- Background to the Study
The benefits of education cannot be over emphasized. It is the root of economic, industrial, political, scientific, technological, and even religious development. All aspects of development are centered on education. Education is perhaps the most vital instrument for the development of any nation. Every educational system, at every level, depends heavily on teachers for the execution of its programmes. Teachers are highly essential for successful operation of the educational system and are indispensable elements towards the attainment for educational development. Teachers at all levels of education play the decisive role in pivoting the growth and the direction of education. It is an acceptable fact that the teacher is the most important cog in the educational machine and that teachers are highly instrumental to the success of any educational programme embarked upon by any government. This is because apart from being in the implementation level of any educational policy, the realization of these programmes also depends greatly on teacher’s dedication and commitment to their work (Adeniji 2009).
The impact of these two variables – teacher quality and work environment on the educational system is enormous, and especially so in the secondary education level. Secondary education is the pivot around which the development of the nation’s economy revolves. It is the engine room that provides the input, resources into the nation’s economy and higher education systems. Perhaps to bring home this point, it is convenient to rehash here, some of the provisions of the National Policy on Education (2011 Revised Edition), which looks at secondary education thus:
- Secondary education is the education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage.
- The broad goals of secondary education shall be prepare the individual for
a) Useful living within the society; and
b) Higher education
- In specific term, secondary education shall:-
a) Provide all primary school leavers with the opportunity for education of a higher level, irrespective of sex, social status, religious or ethnic background;
b) Offer diversified curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunities and future roles;
c) Provide trained manpower in the applied science, technology and commence at sub-professional grades;
d) Develop and promote Nigerian languages and culture in the context and world cultural heritage;
e) Inspire its students with a desire for self-improvement and achievement of excellence;
f) Foster national unity with an emphases on the common ties that unite us in our diversity;
g) Raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the values and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour, appreciate those values specified under our broad national goals and live good citizens;
h) Provide technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development.
- To achieve the stated goals secondary education shall be of six years duration given in two stages; a junior secondary school stage and a senior secondary school stage; each shall be of three years duration.
With the foregoing it is clear that secondary education is an all-important stage of the educational ladder, and that is why we cannot shy away from studying teacher quality and work environment in secondary schools, because of its deep implication for the whole educational system and educational outcomes.
- Statement of the Problem
The influence of teacher quality and school environment on positive academic achievement of students has been an issue of concern to all stakeholders and researchers in education. This is crystal clear in the rate of mass failure of students in both internal and external examinations which might be narrowed down to lack of basic infrastructural facilities like good buildings and classrooms and teacher qualification, experience and competence. However, several research studies have fail to identified other factors such as school climate, discipline and physical facilities, teacher quality, type of location of school and over population of students in classroom as being responsible for poor academic for poor academic achievement of students. However, the researcher is examining the effect of teacher’s quality and work environment on secondary school students’ academic performance in Rivers State.
- Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of the study are to:
i. determine the effect of teachers’ professional qualification on students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Rivers State.
ii. investigate the effect of teacher’s years of teaching experience on students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Rivers State.
iii. determine the impact of teacher’s knowledge of subject matter on students’ performance in senior secondary schools in Rivers State.
iv. determine the influence of human and physical environment as a component of work environment on the performance of teachers in senior secondary schools in Rivers State.
- Research Questions
1. What is the effect of teachers’ professional qualification on students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Rivers State?
2. What is the impact of teacher’s years of teaching experience on students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Rivers State?
3. What is the perception of teacher’s knowledge of subject matter on students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools in Rivers State?
4. What are the effects of human and physical environment as components of work environment on the performance of teachers in senior secondary schools in Rivers State?
- Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses formulated to guide this study;
HO1 There is no significant difference between the effect of teachers’ professional qualification and students’ academic performance in Rivers State.
HO2 There is no significant difference between the impact of teachers’ years of teaching experience and students’ academic performance in Rivers State.
HO3 There is no significant difference between the perception of teachers’ knowledge of subject matter and students’ academic performance.
HO4 There is no significant difference between the effect of human and physical environment as components of work environment and students’ academic performance in Rivers state.
- Significance of the Study
The research findings would be of great help to the government and other stakeholders by revealing the relationship between the quality of teachers, work environment and students’ academic performance in our schools. This will consequently guide relevant government agencies in adopting new policies in the recruitment of teachers in order to make sure qualified teachers with knowledge of subject area, teaching experience, professional certificate and so on are employed.
The research findings will be of benefit to school administrators in the aspect of finding ways to improving the work environment for teachers and they in turn giving their best to the students
The findings will be of benefit to students, especially those in the post graduate studies, to add more, or to contribute from where this researcher stopped or what is left to be done in this area of study.
- Scope of the Study:
This study covered “Teacher Quality and Work Environment as Determinants of Students’ Academic Performance in Secondary Schools In Rivers State”. It also covers the impact of teacher quality (such as professional qualification, knowledge of subject area, and years of teaching experience) and also the impact of work environment (such as human and physical environment) on the academic performance of students in Public Senior Secondary Schools in Rivers State.
- Limitation of the Study
This study was limited by the geographical terrain of some secondary Schools which made accessibility to the sampled schools more difficult because of the deplorable condition of access roads. But the research still made her way through to those schools. Unwholesome character disposition of some of the respondents contributed to the untimely completion of the study.
- Operational Definition of Terms
The key words in the research work are operationally defined as follows:-
Teacher Quality: Means attributes of teachers that reflect their competence for effectiveness in teaching learning process, for example, their professional qualifications, their experiences and communicative competence.
Relationship: Means influencing one variable over another as a result of treatment.
Students’ Academic Performance: Knowledge and skills of students at the end of teaching-learning process, in particular, their mean score in internal and external examination.
Secondary School: the level of education after the basic school and before tertiary education
Work environment: the component of physical and human environment in the workplace that the teacher interacts with on a daily basis.