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Background of the Study
Education has been described as the bedrock of every society and tool for nation building. It is also a means of preserving societal and cultural settings, plus the acquisition of skills that make members of the society useful to themselves and the society (Ehusani, 2002). Ehusani opined that the process of educating is to develop the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain of individuals and groups in order to equip them with knowledge and skills necessary to survive and make the society progress.
Education is the development of knowledge, skill, attitude, ability or character with the purpose of making life worth living (Ani 2000). This means that wholistic development of individual and society can be achieved through the process of education. Ani opined that the most valuable means to acquire education is through teaching, imitation or training. Education is the process of inculcating norms and values of a society from the teacher to the learner with the aim of making them functional members of the society. Durkheim (2001) defines education as the influence exercised by adult generations on those that are not yet ready for social life.
The objective of education is to stimulate and develop in the learner; the physical, intellectual and moral abilities. These are demanded of him by the society for which he is specifically destined to be part of. Onwuka (2011) defines education as the process by which people are acclimatized to the culture into which they are
borne in order that they may advance in it. He opined that education involves nursing and nurturing of an individual so that they will become a full fledged member of the society. Furthermore, he stated that it is the actualization of human potentials that the individual can become something more than what he was before or achieve more goals than before. In this context, education refers to the inculcation of formal or informal input in the development of innate potentials that make someone useful member in the society.
For quality education to be achieved in a nation, the principal actors of learning who are the teachers, learners and the environment must be cooperatively organized to achieve the aims of the society. The societal expectations of quality inputs from the training institutions makes the students central in any instructional program. The quality of staff in the school system presupposes the quality of the school output, which are the resources that will be available for the school to progress (Ochuba 2009). Ochuba stressed that in the school system, some determinants of high quality education include goals of education, quality of inputs as well as an organized school system that ensure the articulation and effective co-ordination of all aspect of school life.
The worth of any educational system as an investment lies in its capabilities to continuously serve its customers which are the students, parents, employers, labour or the society better and remain relevant. Ijayi (2009) maintained that educational planners are therefore faced with two main challenges: providing for quantity and for quality.
The concern for quantity and quality in the school system is that quantity through the admission of as many students as possible to school within the shortest time allowed should be assessed to ensure quality (Adegbesan, 2010). Adegbesan maintained that quality cannot be achieved without quantity which serves as an assessment. Ajayi and Adegbesan (2007) see quality as the totality of the features, such as a process, product or service on its performance. They maintained that it is not just a feature of a finished product or services but involves a focus on internal processes and output which includes the reduction of waste and the improvement of productivity. In order words, quality is the ability with which a process, product, service or phenomenon is in conformity with an established standard that makes it relatively superior to others. According to Eya and Chukwu (2012) quality in an educational system conforms to the established standard and appropriateness of the inputs available for system delivery. Quality in this context refers to maximum performance on education. It means the relevance and appropriateness of the educational programs to the needs of the society for which it is provided.
Quality input give rise to quality output. Quality input according to Ehindero (2004) is the systematic and continuous actions of an organization that lead to efficiency and better output. Ehindero stressed that organizational development is determined by the number of successful output produced to compete in the society. Eya (2011) defined quality input as the totality of the resources put into a system to bring out effective and efficient result. Eya maintained that in educational system, the students, the fees and other resources are combined to yield maximum output. In this
context, quality input refers to the totality of effort put into education such as finance, facilities and curriculum development to enhance the students’ academic performance and also ensure efficiency in the educational system. This notwithstanding, education remains the biggest industry for any nation in the world.
There has not been significant positive result in our educational system owing to defects in some major areas. Administrative system in our schools is nothing to write home about because of incompetent school administrators. The principal is the executive head of secondary schools in Nigeria (Oboegbulem and Onwurah 2011). They stressed that one of the most important functions of the secondary school principal is the structuring of the school for purpose of instruction. The ugly development arising from poor administration has put the secondary education on the backward stage.
Another indicator for this decline in the school system is in the area of teaching and learning. This has to do with teachers and students. Evidence of wastage abounds among the teaming population of students who repeat the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination every year. According to West African Examination Council (WAEC), a total number of 1,692,435 students took their 2014 examination in Nigeria. Out of this number, only 529,425 passed, representing 31.28% of the population. This is indeed a massive failure. Parents who can afford it are now taking their children to private schools where they hope to receive quality input while the poor ones are left out in the public schools because they have no other choice than to cope with the bad situation.
Leadership is indispensable in any organization especially in the school system because of its far reaching effects on the accomplishment of organizational goals. School leadership according to Oboebgulem and Onwurah (2011) is the process through which school heads influence their followers to act for certain goals that represent the values, needs, aspirations and expectations of both leaders and followers. Oboegbulem and Onwurah stressed that those occupying leadership positions especially in schools such as principals should be aware that their personality influences their leadership effectiveness. Ikediugwu (2001) defines school leadership as a process in which intention influenced is exerted by the school heads over other people (the teachers and students) to structure and facilitates the activities and relationship in the group or organization. Ikediugwu opined that in a school system, the principal is expected to posses the necessary leadership skills which will enable him or her perform comfortably. In this context, school leadership involves a process of influencing, directing, and acquiring normative personal characteristics power and coordinating groups’ activities to make individuals which are the staff and students in the school to strive willingly towards the attainment of organizational goals. The attainment of these objectives according to Ikediugwu rests not only on the school principals but on teachers and the facilities in schools.
In Nigeria school system, the quality of education obtained is focused on teachers’ development. Ijayi (2004) defines teachers’ professional development as a process of the teacher being upgraded in knowledge, skills and ability in order to perform creditably in teaching and learning. Ijayi stressed that teachers are developed
through regular attending of workshops, seminars and conferences on new teaching techniques. Ochuba (2009) opined that teachers who attend conferences and seminars perform well than teachers who don’t attend workshops and seminars. Ochuba further stressed that in the school system, teachers’ output were determined through experiences gathered during workshops and seminars. This therefore means that students’ cannot perform well in their examination or in other areas except if the teacher served them fully. No wonder, Federal Republic of Nigeria in her National Policy on Education (2004) reiterated that no education system can arise above the quality of its teachers. Therefore, teachers’ professional development in this context is the process of upgrading the potentials of the teachers that will help them perform better in teaching and learning.
Effective teaching and learning process require quality assurance in respect to availability of teachers and students academic performance. In most public secondary schools, teachers are not adequate which affect students’ academic performance (Arikewugo 2004). Arikewugo further stressed that availability of teachers are needed to facilitate effective teaching and learning in an educational institution. Adequacy of teachers according to Ene (2000) is the process of providing the required number of teachers in school to achieve greater output. Ene maintained that adequacy of teachers, work hand in hand with the academic standard which is an index of quality assurance in the school system. For Earthman (2002) competent teachers, comfortable classroom temperature and smaller classes enhance teachers’ effectiveness and provide opportunities for students to receive more individual attention. Earthman
further stressed that students in comfortable classroom temperature and standard of facilities ask questions, participate fully in discussions, reduce disciplinary problems and perform better than students in school with substandard facilities and inadequate teachers. Adequacy of teachers in this context refers to the availability of required number of teachers in school to ensure output maximization on students’ academic performance.
Facilities in most public secondary schools are dilapidated. According to Ikediugwu (2001), some public secondary schools are dilapidated and needs attention. Ikediugwu stressed that the quality of facilities available within an educational institution has positive relationship with the quality of teaching and learning process which in turn leads to the attainment of set goals. Facilities according to Ikediugwu (2001) are those things in the school such as laboratories, libraries, computers and seats among others that make school system livable and effective. He stressed that without these, the school system will not achieve its aims. Adegbesan (2010) defines facilities as those components that are used in school in both teaching and learning processes.
Facilities are in different categories. Adegbesan observed that school facilities are divided into two parts: the tangible, non movable structures like classrooms, football field, library and fish pond. While the movable ones are equipments use in the classroom such as seats, tables, computers, chalk boards among other things. Adegbesan further stressed that with the availability of the above facilities, that the academic standard in schools will be achieved. In this context, facilities means all the
components and equipments used in school that help in achieving the objective of the school.
Learning is a connection between response and stimuli. A good learning environment reinforces the efforts of the teacher by providing a good stimulus for effective teaching and learning, (Agbo, 2011). Agbo stressed that such a stimulus is not only provided by ensuring good physical plant planning but also through proper maintenance of such physical facilities.
A good school environment where good working facilities exist is a catalyst for effective teaching and learning. Akhtars (2010) asserted that a good school environment presents learning as a lifelong enterprise and enables students to discover appropriate value system for their self-awareness and national consciousness. He stressed that teaching through technology based learning environment enhances the achievement level of the students. Furthermore, he emphasized that creating good school learning environment will require substantial financial resources and allocation from the national budget, a strong political commitment by government to ensure equity and universal access to education. Therefore, a call to establish quality assurance has been the major focus that will ensure the availability of all these facilities and thereby improve students’ academic performance.
Quality assurance is very important in educational system. According to Aguba (2003) quality assurance is the set of activities that an organization undertakes to ensure that a product or service will satisfy given requirement for quality. This implies that standards are specified and reached consistently for a product or service.
Aguba stressed that the goals of quality assurance are focused on the anticipation and avoidance of faults or mistakes. He emphasized that, this process basically involves setting attainable standards, organizing work and monitoring performance. This will ensure that objectives are achieved as well as ensuring the documentation of procedures required in communicating to all concerned in order to review the attainment of standards. Harvey (2008) viewed quality assurance as the process of ensuring effective resource input, control, refining the process and raising the standards of output in order to meet the set goals and satisfy public accountability. Ayeni (2010) described quality assurance as the systematic management, monitoring and evaluation of performance of school administrators, teachers and students towards attaining educational goals. It also ensures consistent documentation, review and decision towards quality improvement in institutional management, teaching and learning processes for the achievement of set standards in schools.
This conception raises the issue of promoting a value system in the institutional management which emphasizes production of quality learners’ outcome in the teaching-learning process. Ijaiya and Adegbesan,(2007) asserted that quality assurance is the ability of the schools to meet certain criteria relating to academic matters, staff-students ratios, staff development, physical facilities, funding and adequate library facilities. Oladipo (2010) on the other hand, opined that quality assurance in the educational system refers to the ability of the educational institutions to meet the expectations of the users of manpower in relation to the quality of skills
acquired by their outputs. This will be done by using quality assurance strategies to achieve these objectives.
Quality assurance strategies include monitoring, inspection, supervision and evaluation. The implementation of these strategies would ensure that teachers’ deliver what ought to be. In this context, quality assurance refers to the activities that are conducted in order to maintain a quality level of achievement and high rate of students’ academic performance.
Academic performance is measured by examination or continuous assessment. However, there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important. Ocho (2001) defines academic performance as examination performance on students. He stressed that academic performance refers to what the students have learned or what skills the students has learned and is usually measured through assessments like standardized tests, performance assessment and portfolio assessments. The descriptive assessment information is usually translated through grading system such as grade point average (GPA). Hoyle (2000) argued that schools are established with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills to those that pass through them for enhancing good academic performance.
The academic head teachers and quality assurance committee are concerned about those who do not perform well. This is so because if poor performance goes unchecked, the schools may lose its reputation, which may result in loss of confidence. Ene (2003). In this context, academic performance refers to the rate in
which students perform in their examinations and other extra-curricular activities in the school system.
The depreciation of quality assurance in public secondary schools is undoubtedly the major cause that led to the emergence of private schools (Olayemi 2001). Olayemi however noted that secondary education is school a child receives after primary education before tertiary education. Ani (2002) opined that secondary education is an education a child receives after primary school which will enable him or her prepare fully for tertiary levels. Ogbonnaya (2009) further stated that in secondary education, there are public and private schools. Ogbonnaya maintained that public secondary schools are schools that are owned and funded by government while private secondary schools are schools owned and funded by individuals.
Public secondary schools in Nigeria are owned and managed by government. Public schools according to Oboegbulam and Onwurah (2011) are schools that are run and managed by the government. They held that public secondary schools are schools that are maintained at public expenses; for the education of the children of a community or district, and constitutes a part of a system of free public education. Agbo (2010) stated that in recent years, public secondary schools are divided into two: the ones that are managed and funded by government and ones that are managed by the mission and funded by government. In Enugu state for example, some public secondary schools are managed by the mission. These are schools established by the mission and now funded by the government. Agbo concluded that if the government
will hand over the whole public schools to the mission, they will perform better than their private counterpart.
Public secondary schools in Enugu education zone have suffered a great menace. This can easily be seen on the poor performance of students in both internal and external examination. Based on the foregoing, the researcher is interested in finding out the relationship between quality assurance and students academic performance in public secondary schools in Enugu education zone.
Statement of Problem
School effectiveness and the level of students academic performance has been seen to center mainly on quality assurance in school administration. It is very unfortunate that students in public schools face a lot of challenges competing with their private school counterparts. From external examinations to other academic competitions; students in public schools have recorded massive failures in recent times. The complexities in educational system which led to the use of modern techniques in teaching and learning have made it imperative for teachers to attend workshops and seminars to improve their teaching method. Quality assurance which is the key tool for ensuring the employment of qualified teacher and the availability of facilities that are needed to ensuring that students’ perform better in academics have not yet fully instituted in Enugu education zone which is the heartbeat of public secondary schools in Enugu State.
Consequently, low or poor quality input has constituted a problem to the fact that students are no more finding it easy to cope with their private school counterparts
in global competitions, and choose to transfer from public to private schools where teachers are more developed, adequate facilities and proper management have been guaranteed. Therefore, the problem of this research work can be formed into question: how is quality assurance correlated to student’s academic performance in public secondary schools in Enugu education zone?
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study was to find out the relationship between quality assurance and students academic performance in public secondary schools in Enugu education zone. Specifically, the study sought to:
a. Determine the relationship between school leadership and students’ academic performance.
b. Examine the relationship between availability of teachers and students’ academic performance.
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