Project Topics

THE EFFECTS OF QUALIFICATION OF ENGLISH TEACHERS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN EXTERNAL EXAMINATIONS

THE EFFECTS OF
QUALIFICATION OF ENGLISH TEACHERS ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL
STUDENTS IN EXTERNAL EXAMINATIONS (A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED SCHOOLS IN KARU
LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA)

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The
quality of education is directly related to the quality of instruction in the
classrooms. It is a fact that the academic qualifications, knowledge of the
subject matter, competence, and skills of teaching and the commitment of the
teacher have effective impact on the teaching learning process (National
Education Policy 1998-2010). Quality improvement in education depends upon
proper training of teachers. The teachers cannot play any of the roles unless
properly trained (Yadved and Singh, 1988). The performance of students
especially in external examinations  goes
a long way to show the level of preparedness of the student definitely by
qualified teachers.

Teaching
is an art. It can be refined by training and practice. The availability of
competent teachers is central in the reconstruction of the educational system.
English has acquired the status of a global language (Crystal, 1997). Keeping
in view the growing need and importance of English language in every walk of
life, English is made a compulsory subject in Nigeria from the very beginning
of the academic career. This increasingly necessitates good quality initial
preparation for non-native speaker teachers in the school system (Cullen, 1994).

English
is taught as a compulsory subject and also the whole teaching learning process
is carried out in English language. In other words, English is also the medium
of instruction in Nigerian schools. This enables the students of these schools
to learn English in an environment where most of the interaction between the
teacher and the students is in English (Fuller & Clark, 1994). As a result,
the students of these schools are more proficient in English and perform well
in the external examinations.

In
some schools, however, the teaching of English is done somewhat differently and
the proficiency in the language is somewhat inadequate. The traditional grammar
translation method is favorite with the teachers and there is hardly any
exposure to English language inside or outside the class. Most of the
activities in the class are done in the vernacular or the mother tongue. Even
English language is explained through Urdu or the vernaculars (Al-mutawa &
Kailani, 1989). The students resort to memorization and cramming.
The teacher is the facilitator of examinations rather than of learning. The
students memorize, translate and retranslate and, finally reproduce the crammed
information or knowledge in the external examinations. No creativity is
witnessed on the part of the students from this kind of teaching experience
(Baumgardner, 1993). The reason is that the teachers themselves are not
qualified or competent enough to teach English efficiently. This causes poor
results in English eventually leading to highest failure percentage in English
at external examinations. Thus English becomes the biggest hurdle (particularly
for the students from rural areas) in the way to getting higher education and
the key administrative posts. In its annual report, Federal Public Service
Commission (1998) reported that English language as the medium of expression in
the external examination is depriving the students of some poor institutions to
compete with their counterparts from highly placed institutions.

English as a language plays a number of roles in the socio-economic,
political and cultural development of Nigeria society. The continued slide in
the performance of students in the English language in external examinations is
a course for great concern not only for the teachers but also for all stake
holders in the business of education. This is more worrisome when one considers
the fact that English doubles as a medium of instruction in Nigerian schools as
well as our linquafranca. The central role of English cannot, therefore, be
wished away. The pattern of failure has, however, shown that the incidence
appears to be higher in some schools than it is with other schools. A number of
factors have been linked to the courses but more relevant is the issue of qualification
of the teachers. This is more important because in the business of teaching and
learning, teachers offer only what they have; you cannot offer what you don’t
have. The qualification of teachers involved in teaching and learning has great
roles in the performance of students and it is to find out these effects that
this study is set out to accomplish. Chomsky (1972) “states that one can not
really teach a language but can only present the conditions in which it will
develop spontaneously in the mind in its own ways”

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Language
teaching has been the primary focus of applied linguistics. Formal instruction
does not work in vacuum. School environment, teacher qualifications, curriculum
and instructional approaches, and many other factors interact to produce growth
in student academic skills and knowledge. There is sufficient empirical
evidence that suggests that the academic performance of students relies
substantially on the teachers they are assigned. Classroom based research is
valid enough to determine whether the learners are receiving appropriate
content instruction or not. Pennington (1989) says that the quality of teaching
must be considered in determining what results can be expected. He further
states that teachers make decisions about classroom management based upon the
achievement gains. Thus we can say that findings about the relationship between
teacher characteristics and student academic performance scores are important
in determining the policy about the teachers. It is assumed that only
those who have professional training in English teaching should teach English
language. The English teacher should be the one whose competence and
proficiency in all the language skills are in a good measure. But especially in
written and conversational English, is not deficient. The English teacher
should have a good knowledge of current usage and the theoretical aspects of
English. In Nigeria today, most students in secondary schools and in fact even
in universities lack the ability to communicate efficiently in English, both
oral and written. This is still the major problem faced by English students
today. It is therefore important to find out if the qualification of the
English teachers has any effect on the performance of the students in written
and spoken English in external examinations.

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The
following are the objectives of this study:

1.  To
examine the effects of qualification of English teachers on the performance of
secondary school students in external examination.

2.  To
examine the criteria for producing a qualified English teacher.

3.  To
determine the factors that can improve the academic performance of secondary
school students in external examinations.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.  What
are the effects of qualification of English teachers on the performance of
secondary school students in external examination?

2.  What
are the criteria for producing a qualified English teacher?

3.  What
are the factors that can improve the academic performance of secondary school
students in external examinations?

1.5   HYPOTHESIS

HO:
There is no significant relationship between the qualification of English
teacher and secondary school student performance in external examination.

HA:
There is significant relationship between the qualification of English teacher
and secondary school student performance in external examination.

1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The
following are the significance of this study:

1.  This study will serve as
a painter to the ministry of education to verify whether the qualification of
teachers has any effect on the student performance in senior secondary school
certificate examination (SSCE). The finding will also help people who want to
conduct such research to serve as reference.

2.  This research will also serve as a
resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out
further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to
provide new explanation to the topic

1.7   LIMITATION
OF STUDY

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the
efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature
or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire
and interview).

 Time constraint– The researcher will
simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently
will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


 

REFERENCES

Al-Mutawa,
N. & Kailani, T. (1989). Methods of Teaching English to Arab Students.
Harlow: Longman

Baumgardner,
Robert J. (1993). The English Language in Pakistan. Karachi: Oxford University
Press.

Crystal,
D. (1997). English as a Global Language. Cambridge University Press.

Cullen,
R. (1994). Incorporating a Language Improvement Component in Teacher Training
Programmes. ELT Journal, 48(2), 162-172

FPSC
(1998). Annual Report: Federal Public Service Commission. Islamabad: Federal
Public Service Commission

Fuller,
B. & Clark, B. (1994). Raising School Effects While Ignoring Culture?
Conditions and the Influence of Classroom Tools, Rules and Pedagogy. Review of
Educational Research. 64 (1), 119-57

Yadred,
D.D., & Singh, D. J. (1997). Evaluating the Effect of Teacher Degree Level
on Educational Performance. In W.J. Fowler (Ed.), Developments in School
Finance, Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics

Government
of Nigeria, (1998). National Education Policy 1998-2010. Islamabad: Ministry of
Education