CAUSES AND EFFECT OF INADEQUATE GEOGRAPHY TEACHERS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS (A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN TARABA STATE)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education and its benefits can never be overemphasized as the root of economic, industrial, political, scientific and technological and even religious development. All aspects of development are centred on education.
All the educational system in Nigeria at any level depends heavily on teachers for the execution of its program. To have a functional educational development teachers therefore are highly essential for successful operation of the educational system and important tools it.
It is an acceptable fact that the teacher is the most important factor in the educational process and that teachers are instrumental to the success of any educational programme embarked upon by any government.
This is because, apart from being at the implementation level of any educational policy, the realizations of these programmes also depend greatly on teachers dedication and commitment to work (Adeniji 1999). Adeogun (2001) opined that the quality of any educational system depends on the quality of its teaching staff and that without quality teachers; a school may not be able to achieve its goals and objectives.
The National Policy on Education further stated that, “no educational system can rise above the quality of teachers in the system” (FGN, 2015). In view of the above statement on the pre-eminent role of the teacher in boasting the quality of education of a nation, the
Federal Government of Nigeria has made several attempts and enacted laws concerning the development of education. Among such attempts is the law concerning the training and recruitment of teachers which was done in order to achieve qualitative educational outcomes. The
National Policy on Education emphasizes that only qualified and skilled teachers should be recruited into the educational system of Nigeria (NPE, 2004). Geography is one of the most important subjects in secondary school education that equips learners with spatial competence to make them functional in life (Kerski 2011).
It is a subject that builds young people’s own experiences, develops intellectual skills and helps them find answers to local issues affecting their lives as it introduces them to distinctive investigative tools such as maps, fieldwork and use of powerful communication technologies (Gikunda 2016).
Geography as an essential field in every human endeavors consists of knowledge of the world around us. It goes from studying the physical environment we live in to studying interactions that goes on within this environment. Geography as a vast field of study should therefore be taught by a highly qualified and skilled teacher.
The study of the distinctive characteristics of geography contributes to the balanced development of an individual. Harm (1999) opines that education that does not include geography will have a lot of social cost among which includes; deprivation of young students of early awareness of spatial relationships, denial of young students of their early exposure to maps and their uses and it engenders a geographic illiteracy that will last till adulthood among others.
The knowledge of geography and the ability to think geographically aids the individual in understanding and interpreting the realities of the world. The increasing importance of geography in the society notwithstanding the trend of poor performance both in internal and external examinations has been partly attributed to the low level of geography teachers‟ competence in teaching.
WAEC (2004 and 2009) chief examiners reports observed that different categories of teachers with varying academic qualifications, areas of specialization and teaching experience teach geography in secondary schools. The report further indicates that students could perform better if they are well taught and guided by qualified teachers.
In Nigeria, the inadequacy of qualified teachers has been reported. Ivowi (2013) for instance, examined the performance of Nigerian students in Physics, Chemistry and Biology in the West African School Certificate examinations and found that “the high failure rate was due in part to the inadequacy of science teachers.” These inadequacies have been attributed to the low salaries and social prestige given to teachers.
Thus, in Nigeria and other African countries, many researchers have attributed the low achievement of students to teachers’ inadequate knowledge of the subject. Supporting this argument, Ihejieto & Nwokedi (2012) remarked.
This finding was supported by other researchers like (Ademujimji 2015; Bankole, 2015; Akinduro, 2010; Ogundare, 2009) that the poor academic performance of students in secondary school was the result of poor knowledge in the subject which was brought about by the inadequacy of specialist teachers teaching in schools.
There are problems and difficulties met by educators in teaching Geography such as teachers’ quality of instruction and sufficiency of knowledge on the discipline (Aydin, 2011), inefficiency of time allocated (Paradis, & Dexter, 2007), the Geography program is not student-centered (Elton, 2001) and the issue of sufficient equipment to be used in geography education.
However, public schools face diverse problems which hindered the delivery of quality education and some of these are inadequacy of facilities and instructional materials. Given the above discussion, it can be said therefore that the purpose of teaching geography is very relevant and satisfying to learners’ lives but the instruction aspect is very challenging which necessitates intervention specifically the need for the utilization of innovative and more effective teaching strategies.
The teachers’ perceived difficulties of teaching Geography in public secondary schools in the country and intervention strategies to address these problem have given little attention and investigation. This study aims to help teachers to improve teaching Geography lessons by employing innovative strategies and techniques perceived effective for the discipline.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The persistence problem of non-availability or inadequacy of teachers in the teaching and learning of geography has been of great concern to Nigerian schools management Board and learners of geography.
Coupled with this problem is non-utilization of the available resources in the school by geography teachers teaching. This may not be unconnected with the fact that most of these teachers have insufficient knowledge on geography and may not be able to make use of the curriculum.
Secondary education has been recognized as playing very crucial roles in providing suitable preparation for further education (Cuttance, 1980). The state of formal education at secondary school level is a very important determinant of the quality and quantity of intake into tertiary level of education.
On the same vein, the development of geographic studies in Nigeria is itself a function of the type of geographic teaching going on in the various schools. Eden (2013) confirms this in his research, that the poor quality of geography education in Nigeria is itself a function of the type of geographic education teaching going on in the various schools.
His research recalls that the poor quality of geography in Nigeria might become a caricature of the real thing especially in the new and less established schools which he discovered were in very bad condition for effective meaningful geographic teaching.
The problem of this study, wishes to address is what is the extent of availability, adequacy of geography teachers in the teaching and learning of geography in the secondary schools.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the causes and effect of inadequate geography teachers in secondary schools. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the effect of teachers knowledge of geography on students academic performance in secondary schools.
2. To examine the factors that causes inadequacy of geography teachers in Secondary Schools in Nigeria.
3. To examine the effect of inadequacy of geography teachers on student academic performance.
4. To examine the extent to which the involvement of geography teachers in the outcome of academic performance of students in schools.
5. To examine the relationship between inadequacy of geography teachers and student learning outcome.
6. To examine the constraint militating against teaching of geography in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How does teachers knowledge of geography affects student’s academic performance in secondary schools?
2. What are the factors that cause inadequacy of geography teachers in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
3. What are the effects of inadequacy of geography teachers on student academic performance?
4. To what extent is the involvement of geography teachers in the outcome of academic performance of students in schools?
5. What is the relationship between inadequacy of geography teachers and student learning outcome?
6. What are the constraint militating against teaching of geography in secondary schools?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no effect of inadequacy of geography teachers on student academic performance.
H1: There is a significant effect of inadequacy of geography teachers on student academic performance.
H0: There is no relationship between inadequacy of geography teachers and student learning outcome.
H1: There is a significant relationship between inadequacy of geography teachers and student learning outcome.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant in many respects. It will compare the relationship of the variables with one another as they affect students from the schools used for the study. This topic is a very interested one which will serve as a body of knowledge to teachers, students, researchers, entire public as well as policy makers towards improvement in teaching and learning of geography in government secondary schools.
The study therefore offers empirical support to assist educational policy makers, administrators and educators in the educational planning and implementation. Finally, students would also benefit from the study through suggestions offered on ways of improving students’ academic performance and the study will lay a solid foundation which subsequent researchers in similar studies may build upon.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the causes and effects of inadequate geography teachers in secondary schools, a case study of selected secondary schools in Taraba state.
1.8 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.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Academic Performance: It is the display of knowledge attained by the students in the school subject, usually measured by test scores or marks assigned by the teachers which can either be high or low.
Geography: Geography is the science which seeks to explain the character of places and the distribution of people, features and events as they occur and develop over the surface of the earth. Geography is concerned with human – environment interactions in the context of specific places and locations.
Its special characteristics are its breadth of study, its span of methodology, its synthesis of work from other disciplines including the physical sciences and the humanities and its interest in the future management of people – environment interrelationships.
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