EVALUATION OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN SOUTH EAST GEOPOLITICAL ZONE OF NIGERIA

EVALUATION OF MATHEMATICS EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN SOUTH EAST GEOPOLITICAL ZONE OF NIGERIA

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to evaluate Mathematics Education programmes in colleges of education in South East geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The study specifically evaluated the extent to which the objectives of NCE Mathematics Education programme are achieved. The study checked the number admitted with the requirement, adequacy of staff, availability and adequacy of institutional facilities, adherence to stipulated teaching methods, certificate obtained and problems affecting the implementation of the programme. Seven research questions and five hypotheses guided the study. The population comprise of seven federal and state colleges of education in south east geopolitical zone of Nigeria consisting of 206 people made up of 54 lecturers in the Mathematics Department and 152 NCE III mathematics students of 2013/2014 session. Two types of instrument were used to collect data; they are

NCE mathematics programme implementation questionnaire (NCEMPIQ) and

NCE observation checklist for mathematics students and lecturers (NCEOCMSL). Mean, standard deviation, frequencies, percentages, t-test and chi-square were used for analyses of data. The findings showed that the objectives of NCE mathematics programme are being achieved to a high extent. These also showed that both state and federal colleges adhered to the admission requirement, the proportion of staff for the implementation of the programme in both state and federal colleges are adequate. It was observed that the instruments for the implementation of the programme are available in most colleges of education. Both state and federal college adhere to the use of stipulated instructional method. The classes of certificate obtained by both federal and state colleges of education do not differ significantly. The problems of implementation includes inadequate funding, inadequate textbooks, curriculum not covered, classroom not enough, problem of coping with assignments and too much credit load for a given semester. On the basis of the finding the following recommendations were made: Teachers of Mathematics education should be encouraged to go for in service training, workshop, seminar and conference to update their knowledge; facilities should be provided in both state and federal colleges of education; Qualified and competent teachers should be employed to teach for effective delivery of instructional objectives; State and federal colleges should adhere to admission requirement for admitting student among other things. 


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION 

Background of the Study

Education is a conscious and purposeful effort directed towards the transmission of accumulated abilities, knowledge and attitudes from one generation to the other with ultimate intension of producing men and women who will be relevant and useful to themselves and the society. Education is a process by which individuals are assisted formally through proper direction and guidance to develop their capacities for their own benefits and that of the society (Okeke, 2003). Hence education positively changes the behaviour patterns of the citizens. Education is the total process of human learning by which knowledge is imparted, faculties trained and skills developed (Farrant 1980) especially formal education.  

               Formal Education came into Nigeria with the arrival of missionaries. The missionaries trained personnel for evangelization and teaching catechism in addition to other religious doctrines in the church. According to Akuyimu (1991) this continued till the 19th century when formal institutions for the training of teachers were established in the country. Teacher education came into existence in 1959 by the Ashby commission. One major event in the development of teacher Education in Nigeria was the publication and subsequent implementation of the Ashby commission report. The commission observed that there was a gravely inadequate supply of trained and educated teachers in Nigerian secondary grammar schools even when there was an increase in demand for more secondary grammar schools. The commission recommends the following; the opening of more universities; the institution of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education B. A (Ed), B.Sc (Ed) or B. Ed; the training of more teachers for the nations secondary schools.

 Following the recommendation, two schemes of Teacher Education were introduced. One of these schemes was teacher certification programme which was established with the assistance of UNESCO. In 1962 the federal and the then Regional governments established Advanced Teacher Training Colleges (ATT) which was later changed to Colleges of Education (COE). The objectives of colleges of Education were to train teachers in various teaching subjects and methods to enable them teach in both primary and junior secondary schools. Later the National policy on education was first published in 1977 as a result of the 1969 National curriculum conference. The conference was a culmination of expression of general dissatisfaction with the existing education system which had become irrelevant to national needs and aspirations and goals. The objectives of colleges of education include the followings to:

•        produce highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers  for all levels of educational system. 

•        encourage further the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers 

•        help teaches to fit into the social life of the community and society  and  enhance their commitment to national objectives

•        provide teachers with the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment and to make them adaptable to any changing situation not only in the life of their country but in the wider world. 

•        enhance teacher’s commitment to the teaching profession (NCCE, 2012).  In line with these objectives students are trained to acquire the knowledge and skills needed because teacher education programme provides a framework in which students acquire potent knowledge about the subject matter. Teacher education programme is the strategic optional system, for preparing and graduating teachers with the framework of an operative institutional or public policy on education, and in pursuit of the educational goals (Osah – Ogulu 2000). According to Shuaibu (2006) the role teacher education programme plays in the educational system are as follows:

•        preserves the system by selecting what to teach. 

•        evaluative of not only what is learnt but what has been considered worthwhile and how these have been taught.

•        generative as the programme predicts the future and work out the skills and attitudes required to study.

•        maintenance as the programme creates opportunity for retracing through in-service resulting to expansion of the education system. 

•        research      based teacher        education    programme: by      identifying

obsolescence in knowledge and methodology and substituting for these in the school curricular. 

 Teacher education therefore is the training of individuals to equip them with necessary competencies and skills in a given subject area that will enable them teach same to students in schools. In colleges of education teachers are trained in different subject areas such as English, Igbo, social studies, Physics and Mathematics. Mathematics in the view of Procter (2004) is the science of numbers, quantity and space. Smith (1990) on the other hand defined mathematics as a “filter” because to enroll in mathematics course and to perform poorly will bar one from variety of careers and lifestyle associated with them.  Mathematics means many and various things to different people. In view of its universality and diversity, it is referred to as the language of science and technology, the queen of science, the science of counting, science of numbers, quality and space, study of abstraction and their relationship (Adedayo, 2006; Usman, 2002). Mathematics occupies a peculiar position in the life of every individual and the society in general. It plays an indispensable role in the development of art, humanities, sciences and technology. Mathematics is a science of order and numbers and is as old as mankind. The invention of mathematics by man became essential so as to enable him solve his domestic and economic problems.

At the colleges of Education, focus is on the preparation of teachers of mathematics for the primary (lower and middle basic education) and junior secondary (upper basic education) levels. The objectives of NCE mathematics education according to National Commission for Colleges of Education( NCCE, 2012) are that by the end of NCE programme, the students should be able to:(1) discuss with confidence the historical development of mathematics as a discipline.(2) solve abstract problems through the use of mathematical skills and ideas.(3) stimulate pupils’ interests in mathematics by the use of appropriate teaching/learning strategies particularly at the Basic education levels(4) make learners appreciate the use of computers in solving mathematical problems(5) use mathematics to solve day to day problems.(6) teach mathematics by  applying principles in solving daily problems,(7) make the teaching of mathematics learner friendly through games and simulations.(8) set up a mathematics laboratory.(9) improvise materials for effective teaching to prepare the learners for further studies in mathematics related courses. 

   In order to achieve the above objectives of NCE mathematics education, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE, 2012) provided minimum academic standards for implementing the NCE mathematics education programme. The minimum standard required to achieve the stipulated objectives are; admission requirements of NCE mathematics education, personnel requirements, facilities required, stipulated methods of instruction/teaching, methods of evaluation, and  graduation requirement. These variables  for the implementation of NCE Mathematics includes staff, instructional facilities and methods, class of certificate obtained by NCE graduates and problems that affect the implementation. These colleges have either state or federal status, that is, owned and funded by either state or federal government.  

 Given the minimum standard requirement for the implementation of NCE mathematics education programme, there is need for constant evaluation of the programme to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. Evaluation is viewed by Nworgu (2003) as the process of seeking, obtaining and quantifying data with the view to making valid judgment about objects, events or their characteristics. Ezemenaka (2009) also explains that evaluation is the process of delineating and collecting information about the activities and characteristics of programmes with the overall goal of programme or project improvement. Based on the assertions of Nworgu and Ezemenaka, evaluation is the  means through which the effectiveness of the implementation of NCE mathematics education programme in colleges of education can be ascertained.

In conducting programme evaluation study, several evaluation models are available for usage.  They include Environmental, Input, Process and  Outcome (EIPO) model; Context, Input, Process, Output and Impact (CIPOI) mode;

Context, Input, Process and Product (CIPP) model among others. In this study, Context, Input Process and Product (CIPP) evaluation model was used. The rationale behind the choice of this model was its inherent comprehensive treatment of programme evaluation especially as it concerns education. Despite the acknowledged importance of mathematics in national development, and the tremendous efforts being made by educationists and other stakeholders to improve the teaching and learning of the subject in secondary schools in Nigeria, students’ achievement in the subject still remains very low.  The statistics released by the National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) show that more than 60% of candidates who sat for mathematics in the past ten years (2000-2010), performed poorly and obtained a pass, at the Junior Secondary levels.  

The identified poor achievements of students in mathematics raise a critical issue of how colleges of education prepare teachers of mathematics to teach this challenging curriculum to students. The persistent poor performance of students in Mathematics has been linked to various factors, including weak foundation at the formative stage of the students’ education (Kurumeh, 2006) and inadequate/ineffective course-delivery strategies adopted by teachers (Ogbonna, 2004). Nzewi (2000) noted that ineffective teaching is synonymous with poor learning/low achievement. This implies that Teachers of Mathematics have the professional responsibility to help, develop and maintain the interest of students in mathematics in order to make them perform better in exams.

 In line with this background, it is pertinent to embark on the evaluation of mathematics education programme in colleges of education in the South East geopolitical zone of Nigeria with a view to determining its strengths and weaknesses and so to proffer solutions.

Statement of the Problem

Mathematics is one of the subjects mounted in colleges of education to meet the need of the learner and society. Considering its role in scientific and technological development of any individual and society it has remained one of the most difficult subject to so many pupils and students. Even though various instructional techniques have been adopted by teachers to improve students’ achievement in mathematics, very little impact in terms of improvement has been achieved. There are still persistent reports of the rate of mass failure in mathematics at the junior secondary school level and in examination conducted by testing bodies in Nigeria such as West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO). These persistent reports of failure in mathematics have raised serious issue on the manpower produced by colleges of education who in turn are expected to lay a solid foundation for the pupil/students at the primary/junior secondary school. It is therefore pertinent to evaluation Mathematics Education programme.

An evaluation of mathematics education programme need to be focused on student’s performance, availability/ adequacy of facilities, staff, instructional material in addition to the teaching methods adopted, admission requirements and  its compliance to NCCE minimum standard. Programme evaluation of this nature is useful for programme improvement, decision- making, personnel accountability and availability of facilities. Therefore the problem of the study is to determine to what extent the objectives of Mathematics education programme in college of education in south geopolitical zone of Nigeria have been achieved. 

Purpose of the Study 

                          The purpose of the study is to evaluate Mathematics Education

programmes of colleges of Education in South East Nigeria. Specifically, the study intends to: 

1.     determine the extent to which the objectives of Mathematics Education Programme of colleges of education are achieved by state and federal colleges.

2.     determine the number admitted by state and federal colleges of education using admission requirement specified by the NCCE minimum standard.  

3.     determine the number and qualification of staff for the implementation of the  mathematics education programme objectives as stipulated in the minimum standard by state and federal colleges of education. 

4.     determine the availability and adequacy of instructional materials facilities and equipment for effective teaching of mathematics in state and federal colleges of education.

5.     determine the extent state and federal colleges of education adhere to the stipulated instructional methods for teaching mathematics education at NCE

level. 

6.     determine classes of certificate NCE graduates of mathematics education obtain in state and federal colleges of education.

7.     identify the problems that affect the implementation of NCE mathematics education programmes in state and federal colleges of Education under study

Significance of the Study  

The significance of this study is viewed from both theoretical and practical perspectives. The theoretical significance of this study is anchored on Stufflebeam’s Context, Input, Process and Product (CIPP) evaluation model. This is because these quality indicators will highlight the needed service delivery of mathematics education programme in South East Nigeria in terms of the programme context, input, process and product.

Practically, the study will be beneficial to the following; teachers, students and the administrators of mathematics education programme in colleges of education in South East Nigeria. 

 The result will help the administration of the colleges to justify the extent resources are available for the programme. It will provide information on the availability and adequacy of instructional materials, facilities and equipment for effective teaching and learning of Mathematics education. It will also reveal the extent the stipulated objectives of the programme are achieved which will help them to make modification where necessary.

The findings of the study will help the mathematics education teachers in colleges of education to know the extent the objectives of the programmed have been achieved. The lecturers will as well be able to employ the best instructional approach in teaching mathematics education that will enhance teaching and learning.

             The students through this study will determine


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