Background of the Study
In human life, education is a constant process. It is the process of imparting, developing, and training people’s information, skills, abilities, minds, and character (Olaniyonu, 2008). Education is the process of people’ natural and latent potential being harnessed and explored for their personal growth in particular and national development in general. The quality of their instructors determines meaningful advances in the level of education that students get. As a result, high-quality teaching and learning are critical for students’ academic success (Anderson, 1991). For a country like Nigeria, where rapid technological growth is a priority, academic achievement in English is critical to achieving this aim. All other disciplines are taught in English, which is an essential tool for expression and communication. A number of scholars who have examined the role of language in the development of countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and others have advocated for the use of English in the teaching of critical subjects such as Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, and other subjects in Nigerian secondary schools. This proposal was proposed to address the problem of pupils’ poor academic performance in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) over time. The level of professionalism of teachers is one of the teacher-variables that has a significant impact on pupils’ academic achievement. Teachers’ professionalism reflects their intellectual, social, and emotional stability, as well as their passion for their pupils, ability to inspire them, and positive approach about teaching (Afe, 2003). The degree to which the instructional objectives are met is measured by the professionalism of the teachers. It refers to a student’s net increase in intellectual ability and abilities as assessed by their academic achievement (Afe, 2003; Evans, 2006). The professionalism of teachers is the single most important factor in pupils’ success. It outperforms other factors that have an impact on students’ performance, such as class size, gender, and socioeconomic status. Teaching, which was formerly seen as a respectable vocation, has been taken over by impostors who lack the necessary qualifications and expertise to instruct. Because of the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, graduates without a background in education have been forced to teach in order to make a living. These inexperienced educators see teaching as a stopgap that they should abandon as soon as they get their ideal careers. Qualified instructors are those who have completed a minimal degree of education training for the subjects they teach (Olaniyonu, 2008). For example, because he did not acquire training in English education, an English graduate who teaches English Language is considered an unqualified instructor. Such inexperienced and unskilled teachers are unfamiliar with the complexity of teaching, have little or no enthusiasm, and are unconcerned with their students’ learning outcomes. The debate about Nigeria’s inadequate educational quality has raged for a decade and is still raging in the twenty-first century. High teacher-student ratios, a shortage of qualified and experienced teaching staff, poor educational leadership, political instability, politicization of educational programs, an unpleasant teaching and learning environment, and inadequate educational facilities have all been blamed for students’ poor academic performance (Evans, 2006; Ewetan, 2010). The consistent provision of people and material resources is one of the most important conditions for developing effective schools with great academic performance. In Nigeria, there are several states where the ratio of untrained instructors in primary and secondary schools is as high as 80%. (Daso, 2013). As a result, a large number of untrained instructors in public secondary schools is a key contributor to pupils’ poor academic performance. The unsatisfactory outcomes of pupils in the Senior Secondary Council Examination (SSCE) in Nigeria over the years are a prominent indicator of this low performance. The poor performance of students in the SSCE is linked to a deterioration in teaching and learning quality. Students’ grades are the most important sign of a teacher’s efficiency, effectiveness, competency, and professionalism.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Academic performance of students in Nigeria particularly the students in the study area, on the average has witnessed a dramatic decline in recent times. Ewetan (2010) argues that the present-day secondary school students, on the average can no longer do what primary school pupils used to do in those days academic-wise. Poor academic performance of students can be attributed to the dearth of trained, qualified, competent, experienced and professional teachers amongst other factors. It has been known that the qualifications and experience of teachers have a favorable influence on pupils’ academic achievement. A teacher’s experience is determined by the number of years he has spent in the classroom. It is widely assumed that teachers with many years of experience will have gained greater information to help their pupils achieve better academically. When instructors have little or no teaching experience, their efficacy and efficiency in providing services to their students suffers, and as a result, their pupils’ academic achievement suffers as well. Thus, the need to investigate the effect of teachers’ professionalism on students’ academic performance.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of the study is to examine the effect of teachers’ professionalism on secondary school students’ academic performance in English Language in the selected public secondary schools in Jalingo Local Government Area of Taraba State. The specific purposes of the study are: i. To examine whether teachers’ personality affect students’ academic performance in English Language in public secondary schools. ii. To examine whether teachers subject knowledge has any effect on students’ academic performance in English Language. iii. To examine whether teachers’ action on students’ disposition impact the learning of English Language in the selected public secondary schools. iv. To examine whether teacher’s class room management skill impacts students’ academic performance in English Language in public secondary schools.
The study attempts to provide satisfactory answers to the following questions:
i. Does teachers’ personality affect students’ academic performance in English Language in public secondary schools?
ii. Does teachers subject knowledge has any effect on students’ academic performance in English Language? iii. Does teachers’ action on students’ disposition impact the learning of English Language in the selected public secondary schools?
iv. Does teacher’s class room management skill impacts students’ academic performance in English Language in public secondary schools?
SIGNIFCANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of immense benefits to teachers, students, educational administrators and planners, future researchers and government. The study through its findings will inform the teachers on how to teach effectively classroom for proper assimilation on the parts of the students and also how to motivate their students to higher academic performance. School administrators will benefit from the study by ensuring that only trained, competent and experienced teachers are employed in the teaching profession. Students will be made aware to comprehend the style of teaching adopted by their teachers for effective learning outcomes. Government will realize the need to formulate attractive incentive package to stir up the commitment and dedication of teachers to their jobs. Future researchers will be guided via this study in their prospective research undertakings.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study examined the effect of teachers’ professionalism on secondary school students’ academic performance in English Language with strong emphasis on some selected public secondary school students in Akure south Local Government Area of Ondo State.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only selected public secondary school in Akure south Local Government Area of Ondo State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other ministry in other States within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
DEFINTION OF TERMS
Teacher: A person who teaches, especially one employed in a school.
Educational Qualification: This refers to degrees, certificates, diplomas and other professional titles that an individual has acquired in his country or abroad that is conferred by educational authorities or endorsed professional bodies.
Teaching Experience: The number of years a teacher has spent in the teaching profession.
Secondary School: It refers to high or senior school which provides post-primary education for students depending on location, after primary education and before higher education.
Public Secondary School: A secondary school owned and funded by government at federal, state or local level.
Student: A person who is going to school to learn.
Teachers’ Professionalism: The competence, skill and expertise exuded by a teacher in his job.
Academic Performance: The outcome of education to which a student has achieved his or her educational goals.