An Examination Of the relationship which exists between students professional development and students academic performances
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1.1 Background to the study
The fact remains that education is the major reliable and portent for attainable growth and development in facets of human society.
It is perhaps against this background that past and current education reforms in Nigeria emphasized the need to provide for every citizen.
Nigeria as a developing nation seeking to become an active participant as well as a key play in the global community.
Certainly must put in place, effective education system powered by a sound national policy on education.
This is imperative in view of the fact that education is the bed rock of national survival, sustainable growth and development.
Teachers are the driving force in any educational system hence Teacher Education is the forum of education enterprise.
Reform in education therefore, need to consider the unique roles of teachers education in the nation’s education system.
Ganiyu(2008), stakeholder in Teacher Education Institutions such as College of Education and faculty of Education in University proprietors.
Teacher Educator as well as trainee teacher have crucial role to play in education process.
It is generally acknowledge that promoting teachers’ quality is a key element in improving education in Nigeria.
Indeed one of the primary goals of the Nigeria Educational Policy is education for all and to attain this goal in Nigeria a highly qualified teacher is needed in every school classroom.
Teachers’ Professional development according to Yemmy (2010) is a process engaged in to enhance the knowledge, skills attitudes of the teachers.
This implies the responsibility to create, preserve, evaluate and transmit knowledge through continuing education in Nigeria Learning Development program have the ingredient of fostering and preserving the scholarly values, curiosity and integrity to nurture these values through inculcation.
Chukwu (2009) states that basic aims of professional development are to improve quality of the teaching and learning as well as to improve the performances of those with teaching and management responsibilities.
So the ideas for academic development can be said to conceive from the organizations acknowledgement that efficiency and effectiveness to a large extent depend on training and re-training of the work force.
The teachers’ professional development on students’ academic performances not only depends on the school environment, but also the teachers as reflected in the performances of their duties.
The teachers as well as the students are essential in the teaching and learning process.
The extent to which students learning could be enhanced depends on the quality of the teachers’ handling their various subjects especially core subjects like English and Mathematics.
It is believed that a qualified and competent teacher will gear up the outcomes of education that will facilitate good social political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performances of the students.
It is crystal clear that secondary school education is an incontrovertibly pivot of the education system of any developing nation like Nigeria.
With the general awareness that the standard of academic performances achievement of secondary school students in West African Senior Secondary School Examination is falling, one wonders whether the responsibility ascribed to education as regards to nation building in not false after all.
The society is much apprehensive of this observed fall in students’ academic performances in the School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) and National Examination Council (NECO).
Hence, the prevalent hues and cries about the falling standard has evoked a lot of reaction and remarks form all stakeholders in education, even the National Assembly once invited the head of National Examination Council (NECO), Professor Dibu Ojerinde now the head in JAMB, to defend the poor result of students in the June/July 2009NECOExaminations.
According to the blue print, education is that process that helps to develop individual physically, mentally, morally, socially, politically and technologically, to enable him function effectively in any environment in which he/she may find himself.
The educational aim and objective to which the philosophy is linked are well documented in the policy.
Scholars continue to proffer different solution to curtail the problem of failure in Secondary Schools Education; the government only concerns itself with occasional fortification attempts.
Among the various reasons advanced as the cause of poor academic performances of students at this level of education according to George (2003) education is globally accepted as the most viable tool for sustainable human development, this is why the issue of poor academic performance of students’ in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even students themselves.
Now that various investigations of the problem have been carried out in the areas listed above, most researchers did not consider the importance of teachers as the most crucial factor next to students in any level of education.
Consequently, the suggestions and recommendations of researchers are yet to achieve the desired impact.
The situation persist unabated as Secondary School continue to turn out mediocre unfit for employment.
This situation begets the question whether there are no other parameters influencing this phenomenon.
While the factor listed above have been well studied and most of them are almost over- flogged, the effect of teachers’ professional development on students’ academic performances as a factor of efficiency and effectiveness have received little attention from researchers in the field of education.
This has therefore attracted the interest of the researcher to examine whether teachers’ professional development has any influence on students’ academic performances or not.
The aims and objectives of the National Policy on Education in Nigeria in 2016 are:
The 6th Edition of the National Policy on Education restates Nigeria’s National goals and the philosophy of education, specifies the goals and objectives education should defines.
The structure and strategies for required standards for its delivery management and for quality assurance. One of this edition highlights emphasizes improving teacher quality through professionalizing the teaching profession in Nigeria and the provision of more in-service training opportunity and other incentive for teachers.
It is therefore, understandable from the above listed National Policy on education that only a competent teacher can make it achievable.
Though the appointment and posting of teachers to schools are not within the control of the head teacher, head teachers therefore, have to make do with the school requires, such as loading a school with social studies teachers or religious studies teachers when is critical in need of science teachers (Ijaiya,2012).
In cases where the head teacher now uses his or her own discretion to appoint such teachers to take other subjects probably because the teacher has passed the subject in his or her O’ Level the teacher may not render quality service expected of a competent teacher in the subject to the student.
The politicization of teaching appointment and posting by government is doing a lot of harm to the educational system and can never allow the National Policy on Education to be realizable.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Many research works had been undertaking on teachers’ professional development.
Reforms of various kinds have taken place, for instance Adakai  focuses on influence of training and development of teachers.
On the other hand, the researcher did not discuss on students’ academic performances.
Avalos (2011), researches on teacher professional development in teaching and teacher education over ten years, emphasized that professional development of teachers is in practice and theory.
Hence, this research work would look into influence of teachers’ professional development on students’ academic performances in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
This research work is set out to establish the points and facts behind the professional development of teachers on academic performances of their students and also the influence of such training on the teachers themselves on skill acquisition.
To achieve efficient and effective teaching and learning the roles of teachers cannot be overestimated.
This is because the teacher holds the key to modernization in all its interpretation Obayan, (2002).
Emphasizing the importance of teachers’ professional development on students’ academic performances, it is asserted that teachers quality is an essential aspect of educational planning, unless school are well equipped with competent and qualified teachers, much teaching and learning activities may not take place.
The teaching and learning effectiveness is the paramount objective of the school system.
There has been a nationwide cry on problem facing education such as incompetence of teachers to impact knowledge into the students, poor performances on students’ academic in school.
This research work is set out to establish the points and facts behind the influence of teachers’ professional development on students’ academic performances and also the influence of such training on the teachers themselves on skill productivity and improvement
1.2 Research Questions
i. Does training of teachers have any effect on students’ academic performances?
ii. Does teachers’ profession development influence students’ academic performances?
iii. Does the teacher teaching method have any influence on students’ academic performances?
iv. Does the minimum teaching qualification have any impact on students’ academic performances?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses would be used to guide the study:
HO1 There is no significant relationship between teacher professional development and students’ academic performances in Secondary Schools in Kogi State.
HO2 There is no significant relationship between teacher qualification and students’ academic performances in Senior Secondary Schools in Kogi State.
HO3 There is no significant relationship between the teacher method of teaching and students’ academic performances in Senior Secondary Schools in Kogi State.
HO4 There is no significant relationship between teachers experience and students’ academic performances in Ijumu Secondary Schools of Kogi State.
HO5 There is no significant relationship between teacher competency and students’ academic performances in Ijumu Secondary Schools in Kogi State.
1.5 Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationship which exists between teachers’ professional development and students’ academic performances in Ijumu Secondary Schools in Kogi State, Specifically the purpose of the study includes:
i. To determine the level of teachers’ qualification on students’ academic performances in Ijumu secondary schools in Kogi State
ii. To examine the relationship that exist between teacher method teaching and student’s academic performances in Ijumu secondary schools Kogi State
iii. To examine the relationship that exists between teacher experience and students’ academic performances in Ijumu Secondary Schools Kogi State
iv. To examine the relationship between teachers competency and students’ academic performances in Ijumu Secondary School, Kogi State.
1.6 Significance of the study
It is hopes that the finding of this study would be of great benefits to different people.
First and foremost, it would empirically reveal the influence of teachers’ professional development on students’ academic performances in Ijumu Secondary Schools, Kogi State.
Secondly, it would be of immense benefit to the Ministry of Education and the Teaching Service Commission to make necessary policies that will regulate and control the employment of teachers into Secondary Schools in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, thereby ensuring that each teacher teaches a subject that he or she has actually studied at either the NCE or at the University level so that such teacher can be effective in his or her teaching subject.
Also it would be beneficiary to the government at various levels and other stakeholders in education in Nigeria to see the need to fully recognize teaching as a profession that requires professionalism.
The finding of this study would give insight to parents and the society at large on the importance of teaching as a profession that accord respect and dignity.
Lastly, the research work will be an eye opener for parents to know the importance of teacher competency and how it affects students’ academic performances.
Also it will guide the parents on how they employ the services of teachers who take their children in extra mural lessons.