EFFECTS OF MENTORING ON REGULAR TEACHERS’ SELF-EFFICACY AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE IMPLE-MENTATION OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AT UPPER BASIC EDUCATION IN GOMBE STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study was set to examine the effects of mentoring on regular teachers’ self-efficacy and attitude towards the implementation of inclusive education at the upper basic educa-tion in Gombe State, Nigeria. In Nigeria, the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme was introduced to ensure among others that all children of school going age, disability notwithstanding have unfettered access to basic education. The study intended among others to determine the effects of mentoring on regular teachers’ self -efficacy and attitude towards the implementation of inclusive education at UB education in Gombe State. The study was premised on eight purposes of study, research questions and null hypotheses. The study adopted the quasi experimental research design. The population of the study was made up of 839 UB education regular teachers in Gombe State and 42 UB teachers were sampled through simple random and multi-stage sampling techniques. Data were collected through the use of Teachers’ Self- Efficacy Scale (TSES) and Teachers ’ Attitude Scale (TAS) developed by the researcher. The instruments were validated by three ex-perts and trial tested outside the study area. Cronbach’s Alpha method of reliability was used to establish the internal consistency of the instruments and reliability estimate of 0.84 and 0.86 were obtained for TSES and TAS respectively. Mentoring package devel-oped by the researcher was administered by an expert to the treatment group only while those in the control group had placebo treatment with the researcher on legal and policy framework of inclusive education. The TSES and TAS were administered by the re-searcher to the subjects as pre -test and post-test. Data collected were analyzed using de-scriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) for answering the research questions and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test the hypotheses. Finding of the study revealed that mentoring significantly improved regular teachers’ self-efficacy in the implementation of inclusive education at UB education in Gombe State. The study also revealed among others that gender was not a significant factor on regular teachers ’ self-efficacy in the implementation of inclusive education at UB education in Gombe State. Also school location was not a significant factor on regular teachers’ self-efficacy in the implementation of inclusive education at UB education in Gombe State. It is the recom-mendation of the researcher that mentorship should be institutionalized at school level for regular teachers for successful implementation of inclusive education in Nigeria. The findings of the work imply that educational institutions charged with the responsibility of training teachers should try to organize mentorship program for pre -service teachers in their institutions in order to increase their self-efficacy and attitude towards the imple-mentation of inclusive education. In terms of knowledge development, the study provided the basis for regular teachers to utilize mentoring in order to develop self-efficacy and positive attitude capable of meeting the diverse needs of learners under inclusive class-room settings.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
There had been growing agitations that persons with disabilities (PWDs) have un-fettered right to education and such extending access to education for them became a core issue in international discourses. The United Nations’ (UN) Education for All (EFA) in-itiative is an essential element of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and by ex-tension the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as education is seen as being crucial to human development. This is more worrisome as many children do not have access to education (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 2005). The SDGs particularly is explicit on the need for inclusive education for PWDs (Linnéa & Blixt, 2015). The explicitness is because across the world, there are many rea-sons why children do not attend school, which include high levels of mobility, social con-flict, and child labor. Others are exploitation, poverty, gender and of course disability (UNESCO, 2005). This explains why the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), (2015) asserts that bias, cultural archetypes and negative behavior patterns about special needs education are endemic in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, inclusive education refers to a process of addressing and responding to the diversity of needs of all children, youths and adults through increasing participation in learning, cultures and communities, as well as reducing and eliminating exclusion within and from education (UNESCO, 2009). According to Andzayi (2012), inclusive education is a program for children with special needs which stipulates that, all children and young people with or without disabilities learn together in ordinary pre-school provision, schools, colleges and universities with appropriate network of support. Inclusion therefore, implies a radical reform of the school in terms of educational policy and curri-cular frameworks, which includes educational content, assessment, pedagogy and the sys-temic grouping of pupils within regular institutional and curricular structures.

At the core of inclusive education is the right to education which every child has. This is as pronounced in the United Nations’ (UN) article 26(1) of Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 (UN, 1948). At the Jomtien World Conference on Education for All (1990), Heads of Government made a public commitment to the Education for All (EFA) goals (UN, 2000). Since then, UNESCO along with other UN agencies as well as a number of international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been working towards achieving this goal, adding to the efforts made at country level by their respective governments (UNESCO, 2003). Similarly, the Salamanca Statement and Framework of Action set and resolved to pursue inclusive education (UNESCO, 2005). The principle of inclusion as was adopted at the Salamanca World Conference in 1994 was restated at the Dakar World Education Forum in 2000 that schools should accommo-date all children regardless of their physical, intellectual, social, emotional, linguistic or other special conditions (UNESCO, 2003a). This means that children with or without dis-abilities should be accommodated in regular schools. In Nigeria, the Federal Republic Nigeria (FRN) (2004) in her National Policy on Education (NPE) made a clear policy on inclusive education for persons with special learning needs emphasizing the need for their inclusion in the regular school system. In addition to the NPE, Nigeria is signatory to dif-ferent international declarations geared towards equalizing educational opportunities for all such as the Jomtien Convention of 1999 (Okeke-Oti, 2009). Furthermore, the UN is-sued the 2000 Dakar Framework for Action, which expresses commitment towards Edu-cation For All (EFA) disability notwithstanding (Tsafi & Neil, n.d).

In compliance to these international commitments, Nigeria adopted and launched the Universal Basic Education (UBE) scheme and enacted the UBE Act of 2004 (Nation-al Teachers’ Institute (NTI), 2011). The scheme provides the enabling framework for the delivery of uninterrupted basic education within the context of inclusion.

Basic education is seen as the formal education deemed necessary for somebody to function properly in society. Accordingly, FRN (2004) in its NPE defines basic education as a type of education comprising 6 years of primary education and 3 years of junior sec-ondary school. The policy stipulates that the education shall be free, compulsory, univer-sal and qualitative. The UBE scheme shall include adult and non-formal educational pro-grams at primary and junior secondary school levels for both adults and out-of school youths. The UBE is a universal scheme implying that every child of school going age ir-respective of tribe, culture or race and disability shall have access to basic education un-der regular environment (Aluede in Labo-Popoola, Bello & Atanda, 2009). In other words, basic education refers to all range of educational activities taking place in formal, non-formal or informal settings that aim to meet basic needs of life. Under the UBE scheme, basic education is a nine year program of education divided into three segments of three years each as: Lower Basic (LB) Education covering Primary 1-3; Middle Basic (MB) Education covering Primary 4-6 and Upper Basic (UB) Education covering JSS 1-3 (Labo-Popoola, Bello & Atanda, 2009). The thrust of this study is however at the UB education. The choice of UB was because it is the terminal level of basic education from where students are expected to proceed to post-basic level of education.

According to FRN’s (2013) NPE, UB refers to the education which a child rece-ives immediately after primary education. The NPE spells out some of its objectives to include the following amongst others:

·         Provide the child with diverse basic knowledge and skills for entrepreneurship and educational advancement

·         Inculcate values and raise morally upright individuals capable of independent thinking and who appreciate the dignity of labor (Pg. 16)

The universal nature of UBE invariably made Inclusive Education to become the norm rather than the exception for the education of children with special needs at the ba-sic education level in Nigeria (FRN, 2004). This is because the NPE specifically provides for equal educational opportunities to all Nigerian children irrespective of disabilities. The ideological justification for the emergence of inclusive education is the need to re-spond to diversity of students in the light of social justice, equity and democratic partici-pation and as part of a wider interest in an inclusive society. It is therefore the respon-sibility of both regular and special teachers to develop and implement the curriculum and make instructional modifications necessary to accommodate the special needs of individ-ual children (Sangeeta, 2009). This is why the implementation of inclusive education programs requires changes in regular and special education curriculum to develop dy-namic strategies to restructure the system to accommodate students with diverse learning characteristics in regular school settings......

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