ABSTRACT: The main purpose of this study was on the analysis of Teacher’s Commitment to Teaching Profession in Nigeria. Three research questions and three research hypotheses guided the study. The Survey design was used for the study. The design was suitable because of studied large population through a representative sample in order to find out and described the existing phenomena in the population. The population of the study consists of all the secondary school teachers in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. There are 4,800 teachers in public secondary schools in the study area. There were total of Ten (10) public secondary schools in Oyo Town were selected for the study through simple random sampling technique. Two hundred (200) Teachers were chosen for the sample size for the study.
Analysis of Teacher’s Commitment to Teaching Profession in Nigeria
The data for this study was collected using a questionnaire. It was called Secondary School Teacher’s Commitment to Teaching Profession Questionnaire (SSTCTPQ). It had 15 items. The respondents were expected to respond to either Agree (A) or Disagree (D) to each statement in part B of the questionnaire. The data obtained for the study was analyzed using t-test formular. This test statistic tested all the hypotheses at 0.05 alpha levels. Based on the findings, it indicates that the teacher’s commitment to teaching profession affects efficiency, productivity, teaching effectiveness, academic performance and general work performance.
1.1 Background to the Study
Teachers’ professional commitment refers to the measure of strength of the employees’ identification with the goals and values of their profession, having strong faith in it and showing considerable effort to continue in the membership of the profession (Nazari & Emami, 2012). Schools need strong and committed man power for the attainment of educational goals. To create an effective school, it is necessary to have an effective and committed teacher (Saki, 2009).
Teachers’ commitment is as classified as profession. But, it has been an alarming issue that teacher’s commitment result are fabricated and manipulated for personal purpose and principals’ schema. Studies show that over the past years, the teacher’s commitment result has always been good if not satisfactory but yet, students’ outcome as shown by National Test and the quality of education is low in general.
In 11 African countries there was a study conducted by Nwabuno (2013), despite of efforts done by institutions following the guidelines of result based framework in their teaching, it was revealed that many teachers indicated a need for further assistance especially in the area of application of a variety of instructional strategies, media, methods and the evaluation of instruction.
Commitment is part of a teacher’s affective or emotional reaction to their experience in a school setting (Ramos 2012). It can be seen to be part of a learned behaviour or attitude associated with the professional behaviour of teachers. From these affective reactions to the school setting, teachers make decisions about their level of willingness to personally invest to that particular setting, or particular group of students.
Lacey (2017) define commitment as the investment in a particular career, in this case, teaching. Whereas, Lortie (2015) regards commitment as the willingness an individual enacts in investing personal resources to the teaching task. Commitment is a sense of fidelity and adherence. The sense of belonging in the core of commitment concept causes a constitution of a kind of connection between organization and individual and makes the individuals gather round a common value, aim and culture.
Commitment is teachers’ psychological attachment to the teaching profession (Coladarci, 1992). The rapid changes in education system are generally carving the roles and scopes of works for lecturers in the academic environment. Teachers need to be creative and innovative in order to develop the commitment towards any given tasks and to enhance the students’ academic achievement. According to O’Malley (2000) at the organizational level, committed employees normally put on a greater effort at their workplace. Teacher commitment has been identified as one of the most critical factors for the future success of education and schools. Furthermore, teacher’s commitment is closely connected to lecturer’s work performance and their ability to innovate and to integrate new ideas (Huberman, 1999).
Teaching is a complex and demanding career that requires intense dedication (Carbonneau, 2008). Commitment is a high level of attachment to an organization (Crosswell, 2006). Teacher commitment and engagement has been identified as one of the most critical factors in the success and future of education (Huberman, 1993). Teacher commitment is one of the major professional characteristics that influence an educator’s success (Crosswell, 2006). Commitment results from the job satisfaction (Firestone & Rosenblum, 1988). High level of job satisfaction will influence teachers’ commitment. Teacher commitment is highly related to teachers’ work performance which has a significant influence on students’ achievement.
In any educational institution student is the most important element (Celep, 2001). Student achievement deeply depends on teacher commitment. Low level of teachers’ commitment reduces students’ achievement (Singh and Billinnsgley, 1998). Education needs to be reinforced throughout life because the nation depends on it for a competitive work force and cohesive citizenry (Hettleman, 2007). Teacher quality has been consistently identified as the most important school-based factor in student achievement (McCaffrey, Lockwood, Koretz, & Hamilton, 2003). Teaching is demanding in a variety of ways which include time, effort and commitment. Teachers prepare students for the job market and the socio-economic development of every nation. They are required to exhibit good qualities and accommodate the academic, social and emotional needs of their students (Williams, 2003).
Traditionally teachers are perceived mainly as the knowledge providers to students. But now, teachers are expected to assume a new major role as a facilitator in supporting students’ learning process and developing students’ multiple intelligences and lifelong learning abilities. Owing to rapid advancements in teaching methods, teachers also need to put extra efforts besides giving formal instruction to students. In this regard, the views of Elliot and Morris (2001) are quite acceptable. They emphasized that teachers themselves also need to be a lifelong learner; be able to articulate their teaching with the new paradigm of learning; be adaptive and flexible in dealing with a new brand of students comprising different age groups of diverse ethnicity and with a wide range of prior knowledge and background; and be conversant with the new technologies which are developing rapidly at an ever increasing speed.
Moreover, teachers are also expected to network and work with peer teachers, students, parents, other experts and the community so that teaching and learning can extend beyond the boundaries of one class or one school to an entire network of local and international leaders. So it can say that parental encouragement and school environment is very important factor of performance of students (Bashir, et al., 2016., Bashir, et al. 2017., & Gupta, 2017). In the present scenario, teachers’ work is complex, and located in contexts that are both demanding (of knowledge, classroom management and teaching skills) and emotionally and intellectually challenging (Day, 2004, p.13).
Day (2004, p.13) further advocated that teachers are confronted in their work by a number of external imperatives that lead to contradictory demands: on the one hand, there is growing recognition of the importance to the economy, to life-long education, and to the society, of teamwork and cooperation, tolerance and mutual understanding. On the other hand there is an increase in alienation of students from formal schooling increasing emphasis on competition and material values and growing inequalities, deepening social differences and breakdown in social cohesion (UNESCO, 1996; Bentley, 1998).
Owing to extreme pressures of the multitasks and contradictory demands, there is a possibility that teachers may feel high amount of stress, emotional imbalances and even they may feel maladjusted which ultimately affect their performance. Therefore it is very important for a teacher to be effective enough in coping with these circumstances and to maintain their efficiency in extreme pressures of their strenuous jobs. This could be achieved by integrating professional as well as personal skills and then applying them in teaching learning process thereby improving the quality of education.
Analysis of Teacher’s Commitment to Teaching Profession in Nigeria
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Research findings have shown that organizational commitment can be a major determinant of organizational performance or effectiveness (Riketta, 2012) and Dannetta (2012) have found that committed teachers are dedicated to helping students learn regardless of academic difficulties or social background. It has also been established that once an employee has a true commitment it is hard to give up on the values that he believes in, in the organization.
In recent times, teachers’ strike, students threats, violence, insecurity to life and property, under-funding, lack of facilities and the effects of the economic downturn have all conspired to make teaching in schools unpalatable and difficult in Nigeria. These problems are increasingly being recognized as serious issues that could pose challenges to teachers’ level of commitment in secondary schools in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.