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AVAILABILITY OF QUALIFIED TEACHER IN EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN ENUGU EDUCATIONAL ZONE

 ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the factors hindering availability of qualified teacher in the effective teaching and learning of Mathematics courses in the Nigerian Secondary Schools. And also identifies ways by these factors responsible for the poor growth of Mathematics education can be reduced or eliminated. The population of study comprises of teachers and students in six selected secondary schools in Enugu educational zone area, Enugu State. The researcher used hand delivery and on the spot collection in administering the questionnaire. This was influenced by the delay and loss of questionnaires inherent mailing system. For the purpose of this study, a sample was randomly obtained from the population. Students possessed different experience on the basis of their various level of study. The study reveals that there is a poor attitudinal disposition to Mathematics courses. In his conclusion, this attitudinal variation subsequently affects the enrolment of candidates into Mathematics and technical education programme in Nigerian Secondary Schools. The study also found that there is a dearth of infrastructures in the Nigerian Secondary Schools, this and the luke warm attitude of government towards the educational sector is affecting the growth of Mathematics courses in the Nigerian Secondary Schools.

  

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Mathematics is considered by many people, institutions, and employers of labour, among others, as very important.  Mathematics is considered  indispensable because it has substantial use in all human activities including school subjects such as in Introductory technology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics including Agricultural science. Its unique importance explains why the subject is given priority as a school subject.  Infact, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) (2004) has also associated the learning of mathematics with basic preparation for adult life. Also, mathematics is used for analysing and communicating information and ideas to address a range of practical tasks and real-life problems (Gray and Tall, 1999). Again, employers in the engineering, construction, pharmaceutical, financial and retail sectors, have all expressed their continuing need for people with appropriate mathematical skills (Smith, 2005). This situation demands that every child should be included in mathematics instruction right inside the classrooms (Sydney, 1995; Hill, 2001), at the secondary school level of education.

There is ample evidence to show that all over the world, majority of Secondary School students’ performance in mathematics have been variously reported by individuals and group of persons to be generally poor.  For instance, at the international scene, the situation reported by the National Research Council in the late 1980s is of the view that students study of mathematics is getting worse worldwide especially with regard to the enrolment and performance of minority groups in mathematics/science courses (Ezeife, 2002).  Locally, similar reports on students’ poor performance on mathematics were noted (Chief Examiners’ report, 19932000; Raimi, 2001; Igbo, 2004; Aguele, 2004).  It is unfortunate that the general performance of students in mathematics has been observed to be poor (Agwagah, 2000; Ekele, 2002; Kurume, 2004). This situation cannot be allowed to continue escalating without proper check. Several reasons including (Usman and Harbor- Peters, 1998; Harbor- Peters, 2001; Ikeazota, 2002 and Igbo, 2004), have offered reasons for these consistent poor performance in mathematics. Some noted that it was associated with poor teaching of the subject (mathematics) by teachers. Specifically, accusing fingers have been pointed at the way mathematics is taught in schools, and the lack of relevance of mathematics content to the student’s real life experiences (Ezeife. 2002). Some reported that students detest mathematics, suggesting that the students are not working hard enough or learning the subject seriously. For instance, the inability of students to change to a thinking mode suitable for the particular problem, for example, to alter between a numeric, graphic, or symbolic form of representing mathematical ideas deterred them from solving a wide range of  mathematical problems (Tall, 2005).

Other researchers (Usman and Harbor- Peters, 1998; Unodiaku, 1998; an Aguele, 2004) have also examined the incidence of errors as determinant of students’ achievement in mathematics. Among these errors are the process errors committed by students while solving mathematical problems. Teaches inability to diagnose these process errors among other factors according to Harbor- Peters and Ugwu (1995); and Aguele ( 2004) has contributed to the poor performance of students in both internal and external examinations over the years. Therefore, if poor performance of the students in mathematics is to be halted, these errors or weaknesses relating to the process skills should be identified among JS 3 students for further learning of mathematics in SS1 level. It becomes necessary, therefore to investigate the students specific areas of weakness as indicated by the process errors they committed. The mathematics readiness test (MATHRET) indicates the frequency of these process errors, from which one can find out the extent students entering the senior secondary school possess the   knowledge of the Js 3 mathematics curriculum contents in readiness for senior secondary school mathematics work. This situation demands that a mathematics readiness test ( MATHRET) need to be developed with which to know whether the JS 3 students posses the background learning experiences that can enable them cope with SS1 mathematics work. Okonkwo (1998) developed and validated mathematics readiness test for JS 1 students. Also, Obienyem (1998) identified mathematical readiness levels of JS1 entrants. Both studies were centred on pupils of primary six intending to resume new mathematics programme in JS1 level. This and the paucity of instrument for determining the readiness level of JS 3 students intending to resume new mathematics programme in SS1 level and remedying mathematics deficiencies of Nigerian secondary school students and for the improvement of the teaching and learning of the subject motivated this researcher to develop and validate a mathematics readiness test for senior secondary school students.

Readiness is a condition, which reflects possession of particular subject-matter knowledge, or adequate subject-matter sophistication, for further or increasingly learning complex tasks (Ausubel, Navok and Harison, 1978).  More still, the quality of education received, in other words is a significant determinant of the pupils developmental readiness, as well as of subject- matter readiness, for further learining ( Ausubel, et al, 1978). Lack of readiness in a given task, therefore signals failure in such.  Moreso, when a pupil is prematurely exposed to a learning task before he is adequately ready for it, he not only fails to learn the task in question (or learns it with undue difficulty), but also learns on this experience to fear, dislike, and avoid the task (Ausubel, et al, 1978).  Thus, readiness becomes an essential factor in any learning, which involves acquisition of sequential skills (Gagne, 1967; Zylber, 2000). Lack of prerequisite skills in a given task invariably inhibits acquisition of subsequent related skills.  This is particularly so with

Mathematics (Igbo, 2004) because of the nature of its structure (Piaget, 1979), the sequential procedure used in its instruction (Gagne, 1962; 1968) and the hierarchical pattern of its organization (Igbo, 2004).  Thus, effective teaching and learning of Mathematics may achieve with reliable assessment of readiness as based on diagnostic information (the process errors students commit in solving mathematics problems).  Readiness test has been defined as test that determines the possession of prerequisite knowledge for further learning task (Ausubel, et al, 1978). Diagnostic test has been defined as test that analyzes and locates specific strengths and weaknesses and sometimes suggests causes (Burns, Roe and Ross, 1988). Achievement test on the other hand, measures what students have learned (Annie and Mildred, 1999), and so cannot determine students’ specific areas of strength and weaknesses (process errors). It becomes necessary to investigate the students’ specific areas of weaknesses as indicated by the process errors they committed. Process skills are thought processes that are related to cognitive development. They are commonly brought into use while performing mathematical operations. The errors resulting from the violation or wrong use of these skills are referred to as process errors (Payne and Squibb, 1990). Harbor- peters and Ugwu (1995) classified these errors which students commit in geometrical theorems as conceptual, logical, and drawn/ construction, translation and applied errors. Other researchers have also carried out investigation on the process errors students committed in some other aspects of mathematics. Some of these include inequalities (Isinenyi, 1990), longitude and latitude ( Ubagu, 1992), sequences and series ( Usman and Harbor- Peters, 1998) and simultaneous linear equations ( Unodiaku, 1998).

Secondly, curriculum goals or purposes, are indispensable elements in instructions as faras effective implementation of an already developed curriculum is concerned. Thirdly,the correct conception, investment of efforts and ultimate realization of the purposes of the curriculum will facilitate the realization of the overall aims of the Nigerian educational enterprise.

 

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Presently, junior secondary school students’ interest and academic achievement in mathematics is declining. Lemchi (2001) noted that some students are losing interest in the subject.

Attitudes associated with Mathematics appear to affect students’ performance in the subject. Also, many Mathematics teachers teach Mathematics without instructional materials and facilities (Mberengwa 2004). The quality of teachers, and class room facilities are grossly inadequate and obsolete. Owolabi et al. (1991) also indicated that a serious disconnection exists between Mathematics training in secondary schools and the needs of the labour market, as students that do not proceed to higher education have been found to be incompetent in the field of work. Where students consistently perform poorly, the implication is that adequate teaching and learning has not taken place in schools. Therefore, the problem of this study is to examine the availability of qualified teacher in the effective teaching and learning of Mathematics  in secondary schools in Enugu State.

 

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this study is to examine the availability of qualified teacher in the effective teaching and learning of Mathematics in Junior Secondary Schools in Enugu State, Nigeria. Specifically, this study sought to:

  1. Find out the extent to which students’ attitudes constitute availability of qualified teacher in the effective teaching and learning of Mathematics.
  2. Assess the extent to which teacher quality and quantity constitute teaching and learning of Mathematics.
  3. Find out the extent to which instructional materials enhance the teaching and learning of Mathematics.
  4. Determine the extent to which curriculum issues pose problems to the teaching/learning of Mathematics.

 

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. To what extent do attitudes of Enugu State Junior Secondary Schools Students constitute problems to the teaching of Mathematics?
  2. To what extent to teacher quality and quantity cause problems to the teaching of Mathematics?
  3. To what extent do instructional materials pose enhance to the teaching and learning of Mathematics?
  4. To what extent does curriculum enhance quality to the teaching and learning of Mathematics?

 

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study gives various insights into the challenges of availability of qualified teacher in the effective teaching and learning of Mathematics in junior secondary schools in Nigeria. These highlighted challenges will enable stakeholders in the education sector to take adequate measures in tackling these challenges, and make learning of mathematics a lot easier for both teachers and students in junior secondary school levels.

 

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study covers the availability of qualified teacher in the effective teaching and learning of Mathematics in Nigeria using Enugu state as a case study. Findings and recommendations for the study may not reflect the true view of the challenges of teaching mathematics in Nigeria, as the researcher could not cover a wider area in Nigeria due to time and financial constraints.

 

1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

There are some limiting factors that influence the researcher’s effort towards developing this work (project). The most prevailing being time factor as other school extra-curricula activities that had to be met with

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Mathematics is the "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Mathematics is most commonly recognized as the name of a course or set of courses taught in primary and secondary schools or elementary, middle, and secondary schools, but may also refer to the study of aspects of human society at certain post-secondary and tertiary schools around the globe. Many such courses are interdisciplinary and draw upon various fields, including sociology but also political science, history, economics, religious studies, geography, psychology, anthropology, and civics.

A challenge is a general term referring to things that are imbued with a sense of difficulty and victory.

Attached Files

AVAILABILITY OF QUALIFIED TEACHER IN EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN ENUGU EDUCATIONAL ZONE, ENUGU STATE..docx
THE ROLE OF RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS IN PROMOTING GIRL CHILD EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
FACTORS AFFECTING GIRL CHILD EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

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