A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF TEACHERS’ PERCEPTION ON THE IMPACT OF OF NIGERIAN UNION OF TEACHERS
1.1 Background Of The Study
The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) is a professional and trade union organization that represents all teachers in the country’s primary and post-primary school systems. According to Nikk (2011), the Nigeria Union of Teachers was founded out of concern about the teaching profession’s image and professional development in Nigeria. However, the use of ad hoc and unexpected educational codes for teachers and remuneration resulted in the mushrooming of teachers’ associations in a number of southern Nigerian towns, including Lagos, Abeokuta, and others (Ejor, 2013). The various associations recognized that, in order to achieve their objectives, forming an unified front would establish a powerful voice for teachers’ concerns.
This union was historically born amid an adversarial political and climatic setting. The NUT was founded in 1931 in a church missionary in Lagos, when teachers from Lagos, Agege, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Calabar, and Ijebu-Ode came to formally create the union (Melo, 2010). The union merged with the Northern State Teachers’ Union in 1972, an organization started in 1948 by Aminu Kano and a few of northern Nigerian teachers. Essentially, the union was created to develop an unified front among educators throughout the nation. Notably, the union has lived up to its objectives by serving as a voice for the country’s teachers (Deratu, 2012). The union’s influence offers a forum for expressing teachers’ viewpoints on the nation’s educational growth, an improvement in teachers’ economic situations, and overall economic security for teachers in the country.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Teachers are a distinct professional group that ought to be safeguarded (Charles, 2012). To foster an enabling environment for teachers and learners in the school system, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) represents practitioners’ interests through lobbying, dialogue, collective bargaining, confrontation, consultation, cooperation, and strike action, among other activities, as and when necessary (Jude, 2013). According to Chineye (2015), NUT has taken several activities in order to effect good change in its members’ lives and to enhance the school system. The NUT has contributed to the improvement of the school system via proposals, contributions, decisions, and representation/membership on committees. This explains why the union is represented in educational institutions such as the Ministry of Education, the Post Primary Education Board, the State Universal Basic Education Board, and the Local Government Education Board (Omeke, 2013). These bodies are always in communication and discussion with the NUT about how to address issues relating to the school system.
However, the NUT has been concerned about a variety of issues, including irregular teacher payment, non-payment of leave grants, irregular promotions, inability to provide schools with operating costs (subvention), dilapidated school buildings, and inability to provide teaching materials and meet other financial obligations. In light of the above, this research focuses only on teachers’ assessments of the influence of the Nigerian teachers’ union on their lives..
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The overall aim of this study is to critically examine teachers perception on the impact of Nigerian union of teachers. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;
- Identify the problems that have engaged the attention of Nigeria union of teachers.
- Determine whether Nigeria union of teachers have contributed to fostering unity and progress among all teachers in Nigeria.
- Ascertain whether Nigeria union of teachers has helped to increase the status of the teaching profession through improved quality of education and conditions of service.
- Ascertain whether Nigeria union of teachers have contributed to the improvement of the social and economic wellbeing of members.
1.4 Research Question
The study will be guided by the questions below;
- What are the problems which has engaged the attention of Nigeria union of teachers?
- Have the Nigeria union of teachers contributed to the fostering of unity and progress among all teachers in Nigeria?
- Has the Nigeria union of teachers helped to increase the status of the teaching profession through improved quality of education and conditions of service?
- Have the Nigeria union of teachers contributed to the improvement of the social and economic wellbeing of members?
1.5 Significance Of The Study
The study will be of great benefit to Educational Managers and Administrators, the NUT, teachers, parents and students the study area. The Nigeria’s Union of Teachers controls the largest workforce in the educational sector in the study area. Therefore, it is important that the working system of NUT as a trade union and professional organization is well understood. This no doubt would go a long way in averting industrial action involving such a large workforce which would result in great loss of money, manpower, developmental time and promote industrial peace and harmony in the school system. The finding would be useful to NUT as an organization in knowing how well it had met the needs of its members.
Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as literature review. This means that, other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to teachers’ perception on the impact of Nigerian union of teachers.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
This study is structured to generally examine teachers’ perception on the impact of Nigerian union of teachers. However, the study will further identify the problems that have engaged the attention of Nigeria union of teachers, determine whether Nigeria union of teachers have contributed to fostering unity and progress among all teachers in Nigeria, ascertain whether Nigeria union of teachers has helped to increase the status of the teaching profession through improved quality of education and conditions of service, and ascertain whether Nigeria union of teachers have contributed to the improvement of the social and economic wellbeing of members.
The participants for this study will be obtained from selected schools in Abraka, Delta State.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Definition Of Terms
NUT: The Nigeria Union of Teachers. An organization that oversees the affairs of teachers as a trade union.
Teachers Working Conditions: This is the totality of the remunerations to which a teacher is entitled for the services he renders.
Teachers welfare: Enhancement of the social and economic wellbeing of teachers by meeting their welfare needs which embodies good conditions of service.