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TEACHERS PROFESSIONAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AND SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BIOLOGY
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The quality of any educational system depends to a great extent on the quality of teachers. Teachers are the most important component of any educational system because they are the people to shape the behaviour, thinking and attitude of the pupils/students in the teaching/learning situation. The quality of teachers determines the quality of teaching and knowledge imparted to the students and the quality of learning outcomes. If quality universal basic education is to be achieved, government and agencies involved in the management of UBE must make adequate provision for staff development programmes. Quality education is that type of education that is relevant to the needs of the learners and the needs of the society.
It is the education that produces the complete person, a well educated wholesome individual that is intellectually, morally, physically, emotionally and socially developed. Thus, quality education should be education that inculcate in the learners dignity of labour, respect, ethical value, religious tolerance, self-reliance political stability, security, quality leadership and industrial harmony (Majasan, 1998). Akpan (1999) in his study reported that teacher retraining programmes apart from developing in the teacher, self-confidence, it also improves upon the teachers’ teaching method, class control, supervision of students, and knowledge of subject matter and use of instructional materials. These enhance teaching effectiveness and quality outcomes.
Professional development according to Yemmy (2010) is a process engaged in to enhance the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the teachers. This implies the responsibility to create, preserve, evaluate and transmit knowledge through continuing learning. Development programme have the ingredient of fostering and preserving the scholarly values, curiosity and integrity to nurture these values through inculcation. Chukwu (2009) states that basic aims of professional development are to improve quality of the teaching and learning as well as to improve the performance of those with teaching and management responsibilities. So the ideas for academic development can be said to conceived from the organizations acknowledgement that efficiency and effectiveness to a large extent depend on training and re-training of the work force.
Moreso, Obodegbulam (2007) categorized professional development into three components which are instructional development that under pins evaluation methods, technologies and curriculum development, organizational development that reflects on team building, decision-making and management and personal development that incorporate interpersonal skills, training and career development as a focus. The implication therefore is that professional development is conceived in term of partnership between individual and organize.
Technology competency is another important aspect of teacher professional development programme. Teachers need technology to improve upon their job efficacy. In this period of knowledge driven society, teachers need to acquire sound knowledge on how to use ICT tools to enhance quality teaching and learning in schools. Seminars, conferences and workshops expose teachers to new teaching strategies and the use of modern instructional aids in teaching and learning. The curriculum of universal basic education is value-loaded and therefore requires teachers with the requisite expertise for effective curriculum content delivery and exposure of the learners to appropriate learning experiences. Obi (2000) in his study found that teachers’ development programmes improve them both academically and professionally and apart from helping them to update their knowledge, it serves as a motivating factor for teacher efficiency.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM