In the history of human development education has been the national bedrock in development. This was due to the extent of respects accorded to it but nowadays, it is quite sad and pitiable that such reputation is long gone simply because it is found to be reserved for the downtrodden; and mediocrity. Teachers who were beneficiaries in this educational sector turned out to be the benchmark due to the rate his counterpart erode his aspiration. Now, the study sought to determine the public perception of teachers’ status and their job satisfaction in Udi local Government of Enugu state. To achieve this aim of the study, objective among others is to find (if it is possible), the status of teachers in Nigeria and so to confirm or repute the assertion that the teachers occupy a low status in the country. Data for the study was collected using questionnaire and interview while result and discussion were through percentage and table based on the views of 80 randomly selected respondents were mostly teachers and students who were literates. So most teachers sees teaching as a spring bound to pursue a higher degree and that employment is easy in its profession. Therefore, it is recommended among others that no graduate who did not study education should be allowed to teach, to maintain the professional ethics of teaching career. And the condition for admission into educational programmes should be as high as any other faculty in the university.
1.6 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the history of human development, education has been the bedrock of any nations development. In the traditional African society, it was through the education of the child by its parents, community, and peer group that the culture and norm of that society were transmitted to its younger generations and therefore preserved.
In our complex modern society, the rule of education cannot be overemphasized. It ranged from that of self realization, the development of human relationship, of self and national economic efficiency, of the development of national economic efficiency, of the development of national Economic consciousness, of the development of effective citizenship and civil responsibility of establishing and maintaining national unity, of social and political progress, and of the development of scientific and technological awareness.
For the effective realization of the these educational goal, it is obviously pertinent to look at the teacher whose responsibility is to impact the required knowledge his very lowly beginning, his public image and the effects of these on the teaching profession. About the early 1920s, the teacher was an important person, especially in the rural parts of the country.
He not only understand the white man’s language and behaviour, but could speak it and behave alike.
All letters of importance were written by and read it to the owners by him. His mode of dressing and standard of living were far above what ordinarily obtained in the villages.
During this period, the teaching profession had quite a lot of attraction and now entrants abounded. However as times went on, people shifted emphasis from the teaching live to advancing into secondary and grammer school. It was found out that the salary structure of teachers and that of graduate of grammer schools were quite wide.
The clerks in the education departments who kept records of work of teachers received liberal salaries with pension, while the teachers received appallingly low salaries.
With the introduction of the university education, the teacher found the interiority of his training to the secondary school education and for that he struggled for his G.C.E (General Certificate in Education) which will enable him quality for admission into the university.
As time went on, the image of the teacher continued going down the rungs of the ladder. The state of affairs was intensified in the 1960’s because, the Nigerian society no longer sustained the status she accorded the teacher who he was the only educated man in the community. As secondary school graduates receiving higher salaries than the teacher, the status of the latter suffered because the Nigerian society mistakenly equated status with wealth.
To worsen his situation, the teacher bore the brunt of what ever economic hardship plagued the nation in the past, in the form of delayed salaries, cuts in salaries and fringe benefits, and or complete withdrawal of whatever fringe benefits he may have been enjoying.
However, recently at the onset of oil boom and Nigerian economic recession, more attractive jobs were no longer easily available. Teaching came to the rescue as people jump to other jobs of their choice whenever the opportunity is available.
1.7 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most teachers were once at a time as remarkable people in the society. Tafewa Balewa was a Nigerian, He started a career in teaching profession and later, he joined politic and from there became Nigeria’s prime minister. Alhaji Shehu shagari, Late Michael Adekunle Ajaisin, Late Samuel Ladoke Akintola to mention but a few, started as teachers and they are very great in the society.
But those were in the olden days, when teachers were gods. They were seen as people sent by God to take ignorance away from land in substitute for fortunes and good tidings of life.
Teachers in the olden days were next to kings but now his counterpart in modern times is easily recognize when cornered. He moves about in tattered clothes. His shoes are worn-out. He is so lean and dry that his trouser occasionally drops from his buttocks. When he puts on a tie, there is always a wide gap between his neck and the collar of his shirt. He is always hungry and hence always angry. Out of anger at times, he beats a student and the next day, the parent of the child comes to school to harass him.
He dares not introduce himself before important people as teachers if he wants recognition, rather, he prefers a more polished phrase-Education consultant. Because his salary is too meager to him for the month, he resorts to extorting money from the students using one excuse or the other.
Some of the students even call him by various appellations and he answers joyfully. Nobody recognizes him who he attends a community function. He finds it difficult to get a lady of his choice because no girl wants a teacher for a date. He dares not attend a political meeting if his pocket is not fat enough, else he will not be recognized.
Now, every students want to be taught by him, but no student wants to be in his profession. Every parent needs him to teach his son or daughter but no parents want his son or daughter to teach to earn a living. The modern day teachers plight is pitiable, can the present status of the teaching profession in Nigeria change for the better again?
1.8 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
One can assume that the spate of criticism against educational endeavour and its products in Nigeria is motivated by a desire for improvement. So, the assumption goes on, there is an almost country wide desire to make education in the country more effective since an aspect of a worker’s life that affects his efficiency and effectiveness in his status, it is necessary to pay attention to the status of workers.
The purpose of this study is to find out (if it is possible), the status of teachers in Nigeria and so to confirm or repute the assertion that teachers in Nigeria occupy low status in the country. Depending upon the findings, the study will provide suggestion as to how status of teachers could be raised or maintained in order to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of teachers in UDI Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.9 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that this study will help the government knowing exactly those reasons responsible for dissatisfaction among teachers and find out possible ways of rectifying them. This work will as well open up the areas of weaknesses on the part of the teachers for them to make amendments. It will well bring out the public perception of teachers and job satisfaction. Most importantly, the society in general will benefit in terms of improved quality of education since the government will work hard towards improving on what is obtainable now.
This will as well help in the improvement of a sound and good oriented education especially at the lower level since every other thing is built on that.
1.10 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research work – public perception of teachers status and their job satisfaction case study of Udi Local Government Area is supposed to cover all the two in the local government are, but due to lack of time and finance, four towns were randomly selected for the study.
The research led the researcher to interview the principals of schools in the chosen towns. Also some people and chiefs of the town selected we also interviewed but the problem of non-challant attitude shown by some of these group of people who saw the research question posted to them by the researcher as an avenue of getting information from them which might incriminate them.
So, data collection were hindered due to some civil servants perceived such questions on questionnaires as personal disturbance.
Also the researcher made use of the library work as a result of financial constrain. The research could not lay hands on some of the books that could have been very useful.
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