Demographic variables as predictors of effective secondary school supervisory practices in north central states of nigeria.

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investigated the demographic variables as predictors of effective secondary school supervisory practices in the North-Central states of Nigeria. The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which gender, experience, professional qualification and age can predict effective secondary school supervisory practices. The design of the study was correlational survey. Four research questions and four hypotheses guided this study.

The target population consisted of 2,051 external supervisors from Ministries of Education,Teaching Service Boards, and Area Education Offices as well as internal Supervisors from Government Secondary Schools in the North-Central States of Nigeria. The sample of the study consisted of 528 respondents. Multi-stage sampling technique was used where random sampling technique was used to select three states out of the six states in the North-Central States of Nigeria while proportionate certified random sampling technique was used to select secondary schools in each of the sampled states.

The instrument for data collection was researcher’s developed questionnaire titled Demographic Variables Supervisory Practices Questionnaire (DVSPQ). The instrument was face validated by two experts in educational administration and one in measurement and evaluation from Faculty of Education University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The overall reliability yielded 0.93 using Cronbach alpha coefficient Method. Data was analyzed using Pearson r and R2for answering research questions.

The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using linear regression analysis. The major findings of the study were that gender, experience, professional qualification and age to a little extent predict supervisors’ effective secondary school supervisory practices.

The educational implications are that, the study has provided empirical evidence that gender is not a hindrance to supervisors’ effective secondary school supervisory practices; the finding of the study also shows that experience has little impact on supervisors’ effective performance among others.

The following recommendations were made based on the findings, that the government can employ supervisors on equal basis not minding whether they are males or females; both experienced and inexperienced supervisors can be employed by the government since on-the-job experience is most important; the government can encourage supervisors to attain higher professional qualifications; both young and old supervisors can be employed and on-the-job training given to them during their service years.

Background to the Study School systems worldwide are faced with the challenge of how to improve teaching and learning outcomes which can be possible through effective supervision of schools. Supervision is the process of guiding, directing and helping the teachers in the improvement of the instructional process (Afianmagbon, 2004). Supervision is viewed as a process of directing, overseeing, guiding or making sure that expected standards are met (Igwe, 2001).

Supervision can also be defined as that which helps to improve the teaching and learning processes in schools. It involves supervising teaching and classroom activities of the teachers (Igbo, 2003). Supervision can thus be regarded as an educational process that focuses on the improvement of teaching and learning processes in schools.

The purpose of supervision in secondary schools among others include to provide assistance to teachers towards the improvement of teaching and learning process; to provide a conducive teaching and learning environment in order to promote effective teacher performance and learning in schools; to help teachers in identifying their strengths and weaknesses with a view to providing relevant in-service training; to induct beginning teachers into the main stream of the school system (Oluwole, 2007).

Supervision is important in schools because according to Akpa and Abama (2000), it improves the teaching competence of teachers which invariably, positively enhances students learning. In the view of Oyedeji (2011) it will be very difficult to attain the standards that are set if supervision is not adequate or not undertaken at all. Therefore, supervision helps to enhance the quality of education.

According to Onasanya (2006), teachers need supervision to work harder no matter their level of experience and devotion. Without supervision both teachers and school administrators backslide rapidly in their performance.
Supervision can be grouped into two categories: instructional and personnel
supervision. Instructional supervision is a service that exist to help teachers to do their job better (Anuna, 2004).

Personnel supervision on the other hand, deals with the set of activities which are carried out by the supervisor with the aim of sensitizing, mobilizing and monitoring staff in the school towards performing their duties ultimately in terms of achievement of the stated aims and objectives of the educational system (Nwankwo, 2008).The study has concentrated mainly on the instructional supervision. The reason being that instructional supervision is an essential activity for the effective operation of a good school (Ajani, 2001).

To crown it all, the Federal republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) stated that the success of any system of education is dependent on adequate supervision of instructions.Schools are mainly established for instructions and supervision is designed to improve instruction. Supervisors are then put in charge of schools to supervise them to make sure that everything is done correctly.

A supervisor is a person or someone who possesses the right and appropriate professional and academic qualifications that will enable him/her to carry out supervisory practices in schools effectively (Afianmagbon, 2004). In the same vein, Hazi (2004) has defined a supervisor as any certificated individual assigned with the responsibility for the direction and guidance of the work of teaching staff members.

The above implies that a supervisor should be an individual with appropriate professional qualification to enable him/her carry out supervisory practices in schools effectively.
There are two categories of supervisors namely the internal and external supervisors.The internal supervisors are the principals of secondary schools or staff delegated by the principals.

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