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TEACHER PERSPECTIVES ON QUALITY LIFELONG EDUCATION: A PSYCHOLOGICAL INQUIRY

TEACHER PERSPECTIVES ON QUALITY LIFELONG EDUCATION: A PSYCHOLOGICAL INQUIRY
  • December 28 2017

This study investigated teacher perspectives on quality lifelong education in Onitsha North Local Government Area. Three research questions and a hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. Descriptive survey research design was used. 360 primary school teachers (120 primary I, 120 primary II and 120 primary III) made up the sample for the study. Stratified random sampling was used in selecting the sample, with a 15-item self-made instrument to collect the data. Data was analyzed using mean, standard deviation and t-test. The findings revealed that lifelong education can make a child to be creative, promotes vocational studies, equips a child with a particular skill at an early age, and promotes sexuality education in the male and the female child, as well as exploring the environment. Gender has no significant influence on lifelong education. Recommendations were made based on observations.

TEACHER PERSPECTIVES ON QUALITY LIFELONG EDUCATION: A PSYCHOLOGICAL INQUIRY

 

BY

 

MUOKWUE, CHINYERE  AGNES

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY,

NWAFOR ORIZU COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, NSUGBE

e-mail:camuokwue@gmail.com.

08033577516

Abstract

This study investigated teacher perspectives on quality lifelong education in Onitsha North Local Government Area. Three research questions and a hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. Descriptive survey research design was used. 360 primary school teachers (120 primary I, 120 primary II and 120 primary III) made up the sample for the study. Stratified random sampling was used in selecting the sample, with a 15-item self-made instrument to collect the data. Data was analyzed using mean, standard deviation and t-test. The findings revealed that lifelong education can make a child to be creative, promotes vocational studies, equips a child with a particular skill at an early age, and promotes sexuality education in the male and the female child, as well as exploring the environment. Gender has no significant influence on lifelong education. Recommendations were made based on observations.  

 

Introduction

            In the last ten (10) years, following the world conference on education at Jomitien, Thailand, four United Nations sponsored world conferences have taken place, each underscoring basic and lifelong education as a corner stone for human development. These conferences, in addition to those held at sub-regional and regional levels, have resulted in a multitude of recommendations, declarations and action plans to achieve education for all (Obanya, 2003).

            Presently, lifelong education is perceived as important learning required by all members of the society to ensure political, social and economic progress. The issue of lifelong education requires an urgent swinging now that the United Nations wants to eradicate illiteracy and ignorance in all parts of the world, particularly, in Africa.

            Colelough (2003) asserted that, lifelong education is a type of educational procedure where students are expected to learn what would sustain them throughout their life. It means that for quality lifelong education to be achieved, students should learn various activities like vocational studies, agriculture, craft and handiwork, which would eventually assist them to establish something meaningful if they graduate from the school.

Quality lifelong education is an indispensable learning, whether formal or informal, which takes place throughout one’s life for self development. It is a continuous process of learning, which starts from birth to death. For lifelong education to be termed as being qualitative, all those processes, facilities or infrastructures needed by a child or young adult to develop his attitude, skills, abilities and other forms of behaviour, which are of positive value to the society in which he lives must be there so as to achieve the degree or level of excellence. Hence, lifelong education should be started at the primary level, which is the foundation of learning. It will provide necessary information a child needs to be promoted to adolescent stage and adulthood. Wrong step in promoting lifelong education would result to poor interaction with the child’s environment and at the same time make the child to lack focus on life.

 Government in the bid to improve matters has been reviewing educational policies and programmes. For example Alaezi (1990) pointed out the three major levels of the government search for qualitative education: the one made by Phelps-Strokes Commission in the colonial era, that made by some individuals during the colonial and early independence years, and that of the exponents of the Nigerian new national policy on education.

Primary education is the first part of learning, which a child receives from teachers, who are away from his/her parents. No matter how well schools are equipped and financed, once the teachers are in any way deficient, quality education can not be accomplished. Hence, the expectation of ever achieving good standard rests heavily on the teachers. Supporting the above, Moore (2002) stated that, the education under child setting needs a stronghold where the child should obtain all necessary information to guide him in further education of secondary and university education.

            In his own contribution, Sanyal (2004) believed that the objective of lifelong education is to make students realize that education embraces all aspect of life. Hence, with lifelong education a student can be self employed after graduating from the primary or even secondary school by being involved in tailoring, carpentry, mechanic and other vocations while those who seem to be in a better position can proceed to the University level to learn other professional courses.

            According to Ikhane (2004), one basic influence of the issue of quality lifelong education is that it always directs students on vocational ideas where a student can learn about various occupations at a very tender age and in the process, develop interest, skills and knowledge associated with such profession. 

One influence of quality lifelong education on any child is that it would make the child to be equipped with proper knowledge and be able to solve his/her problem independently in future.

            Salim (2004) acknowledged that, one basic problem that faces quality lifelong education, especially in Nigeria, is lack of classroom where students can relax and enjoy their learning. Most students in primary schools have no classroom and instead stay under the mango tree for their learning. If rain eventually comes, it means there would be no class for that particular day.

            Another problem of quality lifelong education as observed by Onyechere (2005) is that of properly trained teachers for the programme. Most of the teachers employed for such purpose lack the ability to transfer learning, which will make the children to be creative through their life-time and in the process contribute to the development of the society. Most students engaged in lifelong learning cannot boast of having good chairs to sit down and desks for writing. This often makes most students to stand up throughout the duration of the classes and in the process; most of them do not learn the basic things. Onyechere (2000) further asserted that, one possible solution to the problem of lifelong education is that of proper training of teachers. When teachers are properly trained under lifelong education, they are likely to give their best to the students in term of creativity and make them realize the dream of reading any professional course of their study in the universities.

Indabawa (2003) opined that, one possible solution to the problem of quality lifelong education is for government to provide proper fund for education. This will enable them provide chairs and desks for the students, instead of standing up to learn in difficult situations.

However, the role of gender in lifelong education can not be undervalued. Anderson (1992) opined that, boys are in better position to be part of the educational system because they are more eager to engage in lifelong education. This is due to the fact that most families in Africa prefer sending boys to school to girls. On the contrary, Oslow (2001) explained that, there are some girls whose brain capacities have promoted quality lifelong education more than boys, with these girls able to remember most of the things they were taught in  class and also creative with learning. By engaging in lifelong education according to Barling (2004), a child no matter his/her sex can learn everything concerning life and how to cope in life in near future.

 

 

Statement of the Problem  

A lot of people might still be puzzled as to whether lifelong education would be able to succeed at the primary school level considering the age of the learners involved in such act. However, when teachers are trained for such atmosphere, it is likely that every child irrespective of gender will imbibe and learn most of the things that would help them to their adulthood.

            Unfortunately, the issue of quality lifelong education has been associated with difficulty, which often makes it very hard for pupils especially at the primary school level to understand the learning process. On many occasions, pupils come to school only to sit on bare-floor without desks and chairs to write. There are also cases of dilapidated classrooms, and poor teaching staff to make pupils understand what is going on in their environment. Salim (2004) pointed out that such attitude often makes most of them to be exhausted in the class just less than 15 minutes from the commencement of classes. Some often refuse to go to school and become part of lifelong learning because the rain and sun are likely to disturb them in their respective classes.  Based on the ideology, the major problem to be investigated in this study is to find the influence of gender on lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers.

Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of the study is to investigate quality lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers. Specifically, the study sets to find out the following:

  1. To ascertain the influence of gender on lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers.
  2. To find out the objective of lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers.
  3. To ascertain the type of problems that often emerge when teachers engage in lifelong learning.
  4. To find out the possible solution to these problems.

Research Questions

The following research questions were developed by the researcher:

1.   What are the objectives of lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers?

  1. What types of problems emerge when teachers engage in lifelong learning?
  2. What are the possible solutions to the problem of lifelong education?

Hypothesis

A hypothesis was formulated to guide the study and was tested at .05 level of significance.

  1. There is no significant influence of gender on lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers.

Method

Area of the Study

This study was carried out in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State where various primary schools were used to find out the overall influence of gender on lifelong education.

Design of the Study

This work is a descriptive survey research. A descriptive survey research is one which seeks to assemble thorough realistic information that explains an existing situation. It assesses the whole population by collecting and analyzing data from only a few people or sample representing the entire group.

Population and Sample Selection

The population for this study consisted of all primary school teachers in Onitsha North Local Government Area. Based on the data collected from Onitsha North Local Government Authority (February, 2007) in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State, there are 572 primary school teachers. However, the sample was made up of 360 (153 males and 207 females) teachers selected from 10 primary schools.  This comprised 120 primary I teachers, 120 primary II teachers and 120 primary III teachers. 10 teachers were selected from each class, giving a total of 36 teachers per school. Stratified random sampling was used in selecting the sample size.

Instrument for Data Collection

A 15-item structured questionnaire titled “Quality Lifelong Education Questionnaire” was used for data collection. The questionnaire was designed to elicit responses from the participants based on literature reviewed on lifelong education. The QLEQ was measured on a 4-point Likert-type format of Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree, which were assigned numerical values, 4,3,2, and 1.

 Validation of the Instrument

            Experts in psychology and measurement and evaluation validated the instrument by scrutinizing the contents of the questionnaire. They offered important suggestions and corrections, which led to some modifications. Based on such corrections and modifications, the instrument was considered valid for use in the study.

Reliability of the Instrument

            The reliability of the instrument was established when it was administered to 60 primary school teachers selected from three schools in Onitsha North LGA. The teachers were excluded from the main study in order not to contradict the result. The instrument has reliability of 0.83 Cronbach Alpha. The reliability coefficient was considered high enough and suitable for use in the study.

Method of Data Collection and Analysis

            A total of 360 questionnaires were administered to teachers in their various schools. The teachers were told to read the instructions very carefully before answering. The researcher collected the filled questionnaires personally.

 Mean and standard deviation were used to analyze the data for the research questions while t-test was used to analyze the hypothesis. The acceptable level of mean score was 2.5 and above.

Presentation of Results and Analysis of Data

            Major findings of the study were presented in tables based on the research questions.

Table 1: Mean and standard deviation ratings on the objectives of lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers.

 

Item

No

                Item Description

Item Mean

Score

 SD

Decision

1

Lifelong education equips a child with skills.

3.8738

0.5472

Accepted (A)

2

Lifelong education leads to proper motivation to learn better.

3.8721

0.6432

        A

3

Lifelong education promotes vocational studies.

3.8517

0.7035

        A

4

Learning a particular skill at an early age is essential for Lifelong education.

3.6902

0.7858

        A

5

Lifelong education makes a child to be creative.

3.6971

0.8385

        A

6

Lifelong education promotes sexuality education in both male and female child.

3.7842

0.729

        A

7

Lifelong education helps one to explore the environment better.

3.8893

0.6730

        A

 

Analysis in table 1 shows that all the items rated above the acceptable mean of 2.5. The conclusion is that the following are objectives of lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers.

 

Table 2: Mean and standard deviation ratings on the type of problems that will emerge when teachers engage in lifelong learning

 

Item No

                Item Description

Item Mean

Score

 SD

Decision

8

Lack of classrooms for learning.

3.8682

0.672

Accepted (A)

9

Lack of equipment for teaching.

3.8651

0.6745

        A

10

Lack of trained and qualified teachers.

3.9653

0.5456

        A

11                                  

Poor salary structure for teachers.

3.6876

0.7760

        A

 

Analysis in table 2 shows that all the items rated above the acceptable mean of 2.5. The conclusion is that these problems will emerge when teachers engage in lifelong education.

 

Table 3: Mean and Standard Deviation ratings on the possible solutions to the problem of lifelong education.

 

12

Building of more classrooms.

3.8786

0.8452

        A

13

Providing equipment for learning.

3.8672

0.7643

        A

14

Proper training of teachers.

3.8784

0.6843

        A

15

Good salary schemes for teachers.

3.7566

0.6946

        A

 

Analysis in table 3 shows that all the items rated above the acceptable mean of 2.5. The conclusion is that these are the possible solutions to the problem of lifelong education.                                                                        

 

Table 4

 

T-test analysis on the influence of gender on lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers.

                                                   

Gender          No          Mean           SD                 d.f             t              sig.               

 

  Male            153        42.9055        3.6197                                                                                                                                                        358         1.766      . 078 * n.s  

  Female         207        57.6012       7.7202           

 


The results of analysis of variance that tested the hypothesis revealed that there was no significant influence of gender on lifelong education as perceived by primary school teachers.

 

Males scored (M = 42.9055, SD = 3.6197) whereas females had (M = 57.6012, SD =7.7202), d.f (2, 358) = 1.766, P = .078. Therefore, the hypothesis is confirmed.

Discussion

The findings of the study reveal that quality lifelong education should hinge on the following, making a child to be creative, promoting vocational studies, making a child to be equipped with a particular skill at an early age, promoting sexuality education in both male and female child, exploring the environment, and learning with motivation.

       The present study is consistent with the findings of Barling (2004) who believes that a child no matter his/her sex, can learn everything concerning life and how to cope with life in near future. This implies that irrespective of gender, students need lifelong education so as to equip them with proper knowledge and skills that would help them in solving their problems.

The opinions of the respondents support Ikhane (2004) who believes that lifelong education directs students on vocational ideas where a student can learn about various occupations at a very tender age and in the process develop interest, skills and knowledge associated with such profession.  This offers students opportunity to learn the basic things of life and in the process live independent life.

         The present study is consistent with the findings of Sangal (2004) who believes that the objective of lifelong education is to make students realize that education embraces all aspect of life. Hence, with lifelong education, a student can be self-employed after graduating from primary or secondary school.

       The opinion of the respondents support Salim (2004) who believes that one basic problem that faces lifelong education, especially, in Nigeria is lack of classroom where students can relax and enjoy their learning. Such attitude often results to students learning in an unconducive environment.

The present study is also consistent with the findings of Onyechere (2004) who believes that problems facing lifelong education in Nigeria are mostly lack of trained teachers and equipment for learning including chairs and desks. Such attitude often makes it impossible for learning to take place because the variables like good teachers and equipment for proper learning are lacking.

        The opinion of the respondents support Indabawa (2004) who believes that one possible solution to the problem of lifelong education is to provide proper fund.

            From the psychological point of view, quality lifelong education aims at preparing individuals to integrate development of self-concept, socialization, civic, personal and economic roles by acquiring knowledge, skills, experiences, attitude, competencies for increased level of self-consciousness, reliance and co-existence necessary to maintain the livelihood. It also offers opportunity for individuals to become self-directed so as to make informed decisions about life and society in general.

 

Recommendations

     The following recommendations are hereby made:

  1. Government should sponsor lifelong education properly by releasing fund to schools on time.
  2. Adequate classrooms with chairs and desks should be provided to make learning effective in lifelong education.
  3. Parents should be educated to understand that lifelong education is meant for both boys and girls.
  4. Non-governmental organizations should also assist government in sponsoring lifelong education in our school systems.

References

Alaezi, G. O. (1990). Implementation and management of qualitative education

       in Nigeria. In S. U. Udoh and G. O. Akpa (eds). Management for quality

       education in Nigeria. Jos: Ehindero Nigeria Limited.

 

Anderson, R.  (1992). Learning processes. New York: Leadway Publications.

Barling, B.C. (2004). Active learning in lifelong education. Barkely: M.C. Gutelon   

       Publications.

 

Coklough, L. M (2003). Lifelong learning. New York: Crane Publications.

Ikhane, U. T. (2004). Education and child development. New York: Crane

       Publication.

 

Indabawa, S. A. (2003). Education for development. Kano: Majji Publications.

Moore, M. G. (2002). Creativity in learning. New York: Mangrove Publications.

Obanya S. C. (2003). Education for all adults. Journal of Adult Education and

       Community Development, 6(8), 28-42.

 

Onyechere, I. (2003). Learning in conducive environment. Journal of creative

       education,6(8), 28-36.

 

Oslow , G. M. (2001). Distance education and lifelong learning. Journal of

       Distance Learning Administration,11(6), 24-28.

 

Salim, A. (2004). Nigerian policy on education. Kaduna: Tamaza Publications.

Sanyal, L. M. (2004). Learning for effective development. Journal of distance

       learning, 3(7), 48-52.

 

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