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The relationship between teachers and students both in primary and secondary schools cannot be over emphasized. The relationship that exists between teachers and students is symbiotic, as each of them needs the other. There is a high probability that this relationship will certainly exist considering the fact that teachers and students spend about 5-6 hours every day for more than eight months in a year. Children spend about one-quarter of their time in school and a greater part of it in the classroom (Hamre and Pianta, 2001).

It was discovered in a research that for students to perform efficiently in their school work, a healthy relationship between them and their teachers is required (Birch and Ladd, 1998). This explains further that the relationship between a student and his teacher reflects in his performance.

Education in Nigeria is the only viable tool for sustainable development and an avenue for molding the nation’s work force. The future of school children partly lies in the hands of teachers, as what they teach the children forms a great impact in their lives because they have a role of training the children intellectually and morally.

Casting the mind back to education in the colonial era and what is obtainable today, the relationship between teachers and students have changed.

During the colonial era, students were obedient and eager to learn with all level of humility; as on the parts of teachers they were dedicated and committed in the discharge of their duties without supervision. Teachers as at that time had the good thought of teaching students to be like if not better than them. Similarly, teachers strived to complete their syllabus before the commencement of examination and they will not fail to carry out disciplinary actions were necessary. Thus, this showed in the output of students at that time, but the reverse seems to be the case in today’s mood of relationship between the students and teachers.

Relationship can only exist between people or different parties when there is love and trust among them. Schools today need to imbibe love and trust between students and teachers (Asunmo, 1999). Hence, for a positive relationship between students and teachers, the voices of the students must be heard, meaning they must be allowed full participation in the affairs of the school Akinpelu (2003), Hoyle (2003) and Ibrahim (2006). By way of doing this, it will allow students to air their views and their opinions weighed and corrected in cases where their notions are wrong.

However, the type of relationship expected between the students and teachers should be welcoming and friendly for easy transfer of knowledge and efficient performance by students (Rumnarayan and Rao, 2004).

The relationship that exists between people is spurred by one party’s self concept. Therefore, if there is a good rapport between a student and his teacher, it will help to build that student’s self concept and perception. In essence, there is need for a positive relationship between students and teachers. It therefore beholds on the bigger party, which is the teacher to exhibit qualities that will attract his students to him and equally the zeal to learn. This brings us to the point of effective communication between the two parties, as communication is equally vital in achieving good relationship between students and teachers (Tyoakaa, 2014). It is quite understandable that a teacher may not know all the problems of the students in his class, but an understanding of each of their cultures, family backgrounds, etc can actually help the teacher to know how to interact with each of them. Furthermore, they are teachers who yell on their students probably because they could not understand what was taught. To such teachers, instead of yelling showing that student some atom of respect will win his heart towards learning.

A great philosopher of the school of educational thoughts, as cited by Akinpelu (1981), asserted that one of the best methods of teaching is making students feel free in class, constant in class and being disciplined.

However, this study is coming on the thrust of encouraging good student-teacher relationship based on the benefits attached to this kind of relationship.


Student-teacher relationship across the various levels of education in Nigeria calls for serious attention.

The record of failure by students most especially in external examinations like WASC, GCE, JAMB, etc is worrisome. This is linked to the fact that students do not have good rapport with their teachers and that is why they are scared to ask questions on areas that they are not cleared.

On the part of the teachers laziness and lack of commitment is widely noticed. When teachers treat their work with levity, it discourages serious students from establishing good relationship with them. In addition, some teachers are in the habit of exploiting students to their advantage; sending them on idle errands. Scenarios as such can hamper cordial relationship between students and teachers.

Another problem is the case of sexual harassment of female students by male teachers. Inasmuch as students have noted a teacher to be a womanizer, such bad identity scares students from associating with such a teacher except coming to the classroom to teach.

These are some of the problems this study aims at proffering solutions to.  

1.3   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY                          

The major objective of this study is to examine teacher-student relations in Nigeria.

Other specific objectives include:

a)   To investigate the extent of relationship between teachers and students in this 21st century in Nigeria.

b)   To examine the significant relationship between good relationship of teacher-student and learning.

c)   To determine the effects of non-cordial relationship between teachers and students on the academic performance of students.

d)   To examine the attitudes portrayed by teachers which affect good relationship between them and the students.


        The following research questions are generated to guide this study:

a)   What is the extent of relationship between teachers and students in this 21st century in Nigeria?

b)   What is the significant relationship between good relationship of teacher-student and learning?

c)   What are the effects of non-cordial relationship between teachers and students on the academic performance of students?

d)   What are the attitudes portrayed by teachers which affect good relationship between them and the students?

1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS                  

H0:   There are no effects of non-cordial relationship between teachers and students on the academic performance of students.

H1:   There are effects of non-cordial relationship between teachers and students on the academic performance of students.


This study is meant to inform, educate and enlighten school administrators-teachers in particular, and policy makers on the benefits of teacher-student relationship.

This study aims at educating teachers on the importance of establishing and maintaining a good relationship between them and their students.

It is meant to assist policy makers in education, who by virtue of their position is supposed to plan programmes which will help to enhance a well defined cordial relationship between teachers and students.

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or study.


This study is restricted to teacher-student relations; a case study of Nigeria.

Limitations of study

  1. 1.        Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
  2. 2.        Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


TEACHER: Also called a school teacher or educator is a person who provides education for students.

STUDENT: Is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution.

RELATION: This is the way in which two or more people or things are connected; a thing’s effect on or relevance to another.


Hamre, B. and Pianta, R. (2001). Early Teacher-Child Relationship and the Trajectory of Children’s School outcomes.

Child Development, 72, 625-638.

Akinpelu, J. A. (1981). An Introduction to Philosophy of Education. London: Macmillan Press.

Birch, S. H. and Ladd, G. W. (1998). Children’s Interpersonal Behaviours and the Teacher-Child Relationship. Journal of Developmental Psychology, 34, 934-946.

Tyoakaa, L. M. (2014). Problems of Communication Barriers in Understanding the Classroom Situation in Nigeria Secondary Schools. Journal of Education, 13 (1), 125-129.

Rumnanayan, s., and Rao, M. (2004). The Reality of School Management. San Francisco: Joss-Bass Publishers.

Asunmo, O. S. (1999). “Management of Students’ Crisis in Nigerian Higher Institutions. A case of St. Andrew’s College of Education, Oyo”. M.Ed. Dissertation, University of Ibadan.

Akinpelu, J. A. (2003). “Ethics and the Teaching Profession”. in Education this millennium: Innovations in theory and Practice. Ayodele, S. O; Bamisaye, O.; Nwazuoke, I. A. and Okediran, A. (Eds). Ibadan: Macmillan.

Hoyle, E. (2003). The Role of the Teacher. Oxford: Rutledge and Kegan Paul.

Ibrahim, M. (2006). “Is teaching a profession?” Unilorin Pedagogue.

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

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