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1.0 Background to the Study
The quality of education of a nation could be determined by the quality of her teachers. The most important factor in improving student’s performance in chemistry is employing seasoned qualified teachers in both academic qualification and attitude in all schools (Abe and Adu, 2013). Okunwa (1999) found that investment on the quality of teachers is related to improvement in student’s performance specifically the measurement of teacher’s attitude and certifications are correlated to student’s performance in chemistry. It is further reported that teachers characteristics such as certification status, degree in area of specialization, as well as attitude to the specialized area of subject are very significant and positively correlated with students learning outcome in science and particularly chemistry. This report was intended with the findings of Salman (2009). In view of this, it should be noted that when recruiting someone for teaching, apart from considering his academic qualification his attitude should also be a considerable factor.
Abe and Adu (2013); Wiki (2013) opined that, a teaching qualification of a teacher’s attitude is one of the number of academic and professional degree that enables a
person to become a registered teacher in primary or secondary schools. Such qualification includes Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGDE), the Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) and Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.).
Attitude an academically qualified teacher refers to those who have academic training and attitude as a result of enrollment into educational institution and obtained qualification both in learning and character such as NCE, B. Sc. (Ed.), B.Ed., . While professional qualified teachers are those who got professional training that gave them professional knowledge skills, techniques, aptitude as different from the general education.
The differences in schools achievement of student in Nigeria has been and still a source of concern and research interest to educators, government and parents. This is so because of the great importance that education has on the national development of the country. All over the country there are concerns of opinions about fallen standard of education in Nigeria (Adebule, 2004). Parents are in total agreement that this huge investment on education is not yielding. Teachers also complain of students’ low performance at both internal and external examinations. The annual release of Senior Secondary Certificate Examination results (S.S.C.E) conducted by West African
Examination Council (W.A.E.C) justified the problematic nature and generalization of poor secondary school students performance in different school subjects.
Poor academic performance according to Aremu (2003) is a performance that is adjusted by the examinee/testee and some other significant as falling below an expected standard. Poor academic performance has been observed in school subject especially mathematics, chemistry and English language among secondary school students (Adesemoro, 2005). Aremu (2000) stresses that academic failure is not only frustrating to the students and the parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of the economy and politics. Education at secondary school level is supposed to be the bed lock and the foundation towards higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in the country. The national policy on education (2004) stipulated that secondary education is an investment for national development that foster the worth and development of the individual for further education and development, general development of the society and equality of educational opportunities to all Nigerian children irrespective of any real or marginal disabilities.
The role of secondary education is to lay the foundation for further education and if a good foundation is laid at this level, there are likely to be no problem at subsequent levels. However, people at different time have passed the blame of poor performance in secondary school to students because of their low retention, parental factors, association with wrong peers, low achievement, motivation and the likes (Aremu and Sokan, 2003; Aremu and Oluwole, 2001; Aremu, 2000). Morakinyo (2003) believed that the falling level of academic achievement is attributed to teachers’ non-use of verbal reinforcement strategy. Others found out that the attitude of some teachers to their jobs is reflected in their poor attendance to lessons, lateness to school, unsavory comments about student’s performance that could damage their ego, poor method of teaching and the likes affect pupil’s academic performance.
The question therefore is that, what is the cause of this fallen standard and poor academic performance of students? Is the fault entirely that of teachers or students or both of them? Is it that students of nowadays are non-achievers because they have low intelligent quotient and good neutral mechanism to be able to act purposefully, think rationally and deal effectively with academic tasks? Or is it because teachers are no longer putting more efforts and much commitment as before? Or is it in teacher method of teaching and interaction with pupils? Or is the poor performance of students caused by
parents neglect, separation and poverty? Or is the poor performance of students caused by lack of unqualified teachers? The present study therefore sought to find out the relationship between teachers qualification and attitude on chemistry performance of secondary school students in external examination.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
In view of the suspected raised question to be some of the reasons why student’s performance in chemistry continued to decline, this study was to investigate the poor performance in chemistry within some selected secondary schools in Sokoto state ranging from teachers variable (attitude, qualification, attendance to chemistry workshop, condition of service), students variable (choice of career, attitude) and environmental related variables (class size, school location and laboratory adequacy).
As a result of these, the researchers therefore aim at looking at the effect of teachers qualification and attitude, and low performance of senior secondary chemistry students in external examination and at the end suggest a possible solution for effective teaching and learning method and particularly low performance of secondary school chemistry students.
Table 1: the West African Examination Council (W.A.E.C) performance in the SeniorSchool Certificate Examination; May/June 2009-2014 chemistry.
Table 2: National Examination Council (N.E.C.O) performance in the Senior SchoolCertificate Examination; June/July 2009-2014 chemistry.
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