EVALUATION OF SUPERVISORY PRACTICES IN PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ANAMBRA STATE

ABSTRACT

The main thrust of this study is to evaluate the supervisory practices in public primary schools in Anambra State. The study was guided by four research questions and two null hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance. As a descriptive survey, a sample of 400 respondents were used for data collection. The data collected was statistically analyzed using mean and standard deviation for the research questions and t-test statistics for testing the null hypotheses. The findings of the analysis showed among other things that the supervisors in public primary schools use different supervisory practices, the supervisory practices of supervisors in public primary schools are very effective, the supervisory practices of external supervisors are more felt in public primary schools than those of internal supervisors. Gender is not a significant factor in determining the supervisory practices of school supervisors in public primary schools. Based on these findings, it was among others recommended that supervision should endeavour to perform their roles according to the specified guidelines on supervision of schools by the Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Educating the individual for self-reliance and productive citizenship is a major concern of the Nigerian educational system. At every level of the nation’s education strata, the quest for productive citizenship has become a critical factor such that without it, the nation’s developmental objectives would seem to be ineffective. The National Policy on Education 4th edition (F.R.N 2004) see a situation where every citizen of the nation is offered life-long education; education that will be centered on the learner for maximum self-development and fulfillment; education that will be related to the community’s needs amongst others. It also referred to primary education as the education given to institutions for children aged 6 – 11 years plus and that the rest of the education system is built upon it. Therefore the primary level is the key to successes or failure of the whole system. The goal of the primary education as stated in the National Policy on Education (F.R.N. 2004) is as follows:

  1. permanent literacy and numeracy, and ability to communicate effectively;
  2. lay a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking;
  3. give citizenship education as a basis for effective participation and contribution to the life of the society;
  4. mould the character and develop sound attitude and morals in the child,
  5. develop in the child the ability to adapt to the child’s changing environment,
  6. give the child opportunities for developing manipulative skills that will enable the child function effectively in the society within the limits of the child’s capacity; and
  7. provide the child with basic tools for further educational advancement, including preparation for trades and crafts of the locality.

The document went further to say that these goals will form the basis of primary education in all the States of the Federation. In pursuance of the goals, primary education was made tuition free, universal and compulsory. This really brought about a great increase in the school population all over the Federation. The surging population of pupils all over the Federation made it necessary to employ more people to teach in primary schools in order to meet up. Many of the people recruited were not well qualified to teach.

The Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) Awka, (2004) reveals that from 2001, 2002 and 2003 that 3,040,3662 and 4,722 pupils entered for First School Leaving Certificate Examination respectively. The result showed that pupils pass better when their continuous assessment scores which are moderated by the class teacher are combined with their examination scores. When they were judged with examination scores only that is externally conducted examination, they performed very poorly. Teachers are blamed for low performance of pupils in these examinations. Therefore, it is necessary for the supervisors to improve supervisory practices in the primary schools to improve pupils’ performance.

Furthermore, most crucial and outstanding aspects of supervision is evaluation which involves a systematic and critical appraisal of the techniques to determine how far desired objectives have been attained. This is done cognizant of the fact that the effective supervision is committed to significant and lasting teacher growth and productivity. It is worthwhile to note that the supervisor play major role in the teaching and learning situation in primary schools. The head teachers in primary school system carry out the internal supervisory tasks, hence they are the internal supervisors. Then, the external supervisors, who are male and female supervisors from Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board, visit the schools to help and direct the teachers. Pursuant to this, a supervisor consistently asks: To what extent has my objective been achieved? This is the cardinal question that underscores the process of evaluation.

For this situation to be objectively addressed, programme evaluation should emphasize the following:

  1. Evaluation should be diagnostic.
  2. Causes of poor performance should be identified through evaluation.
  3. Evaluation should improving results (Eya & Leonard, 2012). To cope with the stated challenges, an efficient supervisor, instead of adopting a haphazard approach, uses a number of evaluation practices to determine the effectiveness and adequate learning programme. These practices include:
  4. Direct observation during classroom visits.
  5. Conferences
  6. Evaluation through learner behaviour.
  7. Student’s appraisal.
  8. Teacher self evaluation. (Eze, 2001).

One of the major practices of evaluation is direct observation. By this approach the supervisor appraises the teacher using specific parameters which include subject mastery, use of language, logical presentation, class control, effective use of relevant instructional materials and level of student participation. Having scored the teacher as the lesson progressed, the supervisor (internal and external) is able, at the end of each teaching session to effectively evaluate the teachers performance, and subsequently determine how far the objective of supervision is being achieved.

The use of conferences is one of the techniques adopted in furtherance of the democratization of supervision. By the use of this evaluation process, the supervisor holds post-teaching session discussions with the teacher. There are direct questions and answers and in the process, the supervisor is given insight into the ways and the wherefores of the teacher’s behaviour during the lesson period.

Learner behaviour is generally accepted as an index of teaching effectiveness or otherwise. This derives largely from the contention that education in a very strict sense involves a positive change in behaviour of the educand. In consonance with these contentions, the supervisor evaluates teacher’s performance indirectly by assessing learner behaviour directly. In this process which invariably amounts to seeking direction by indirections, learner behaviour determines the teacher’s effectiveness.

In the same vein, teacher – performance can also be evaluated by the supervisor indirectly by asking the pupils to rate his performance using pre-determined and well – explained set of criteria. Opponents of pupils assessment of teachers may scoff at the idea, arguing that learners are largely ignorant and inexperienced, hence cannot objectively and effectively assess the teacher. However, practical experiences within the classroom have shown that learners are not as daft and ignorant as was previously and in fact erroneously believed. Experienced principals, headmasters, or supervisors have at least on a few occasions encountered pupils who in sympathy or even exasperation say: “This teacher has the “stuff” but he does not know how to put it across. Such pupils must have watched the tortuous attempts being made by a teacher who has a mastery of the subject are abut lacks the methodological wherewithal to deliver the goods. The point of emphasis therefore is that pupils are veritable agents for evaluating teachers’ performances. Hence, a good supervisor should not fight shy of using pupils’ ratings at least to complement other evaluative practices in the search for teacher effectiveness.

Perhaps one of the most controversial of teacher evaluation strategies is teacher- self – evaluation. By this approach the teacher’s performance may be video-taped. After a teaching session, the teacher and the supervisor watch a replay of the recording. The teacher may then be questioned and in the process, evaluates himself based on his actual performance which he has been privileged to watch. In this situation, while the teacher is directly committed to self-criticism, the supervisor is to guide, motivate, direct, prod and sensitize the teacher to identify and appreciate his pedagogical strengths and weaknesses. Support for this novel approach has been maintained by scholars and supervisors alike. Handal (2011) in the wise, affirms that:

The role of the supervisor in (teacher) self-evaluation is to encourage and provide opportunities for teachers to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and to render all valuable assistance in evaluating their own professional growth and progress.

 

With the relevant knowledge, the supervisor is expected to have mastered a number of guiding principles which provide basis for adapting, refining and developing teaching approaches. Moreover, to be able to supervise effectively, he should be conversant with various teaching techniques and materials available for classroom use in order to cope with the individual differences of the teacher. To express support for improved systems of teacher supervision and evaluation, the government has to help schools ensure effective fair and meaningful supervising practices to improve their capacity to enhance the learning of the pupils and teachers’ job.

There is consensus that we need to improve overall pupils’ achievement in the system. To help teachers successfully fulfill their role in this endeavor, effective teacher supervision and evaluation practices that inform teacher professional development and improve instruction are essential, however disagreement over what those systems should measure remains, and some researcher caution against relying on pupils’ test scores as a valid metric (Barky, 2010).

The supervisor should be geared towards the following supervisory practices to help in addressing issues in primary schools:-

–           maintaining a uniform standard in all the schools.

–           visiting and evaluating the entire teaching and learning situation.

–           evaluating and implementing changes in the curriculum.

–           interpreting the educational problems and programmes to the public.

–           developing in-service programmes for teachers.

–           providing orientation sessions for new teachers.

–           developing and revising instructional materials to keep abreast of current developments (ASUBEB, 2004).

Therefore, because of these lapses in our primary schools, how can teachers work be evaluated to improve on their performances with supervisory practices guideline from the Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board?

Statement of the Problem

There is a feeling among the general public that the performance of pupils in the First School Leaving Certificate Examination is falling. Eze (2001) comments that the home, church and school are disappointed in the products from schools. He further states that some of the pupils who passed out from Basic Six could not spell or write their names correctly. It is also generally observed that pupils who passed out from Basic Six and employed as clerks could not spell or write names correctly on the receipts. Then he asked the teachers and supervisors, where their first love for their job was? In fact, with the above statement, it is seen that the performance of pupils in their internal and external examinations are generally poor.

Also, the questions by Eze (2001) to teachers and supervisors, showed that: May be pupils are not properly taught, teachers are not properly supervised and supervisors are not using supervisory practices guidelines by the Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) Awka. Since effective supervisory practices bring about improvement in teaching and learning, the problem that this study addresses is: How effective are supervisory practices of teaching and learning in primary school? Also to what extent do supervisors follow the guidelines for supervisory practices provided by the Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) Awka?

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the supervisory practices in Public Primary Schools in Ogidi Education Zone of Anambra State. Specifically the study would find out the following:

  1. The supervisory practices used by supervisors in public primary school.
  2. Evaluate the supervisory practices used by internal and external supervisors in public primary schools.
  3. The effectiveness of supervisory practices used in public primary schools as perceived by male and female supervisors.
  4. How supervisory practices used by internal supervisors differ from those used by external supervisors.

Significance of the Study

This study would be of immense significance to pupils, teachers, school principals, supervisors, policy makers, and future scholars. The findings of this study would be of immense benefit to pupils. This is because when the teachers are well supervised by the supervisors, using supervisory practices, teaching and learning in primary schools would be enhanced. Then our children will perform better.

The outcome of the study would enable supervisors to be aware of supervisory practices and appreciate the relevance of effective use of them with specified guidelines kept by Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB). The data generated by this study would enable supervisors to re-examine their supervisory practices with a bid to improving on them or otherwise. It would also enable them to continue to search for the most modern means of supervisory practices to improve in their teaching.

The findings of this study would enable teachers to be aware of their responsibilities as it relates to teaching and learning. The study would also make teachers to positively perceive the functions of supervisors and be able to co-operate with them during supervisory exercises. It would enable the head teachers (Internal Supervisors) emulate those supervisory practices used by external supervisors to achieve desired results. The findings of this study would provide policy makers with the much-needed data which to formulate dynamic and better policies on supervision. It would also enable them to gather enough information on the practices used by supervisors in primary schools. With such data, policy makers would map out better practices and guidelines on school supervision, as there are so many supervisory practices being used by supervisors in primary schools.

The findings of this study would help government provide supervisors with all the necessary logistics that would boast their productivity. It would also helps them to organize seminars, workshops and symposia for supervisors on the modern supervisory practices and techniques.

Finally, the findings of this study should be an eye opener to researchers who might want to embark on a similar study in future.

Scope of the Study

This study is delimited to evaluate the supervisory practices of supervisors in public primary schools in Ogidi education zone of Anambra State. All the public primary schools in Ogidi education zone are covered in the study. The focus is to evaluate the supervisory practices of supervisors in public primary schools in the zone. The content scope includes supervisory practices of both internal and external supervisors and its effectiveness, the difference between the supervisory practices of the internal and external supervisors and the perception of male and female supervisors in the schools.

Research Questions

This study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What supervisory practices do supervisors use in primary schools?
  2. How evaluative are supervisory practices used by internal and external supervisors in public primary schools
  3. How evaluative are the supervisory practices used in primary schools as perceived by male and female supervisors?
  4. How do evaluation of the supervisory practices used by internal supervisors differ from those used by the external supervisors?

Hypotheses

  1. There is no significance difference between supervisory practices employed by internal and external supervisors in public primary schools.
  2. There is no significance difference between male and female supervisors on evaluation of supervisory practices used in public primary schools.

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