EFFECTS OF TEACHERS STRESS ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
1.0 Background to the Study
The issue of stress among teachers has become an issue of serious concern in Teacher Education Worldwide. Its implication on the quality of education particularly on Oral English and consequently on national development are obvious and crucial.
A report of the Educational Services Advisory Committee of the Health and Safety Commission U.K. (1990) informs that about 105 of the workforce experience occupational stress. Cooper (1994) submits that teaching is among the stressful occupations.
The issue of stress in teaching and its implications has been a major concern and focus on enquiry for teachers, teachers’ unions and other professional associations (Rees, 1989). Stress is a major behaviooural psychological link to illness, Strausser (2000), Johnny (2001) stress can lead to frustration, discomfort and ineffective performance.
Wynne et al (1991) Johnstone (1993) from their respective researchers on occupational stress have reported that teaching is a stressful job. This situation is observed by the researcher that it must have had a great effect on the Oral English among some secondary school students and mostly likely influence the poor performance of students in the final year West African Examination Certificate (WASC) as recorded over the years.
Also it is observed that the quality of the English spoken by most secondary school students is perceived by some good speakers of English to have been deteriorating over a long period. Such was the complaint of speaker after speaker at a conference on English Language studies in Higher Education held at Kano in September 1984. There were also reported cases of mass failure in Oral English.
Although, there are various factors that could also impede the teaching and learning of Oral English, which could in turn, lead to mass failure. These include: environmental factor, such as the non-availability of teaching and instructional materials, physical factor such as unconducive classroom for learning, psychological factor such as lack of interest on the learning of Oral English by the learners etc.
Teachers stress seems to be the most significant factor that could affect teaching and learning of Oral English which can result in mass failure in Oral English Language at the Senior Secondary School level. It is therefore, as a result of this that researcher decided to carry out this study to survey and observe how can teachers stress influence the performance of senior secondary school students on Oral English with efforts to see how this occurs, so as to offer suggestions on how it could be controlled.
The rate and degree of failure in Oral English by the secondary school students at the external examinations, especially West African School Certificate Examination, seems to be a problem of national concern. Therefore, there has recently been formed a consensus for national conference at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, to look into the causes of mass failure of students in public examinations especially in Oral English. Some researchers such as Ifeanyi et al, (1990) attributed to the mass failure of laziness and lack of seriousness on the parents who exhibit non-challant attitude on the educational career of their children especially, on their spoken English. For example, some parents discouraged their children by keeping them away from attending debate or any speech competition especially if such children are not participants, or key actors. To be a good speaker of English, one needs to watch and listen to good speakers of English language and practice what is learnt constantly, because, practice makes perfect. Again, some literate parents do not complement the efforts of the teachers for not correcting and teaching their children on Oral English at home, even, some use the Pidgin English to communicate with their children.
A good number of the researchers blame it on the teachers or lack of devotion and effectiveness towards their jobs. Yet, other blame the government for its failure to provide adequate and suitable environment for teaching and learning in the school. For this school of thought, government should be blamed for the inadequacies and ineffectiveness in the teaching and learning of Oral English. According to them, the government has failed to provide an environment that makes teaching and learning friendly, teachers are not paid their salaries and that commensurate with their jobs, their conditions of service is nothing to write home about. Majority of our teachers who specialize in Oral English do not teach with aids, language laboratories and current text books on Oral English. Many English teachers are not specialized in Oral English and lack the skills involved in it, but simply because they teach English, they are expected to teach Oral English.
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