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IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS TRAINING WORKSHOPS FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS IN BAUCHI METROPOLIS
The study investigated the impact assessment of MDGs teacher training workshops for English Language teachers in Bauchi State. The essence is to identify the various ways the MDGs workshops have impacted on the teaching of English Language by teachers. Based on this objective, five research questions and four hypotheses were raised for the study. The study adopted the qualitative survey research design. Relevant literatures were equally reviewed on the study. The study purposively sampled 40 English Language teachers and used them for the study. The study collected data using an observational checklist designed by the researcher and scrutinized by language expert. Analysis of data was by the application of means, frequency tables and t-test. Results obtained showed that the MDGs teacher training workshops impacted positively on the teaching of English Language. Specifically, the areas of concern were on listening, speaking, reading, writing and integrative skills. Based on the findings, the study concludes that there is a significant effect of MDGs training workshops on the teaching of English Language in Bauchi State. The study recommended among other things that more teachers should be selected to participate in the MDGs training workshops and that more facilitators need to be involved to reduce large class sizes.
1.1 Background to the Study
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were established following the millennium summit of the United Nations in 2000; which was consequently adopted as the United Nations‟ Millennium Declaration (United Nations, 2003). In the summit, 189 United Nations member states and at least 23 International Organizations declared commitment to help achieve the following Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year 2015 which is to:
- eradicate extreme poverty and hunger,
- achieve universal primary education,
- promote gender equality and empower women,
- reduce child mortality,
- improve maternal health,
- combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases,
- ensure environmental sustainability, and
- develop a global partnership for development.
Precisely, to achieve the objective for which they were employed, it become
pertinent that effective teaching can be enhanced by the MDGs through (NTI) training and retraining workshops for teachers in Nigeria. Sharehu (2009) stated that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) as part of its commitment to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the primary school level, implemented a nationwide capacity building programme for primary school teachers under the MDG project. This is because the MDGs goal of Education For All (EFA) would be
meaningless if the children cannot have access to quality education. Consequently, to enhance quality education and to achieve equal access to education, retraining of teachers become paramount.
The major inspiration for undertaking the research is to examine ineffective teaching of English Language in our schools, especially in Bauchi metropolis, a situation which has led to the high rate of failure in English Language as well as the inability of the pupils to utilize the language competently. Moreover, the teaching of English language as the official language of Nigeria and equally the medium of instruction in schools is critical to the advancement of the learners. This is because the learners are expected to communicate either orally or by writing via the English language. Again, being a second language, speakers need to be well-groomed in the language. This can only be done if the teachers are adequately trained and retrained.
The teaching of English language in Nigerian schools has suffered due to poor pedagogical skills of the teachers (Oyetunde, 2009). Furthermore, in Nigeria today, evidences abound about the great decline in performance of school children (and their teachers) in the basic areas like numeracy, literacy and life skills. A number of factors are responsible which include decaying infrastructure, poor teaching and learning environment, low quality of teachers and poor pedagogical skills (Kolawole, 1998). The teacher is a key factor in teaching and learning, hence his role cannot be undermined. As a curriculum implementer and guide to the learners (especially in a second language like English language) it is necessary for the teachers to master their subject on how to teach so as to ensure that learning takes place. For these to be in place, the English language teacher must be up-to-date in instructional strategies and other research-based innovations in the teaching and learning of English language. This was the rationale for the introduction of MDGs retraining workshop for teachers
of English language. The workshops have been on since 2006; having operated for nine years (2006-2014); it has come of age to assess its impact on teachers of English language. It is against this backdrop that this present study is carried out to examine the extent to which the MDGs training workshops have helped in improving or otherwise, the teaching and learning of English language in Bauchi State.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The Millennium Development Goals workshop for the retraining of teachers was a project aimed at upgrading the knowledge and professional competences of practicing teachers. The aim of retraining of the teachers was based on the fact that the standard of education was falling and teachers needed to be constantly updated professionally for more effective teaching. Moreover, in Nigerian schools, English language is the approved medium of instruction from upper level of primary education to tertiary level and is equally a core-subject in our basic and secondary schools education. Interestingly, the performance of learners in English language is very consequential to their future education. However, at present, the performance of learners in English language is generally poor and this may be attributed to poor quality of English language teaching and teachers (Oyetunde, 2009). In a bid to salvage the poor state of English language in schools, the MDG workshops for teachers were organized yearly. The essence of the MDGs workshops for teachers of English language was to upgrade and update practicing English language teachers in knowledge, skills and competences for effective service. However, there has being great doubts as to whether the aims and objectives of this laudable programme has been achieved. This study, therefore, seeks to assess the impact of MDGs training workshops on teaching and learning of English Language in Bauchi State, Nigeria,
with the intention of finding if there was any gap between the objectives of the programme and its implementation.
I.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to determine the impact of MDGs training workshops on the teaching of English language in Bauchi State. Specifically, the study was designed to:
- determine the impact of MDGs workshops on the teaching of spoken English,
- determine the impact of MDGs workshops on the teaching of written English,
- determine the impact of MDGs workshops on the teaching of reading comprehension,
- determine the impact of MDGs workshops on the teaching of grammar (integrative skills), and
- determine the impact of MDGs workshops on the teaching of listening comprehension.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated for the study and were answered in the course of the study:-
- What is the impact of MDGs workshops on the teaching of spoken English?
- How have the MDGs workshops impacted on the teaching of written English?
- What is the impact of MDGs workshops on the teaching of reading comprehension?
- How have the MDGs workshops helped English language teachers in the teaching of listening comprehension?
- What is the impact of MDGs workshops on the teaching of grammar?
The under listed null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and was tested at 0.05 level of significance. These are:
- There is no significant difference between MDG trained teachers and those, not similarly trained in teaching of basic spoken English in Bauchi metropolis.
- There is no significant difference between MDG trained teachers and those, not similarly trained in teaching of basic written English in Bauchi metropolis.
- There is no significant difference between MDG trained teachers and those, not similarly trained in teaching of basic reading comprehension in Bauchi metropolis.
- There is no significant difference between MDG trained teachers and those, not similarly trained in teaching of basic grammar in Bauchi metropolis.
- There is no significant difference between MDG trained teachers and those, not similarly trained in teaching of basic listening comprehension in Bauchi metropolis.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study will be of immense benefit to stakeholders like the language teachers, pupils, researchers, government officials, management of the National Teachers‟ Institute and the general public. English language teachers will be adequately informed through this study, about the importance of the MDG workshops. The awareness will encourage the teachers to be participatory during the workshops not just for the financial benefits but for the professional gains attached to it. The skills learnt in the workshops will help the teachers to be more efficient and
effective in their classroom pedagogy. This is because they are exposed to modern methods of teaching and skills to handle the nearly globalized technological world of learning which students and pupils are now experiencing.
The learners (pupils and students) will gain from the study by way of the improvement that their teachers will also gain through or will also benefit from the study. The improvement in teacher‟s pedagogical skills will lead to an improvement in learner‟s performance in English language. The government, through the Ministry of Education, will utilize the suggestions and recommendations that will manifest from the study to device means of improving the teaching and learning of English language in schools.
This study is invaluable to the government as it will help them in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, to work on policies that would be of benefit to teachers so as to enhance primary competencies in teaching English language. The study will serve as a spring board for other related researches, which fellow researchers could embark on, to see to the advancement and achievement of the goals of teaching English language in schools.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
This study has the following basic assumptions:
- most English language teachers are neither qualified nor competent in teaching English language, so the workshop could have a positive effect on their performances in lesson delivery.
- the training and retraining of English language teachers is necessary for efficient service delivery and will expose them to different patterns of lesson delivery.
- the respondents will be able to utilize, adequately, the skills acquired during the workshops in their lesson delivery.
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The research study focused on the impact assessment of the MDGs training workshop for English language teachers in Bauchi state. The study will concern itself with the identification of the impact of MDGs workshops on English language teachers, in the teaching of English language in the following areas:-
- the teaching of spoken English,
- the teaching of written English,
- the teaching of reading comprehension,
- the teaching of listening comprehension, and
- the teaching of grammar.
The study was restricted to primary school teachers who have participated in
the MDGs training workshop in Bauchi State. The study used only teachers of English language that participated in the MDGs workshops in Bauchi State, due to limited resources and time constraints, the schools chosen were restricted to Bauchi metropolis because they comprised different teachers/pupils from different parts of the State. The respondents also gave results that were true of the situation of the impact of the workshops in the State; thus, the study is limited to finding out the impact of MDGs/Workshops on teachers of English.