1.1 Background of the Study
Art as a subject has long been accepted and included in the Nigerian school curriculum. This is dated back to 1922 and that was the effort of Aina Onabolu, the first art teacher in the country who started teaching art in some primary schools in Lagos unofficially after developing art skills through private practices. He later obtained a diploma in art in London and started teaching art officially on return to Nigeria.
As a result of students’ growing interest in the subject, Aina Onabulu appealed to the Government of Nigeria to employ the services of some foreign art teachers and this led to the coming of Kenneth C. Murray and Dennis Duerden. Their commitment to the teaching of art gave rise to the establishment of art centres in Lagos, Ibadan, Umuahia and Zaria. Ever since, there has been growing turn out of art teachers from our schools. These teachers are expected to teach either in the primary, secondary or tertiary institutions.
The focus of this work is to investigate the availability, which is in terms of employed art teaching staff and the adequacy thereof, which is in terms of the quantity of such art teachers in Junior Secondary Schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC). National Policy on Education (1989:16) states that “Secondary education is the form of education children receive after primary stage”.
This makes it necessary to examine the purpose of art teacher education with the view of establishing whether their services are adequately utilized in Junior Secondary Schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) where art is taught with large student-population records. The study will reveal the worth of art teachers in this area and consider, whether they are adequate enough to enhance art teaching and learning for practical utility. Kanu (1994:104) posits that the relevant Junior Secondary School teacher therefore has:
- Clear understanding of the school system within a community context;
- Sound understanding of her teaching subject content and process skills;
- Understanding of the rational, assumption;
- and practices of contingency implementation model in the context of her teaching area;
- Sound understanding of practical implication for teaching area of the principal of evaluation by continuous assessment.
The task of finding out whether the present art teaching staff in Abuja Municipal Area Council Junior Secondary Schools are achieving the stipulated art teaching objectives is a pressing need.
In Nigeria today, art teaching in Junior Secondary Schools faces a lot of setback. These setbacks are not only in shortage of infrastructural facilities, equipment, tools and art materials, but also in the area of under-employment of art teachers in the schools. This incident may have resulted in students’ lack of interest in offering art at Senior Secondary level. Talabi (1979:2) believes that:
The art of the adolescent reveals the undeveloped mind of
the child in so far as the subject has not grown with him from childhood. At school certificate level, the sixth-form child often produced “child art”. At this level art becomes selective and very few continue for the final certificate examination.
It should be observed that when students who are expected to form the nation’s future man-power are not motivated enough to acquire art skills for necessary uses, the development patterns art could offer will be manifestly lacking. Obviously, Nigeria is in dire need of sustainable development to care for its people and growing economy.
The fact remains that it is human resources or man power availability that will bring about the expected sustainable development. Thus, it becomes important to know whether the art teachers in the area of study are in tune with Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Ajayi in National Commission on Colleges of Education (NCCE, 2001:162,163) publication states that:
The goal of IT-compliance is necessary to Address some of the traditional problems of conventional education system such as:
- Inadequate teaching/learning facilities such as classrooms, libraries and laboratories;
- Shortage of quality teachers
- Inadequate instructional materials.
- High cost and capital intensive nature of Conventional educational
If the above skill is found to be lacking among art teachers in the area of study, it then becomes mandatory on the Government and other stakeholders in the education sector to create appropriate avenues for art teachers to be duly abreast with modern technology. Such expressive and problem solving skill acquired through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services, invariably, will make art education more functional and will further contribute to the national development need.
With this in place, learners will also leave the school better equipped to live sustainably through art projects or find other art-related courses such as architecture, engineering and other art-related courses easier at tertiary education level. UNDP (2004) according to Chikwe (2007:6) amongst others defines sustainable human development as:
Development that not only generates economic growth but its benefits equitably; that generates environment rather than marginalizing them. It is development that gives priority to the poor, enlarging their choices and opportunities and providing for their participation in decisions that affect their lives. It is development that is pro-nature, pro-jobs and pro-women.
Due to the important role which art plays in general education, it is important to see that this subject is well taught in Junior Secondary School level of education. To achieve this, both qualified and adequate number of art teachers becomes necessary.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This academic process essentially is meant to investigate “Availability and Adequacy of Art teachers in Junior Secondary Schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council, Nigeria”. There has been growing concern on how Art teachers have abandoned the imparting of this noble body of knowledge on the younger generation. In recent publications which include daily tabloid and scholarly books, this concern has become very obvious.
Talabi acknowledges the lack of enough qualified teachers in our post primary schools. Talabi is not alone in this position. Uzoagba and Ogboji corroborated Talabi’s statement.
This study is however concerned with the stream of problems this may raise. The few teachers we have in Junior Secondary Schools have reduced the interest of the present generation of students. A lot of vocations and academic pursuits that require the contribution of art knowledge are already in despair following the lack in art education.
Previously, students aiming to be architects, designers and allied professions find art subject fundamental. Indeed, the knowledge and the role art education plays in various professions cannot be overemphasized. On its own as a subject, art education is a source of entertainment and pleasure. It follows that the nation’s entertainment industry will suffer it dearly in the event of art teachers not training or reproducing those with such rare attributes. The study has made adequate data available to justify the essence of this investigation and offer solution.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The aims of this study include: to
- Assess the availability of art teachers compared to the number of students offering Art at Junior Secondary level.
- Examine if the Art teachers have opportunities for continuous
improvement in their chosen profession.
- Examine whether the students are motivated enough to develop interest in doing art at Senior Secondary School level.
- Examine whether art materials and modern technological equipment for art teaching and learning are available and adequate in the Junior Secondary Schools.
- Determine what need to be done to curb the trend on inadequate art
Teachers in Junior Secondary Schools.
1.4 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study: Availability and Adequacy of Art Teachers in Junior Secondary Schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council has a defined target. This investigation is carried out not within the entire Abuja but specified area – Municipal Area Council. Therefore, places under the Federal Capital Territory but outside the: Abuja Municipal Area Council” would not be counted as part of the exercise.
Aside the geographical scope, the study recognizes reasons why the teaching of the subject had suffered a set back. Yet, it however, wishes to streamline its analyses on the proportion of art teachers compared to the students’ population in the Junior Secondary Schools, available opportunities of art teachers improving their skills, facilities both for motivating teachers and enhancing teaching and learning in these schools.
In this same vein, the exercise is interested in the effect of this problem on the lower part of the post – primary school.
1.5 Significance of the Study
Teachers, students, school administrators, curriculum planners and Ministry of Education may benefit immensely from the result of this study. The findings of the study will expose art teachers to new techniques in this technological era. It will also serve as a motivational factor to art teachers towards continuous studio practices for exhibitions, income generation and participation in workshops and seminars.
The rich art experiences and benefits of art skills revealed from the study may attract more students to the study of art at senior secondary and tertiary levels. Studies in art enhance preparation for social responsibilities as well as develop in learners’ appropriate abilities and skills for effective social living. In this way, social behaviour and attitudes of Nigerians may be improved, with them appreciating the importance of unity and peaceful coexistence among the diverse ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. Thus, in the long run, students can develop positive values, appreciate our cultural heritage and shun attitudes that are inimical to national image internationally.
School administrators will also benefit from the findings of the study as they will further gain insight into the role of art teachers and the importance of art education in the teaching and learning of other subjects in schools. Such insight may lead them to fully utilize the services of art teachers, who will subsequently contribute to the general success [of the school administration by their involvement in artistic design and beautification efforts.
The findings of this study will assist the curriculum experts to articulate essential qualities and responsibilities necessary in 21st century art teachers. It will also reveal new methods, skills and recommend values to art teachers for emphasis in teaching-learning encounter.
Both the Federal and State Ministries of Education will also benefit from the study as the findings will further enlighten them on the art teachers’ competencies and their role in shaping students for national development. They will also find this work useful as it will enhance her knowledge of the needs of the schools in terms of employment of more qualified and dedicated art teachers, organizing refresher courses for them and provision of art studios and equipment. It will also enhance the interest of potential candidates for supervisory functions especially as what is required of the art teachers are readily available through the findings of this investigation.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions are to be among others in the study:
- To what extent are the vital human and material resources for art teaching and learning available?
- How frequent do art teachers in your school attend art workshops and seminars?