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1.1      Background of the study

The issue of quality in any education system cannot be compromised. The quality of educational administrators (principal teachers and learners (students) in any nation determines the quality of its formal education and schooling. The changes in the educational structure in Nigeria, especially at the secondary school stage demands that the school principals play a bigger and more important role in educational supervision. (Grauwe and Carron, 2004) states that principals' supervisory role in schools particularly on its teaching and non-teaching staff services is an important concern because it plays an important part in the quality of education that the school provides to its students. School principals as school inspectors appear as a feeling of superiority on the part of inspectors whose interest is only in the well-being of students with no consideration for teachers. Principal's supervisory role is a critical issue in educational leadership. It involves lots of leadership supervision of teacher's skills, students' academic performance, effectiveness of the teachers and technical skills. The National Policy of Education (2004) under the Ministry of Education revealed how the principal prime role of educational leadership, must be effective. Yunus (2012) found that educational supervision is a dynamic process in education aiming at improving the quality of teaching and learning. Nwankwo (2004) opined that supervision can be divided into categories. There are instructional and personnel supervision, instructional supervision has been defined as a set of activities, which are carried out with the purpose of making the teaching and learning purposes better for the learners. Personnel supervision on the other hand, deals with the set of activities, which are carried out by the supervisor with the basic aim of sensitizing, mobilizing and monitoring staff in the school towards performing their duties ultimately in terms of achievement of the stated aims and objectives of the educational system. Principals are responsible for the administration of admission, health, lunchroom, textbooks, supplies, records and many other auxiliaries in the educational system. Therefore, the role of a school administrator or a principal is to supervise, planning, developed competitive strategies for the school. The principal is thus faced with the responsibility of supervising teachers generally to improve their instructional performance effectively, make recommendations and also manage both human and material resources towards achieving the principal as the head of the school, as the architect of the quality of activities in the school and the quality of academic achievement of students depends on the quality of instructional performance. The high rate of failure in the public secondary schools in Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations over the years has caused immense agony to many families. The situation seemed to be growing worst as the years went by. The question of poor performance of students in public examinations had been attributed to inadequate and ineffective supervision of principals (Effiong, 2006). In recent times, education stakeholders have expressed their concern over the poor performance of students in the SSCE. Some blamed the school administrators (principals) and the teachers while some blamed the students themselves and the parents. Whoever to be blamed, the fact remains that, the school and its organizational management has correlation with the academic achievement of the students. (Olaleye, 2013).

In the school system, supervision is as antique as the teaching profession and has undergone series of evolution since the colonial era, it is directed towards sustaining and ameliorating the teaching-learning process in the educational system, this is because education plays an essential role in the growth and development of any nation socially, politically, economically and this explains why it has country and the entire world. Instructional supervision is the art of over-seeing the teaching-learning process, therefore making sure that the school is administered, managed and leads in an effective manner to achieve the educational objectives (Osakwe, 2010).

The principal holds the major position in the programme of instructional improvement through effective and efficient supervision of teachers instructional performance through various supervisory techniques, it becomes peremptory that principal's supervisory functions must be adequate to influence teacher's instructional performance. This desired expectation in education could be achieved through effective supervision since it creates the awareness of sound education philosophies in teachers (Nwaogu, 2010).

Principals supervise and monitor the work and behaviour of teachers, in order to improve individual teacher's competencies no matter how proficient they are deemed to be and provide students with quality learning. The duty of ensuring that effective teaching and learning take place lies with the principal who employs various instructional performance .

Osakwe further emphasized that the quality of instruction and the use of supervisory functions of principals in schools depend on the extent to which teachers perform their tasks. Effective supervision and the extent to which principals carry out their supervisory duties are based on sound principles which serve as a directive to positive actions that are aimed at improving teaching-learning process in the school system. In the school system instructional supervision is concerned with using methods, principles and practices of various techniques to establish, develop and execute the goals, policies, plans and procedures necessary to achieve educational goals. Supervision therefore is concerned with the provision of professional assistance and guidance to teachers and students geared towards the achievement of effective teaching and learning in the school.

Supervision of instruction guide teachers and also enables them to combine relevant input for enhancement of the teaching- learning process. The fact remains that the success of an educational programme especially in the achievement of effective learning depends largely on the job performance of the teachers. The ugly situation of poor performance of public secondary school students in Nigeria perhaps requires intensive instructional supervision towards attaining school goals and objectives. The primary objective of instructional supervision is therefore to ensure that teaching and learning proceed under adequate condition and yield the desired results. The importance of instructional supervision on the achievement of effective learning in today's educational system can consequently not be over-emphasized especially at the secondary school level which is perceived to be a vital step for career decisions (Babatope and Gabriel, 2014). It is against this background that this study examines principals’ supervisory roles on academic performance of SSS 3 students in education district III of Lagos State.


Poor performance of students in senior secondary school examination has persisted despite, the fact that secondary schools are assumed to have well trained, qualified teachers and principals. The reasons for poor performance cannot be easily discerned without focused investigation. Teachers work in unconducive classroom environment,  in  some schools, classroom are not well lit or ventilated, some classrooms are also overpopulated, due to the overpopulation, movement around the class is always hindered which may not allow the teachers to be able to monitor every students activities and progress in the class. The appalling economic strength make teachers to look beyond their monthly salary by  engaging in several businesses, hence many teachers put up non-challant attitude to their teaching and some of them play truant. Also teachers' low esteem on the eyes of the society and lack of self-esteem by the teachers constitute problems of indiscipline among them. Such indiscipline acts are lateness to class school, absenteeism, trading during school hours, ineffective use of diaries and lesson notes in the class, records are not properly kept and generally violating teachers code of professional ethics. All these make teachers incompetent and not dedicated to duty, unless the principal runs after them.

Consequently, there have been steady decline in teachers' instructional task performance and students' academic performance which depicts non-realization of quality assurance in secondary schools (Ajayi 2002). It is against this nature, that the study sets out to examine principals supervisory task and academic performance of SSS 3 students in District III. Lagos State. The identified gaps and challenges include the followings: lack of commitment to supervision by many principals,  lack of proper monitoring and evaluation of students' learning outcomes, inadequate training facilities to develop teachers for professional growth and increased productivity and Lack of adoption of code of conduct for learners (students).  This study therefore, sought to establish instructional supervision functions of the school principals and its effect on academic performance of SSS 3 student.


The aim of this research work is to investigate principals’ supervisory role on instruction and academic performance of SSS 3 students in education with focus on education district III of Lagos State. The following objectives are to achieve the purpose of the study.

1.      To examine the attitude of principal towards supervision of instruction.

2.      To examine the effectiveness of supervision techniques adopted by secondary school principals.

3.      To identify the challenges faced by principal in the course of instruction supervision.

4.      To examine the impact of principal supervision of instruction on student performance.


For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher; 

H0:      There is no significant relationship between principal’s supervisory roles and the teachers’ commitment to work.

H1:    There is significant relationship between principal’s supervisory roles and the teachers’ commitment to work.

H02:  There is no significant relationship between the principal’s supervisory roles and academic performance of the students.

H2:  There is significant relationship between the principal’s supervisory roles and academic performance of the students.


The study is significant in the sense that the findings may have implications for secondary school principals, teachers, students, the state and the country at large. The study is designed to provide useful information for principals in the supervision of teachers in secondary schools for improvement of instruction. It is hoped that the findings of this study would improve the instructional effectiveness of teachers so that they can contribute to the attainment of educational goals in Lagos State. The findings of this work could be of help to the external supervisors from the Ministry of Education whose manner of inspection is dreaded by both the principals and the teachers. Again, the students stand to reap the immense benefits as teachers' job performance will be affected positively through correct usage of instructional supervisory strategies by principals. It is also vital as it would add to the existing studies and literature relating to the principals instructional supervisory strategies and student academic performance. Finally, it will also serves as a reference point for future research.


The scope of this study is to investigate principal’s supervisory roles on instruction and academic performance of SSS 3 student in education with focus on education district III of Lagos State. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

 a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study 

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.


School: This is an environment where children go to be taught and educated. A typical example is a secondary school. In this study, school is the first factor to be considered because it is a place where the principal will exercise his regular duties both on the teachers and the learners.

Principal: Principal refers to the head of a school or other educational institution. Fullen (1992:41) sees the principal as actively engaged as initiator or facilitator of continuous improvement in his school.  In this study, the principal refers to somebody who as head of the school, plans, initiates, supervises and organizes the teaching and learning activities in the school. To accomplish that he needs to work co-operatively with the educators.

Supervision: This is a leadership role that entails coordinating and managing of the school activities concerned with teaching and learning Daresh (1982:2) sees supervision as a process of overseeing the ability of people to meet the goals of the organization in which they work. Wills & Bondi's (1991:8) definition of supervision focuses on administration, curriculum, instruction, human relations, management and leadership. According to this study, supervision aims at the development of the teacher's knowledge, skills and work environment, to facilitate pupil's learning to achieve the goals of the organization.

Academic performance: They refer to the quality of education taught in the school system. In the aspect of learning habit of the students, they need to be very serious with their academics in order to obtain good grade at the end of the term.

Learning: Learning means acquiring knowledge, skills and information. Schmeeck (1983) defines learning as acquiring and retention of knowledge or as an interpretative process aimed in understanding of the lessons being taught. In this study, learning means acquiring knowledge on information, processing it and where possible applying it.

Teaching: Teaching means imparting knowledge and skills to the learners. According to the Oxford Dictionary teaching means what is taught. Ubben & Hughes' (1987:110) definition concurs with the above when they regard teaching as imparting content or information which learners need to improve their skills. In this study teaching means giving out knowledge to learners with a view to help them develop new skills.

Instructional Supervision: Instructional supervision is a process or an activity by which an individual or a group or team of individuals, by means of advising and stimulating interest in teachers, pupils, help to improve teaching and learning situations in educational institutions.

School Education Administration:   School educational administration is a process primarily concerned with creating, maintaining and coordinating the resources and energy within an educational institution for the purpose of achieving predetermined goals.

Role: Role refers to the functions or responsibilities that principals carry out in managing  and leading secondary schools in order to influence academic achievement


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study      

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