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The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis



T.O. Adeyemi
 
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ABSTRACT

This study investigated the supply of science teachers to secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria. It was an ex-post facto and descriptive research. The study population comprised all the 281 secondary schools and 4 higher institutions in the State as well as 30 higher institutions from neighbouring States producing teachers for secondary schools. The sample in respect of secondary schools was identical with the population as all the schools were involved in the study. Since, only 2 out of the 4 higher institutions in the State produce teachers, the 2 higher institutions were selected for the study. Out of the 30 higher institutions, in neighbouring States, 16 were selected thereby giving a total sample of 18 higher institutions. The method of selection was by multi-stage, purposive and stratified random sampling techniques. The instrument used was an inventory, while the data collected were analyzed using frequency counts and percentages. It was found, that science teachers were in less proportion compared to non-science teachers in all the schools. Male science teachers were in greater numbers than female science teachers in the schools. The number of science teachers supplied from higher institutions outside the State was greater than the number supplied from higher institutions within the State. The supply of science teachers did not match the demand for them in the schools. It was concluded that higher institutions in the State had not been supplying sufficient number of science teachers to the schools. It was then recommended that more efforts should be made by government to increase the supply of science teachers to schools.

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  How to cite this article:

T.O. Adeyemi , 2011. The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis. Asian Journal of Information Management, 5: 12-24.

DOI: 10.3923/ajim.2011.12.24

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=ajim.2011.12.24
 

INTRODUCTION

The origin of secondary education in Ondo State, Nigeria dated back to 1919 when the first secondary school was established by the Christian Missionaries. By 1960, when Nigerian attained independence, the number had increased to 39. Since, independence, the demand for secondary education increased tremendously such that by 1979 when the free secondary education was launched, the number had increased to 251. The free education policy of government further led to a considerable expansion in the number of secondary schools. The number thereby rose to 501 in 1983, while students’ enrolment increased from 149,037 to 304,452 during the period (Ondo State Ministry of Education, 1985). However, as a result of the economic crunch in the country, the number of secondary schools in the State was reduced to 463 in 1986 and to 281 in 1996 (Ondo State Ministry of Education, 2006).

However, noting the State government’s intention to orientate school programmes in the State towards science and technology, one major concern to educationists (Ige, 2001) was the problem of getting an increased supply of qualified science teachers for the schools. The problem was compounded by the expansion in the number of secondary schools in the State. However, the intention of government to train more qualified science teachers was always hampered by financial constraints, which was perhaps the result of the weak economic base of the State. In a healthy economy, certain conditions must be met. These conditions include rational investment in programmes of immediate and long-term promise and benefits; reduction of governments’ commitments to consumer oriented programmes and limiting government’s dependence on outside sources of income. Others include constant checking on levels of recurrent expenditure, encouraging private contribution to governments’ programmes and formulating a radical programme for internally generated funds (Adesina, 1981).

Contrary, to the fairly strong level of the national economy, the Ondo State economy has been on a low level since its creation. Agriculture was therefore the mainstay of the State’s economy accounting for 75% of the adult population and 70% of the Gross Domestic Product (Ondo State Government, 2000). Since, the State could only generate less than 10% of its financial commitment (Ondo State Government, 2001), it had to rely on statutory allocations from the Federal Government, grants and loans from various sources.

Supply, an economic concept had been described as the quantity of a commodity that is called into the market over a particular period of time at specific prices (Nwankwo, 1981; Bradley, 1999). An increase in supply tends to lower the price and increase the quantity demanded. Conversely, a decrease in supply causes a rise in price and consequently reduction in the quantity demanded. Relating the supply situation to education, prices such as salaries (the price of labour) are determined in the same way as the prices of goods. The major determinants of the supply of science and non-science teachers are salaries or wages. Teachers’ salaries are good determinants when considering the economics of supply of teachers. This is because, the educational system competes with other occupation in the labour market in a market economy. In view of the fact, that the period of training of teachers takes considerable long time, it becomes difficult, for market forces to provide immediate solution to the supply of teachers (Akangbou, 1985; Nwadiani, 1996). Notwithstanding, as far as the supply of qualified teachers is concerned, the salary to be paid each teacher represents the price at which the offer of appointment is made and these salaries are crucial in determining the extent of supply of qualified teachers. Enrolment is another determinant of the supply of qualified teachers. This is in view of the fact that an increase or decrease in enrolment determines the number of qualified teachers to be recruited. Hence, researchers have suggested the need for the mass production of Bechelors of Education graduates for secondary schools (Darling-Hammond and Dilworth, 1997; Aghenta, 2001).

Demand, another basic concept in Economics had been described by Nwankwo (1981) as the quantity of goods required at given prices during a certain period. The higher the price of the commodity, the less the quantity of it that can be bought and the less the demand. An increase in demand, on the other hand, causes a rise in price and a rise in the quantity to the market. Thus, there is a linkage between the price of a commodity and the quantity required of that commodity. Demand in education bears little relationship to the usual economic meaning of demand for goods at various prices (Bradley, 1999). The major determinant of the demand for qualified teachers is enrolment. Hence, an increase in students’ enrolment causes a rise in the demand for qualified teachers. Other determinants of the demand for teachers include: the teacher-student ratio, the range of subjects taught, number of classes in the schools, minimum class size, number of periods per teacher per week, teaching methods and the size distribution of schools (Sheehan, 1973; Yasin, 1999). As such, the number of teachers required in a school depends largely on students’ enrolment growth patterns, the pace of teacher retirement and attrition and desired teacher-student ratios. Other factors, such as high immigration rates within the population or policies on reducing class size, also contribute to the demand for new teachers (Yasin, 1998).

The manpower requirement approach has great relevance to the demand for qualified teachers in schools. This approach is based on the fact that any nation with plans or aspirations for economic development must consider the preparations of its human aspects of development. This idea supported Nwankwo’s (1981) contention that modern production has demand for precise skills and the number of people with those relevant skills. In making this estimation, it was assumed that if the national economy was to achieve 4% of economy growth, the senior and intermediate manpower should grow at the rate of 8 and 13%, respectively (Adesua, 1981; Onifade, 2003).

Considering, the importance attached to education as revealed from government finances to the education sector and the emphasis given in the National Policy on Education (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2004) on the orientation of the country towards technological development, one is tempted to believe that there was an adequate supply of science teachers to secondary schools in the State. Although, qualified teachers are available in varying proportions in both science and non-science subjects of the schools’ curriculum, the expansion in the number of secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria has led the researcher to investigate the supply of science teachers to the schools in the State in order to correct any erroneous impression.

The proliferation of secondary schools in all parts of Ondo State, Nigeria as a result of the free education policy of government and the attendant increase in the students’ enrolment have brought about the demand for more qualified science teachers in many of the schools (Adeyemi, 1998; Ige, 2001). Although, the State government took various measures to supply more science teachers to schools, it seems that there is perhaps a mis-match in the supply and demand of qualified science teachers in the schools.

Although, qualified teachers were needed in the science and non-sciences subjects, the demand for qualified teachers appears to be more pronounced in science subjects than in non-sciences subjects. Considering the rapid expansion in the number of secondary schools in the State, the issue of whether or not adequate number of qualified science teachers has been supplied to secondary schools in the State constituted the problem of this study. In addressing this problem, the following questions were raised:

What is the staffing position of science teachers compared to non-science teachers in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria
What are the enrolment growth rates for science students and teacher-student- ratio in science subjects in secondary schools in the State
How does the supply of qualified science teachers from higher institutions within the State compare with the supply of science teachers from higher institutions from neighbouring States
How does the supply of qualified science teachers compare with the supply of non-science teachers to secondary schools in the State
Does the supply of qualified science teachers match the demand for them in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria
What is the projection of supply of and demand for science teachers to secondary schools in the State for the period 2007 to 2016

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This study was an ex-post facto and descriptive survey. Gay (1996) described an ex-post facto research as an after fact or after event research, while Babbie (1973) described a survey is a study being conducted for the purpose of making descriptive assertions about some populations. The study population comprised all the 281 secondary schools and 4 higher institutions in the State as well as 30 higher institutions from neighbouring States producing teachers for secondary schools. The sample in respect of the number of secondary schools was identical with the population (Moore, 1994) as all the schools were involved in the study. Since, teachers are supplied into the State secondary schools from higher institutions in Nigeria and overseas, the supply of teachers was delimited to higher institutions within Ondo State and higher institutions in 9 neighbouring States namely Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Kwara, Kogi, Edo, Delta and Lagos States having Ondo State as a catchment area in the admission of students. Since, only 2 out of the 4 higher institutions in the State produce teachers for secondary schools, the 2 higher institutions were selected for the study. Out of the 30 higher institutions in neighbouring States, 16 were selected thereby giving a total sample of 18 higher institutions. The method of selection was by multi-stage, purposive and stratified random sampling techniques. The principals of the secondary schools and the Head of Departments of the Faculties of education in the higher institutions were the respondents in the study.

The instruments used to collect data for this study were two inventories. These were the secondary schools principals’ inventory and the higher institutions teacher supply inventory. The secondary schools principals’ inventory sought information on students’ enrolment in the schools, number of classes, staffing situation with regard to the total number of qualified teachers demanded and the total number of teachers in place. The higher institutions teacher supply inventory requested for information on the number of Ondo State students produced by the institutions between 2002 and 2006. The content validity of the instrument was determined by experts in educational planning who matched each item of the inventories with the research questions in order to ascertain whether the instruments adequately measured the content area of the study. Their remarks were used as a guide in reviewing the instruments before they were administered. The completed copies of the instruments were retrieved from the respondents after a period of 2 weeks. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency counts and percentages.

RESULTS

Question 1: What is the staffing position of science teachers compared to non-science teachers in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria?

In answering this question, data on the distribution of teachers on the basis of science and non-science subjects were collected from the respondents using the inventory. The data were analyzed with the use of percentages. The findings showing the ratio of all science teachers to non-science teachers in all the schools are presented in Table 1.

It could be deduced from the findings that science teachers were in a small proportion when compared, with the number of non-science teachers in all schools in the State. Further analysis shows that male science teachers were in greater numbers than female science teachers.

Table 1: Staffing position of science and non-science teachers to secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria
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Table 2: Number of science and non-science teachers by qualification in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria
Image for - The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis

Conversely, female non-science teachers were in greater numbers than male non-science teachers. The graphical representation of the staffing position is shown in Table 1.

The distribution of the teachers by qualification is shown in Table 2. In Table 2, the proportion of science teachers in the schools was still lower than non-science teachers. Although, unqualified teachers were few in science and non-science subjects, qualified science teachers were in a lower proportion than qualified non-science teachers through the period of study.This finding was contrary to the provision of the Nigerian National Policy on Education which, recommended a ratio of 40:60 science to non-science teachers in all secondary schools in the country (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2004).

Question 2: What are the enrolment growth rates for science students and teacher-student- ratio in science subjects in secondary schools in the State?

In response to this question, data on the number of students offering science subjects in secondary schools in the State were collected from the principals of the schools for the period 2002 to 2006 through the inventory. The data collected were analyzed using frequency counts and percentages. The computation of the enrolment growth rate for science students in the schools was based on the increase in students’ enrolment for one year divided by the previous year’s enrolment using the following formula (Adesina, 1982):

Image for - The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis

Where:

En = Enrolment growth
Et = Enrolment in year (present year)
Et = Enrolment in year (previous year)

The findings are presented in Table 2. As indicated in Table 3, the enrolment growth rate among science students in the schools varied from one year to another. In determining the teacher-ratio among science teachers and students offering science subjects in the schools, data on the total number of students offering science subjects in senior secondary classes one to three were collected through the inventory.

The number of science teachers teaching these students was also collected through the inventory. The teacher-student ratio was computed by dividing the total number of students in the schools by the number of teachers using the following formula (Adeyemi, 1998).

Image for - The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis

Where:

Ts = Teacher-Student Ratio
Ns = Total number of students
Nt = Total number of teachers

On the basis of this formula, the teacher -student ratio in science subjects in secondary schools in the State between 2002 and 2006 are shown in Table 4.

Although, the ratio is low, it was noted that the figures contained both qualified and unqualified teachers in the schools.

Table 3: Enrolment growth rate of science students in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria
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Table 4: Teacher-student ratio in science subjects in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria
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Table 5: No. of qualified science teachers supplied to secondary schools in Ondo State
Image for - The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis

Table 6: Number of qualified science and non-science teachers supplied to secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria from sources within the State
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Question 3: How does the supply of qualified science teachers from higher institutions within the State compare with the supply of science teachers from higher institutions from neighbouring States?

In answering this question, data was obtained from two sources. The first source were data on the number of qualified science teachers supplied into the teaching profession from higher institutions within the State, while the second source were the number supplied from higher institutions in neighbouring States having Ondo State as a catchment area in the admission of students. The data were collected from the Head of Departments of the various departments of the Faculties of Education in the higher institutions. The data collected were analyzed using percentages. The findings are presented in Table 5.

This shows that the bulk of the science teachers supplied into secondary schools in the State were supplied from higher institutions in neighbouring States.

Question 4: How does the supply of qualified science teachers compare with the supply of non-science teachers to secondary schools in the State?

In response to this question, data on the number of qualified teachers supplied into secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria were collected from the Heads of Departments of the Higher Institutions within the State and higher institutions from neighbouring States through the inventory, the data were analyzed using frequency counts and percentages. The findings are shown in Table 6. Table 7, shows the number of qualified science and non-science teachers supplied to the State’s secondary schools from higher institutions in neighbouring States.

Table 7: Number of qualified science and non-science teachers supplied to secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria from sources outside the State
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Table 8: Number of qualified science teachers demanded and the number supplied to secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria
Image for - The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis

Question 5: Does the supply of qualified science teachers match the demand for them in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria?

In answering this question, data on the numbers of qualified science teachers supplied from higher institutions within and outside the State were collected from the Head of Departments of the sample d higher institutions through the use of the inventory. The numbers of qualified science teachers demanded in the schools were also collected from the principals of the schools using the inventory. The demand was based on the Government’s approved teacher quota of 11/2 teachers per class of 30 students. Table 6, shows the students’ enrolment, enrolment growth rates and the number of qualified teachers demanded during the period. The data collected were analyzed using frequency counts and percentages. The findings are shown in Table 8.

Question 6: What is the projection of supply of and demand for science teachers to secondary schools in the State for the period 2007 to 2016?

In response to this question, data on the number of students offering science subjects in the schools were collected from the principals of the schools through the inventory. Data on the number of teachers teaching science subjects in the schools were also collected. Data on the enrolment growth rate of science students in the schools were obtained from the data in Table 3. Data on the student teacher ratio in science subjects in the schools were obtained from the data in Table 4. Data on the enrolment growth rate in the supply of science teachers to the schools were obtained from the data in Table 8.

In projecting the number of science teachers’ required in the schools between 2007 and 2016, the annual enrolment growth rate of 4.2% found in this study was used. The projection of enrolment was made using the following formula (Adesina, 1982):

Image for - The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis

Where:

PE = Projection of enrolment
Et-1 = Enrolment in year t -1 (present year)
AGER = Average Enrolment Growth Rate

The projection was made using the teacher-student ratio of 1:18 found in this study. An attrition rate of 10% for all teachers was assumed (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1978). In computing the projection, the following formula was applied (Adesina, 1982).

Image for - The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis

Where:

P = Projection
En = Total Enrolment
Ts = Teacher-student ratio

Thus, on the basis of the enrolment growth rate of 4.2% and the 1:18 teacher-student ratio in science subjects found in this study, the projection of students’ enrolment in science subjects in the schools from 2007 to 2016 is presented in Table 9.

Table 9: Projected No. of science students’ and the demand for science teachers’ in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria (2007 to 2016)
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Table 10: Projected No. of science teachers to be supplied from higher institutions for secondary schools min Ondo State, Nigeria (2007 to 2016)
Image for - The Supply of Science Teachers to Secondary Schools in Ondo State, Nigeria a Critical Analysis

In projecting the supply of qualified science teachers to secondary schools in the State, data on the number of qualified teachers produced in the higher institutions within the State and in neighbouring States for secondary schools were collected from the Head of various Departments of the Faculty of Education in the sampled higher institutions using the inventory. The data were analyzed using frequency counts and percentages.

Using 2006, as the base year number of qualified science teachers supplied and the 13.1% growth rate in teacher supply obtained in Table 5, the projection of science teacher supplied from higher institutions between 2007 and 2016 were made. The findings are shown in Table 10.

DISCUSSION

In the forgoing analysis, the issue of teacher supply in science subjects to secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria was examined. The findings show that science teachers were in few numbers in secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria. They were in less proportion compared to the number of non-science teachers in all schools in the State. On the average, they constituted only 33.0% of the total number of teachers in the schools while non-science teachers constituted the remaining 67.0%. This finding was a negation to the provision of the National Policy on Education which recommended a ratio of 40:60 science to non-science teachers in all secondary schools in the country (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2004). The finding indicating that male science teachers were in greater numbers than female science teachers tend to agree with the findings of earlier researchers (Enyong, 1986; Laurie, 1999).

The findings of this study reveal that the enrolment growth rate was 4.2%, while the teacher-student ratio among students offering science subjects and science teachers was 1:18. This appears to be a small ratio but it is a reflection of the fact that the number of students offering science subjects in the schools is always very small compared to the total number of students in the schools as evident in the findings in Table 4. The finding was in consonance with those of previous researchers (Mallam, 1993; Adeyemi, 1998).

The finding indicating that the number of science teachers supplied from higher institutions in neighbouring States was greater than the number supplied from higher institutions within the State suggests that the bulk of the science teachers supplied to secondary schools in the State were supplied from higher institutions in neighbouring States. It also shows, that the higher institutions in the State have not been able to supply the required number of science teachers to secondary schools. The finding was consistent with those in earlier studies (Darling-Hammond and Dilworth, 1997; Snyder, 1999; Aghenta, 2001; MCEETYA, 2003). The finding indicating that greater numbers of non-science teachers were supplied from higher institutions within the State than qualified science teachers was also a negation to the provision of the National Policy on Education (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2004) which emphasizes the orientation of the country towards science and technology. The finding however agreed with earlier findings (Nwadiani, 1996; Yasin, 1998).

The findings of the study indicating that the supply for qualified science teachers was less than the demand for them in each of the years of study is a reflection of the fact that the supply of qualified science teachers did not match the demand for them in the schools. This finding was consistent with the findings made in earlier studies (Jack, 1983; Yasin, 1998). The findings made on the projection of science students and teachers required by 2016 were also consistent with the findings made in previous studies (Gerald and Hussar, 1998; Snyder, 1999; Akhaine, 2001; Onoja, 2005; Obaji, 2006).

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

Based on the findings of this study, it was concluded that there was a short supply of qualified science teachers to secondary schools in Ondo State, Nigeria. Evidences from the study have also led the researcher to conclude that emphasis in the State had been the supply of more non-science teachers to secondary schools at the expense of qualified science teachers. In the same vein, it was concluded that higher institutions within the State had not been supplying sufficient number of qualified science teachers to secondary schools in the State.

The findings of the study, have led the researchers to conclude that adequate planning has not been put in place in the supply of sufficient number of qualified science teachers to schools. The fact that non-science teachers formed the bulk of teachers in secondary schools in the States shows that emphasis in the State had been on the production of non-science teachers. This situation is inimical to the technological development of the State and the country at large. The fact that the supply of science teachers did not match the demand for them in secondary schools in the State might lead many students to change to non-science subjects in the schools. Hence, it was concluded that the State government was not yet ready to imbibe the development of science education in secondary schools in the State.

Considering the findings of this study, it was recommended that more efforts should be made by the State government to increase the supply of qualified science teachers to secondary schools in the State. Higher institutions in the State should be encouraged to produce more qualified science teachers for secondary schools. Adequate planning strategies should be employed by the State government to source for the necessary funds needed in increasing the supply of qualified science teachers from higher institutions to secondary schools in the State. The State government should therefore increase the allocation of funds to higher institutions in the State for the production of qualified science graduate teachers.

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