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The study examined the influence of teachers’ stress on the academic performance of students in selected secondary schools in Oshodi Local Government Area of Lagos State. The descriptive research survey design was employed for the assessment of the opinions of the selected respondents with the use of the questionnaire.

One hundred and twenty (120) respondents using random sampling technique were used in this study. Four null hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study using the independent t-test for hypothesis one and the Pearson product moment correlation statistical tools for hypotheses 2, 3 and 4 at 0.05 level of significance.

At the end of the analyses, the following results were obtained:

–                      Hypothesis one found that there is a significant influence of teachers’ stress on students’ academic performance in school.

–                      Hypothesis two revealed that a relationship exists between the causes of teachers’ stress and students’ academic performance in the school.

–                      In hypothesis three, it revealed that there is a significant relationship between the effect of stress in the society and the students’ academic performance in the school.

–                      Finally, it was indicated in hypothesis four that a relationship exists between teachers’ emotional stress and students’ academic performance in schools.

Based on these findings, certain recommendations were made.

–                      Teachers should not be over-loaded with work in their daily teaching professions, rather, teachers, to avoid stressful conditions, should ensure that they do not take their work home that is, uncompleted work home. They should stop their work at the end of the day in their offices rather than continuing with them at home.

–                      The large class size in our secondary schools is the bane of high academic achievement of students and it contributes to the stressful condition of the teachers.

–                     Government should ensure that the provision on National Policy of Education (NPE) on teacher – student ratio should be maintained. Government should ensure that more teachers are employed to teach the large enrolment of children in our schools. 

1.1       Background to the Study
The phenomenon stress has been studied extensively (Asmussen and Mazon, 1978; Karlson 1979; Jones Bigland, Ritcine and Edward, 1979 and Ikulayo, 1987). From different perspectives based on the results of numerous scientific researchers is now a general consensus that stress is not only can hinder performance basically in all fields of human endeavour, it can also cause harm and damages to the body if not properly managed.
When most people talk about stress at home or stress on the job they are talking about mental, physical and stress actually can make negative contribution to performance. Stress is not a bad phenomenon or a good phenomenon. Stress depends on individuals and the way they perceive it. Looking at stress and man, man is made of three diverse but inter-related components that is the physical body, the soul and the spirit. Stress and the three components are so linked to each other that one, affects the others.
Stress in individuals is viewed as any interference that disturbs a person’s health, mental and physical well being. It occurs when the body is required to perform beyond its normal range of capabilities. The results become harmful to individuals, families, students, teachers and society at large.
Stress comes in various forms. At one time or the other, individuals experience a particular stress, these are Eustress, Hyper-Stress, Hypo-stress and distress.
Eustress is characterized with the state of uphoria, happiness as a result of good news, promotion, passing examination etc.
Distress is viewed as with anxiety, frustration and anger.
Hypostress has the features of boredom, fatigue, lack of stimulation while Hyperstress which is characterized with over excitation, coping with many things at the same time which eventually leads to systematic failure.
However, the causes of stress are not far fetched. A stressor is anything that causes stress – death of spouse, divorce, marital separation, death of love ones, death of close friend, death of close family member, personal, marital reconciliation, pregnancy, business adjustment, instability at work, schools financial state, church activities. When people are under severe emotional or mental stress, they face much higher risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest and death than those people who have healthy arteries and less stress (Adeyemi, 2000).
What are the causes of stress in Nigeria? Nigeria is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society. Some of the factors identified as the causes of stress in Nigeria include our cultural influence, economy, our life pattern, too many friends, fear of ageing and death, lack of motivation at the work place. Effects of stress may come in many forms on individuals under severe stress who may become absent minded. This is not because there is nothing on their mind but because the mind is stressed up with too many things. Stress leads to loss of concentration, forgetfulness, inability to perform, individuals becomes hypersensitive, restless, confused with so many thoughts coming into the head. Sometimes they become irritated and become quarrelsome if the individual is a teacher there is no way the students can perform well academically (Ayo, 1994).
Teachers perception of the profession and the societal negative attitude to the teaching job have placed them under stressful situations because of poverty all of these have a spiral effect on the students’ academic performance in Oshodi Local Government.
1.2       Statement of the Problem
The study is designed to address the effects of teachers; stress on students’ academic performance. There is no doubt that teachers in this part of the world experience more stressful situation than their colleagues in other parts of the world especially the developed nations.
Teachers’ perception of the teaching profession and societal negative attitudes to teaching job have placed us under undue stressful situations. Teachers are generally under paid, they receive small pay among their contemporaries in the country. They are unable to rent a house of their choice, not able to meet basic responsibilities of their family, low self esteem, inability to cope with problem students in the class, too much workload in the area of lesson notes, marking, recording or grading, teaching, jealous among colleagues, job insecurity, all of these are enough for teachers in schools to be stressful and therefore have effect on the students’ academic performance.
Notable among these are absent-minded, fatigue as an adage says “a hungry man is an angry man”, which results to low performance, loss of concentration. When an individual becomes hypersensitive, restless, confusion set into his head. The blood pressure rises severely and causes an individual analgesic at times have a nagging headache which do not respond to common analgesic, stomach disorder such as diarrehoea, constipation, general body pains which may be worse at regions.
However, when these effects of stress are telling much on the body, the teacher concerned experience hyper excitation or depression or high blood pressures, drying of the throat and mouth under these conditions, the teacher has nothing to offer the students but just like a mere image in front of the classroom. Teachers experience such effects of stress like grinding of teeth, sweating, frequent need to urinate, diarrhoea, indigestion, tension, pain of the neck, compulsive eating, increase of smoking which are all symptoms of stress and cannot achieve success rather than the opposite on the student’s academic performance. It has now come to the time to address this issue once and for all, to look at the exact meaning of stress to teachers, analyse the possible causes and prefer remedies to this effects of stress.
1.3       The Purpose of the Study
The objectives of the study are to: investigate into the term ‘stress’ and the various forms of stress. The researcher will also look into the possible causes of stress to teachers and also look into the effect of teachers’ stress on the students’ academic performance in schools.
More significantly, the study will also press upon to know how to manage or remedies to stress when it comes.
1.4       Research Questions
The study will provide answers to the following questions:
1)           What are the effect of teachers’ stress on students’ academic performance in schools?
2)           Are there any causes of stress to teachers in government schools?
3)           Does stress have effect on the society?
4)           Can we have solution or remedies to the effect of stress to teachers in schools?
1.5       Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses stated in null forms will be tested in this study:
1)           Teachers’ stress will not have effect on students’ academic performance.
2)           Relationship does not exist between the causes of teachers’ stress and students’ academic performance.
3)           There will be no relationship between the effect of stress in the society and the students’ academic performance.
4)           Relationship does not exist between teachers’ emotional stress and students’ academic performance.
1.6       Significance of the Study
This study will be beneficial to the following people listed below:
1)           Teachers – Teachers who have stress as a result of their workloads in the school will benefit from the findings and recommendations of this study, in that, it will help them discover some of the problems caused by stress and how best to avoid them. Many teachers through this study would understand more about the effect of stress such as ill-health which may lead to low performance at work and even death. Thus, they would avoid those conditions that can lead them to be stressed up.
2)           Students – Students at all levels would benefit from this study as it will enable them to identify those stressful conditions that are associated with their studies and learn how best to avoid them or even how to manage stressful condition as stress is one unavoidable issues of life.
3)           Government – Government especially the Ministry of Education, will through this study have deeper insight into the ugly effects of stress on the teaching and learning process of both teachers and students in the school system. It will also benefit other workers outside the teaching profession.
The findings and recommendations of the study would enable governments to formulate education policies that would not be so stressful to the workers and students in the school system.
4)           The School Authority – The school authority will be able to gather necessary information on the effects of stress on teachers and students learning outcomes in the school sector and find remedies to the problem.
5)           The Society – The society and new researchers will also benefit from this study immensely because it serves as a reference material to them and will give them great insight into the effect of stress of teachers, and academic performance of students.
1.7       Scope of the Study
The study will cover the effects of teachers’, stress on the academic performance of students in selected secondary schools in Oshodi Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.8       Definition of Terms
The following operational terms will be defined in this study:
1.            Stress – According to Anozie (1990) stress refers to a negative feeling or unpleasant emotional state resulting from studying or carrying out a learning task as a student and carrying out a teaching task as a teacher. It is a recognise to a challenging demand or event. For example, teachers performance, their teaching duties under stressful situation such as lack of conducive environment where there is short fall of the supply of equipment and other school facilities necessary for carrying out quality teaching and learning.
As a result of this, teachers under harrowing tasks performing their teaching jobs and this causes them to do their work in a manner devoid of accuracy and qualitativeness.
2.            Environment – As Ayodele (1974) puts it, this refers to all the surrounding conditions which influence growth and development. The natural conditions such as air, land, water in which man lives. This implies that the environment in which teachers, especially, at the public school sector do their work is nothing to write home about. For example, the school environment in many schools in Lagos State do not give anybody the cause to clear. This is because, in many schools today. There is the problem of classrooms in which students are taught in an overcrowded room between 50 – 80 students.
This conditions does not give the teaching the opportunity to fully express himself, neither does it give it room to assess the children according to the school rules. This has cause the teacher to perform his/her work unaccomplished and this has affected the academic performance of the students who learn under such conditions. Also the government does not give the teacher the enabling environment to perform his/her work and this has created so many loop-holes in the teaching and learning process.       

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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