Background to the Study

Teaching is an integral part of the process of education. It is a system of actions intended to induce learning. Its special function is to impact knowledge, develop understanding and skill. In teaching an interaction occurs between the teacher and the students, by which the students are diverted towards the goal. Thus the sole element of teaching is the mutual relationship or the interaction between the teacher and the students, by which students are diverted towards advances the goal. Teaching can be considered as the art of assisting another to learn by providing the information and appropriate situations, conditions or activities. Education across the globe has been seen as the only veritable tool for progress and survival of a nation. The formulation and translation of good policies are dependent upon quality teaching and learning. Educational institutions exist primarily for the purposes of cultivating, generating and supplying of manpower needed for the attainment of aims and aspirations of the society through developmental programmes (teaching and learning), conducting research to solve existing and anticipating problems as well as expanding other frontiers of knowledge by providing other varieties of services to the communities (Thomson 2015). The development of a nation is highly dependent on the quality of education received by her citizens.

Mill (2017) reported that effective education is generally accepted as a mobilization tool to stimulate growth and development of economic, political, sociological and technological resources of a nation. The enviable position which education system of most countries of the world including Nigeria occupies is perhaps justifiable. The reason is that education can exert a dominant if not decisive influence on the life of individuals as well as on the developmental efforts of the nation (Emovon 2012), the universal recognition of the above submission is responsible for the prime position that has been accorded to teaching and learning. Effective teaching and learning can be achieved through the efforts of well qualified, competent and effective teachers. Depending on the demands of the era, the educational aims and objectives change very rapidly (Doyle, 2010). These demands have a direct influence on the educational system. Every country develops its system of education to meet the challenges of changing times.

Teaching and learning process is the heart of education. It is the most powerful instrument of education to bring about desired changes in the students. Teaching and learning are related terms. In teaching – learning process, the teacher, the learner, the curriculum and other variables are organized in a systematic way to attain some pre-determined goal (Bruner cited in Siaw, (2018). To retain the enrolled masses in the classroom, to make real education possible, to increase the level of achievement, to tap the potentialities of the students and to improve educational standards remarkably, the teacher should not only be committed and devoted but also be competent and effective. To mould the students into ideal democratic citizen with efficiency and skill, the teachers’ should be exemplary, competent and effective and devoted to the profession with expertise and intellect.

The purpose of teaching and learning is specifically to produce three kinds of intellectual capital: Scientists and engineers who will continue the research and development that is central to the economic growth of our country; technological proficient workers who are capable of dealing with the demands of a Science-based high Technology workforce and scientifically literate citizens who make intelligent decisions about public policy and who understand the world around them. Accordingly, effective teaching and learning of subjects is critical to enable students to acquire: The World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) recommended that people should be empowered through education to achieve the 3 goals of – employment generation, poverty eradication and value – orientation. Papanastasiou (2011) reported that those who have positive attitude toward education tend to perform better in the subject. The teachers play a significant role during the teaching and learning process and they can directly or indirectly influence the student’s attitudes toward learning which in consequence can influence students’ achievement Laurillard (2016). Teachers are, invariably, role models whose behaviors are easily mimicked by students. What teachers like or dislike, appreciate and how they feel about their learning or studies could have a significant effect on their students. By extension, how teachers teach, how they behave and how they interact with students can be more paramount than what they teach. Ojo (2010) and Adesokan (2012) asserted that inspite of realization of the recognition given to education, it is evident that students still show negative attitude towards the academics, thereby leading to poor performance and low enrolment.

The achievement of students in academics is also reported to be causally influenced by the previous experience of the student. A student cannot learn Subjects effectively without passing through some experiences in education (Oshokoya, 2012). Other factors that may have causal relationships with effective teaching and learning are; teacher attendance at Subjects workshop, laboratory adequacy, class size and School location. One of the fundamental problems facing teaching and learning today is the question of how current are the professional teachers. The majority of teachers who have been employed in the past decades have been doing the same thing, the same way all along. They have no knowledge of the current ideas and innovations that have taken place in the educational field in the recent past. The role teaching and learning plays in the development of a country cannot be overemphasized and Nigeria is not an exception. Yet with the increasing importance of Subjects to the unfolding world, the performance of Nigerian students in the subject at the High school remains a dismal failure. However it is disappointing to note that the student’s performance in Subjects at internal and external examination has remained considerably poor despite the relative importance of Subjects (Saage 2009). Several factors have been advanced to affect student’s poor performance. Korau (2016) reported that such include the student factor, teacher factor, societal factor, the governmental infrastructural problem, language problem examination body related variables, curriculum related variables, test related variables, textbook related variables and home related variables. Saage (2009) identified specific variables such as poor primary School background in Science, lack of incentives for test, lack of interest on the part of students, students not interested in hard work, incompetent teachers in the primary School, large classes, fear of the subject psychologically etc. In Nigeria the pupil‘s home upbringing tends to affect their attitudes to authority. It is one of co-operation and passive submission.

Parents that are too push-up can cause academic maladjustment for learners. Boocock (2012) found that parental dominance tend to discourage the children in School learning. However some parents over-pamper their children too much to the points of spoiling them completely Korau, 2016). Since such parents shun their responsibility to train their children at home such children will develop nonchalant attitude to Subjects and other courses. Korau (2016) observed that the Schools population counts in thousands today against the hundreds of the previous years. Schools today are overcrowded in classrooms which make it impossible to talk of an ideal size of a classroom for effective teaching of Subjects. No effective teaching can take place under a chaotic situation where he cannot handle the large number of students effectively. Based on the background of the variables discussed earlier, this study is premised on investigating the factors militating against the effective teaching and learning in Secondary schools in Awka south Local Government Area of Anambra State in order to improve the academic performance of students.

Statement of the Problem

The report of Shelter Right Initiative clearly stated that Nigeria trailed behind other West African countries for nine consecutive years in academic performance. Students do not only perform poorly at the cognitive level, they also perform badly at the affective and psychomotor domains respectively to the extent that it is difficult to have a good number of candidates with enough credits to secure admission at higher levels in all disciplines. Furthermore, it has also been identified that poor knowledge of Mathematics as one of the major problems militating against students’ progress in Subjects. Accordingly, there is a growing public concern over this unimpressive academic performance and therefore expedient to understand the problems and challenges facing subjects as to suggest appropriate remedies for improved performance. The question however remains, what are the factors militating against effective teaching and learning in secondary schools.

In Awka south Local Government Area of Anambra state, there has been poor academic performance which is reflected in their external examinations and due to this increasing nature of poor academic performance of High school students especially in external examinations like WAEC or JAMB, many educationists says the reason for ineffective teaching and learning are; the teaching methodology adopted by the teachers and lack of fund from the government to provide quality textbooks, inadequate conducive learning environment, However, other reasons why teaching and learning is ineffective may be student – oriented. It is clear from all indications that most High school students have poor study habit and abysmal attitude towards learning due to some societal factors which might lead to ineffective teaching and learning in any classroom situation. So with respect to the above stated reasons and from the foregoing highlighted statement of problem, it is pertinent to investigate the factors militating against the effective teaching and learning in Secondary schools in Awka south Local Government Area of Anambra State in order to improve the academic performance of students.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the factors militating against the effective teaching and learning in Secondary schools in Awka south Local Government Area of Anambra State. Specifically, the objectives therefore were to find out:

  1. The extent of availability and adequacy of teachers especially qualified teachers in secondary schools in Awka south Local Government Area
  2. The extent of availability and adequacy of instructional materials for teaching and learning in secondary schools in Awka south Local Government Area
  3. The extent of availability and adequacy of educational facilities and funding in secondary schools in Awka south Local Government Area.

Research Questions

To achieve the objectives of this study, the following research questions were posed:

  1. To what extent are teachers especially qualified teachers available in Secondary schools in Awka south Local Government?
  2. To what extent are instructional materials available for teaching and learning in secondary schools in Awka south Local Government?
  3. To what extent are educational facilities and funding available in Secondary schools in Awka south Local Government?


Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is particularly in the area of teaching and learning. Its findings will be beneficial to teacher, students, education administrators and other researchers. Therefore, the study will be significant in the following regard;

  • It will help teachers to identify and solve the problems of teaching to enable them become effective in their teaching career
  • It will help students to have better experiences in classroom, learning will be more effective and academic excellence will be achieved which will make them acquire the necessary skills needed to fit in to the society and become better citizens
  • It will also help to sensitize the educational administrators on the problems affecting teaching and learning and for them to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials that will enhance effective teaching and learning
  • Finally, it will serve as a resource material for others who want to carry out research in related field


The research work focuses on the factors militating against the effective teaching and learning in Secondary schools in Awka south Local Government Area of Anambra State. On the other hand, the geographical scope covers the fifteen (15) government owned secondary schools in Awka South Local Government Area but the researcher limited the study to only seven (7) secondary schools in Awka South. The selection is based on the peculiarity of the case study.