DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS AND SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION OF THE TEACHING PROFESSION
The study attempted to ascertain teachers’ perceptions of demographic factors influencing the teaching profession in Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. The study’s objectives were salary, age, head teachers’ levels of financial management training, and gender. The study’s target audience included all secondary school principals and instructors in the Yenagoa LGA. They totaled two hundred and seventy-one people.
The population of teachers and principals was chosen using a basic random selection procedure. The sample size for teachers and principals was 50% of the population. The sample size includes 120 instructors, fifteen head teachers, and one Quality Assurance and Standards Officer.
The descriptive survey design was used in the investigation. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect data. Data was examined using descriptive and inferential statistics before being displayed using statistical means. The outcomes were subjected to statistical tests, including chi-square and spearman rank correlation order tests. According to the findings of the study, teachers judged their salary levels to be inadequate and a hindrance to their teaching profession.
The teachers, too, saw the age as inadequate for insuring their maximum production. The teachers considered the head teachers’ training in financial management to be woefully inadequate, which hampered their ability to educate. All respondents said the gender in the LGA was significant. They contended that the gender strained instructors’ abilities to the limit and severely limited their ability to be effective by providing personalized attention to students.
The study concluded that teachers’ teaching profession was harmed and affected by salary levels, age, headteachers’ training, and large classes, which hampered teachers’ ability to be effective in terms of carrying out their professional obligations and mandates to the letter.
The report advised that teachers’ emoluments and pay be evaluated, and that more innovative measures aimed at improving their teaching profession, such as implementing performance tokens for high achievers, be implemented. The research advised involving private sector engagement in facility upgrades to guarantee deficiencies and shortages were addressed.
Headteachers should be confirmed to their roles only after completing mandated financial management training and being subjected to continual learning through refresher courses. Gender should be addressed by the exchequer by filling personnel gaps and shortcomings in facilities to guarantee that students gain value from the educational institutions.
The study’s context
Teachers and schools make a difference is a finding that has gained increasing support from educational research in recent decades (Askew, Rhodes, Brown, William & Johnson, 1997). Large database studies and multilevel modeling methodologies have consistently revealed that teacher effectiveness influences students’ accomplishment and is one of the primary factors on student advancement over time (Muijs & Reynolds, 2000).
Effective teaching is measured by his students’ academic performance in examinations, punctuality at school and class, giving extra lessons to students, and contribution to the school’s progress through participation in co-curricular activities such as sports, students’ discipline, and committee assignments as may be assigned by the principal (Staiger & Rockoff, 2010).
Because principals are primarily concerned with results, they like to collaborate with and through instructors who are cooperative, responsible, and productive (Moore & Esselman, 1992). However, research indicates that there are elements that may affect instructors, preventing them from being as effective as they could be (Coombe, 2002). Teachers’ behaviors, self-efficacy and beliefs, subject knowledge and attitude, working environment, government policy, socio-political factors, workload, organizational factors, and cultural factors are examples of these.
Teachers are a crucial actor in the learning process that occurs in schools, according to Machin and McNally (2008), and teachers’ productivity and effectiveness might vary based on the incentives they confront. Pay structure has the potential to be a key incentive-tool in the hands of education policymakers, and merit pay plans have lately been studied and implemented in various nations.
Advocates for increased teacher evaluation argue that existing systems keep far too many inept or inefficient teachers on the job. However, many schools face the opposite issue: excessive teacher turnover, which lowers experience gains and raises human management expenses. According to Machin and McNally (2008), over 40% of instructors in New York City leave within three years.
Teaching is becoming an increasingly difficult profession. However, in recent years, its average weekly wage has fallen in comparison to that of other college graduates. Budget cuts have resulted in layoffs and deteriorated working conditions. Teachers in certain Texas school districts are now assigned janitorial duties.
Teacher inefficiency has been connected to their attitudes and opinions of the profession. There have been incidents of chronically incompetent teachers in the United States of America due to self-efficacy concerns that harmed their confidence levels (Chait, 2010).
Chronically unproductive instructors offer a difficulty to the education sector, and labor regulations make it difficult to remove them from the system because performance-based reviews are uncommon in the lowest grades of academic domains. Teacher compensation has always been connected with and related to effectiveness, yet chronic ineffectiveness has remained in the impacted instructors even after the compensation rates were reviewed.
Teacher remuneration has been proven to be a powerful motivator for the development and reinforcement of characteristics that contribute to increased teacher performance. The primary draw for many instructors to the job has been recognized as compensation (Jerald, 2009).
Feelings of attachment to the tasks at hand, as well as the understanding that one’s compensation corresponds to one’s production, always inspire teachers to strive and achieve the desired performance, creating a sense of diligence and increasing efficiency at work.
Situations in which the teacher feels as if they are juggling several balls at once in terms of handling various class activities and other tasks that are not in sync with the compensation levels make him demotivated and ineffective at work.
Concerns concerning instructor turnover and attrition have been widely noted as a worldwide occurrence (Gurney, 2007). In the United Kingdom, educator attrition is referred regarded as a national crisis. According to Santiago (2001), the situation has deteriorated in Sweden, Germany, and New Zealand. Teacher shortages due to turnover are regularly reported in numerous states in the United States (Markley, 2001).
The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (1999) reports on teacher shortages in Ontario and Australia as a result of teacher attrition. The primary cause for teacher attrition is pay. According to Muijs and Reynolds (2000), greater teacher turnover leads to a substantial gender imbalance, overburdening the surviving instructors and negatively impacting their profession.
Most African countries link teacher turnover primarily with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly in Sub-Saharan countries such as Zambia, Nigeria, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, and South Africa (Coombe, 2002). According to the President of the Gambian Teachers’ Union, a large number of teachers are leaving the profession due to a lack of acceptable pay, allowances, housing, and promotion opportunities, among other economic factors (Kamara, 2002). Teacher performance in these areas is mostly influenced by school management, shortage of resources, and other factors.
Teachers are overburdened, especially after Free Secondary Education. Mukumbira (2001) claimed that Zimbabwe lost approximately 2 000 newly trained teachers in 2000, who may have moved for brighter pastures. The primary reason for this was teacher pay.
In Nigeria, where the government suspended supply-driven teacher recruitment in 1997 and resorted to replacing solely those lost due to natural attrition in 2001, teacher shortages have deteriorated as student enrolment has increased as a result of the Free Secondary Education Act (UNESCO, 2003). According to UNESCO (2005), an aging teaching workforce and the possibility of retirement, poor wages, and demands for progressively more advanced teaching abilities are all factors.
Such issues have impacted teachers’ efficacy. Duffrin (1999) attributes high turnover to working conditions, particularly among teachers who leave within the first five years of entering the profession. According to Chaika (2002), inadequate age, terrible working circumstances, poor school management, and a widening wage disparity between teachers and other college graduates are all drivers of teacher ineffectiveness. Borsuk (2001) observed that when there are too few instructors left, they have too much on their plates, harming their profession and effectiveness.
Academic performance in secondary schools in Bayelsa has been declining throughout the years, with a downward trend since 2009. (D.E.O., 2013). When compared to the other LGAs in Bayelsa, Yenagoa LGA has the greatest academic decline. Effective teachers produce results, which is not the case in the Yenagoa Local Government Area.
For several decades, educational academics have focused on the question of teacher effectiveness, with researchers investigating aspects such as school factors, environmental factors, motivational factors, and cultural factors (Chaika, 2000; Eshitemi2005; Irumbi, 1990; Kamara, 2002; Kirembu, 1991; Matovu, 2001).
As a result, the focus of this study will be on the demographic determinants impacting teachers’ teaching profession, specifically in Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa State.
Ineffective professors may result in poor academic performance among students. Darling-Hammond (2000) observed that teachers’ effectiveness varies for a variety of reasons. According to Mukumbira’s (2001) assessment, teacher salaries in the developing world are often low and below the poverty level or cost of living. Service conditions are likewise inadequate, with many schools lacking suitable accommodation for teachers (Mukumbira, 2001). The situation is considerably worse for untrained instructors, the majority of whom earn between 40 and 60 percent of the lowest-paid qualified teacher’s wage.
Low pay and terrible working conditions have contributed to teacher inefficiency and a significant level of brain drain. According to Kamara (2002), such issues are causing teachers to leave their profession as they seek better pastures due to the difficult economic situations. The remaining instructors are overloaded as a result of the enormous gender gap, particularly with Free Secondary Education.
This diminishes their effectiveness. Furthermore, head teachers’ assistance in terms of providing resources and facilities may have an impact on how teachers perform. Teacher effectiveness is a major predictor of student achievement gains, according to research. As a result, it is critical to do research on the demographic aspects influencing teachers’ teaching profession in Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa State.
The study’s objective
The study’s objectives
To ascertain how remuneration impacts the efficacy of secondary school instructors.
To determine how teacher age affects teacher effectiveness in secondary schools.
To determine the extent to which head teachers’ financial management training influences the effectiveness of secondary school teachers.
To ascertain how gender influences the effectiveness of secondary school instructors.
Questions for investigation
How does salary affect the efficacy of secondary school teachers?
What factors influence secondary school teachers’ effectiveness?
To what extent does the amount of financial management training of secondary school principals influence teacher effectiveness?
How does gender influence the effectiveness of secondary school teachers?
The study’s importance
The study’s findings may add to our understanding of the demographic aspects impacting teachers’ careers. As a result, the Ministry of Education may learn about other factors that influence teacher effectiveness and attempt to improve on them. This may help shape policy formation initiatives for the benefit of the education sector as a whole.
The principals would have a better understanding of the causes of their teachers’ ineffectiveness, laying the groundwork for what they may do to assist the teachers and so enhance their effectiveness. Teachers may be informed of things that reduce their effectiveness and asked what they would want to see done to improve their effectiveness. This may eventually have a favorable impact on the learner’s performance and increase academic standards.
The study may also assist students because it will improve instruction after teachers increase their own efficacy. This work could be useful to other researchers who are interested in conducting additional research.
The study’s limitations
It was unable to influence the respondents’ attitudes. The researcher, on the other hand, told the respondents that anonymity would be employed to conceal their identities. The researcher also discussed the significance of conducting the study to the respondents in order to change their attitude about the study. This enhanced study acceptance and response rates.
The study’s limitations
The research was conducted in Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa State. It was also limited to public secondary schools because public school education was more standardized than private school education. The responders in the survey were teachers, principals, and the LGA Assurance Officer.
Significant terms are defined.
Gender relates to the number of students in relation to the number of teachers and available resources.
Demographic factors are statistical aspects of human populations (such as age or income) that are used to identify marketplaces that are changing in the state.
Teacher effectiveness is measured by student performance.
Efficiency is measured by comparing what teachers actually create to what they can achieve with the same amount of resources (money, time and labour).
Teachers’ salaries are the sums of money paid to them by their employers.
A teacher shortage occurs when the number of teachers required is insufficient.
The study’s structure
This research is divided into five chapters. The first chapter: introduction discusses the study’s background, problem statement, objectives, research questions, significance, limitations, delimitations, assumptions, and term definitions. The second chapter examines previous research on this subject. It is made up of previous literature on factors impacting teacher productivity, a theoretical framework, a conceptual framework, and a chapter summary.
The study design to be employed is highlighted in the third chapter. It also covers the following topics: target population, sample size and sampling technique, data collection instruments, validity and reliability, data analysis, and research ethics.
The fourth chapter discusses data analysis, interpretation, presentation, and summary. The fifth chapter includes a summary, discussion, conclusion, recommendations, and proposals for additional research.
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