Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Michael Knight


The Universal Basic Education (UBE) was designed to address the social problem of drop outs in secondary schools, but dropout rates in secondary schools are still at a 42% high in Enugu State, Nigeria. This study sought to understand teachers' perceptions of the program, the ways the UBE impacted the dropout problem, and what could be done to the UBE program to make it more effective. This study provided an important contribution to the literature, as it examined an often neglected perspective: the input of teachers in the field, as opposed to those of policy planners at the top. The conceptual framework was Elmore's bottom-up approach to implementation theory, which promotes the use of a backward mapping structure to evaluate a policy/reform implementation and proffers points for future changes. A case study design was employed, using 10 participants and 5 schools across 3 school forms. Interview data were analyzed employing the inductive coding structure to identify themes and patterns. Results indicated that the UBE implementation was only observed in public schools and that no attention was paid to curriculum development. Better planning, implementation, monitoring, and more stakeholder involvement were suggested for higher impacting future reforms. The implication for social change include exposing the factors that surrounded the implementation of the UBE whilst describing the importance of stakeholders in reforms, and how stakeholder involvement could be harnessed to producing better impacting reforms in Nigeria.