The problems of classroom management in secondary schools in Nigeria:Study of secondary schools in Owerri Municipal Council of Imo State.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In our formal system of education, classroom plays a very vital role, it is a facility that could enhance learning if properly conditioned. Before the introduction of formal system of education in Nigeria, the system was informal traditional education or indigenous Nigeria education. This type of education takes place everywhere and throughout life. There is no particular place mapped out for this type of education. It is to some extent arranged and organized and takes place in some specialized places but not schools, for example, a tailor or shoemaker undergoes a course of study in an organized setting like the workshop, which is still within the informal structure of education.
In 1842, western education was introduced into Nigeria by the Europeans and African Christian missionaries. During this time, the administration of the missionary schools was introduced by their missionary owners (the proprietors) without interference from any quarter. The classroom setting in early schools consisted of a spectacled missionaries, sometimes blacks, they were often priests with rods in their hands and rows of two or more children mixed with adults repeating in unison either the catechism or the alphabets. Later, the Colonial Government started showing interest in formal education in Nigeria with increased government control participation in educational administration. Emphasis was given to the provision of adequate classrooms before approval was given by the ministry of education to any community wishing to open a new school.
Classroom management include all the efforts teachers make in the following areas, organizing the students, co-coordinating their activities, monitoring their behaviors, ensuring effective learning process, providing instruction through interactive communication, getting feedbacks from learners, preparing and utilizing instructional materials in facilitating learning, maintaining discipline among learners, evaluating learning outcome, ensuring that the problems of above average learners are being solved, relating on one to one basis with learners, being mindful of their basic needs, providing basic information to learners, assisting learners in developing coping skills, providing an exemplary behavior for learners to imitate, and generating interest among learners as well as reinforcing their performance through motivational techniques (Egbule, 2005).
Classroom teachers are known as classroom managers because of their roles in managing learning activities, instructional procedures, the prevailing attitudes, feeling and atmosphere in the classroom. Teaching and classroom management cannot be separated because effective classroom management is characterized by effective discipline, and discipline is seen as an instruction, training of the mind, and subjection to school rules and regulations. Though discipline may seem harsh and unpractical for students, it is the most essential element in securing effective classroom management and an excellent academic performance of students which leads to quality education.
The importance of classroom in the educational process cannot be over-emphasized as the classroom environment has far-reaching consequences in the education of the child. One may hold the view that the classroom is not very important, that lessons could be taught out of doors under a tree and learning would still take place. This could be true but the question is “How such learning would take place in such a situation”. Any good teacher would find it difficult to stimulate interest and effect desirable changes in an environment which is not conducive to learning. Attention may be short, distraction could occur and there may be inconveniences on the part of both the teacher and the learner if lessons are held under trees or similar environment.
As the classroom is sine-qua-non in our educational institutions, it becomes necessary that the conditions and its effect on the learning and teaching be given adequate study. Classroom management was defined by Onwuegbu (1999) as the “arranging of students or grouping of activities into units to make for effective teaching and learning. It also means that the available resources for classroom work are arranged to suit different cases for effective teaching and learning”. Where good classroom management is lacking, there is chaos, teaching and leaving are disrupted and much learning does not take place. Equally important is classroom management is the issue of discipline and the handling of disciplinary problems. The teacher should know that it is important to understand the personality of the students he/she is handling in order to keep the classroom in order and ready for the task at hand. This creates a picture of the activities that teacher is involved in while in the classroom. In dealing with the students, the teacher is confronted with such problem as; Absenteeism, fighting, disobedience, leaving seats for no good reason, inattentiveness, inability to learn, noise, jeering at the teacher, sleeping, shuffling of feet among others. All these show that there exist lapses in the classroom management. It is also evident that where these cannot be controlled or managed to some great extent, there emerges case of great indiscipline which is reflected in the student’s attitude in the attainment of higher education.
According to Folaji others (2000), the function of a good teacher is not only to impact knowledge to the students but also to develop desirable behaviour in them so as to be able to live happily and peacefully in any society. In order for the teacher to carry out this function, the teacher needs to possess the skills of the profession through successful training. A teacher therefore, should be held accountable for instructional expertise in the specific areas of competence in which he received his training.
Secondary school level is the bridge between the primary and tertiary levels. The importance of secondary education is geared towards providing all primary school leavers with the opportunity for education of a higher level irrespective of sex, social status, religious or ethnic background; offer diversified curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunities and future roles; provide trained manpower in the applied science, technology and commerce at sub-professional grades; develop and promote Nigerian languages, art and culture in the context of world’s cultural heritage; inspire students with a desire for self improvement and achievement of excellence; foster National unity with an emphasis on the common ties that unite us in our diversity; raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labor, appreciate those values specified under our broad national goals and live as good citizens; and provide technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development (FRN, 2004).The underline principle here is that the secondary schools should be able to provide quality, secondary education to all those who can benefit from it. The realization of these aims and objectives hinges in many variables such as good classroom management, adequate teachers, availability and adequate utilization of teaching and learning materials, infrastructural/physical facilities and school inspection and supervision.
Teachers are leaders that influence student’s needs, skills as well as self confidence, self respect, status and control of themselves and their environment in order to perform their duties well. The professional responsibilities include; the organization of classroom, physical environment, as well as the management of student’s behaviour. The school as a vital institution ensures that young one’s receive good education.
Nwankwo (1998) sees education as concerned with, formation of character, the development of intellectual capabilities of the individuals and the improvement and transportation of cultural heritage. It is also involves the equipment of individuals with knowledge and skills, values and attitudes that will enable them to earn a living in a fast changing word and in turn, contribute to the improvement and welfare of the society. Federal government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument for affecting national development. Education will contribute highly in the national development plan because it is the most important instrument of change as any fundamental change in the intellectual and social outlook of any society has to be preceded by educational revolution. Consequently, the National policy on education 2000, stipulated the objectives of secondary school education, which are prepared for higher education and preparation for useful living is the society. These objectives can fully be achieved only if the teacher’s respect principals of secondary schools and the government play their roles well but the bulk of the work is left to the classroom teachers.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Teaching has been noted as one of the most difficult jobs in the world. If becomes more difficult when the teacher is over whelmed with the problems of classroom management. In order not to be placed in this position, there is need for effective classroom management. This effectiveness of classroom management depends on the provisions of good teachers, good facilities adequate knowledge of subject matters, personnel, fund, provision of good physical learning environment, good leadership style, good personality and attributes that will ensure the maintenance of student’s interest. Absence of all these lead to poor performance in examination, accompanied by cheating and the standard of education continues to fall. It is therefore, important to study problems and issues of classroom management in Owerri municipal area, and how they affect teaching and learning situation of the schools under study.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study strives to;
- Find out the problems of classroom management in secondary schools in Owerri municipal,
- Find out how these problems affect teaching and learning;
- Find out factors that contribute to classroom management problems,
- Recommendation that will improve situation
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study generally with x-ray the factors that affect teacher’s effective classroom management, the result of the study therefore provides valuable information to all concerned especially those teachers who think that classroom management is a big problem. The study will help student teachers, beginning teachers and older teacher’s classroom management entail, know their roles in it and be able to play them. It will enable the principals, the government and administrators of education to know the areas of need in classroom management. The recommendation if adhered to will lead to the improvement of student’s performance and increase standard of education.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Classroom management implies the idea of a school environment. Apart from secondary schools, there exist other classroom in primary schools, tertiary institutions, in seminars and conference arena. But the classroom in this present study is limited to secondary schools in Owerri municipal council of Imo State.
This study will also cover the following factors affecting teachers effective management of the classroom.
- The teacher’s qualification, aptitude and proficiency
- Essential teaching aids
- The student’s population, attitude of learning and discipline.
- The support of parents, guardians and school administrators as well as the society at large
- The school environment
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1) What are the problems of classroom management in secondary schools at Owerri Municipal Council?
2) To what extent do students contribute to classroom management problem?
3) How do teachers contribute to the problems of classroom management?
4) How does the school administration and the government contribute to the problems of classroom management?
5) To what extent do parents contribute to the problems of classroom management?
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
- There is no problem of classroom management in Owerri Municipal Council of Imo Sate.
- Teachers, the government and the school administrators do not contribute to the problems of classroom management in Owerri Municipal Council.