The study focused on enhancing the standard of teaching and learning in the 21st century via qualitative school-based supervision in secondary schools in Abuja municipal area council. To guide the study, two null hypotheses were formulated. A descriptive survey research design was adopted. The sample of the study constituted of 270 secondary schools teachers in Abuja municipal area council. The study employed questionnaire for data collection while Chi-square was used as statistical analysis technique. Findings from the study indicated that school-based supervision significantly enhanced teachers’ performance in secondary school. The finding further revealed that school-based supervision significantly promoted students’ academic performance in secondary school. Based on the findings, it was recommended that since supervision enhanced the performance of both teachers and students, the quality of school-based supervision in secondary schools should be intensified in order to promote the quality of teaching and learning.
The school system is a social organization primarily concerned with the interest and welfare of the learners. The central task of the school system is thus, to ensure effective teaching-learning process; so that the right knowledge and skills, attitudes and values are imparted on the learners. It is further aimed at promoting the mental, spiritual, moral, cultural and physical development of the learners with a view to preparing them for better opportunities, responsibilities and experiences that would make them useful to themselves, and the society at large (Ogunu, 2000).
Therefore, if the goals of the school system as pinpointed earlier among others are to be maximally actualized, teachers’ responsibilities need to be regularly, purposefully and continuously guided, stimulated, overseen, monitored, assisted and admonished on how to improve the teaching-learning process.
Besides, there is need to ensure that the policies, principles and methods established for achieving the objectives of education are properly and successfully carried, standard or quality control is maintained, schools physical plants and instructional materials are functional and available in sufficient volume, school libraries are equipped and functional, students are helped to learn and made to feel good of being in school, learning contents or activities are practical and useful, the schools’ resources are prudently managed, leadership styles in use are productive-based etc.
The standard of education of a nation can hardly be better than the standard of its supervisory process/system. Thus, the level and standard of school supervision in existence in any country would certainly manifest in its educational system. Often times, school supervision is seldom carried out particularly in rural schools and in areas or schools where it is carried out, the thoroughness of the process is greatly in doubt.
Besides, even when supervision is carried out in schools, its regularity, continuity and quality has been a very big challenge to stakeholders in the educational system; as the number of schools are numerous or exploding rapidly while the number of supervisors available for teachers’ supervision is very insufficient, and they are usually spread thin to a number of schools. Since there are no sufficient supervisors, the few available ones would try to visit more schools in a day; thereby reducing the time expected to be spent per school.
Also, supervisors also engage in other activities like conducting examination; thereby reducing the number of contacts supervisors would have used to visit schools. It has also been noted over the years that some school principals give external supervisor huge amount of money in order to prevent supervisor from writing negative report about their schools. What a corrupt act? Even when school principals as internal supervisors are meant to complement the effort of external supervisors, some rarely visit teachers in the classrooms to observe them teach.
Hence, the extent to which secondary school teachers efficiently impart knowledge in the learners, plan their lessons, manage their classrooms, handle students’ deviant behavior, gain subject mastery, exhibit command of language etc. depends to a very large extent on the quality of supervision constantly carried out from within and without the school system when the need arises. Thus, supervision is the tonic which teachers need in order to enhance their job performance which in turn, enhance students’ performance on one hand and school effectiveness on the other hand.
In the opinion of Udeozor (2004), the extent to which the predetermined objectives of any school are meaningfully realized lies heavily on the school’s ability and capacity to sincerely utilize teachers’ supervision in order to promote effective teaching-learning process; thereby enhancing teachers’ performance and meeting the felt needs and interest of the learners.
According to Onasanya (2013), school supervision occupies a unique place in the entire education system. If qualitative education is a thing seriously desired in schools so that standard of education in our schools can be highly improved, school supervision must therefore be accorded high priority. Through supervision, the supervisors assist in improving classroom instructions because teachers are made more competent and efficient, parent are satisfied with the performance of their children, children are motivated to work harder in order to achieve the required standard; hence in the long run, the goal of education is achieved.
The concept of supervision is derived from the Latin word super-video; meaning to oversee. It is the act of overseeing the activities of teachers and students and by extension, other workers within the school system. It is the personnel element of school administration. School supervision is the process whereby an individual by means of advising and stimulating interest in teachers and pupils, helps to improve the teaching-learning situation in the educational institution.
The concept of supervision is a way of stimulating, guiding, improving, refreshing, encouraging and overseeing certain group with the hope of seeking their cooperation in order for the supervisors to be successful in their task of supervision (Udeozor, 2004).
Lloyd and Becker (2007) see school-based supervision as a way of advising, guiding, refreshing, encouraging, stimulating, improving and over-seeing certain groups with the hope of seeking their cooperation in order for the supervisors to be successful in their tasks of supervision. It is also a way of persuading people to desist from applying wrong procedures in carrying out certain functions on their jobs and at the same time, trying to emphasize the importance of good human relations in an organization.
According to Kilminster et al. (2007), school-based supervision refers to the provision of guidance and feedback on matters of personal, professional and educational development in the context of a trainee’s experience of providing safe and appropriate patient care. It involves the teaching of specific skills and competencies, helping the learner to develop self-sufficiency in the on-going acquirement of skills and knowledge. Educational supervision sometimes includes an element of assessment and may require the provision of pastoral care for some students or trainees. It is important that the educational supervisor flags up any concerns at an early stage.
Archibong (2008) admits that to be able to effectively provide education, there is need to ensure that the educational system is reliable. Reliability in terms of educational system can only be enhanced through supervision, she adds. She sees supervision as an aspect of checking the quality of output in secondary school; hence it is designed to evaluate educational inputs and outputs.
Akinwumi (2002) sees supervision as all efforts of designated school officials towards providing leadership to teachers and non-teaching staff aiming at the improvement of instruction. It involves the stimulation of instruction. It involves the stimulation of professional growth and development of teachers, a selection and revision of educational objectives, materials of instruction methods of teaching and the evaluation of instruction.
School supervisors carry out several functions. Archibong (2008) identified the functions of a school supervisors to include: improvement of the incompetent teachers, determining the ‘tone’ of the school and determining special abilities possessed by teachers, deciding who is to be transferred, retained, promoted or disengaged, deciding the nature and content of the curriculum, selecting the school organizational patterns and materials that will enhance educational growth, improvement of teacher effectiveness, ensuring that teachers are performing their duties as scheduled, deciding the nature and content of the curriculum, providing a guide for staff development and determining the effectiveness of the teachers’ classroom management.
Similarly, Olatoye (2006) and Okoli (2006) stressed on the functions of school supervision. To them, school supervisors are saddled with the responsibilities of determining the performance of the teachers recruited to teach in the school system, ascertaining whether a teacher should be transferred, promoted, retrained or dismissed, providing professional information to teachers, improving the incompetent teachers, discovering special abilities or qualities possessed by teachers in the schools, guiding teachers to the sources of instructional materials, providing a guide to staff development, know the effectiveness of classroom management by the teachers.
While commenting on the need for quality school-based supervision, Popham and Baker (2004) similarly opine that no matter how beautifully planned and measurable school objectives are articulated, their maximum achievement would be relatively far from efficiency and effectiveness if the issue of school-based supervision is not purposefully and objectively addressed, systematically and comprehensively planned as well as constantly and continuously practiced and promoted.
They advise that schools need to increasingly use supervision to help teachers in the school system and provide the critical support teachers need to begin an effective teaching career. To them, a comprehensive, high-quality school-based supervision accelerates professional growth and teachers’ effectiveness, reduces teachers’ inefficiency and improves students’ learning.
They further submit that a school system can recruit and select the most suitable teachers, unless they are constantly and properly supervised, the level of their efficiency may not be maximize; as the qualitative of teaching-learning process requires good and qualitative teachers who are well guided, advised, motivated, encouraged and constantly assessed and given prompt feedback.
Oyetunde (2004) maintains that as examination and education are inseparable, so does the quality of teaching and learning inseparable from school-based supervision. As such, the quality of teaching and learning can only take place effectively and efficiently if adequate mechanism of school-based supervision of the teaching-learning process is firmly established, practised and promoted. Hence, since the goal of school supervision is aimed at ensuring improvement in teaching and learning, it is important that supervisors carry out their responsibility of improving the school system effectively.
According to Cheryl (2005), the quality of teachers’ instruction and students’ learning is directly related to the quality of school-based supervision. As such, school supervision forms part of an overall quality monitoring and improvement system, which includes other devices such as examinations and achievement tests and self-assessment practices by school and teachers. This study sought to attain two basic objectives:
(1) To determine the impact of school-based supervision on teachers’ performance
(2) To ascertain the impact of school-based supervision on students’ academic performance.
Statement of the problem
The quality of teachers’ instruction, students’ learning and functional school system is directly related to the quality of school-based supervision constantly and continuously carried out in an atmosphere of friendliness.
However, the fundamental question that keeps begging for answer even in the 21st century is to what extent is supervision being regularly, continuously and qualitatively carried out in Nigerian school system? The quality of school supervision in Nigeria is usually a serious problem; as often times the exercise is not carried out particularly in some rural schools.
In cases where supervision is carried out, it is rarely carried out and in schools where it is done, its thoroughness is in doubt. Besides, the number of supervisors available for teachers’ supervision is very insufficient; as they are usually spread thin to number schools. Since they are no sufficient supervisors, the few available ones would try to visit more schools in a day; thereby reducing the time expected to be spent per school. Sometimes supervisors end up in principals offices.
Thus, the low standard of education apparently manifested in teachers’ inefficiency, abysmal performance of students in both internal and external examination, un-conducive classroom for learning, unequipped libraries and dilapidated structures or buildings etc. are not unconnected to poor school supervision in the system.
H01: School-based supervision does not significantly enhance teachers’ performance in secondary schools.
H02: School-based supervision does not significantly promote students’ academic performance in secondary school.
This study adopted a descriptive survey research design. This was chosen because data were obtained from respondents considered to be the representative sample of the entire population. Hence, the sample of the study constituted of 270 secondary school teachers selected from 25 secondary schools (private and public) within the study area. The study employed a simple random sampling technique; as this gave every teacher equal chance of being a member of the sample. The study adopted questionnaire for data collection. The questionnaire was designed on a close-ended format. The data were personally collected by the researcher from the respondents after due permission was taken from the various school principals. Chi-square statistical technique was used for analyzing data and testing the hypotheses formulated. The degree of freedom allowed was 39 while the level of significance is 0.05.
Hypothesis one (H01): School-based supervision does not significantly enhance teacher's performance in secondary schools (Table 1).
To test hypothesis one, chi-square statistical technique was used at 0.05 level of significance; with 39 degree of freedom. As seen in Table 1, the calculated Chi-square value is 2356.5 while the table chi-square value is 43.8.
Decision rule states that if the calculated Chi-square value is greater than the table value, the null hypothesis should be rejected while accepting the alternative hypothesis. Thus, since the calculated chi-square value of 2356.5 is greater than the table chi-square value of 43.8., the null hypothesis which states that school-based supervision does not significantly enhance teacher's performance in secondary schools is rejected while upholding the alternative.
Hence, the findings indicated that school-based supervision significantly enhances teacher's performance in secondary schools.
Hypothesis two (H02): School-based supervision does not significantly promote students’ academic performance in secondary school.
To test hypothesis two, Chi-square statistical technique was used at 0.05 level of significance and 27 degree of freedom. From Table 2, the calculated chi-square value is 3592.6 while the table chi-square value of 40.1. Since the calculated value of 3592.6 is greater than the table value of 40.1, the null hypothesis which states that school-based supervision does not significantly promote students’ academic performance in secondary school is rejected thereby upholding the alternative hypothesis. Therefore, the finding of the study showed that t school-based supervision does not significantly promote students’ academic performance in secondary school.
Hypothesis one, sought to ascertain whether school-based supervision enhances teacher's performance in secondary schools. Finding revealed that school-based supervision significantly enhances teacher's performance in secondary schools.
This agrees with the opinion of Onasanya (2013) who posits that school supervision helps teachers in school management, assist them in development of needed teaching competences, development of sound education philosophy, creating confidence in incompetent teachers, identifies urgent needs in classroom and schools and examines continuously school instructional goals and assesses teacher’s performance in meeting such goals. In the same vein, Okoli (2006) maintains that school supervision helps teachers to be more creative, increases teachers’ willingness to advance new ideas and procedures as well as adopt basic laws of learning to his own personality and particular skills.
Hypothesis two sought to determine whether school-based supervision tends to significantly promote students’ academic performance in secondary school. Result obtained revealed that school-based supervision significantly promote students’ academic performance in secondary school. The result is in line with the opinion of Cheryl (2005) who submits the extent to which students are provided with conducive learning environment with all the necessary facilities depends greatly on the level of effective school supervision.
Cheryl (2005) adds that the practice of school supervision ensures that there adequate instructional materials for teaching and learning; thereby aiding students’ level of assimilation, retention and remembrance. Supervision also helps in diagnosing students learning challenges by supervisors and guiding and advising them on how to overcome those issues. School supervision stimulates teachers to action by ensuring that teachers have a well-organized and implemented lesson plan which in turn facilitates quality preparation by teachers and promotes effective instructions.
Udeozor (2004) similarly, states that school supervision offers useful suggestions to students which eventually improve the quality of instruction delivered to students. School supervision ensures that the curriculum contents taught to students are very useful to them and would meet their academic needs.