Need Urgent Help?
Background to the Study
Sound secondary education is an indispensable tool to a meaningful development of youths who are the respective leaders of tomorrow. As a matter of fact, the learning and nurturing that occur during these years have a profound impact on each student’s performance, as the quality of students’ education at the secondary school level has much to do with the quality of their adult life. Besides, secondary schools are also elaborated, complex mini-societies whose internal organizational structures have a direct impact on the lives of the individuals, and groups of individuals who inhabit them (Lee, Bryk & Smith, 2003).
In addition to their formal organizational structures, secondary schools are equally inherent cultural entities replete with amazing arrays of artifacts, rituals, and rites of passage all of which impact directly on the manner in which their inhabitants negotiate the terms of their existence within those institutions (Hemmings, 2000; Hoffman, 2003).
In Nigeria, public discussions frequently focus on educational standards. The public's unhappiness becomes more prominent following the annual release of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination results. Student outcomes do not match the government and parental investment. All stakeholders are concerned about why the system is turning out graduates with poor results. To them, it is questionable whether or not teachers are factors that determine the effectiveness of schools and a qualified teacher in education should be competent to teach effectively. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) in the National Policy of Education states that no education system can rise above the quality of teachers in the system. Ogunsaju (2004) stated that the academic standard in all Nigerian educational institutions has fallen considerably below societal expectations. Blumende (2001) stated that the decline in the quality of education cannot be ignored by anyone who is aware of the significant role of education as an instrument of societal transformation and development. There is a need to focus on teachers’ quality, adequacy and competency in respect to their pedagogical practices and strategies and mastery of the curriculum and subject content (Stuart, 2004, Rodgers, 2001).
Ijaiya (1998) concurred and opined that improving the quality of the teaching force in schools is seen as the key to raising students’ achievement. Thus, raising educational standards should be the government’s number one priority.