ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE SYLLABUS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE SYLLABUS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study titled ―Assessment of the Implementation of Christian Religious Knowledge Curriculum in Junior Secondary Schools in Kaduna state‖ examined the extent to which the curriculum has been implemented and its impact on the academic and moral growth of students. It as well examined the influence of teachers and environment on the implantation of the curriculum. The study was borne out of the growing perceptions which attributed students‘ failure in external examinations and decline in morality among the youths to in-effective implementation of religious curriculum in secondary schools across the country. Survey research method was adopted in the study. The population of the study was made up of all Junior Secondary School teachers in Kaduna State. The State has a total of three thousand one hundred and five (3105) JSS teachers out of which three hundred and fifteen (315), representing 10% of the total population, were selected for the study using random sampling method. Three hundred and twelve (312) copies of returned questionnaire were validated and used for the analysis of result accordingly.  The data were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, mean and chi square.

The results revealed that the level of the implementation of CRK curriculum in JSS in Kaduna State was satisfactory and that the extent of the implementation of the curriculum has had considerable impact on the academic and moral growth of students.  Teachers are indispensible in curriculum implementation, and environmental factors are also strong determinants for effective curriculum implementation. In view of these findings, it has been recommended that regular supervision should be maintained to guide and encourage young and in-experienced teachers.  Recruitment of teachers should be based on professional qualifications and provision be made for in-service and workshops should be organised to keep the old teachers up-to-date.  In addition, efforts toward making the school environment conducive for learning should be given top priority.

 

 

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

          1.1       Background to the study

Fundamental to all subjects taught in Nigerian secondary schools is curriculum. Curriculum is the structure that embodies the processes through which educational objectives are obtained. It entails the organization, balance and presentation of the instructional contents in the classroom and the processes through which it is delivered. Curriculum, according to Ikechukwu (2014), is a guiding programme for effective teaching and learning. It is an educational programme without which education could hardly be organized. Studies and researches have shown that a major setback in education is not curriculum construction, but its implementation. The ability to put the curriculum (content and instructional guidelines) into practice in the classroom is curriculum implementation. Curriculum implementation is the actual engagement of learners with planned learning opportunities.

Curriculum implementation entails putting into practice the officially prescribed courses of study, syllabuses and subjects. The process involves helping the learner acquire knowledge or experience (Chaudhary, 2015). It is important to note that curriculum implementation cannot take place without the learner. The learner is therefore the central figure in the curriculum implementation process. There are various factors that influence Curriculum Implementation like the learners, resource materials and facilities, the teacher, the school environment, culture and ideology, instructional supervision and assessment (Chaudhary, 2015).

Curriculum implementation is a stage in curriculum processes when in the midst of learning activities, teachers and learners are involved in negotiations aimed at promoting learning. The teacher adopts the appropriate teaching methods and resources to guide learning.

The learners, on their parts, are actively involved in the process of interaction with learning activities. This process made Offorma (2005) to define curriculum implementation as the transmission of the planned curriculum into operational curriculum. The major implementers of the planned curriculum are the teachers. They set up learning opportunities aimed at enabling learners acquire the desired knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. The teacher is the dominant figure in curriculum implementation process. He is the final decision maker concerning the actual learning opportunities to be provided to his learners. How he plans and presents his lessons, guides and evaluates learners involved in the lessons is very crucial in curriculum implementation. Indeed, as the ultimate implementer of the curriculum, the teacher translates the curriculum into real classroom operation. This is done focusing on the syllabus which is derived from the curriculum.

While the curriculum represents the total planned programmes for all the school subjects in some years, the syllabus contains recommended topics and selected learning experiences aimed at meeting the set educational goals. The syllabus is further broken down into scheme of work, unit plan and lesson plan by subject teachers in the schools respectively for transmission to students. The scheme of work is the splitting of the recommended topics and selected learning experiences contained in the syllabus into manageable portions on term and yearly basis. This is done with a view to guide the teachers in making instructional plans as it stipulates specific topics to be covered within a term or session. On the other hand, unit plan is the identified closely related subject matters and learning experiences which constitute the unit of work meant to be taught within a few weeks, for example, between two and six weeks. A further split of the unit produces the lesson from which the teacher designs a lesson plan for effective delivery of the lesson to students in the classroom. A lesson plan is an orderly and sequential arrangement of the lesson, comprising of the subject matter to be taught, the instructional objectives to be achieved and the performance activities of both the teacher and learners in the course of lesson delivery (Ikechukwu and Ugwuozor, 2014). This is, indeed, a very critical point in curriculum implementation.

The term ―evaluation‖ generally applies to the process of making a value judgment. Curriculum evaluation aims to examine the impact of implemented curriculum on student (learning) achievement so that the official curriculum can be revised if necessary and to review teaching and learning processes in the classroom. Assessment of Curriculum implementation is therefore concerned with its effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness. It is concerned with reaction of students to the learning experiences. How do students react to a learning experience?  Did they like it? In the immediate sense, did they perceive it to be of value? Assessment is measurement of what has been taught and learnt, its attendant outcomes and developing a continuous programme for ensuring that needs of the students and that of the educational system are met (Wolf, 2006).

According to Nevenglosky (2019), barriers to effective curriculum implementation included changes in skills and knowledge to implement curricula with fidelity. These changes require teachers to possess the skills and knowledge to implement curricula with fidelity (Wiles & Bondi, 2014). Adopting new curricula requires teachers to feel confident in the delivery and purpose of the materials they use in order to ensureaccurate implementation. Teachers are therefore central to whether a curriculum is delivered consistently, effectively, and with efficacy to enable the support of student progress and growth.

Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK), as one of the subjects approved by the National

Policy on Education to be taught in secondary schools in Nigeria, it is not therefore an exception in the processes of curriculum implementation. Therefore, misinterpretation and misapplication of the stages and resources involved in the implementation of the planned curriculum can lead to faulty input and its resultant faulty output. When this occurs, the set objectives of CRK as a subject could be jeopardized. Indeed, there may be little to doubt, why critics tend to blame mounting social ills among students and the teeming youths in the society, as well as poor performances of students in CRK on defective implementation of the planned curriculum for the subject. Consequently, this study emerged to ascertain the extent of the implementation of CRK curriculum in secondary schools in Kaduna State, as well as the factors militating against effective implementation of CRK curriculum, with the junior arms of secondary schools as point of focus.

          1.2       Statement of the problem

The objective of Christian Religious Knowledge curriculum is to groom the students to be morally sound, disciplined and dedicated to dignity of labour, and to be good citizens. Hence, CRK has been approved by the National Policy on Education (NPE) as one of the subjects to be taught and studied in secondary schools in Nigeria (NPE, 2013). The aim is to encourage students to participate in those activities which foster personal discipline, character training, tolerance, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence. In addition, the teaching of CRK in the secondary schools is aimed at providing opportunities for Nigerian youths to learn more about God and the divine order, with a view to produce well-ordered personalities and citizens with commendable characters.

Despite these rich objectives of CRK curriculum for our secondary schools, however, there is a growing perception suggesting that CRK curriculum is not effectively implemented in the Nigerian secondary schools, as no much impact on the lives of the receiving students seems to have been observed over the time. This has been hinged on the assumption that the set moral objectives of CRK curriculum have not surfaced in the behaviour of the students as moral decay appears to be the rule of life in the society today. For example, youth‘s involvement in some negative social practices, like drug abuse, permissiveness, armed robbery, racial violence, prostitution, indiscipline, examination malpractices and other moral vices have been interpreted in some quotas to suggest that Religious Education has lost its purpose.; and hence the curriculum designed for the religious subjects in the Nigeria secondary schools is either deficient, with regard to moral building of the future generations as contained in the national philosophy and educational goals, or it has not been effectively implemented (Ikechukwu and Ugwuozor, 2014).

Furthermore, studies have shown alarming poor performances of students in CRK external examinations such as the West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), and General Certificate of Education (GCE). For example, WAEC Chief Examiner‘s reports of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 indicated poor achievement of students in CRK Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and General Certificate of

Education (GCE) respectively (WAEC Chief Examiner‘s reports, as cited in Ugwu, Ogwu and Igbokwe, 2017). These failures, in the view of analysts, were blamed on the schools and CRK teachers‘ inability to effectively implement the planned curriculum for secondary school

programme accordingly.

Whatsoever may be the situation, this study sets out to assess the factors militating against the implementation of CRK curriculum for secondary schools, the extent to which it is being implemented at the Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) in Kaduna State. The JSS is being chosen because students in this level fall into the developmental stage described by social psychologist, such as Lawrence Kohlberg, as state of identity confusion (Kohlberg, as cited in Santrock, 2000). Beside this, the JSS is a foundation building ground for successful Senior Secondary School (SSS) which is a stepping ladder to tertiary education. The study is undertaking with a view to proffer solutions to identified problems as applicable.

          1.3       Objectives of the study

The main objective of this study is to determine the extent to which the CRK curriculum has been implemented in Junior Secondary schools in Kaduna State. However, the specific objectives for the study include:

  1. determine the extent to which teacher factors affects implementation of the CRK curriculum towards moral development of Junior Secondary school students in Kaduna State
  2. determine the effects of instructional materials on implementation of the CRK curriculum in junior secondary schools towards academic development of students in Kaduna State;
  3. determine the effects of environmental factors such as family background of children, school environment and funding of education on implementation of the CRK curriculum in junior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

          1.4       Research Questions

  1. What are the influences of teacher related factors on the implementation of CRK curriculum in Junior Secondary School of Kaduna state?
  2. What are the influences of instructional materials on the implementation of CRK curriculum in junior secondary schools in Kaduna State?
  3. What are the influences of environmental factors such as family background of children, on the implementation of CRK curriculum in junior secondary schools in Kaduna State?  

          1.5       Research Hypotheses

HO1: There is no significant relationship between teacher related factors and implementation of CRK curriculum for moral growth and academic improvement of junior secondary school students in Kaduna State.

HO2: There is no significant relationship between instructional materials for implementation of

CRK curriculum for academic development of junior secondary school students in Kaduna State.

HO3: Environmental factors such as family background of children, school environment and funding of education have no significant relationship with the implementation of CRK curriculum in junior secondary schools in Kaduna State.   

          1.6       Significance of the study

The study investigate the extent to which CRK curriculum for secondary schools has been implemented in Junior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State and its value to the academic and moral development of students. The factors militating against effective implementation of CRK curriculum were also investigated. Consequently, the academic qualifications and years of teaching experience of CRK teachers were examined. This was aimed at establishing the extent to which teachers‘ educational qualifications and years of teaching experience could enhance or marred the effective implementation of the curriculum, especially, at the junior level of secondary school programme. Environmental factors, which comprise of socio-economic,

political and structural condition as well as infrastructural facilities of the schools have also been investigated. This was aimed at establishing the extent to which prevailing situations in a given environment could condition the implementation of CRK curriculum in junior secondary schools

in the state.

In practice, the findings and recommendations of this study would be useful to school administrators and classroom teachers, political actors and policy makers as well as students and future researchers. The school administrators will be sensitized to the need for providing relevant teaching equipment in the school and the over-riding importance of supervising instructions, and making available post service and in-service training for teachers. This would spur erstwhile teachers who are lagging in their duties to sit up and also improve their educational qualifications so as to ensure effective lesson delivery in the classroom. In addition, the teachers would be encouraged by the findings of this study to key into available programmes such as workshops and symposiums where they can acquire more knowledge on how to improve their teaching skills, for example, improvisation of teaching aids where they are lacking or insufficient.

For political actors and policy makers, the findings of this study would created an awareness of what is in contradistinction to what ought to be. This is crucial in modifying the approaches to problem situations, decision-making and curriculum innovation. This is crucial in that it would served as a pointer to the need to reckon with the requirements for implementing a given curriculum and thus give it the desired attention right from the planning stage. For example, the availability of teachers to execute the planned curriculum, the resources needed for implementing the planned curriculum, and influence of environment on children‘s school achievements will be addressed before the planning is completed. This would goes a long way to enhance effective implementation of the curriculum so constructed.

With regard to students and future researchers, the findings of this study would be of immense value to them. For the students, it is hoped that the result of this work will bring about the required awareness and the social change embedded in the objectives of CRK as contained in the curriculum. It is also hoped that the students are stimulated by the results of this research to acquire competent knowledge to cope with life challenges so that they can live good and useful life in the society. The result of this work would also be useful to future researchers, especially those researching on curriculum crises, as it guides them on the whole bulk of the requirements in curriculum processes and thus point out the deficient areas that may need fresh investigation or replication. No doubt, the findings and recommendations of this research helps to challenge, motivate and promote further research in CRK curriculum crises as well as in other disciplines.

          1.7       Scope

This study assessed the implementation of CRK curriculum in Junior Secondary Schools in Kaduna State. It is aimed at establishing the extent to which the CRK curriculum for junior secondary schools has been implemented. Consequently, the investigation covered teachers‘ factors in curriculum implementation. This includes effects of teachers‘ academic qualifications and years of teaching experience on the implementation of CRK curriculum and other teaching related issues.  The study also covered public and students‘ interest and attitude toward CRK as a subject in secondary school. Effects of environmental factors on the implementation of CRK curriculum formed part of the investigation in this work. This covered the influence of family background and school environment on academic achievement as well as inadequate funding of education. The view of teachers, school administrators, and stake holders were sampled using questionnaire.

Even though the challenges of curriculum implementation are not applicable to CRK alone, CRK appears to be one of the teaching subjects in our secondary schools which have suffered neglect for quite some time now. This, no doubt, justified the choice of the subject for investigation in this research. The investigation covered all junior secondary schools in Kaduna

State. Kaduna State is chosen for the study because it is one of the States in Nigeria which host almost all the ethnic tribes which make up the diversity of Nigeria. Although the study has been limited to Kaduna State, however, due to the proportional representation of the diversity of Nigerians‘ in the state, it is believed that result of the study obtained from this type of representational settlement could be generalized or fairly replicated in other States of the Federation.

 

ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE SYLLABUS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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