1.1 Background of the Study
Teacher competence and qualities are concepts that are often referred to as frequently applied to different educational context. Whitty (2006) identifies professional competence, which includes knowledge and understanding of children and their learning subject knowledge, curriculum, the education system and the teachers role. Professional competence also necessitates skills such as subject application, classroom methodology, classroom management, assessment and recording and undertaking a wider role. Teacher with high competence is one of the most significant factors that manipulate the student learning as well as serving the schools to meet its objectives and missions. The importance of teachers cannot be over stressed. This is because teachers play a number of role specifically, teachers has been referred to be Oyedeji (2008) as an agent of innovation. For meaningful innovations, teachers’ academic qualification is very important.
This is because teacher education is a very complex enterprise. The complicity arises as a result of several factors which include determination of what effective teachers are, teachers are expected to fulfill a verity of roles, some common to all teachers, others uniquely related to certain kinds of environments of students or subject matter. Added to this is the fact that teacher education involves the raining of professionals who will educate students in future. Despite the complexity in the field of teacher education, one cannot over emphasize the importance of academic training of teachers of all categories. This is because the efficiency of any institution depends on the academic competence of the teaching staff since no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers (FGN 2005).
The quality of education of a nation could be determinedby the quality of her teachers. The most important factor in improving students’ achievement in mathematics is by employing seasoned qualified teachers in all schools (Abe and Adu, 2013). Okuruwa (1999) found that, policy investment on quality of teachers is related to improvement in students’ performance.
Abe and Adu (2013) and Wiki (2013) opined that, a teaching qualification or teacher qualification is one of a number of academic and professional degree that enables a person to become a registered teacher in primary or secondary school. Such qualifications include,but are not limited to, the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGDE). The Professional Diploma in Education (PDE), Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) and Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE). In Ogun State, teachers who are academically qualified and those thatare professionally qualified are engaged to carry out instructional process (Ahiazu and Prince Will, 2011).
Academically qualified teachers refer to those who have academic training as a result of enrolment into educational institution and obtained qualifications such as HND, B.Sc, B.A, and M.A. and so on; while professionally qualified teachers are those who got professional training that gave them professional knowledge, skills, techniques, aptitudes as different from the general education (Edu and Kalu, 2012). They hold degrees like, B.Ed., B.Sc. Ed, B.A. Ed, and M.Ed and so on. On the other hand, there are studies that have found nosignificant relationship between teacher educational qualification and students’ academic achievement. For instance, Igwe (1990) investigated the influence of teacher’s qualification on academic performance of students in science subjects in Kano State. The researcher found no significant relationship between teacher’s qualification and students’ performance. While Adeniji (1999), Osokoya (1999) and Oladele (1999) foundout that teacher’s qualification contributed minimally to the variance with students’ cognitive achievement and Bilesanmi (1999) and Okonwa (1999) found that teacher’s experience was highly significant on students’ academic achievement in mathematics.
For over four decades, series of studies have suggested the importance of school as social environment of learning. Some of these studies examined locational planning and their attendant consequences on achievement of students in various states of the Federation. The studies were intended to assist education authorities of various states to decide where a particular type of school should be located; the size of a school in each location; whether a new school should be built or otherwise among others (Mbakwe, 1986). The World Bank recommended that the following data were needed for rationalizing and drawing up of both the urban and rural school map. Schools which includes physical aspects, site, type of building, usage, capacity, teachers (numbers, qualification, and age); students which include enrollment in school by age, individual data in age, sex, previous schools, home, location of mode transport, time taken in home/school journey, parental background; Rural and Urban Area Data which include land use administrative map on as large a scale as possible, planning reports, settlement patterns and the likes are required. These school locational planning techniques have been reportedly used by a number of countries to solve their educational problems (World Bank Guidelines 1978).