1.1 Background of the Study
At this point in time in our educational development, one would have thought that the standard of primary school education in Akwa Ibom State has improved considerably when compared to what is was some years back. Unfortunately, recent trends have shown the standard of education has fallen significantly. Consequent upon the poor performance of primary school pupils in recent years, the cry against falling standard of education has continued to grow. “Education everywhere is in deep crisis and faced with a number of barriers as it struggles to survive” Solomon (2003). Akpan (1995) reports that the situation does not uplift Nigerian drive towards scientific and technological advancement envisaged fro sustainable economic growth.
Since desired and cherished values in the society such as skills, knowledge, beliefs and attitudes are passed across pupils through generations, government, researchers, educationists and the general public are interested in the performance of learners in and outside school. The learner therefore, is the center-piece of all educational programmes (Ogwo, 1996). There is a current notion that all teachings should be student centred (Igboke, 2001). Since the education enterprise is highly labour incentive, the first and the critical quality input is undoubtedly the teacher (Nwobi, 2003). Ukeje (1978) views that there is a direct relationship between the quality of the teaching personnel and the quality of the educational process. Several factors have been identified as reasons for pupil’s academic performance. These include intelligence level of the child, interest and attitude of the learner to studies, home background and learning environment (Eduok, 2002).
Other factors are professional qualification, teacher’s effectiveness which encompasses rapport, knowledge of subject, level of motivation, self-control, attitude to work, teaching method, communication skills, resourcefulness, teaching experience, teacher’s personality and the whole gamut of teacher’s welfare. Denga (1982) views that adequate motivation of workers enhances their effectiveness in discharging their duties. Lack of motivation weakens morale and commitment to duties among workers (Chukwu, 2003). Effectiveness concerns the bringing about an effect in line with the goal (Awotua – Efebo, 1999), the teacher is the hub of educational enterprise. Education opens the door to modernization but the teacher provides the key. It is the opinion of many that the teacher is the key to success or failure of the learners. This is why the current fall in the standard of education observed in all level of academic performance of the learners is particularly attributed to teachers. Igboke (2001) states, “any programme or course of study will be effective in achieving its purpose in proportion as the teacher has had successful experience in the application of the skills and knowledge he undertakes to teach”. Cain (1970) stresses that teacher’ qualification is an important aspect that will influence pupils’ academic performance. Lillis (1988) opines, “While it is recognized that paper qualifications are not necessarily reliable indicators of the performance of individual teachers, qualifications to indicate teachers’ general education levels and their training for specific jobs”.
The large class size observed in many schools today is contrary to the 1:30 ratio stipulated by the National Policy on Educaiton. A teacher now has forty to fifty pupils per class which makes it difficult for them to give close attention to individual pupils for effective interaction Mgbodile (2003) observes that teacher effectiveness is a crucial factor in all forms of learners that take place in school and in the overall achievement of the schools educational objectives. He describes effectiveness as the catalyst that gives meaning and success to planned programmes and objectives.
Most classroom teachers in primary schools do not use instructional materials to rouse the pupils’ interest for learning. Children at this level do not understand abstract concepts since they are at concrete operational level. Kolade (2000) advises that simulation activities should be organized to expose young children to the opportunity to start reading through pictures and picture story books. Fafunwa (1974) reports that only progressive and effective teachers can inspire children to learn. Unlifun (1993) emphasizes that the bane of vocational teacher education in Nigeria is insufficient supply of teachers.
Some people blame the poor performance of pupils in academics on parents and the learners themselves. Many parents today neglect their children, leave them at the mercy of house maids, no attention to their academic progress in the bid to go in search of money or other ventures they deem more pressing. Children need love and encouragement from home to pass successfully through the tortuous roads of education. Questions about quality of enrolment are important at different levels of education Igboke, (2001). This indicates the nee to enroll the right caliber of students for any programme.
Lillis (1988) expresses the belief that: “the quality of educational achievement cannot be properly assessed without first assessing the quality of the initial intake”. The low wages paid to teachers is a stumbling block to the full realization of their teaching potentials. Compared to other professionals, the teacher is the least paid. Nigerian teacher is a victim of misplaced priorities. It is not uncommon to hear that the reward of a teacher is not here on earth but in heaven (Awotua-Efebo, 1999). The teacher is given a very low status, therefore, many teachers see their job as yielding no satisfaction. The teaching environment is not encouraging. The facilities available are vey poor. Many schools lack basic infrastructures. In some schools, teachers have no tables or chairs (Awotua-Efebo, 1999) and pupils sit on the bare floor to learn.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Considering the overwhelming importance placed on education as a tool or means by which every society attempts to achieve modernization, there has been quite a stir in the society about the fallen standard of education as demonstrated by pupil’s poor academic performance in recent times. Inyang (1993) reports that students performance in both internal and external examination is relatively poor.
Government is aware of the fact that the implementation of the policy on Universal Basic Education (UBE) poses some significant problems for the educational system in general and teachers in particular.
Considering the fact that no educational goals can be achieved without effective teachers, what then is the relationship between teacher’s effectiveness, and primary school pupil’s academic performance? If any, can this relationship be measured? In what way could teachers be made effective? How can the teacher’s effectiveness be improved upon? What are the causes of poor academic performance in primary school pupils? What steps should be taken to improve pupils’ performance? These and many other questions are raised and answered in this research.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The research is aimed at examining the relationship between teacher’s effectiveness and primary school pupil’s academic performance in some selected schools in Oron Local Government Area (L.G.A) with the following objectives:
i. To investigate the relationship between teachers’ teaching methods and primary school pupils’ academic performance in Oron L.G.A.
ii. To identify the relationship between the influences of teacher’s attitude to work and primary school pupils’ academic performance in Oron L.G.A
iii. To find out the association between the influences of teacher’s rapport and primary school pupils’ academic performance in Oron L.G.A
iv. To determine the influence of teacher’s motivation and primary school pupils’ academic performance in Oron L.G.A.
1.4 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that this research will be of tremendous importance not only to students, teachers, educationists, but also to parents and government. The result obtained from the study will be used to:
i. Promote teacher’s effectiveness through the proper motivation of teachers by the government
ii. stimulate the desire for learning in pupils to accelerate their academic performance
iii. improve teachers’ teaching methods which will enable pupils to attain high level of academic performance
vi. Emphasize the urgent need for proper learning environment to boost teacher’s effectiveness and pupils’ performance.
v. Remind and educate parents of their significant role in their children’s academic progress
vi. Make teachers aware of the importance of their commitment to work.
1.5 Research Questions
The study addresses the following research questions:
i. What is the relationship between teacher’s teaching methods and pupils’ academic performance?
ii. To what extent does the teacher’s attitude to work affect pupil’s academic performance?
iii. In what way does the teacher’s rapport affect pupil’s academic performance?
iv. Has teacher’s motivation any relationship with pupil’s academic performance?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between teacher’s teaching methods and pupil’s academic performance.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between teacher’s attitude to work and pupils’ academic performance
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between teacher’s rapport and pupils’ academic performance
Ho4: There is no significant relationship between teacher’s motivation and pupils; academic performance.
1.7 Assumption of the Study
The data to be obtained from the sample population of teachers in primary schools are assumed to be valid and usable to determine teacher’s effectiveness and pupils’ academic performance
It is also assumed that the respondents to the questionnaire understand and respond appropriately to the items used for the research.
1.8 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The research is restricted to Oron Local Government Area. They scope of this study was restricted to the effect of teacher’s teaching methods on pupils’ academic performance, the influence of teacher’s attitude to work on the performance of pupils, effect of teacher’s rapport on pupil’s performance and teacher’s motivation on pupils’ performance. Only primary school teachers in the sampled schools were used in the study.
1.9 Limitation of the Study
During the course of administering the questionnaire, some teachers participated unwillingly after much persuasion. The items on the questionnaire were repeatedly read and explained to the respondents.
Difficulties were also experienced in transportation because roads to some of the sampled schools are in deplorable state.
Financial constraints was also a force to reckon with. Daily increase in prices of things and a delay in the payment of salary pose problems in the purchase of needed materials for the completion of this work.
1.10 Definition of Operational Terms
Rapport: The relationship that exists between the teacher and pupils capable of promoting or inhibiting learning
Effectiveness: This refers to the bringing about of an effect in accordance or conformity with intended goal or goals.
Performance: The exhibition of notable action(s) gained or attained by effort.
Motivation: Any incentive, be it material, emotional or psychological which energizes or encourages a person to intensify his/her effort or action towards goal achievement.