The study examined effect of teachers’ professionalism on students’ academic performance in English, a case study of public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government area of Taraba State.The study employed the survey design and the purposive sampling technique to select 450 staff SSS 1-3 level. A well-constructed questionnaire, which was adjudged valid and reliable, was used for collection of data from the respondents. The data obtained through the administration of the questionnaires was analyzed using the Pearson correlation analysis. The results showed that there is positive and significant relationship between teachers’ personality and students’ academic performance in English Language (r=0.772; p<0.05). Teacher-students’ interaction and students’ academic performance in English Language (r=.896; p<0.05). Teachers’ action and students’ disposition towards the study of English Language (r=0.772; p<0.05). The study concluded that teachers professionalism has a significant impact on student academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area. The study suggested that; A recommended number of years could be specified for teachers as mandatory to acquire additional academic qualifications in their area of specialization (English); All students (especially art students) should be encouraged to offer English and literature as this will enhance their performance in English language and other art subjects; Teachers of English and literature should explore the right strategies to teach the subject so that students will understand and apply the knowledge in other subject areas.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is a continuous process in human life. It is the process of training, imparting and developing the knowledge, skills, abilities, mind and character of the people (Olaniyonu, 2008). Education is equally the process of harnessing and exploring the inherent and latent abilities of individuals for their personal development in particular and national development in entirety. Meaningful improvements in the quality of education that students receive are determined by the quality of their teachers. Hence, quality teaching and learning are indispensable for students’ academic performance (Anderson, 1991).
For a country like Nigeria that strives to achieve rapid technological advancement, academic performance in English Language is key to the accomplishment of this goal. English language is an indispensable tool of expression and communication in which all other subjects are taught. A number of scholars that adduced the role that language played in the development experience of nations such as USA, Britain, Canada, Australia and the like, have advocated for the use of English Language in teaching critical subjects like Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, etc, in Nigerian secondary schools. This suggestion was made to tackle the menace of poor academic performance of students in Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) over years.
One of the teacher-variables which contribute substantially to students’ academic performance is the level of teachers’ professionalism. Teachers’ professionalism portrays the intellectual, social and emotional stability of the teachers, love for students, ability to inspire students and positive attitude towards the teaching profession (Afe, 2003). Teachers’ professionalism is a measure of the extent of realization of the instructional objectives. It is the net growth in intellectual aptitude and skills as measured by the students’ academic performance (Afe, 2003; Evans, 2006). Teachers’ professionalism is the single-largest contributor to students’ success. It outclasses other factors which influence students’ performance such as class size, gender and the socioeconomic status of the students.
Over the years, teaching which used to be a respectful profession has been taken over by impostors who lack proper qualifications and experience to teach. The condition of mass unemployment in Nigeria have resorted graduates that have no specialty in education to teach, just to earn a means of livelihood. These unqualified teachers view teaching as a stop-gap which should be jettisoned as soon as they get their dream jobs. Qualified teachers are teachers who have obtained relevant training in education for their teaching subjects up to a minimum level (Olaniyonu, 2008). For instance, an English graduate who teaches English Language is regarded as an unqualified teacher as he did not receive training in English education as the case may be. Such unqualified and unprofessional teachers are not conversant with the complexities of teaching; they have little or no motivational level and remained unbothered about their teaching efficiency.
Teachings’ qualification and experience have been found to have positive impact on students’ academic performance. The experience of a teacher is adjudged based on his number of years in the teaching profession. It is generally believed that teachers with high years of teaching experience would have become more knowledgeable to stimulate the academic performance of their students. When teachers have little or no experience in teaching, their effectiveness and efficiency in the service delivery to their students will be adversely affected and by extension, the academic performance of students will similarly be deterred.
The controversy over the poor quality of education in Nigeria has been a burning issue over the past decade and currently in this 21st century. Poor academic performance of students have been attributed to several factors which include high teacher-student ratio, shortage of qualified and experienced teaching staff, poor quality of educational leadership, political instability, politicization of educational programme, uncomfortable teaching and learning environment and inadequate educational facilities (Evans, 2006; Ewetan, 2010).
One of the essential requirements to develop good schools with high academic performance is the regular supply of human and material resources. There are a lot of states in Nigeria where the percentage of unqualified teachers in primary and secondary schools is as high as 80% (Daso, 2013). Thus, the high percentage of unqualified teachers in public secondary schools is a major factor attributable to poor academic performance among students. A major indicator of this poor performance is the disappointing results of students in Senior Secondary Council Examination (SSCE) in Nigeria over years. The dismal performance of students in SSCE is connected to the decline in the quality of teaching and learning. Better students’ results are the main indicator of the efficiency, effectiveness, competency and professionalism of teachers.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Academic performance of students in Nigeria particularly the students in the study area, on the average has witnessed a dramatic decline in recent times. Ewetan (2010) argues that the present-day secondary school students, on the average can no longer do what primary school pupils used to do in those days academic-wise. Poor academic performance of students can be attributed to the dearth of trained, qualified, competent, experienced and professional teachers amongst other factors. Thus, the need to investigate the effect of teachers’ professionalism on students’ academic performance.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study is to examine the effect of teachers’ professionalism on secondary school students’ academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The specific purposes of the study are:
- To examine the effect of teachers’ personality on students’ academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area.
- To examine the effect of teacher-students’ interaction on students’ academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area..
- To examine the effect of teachers’ action on students’ disposition towards the study of English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study attempts to provide satisfactory answers to the following questions:
- What is the effect of teachers’ personality on students’ academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area.?
- What is the effect of teacher-students’ interaction on students’ academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area.?
- What is the effect of teachers’ action on students’ disposition towards the study of English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHSES
The study is guided by three operational hypotheses in line with the study objectives. They are stated as follows.
H01: There is no significant relationship between teachers’ personality and students’ academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area.
H02: There is no significant relationship between teacher-students’ interaction and students’ academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area.
H03: There is no significant relationship between teachers’ action and students’ disposition towards the study of English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area.
1.6 SIGNIFCANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense benefits to teachers, students, educational administrators and planners, future researchers and government.
The study through its findings will inform the teachers on how to teach effectively classroom for proper assimilation on the parts of the students and also how to motivate their students to higher academic performance.
School administrators will benefit from the study by ensuring that only trained, competent and experienced teachers are employed in the teaching profession.
Students will be made aware to comprehend the style of teaching adopted by their teachers for effective learning outcomes.
Government will realize the need to formulate attractive incentive package to stir up the commitment and dedication of teachers to their jobs.
Future researchers will be guided via this study in their prospective research undertakings.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study examined the effect of teachers’ professionalism on secondary school students’ academic performance in English Language with strong emphasis on some selected public secondary school students in Jalingo Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The study is premised on two assumptions which are
- All the respondents are students in public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area.
- All the respondents are offering English Language in their schools.
- All information gathered from the selected public secondary school students in Jalingo Local Government Area are true and accurate.
1.9 DEFINTION OF TERMS
Teacher: A person who teaches, especially one employed in a school.
Educational Qualification: This refers to degrees, certificates, diplomas and other professional titles that an individual has acquired in his country or abroad that is conferred by educational authorities or endorsed professional bodies.
Teaching Experience: The number of years a teacher has spent in the teaching profession.
Secondary School: It refers to high or senior school which provides post-primary education for students depending on location, after primary education and before higher education.
Public Secondary School: A secondary school owned and funded by government at federal, state or local level.
Student: A person who is going to school to learn.
Teachers’ Professionalism: The competence, skill and expertise exuded by a teacher in his job.
Academic Performance: The outcome of education to which a student has achieved his or her educational goals.
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