Background to the Study
School inspection is concerned with the improvement of standards and quality of education and is an integral part of school improvement programs.
Dodd (1968) defined inspection based on UNESCO’s 1962 definition as “the specific process whereby a school is examined and evaluated as a place of learning in such a way that advice may be given for its improvement and that advice embodied in a report”. According to him, inspection is a constant and continuous process of more personal guidance based on frequent visits when attention is directed to one or more aspects of the schools and its organization. Education has grown in complexity and in terms of number of institutions – private and public and subjects in the curriculum beyond the scope of administrators with professionals (Education officers) as inspectors of schools
Inspection is a legal requirement thus making it necessary for every ministry of Education in Nigeria to have an inspectorate department whose function is to carry out inspection of school to ensure that standards are maintained and act as agent of quality control in education.
School inspection has a long history. In its early days, it had a very limited purpose. With the introduction of state systems of education, governments needed to check that their statutory requirements for schools were being observed. This usually involved inspecting attendance records, pupils discipline and basic standards of literacy and numeracy. The function of schools was to produce a minimally educated workforce, not to provide the nation’s children with an education for enhancing the qualities of their own lives. To carry out this task, inspectors needed little direct experience of teaching in schools. They were government agents who policed, rather than supported, the work of schools. Not surprisingly, they soon gained an unwelcome reputation.
Today, in many countries around the world, school inspection plays a much wider and more substantial role in the work and development of schools. Historically, schools had decided what to teach, how the content would be taught and what parents should be told about their children’s performance and progress. Little wonder that schools were known as “secret gardens”. What went on inside them was a mystery to most outsiders.
Major shifts in social, economic and political thinking and attitudes in the industrialized nations over the last 30 years have swept away such freedoms and independence. Accountability, value for money, competition, stakeholder rights, new technologies and globalization now dictate the shape and direction of education and schools. Schools are very different places, open to public scrutiny, more directly subject to the needs of national social and economic policy, and expected to serve the local communities in which they are situated. Partnership has replaced imposition as the means for bringing about change. “Working together” is the new doctrine. It is generally agreed that effective progress is consequent upon the involvement and satisfaction of all stakeholders. For schools, the notion of the “secret garden” is a thing of the past.
Developments in school inspection have kept pace with these changes. Of course, inspectors still have a basic duty to check that government requirements are met. But increased accountability has meant increased government control. National Curriculums are now familiar features of many advanced education systems. They define what is taught, and in many cases how it is taught. National testing has been introduced to measure not just the performance of students, but also the performance of schools. Inspection systems have been restructured to help promote and support these developments. Inspection now has three main functions; to make clear national performance standards and targets, to guide and support all schools in achieving them, and to assess the progress made by individual schools in reaching them. School inspection reports are detailed, evaluative, and publicly available and provide the basis for action by schools.
It is widely accepted that ultimate responsibility for educational improvement must lie with schools themselves. They have to be empowered to take on this responsibility, properly supported by the partners and stakeholders they work alongside, including inspection. This has meant a radically new approach to the recruitment and training of inspectors and to the focus for school inspection. Improvement must centre on practice in the classroom, on the quality of teaching and learning, not on school regulations and management. To be effective, today’s inspectors must have an extensive knowledge and experience of the classroom. Who better to help in this task than the schools themselves?
We are now used to the idea of an inspection workforce that includes practicing head-teachers and other experienced teachers operating on a part-time basis alongside career inspectors. This provides real empowerment of schools, as well as an inspection workforce large enough to execute national educational policy. We are also used to the idea of community involvement in inspections based on the belief that schools must provide for the needs and aspirations of the local communities they serve, as well as for national needs. Inspection has come a long way since its early days.
The responsibility of school inspection lies within the directorates of inspectorate. School inspection practices especially in third world countries are legacy of the colonial era. In Delta State for instance, School inspectorate department is one of the departments of the Ministry of Education (MOE). Thus, school inspectorate department ought to perform its functions according to the ministerial statutory policies, goals, current reforms and directives.
One of the functions is to inspect all schools and offer suggestions and recommendations to Ministry of Education (MOE) and other stakeholders on ways and means for improving the quality of education offered in schools (Mbwambo, 1990).
The functions, responsibilities and strategies of school inspection were introduced during the colonial era and since its inception there have been insignificant changes made (Apelis, 2008). Thus, school inspection practices are associated with numerous problems like negative attitude of teachers towards school inspection (Katunzi, 1981). Such behavior is partly contributed by incompetence and unprofessional behavior of some school inspectors (Haruni, 2012).
Inspectors of old were feared and dreaded by principals and teachers. Their presence in schools created great panic because they were dreaded as faultfinders and witch-hunters. They sometimes paid unscheduled visits to schools without notice thereby taking teachers unawares and were simply overbearing in style. They bullied and insulted teachers in the presence of their pupils pretending to know everything.
For some time now their attitude has changed and has come to appreciate that their duty is to raise standards of education and to assist teachers to do their work better.
The Local government inspectorate division is charged with the responsibility of setting up effective and functional supervisory units and supervision of all other units set up to ensure that annual report are rendered to the head of school or teachers appointed to serve under them. The education secretary is in charge of school supervision in each local government area, followed by the head of the school services unit which is the section directly responsible for the supervision of the primary schools in the local government area. The head of school service monitor and coordinates the activities of the local government primary schools supervisions and reports back to the education secretary
Uvwie is a Local Government Area (LGA) in Delta State, Nigeria. It is one of the Urhobo Kingdoms and has a king, Ovie, who rules over the traditional institution of the town. The Ovie of Uvwie is HRM Emmanuel Sideso Abe I.
It is a gateway town in and out of the city of Warri; also it is a border town to Osubi Airport in Osubi. A centre of civilization for the Urhobo people, Effurun is the headquarters of the Uvwie Local Government Area which was carved out of the then Okpe LGA along with Udu LGA on the 4th of December, 1996. The indigenous inhabitants are the Uvwie people, organised into four quarters. Each quarter is headed by a traditional administrator known as the Umuevworo and at the pinnacle of the traditional administration of the people is the paramount ruler, the Ovie. The LGA is urban with an estimated population of 172,395 going by the 1991 population census spread across Effurun, Ekpan, Ugberikoko, Ugboroke, Ugbomro, Uredjo (Enerhen) and others.
The Local Government Councils work hand-in-hand with State Governments on issue of the provision and maintenance of primary education among other functions. There are 41 public and 200 private primary schools in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
In order to improve the standards and quality of education, the democratic government of Nigeria has made education one of its priorities by re-launching in September, 1999 a Universal Basic Education Scheme (UBE) which aims at achieving the following specific objectives:
Developing in the entire citizenry a strong consciousness for education and a strong commitment to its vigorous promotion.
The provision of free, Universal Basic Education for every Nigerian child of school going age.
Reducing drastically the incident of drop-out from the formal school system (through improved relevance, quality and efficiency).
Catering for school drop-outs, and out-of-school children/adolescents, through appropriate forms of complementary approaches to the provision and promotion of basic education.
Ensuring the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative, communicative and life skills (as well as the ethical, moral and civic values) needed for laying a solid foundation for life-long learning.
Ensuring the regular supervision/inspection, monitoring and evaluation of the scheme.
Duties of the Primary School Inspector in Delta State
Collection of statistics on behalf of the School Service Board or the Statistics Section of the Ministry
Delivery of various types of circular letters to schools – largely due to poor postal services
Investigation of illegal collection of money from pupils and other malpractices among teachers
Inspection of poor and dangerous buildings
Maintenance of discipline – settling of trouble between teachers
Helping in the organization of pupils for the Children Days’ Rally, visiting of Head of State or of other countries to Nigeria
Attending Parent/ Teacher Associations
Attending conferences and seminars
Conducting week-end induction and vacation courses for teachers
Checking of transfer certificates of pupils from other States
Checking of Teacher’s Certificates on the completion of teacher’s registration forms
Supervision of registration and allocation of new entrants to schools
Attending meetings on Special Purposes Grants
Writing of reports
Taking part in the preparation for the Festival of Sport
Taking part in preparation for the Annual Festival of the Arts
Supervising and invigilating examinations
Dispatch of letters and circulars
Statement of the Problem
School inspectors have had a tendency to be secretive, concentrating on their business and were not able to communicate adequately with teachers to put them at ease. Some school inspectors reportedly visited primary schools to boss and harass teachers instead of helping them solve their professional problems. The behavior of some primary school inspectors, especially towards teachers, has had serious implications for teaching and learning to the extent that “unreported cold war” or sometimes “hidden agenda” had developed between teachers and inspectors.
There is therefore an urgent need to investigate on the current primary school teacher’s attitude towards school inspection due to the following reasons:-
• Teachers have tended to develop a great deal of anxiety about inspection and consequently, they are unable to carry out their duties well.
• The questionable behavior of some school inspectors the idea of inspecting teachers made them “feel small”, irresponsible and consequently they tend to remain more anxious and be unable to discharge their duties well.
• Some primary school teachers usually prepare their academic documents over-night in hurry just to impress the school inspectors. Such documents included schemes of work, lesson plans and subject logbooks.
Sometimes some teachers forge dates in the previous schemes of work, lesson plans, and subject logbooks so as to gratify the subject school inspectors.
• Pupil’s academic performance in common entrance examination results in primary schools was still poor despite the fact that whole school inspection, visit and special inspections were conducted in the schools as usual.
The four research questions to be considered in this study are:
What is the dominant attitude of primary school teachers to Inspection in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State?
What is the attitude of male and female primary school teachers concerning school inspection experience in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State?
What is the attitude of public and private primary school teachers with respect to the work of the school inspection in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State?
What is the attitude of experience and less experience primary school teachers concerning school inspection in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State?
Three hypotheses are to be tested to ascertain whether there is significant difference between the observed and expected frequency of responses.
The three null hypotheses formulated for the study are:
Ho. 1: There is no significant difference between the attitude of male and female primary school teachers concerning school inspection experience in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
Ho. 2: There is no significant difference between the attitude of public and private primary school teachers with respect to the work of the school inspector in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
Ho. 3: There is no significant difference between the attitude of experienced and inexperienced primary school teachers concerning school inspection in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to find out Primary School Teacher’s Attitude to School Inspection in Uvwie Local Government area of Delta State and to assess the following:
How effective inspectors perform their inspectorial role
The dominant attitude of primary school teachers to inspection
The difference in the attitude of male and female primary school teachers to inspection.
The difference in the attitude of private and public primary school teachers to inspection.
The difference in the attitude of experienced and inexperienced primary school teachers to inspection
Significance of the Study
This study is significant for the following reasons:
Inspection is seen as a supportive process designed to work “with” schools, not a process intended to impose change upon them.
Effective inspection takes account of the particular needs and circumstances of each school. This enables inspection to benefit schools and communities that suffer from geographical isolation and lack of opportunity and resources.
Although inspection identifies standards and expectations for all schools, in practice, it starts from where each school is in terms of its standards, provision and objectives. Inspection seeks to validate and assess the progress made by the school in the achievement of its targets.
School inspection assesses school effectiveness by the progress pupils make, not just the standards they achieve. This is the most appropriate benchmark for enabling schools to measure their success.
Inspection data, statistical and qualitative, enables central policy makers to identify specific strengths and weakness in schools’ performance and provision and to develop strategies to promote progress.
School inspection is an active partner in developing head-teacher and teacher training, monitoring, social development, identifying best practice in teaching and learning, target setting, evaluation and school support.
Scope and Delimitation of the study
The study is concerned with the attitude of both public and private primary school teachers to school inspection in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State. The study is therefore limited to primary school teachers in the Local Government Area using school inspection as an instrument of enhancement.
The instrument used was a structured questionnaire designed by the researcher to obtain information on the attitude of primary school teachers to school inspection in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
Organization of the Study
The study looks at primary school teacher’s attitude to school inspection in Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State.
Chapter one of this study contains the introduction under which the background of the study was explained. The significance and limitations are equally discussed in this chapter. In chapter two, the literature review of this research is highlighted.
In chapter three, the research design which is a combination of a survey, using structured and undisguised questionnaires to collect primary data is explained.
Chapter four shows the presentation of the data, the research instrument used are personal interview and questionnaire.
Finally, chapter five shows the presentation of the summary, findings, conclusion and recommendation.
Operational Definition of Terms
Inspection: – It could be described as the critical examination and evaluation of a school as a place of learning, (Ojelabi, 1981).
Primary School:- It is a school for children between the ages of four or five and eleven, (Macmillan Dictionary).
Primary School Teacher: – This is a person who provides education for pupils in the primary school.
Public School: – It is a school maintained, supported and controlled at public expense and providing free education for the children of a community (Dictionary.com)
Private School: – It is a secondary or elementary school run and supported by private individuals or a corporate rather than by a government or public agency. (Free online.com)
Attitude: – The way a person views something or tends to behave towards it, often in an evaluative way. (Dictionary.com)
Experienced Teachers: This refers to those teachers who had worked above 10 years
Inexperienced Teachers: Inexperienced teachers in the context of this study refer to those teachers who had worked below 10 years.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS