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Once the educational foundation of a nation is cracked, the nation is doomed. Nations are built and destroyed in classrooms; that is the future of a Nation depends on the youths, while youths are the product of educational organizations. Thus, teachers are considered the builders of a nation. If the teacher shows positive qualified attitude towards students from all the perspectives such as maintenance of personality, knowledge, communication and management during the class, then students will be easily motivated towards their academic performance (Khan, 2016). There is a great relationship of qualified development between teachers and their performances. Positive qualified attitude of teachers have a significant effects on the overall academic achievements of the students (Borko, 2004).

During the last few decades, the qualified life of teachers has significantly changed. Educational development and technological changes brought a lot of positive modifications in the educational environment of the schools, colleges and universities. Qualified development is also among the positive modifications of educational institutions i.e. schools, colleges and universities (Robert, 2003). Borko (2004) mentioned in his study that improvement or modification of education totally depends on the qualified development of the teachers. No doubt, one can say that teachers have key role in bringing changes in the educational system. Quality of teachers needs to be enhanced (Villegas-Reimers, 2003).

Therefore, the different scholastic achievements of students in Nigeria have been and is still a source of concern and research interest to educators, governments and parents. This is so because of the great importance that education has on national development of the country. All over the country, there is a consensus of opinion about the fallen standard of education in Nigeria (Adebule, 2004). Parents and government are in total agreement that their huge investment on education is not yielding the desired dividends. Teachers also complain of students’ low performance at both internal and external examinations. The annual releases of Junior Secondary Certificate Examinations results (SSCE) conducted by West African Examination Council (WAEC) justify the generalization of poor secondary school students’ performance in different school subjects.  Poor academic performance according to Aremu (2003) is a performance that is adjudged by the examiner and some other stakeholders as falling below an expected standard.

Poor academic performance has been observed in core school subjects especially Basic Science and mathematics among secondary school students, (Adesemowo, 2005). Aremu (2003) stresses that academic failure is not only frustrating to the students and the parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of natural life. Education at the secondary school level is supposed to be the bedrock towards higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in the country. The National Policy on Education (2013) stipulates that secondary education is an instrument for national development that fosters the worth and development of the individual for further education and general development of the society and equality of educational opportunities to all Nigerian children, irrespective of any real or marginal disabilities.

The quality of education is directly related to the quality of instruction in the classrooms. It is a fact that knowledge of the subject matter, competence and skills of teaching and the commitment of the teacher have effective impact on the teaching learning process. Improvement in the education depends upon the proper training of teachers. The teachers cannot play any of the roles unless properly trained, (Yadved & Singh, 2008). The high performance of students especially in external examinations goes a long way to show the level of preparedness of the students definitely by qualified teachers.

The issue of declining academic performance of students in Nigeria secondary schools in Basic Science has generated much interest among stakeholders in the education sector. The quality of education and performance of students depends on the teachers as reflected in the discharge of their duties. Over time students’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine the quality of teachers and teaching (Ajao, 2001). This was buttressed by Ogunsaju (2004) that the academic standard of students in all Nigerian educational institutions has fallen considerably below societal expectations.

Teachers have been known to have important influence on students’ academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating educational policies and principles into actions based on practice during interaction with the students (Afe, 2001). Both teaching and learning depend on teachers: no wonder a qualified teacher has been conceptualized as one who produces desired results in the course of his duty as a teacher (Uchefuna 2001). Considering governments’ huge investment in public education, its output in terms of quality of students has been observed to be unequal with government expenditure. Consequently, upon the observed deterioration in the academic achievement in Basic Science, attitude and values of secondary school students in public secondary schools, one wonders if the high failure rates in Basic Science and the failure of the students especially in external examinations is not a reflection of the instructional quality in the schools. Therefore, the quality of teachers in classroom interaction with the students could be responsible for the observed poor performance of students in Basic Science and the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Nigeria.

Teaching is an art. It can be refined by training and practice. The availability of competent teachers is central in the reconstruction of the educational system. Basic Science has acquired the status of a global language, (Crystal, 1997). Keeping in view the growing need and importance of Basic Science in everyday life, Basic Science has been made a compulsory subject in Nigeria from the very beginning of the academic career. This increasingly necessitates good quality initial preparation for non-native speaker teachers in the school system (Cullen, 1994).

Basic Science is taught as a subject from primary to secondary school and the whole teaching-learning process is carried out in Basic Science. In other words, Basic Science is also the medium of instruction in Nigerian schools. This enables the students to learn Basic Science in an environment where most of the interaction between the teacher and the students is in Basic Science (Fuller & Clark, 2004). As a result, the students of these schools are more proficient in Basic Science and perform well in the external examinations.

In some schools, however, the teaching of Basic Science is done probably differently and the proficiency in the language is somewhat inadequate. Students are hardly exposed to the language outside the classroom and teachers are mostly comfortable with the traditional method of teaching. 

Most of the activities in the class are done in the vernacular or the mother tongue. Even Basic Science is explained through mother tongue or the vernaculars (Al-mutawa & Kailani, 2009). As a result, the students will resort to memorization or cramming. The teacher is the facilitator of examinations rather than of learning. They memorize, translate and retranslate and, finally reproduce the crammed information or knowledge in the external examinations. No creativity is witnessed on the part of the students from this kind of teaching experience (Baumgardner, 2003). The reason is that the teachers themselves are not qualified or competent enough to teach Basic Science efficiently. This causes poor results in Basic Science, eventually leading to high percentage of failure in Basic Science at external examinations. Thus, Basic Science becomes the biggest hurdle (particularly for the students from rural areas) to getting higher education and key administrative posts. In its annual report, the Federal Public Service Commission (2008) reports that Basic Science as the medium of expression in external examination is depriving students from some poor institutions from competing with their counterparts from highly placed institutions.

The continued slide in the performance of students in the Basic Science in external examinations is a cause for great concern not only for the teachers but also for other stakeholders in the business of education. This is more worrisome when one considers the fact that Basic Science doubles as a medium of instruction in Nigerian schools as well as a lingua franca. The central role of Basic Science cannot, therefore, be wished away. The pattern of failure has, however, shown that the incidence appears to be higher in some schools than it is with other schools. A number of factors have been linked to the causes but more relevant is the issue of quality of the teachers. This is more important because in the business of teaching and learning, teachers offer only what they have; you cannot offer what you don’t have. The quality of teachers involved in teaching and learning has great roles in the performance of students and it is to find out these effects that this study is set out to accomplish. Chomsky (1972) states that one cannot really teach a language but can only present the conditions in which it will develop spontaneously in the mind in its own ways.


Science has been referred to as the father of invention, hence its importance in the secondary school curriculum. Formal instruction does not work in a vacuum. School environment, teacher quality, curriculum and instructional approaches, and many other factors interact to produce growth in students’ academic skills and knowledge. There is sufficient empirical evidence that suggests that the academic performance of students relies substantially on the teachers that teach them. Classroom based research is valid enough to determine whether the learners are receiving appropriate content instruction or not. Pennington (2009) says that the quality of teaching must be considered in determining what results can be expected. He further states that teachers make decisions about classroom management based upon the achievement gains. It is assumed that only those who have qualified training in Basic Science teaching should teach Basic Science.

The Basic Science teacher should be the one whose competence and proficiency in all the language skills are in a good measure and not deficient especially in written and conversational Basic Science. The Basic Science teacher should have a good knowledge of current usages and the theoretical aspects of Basic Science. In Nigeria today, most students in secondary schools and in fact even in universities lack the ability to communicate efficiently in Basic Science, both oral and written. This is still the major problem faced by Basic Science students today. It is therefore important to find out if the quality of the Basic Science teachers has any effect on the performance of the students in written and spoken Basic Science in secondary schools. It is in the light of this that this research seeks to investigate into teacher’s quality and its implication on the academic performance of junior secondary school students in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.


The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of teacher quality on the academic performance of students in Basic Science in secondary school students in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.

The following are specific objectives of this study:

  1. To determine the mean performance of JSS 2 students in Basic Science taught by Qualified teachers.
  2. To evaluate the mean performance of JSS 2 students in Basic Science taught by non-qualified teachers.
  • To find out the mean percentage of male and female students in Basic Science taught by qualified teachers.
  1. To bring out the percentage performance of male and female JSS 2 students in Basic Science taught by non-qualified teachers.


In order to serve as a guide, the following research questions were formulated which will be answered in chapter four:

  1. What is the mean performance of JSS 2 students in Basic Science taught by Qualified teachers?
  2. What is the mean performance of JSS 2 students in Basic Science taught by non-qualified teachers?
  3. What is the mean percentage of male and female students in Basic Science taught by qualified teachers?
  4. What is the percentage performance of male and female JSS 2 students in Basic Science taught by non-qualified teachers?

H0: There is no significant difference in the mean performance of JSS 2 students in Basic Science who taught by qualified and non-qualified teachers.


The importance of this cannot be overemphasized, especially now that importance is placed on the teaching and learning of Basic Science in Nigeria. Therefore, the study shall be of importance to the Ministry of Education, the government, the teachers, school authorities and students too, who are at the forefront of this research.

To the Ministry of Education, this study will serve as a pointer that hiring unqualified teachers to teach Basic Science at the secondary school levels will be at the detriment of the students’ future. This is because these students will soon find their way into university, and if they are not properly trained, they will perform poorly in Basic Science at the tertiary institution and the wider world at large. There teachers will be employed based on their level of quality. Government, who are charged with the duty of financing education in th nation, will also benefit from this study as they will motivate this qualified teachers by giving them incentives which will enable them to do their jobs well.

The school authorities, under the support of Ministry of Education can organize workshops to sensitize the teacher and even allow them to go for inservice training to enhance their knowledge in Basic Science pedagogy. The finding will also serve as a reference to people who want to conduct a similar research. The students will benefit the students as the measures taken by the government, teachers, school authorities and Ministry of Education, will be to their advantage as it will enhance their ability and performance in Basic Science.


     The study is covers the effect of teacher quality on the academic performance of secondary school students. The study is limited to Pankshin Local Government Area. However, despite the fact that the study is restricted to the selected local government and sampled schools, its findings will be generalized to other parts of the country as well.


Teacher: A qualifiedly trained person in a particular field, who is qualified and licenced to teach a particular subject.

Quality: It is fitness for purpose through fulfillment of necessary conditions such as attainment of a certain age, taking of an oath, completion of required schooling or training, or acquisition of a degree or diploma.

Evaluation: This refers to a systematic determination of a subject’s merit, worth and significance, using criteria governed by a set of standards.

Performance: this is the extent to which a learner excels in academics. This could be either high or low level of academic achievement.

Basic Science: It is a science subject taught at the Junior Secondary School level. It is called basic science because it provides a fundamental understanding of natural phenomena and the processes by which natural resources are transformed.

Mean: The mean is calculated by adding all the scores together, then dividing by the number of scores you added.

Percentage: This refers to the unit of proportion.

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