This study discusses the teacher management function of Post Primary Schools Services Commission (PPSSC).
The goal of secondary education in Nigeria is to prepare people for useful living in society and for participation in higher education. The provision of teachers – in the right quantity and quality – is one of the major determinants of the achievement of these broad goals. It has generally been acknowledged that the teacher is the pivot around which the quality of any educational system revolves (FRN, 2004). In a similar vein, Osuji (2004:31), the one-time Minister of Education in Nigeria states: “Federal Government identified the teacher as the key factor in the educational delivery process and recognized that no education system surpasses the quality of its teachers.” An increasing body of research evidence also gives credence to this assertion as secondary school students’ academic achievement and performance was found to be significantly determined by teacher quality (Leigh, 2010). Emphasizing the significance of teachers’ quality, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in World Bank, 2010:3) states:
Of those variables which are potentially open to policy influence, factors to do with teachers and teaching are the most important influences on student learning. In particular, the broad consensus is that ‘teacher quality is the single most important school variable influencing student achievement.
It is pertinent therefore that if improved and qualitative education is desired by any government for its citizens, adequate attention should be paid to the quality of teachers in the education system. This has to do with ensuring that the right people are appointed, deployed to the schools and classes, professionally developed, and motivated to work. It further involves the development of structures, systems, policies, and strategies for teacher management.
Meaning of Teacher Management
Teacher management is seen by Ajuar and Okandeji (2001) as the process of recruiting, training, transferring, posting, and providing for teacher welfare which is geared towards the achievement of educational objectives. Again teacher management has been conceived as systems of teachers’ appointment, deployment, promotion, and remuneration as well as their working environment and conditions of service. In essence, teacher management has to do with a standardized process of managing teacher recruitment, training and retraining, welfare, promotion, transfer, discipline, and retirement. Emphasizing the importance of these teacher management policies and practices, Benjamin (2014) reiterates that teacher recruitment, selection, compensation, and assignment among others, are means through which teacher quality and effectiveness can be enhanced.
Realizing that teacher management is a broad area that requires commensurate attention, the then Old Anambra State Government in 1974, set up the Anambra State Teachers’ Commission and Anambra State Teachers’ Disciplinary Council to take charge of all aspects of teacher management. In the later restructuring of her educational system, these two bodies were replaced by Anambra State Education Service Board in 1979. Thus, the Board was to take up the dual roles of the Anambra State Teachers’ Commission and Anambra State Teachers’ Disciplinary Council and in addition, the management of all the schools in the state. The Anambra State Education Service Board later evolved as Anambra State Education Commission in 1991 and became known as Anambra State Post-Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC) in 2005. Thus, the practice of one commission/body performing the dual roles of teacher and secondary school management continued to date. This indicates a centralized system of teacher management practices. The centralized system is not without problems. Some scholars found that it leads to delays in recruitment and deployment; and an unbalanced distribution of teachers to schools (Wandesango, Ndofirepi & Maphosa, 2012).
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Through these periods of changes in teacher management, there were complaints about the falling status of the teaching profession and the quality of education. Between 2001 and 2002, the State experienced the most protracted teacher strike action, teacher turnover, and decline in the quality of education. In the bid to return to the glorious days of quality education, the Anambra State Government acknowledged that shortage of teachers, poor teacher welfare, poor teaching quality, and non-motivation of teachers was among the factors negatively affecting the achievement of quality secondary education and other levels of education in the State and promised to remedy the situation (Anambra State Government, 2007).
Recruitment of qualified teachers is another area through which teacher quality and effectiveness can be improved. Recruitment refers to the process of attracting, screening, selecting, and appointing a qualified person for a job (Wikipedia, 2014). Abdou (2012) posits that teacher recruitment procedures are vital in being one of the significant factors in providing effective teachers. In line with this, Anambra State Government promise to improve the number of qualified teachers in the state by reducing the number of unqualified teachers in the State by 50% (Anambra State Government, 2007), its teacher recruitment practice was contrary to policy. This was shown by PPSSC’s recruitment exercise on 1st December 2010 through which 200 ICT teachers were employed, among whom 166 (83%) had no teaching qualification (PPSSC Records, 2011). Obviously, some relevant teacher recruitment policies and procedures were not followed.
Another teacher management dimension that is relevant is teacher transfer and posting. Some scholars have lamented that the teacher shortage in rural secondary schools is because of teachers’ refusal to go to rural schools when posted or transferred (Adeyemi, 2009). The criteria for and the actual posting of these teachers to urban and rural schools seem not to be clear nor is it implemented.
Teacher promotion is another aspect of the teacher management function that affects teachers’ motivation and effectiveness. Scholars have emphasized the relevance of teacher promotion (Obineli, 2013; Adu, Akinloye & Adu, 2015). Specifically, argued that: Teachers’ irregular promotion, low pay package, societal perception of the job, and many more have dampened the morale of teachers. Hence when teachers are not well motivated, their level of job commitment may be low and the objectives of the school may not be accomplished. Therefore, promotion is beneficial to teachers because it has to do with an increase in salaries, taking up more responsibilities, and boosting their social status (Obineli, 2013). In Anambra State, teacher promotion is guided by the Anambra State Condition of Service. It provides amongst others that teachers will be promoted based on Scores on evaluation, performance on promotion interview, and availability of vacancy. However, what appears to be practiced is mass promotion – promotion of all teachers that reached the number of years stipulated in the condition of service. Reporting teacher promotion practices in the United States, Master (2014) noted that apart from using teachers’ evaluation scores to determine their promotion or dismissal, students’ academic achievement is also considered. In a further attempt to improve teacher quality, there was a recent announcement by the Chairman of the Commission of the abolition of mass promotion of teachers and the introduction of competency tests (Ogbulafor, 2011).
Apart from promotion, teacher discipline is yet another aspect of teacher management that is relevant to teacher performance. A number of documents provide guidelines for PPSSC’s teacher discipline in the State. For instance, the already existing Nigeria’s Teachers’ Service Manual (1989), Handbook on Discipline in Post-Primary Institutions (1978), and the recent Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria’s (TRCN) Code of Professional Conduct for Nigerian Teachers. The implementation of these guidelines and procedures for teacher discipline is expected to reduce teacher indiscipline and promote teacher effectiveness. However, teachers’ poor attitudes and lack of interest in teaching have been reported as some of the challenges of secondary education (Ige, 2013). There is a need to examine the extent to which disciplinary procedures and guidelines are implemented for improved teacher performance in Anambra State.
The degree of success of these policies and programs depends, to a very large extent, on the existence of a standard and systematic framework for implementation. Considering that teacher motivation and job performance and ultimate achievement of the goals of secondary education are related to the effective management of teachers, this work is therefore set to ascertain the commission’s teacher management policies and practices.
Statement of the Problem
It is expected that when teachers are well managed through the proper recruitment process, transfer, promotion (motivation), and discipline, they will remain dedicated and productive in the teaching profession. This is because if teachers are poorly treated, hardly will they be productive. Thus, the Post Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC) was mandated to undertake these tasks in Anambra State.
However, it looks as if one of the problems militating against the effectiveness of secondary schools in Anambra State has to do with poor teacher management. There seem to be a lack of teachers in relevant subject areas, an overload of existing teachers, lopsided distribution of teachers as more teachers are found in urban areas than rural areas. Azih (2001) speculated that most teachers appear disengaged from schools, absent themselves from schools for at least possible excuse, teach incompetently, and are not quite satisfied with their jobs. Where lack of teacher commitment abounds, the attainment of educational objectives becomes very elusive. Indeed, in the recent past, precisely, 2005 – 2010 records show that an insignificant percentage of students in Nigeria passed with good grades in at least five subjects including Mathematics and English Language in West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). These were 27.53% in 2005, 15.56% in 2006, 25.54% in 2007, 13.76% in 2008, 25.99% in 2009 and about 20% in 2010 (Ajibade, 2011).
Stakeholders are of the opinion that students’ poor performance in West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination should not just be blamed on lack of knowledge on the students’ side but that teachers’ performance in school should be questioned. It would seem tenable therefore when Okeke, (2003), posits that the falling standard of education in Anambra State may be mainly attributed to a lack of teacher motivation occasioned by inadequate teacher recruitment and posting. After thirteen years, these problems have persisted. This work is therefore set to ascertain whether Post Primary Schools Services Commission (PPSSC) has any laid down criteria for teacher selection, posting, transfer, discipline, and promotion and if any the extent it implements the stipulated criteria in the selection and recruitment of teachers and the procedures adopted. It would seem tenable therefore when Okeke, (2003), positions that the falling standard of education in Anambra State may be mainly attributed to a lack of teacher motivation occasioned by inadequate teacher recruitment and posting. After thirteen years, these problems have persisted.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to ascertain the extent to which the Post Primary Schools Services Commission (PPSSC) adopts the criteria and procedures of teacher management in Anambra State, from which the following specific purposes are derived:
- To ascertain the extent to which PPSSC adheres to the teacher recruitment and selection procedure in teacher recruitment in the State
- To find out the extent to which PPSSC adheres to posting/transfer criteria and procedure in teacher posting/transfer in the state.
- To ascertain the extent to which PPSSC follows the teacher disciplinary criteria and procedure in teacher discipline in the state.
- To find out the extent PPSSC uses the criteria and procedure for teacher promotion in promoting teachers in the state.
Significance of the Study
The theoretical importance of this study when completed is that it will contribute knowledge to existing theories of staff or personnel administration in the education industry or system.
The PPSSC will find this work very beneficial as self-assessment is very necessary for organizational development and efficiency. In carrying out an internal assessment of its teacher management policies, mechanisms, and approaches. This will enable it to position itself for better teacher management, teacher effectiveness, and efficiency in the state.
The findings of this study are expected to be beneficial to both policy-makers and education managers in that it will serve as a useful tool for understanding the gap between policy formulation and policy implementation as this work will expose the contextual and demographic variables that bring to bear certain influences that engender success or failure of stipulated principles and policies. This understanding will enable a comprehensive and extensive consideration of contending issues that may impinge on teacher management and teacher effectiveness during policy formulation. The policy-makers and Education managers will also appreciate the dynamic nature of the educational industry and will be enabled to cope with their expected responsibilities. That is, it will help them with a meaningful practical approach to educational policy formulation and planning, and maintain the standard of education to the nation’s expectations. Again, it will afford them insight into the personal competence and skills of the key operators in the secondary schools in Anambra State.
Principals and Teachers will find this work useful as it will expose them to the internal operations and responsibilities of the PPSSC. Furthermore, they would know factors that facilitate or inhibit their access to certain services and welfare packages, and be able to address them both as an individual or a group.
Students and other researchers will as well benefit from a study of this nature as it is very vital and would serve as a source of information and a center for further study.
The government will benefit from this study as it will help to redirect the government’s approaches to education from the right perspective in this part of the country and others at large.
Furthermore, it is as well hoped that a study of this nature would yield suggestions that are likely to have relevance to educational administrators or managers, school management board, the ministry of education, and others in appraisal or evaluation, selection (recruitment), posting, transfer and promotion of teachers as far as the teaching-learning process is concerned.
The study will also be relevant to the students who are taught by teachers in the system. This is because when the findings and recommendations are implemented, the improvement in teacher management will lead to effective teaching and learning. This will lead to improvement in students’ performance.
Scope of the Study
This study covered all the secondary school principals in Anambra State and all the senior staff from grade levels 10 and above in the Post Primary Schools Services Commission, Awka. The content was limited to the following areas of teacher management:
- Teacher recruitment.
- Teacher posting and transfer.
- Teacher promotions
- Teacher discipline.
The following research questions have been raised to guide the study:
- To what extent does the PPSSC adhere to the teacher recruitment and selection procedure in teacher recruitment in the State?
- To what extent does the PPSSC adhere to posting/transfer criteria and procedure in teacher posting/transfer in the state?
- To what extent does the PPSSC follow the teacher disciplinary criteria and procedure in teacher discipline in the state?
- To what extent does the PPSSC use the criteria and procedure for teacher promotion in promoting teachers in the state?
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
1. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of the senior staff of the Post Primary Schools Services Commission (PPSSC) and those of the principals on PPSSC’s adherence to the teacher recruitment procedure and criteria in teacher recruitment and selection in the State.
2. There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of the senior staff of PPSSC and those of principals regarding PPSSC’s adherence to the teacher posting and transfer criteria and procedure in teacher posting and transfer in Anambra State.
3. The senior staff of PPSSC and the principals of secondary schools will not differ significantly in their mean ratings of PPSSC adherence to teacher promotion criteria and procedures in teacher promotion in Anambra State.
4. There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of the senior staff of PPSSC and principals regarding PPSSC’s use of teacher disciplinary criteria and procedures in teacher discipline in the State.