THE TEACHER-STUDENT RELATIONS: A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
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
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
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.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
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
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.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
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.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
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
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to teacher-student relations; a case study of Nigeria.
Limitations of study
- 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. 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
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
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.
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