change theory that assumes that every school reform and educational improvement should meet the conditions of stakeholders for continuous improvement in practice. The two major research questions that guided this study focused on the perceptions of the administrators and teachers concerning the program practices and strategies employed which influence ninth grade students’ basic science achievement. The data were collected through interviews. The interviews were transcribed, coded, and thematically analyzed. The findings indicated that administrators and teachers perceived that their program practices enhanced the ninth grade students’ basic science achievements. Additional findings indicated that the program strategies employed helped students in meeting expectations in basic science. This study has the potential to contribute to positive social change by identifying strategies to increase scientific literacy of the students in southeast Nigeria as well as improve administrators’ and teachers’ accountability for other program initiatives in the Nigerian education system.