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SUPERVISION AND QUALITY INSTRUCTION IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This study was aimed at examining the relationship between supervision and quality of instruction in secondary schools in Lagos state. In order to achieve this, five research questions and hypotheses were postulated to guide the study. A descriptive research design was adopted in the study. 200 teachers from five selected schools constituted the sample for the study. They were selected through the method of random sampling. A researcher-designed and validated questionnaire was used to obtain relevant information from the sample. Descriptive statistics was used to analyse the research questions while inferential statistics Chi- square (X2) was used to test the five hypotheses. Based on the analysis, the findings were: Adequate supervision has a significant relationship with the quality of education. Teachers’ level of education has significant relationship with quality of education. Inadequate instructional materials have significant effect on quality of education. Students’ attitude towards learning has relationship with quality of education. Parental responsibility has significant relationship with quality of education. Consequent upon these, a conclusion was drawn and some recommendations were made.
Background to the Study
It is a known fact that education is the instrument for economic empowerment and development of sustainable economy. Little wonder, one of the national education goals is “the acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competencies as equipment for the individual to live and contribute to the development of the society” (FRN, 2004). Nwangwu, (2007) opines that what children learn, retain and practice after leaving school has direct impact on the nation’s competencies and skills. What is learnt both formally and informally, thus, determines the individual’s ability to contribute to national development. According to Aghenta (2006), trained or educated human resources constitute manpower and personnel that bring about national development. It, therefore, means that the quality of education received by the citizens determines the level of development of any nation.
The Nigerian school system is increasingly challenged with many complex problems. There is a general outcry that the standards of education are falling and morals are flagging (Ayeni, 2012). Some blame students for this apparent decline in the quality of education and moral values. A thoughtful few think that it is due to the nature of changes in all directions. Majority blame the teachers for the woes in our schools. They claim that the present day teachers are not as devoted and dedicated to the cause of education as their predecessors were. Teachers, as a group, blame parents and the children. They also blame government for unattractive conditions of service and poor educational facilities in some parts of the educational system. This research project intends not to put the blame on the educational policy or on the system (Arong and Ogbadu, 2010). The research does not even think that the children, the parents, the teachers and the poor educational facilities are responsible for the declining quality of education in the country. What the research wants to make vivid to all is that, the whole blame should be on the lack of adequate educational supervision in our educational system especially at the public senior school levels. Besides the educational supervision factors, the research sees corruption or lack of integrity on the part of some education stake holders as another major factor responsible for the declining quality of education in the country. Two facts concerning education in the country are very evident. These facts are: Only very few are aware of the value or importance of education in the nation’s development and only very few are aware of the real magnitude of the decline in the quality of education in the country, with special reference to selected schools in Lagos state.
Education is the bedrock of any nation’s development. It gives men the tools to navigate their way through the world. What joy do parents experience to see their children acquire qualitative education? It is appalling to discover nowadays that the quality of education today (most especially in Lagos state, the case study of this research work) is low. The quality of education from the primary up to the tertiary levels has significantly fallen. The products of primary schools are unable to write their own names just as products of the secondary schools are unable to copy down notes on the chalkboards with correct spellings (Ayeni, 2012; Aghenta, 2006). It is equally unbearable to hear products of our tertiary institutions turned into glorified secondary schools graduates. Some graduates find it difficult to write standard formal letters for employment. There is no doubt that the quality of our education has evidently fallen generally.
It will not be an overstatement to say that if there is any issue which bothers, burdens and is most often debated among educational stake holders and the generality of Nigerians today, it is the issue of declining quality of education. African News, V.O.A of 15th February, 2009 reported that only 20% of Nigerian graduates have quality (sound) education to make them compete for jobs in the labour market; the remaining 80% do not have sound education. The idea of who to blame occupies the heart of the generality of Nigerians, most especially the educationists. While many media writers blame the teachers for the problem, others blame the students and their parents for lack of discipline in the home. A larger percentage put the blame squarely on government (FRN, 2004). No matter the dimension one takes, it will not be an easy task to unveil the circumstances surrounding the declining quality in education.
The need to improve the quality of education is high on the agenda in most countries, in the developed as well as the developing world. The increasing emphasis on the achievement of pupils has led countries to focus more on the functioning of schools and on the performance of teachers, as well as on the ways these can be monitored and improved (UNESCO/IIEP, 2011).
In almost all countries, the main actor in charge of controlling and supporting schools and teachers is the school supervision service. The actions of supervisors are expected to contribute to quality improvement. However, regularly the effectiveness of this service is questioned on its functioning and criticised by decision-makers and schools. The criticisms relate, among other things, to the regularity of supervision visits, to the insufficient follow-up on reports and to the lack of impact of supervision on the quality of teaching and learning. Several countries, therefore, have undertaken significant reforms in order to transform school supervision into a genuine quality improvement service (UNESCO/1IEP, 2011).
This attention to schools and teachers’ supervision and support finds an additional justification in the present trend towards increased school autonomy. Teachers themselves, once in the classroom, have always had a significant level of autonomy. But recently, in many countries around the world, schools have received more freedom in making decisions in fields as crucial as the curriculum, staff management or the budget (FRN, 2004). The ability of schools to use this increased freedom effectively will depend to a large extent on the support services on which they can rely, while supervision may be needed to guide them in their decision-making.
This study intends to examine impact of supervision on the quality of instruction in senior secondary schools with reference to Oshodi-Isolo Local Development Area of Lagos state.
Statement of the Problem
The problem of declining quality of education can be attributed to lack of adequate educational supervision: this is a major factor. The outcome of lack of adequate supervision is, for example, as a result of the following factors which contribute to the declining quality of education: Lack of qualified teachers, lack of instructional materials, dearth of library facilities, pupils’ attitude towards learning, inadequate remuneration to teachers, parental responsibility, misplaced priority and corruption or lack of integrity among some educational stake holders.
In addition, most head teachers do not meaningfully supervise and evaluate teachers, plan and co-ordinate curriculum actively, manage innovation and change or spend time in classroom. On the other hand, according to Maranga (1993), inspectors visit to schools are sporadic; and in cases where inspections are carried out, the inspectors are more ignorant than the teachers on how to handle certain curriculum issues. Schools continue to experience shortage of teachers, poor performance, low rate of retention and completion and indiscipline among teachers and pupils (UNESCO, 2005).
Nevertheless, Anukam (2009) opined that the nation is finding ways of improving supervision of schools in the wake of assumed falling standard of learning, increased school enrolment, and increased recruitment of unqualified teachers. The study will emphasize the importance of supervised instruction in schools as correlate of students ‘positive’ academic performance.
The problem of the study arose from the background information that the field of supervised instruction has been duly neglected for one reason or another in the midst of modern complications of the secondary school. Adesina (2008) was of the opinion that schools have not been regularly visited by inspectors of the Ministry of Education and when inspection is done, it is far from being thorough. Inspection reports are hardly made available, and there are no follow-ups that would ensure that the weaknesses identified have been corrected.
Knowing that the principals of schools and inspectors from the Ministry of Education are meant to be instructional leaders, it therefore becomes imperative to conduct a comparative study on instructional supervisory roles of these two key instructional leaders and see if there is any relationship between their supervisory roles.
However, this research tends to fill the gap between effective supervision and quality of instruction in public senior secondary schools in Lagos state.
Objectives of the Study
This study is aimed at examining the impact of effective supervision on the quality of instruction in senior secondary schools in Lagos state. Subsequently, the following are the objectives of the study:
In this study, attempt will be made to provide answers to the following questions.
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.
Significance of the Study
The study is meant to be beneficial to all stake-holders of our educational system as it would have been if there had been adequate educational inspection and supervision. The following however, are meant to benefit from the research:
It will benefit teachers, government, pupils and students as well as the society at large. Educational planners will stand to benefit; the pupils and students will be able to learn effectively and intelligently; the government will try to prioritize education projects by funding them; teachers will improve on themselves by acquiring necessary professional skills, even as good remuneration for them is being worked out; the schools will begin to excel in their examinations; the quality of education will be highly improved; corruption will be reduced and some with proven integrity will be raised higher.
Scope of the Study
The study focuses on adequate educational supervision, instructional materials, pupils’ attitude to learning, parental responsibility towards quality education, qualified teachers and declining quality of education.
The scope of the study will cover only selected public senior secondary schools in Oshodi-Isolo local council development area of Lagos state. The research work is limited to Lagos state, Nigeria.
More so, the study seeks to determine the relationship that exists between school supervision and quality of instruction in Lagos state public senior school.
Definition of Terms
In the course of study, certain words are used to describe certain situations and the meanings of these words are given below:
Supervision: This refers to a way of advising, guiding, refreshing, encouraging, stimulating, improving and over-seeing certain groups in the hope of seeking their cooperation in order for supervisors to be successful in their tasks of supervision.
Quality Instruction: This aims at promoting improvements in standards, quality and attainment in academic achievement through first-hand and independent evaluation.
Performance: This is described as the net wealth after subtracting the inputs (the activities of processing work) from the outputs or final results.
Language:This is referred to as the system of human expression by means of word; a particular system of words used to express meaning or feelings.
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