EFFECT OF TEACHERS AWARENESS AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE LANGUAGE PROVISION OF THE NATIONAL POLICY ON EDUCATION ON STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Background of the Study
Quality education is the greatest legacy any country can bequeath to its citizens. To ensure quality education, government has tried to provide the National Policy on Education that addresses the needs and aspirations of the people. The need for National Policy on Education arose as a result of general dissatisfaction of the people with the educational system inherited from the colonial masters. The system failed to a large extent to support, growth and development of the nation. It became very necessary for the convocation of 2010 conference to evolve educational system that would cater for the needs of the people. With the subsequent seminars and workshops the National Policy on Education emerged.
Education language policy (henceforth ELP) in multilingual societies is indeed a rallying point for local, national and international interests in negotiating political and economic development, national unity, and cultural identity. In the last fifty years, teachers awareness on language policy and planning has witnessed paradigm shifts: from monolingualism to multilingualism as an ideal for individuals and societies, perception of multilingualism no longer as a problem but a resource, and heightened interrogation of ideological and political dimensionalities of language decisions in society (Ricento, 2000). There has also been an intensification of commitment to language policy and planning through international consensuses and programmatic initiatives often associated with UNESCO and other international organizations (Brock-Utne & Skattum, 2009). These developments in language policy and planning scholarship and expansion of “global” educational visions notwithstanding, actual language policies and linguistic behaviors of most multilingual societies in Africa and Asia remain largely unchanged for over half a century now. This dissertation research is inspired by an interest to understand why particular language policy frameworks and language behaviors persist in spite of academic and political rationales for change.
In trying to understand this problematique, early review of literatures in this field revealed an overwhelming focus on policy as a finished product of government action (Ricento, 2012). As yet, not much is known about the processes of ELP development and the various (especially non-governmental) actors involved in these processes. Consequently, this dissertation research departs with two interrelated assumptions: first, that ELP is an ongoing dynamic conflict-laden process and second, that this (ELP) process involves various actors (in and outside governments) whose roles are both unequal and non-negligible. Guided by these assumptions and interested in explicating the problematique stated above, this research explores qualitative – largely ethnographic – evidences from two highly multilingual societies (Nigeria) and UNESCO to examine processes of education language policymaking and intersections of global visions (about multilingualism) and local (educational) agendas on national ELPs.
The tendency in existing empirical studies of and public debates over language policy and planning and particularly ELP of students performance in English language IS to represent policy as self-contained products of government activities (Brock-Utne and Skattum, 2011) has two legitimate but problematic dimensions. First, it articulates policy as fixed and completed. Such studies rely heavily on analysis of official policy documents to outline their implications for educational practices, and to link policy provisions to variables like academic performance, economic resources, political interests, social identity and language rights (Sarangi, 2010). Experts in this genre are not incognizant of policy changes and revisions. However, the focus is typically not on the general process or specific mechanisms of change but the product of the process (Herriman & Burnaby, 2015). To study ELPs becomes to dissect official statements of state apparatuses regarding languages in education, their rationale, and implications for society. The second dimension is that policymaking is the exclusive prerogative of government and its associate organs.
Viewing ELPs this way is legitimate, however, it simplifies a rather complicated and ongoing dynamic process in which policy texts and institutional actors are only partly prominent. As will be argued later, focusing solely on the official aspects of policymaking has the capacity of strengthening governments’ control over ELPs and correspondingly discouraging non-government actors. As its point of departure, this research approaches ELPs as dynamic and ongoing processes. It articulates policy not as a finished (or “finishable”) product accessible primarily or exclusively through policy texts, but as a viable instrument in a constantly changing and continuously evolving process of negotiation among multiple uneven players. Official policy documents are displaced as sole primary sources and reconstituted as one of the many dynamic tools for, not finished products of, political, economic, social and cultural transactions. In interrogating the activities of relevant actors, I seek explanations for the motives behind stated official policies, and also the relationships among the varied actors, the tools they wield in pursuits of diverse goals, and the ultimate outcomes they produce.
One major implication of a process approach to ELP research is that its scope widens to include various government and non-government actors. It rejects definitions that restrict language policy and planning to activities of government, its agencies and authoritative bodies with public mandate for language regulation (Ager 2012). This is not to deemphasize or downplay government’s role in policymaking. As state theory informs us, the state continues to function as the critical actor in educational planning and management (Carnoy, 2010). However, interpreting state actors as monolithic entities with unified purpose and organized action ignores the interpenetrations of government institutions by individuals and groups with conflicting interests (McGinn & Street, 2015). As debate over the denationalizing proclivities of globalization continues, a solely state-centered approach to ELP research becomes rather anachronistic.
The National Policy on Education is the document of the government that contains information about the philosophy and goals of all levels of education in the educational system. It also contains the responsibilities of both the government and the stakeholders in the provision of education services. The document was first published in 1977 and revised in 1981, 1988, 2004 and 2014 (FRN, 2014).
In education as in other fields of human endeavour, every official action of an organisation must have a backing or a basis. It is this purpose that a policy serves. A policy defines the area in which decisions are to be made, but it does not make the decision. It usually provides a general guide that facilitates decision-making. Educational policies provide the direction for educational activities.
The formulation of an educational policy sets the stage for implementation which, according to Ukeje (2012) is perhaps the most important aspect of planning. Planning is usually an action which succeeds policy formulation but precedes implementation. Unfortunately, educational policies and goal attainment have been irreconcilable due to implementation constraints. Perhaps this accounts for the observation made by Governor Oyakhilome of Rivers State in an address sent to the Convention of the Nigerian Association for Educational Administration and Planning in 1986. He expressed concern about the problem of policy implementation thus: We know it is difficult to realize planned objectives one hundred percent. But our experience in planning education in this country shows a disturbing gap between planned objectives and attained results … As professionals in the field of education, it may be pertinent to identify whether those critical gaps are results of faulty planning or faulty implementation (Oyakhilome 2012). Policy implementation in education is a conspicuous national problem that has taken centre stage in Nigeria.
The importance of policy in the smooth running of an education sector cannot be over-emphasized. It serves as a blueprint or guiding principle for the activities in the organization. It helps the education sector to have a focus and to work towards the realization of the stated objectives. It expresses the procedure and means of working towards the goals of the organization. It enables the organization to conserve time and resources instead of dwelling on irrelevant activities that will not move the organization forward.
Statement of the problem
The National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN) was established in response to implementation challenges of the language provisions of the 1985 National Policy on Education (NPE). Now undergoing its 2010 revision, the NPE provides for education in Nigerian languages in the first three years of formal schooling. However, shortages of indigenous language teacher undermined the effective implementation of this provision. Since universities language teacher turnout was relatively low, a language institute committed to the development of and training of teachers in Nigerian languages was imperative to look into the problem of lack of teachers and lack of competence.
Over the years, the gap between educational policies and goal attainment due to inadequate implementation of these policies has become of great concern to many observers. The study therefore intend to look into the effects of teachers awareness and knowledge of the language provision of the national policy on education on student’s performance in English language in Ekiti State
In course of this examination, the following questions will be addressed.
- Are educational achievements in line with educational policies in Ado Local Government Nigeria?
- What factors or constraints have made the implementation of language provision of the national policy on education on students’ performance in English Language difficult?
- What are the implications of poor implementation of educational policies on student performance in English Language?
- What strategies can be adopted to ensure better Education language policy implementation on student performance in English language?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this research is to examine the effect of teachers awareness and knowledge of the language provision of the national policy on education on students’ performance in English Language in Ado Local Government.
The study also sought to examine educational achievements in line with educational policies in Ado Local Government Nigeria, factors or constraints the made the implementation of language provision of the national policy on education on students’ performance in English Language difficult, implications of poor implementation of educational policies on student performance in English Language and finally it examine the strategies that can be adopted to ensure better Education language policy implementation on student performance in English language
Significance of the Study
This study will be useful to the government, teachers, school authorities,, parents and students to effects of teachers awareness and knowledge of the language provision of the national policy on education on students performance in Ado –Local Government
All students/researchers, who are carrying out researches on other related topics would find findings of the study useful. The study provides useful information for the review of related literature on the effect of ICT in teaching and language provision of the national policy on education on students’ performance. Findings of the study will aid the students/researchers to have knowledge of the work that has been done by the current researcher on the research topic.
For teachers, findings of the study further create more awareness and have knowledge of the language provision of the national policy on education.
Findings of the study would enable parents, school administrators to appreciate importance of national Policy on education and its implementations.
Delimitation of the Study
This study will be restricted to some secondary schools within Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti State. The study will consist of fifty (50) teachers in Ado local government. It must be noted that only public schools are considered.
The study is delimited to examine effects of teachers awareness and knowledge of the language provision of the national policy on education on students’ performance in English Language in Ado Local Government.
Definition of Terms
National Policy on Education: The National Policy on Education (NPE) is a policy formulated by the Government to promote education amongst people. The policy covers elementary education to colleges in both rural and urban areas
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The review of related literature would be carried out under the following sub-headings;
- Concept of Policy
- Concept of National Policy on Education
- The Context of Languages and Education in Nigeria
- Language Policy, Planning and Implementation in Education
- The Prospects of the Policy Provisions
- Problems and Weaknesses of the Provisions
- Proficiency of Students in English Language Learning and Use
- The Languages in Students’ Repertoire
- Performance Levels of Students in Languages.
- Evidence of Poor performance of Students in Languages
- Alternative Language Policy and Planning For Proficiency in Language Learning and Use
- Bilingual Policies for the Nigerian Nation
- Micro-language Policy and Planning