The Effect of Non-Availability of Qualified Teachers in the Teaching and Learning of Christian Religious Knowledge
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Christian Religious Studies (CRS) forms part of the basic national curriculum for Junior Secondary Schools this may be a surprising fact but it has come up to be the truth and nothing but the truth. Some individuals have linked religion with social habituation and they have also gone a long way to argue that it has no consigned in either a working environment or schools. At the same time, others believe CRS has to be about fostering students within a meticulous religious faith system.
Over the years, CRS has actively been known to be a strong promoter of the values of genuineness fairness, honesty, deference for all, and care for the environment CR S consign specific emphasis on children appreciating themselves and others, it teaches us the real responsibility of family and the community in religious principle and action, the contentment of diversity in society through of acknowledgment of their similarities and differences, and individual custodianship on earth. CRS is also acquainted with the shilling environment of the general public, including transformations in religious practice and appearance and the authority of religion in the neighborhood, homes, state, and the universal society.
The importance of teachers in teaching CRS cannot be overstressed. This is because teachers play several roles. Specifically, teachers have been referred to by Oyedeji (1998) as agents of innovation. For meaningful innovations, adequate availability of teachers is very important. The complexity arises as a result of several factors which include the determination of what effective teachers are: Teachers are expected to fulfill a variety of roles, some common to all teachers, others uniquely related to certain kinds of environments of students or subject matter. Added to this, is the fact that teacher education involves the training of professionals who will educate students in the future despite the complexity of the field of teacher education. One cannot overemphasize the importance of academic training of teachers of all categories. This is because the efficiency of any institution depends on the academic competence of the teaching staff since no educational system can- rise above the quality of its teacher (FGN, 1981 P.38). Teachers are important in any educational system. This is because the quality of teachers in any educational system determines to a great extent the quality of the system itself. Professional teachers in particular are crucial to the formulation and successful implementation of education policies in any country. This has explained why our National Policy on Education N.P.E. (2004) stressed the need to accord teacher education a prominent place in educational planning. The policy further maintained that among other things, the goal of teacher education should be:
To produce highly motivated conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of our educational system.
To provide teachers with the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment (N.P.E; 20O4).
Tom Peters (1977), quality is the basic and indispensable feature of a thing, which differentiates it from other things. The presence of that characteristic feature to a high degree marks it out as a “thing of high quality” on the other hand, the absence of the thing to low-quality status. For example, the characteristic of a high-quality teacher relates to those attributes that enhance the fitness and efficiency of that teacher in performing the duties that are associated with teaching CRS. That is, a high-quality CRS teacher can competently achieve the objectives of teaching CRS in our schools. At this point it will be pertinent to state that a professional CRS teacher is a professionally prepared CRS teacher in contents and methods of teaching Christian Religious Studies, thereby acquiring a professional degree in education with special reference to any of the CRS subjects. For example, a professional university degree teacher is expected to have B.Sc. (Rons) with a Post-Graduate Diploma in Religious Studies Any other teacher with qualifications outside the above one can be categorized as a non-professional CRS teacher.
There is greater demand for highly creative and innovative teachers in Nigeria today who can lead students onto paths of meaningful learning. An effective and efficient teacher is also one of the necessary factors for effective instruction in all subjects including Christian religious studies. An adequate supply of effective and efficient teachers to teach in senior and junior secondary has been one of the major reoccurring problems in the Nigerian educational sector. Other problems include the outdated nature of the curriculum, the controversial nature of the subjects, and poor methods of instruction. Religious studies emphasize a factual examination-oriented approach and religious dogmas. According to WesterHoff (1978), though the name Religious Studies has been used most frequently, there is no complete or consistent agreement on what the word means or what it refers to. Today, there is less concurrence than ever before. Scott (1980) says that no consensus exists today on the nature, scope, and role of Religious Studies. The above-named scholar believes that the current search to identify revolves around different usage of key terms like Religious Education, Religious Knowledge, Religious and Moral Instruction. Another problem is that since Religion deals with values, judgments, and feelings, everyone in society will agree with it. The implications of the above are that the controversial nature of the subject, lack of consistent linguistic discourse, and the unstable pattern of conversation currently going on in the field have contributed to making the subject difficult and technical.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been observed that the effect of non-availability of qualified teachers in the teaching of Christian Religious Studies in Schools has been of positive or negative impact on the teaching and learning process. Some problems have been identified to be the possible cause.
It was revealed that there had been a serious reduction in the enrolment of students in the subject at the secondary schools level and tertiary institution of learning because some teachers acquired their certificate through various means. In most educational institutions, teachers that are not trained to teach subjects such as CRS are made to do so thereby not giving the students the required training and knowledge about that particular subject.
Sofowora (2002) also states that not all media materials that are available are technically suitable for use in teaching. He emphasized the need for training teachers in the art and craft of design selection production and the use of appropriate needs. The required skills in the area mentioned above can only be acquired through Educational Technology. One of the major concerns of Educational Technology is the quest for effective instruction which is reflected in its definition.
The achievement of effective and efficient teaching and learning in schools has been one of the perennial problems in education. However, the problems facing the quality and adequacy of the availability of manpower for the effective teaching of Christian Religious Studies have generated a lot of concern among scholars such as Alaba (2008); and Adeyemi and Aviomoh (2003). In Nigeria, a shortage of qualified teachers has been reported (Adeyemi and Aviomoh, 2003). These shortages have been attributed to the low salaries and social prestige given to teachers (Aghenta, 2001). Also, the free education policy of the Lagos State government tends to have compounded the problems in secondary schools perhaps as a result of insufficient funds to employ adequate teachers and to run the schools. This problem is believed to affect students’ performance in the subject. For instance, despite the acknowledgment of the importance of Christian Religious Studies to the society and laying of a solid foundation for students, the performance of students in the subject shows that this has not been properly achieved.
Based on the highlighted problems, this study will focus on the effect of the non-availability of qualified teachers in the teaching anti-learning of Christian religious studies in junior secondary schools in the Shomolu Local Government.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This research work specifically seeks to achieve some objectives which include:
1. Identify the rate of non -availability of junior secondary teachers to teach Christian religious studies in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos state.
2. Identify the effect of the non-availability of Christian religious teachers in junior secondary school on the academic performance of students on the subject.
3. Identify and measure any other effect the non-availability of junior secondary school teachers in Christian religious studies in having on the students.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following assumptions stand as research questions of the study:
(1) What is the rate or extent of the shortage. qualified Christian religious teachers in junior secondary schools in Shomolu Local Government Area?
(2) To what extent does this shortage of Christian religious teachers affect junior secondary school students’ performance in the subject?
(3) To what further extent are junior secondary students in Shomolu Local Government affected by the shortage of Christian religious teachers?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study.
H01: Inadequacy of qualified Christian Religious Studies teachers will not affect effective teaching of the subject in Lagos State. It is limited to the effect of a shortage of qualified Christian religious teachers in junior secondary schools.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
NON-AVAILABILITY: The state of not being available, free, or able to be used.
QUALIFIED: Officially recognized as being trained to perform a particular job; certified.
TEACHER: A person who teaches, especially in a school.
TEACHING: The occupation, profession, or work of a teacher.
LEARNING: The acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.
CHRISTIAN: Relating to or professing Christianity or its teachings. RELIGIOUS: Relating to or believing in a religion.
STUDIES: The devotion of time and attention to gaining knowledge of an academic subject, especially using books.
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