PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE U.B.E. TEACHERS FOR THE 9-3-4 EDUCATIONAL REFORM IN RIVERS STATE NIGERIA
This research study focused on the professional ddevelopment of the U.B.E. teachers for the 9-3- 4 educational reform in Rivers state. The purpose of the study was to find out the extent of professional development of the UBE teachers for the effective implementation the 9-3-4 educational reform in Rivers state. Three research questions and three null hypotheses guided the study. Descriptive survey research design was used in the study. The population of the study was 1,156 head teachers and 13,344 teachers in the primary and junior secondary schools employed in the Rivers state Universal Basic Education. Multi stage sampling technique was used to arrive at the sample size. A sample of 752 teachers was determined using Taro Yamen formular. This comprised of 370 teachers from Junior Secondary School and 382 teachers from primary schools in Rivers state. While 30 head teachers were used for Focus Group Discussion. Two instruments were used to collect data. These instruments are: a 35- item questionnaire developed by the researcher, and a focus group discussion guide. Three experts validated the instruments, two in Education Administration and Planning and one in Measurement and Evaluation from the Faculty of Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The reliability indices of the clusters of the questionnaire were: 0.72,0.91 and 0.80 for clusters A, B, and C, respectively. And the overall reliability index of 0.91 was obtained using Cronbach alpha method. Direct delivery and retrieval method was adopted in administering the questionnaire. Five research assistants assisted the researcher in administering the instruments. The focus group discussion guide was used to elicit oral information from 10 discussants from each of the three education zones in Rivers state. Data collected through the questionnaire were presented using descriptive statistics, while data collected through the focus group discussion was analysed qualitatively. The t-test statistics was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study revealed, among others, that teachers are to a little extent prepared for the 9-3-4 educational reform in Rivers state(1.82± 0.55).There are challenges which adversely affect the professional development of the U.B.E. teachers in Rivers state (3.47± 0.46). These challenges include: inadequate attention to teacher education by the government (3.34±0.48), indequate retraining programmes such as seminars and workshops (3.22±0.41), poor condition of service (3.45±0.49), poor funding of education which impedes organization of regular workshops and seminars for teachers (3.48±0.50) and appointment of non-education professionals into State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) (3.55±0.49). Based on the above findings, the researcher recommends among others that there should be full professionalization of teaching, so that only trained teachers on new techniques for instructional delivery should be recruited for the implementation of the new UBE curriculum. Equally, there should be regular retraining programmes like, seminars, workshops among others, for teachers to enhance their effectiveness in the implementation of the 9-3-4 educational reform.