1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is the process of bringing about desired changes in human behavior. It is also the process of imparting or gaining knowledge or habits through instruction.
Education's purpose for any nation, developed or developing, is to aid in the resolution of problems that concern that nation. This is why, according to the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004), "the government has stated that, for the benefit of all citizens, the country's educational goals shall be clearly set out in terms of their relevance to the needs of the individual and those of society, in accordance with the realities of our environment and the modern world."
As a result, many nations after gaining political independence had to refocus their efforts on nation building, with the hope that what education accomplished for the "great power" might also be done for them (Williams/1970, in Omede & Omede, 2004). Education is well recognized as an essential tool for national development (FRN, 2004). For education to be effective and beneficial, it must be indigenized, that is, adapted to meet the demands of the society in question.
This explains why, since independence, the Nigerian educational system has undergone a series of assessments to ensure that it meets the needs of the society. According to Yusuf & Yusuf (2009), the first serious attempt at reforming the country's educational program took place in 1969, through a curriculum conference held in Lagos, and the conference recommendations led to the first post independent educational policy, tailored to meet the nation's local needs. According to Omoregie (2005), from independence to the present, the national policy on education, the documents that serve as the "ten commandments" for the nation's educational practices, have been reviewed more than three times: in 1977 (first draft), 1981, 1998, and 2004.
When discussing the Nigerian educational system nowadays, the first ideas that come to mind are: fall in standards, deterioration of facilities, examination malpractices, mass promotion syndrome, and the like. This necessitates an in-depth investigation and analysis intended at instructing all players in the education system on how their actions and inactions have individually and collectively led to Nigeria's disintegrating educational system. In any event, the importance of knowledge and skill acquisition, which is at the heart of education, cannot be overstated. The World Bank (1999) states that "successful development includes more than investing in physical capital or narrowing the capital gap." It also requires gaining and using knowledge, as well as filling knowledge gaps."
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The importance of secondary school education in the country's educational system cannot be overstated. Secondary schools, on the other hand, appear to be falling short of expectations in terms of meeting their commitments. Omoregie (2005) bemoaned the fact that today's secondary school graduates are unable to function in society or enter higher education without the assistance or forgery of their parents. They are unable to think for themselves or respect the opinions and feelings of others. In other words, they have no sense of labor dignity except for the things that will make them money quickly. It must be emphasized that education cannot be a superior tool for attaining national development if secondary education is not adequately managed to achieve its goals and objectives. According to Ajayi (2002) and Omoregi (2005), secondary education in Nigeria is riddled with crises of varying magnitudes, all of which combine to suggest that the system is at a fork in the road. Against this backdrop, this article investigates the concept, goals, and objectives of secondary education, as well as the issues it faces in the country.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to examine the challenges of secondary school education in Nigeria. Specifically, other objectives of this study are:
i. To determine if the challenges of secondary school education affects academic performance of students
ii. To determine the different challenges secondary school education face in Nigeria
iii. To determine ways these challenges can be tackled.