Teachers professional qualification and the academic performance of students in Junior Secondary Schools in Afikpo North LGA
Background to the study
The development of a society is closely tied to its level of educational attainment. Education is said to be a continuous and life long process of development that starts from infancy to maturity. Education is a tool that can solve the socio-economic problems of the country as stated by the Federal Ministry of Education (2004). It is the instrument par excellence for effecting national development. This national development can be effectively achieved through manpower development which is acquired through adequate teaching and learning.
According to Ndem (2011) teachers are recognized as the pillars of our educational system. They are the potter and students are the clay with which they can make anything. They play important role in fostering environment censoriousness in the society.
Clement (2013) stated that teachers are like the major aspect of the educational setup. Therefore, the qualifications of the teachers play important roles in maintaining and sustaining meaningful educational performance/activities.
According to Schalock (1998), teachers are also seen as the main instrument towards achieving effective teaching. It is pertinent to mention that ineffective and poor teaching of some key subjects in the school curriculum have continued to do some havoc by shattering the hopes and aspiration of most students especially the very ambitious ones.
Njada in Fayonyomi (2007) emphasized that the success or failure of any educational programme rests mainly on the availability of adequate qualified, competent and dedicated teachers. Ibe (2000) noted that the ability of a teacher to teach is not only derived from ones academic background but it is based upon pedagogical skills acquired. The quality of a teacher will inevitably be seen in the citizens tomorrow because teaching is meant to effect a positive change in the behavior of students.
The availability of professional teachers in our society, especially in the rural areas is low Idada (2013). The reason is not farfetched as teaching is seen as the dumping ground of unemployed school leavers irrespective of their area of specialization. These groups of untrained teachers thus handle the job as a part time venture or stop over gap. Such attitude towards teaching affects quality service and delivery. A person who lacks dedication to duty sparingly performs well on the job.
The resultant effect on the students’ performance can be catastrophic. Students who are raised under such tutelage often perform poorly in their examinations. For effective teaching and learning to be achieved in the school, teachers must be made to acquire professional qualifications. Schalock (1998)
More over, Ezeani (2013) stated that the government should take effective measures to ensure that teachers are trained. The Bachelor degree in education was introduced in almost all the major universities in the bid to provide more trained teachers for effective teaching and learning which will in turn influence the performance of students in both the urban and rural areas. The government should also be effective in the inspection and supervision of teachers, their qualification, and competence in their subject area and dedication to the profession should always be checked.
The academic administrators according to Evans (2000) should know that qualification is not an absolute reliable indication that a teacher can perform satisfactorily in all aspects of their profession because teachers in their subject areas could also perform below average. School administrators must ensure that their teachers are not just qualified to teach but have the dedication to teach. A master degree holders that is respected as a qualified teacher may not by dedicated to teach the children. This will invariably affect the academic performance of students in such schools.
Parents should try to check the qualification and competence of the teachers that teach their children by asking questions at parents teachers association (P.T.A) meetings, checking the child’s progress and following it up with the teacher and also by getting to know the teachers personally. Steve (2000) said that most times, just primary school leavers are employed to teach in secondary schools especially in rural areas where the necessary inspection are not done by the education board. It is left for parents to ensure that their children are taught by qualified, competent and dedicated teachers who can teach their children the values of life to effect positive change in their behavior.
The community, according to Igwe (1990) has an important role to play in ensuring that their children are taught by competent teachers. They can assist by providing some of the necessary equipment and infrastructure needed by school and to ensure that these equipments are judiciously used by teachers to teach their children/ward.
Nkwodimah (2003) suggested that the present secondary school students’ poor academic performance can only be improved by qualified, dedicated and competent teachers who handle subjects in their specific areas of specialty and as well, relevant instructional facilities should be provided to effect adequate accomplishment of educational objectives which is to achieve effective teaching and learning. Nwogoli (2003) pointed out that no well trained qualified teachers want to go to the rural areas to teach, all of them will prefer the urban areas where there is greater opportunities leaving those with leaser qualification and no option in the rural areas. A good measure should be taken by government to ensure that teachers teaching in secondary schools whether in the rural or urban areas are qualified because, the children are both going to face the same society. The areas to be checked for a good teacher according to Hillary Adams (2009) are teacher’s that pay attention to students learning difficulties, those that are professionally qualified in a specific subject area, those that are dedicated in their work as a teacher with the main aim of impacting worthwhile knowledge in the children, teachers that can plan, prepare and deliver effective teaching and learning programme.
Qualified teachers as stated by Otubo (1971) should be a role model to their students, if they set good example, the children will perform credibly but if otherwise, the children will perform poorly. A teacher that does not work hard in their classroom will only teach the students laziness and this will affect their educational performance.
Teachers teaching in secondary schools are also expected to follow the diverse change in the society; they should go for seminars, workshops and conferences to help upgrade their intellect, they should go for computer training and other in-service training to help them affect the academic performance of their students, Igwebuike (1985).
Statement of the Problem
One of the prerequisites for quality education is received by the qualification of the teacher. Where teachers are properly trained and certified, there is every tendency for learners to perform well. Unfortunately, there seems to be low qualify teachers in our school system. Even where there are qualified teachers, they appear to be in short supply especially in the rural areas like Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Purpose of the Study
The main aim of the study is to ascertain how teachers’ qualification influences the academic performance of junior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The specific purpose of the Study is to:
- Examine the influence of teachers’ professional qualification on the academic performance of students of junior secondary school in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
- Find out the effect of professionally qualified teachers on the academic performance of junior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
- Identify the possible challenges associated with teachers professional qualification and the academic performance of students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
- To ascertain the possible measures that could be adopted to enhance the qualification of teachers for effective academic performance of junior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Significance of the Study
The result of this research is to provide necessary information to the state and federal government of Nigeria, academic administrators, policy makers, communities, parents, teachers and even students of the effect of unqualified, incompetent and undedicated teachers to the children, school and society at large.
This work will also create awareness in the need for teachers to upgrade their knowledge to enable them teach effectively in the schools and to also help them identify the various problems causing improper use of instructional materials in the classroom and how to effect a change.
The findings of this work will be used as a solution to other problems or difficulties in the school system and also help in the raising of the fallen standard of education in the rural areas and other country as a whole.
Finally, the study will be used to improve teachers’ effectiveness in secondary school administration as well as the federal government to know some of the other factors that affects students’ academic performance.
Scope of the Study
The study is mainly centered on some secondary schools in Afikpo North L.G.A and it is limited to the problems of teachers professional qualifications have affected the performance of a student both in examination and in general school setting.
Based on the objectives of this study, the following questions are formulated;
- What influence does the teachers’ professional qualification have on the academic performance of students in junior secondary school in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?
- What are the effects of professionally qualified teachers on the academic performance of junior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?
- What are the possible challenges associated with teachers’ professional qualification and the academic performance of students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?
- What possible measures could be adopted to enhance the qualification of teachers for effective academic performance of junior secondary school students in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State?