1.1 Background of the Study
Education is the total process of human learning by which knowledge is imparted, facilities are trained and skills are developed. Secondary schools not only occupy a strategic place in educational system in Nigeria, it is also the link between the primary and the university levels of education. It is rather unfortunate that secondary schools today are not measuring up to the standards expected of them. There have been public outcries over the persistent poor performance of secondary school students in external examination especially in English language.
According to Nwokocha and Amadike (2005) academic performance of students is the yardstick for testing the educational quality of a nation. Hence, it is expedient to maintain a high performance in internal and mostly external examinations. English language plays a number of roles in the socio-economic, political and cultural development of Nigeria society.
The pattern of failure has however, shown that the phenomenon appears to be higher in some schools than it is in other schools. A number of factors have been linked to the causes but more relevant is the issue of qualification and strategies of teaching of the teachers. This is more important because in the business of teaching and learning, teachers offer only what they have, you cannot offer what you don’t have.
Teacher competence and teacher qualify are concepts that are often referred to and frequently applied in different educational contents. Whitty (1996) identifies professional competence which includes knowledge and understanding of children and their learning, subject knowledge, curriculum, the education system and the teacher’s role professional competence also necessitates skills such as subject application, classroom methodology, classroom management, assessment and recording and undertaking a wider role.
The importance of teachers cannot be over stressed. This is because teachers play a number of roles specifically, teachers have been referred to by Oyedeji (1988) as an agent of innovation for meaningful innovations, teacher’s academic qualification is very important. This is because education is a very complex enterprise.
The qualification of teachers involved in teaching and learning has a great impact on the performance of students in English language in external examinations. In addition to the teacher factors, a good or an effective teacher of English language must be innovative, interactive, independent thinking and interdependence imagination.
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