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PROGRESS AND PROBLEMS OF TEACHER EDUCATION IN THE WESTERN STATES OF NIGERIA
1.1 Background of the study
Education has become one of the most powerful weapons known for reducing poverty and inequality in modern societies. It is also used for laying the foundation for a sustainable growth and development of any nation. Primary education in particular is the level of education that develops in the individual the capacity to read, write and calculate. In other words, it helps to eradicate illiteracy, which is one of the strongest predictors of poverty (Bruns, Mingat & Rakotamalala 2003).
Thus, Primary education is the only level of education that is available everywhere in both the developed and the developing countries as well as in urban and rural areas (Akinbote, Oduolowu & Lawal 2001). This explains why primary education is the largest sub-sector of any education system and offers the unique opportunity to contribute to the transformation of societies through the education of the young ones (UNESCO 2001).
In realization of the fact that unequal access to educational opportunity is one of the strongest correlates of social inequality, the Federal Government of Nigeria has embarked on a massive expansion of access to primary education. The 1976 UPE and the current UBE programmes were aimed at making basic education accessible to all children of school age irrespective of their social, economic, cultural or geographical backgrounds. As one should expect, there was a massive expansion of primary, education in Nigeria. For example, there was an increase in the number of primary schools from 14,902 in 1970 to 30,726 in 1976 with enrolment figures of 4.8million and 11.6million respectively. In the2001/2002 session, the number of primary schools rose to45,270 with an enrolment of 19.3 million
However, the quality of primary education has not kept abreast of the expansion in enrolment. Although, this according to UNESCO (2001) continues to be a global concern, yet it is the general belief that the competence of teachers is central to the education of children. In a way, what constitutes competence in teaching is intimately connected with the type of teacher education programmes available for preparing school teachers. Therefore one of the problems of teacher education for primary schools in Nigeria is the poor quality of teachers produced from the Teachers’ Colleges (Taiwo 1982).
Akinbote (2000) has attributed the poor quality of products of the Teachers Colleges among other things to the quality of students admitted into the colleges. However, the lowering of the admission requirements into the colleges for whatever reasons, has not only affected the quality of the products of the colleges but also the image and prestige of the teaching profession (Akinbote, 1999). This observation agrees with the assertion of Liberman cited in Akinbote (1999) that the quality of the entry qualifications of recruits into a profession is bound to affect not only their efficiency and effectiveness but also the prestige of the profession..
In an attempt to raise the quality of primary school teachers, the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) has now become the minimum teaching qualification in the country. This implies that no primary school teacher in Nigeria is expected to possess a teaching qualification lower than the NCE. This could be regarded as a bold attempt at improving the quality of teachers who will be able to help us achieve the aspirations we hold for our children. In order to achieve this, the number of Colleges of Education has risen from only six in 1976 to about 72 presently (Akinbote, 1999). This has led to a mass production of NCE teachers for both the primary and the junior secondary levels of education. The numbers of primary school teachers has risen from 406,693 in 1988 to 734,142 in 2002 with NCE teachers numbering 14, 671 and 20, 6429 respectively.
1.2 Statement of the problem
There is probably no other profession that has been scorned more than teaching in
Nigeria. Adeleke, (1999) reported in her study of student teachers attitude to teaching that 87% of undergraduate student teachers in the Faculty of Education in one of the first generation Universities would not like to teach at the primary school level. Similarly, she found out that among those who would like to teach at all, 88% would not like to remain in teaching for a long time. If this happens among Education students, one can imagine what will happen among students in other Faculties.
Since one of the identified causes of the poor quality of products of the Colleges of Education is the low entry qualification (Akinbote, 2000), it has become necessary to further investigate it. Specifically, this study investigated the entry qualifications, the mode of entry and reasons why some Nigerian students enroll in Colleges of Education
1.3 Objectives of the study
1. To understand the entry qualifications of Nigerian College of Education Students?
2. To understand the mode of entry into the Colleges of Education in Nigeria?
3. To understand students’ enrol in Colleges of Education IN Nigeria?
1.4 Research Questions
1. What are the entry qualifications of Nigerian College of Education Students?
2. What is the mode of entry into the Colleges of Education in Nigeria?
3. Why do students enroll in Colleges of Education IN Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
H0: There is no relationship between entry qualification of teachers and development of teachers education in western states of Nigeria
H1: There is no relationship between entry qualification of teachers and development of teachers education in western states of Nigeria
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