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As teachers of language subjects in our tertiary institution (Federal College of Education, Kontagora in particular), it is disturbing to find that the quality of students admitted from our secondary schools into the NCE programme is low. This is what had prompted this team to look into this appalling phenomenon via a research work titled “An Appraisal of Language Teachers and Materials in Public Senior Secondary Schools in Niger State. Six research questions were answered reasonable, while two hypotheses were tested through percentage computation, T-test and analysis of variance respectively. The population of the study included language teachers and students in public senior secondary schools in Niger State. On the whole 200 schools were randomly selected from the three senatorial zones comprising 25 Local Government Areas of Niger State. A Quantity-and-quality-of-language-teachers-and-materials survey questionnaire was drafted for teachers and validated to yield a reliability index of 0.67 through Cronbach Alpha and was used for data collection. Also, a Qualitative-learning-experience-and-materials questionnaire was drafted for students and validated to yield a reliability index of 0.53 through Cronbach Alpha, and was used for data collection. Result showed that lack of relevant textbooks, qualified language teachers and teaching materials among others, are the main problems facing the teaching of language subjects in public senior secondary schools in Niger State. Other findings revealed by the study include: considerable awareness of an NPE provision on language subjects. It was also discovered that language teachers receive little or no motivation of any kind. The findings also showed that majority of the students had fair result in their final examination in English language, majority had poor result in Arabic, and very poor in Hausa, Igbo, French and Yoruba. The study recommended that: there should be immediate recruitment of qualified language teachers, regular seminars and workshops should be organized for language teachers; language teachers should be encouraged to stay and teach in schools in the rural areas. Government in collaboration with other stakeholders should provide relevant textbooks and other teaching materials for schools. These recommendations, when appropriated could ameliorate the problems bedeviling the teaching and learning of language subjects in public senior secondary schools in Niger State.
Keywords: Pedagogy, Evaluation, Instructional materials, Language Policy, Motivation.
TABLE OF CONTENT v
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 1 – 4
LITERATURE REVIEW 5 – 22
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 23 – 25
DATA ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION OF RESULT 26 – 40
SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS, SUGGESTIONS
FOR FURTHER RESEARCH AND CONCLUSION 41 – 43
REFERENCE 44 – 46
APPENDIX 47 —
AN APPRAISAL OF LANGUAGE TEACHERS AND MATERIALS IN PUBLIC SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGER STATE.
Language, arbitrary in nature, is said to be a combination of sound, noises, signs and symbols, verbal and non-verbal, engineered towards communication and education of man. It is as old as man and a vital instrument of his identity. From the inception of creation, language has been an indispensable tool in all human endeavors and an ally towards growth and development. Through language, nations learn to be at peace with their neighbors. Therefore, man’s civilization and enlightenment progressed in all scope and ramifications of existence. Consequently, the discovery of the importance of languages has made nations over the ages to nurture and promote it. Therefore, language is prioritized in the philosophy of education and in the formulation of policies on education of most countries.
Item 10, section 1 of Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (N.P.E) 4th Edition (2004), is sub-headed ‘The importance of language’ and it states thus:
From the foregoing, it is obvious that item 10 of the N.P.E embraces language as custodian of Nigerian cultures, which engenders citizenship awareness and unity amongst Nigerians.
Efforts of the Nigerian Government towards the actualization of the N.P.E provisions are seen through the commendable positive achievements of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) nationwide. Modern structural constructions and renovations as well as material provisions to schools, are major landmarks in the development and growth of education in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, over the years, final examination results of Public Senior Secondary Schools such as in S.S.C.E and W.A.E.C, do not reflect these efforts. Rather, they mostly frustrate government endeavour, as students’ performance in language subjects drop, particularly in English. However, it will be hasty to point an accusing finger at the implementer or the end users of the N.P.E. without a proper assessment of the situation, hence the need for this project which is; An Appraisal Of Language Teachers And Materials In Public Senior Secondary Schools In Niger State. This assessment task could be likened to the cleaning of the mythological Aegean stable-arduous and Herculean. Yet, there is a saying that the best way to eat an elephant is in bits. This research proposes to do an appraisal of language teachers and materials in public senior secondary schools in Niger State. It will ascertain to which extent language teaching policy has been prioritized, implemented and accomplished in public senior secondary schools in Niger State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This research proposes solutions after the recognition of the following problems.
1.3 Scope of the Study
1.4 Purpose of the Study
Keywords: Pedagogy, Evaluation, Instructional materials, Language Policy, Motivation.
1.5 Research Questions
The research should be able to answer the following questions:
1.6 Research Hypotheses
Since there is the need to test the result from our research instrument, the following hypotheses were formulated.
Hypothesis I: There is no significant difference in the quality and quantity of language teachers between rural and urban public senior secondary schools in Niger State.
Hypothesis II: There is no significant difference in the quality and the quantity of the available teaching materials between rural and urban public senior secondary schools in Niger State.
1.7 Analysis of Priority Areas for Sectorial Development.
The development of this educational sector has been arrested by such problems as ignorance of the NPE provisions on language studied, lack of data on the sufficiency of qualified language teachers in public senior secondary schools in Niger State, lack of data on the availability of qualitative and quantitative language text books and other teaching materials in public senior secondary schools in Niger State and lack of data on the types of incentive and the level of motivation given to language teachers in public senior secondary schools in Niger State. This fact finding research, via extensive field work will ascertain the true nature and extent of the aforementioned problems and provide also unprecedented raw data with which to solve these problems and for further future research in this sectoral development.
Federal Government of Nigeria’s vision 2020 aims at the betterment of communication and social interaction amongst various ethnic groups, language is obviously a significant tool in achieving these aims. Therefore, the pattern of language studies in senior secondary schools as well as the availability of resources are very essential. The languages taught in senior secondary schools under the N.P.E provision includes:
This research will focus its attention on the availability of resources in the teaching of these languages in senior secondary schools, as observation has shown that there are poor performances of students in public examinations in these languages. Chief Examiners of NECO and WAEC in 2005 reported that reading culture amongst students in these languages is in serious decline and at its lowest ebb. Therefore, as part of the recommendations, school authorities are advised to employ qualified language teachers and retrain those in the service. Fully equipped and functional libraries should be provided and teachers should be motivated adequately to read extensively.
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