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Title: School Factors as Predictors of Functional Literacy Skills among Public Primary School Pupils in Ondo State, Nigeria
Authors: Fagbemi, A. F.
Keywords: Functional literacy skills
Curriculum implementation
Teacher quality
School location
Public Primary school in Ondo State
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: Functional literacy is an essential objective of primary education in Nigeria which equips pupils not only with reading and writing skills, but also with numeracy, communication, problem solving and application skills in daily life activities. The inability of many Nigerian primary school pupils to read, write, compute, comprehend and communicate effectively in English Language has been attributed to factors which have direct links with the implementation of the school curriculum and supportive facilities. Further, studies have revealed that school factors have strong effects on pupils‟ acquisition of basic literacy and numeracy skills, but not much attention has been paid to their influence on functional literacy skills among primary school pupils in Nigeria. This study, therefore, investigated the relationship between school factors (curriculum implementation, teacher quality, school location, class size, school library) and pupils‟ functional literacy skills. The study was a survey research of ex-post facto type. Multi-stage sampling procedure was used to select 10 local government areas, 40 public schools (30 urban and 10 rural), 40 primary five teachers and 1106 pupils from the five educational zones in Ondo State. Five instruments used were: Observational Scale on Curriculum Implementation (r=0.81); Observational Scale on Teacher Quality (r=0.82); Functional Reading and Writing Skills Test (r=0.81); Functional Numeracy Skills Test (r=0.80) and School Library Inventory. Six research questions were raised and answered. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson‟s product moment correlation and multiple regression. Curriculum implementation was poor (weighted average was 1.48 out of 4.00). Curriculum implementation (r= .22; p < .05), teacher quality (r= .27; p < .05), and school library (r= .08; p < .05) each had significant positive relationship with pupils‟ functional literacy skills. However, school location (r= -.23; p < .05) and class size (r= -.13; p < .05) each, had significant negative relationship with pupils‟ functional literacy skills. Pupils in urban schools performed better than pupils in rural schools. Also, pupils in small classes performed better than those in large classes. The five school factors (curriculum implementation, teacher quality, school location, class size and school library) jointly had significant positive relationship with pupils‟ functional literacy skills (R= .34; F(5, 1100) = 29.43; p< .05). They contributed 11.8% of the total variance to pupils‟ functional literacy skills. The order of relative contributions of the school factors to pupils‟ functional literacy skills was: school location (β= .19), teacher quality (β= .16), class size (β= .11), curriculum implementation (β= .05) and school library (β= .01). Of the five school factors, only three significantly predict pupils‟ functional literacy skills. These were teacher quality (B=.31; t=3.30; p< .05), school location (B= -8.50; t= -6.37; p< .05) and class size (B= -1.51; t= -3.85; p< .05). Teacher quality, school location and class size influenced pupils‟ functional literacy skills. Consequently, teachers need to sharpen their skills in curriculum implementation to enhance pupils‟ functional literacy skills. Qualified teachers, adequate learning materials, classrooms and well equipped libraries should also be provided for effective teaching.
Description: A Thesis in the Department of Teacher Education, Submitted to the Faculty of Education, in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of University of Ibadan
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