Educational services refer to the services available for teachers to improve their quality and promote teacher effectiveness in the school system, while teacher quality is a degree of excellence especially as it relates to high level of competency and worth of teachers. Specifically, the study examined the extent to which provision and utilization of educational services relate to teacher quality and students’ academic performance.
Every serious nation the world over is very much interested in the issue of technological development. This is because success in technological growth is the springboard for social and economic development. This explains why technologyrelated courses are always central among mandatory subjects that students at the lower level of secondary education are required to pass for upward movement. (Levaic, 1995; Rijavec & Brdar, 2002) An important integral part of the Nigerian education system is junior secondary education. It is a programme of three years benefited by children whose ages range between thirteen (13) and fifteen (15) years. A core course in its curriculum is Basic Technology. The practice-oriented subject is included so as to develop practical and applied skills in the young ones. Teaching and learning of the subject are supposed to ensure inculcation of technological literacy, that is, basic understanding of and capability in technology; exposure of the beneficiaries to the world of work to match their talents and interests for wise vocational choice; and instillation of positive attitudes toward work as a source of human identity, livelihood and power. Acquisition of knowledge in the subject is one of the means by which the nation hopes to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and the important targets of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS). (Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, 2007) In one word, Basic Technology is supposed to contribute to the achievement of the national education goals by providing the required technical knowledge and vocational skills. The determination of world bodies to ensure literacy of citizens all over the globe has also served as impetus and a catalyst to efforts made by the Nigerian government. Education for all by 2015 and other targets of government have engendered signing of several projects and, by extension, doing all that she could in investing in education so as to facilitate the achievement of the nation’s educational goals. Admittedly, government has lofty goals, the performance of students in external examination, which is an important tool in measuring standard, has been poor. In the last few years, precisely between 2009 and 2011, the percentage of failure in national examinations, conducted by West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO), respectively, has been rather high. The core science subjects, particularly mathematics and physics, are worst Students’ poor performance at the senior secondary level, as indicated in the last paragraph, points to one thing: everything was not well with the education received by the students at the junior secondary school, the level that is of interest to us. That they performed poorly in subjects like physics and mathematics could only mean that they had not been properly groomed in subject like Basic Technology at the JS 1, JS 2 and JS 3. The ugly situation should be a source of concern to all stakeholders, both at home and abroad. This is because poor performance at secondary education, a level which is supposed to prepare students for higher education and useful living in the society, will have serious consequences amongst which are inability of the students to meet the requirements for admission into institutions of higher learning which, in turn, will have negative impact on social and economic development of the nation. For years, educators and researchers have debated which school variables influence student academic achievement. As governments now seems to be more involved in school reforms, this question takes on new importance since her many initiatives rely on presumed relationships between various education-related factors and learning outcomes. Some research outcomes, including those of Sonam (1994) and Adesola (2005), suggested that schools bring little influence to bear upon a child’s achievement that is independent of his background and general social context. The findings of Ferguson (1992) and O’Neill (2001), among others, on the other hand, emphasized that teacher’s qualification and other school variables may play an important role in what students learn. They affirmed that learning is a complex activity that involves interplay of teaching resources, skills of teaching, and the curriculum, among other things. Other scholars including Darling-Hammond (1999) and Obanya (2003) asserted that the quality of an educational system depends on the quality of the teachers. Ferguson (1992) and Wenglinsky (1992), in different studies, found that the single largest factor affecting academic growth of students is differences in effectiveness of individual classroom teachers. Teachers have been recognized as indispensable human resource and, indeed, the single most important element in the school system, more important than the quality of equipment and materials and the level of financing. (U S Department of Health Education and Welfare, Office of Education, 1970) Teachers are very important. On account of the importance, the education law in Nigeria provides that: “No person shall teach in any school unless his name has been placed on the register of teachers or after his name has been removed from such register.” (Education [Lagos] Ordinance 1962) The position has not changed, more than four decades later. As of now, one is legally recognized as a teacher if his name is in the register of the Teachers Registration Council and he ceases to be a teacher once his name is deleted from the register. (Teachers Registration Council, 2004) According to Harris and Sass (2011), it is accepted in general that promoting teacher quality is a key element in improving primary and secondary education in the United States. In like manner, researchers, including Bajah (1979), Obanya (1982), Ajayi (1989), Hallak (1990), Hanushek and Rivkin (2006), have all found and emphasized that the quality of the education system depended on the quantity, quality and devotion of its teaching work force. Okoye, Momoh, Aigbomian, & Okecha (2008) conducted a study which examined the correlation between two independent variables of teacher quality and instructional strategy on students’ performance in secondary school science in Ethiope East and Ukwuani Local Government Areas of Delta State. The result showed that the teacher quality and instructional strategy had positive significant relationship with achievement in science; and that teacher quality and instructional strategy were two non-separate interactive independent variables in science education. In a study, entitled: “Teacher Quality Moderates the Genetic Effects on Early Reading,” Taylor, Roehrig, Hensler, Connor and Schatschneider (2010) found that children’s reading achievement was influenced by genetics as well as by family and school environments. They studied first- and second-grade students in Florida from schools representing diverse environments. Comparison of monozygotic and dizygotic twins, differentiating genetic similarities of 100% and 50%, provided an estimate of genetic variance in reading achievement. Teacher quality was measured by how much reading gain the non-twin classmates achieved. The magnitude of genetic variance associated with twins’ oral reading fluency increased as the quality of their teacher increased and that poor teaching impeded the ability of children to reach their potential. Akinfe, Olofinniyi & Fashiku (2012) conducted a study entitled: “Teachers’ Quality as Correlates of Students Academic Performance in Biology in Senior Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria.” They found that: the role of professionally qualified/trained teachers was an important teacher quality which enhanced students’ academic achievement in biology; teaching methods adopted by the teachers significantly influenced achievement of the behavioral objectives; and that teachers’ experience significantly influenced students’ academic performance. Research findings have also established that teacher’s teaching experience is positively correlated with learning outcome. Raw (2003) affirmed that teachers with years of experience in the profession turned out students with higher academic performance. This is due to the fact that these teachers are able to harmonise the minds and emotions of their students in class and this produces better academic achievement.
Development is often equated with level of technology, industrialization and westernization. The acquisition and application of essential knowledge in Basic Technology are regarded as the very foundation of technological and industrial development of any nation. The problem of this study concerned establishing the degree of correlation, if any, between teacher quality and student academic achievement. Any activity directed toward ensuring quality education at the secondary education level is worthwhile. This is so as it will go a long way in determining student academic achievement in related subjects like physics and mathematics at external examinations conducted by NECO and WAEC whose outcome is used by many as a yardstick for measuring the entire secondary education in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to ascertain the impact of teacher’s quality on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools.
But aid the completion of the study the researcher intends to achieve the following specific objectives;
To aid the completion of the study, the following research hypotheses was formulated by the researcher:
H0: There is no significant relationship between teacher quality and student academic achievement.
H1: There is a significant relationship between teacher quality and student academic achievement.
H02: There is no significant relationship between teachers’ experience and student academic achievement.
H2: There is a significant relationship between teachers’ experience and student academic achievement.
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the state education board in policy formulation and to ensure that the right and qualified persons are employed. It is believed that at the completion of the study the findings will also be of great importance to the management of public secondary schools in the North central zone in Nigeria. The study will also be of great importance to researcher who intend to embark on a similar study, as the study will serve as a reference point for further studies. The study will also be of great benefit to the education profession as the study will add to the pool of literature already available in the field.
The scope of the study covers educational services, teachers quality and student academic performance in public senior secondary schools in North Central zone Nigeria. In the cause of the study, there were some factors which limited the scope of the study
(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient thereby limiting the study.
(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone
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Students’ academic performance
Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. Cumulative GPA and completion of educational degrees such as High School and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement.
1.8 Organization of the study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made of the study.