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1.1 Background of the Study
In a study earlier conducted, it was observed that educators in Nigeria have forgotten the important connection between teachers and students and how good teachers carry out their duties more effectively in meeting the predetermined goals of education. In addition, it was observed that in Nigeria and in most developing nations the problem is not designing beautiful programs for national development but implementing them. According to Thomas Poetter, we overlook the treasure in our very own backyard: our students. Student perceptions are valuable to our practice because they are authentic sources of first-hand experiences in our classrooms. As teachers, there is need to find ways to continually seek out these silent voices because they can teach us much about learning and learners (Poetter, 1997). Admittedly, there is more to teaching than feeling affection for children. Yet without love and an eagerness to serve schoolchildren well, teaching loses its heart. Moreover, when teachers forget that children come first, their students and society are in serious danger. Therefore, teachers in schools are both among the most powerful and the most stressed adults in the world. They are powerful because of their influence over young minds, and they are stressed because of the responsibilities that are of-ten out of proportion to their authority (Clark, 1995). The reality is that schools will change and develop only if the teachers within the institutions are empowered to develop themselves (Bayne-Jardine, 1994; Doyle & Hartle, 1985).
In Nigeria, reasonable preparations are made to improve teachers’ professional development through the establishment of colleges of education, both at the federal and state levels. Institutes of education and faculties of education in various universities are also established to provide effective and professional teacher education programs. In such institutions, students are trained to form habits that will help them become teachers capable of shouldering responsibilities, showing initiative and being good models for their future pupils.
Additionally, the National Policy on Education [NPE] (1989) Section 9, sub-section 65 states that at the National Certificate in Education (NCE) and degree levels, teacher education programs will be expanded to cater to the requirements of vocational, technical, and commercial education. The sub-section also recognizes the problems with Nigeria’s education system and the federal government’s promises to implement the commission’s recommendations by providing physical facilities and qualified staffs in schools. Sub-section 67 acknowledges the federal government’s willingness to direct the universities to work out a program to make it possible for suitable qualified holders of the National Certificate in Education (NCE) to complete a degree in education at the university in two years instead of the present three years. Sub-section 73 states that teacher education will continue to recognize changes in methodology and curriculum and with the promise that teachers will be regularly exposed to innovations in their profession; in-service training will be developed as an integral part of continuing teacher education. The NPE further argues in sub-section 74 that “No matter the efficiency of the pre-service training we give to teachers, there will necessarily be areas of inadequacies. In-service education for teachers will continue to fill these gaps. For instance, library service education, evaluation techniques, guidance and counselling, etc. will be systematically planned so that successful attendance at a number of such courses will attract incremental credit and/or count towards future advancement.”
1.2 Statement of Problem
Even with all these statements and programs in place, little has been achieved. However, the goal for which these moderate preparations were made has had no meaning because we have always expected that the products of these institutions will be employed to handle the instructional processes in our schools for which they are trained, yet incompetent teachers are still employed to carry out teaching. Educators in Nigeria (e.g., Adigwe, 1992; Odor, 1995) have argued that the falling educational standards can be attributed to the use of teachers who are unqualified for instructional purposes, including those with general education (academic) qualifications such as BSc. BA., MSc. and MA degrees etc. Those of us who care about education and how to best to improve its quality worry about this development in Nigeria.
It then follows that as Nigeria is in dire need of development, Nigerian teacher education programs are so important that all avenues should be explored in order to increase the soundness of the nation’s education system at all levels. In order for a nation to develop, its education must be based on a solid foundation and all facilities needed for enhancing any educational program must be provided. These include the recruitment of professional and academically qualified teachers who are interested in the educational development of the nation. A country can only develop significantly and attain greater heights in the committee of nations through a comprehensive teacher education pro-gram (Ololube, 1997; 2004). Teacher education should assume a more active social role in producing research, in debates and in teaching as this will pro-mote the development and general appreciation of the teaching profession. All teacher education and training must include content that helps teacher trainees to interpret and influence current phenomena in society, the economy, culture and working life. Prospective teachers must also gain an awareness of the ethical responsibility intrinsic to the teaching profession not only in theory but also through experience. The models assimilated during teacher education constitute a crucial basis for future work. Arguing the need for an effective teacher education program, Lawal (2003) indicated that skilled and effective teaching and learning are expected from professionally trained teachers. They are expected to employ the use of teaching aids to supplement other methods and manage and control their classes for effective learning. Hence, this study on accounting teacher’s competence and effectiveness in teaching in private schools in Yenagoa of Bayelsa.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The overall objective of this study is to analyse accounting teacher’s competence and effectiveness in teaching in private schools and in essence, improve teacher education in Nigeria. As a result of some inherent problems in the secondary school’s education, the need to establish whether higher academic qualification improves teacher job effectiveness is essential. Specifically, this study is designed to theoretically and empirically investigate the following research objectives:
1. To make a theoretical analysis of school effectiveness and accounting teachers’ academic and professional competencies.
2. To investigate the methodological competencies of accounting teachers and their role in improving instructional processes.
3. To investigate how accounting teachers’ motivational competencies, improve students and co-teacher’s ability to achieve educational objectives.
4. To examine if accounting teachers’ material utilization competencies assist students during learning.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated based on the objectives of this study. They are;
1. To what extent does higher academic qualification improve accounting teachers’ job effectiveness and competency?
2. To what extent does professional training of accounting teachers improve their effectiveness and competency on the job?
3. How do accounting teachers’ motivational competencies improve their job effectiveness?
4. What type of instructional processes do accounting teachers use to improve their effectiveness?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated for the purpose of the study:
1. There are no significant differences in job effectiveness between accounting teachers’ that have professional training and those without.
2. There are no significant differences in the effectiveness of professional and non-professional accounting teachers towards their methodological competencies.
3. There are no significant differences in the effectiveness of professional and non-professional accounting teachers towards their material utilization competencies.
1.6 Significance of Study
It is Yusuf’s (2002) view that the main objectives of teacher education are to develop awareness, knowledge, attitudes, and skills, evaluate ability and en-courage full participation in the teaching and learning process. Again, Lawal (2003) argued that adequate training is the best possible way teachers in Africa can move forward in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.
Clearly, it is believed in this study that experiences from other countries of the globe will offer increased insights on the importance of teacher education, and from these experiences Nigeria will learn “best practices” and realize the significance of teacher education in national development. This study could also help the Ministry of Education in Nigeria as well as those in other developing countries to effectively manage their teacher education programs. This study is undertaken with the belief in the premise that professionalism and academic training are two distinctive words and that both of them are necessary prerequisites for good job effectiveness. The kind of professional knowledge teachers require, the role of teachers in making this knowledge available to their col-leagues and students, and the impact of motivation on teachers’ job effective-ness are essential to educational development. Thus, this research has both practical and conceptual aims which would facilitate a broad understanding of the issues surrounding teachers’ job effectiveness in connection with their competencies in Nigeria.
Furthermore, in this circumstance, the need for strategic planning in education is essential to help revitalize the decaying teacher education program in Nigeria. It is against this background that this study points our attention towards empowering education planners and policy makers in Nigeria to learn from what is obtainable from other functioning teacher education programs around the world because insufficient planning has been identified as one of the most important factors hindering education productivity in Nigeria (Fafunwa, 1985). In the same vein, Hannele Niemi’s discussion of whether teachers have a future and the condition for teachers’ growth drew attention to the fact that teacher education and school administration are important forces for the empowerment of teachers and changing their status in society (Niemi, 1996).
1.7 Scope and Limitation of Study
This research study focuses on accounting teacher’s competence and effectiveness in teaching in private schools in Yenagoa of Bayelsa. The case study used for this research was Yenagoa of Bayelsa State.
This study was limited majorly by time and financial constraints, as the researcher had to access the study area and combine the writing of this work with other academic activities. However, this research study was successfully completed.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Teacher’s Competence: The ability of a teacher to communicate and transfer information to students understanding successfully or efficiently
Teacher’s Effectiveness: the degree to which teachers impart knowledge to students successfully to produce the right result of learning and education.
Private School: an independent school supported wholly by the payment of fees.
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