1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The provisions of the National policy on Education for teacher education includes the purpose of teacher education, institutions of training professional teachers and their entry qualifications, curriculum of Teachers colleges and professionalization of teacher. Effective learning in schools would require effective teaching to accompany the efforts of the learners. Teacher competence needs to be very high in order for meaningful teaching learning to take place (Segun, 2011). At the secondary school level where a distinction is made between junior Secondary School (JSS) and Senior Secondary School (SSS) curricula, teacher competencies for each level and appropriate subjects would vary as well. In order to ascertain what these competencies are, the JSS and SSS programmes need to be examined in the context of the preparation of the teachers that would implement these programmes. Their competencies must therefore relate to academic and professional preparation, professional growth, classroom interaction and evaluation (Macaulay, 2011). Increasing students’ achievement and narrowing the achievement gap are challenges that the educational system continues to confront as it thrives to develop talents that will contribute to the nation’s economy. Some strategies to produce significant improvement in students’ learning are not entirely a mystery. A prepondence of research in recent years has indicated strong evidence that the best way to improve students’ academic achievement is by raising an effective teacher is every classroom, and an effective leader in every school (Leithwood et al., 2004). Therefore, the development of human capital – the talents, competencies and knowledge of teachers and school leaders has drawn increasing attention in the education industry. Problems associated with learner’s interest in learning process cannot be effectively addressed without assessing the role of the teacher. The educational process cannot be what it should be without the teacher. At the same time, the teacher cannot be effective without possessing certain characteristics. This is to say that certain characteristics of the teacher are indispensible for the learners’ interest towards an effective learning. One of such characteristics is the competence in subject matter (Esu, 2009; Isangedighi, 2007; Mezieobi,Fubara and Mezieobi,2008; and Yenilmez and Çemrek, 2008; Akintayo and Onabanjo,2008). Scholars such as Akpan, Essien and Obot (2008); Yenilmez and Çemrek ( 2008) are also of the opinion that teachers’ characteristics are related to students’ attitude to learning and performance. According to Abraham Maslow’s theory of needs, everyone is motivated by what satisfies his needs. Maslow (1954) articulates that individuals are motivated to produce better results when their needs are adequately satisfied at appropriate time and place. This theory of Maslow (1954) is based on some assumptions that: There are intrinsic needs that motivate behaviour in order to attain specific goals. Lower needs are powerful and most be satisfied before higher needs. This is shared by Strauss & Sayles (1980). Satisfaction of learners’ need can influence their interest in learning. Teachers’ competence in subject matter involves the ability of the teacher to satisfy his learners’ needs with the subject matter of his lesson. It is to be noted that the teacher is the main aid to learning, his methods, styles and techniques being additional aids. Where a teacher is deficient in a particular topic, the tendency is to dodge the areas of deficiency while the learner is bound to suffer; Keegan (2012) affirmed that a beautiful building and expensive equipment, stocked in, will not lead to effective learning without the qualified teacher putting them into use and making students to participate in the experimental procedures. Many scholars understand issues of subject matter in the teaching and learning process simply as teachers’ personal knowledge and mastery of the subject matter. Understood this way, the factors that enhance the skills and competence of the teacher in the use of this knowledge in guiding the learner in the teaching and learning process are often neglected. The teacher needs supporting factors in relation to the subject matter to make him competent in the use of such knowledge in the teaching and learning process. Academic competencies are the teacher’s knowledge of his subject. Pedagogical competency is the art of teaching the subject, observing such principles as teaching from known to unknown, concrete to abstract and from simple to complex (Akpan, 2002). Consequently, it was assumed that students of secondary schools in F.C.T will be interested in learning if the teachers’ role playing involving his competence in subject matter transmission leads to the satisfaction of their needs.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The quality of education is a central theme in education systems. The quality of education is increasingly judged by focusing on student’s performance, what students actually learn, and how well they learn it. A number of studies have been conducted with the purpose of understanding how quality in education is achieved. Grauwe and Varghese (2015) focus on the textbook as the key factor for improving quality in education rather than on teacher competence, but in some of the literature teacher competence is singled out as the key factor (Westera, 2009, Medley and Shannon, 2013, and Shulman, 2011). To achieve a high quality of education in the era of Education for All is not an easy task. In order to give access to education to the whole population the state needs to build and develop many schools, to supply a large numbers of teachers, and to provide the related educational resources; and as Kanu (2012) asserts “apart from the quantitative dimension, the qualitative dimension is also staggering in its proportion.” A very high proportion of teachers at secondary school level have no professional teaching qualifications, many of them not being educated beyond University school level. Teachers’ secondary role of transmission of knowledge and skills is never in dispute. Therefore a teacher would need to demonstrate efficiency in this secondary role. Indeed teachers’ academic background, training and professional competence is at stake here Ivowi (2011). There is deficiency and poor academic performance of students in secondary schools and this could be traced to lack of teachers’ competence and learning resources in our classrooms (Nwosu, 2015). This study will highlight the importance of the relationship between teacher competence and students performance particularly in a situation where resources are very limited and where many factors contribute to the inadequate performance of students.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine teacher’s competence and student’s academic performance in secondary schools. Other general objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
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 June 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 teacher’s competence and student’s academic performance in secondary schools in F.T.C, Abuja.
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
Teacher Competence: Refers to the knowledge, abilities, and beliefs a teacher possesses and brings to the teaching situation. These attributes constitute a stable characteristic of the teacher that does not change appreciably when the teacher moves from one situation to another (Medley, 2014).
Student Achievement: Student performance on state assessments. However, for the purpose of the proposed study, overall class average will be the measure of academic achievement used. This term is used interchangeably with academic achievement.
Teacher Competence Support: Assistance to students specifically with regard to academic performance; includes encouraging feedback, instrumental help, and teacher expectations (Kuklinski & Weinstein, 2015; Wentzel, Battle, Russell, & Looney, 2010)
Teacher Performance: Refers to the behaviour of a teacher while teaching a class (both inside and outside the classroom). It is defined in terms of what the teacher does (Medley, 2014).
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS