1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The concept of quality has attracted many definitions from several scholars. Kalusi, (2001) argued that quality is a complex concept and there is hardly any consensus. According to DuBrin, (2007) quality is a desirable attribute of a product or service that distinguishes it for the person seeking the attribute. Viewed from this definition, quality could be said to have the attribute of worth and acceptance. Nevertheless, DuBrin maintained that good quality should possess the characteristics of conformance to expectation, conformance to requirement, excellence and value and loss of avoidance. Asiyai and Oghuvbu (2009) defined quality as a measure of how good or bad the products of higher education institutions in Nigeria are in terms of their academic performance and meeting established standards. World Organization of Standardization, (2004) defined quality as the totality of features and characteristics of a product of services that bear on its ability to satisfy stated needs. Article 11 of the World Declaration on Education, (2003) sees quality as a multi-dimensional concept which should encompass all the functions and activities in schools. Such activities of higher educational institutions has been highlighted as teaching, research and scholarship, community service, staffing, students, infrastructures and educational facilities, equipment and the academic environment (World conference on higher education, 2011). High quality delivery is a prerequisite for effective productivity in education industry and hence quality education is an instrument for effecting national development. According to Ekong (2006), quality builds knowledge, live skills, perspectives, attitudes and values. When quality education is delivered high enough to meet set standards, the products of education should be able to perform well in the world of work in real life situation. When quality is low, performance cannot meet the set standards. Hence one can say that the quality of education has declined below set standard.
The world continues to be a dynamically changing place and the changes that have occurred over the centuries have challenged the teaching and learning process and would continue to do so. Even for the most DCs, progressive enquiry continue to unravel the sociological dynamics of society and the need for paradigm shift to best practices in the sharing and transmission of knowledge for the development of society. We expect that the developing countries should especially pay attention to the changing dynamics of society to be able to forge dynamic educational system to meet the needs of the 21st century world and beyond. A paradigm shift in knowledge building and transmission may be required to transmute to a comparable state of development as the first world. The purpose of education is to create and sustain an enlightened mind that can elevate and progressively advance the touch points between human and environment through an inquiry predilection of society. This is consistent with Rosado’s (2000) conceptualization of true education; as the “harmonious development of the physical, mental, moral, and social faculties, the four dimensions of life, for a life of dedicated service” To educate therefore is the process of awakening the thirst for knowledge and a desire to develop the entire dimension of the human capacity. The symphonic slant between the mind (learning) and human environment is buttressed by Tagore (as cited by Singh, 2013) that “the highest education is that which does not merely give us information but bring our life in harmony with all existence.
Education is a derived Greek word which means “to lead out” In other words, the philosophical premise of education is the assumption of the latent state of the human faculty and the need for a process “to lead out” and manifest the latent perfection in man. Knowledge is presumed to exist in the mind but without form, the instructions (teaching and learning process) represents the friction required to ignite the body of knowledge, skills and mental capacities and help to give shape and structure to the cognitive capacity of the mind. Thus, the interaction of the mind with the environment unlocks the hidden treasure of nature given knowledge. Rousseau, the 17th century philosopher posited that education is the child’s development from within, and all efforts at true education should be to unlock that nature given cognitive capacity that is hidden in the soul of every human.
Consequently, the purpose of education as suggested by Rand (1982) is to “teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical/conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the spirit and essentials of life-long learning as a lifestyle. Knowledge acquisition requires the training and development of an inquiry mind that leaves a human in a condition of continually asking questions and probing the status quo with a view to improving his environment and his relationship with it. The educational system that consistently delivers improved learning outcomes, enhances experiential learning, challenges critical thinking, and delivers solutions to mankind is deemed efficient.
The sociological framework of paradigm shift and stages of societal changes, developed by Rosado (1997) is instructive in understanding the functionality of the education system in tandem with the state of development of the society. The framework captures the time path of society’s development, from the 18th century agrarian economy, 19th century industrial economy, the 20th century information age and the 21st century global village status of the world. The thrust of the framework facilitates genuine self-assessment of comparable state of development juxtaposed with the rest of the world on the one hand, and on the other hand an objective assessment of the relevance and functionality of the educational system in meeting the development needs of society
In the light of the models’ characterisation most African countries would appear to be living anachronistically in the 18th and 19th century when juxtaposed with the rest of the world in terms of the level of economic development, institutional advancement, rule of law, position in the world league of higher education institutions especially in terms of meeting learning objectives and contributing to the world pool of relevant development directed research efforts to the human race. What this implies is that, African countries must situate their specific developmental needs and harness strategic resources in dealing with the challenges in a uniquely continental manner that bridges the consistency between the internal African environments with the rest of the world.
These facts are: Only very few are aware of the value/importance of education in the nation’s development and only very few are aware of the real magnitude of the declining nature of the quality of education in the country. It is essential to measure the impact of the quality teaching initiatives in order to be able to improve these initiatives. However assessing the quality of one’s teaching remains challenging. This difficulty may in part explain why the two most famous international rankings rely heavily on research as a yardstick of the universities’ value and leave aside the quality of teaching. However, many teachers give little credit to the answers of the students that they perceive as biased. The answering students tend to blame teachers for all problems, forgetting the role of the administration or the infrastructures. Measurement should clarify its own aims (improvement or punishment?) before implementation. Peer-in class evaluations present the advantage of focusing on the process, not merely the outcomes. But these evaluations by peers may lead to self-congratulation and may hamper teaching innovations (the teacher being evaluated fearing to be poorly judged if too creative). Peers may also be influenced by a widespread conservatism of judgment. Using teaching portfolios to evaluate quality teaching seems fairer as more sources of evidence are considered, but then a question remains: how much should each source of evidence be weighted? Assessing the results of Quality Teaching initiatives has proven to be difficult, and this issue has received increasing attention in the literature. Many researchers now address the numerous paradoxes that the measurement of quality sometimes induces. For instance, a well-rated programme or a rewarded teacher feels less incentive for change and becomes therefore more likely to maintain the status quo. Teachers who follow-up on quality assurance schemes are also those who believe that it is in their power to improve student learning. Last, most teachers will try to improve the quality of their teaching only if they believe that the university cares about teaching. Hence, if an institution wants its teaching to be of good quality, it must give concrete, tangible signs that teaching matters.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The consequences of not addressing the problem of students’ academic achievement are many. Students by their nature do get involved in very many activities outside their studies. When students lose interest in their studies, failure rate will be higher. They many engage in very many unlawful activities like cultism, robbery, prostitution, and tyranny among other vices. Furthermore student’s low academic achievement may result in failure. When failure becomes persistent, students may easily withdraw from the school system. Research finding has also shown that economic deprivation could lead to failure.
In addition to this, students may engage in all forms of disruptive behavior in and outside the school system. Drug addiction is one of the problems likely to be encountered by the students. Research reports confirmed that more students are into drug addiction. Reports of survey carried out in Lagos and Kano showed that cannabis, heroin and cocaine are widely abused mainly by smokers were marijuana (86.9%), cannabis (66%), alcohol (22%), cocaine (18%) and heroin (13.8%).
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