1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Teachers’ competency in teaching and learning is an important factor in determining the success of a teaching session. Their ability and wisdom in handling learning activities will have a direct impact on students’ active involvement in learning activities. Therefore, the development of teacher’s competency involving the efforts of fostering positive attitudes (Awang, Jindal-Snape & Barber, 2013) was a major agenda to strengthen the teaching profession and to ensure great development of the education quality in many countries around the world. In the Indonesian context, the government has set specific standards in determining the implementation of quality education in accordance with the education laws which related to education curriculum, competency of teachers, educational infrastructure, organization of learning activities and educational assessment. Everything is interconnected in assuring the standard of quality. To this regard, particular attention is given on the quality of science subjects in order to create a scientific-minded citizen. Science subject is covering general science and pure Science of Biology, Physics and Chemistry subjects. Science subjects require practical training as well as theoretical studies. Therefore, to be competent, teachers need to be efficient in designing, planning and implementing the lesson. Apart from that, teachers need to assess the practical training and laboratory experiment. The country needs more scientific-minded people to accomplish the national mission for Nigeria to be a developed nation. Therefore, students need to be nurtured to love science and to positively practice scientific culture. According to Kamisah, Zanaton and Lilia (2007) positive attitudes towards science and scientific activities will exist through constant monitoring of experiments and continuous assessment of practical activities. In accordance with the goals of the National Education System in providing quality education, hence it is the responsibility of teachers to have a comprehensive plan, to implement and evaluate every subject. In the context of globalization and industrial world today, knowledge and understanding of the scientific aspects can enhance Nigerians to be more competitive in the global arena. One of the ways to improve teachers’ competency especially in Biology is the teachers need to be well versed with the content of the Biology curriculum, skilful in using a variety of teaching methods and teaching aids, efficient in coordinating all the necessary equipment and ensure safety of students while conducting laboratory experiments. Students are unable to conduct experiments and predict the outcome because they are not accustomed to the laboratory activities. During laboratory activities, students should be given the opportunity to ask questions, make hypotheses, experiments and deduce experimental results through observation, data processing and making inferences (McDermott et al, 2013). The instruments and apparatus needed for an experiment should be ready before the actual lesson. Data, information or test results on student’s performance will be taken as the basis for Biology performance for future students (Popham, 2009). Preparation involves pre perception of an activity to create interesting learning experiences that arouse student’s interest for a successful learning process (Mulyati Arifin, 2012). In addition to preparing and conducting the learning process, assessment is the process of collecting data to determine the achievement of educational goals. Sudijono (2013) defines learning assessment as a process or an activity to get a feedback to determine a progression. This is in line with Djamarah (2014) which says that the function of evaluation or assessment is to provide feedback to the teacher in order to improve the learning process and implement remedial programs for unsuccessful students until they are able to improve their own performance. According to Popham (2013), the capacity and efficiency of teachers in conducting the activity and learning process will have a positive impact on students learning orientation. Teachers are also required to provide authentic learning experiences and create active learning through active interaction with the subject matter. Therefore, teachers need be really competent in their subjects. For Biology subject, teacher’s competency in creating and planning will greatly provide significant impact on the teaching process and will greatly influence students to change their behaviours. Hence, this study is to determine on how teachers use their competencies to carry out the teaching and learning process, as well as assessment of the Biology lessons and experiments at the laboratory.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Truth in science can only be proven through practical or experiments. However, student’s involvement was still low in conducting experiments and they are not effectively guided by the teacher. So they are not given their 100% interest and attention in the laboratory resulting poor outcomes and inability to obtain the actual result of the experiments (Kellough, 2013). Effective teaching occurs when teachers have the knowledge and personality. It is because the science concept is proven through observation and analysis of experiment in the science laboratory. Unfortunately, Biology teachers still have a low competency level in teaching biology and conducting practical or scientific experiments. The roles of the teachers in student achievement cannot be over emphasized. The progressive decline in secondary school students’ academic performance has raised a lot of questions as regards Nigeria’s educational system, of which qualities of teachers are a key factor. Agusibo  however, observing that the observing that the absence of qualified teachers to teach Biology do contribute significantly to the poor performance of students in Biology. This seems to be corroborated by West African Examination Council  report on Biology, most especially. It is an obvious and glaring fact that in most of the secondary schools in Nigeria, some teachers teaching this subject are not professionally qualified. The professional qualifications required of any teacher in Nigeria are NCE, BSC (Ed), B.Ed or PDGE in cases where teachers are not professionally qualified. On general note, teachers without educational background have been found to be ineffective teachers in terms of instructional delivery competence. It is against this background this study was carried out to ascertain in-service teacher’s perception about their competencies in delivery of biology lessons.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine in-service teacher’s perception about their competencies in delivery of biology lessons. Other general objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is a significant effect of in-service teacher’s perception and their competencies on student’s academic achievement in Biology
H02: There is no significant relationship between in-service teacher’s perception and their competencies and students academic achievement in Biology.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
A major concern in schools is to increase student achievement. One way to do this is to focus on classroom environment with the teacher at the centre which will influence student achievement and create the best environment in which to facilitate learning and engage students. The study is therefore significant for the following reasons:
• This study will be useful to both teachers and students who would want to know the factors that could make or mar student’s academic performance.
• Understanding classroom climate variables will allow for professional development for teachers to focus on areas to increase student achievement.
• Lastly, understanding the importance of teachers and their impact on student performance will help school administrators at secondary schools retrain teachers to make their teachings student centred.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on in-service teachers perception about their competencies in delivery of biology lessons.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
In-service Teachers: In-service is something that happens while someone is a full-time employee. A teacher in-service day brings the teachers together to enhance a teaching skill, learn and prepare for new changes in the state curriculum, discuss grade level management and logistics, and be trained to use a new learning system. These are training days for teachers.
Perception: A belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem: the quality of being aware of things through the physical senses, especially sight.
Competence: Competence indicates sufficiency of knowledge and skills that enable someone to act in a wide variety of situations. Because each level of responsibility has its own requirements, competence can occur in any period of a person's life or at any stage of his or her career.
Biology: The study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, origin, and distribution.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS