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THE INFLUENCE OF HUMAN RESOURCES ON STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN PUBLIC SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN EDUCATION DISTRICT
Students’ academic performance is of great importance in the educational institution. It is the basis for judging the quality of output vis – a – vis the input in the educational institution. One major input which can largely influence academic performance of students is human resources. The influence of human resources on students’ academic performance is thus the interest in this study. In order to carry out this study, Lagos State Education District IV Sabo-Yaba was randomly selected out of the six educational districts in Lagos State. Ten schools were selected from the educational district using the simple random sampling technique. Then twenty teacherswere selected from each school making a total of 200 teachers to be used for the study. The teachers’ questionnaire which is divided into four parts was use to collect data for the study. Analysis of the data collected revealed that a good percentage of the teachers used for the study are qualified teachers and the years of teaching experience significantly influence students’ academic performance. Furthermore, a negative relationship was observed between teacher – student ratio and academic performance.This result implies that stakeholders in education should not comprise in the employment of qualified and experienced teachers. They should however work hard at reducing the teacher – student ratio because of it negative effect on students’ academic performance.
Keywords: Human Resources, academic performance, teacher – student ratio
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is a very important human activity. It helps any society to fashion and model individuals in order to function well in their environment. According to Boit, Njoki and Chang’ach (2012), the purpose of education is to equip the citizenry to reshape their society and eliminate inequality. In particular, secondary education is an important sector in national and individual development. It plays a vital role in creating a country’s human resource base at a level higher than primary education (Achoka, Odebero, Maiyo and Mualuko, 2007). Provision of quality secondary education is therefore important in generating the opportunities and benefits of social and economic development (Onsumu, Muthaka, Ngware and Kosembei, 2006). One of the indicators of quality of education according to United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2005) is cognitive achievement of learners. Adediwura and Tayo (2007) opined that, academic achievement is designated by test and examination scores or marks assigned by the subject teachers.
The Human Resources (HR) of an organization consist of all staff (teaching, managerial, and technical/support staff) engaged in any of the organization’s activities. It is well-recognized that the human resources of any school are its most valuable asset (Achieng, 2012). Despite the scarcity of resources, there is the need to expand and reform the educational system and ensure its quality in meeting the popular demand. Of the human resources required for the production function of the school system, teachers are the most vital. This is because they play great facilitative role in the teaching – learning process. According to (Adeyemi and Akposheri, 2009), in spite of the advancement in science and technology, the teacher is not yet displaced in the classroom nor has his important role diminished. Teachers seem to have profound influence in the social – cultural development of their society, since they influence many values directly or indirectly to their students. No wonder (Chukwu , 2003), (Famade, 2003),(The National Policy on Education, 2006), (Ibukun, 2009) and (Okebukola, 2010) identified teachers’ quality and dedication as significant predictors of quality of education. The success of any organization is a resultant effect of quantity and quality of its working force. Ibukun as cited in (Adegbemile, 2011) opined that teacher holds the key to nation building. The aspiration of any nation to transform into a greater country can only be possible if there are competent and dedicated teachers to impact the appropriate attitude skills and knowledge.
This is particularly true in learning institutions, where the people required to do the core work of the organization are highly trained individuals. In this study, the focus will be on the teaching staff, with no less regard to the role played by the sub-ordinate staff in ensuring good academic performance of students such as preparing their meals in time, transporting them during academic performance enhancing tours, typing and producing their assessment tests and arranging their laboratories and libraries.
In the United States, a study conducted by Motoko, Akiba, Gerald Letendre and Scribner (2004), revealed that the countries with better teachers’ quality produced higher academic achievement. These analyses provide empirical, cross-national evidence of the importance of investing in teachers’ quality for improving national achievement. Consequently, human resources management in education implies effectively coordinating the activities of staff, students and parents so as to achieve educational aims and objectives (Adeniyi, 2004). The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) clearly spells out the broad responsibilities of managing schools as employment, promotion, deployment and discipline of teachers among others.
Successive governments in Nigeria have made efforts towards the effective management of human resources in educational institutions. The importance of human resources management
has been stated but there is not much information on its relationship with the academic performance of students in secondary schools. For secondary schools to achieve high performance in the public examinations there is the need to recruit qualified teachers, secure modern buildings, adequate facilities and equipment should be provided to enhance teaching and learning while supervision of teaching is carried out for quality control. Other bodies that could influence students’ academic performance are administrators, managers, guidance counselors, Parents Teachers Association (PTA), curriculum specialist, funding agencies, non –teaching staff, inspectors and examination boards (Osagie and Okafor, 2012).
Any organization that does not plan for its human resources will often find that it is meeting neither the personnel requirement nor its over-all goals effectively. For example, a school may decide to introduce new subjects into its school curriculum. If the school does not make adequate arrangements for the teachers to handle these new subjects, the subjects will remain on the time table without being taught. To further buttress this point, when the federal government launched the 6:3:3:4 system of education, it spent huge financial resources on equipment for technical education. However, the human resources required to operate the equipment were not considered. Consequently, the equipment were left to rot in the rain and many of the equipment were eventually stolen by hoodlums (Osagie and Okafor, 2012).
With regards to the current educational policy, the supervision of instruction is the process of overseeing the work of teachers with the aim of assisting them to solve their instructional problems so that students can benefit maximally from classroom activities (Igwe, 2005). This can be effected with the involvement of the principal or any other official appointed by interacting with teachers and students in the classroom regularly to monitor the teaching and learning process. Nwagwu (2004), argued that the supervisor has the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating all staff activities and programs of their organization. The major reason for this is to ensure dutiful compliance of all staff with established laws and declared goals through quality assurance, maintenance of standards and quality control. This view is in line with the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) which declared that supervision is a device for quality control. The goals of the school can be achieved through the continuous supervision of the teaching staff and the non- teaching staff.
The evaluation of staff is conducted as it determines their performance, in as much as it also determines the academic performance of students. For example, in the study by Akposheri (1994), she found out that there was significant relationship between teachers who were highly rated during evaluation and the academic performance of students. However, Okafor (2006) submitted that in the performance evaluation of staff, care should be exercised to ensure that it is the performance and not the personality of the employees that are evaluated.
Secondary school not only occupies a strategic place in the educational system in Nigeria, it is also the link between the primary and the university levels of education. According to Asikhai (2010), education at secondary school level is supposed to be the bedrock and the foundation towards higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in a country. It is rather unfortunate that the secondary schools today are not measuring up to the standard expected of them. There have been public outcry over the persistently poor performance of secondary school students in public examinations. According to Nwokocha and Amadike (2005), academic performance of students is the yardstick for testing educational quality of a nation. Hence, it is expedient that students in secondary schools in particular maintain a high performance in internal and mostly external examinations.
The problem of downward trend in academic performance of students has often been attributed to a number of factors among which are: the principal’s leadership style, teachers’ quality, home factors, government factors and non-provision of educational resources (human, material, financial and physical resources). However, this study is limited to the provision of human resources and students’ academic performance in secondary school. The availability of educational resources (human and material) is very important because of its role in the attainment of educational objectives. Human resources is a unique educational input necessary for the overall development of skill acquisition and literacy of the students. Human resources within the educational system can be classified into teaching and non-teaching staff (Ekundayo, 2009). Availability of these resources is needful to achieve excellence in the system. However, it has been observed that secondary schools in Lagos State do not have the required number of teachers both in terms of quantity and quality (Ekundayo, Haastrup, Timilehin, Alonge and Hezekiah, 2010). This is evident in high student-teacher ratio in the schools.
A close look at the schools in Nigeria and what goes on there shows that nothing good can come out of most public schools as they do not have facilities and adequate and appropriate human resources to prepare candidates for West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations (Owoeye and Yara, 2011). Studies on the relationship between availability of human resources and academic performance have shown that human resources enhance academic performance of students. Adedeji (1998), Ayodele (2000), Adewuyi (2002) and Okandeji (2007) had in their various researches submitted that teachers constitute a very significant factor to students’ academic success.
In a similar dimension, Adedeji (1998), Owoeye (2000), Ajayi (2002), Akomolafe (2003, 2005) and Owoeye (2011) also submitted a positive relationship between material resources in schools and students’ academic performance. According to Hallack (1990), the material resources that contribute to students’ academic performance include classrooms, accommodation, libraries, furniture, apparatus and other instructional materials.
It can be inferred from the literature so far that human resources have positive significant relationship with academic performance. This study therefore attempts to analyze the various components of human resources in school in terms of qualification, teacher-student ratio and years of teaching experience of teachers as a determinant of student’s academic performance.
1.2 Problem Statement
Secondary school students’ academic performance in public examinations of recent is one of the major means by which the general public judges the products from secondary schools in Nigeria. This being the case, Nigeria has not fared favorably well in her attempt to providing quality education to her citizens (Ibukun, Oyetakin, Akinrotimi, Akinfolarin and Ayandoja, 2012). Factors such as motivation, leaders supervision, quality and quantity of teaching staff and materials, have influence on students’ academic performance (Ibukun et al, 2012). The problem of downward trend in academic performance of students has often been attributed to a number of factors among which are the principal’s leadership style, teachers’ quality, home factors, government factors and non-provision of educational resources (human, material, financial and physical resources) Ekundayo et al (2010). However, this study is limited to the provision of human resources and students’ academic performance in secondary schools. Disparities in performance continued to be noticed as one of the many challenges facing education. These variations had raised a lot of concern as the government expenditure on education was not only aimed at increasing enrolment but also ensuring that academic performance was improved in these institutions at minimum cost. The problem of this study therefore is that of poor academic performance of students in secondary schools which could be attributed to the factors associated with human resources.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study focuses on the following objectives;
1 To determine the relationship between teachers’ qualifications and students’ academic performance in secondary school in Education District IV of Lagos State.
2 To establish whether there is a relationship between teachers’ years of teaching experience and students’ academic performance in the public secondary school in Education District IV of Lagos State.
3 To determine the relationship between teacher – student ratio and students’ academic performance in public secondary school in Education District IV of Lagos State.
4 To make suggestions for improved planning and management of teachers that would facilitate teaching and learning and lead to higher productivity in the public secondary schools Education District IV of Lagos State.
1.4 Research Questions
This study would seek to answer the following questions.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho1. Status of teachers’ supply in terms of qualification have no influence on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State.
Ho2. Teachers’ years of teaching experience have no influence on students’ academic performance in the public secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State.
Ho3. There is no significant relationship between teacher- student ratio and students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The importance of this study cannot be over emphasized considering the fact that without adequate human resources, excellent students’ academic performance cannot be achieved. The findings of this study will serve as a contribution to existing literature and add knowledge in the subject area. The findings from this study will assist educational administrators as well as school administrator in preventing brain drain in the public secondary schools especially in secondary schools of Education District IV of Lagos State. Also, this study will be of help to the government in the area of teachers’ recruitment and retention. Moreover, the study will go a long way in assisting educational administrators in drawing up a comprehensive human resource policy and programs in the education sector.
In addition, the result of this study will assist educational managers, administrators, and technocrats in the formulation and execution of educational policy towards the attainment of the overall educational goals and objectives.
1.7 Delimitations of the Study
The study is restricted to secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State. It is delimited to teachers’ qualification, experience and teacher – student ratio in secondary schools since they were believed to have a greater influence on the students’ academic performance compared to other individuals making up the school human resources. Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on students’ academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with the students (Afe 2001)
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The study might be limited by a number of factors beyond the control of the researcher. Lack of reliable data or information from the participants might also pose limitation to the scope of study in that the participants might give false opinion which might affect the finding of the study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
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