Influence of Teacher-Community Relationship on Enrolment and Completion Rates of Pupils in Primary Schools in Aliero Local Government Area, Kebbi State, Nigeria

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Influence of Teacher-Community Relationship on Enrolment and Completion Rates of Pupils in Primary Schools in Aliero Local Government Area, Kebbi State, Nigeria

  • Abubakar, Murtala
  • Mairo Danjuma PhD
  • Kyei Baffour Owusu PhD.
  • 294-304
  • Feb 10, 2024
  • Education

Influence of Teacher-Community Relationship on Enrolment and Completion Rates of Pupils in Primary Schools in Aliero Local Government Area, Kebbi State, Nigeria

Abubakar, Murtala1, Mairo Danjuma PhD1, Kyei Baffour Owusu PhD.2

1Department of Education, Faculty of Education, Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero

2Division of General Studies, Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero

DOI: https://doi.org/10.51244/IJRSI.2024.1101022

Received: 24 December 2023; Revised: 04 January 2024; Accepted: 08 January 2024; Published: 10 February 2024

ABSTRACT

The study investigated the influence of the teacher-community relationship on enrolment and completion rates of pupils in primary schools in Aliero Local Government Area, Kebbi State, Nigeria. The study used a mixed-methods approach (Quantitative and Qualitative) to seek data from the respondents. The population for this study consisted of 14,337 respondents, including teachers, head-teachers, community leaders and parents/guardians within the Aliero Local Government Education Authority. A sample of 215 teachers, 389 parents and 29 community leaders were drawn through multi-stage sampling techniques. The study used questionnaires and in-depth interviews structured as open-ended questions with probes to substantiate the expected responses from the respondents. The face and content validity of the instruments was carried out by experts in the field of Sociology of Education, Administration and Management and Test and Measurement, Kebbi State University of Science and Technology Aliero. The instrument was further subjected to pilot testing and reliability coefficient of 0.75 and 0.78 were obtained for the variables: enrolment and completion rates, respectively using the Cronbach Alpha reliability test tool. Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used to answer the research questions. Findings revealed that the teacher-community relationship is significantly related to an increase in primary school pupils’ enrolment rate (r= .162** p=0.20) and completion rate (r= .787** p=0.33) in Aliero LGA. The relationship was a positive one. It was therefore recommended among others that positive teacher-community relationships should be maintained and strengthened to improve enrolment and completion rates of pupils as well as the general development of primary education in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State.

Keyword: Teacher-Community relationship, Enrolment rate, Completion Rate, Primary Education

INTRODUCTION

Education is regarded to be the act of acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgments, and generally preparing intellectual persons for mature life. It is regarded as the bedrock for the development of individuals and overall national development. The development of a nation in the 21st century depends upon the quality and quantum of its educated citizens. For this reason, the nation Nigeria has emphasized in its National Policy on Education (NPE) that every child irrespective of location, social, economic or physical characteristics must receive basic education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2013). The NPE stressed further that the purpose of education is to produce highly motivated, conscientious and productive citizens. Adejumo et al (2021) have opined that this is only possible with positive classroom pedagogy supported by good interactive relationships between pupils and teachers as well as between school and community. Primary education became a component of the compulsory basic education policy (Universal Basic Education); making it mandatory for children aged 5 years to enrol in formal education Adejumo et al (2021).

Every school is established and operates in a community of which it is an integral part. Schools provide opportunities for the education of children. Hence, Ismail and Zainol (2016) suggested that the school should be considered as an extension of the community. Teacher-Community relationship is a connection that exists between the teachers and pupils and the parents of pupils. Teacher-community relationship is associated with a sound home-school connection, characterized by trust, mutuality, affiliation, support, shared values, expectations and beliefs between the teacher, the pupils and the parents. Ikwoche and Akubo (2020) viewed the teacher-community relationship as the process by which the teacher and community interact or enter into cooperation and team up to carry out some reciprocal services in other to give learners a sound and lifelong education. Therefore, the teacher-community relationship is an important feature in the context of teaching and learning.

Empirical evidence from the literature has revealed that a good relationship between the school and the community is a prerequisite for achieving a meaningful educational objective in any community (Adelakun, 2019). Available literature provided strong evidence that teachers have a substantial impact on school enrolment, pupils’ motivation, academic achievement, and participation (Blazar, 2016). Hence, when parents are incorporated as effective partners in their children’s education, enrolment and participation in schools will improve dramatically.

School enrolment in this context refers to the number of pupils on the primary school rolls. School enrolment is associated with the fact that a child’s name entered or remains on the register of a school as a pupil. The term is also used to mean the total number of pupils on the school rolls at a given time, or sometimes the average number of pupils enrolled during a given period such as a school year (Adejimi & Nzabalirwa, 2021). The primary school enrolment ratio is given by the number of primary school pupils per 100 children of primary school age (Silas & George, 2015). Therefore, a useful ratio can be computed by relating the total enrolment of a school level, such as primary schools, to the estimated population of an appropriate age group, such as 6 – 12 or 7 – 13 years. The resulting ratio obtained in this case may be regarded as the primary school enrolment ratio. However, findings have shown that a substantial number of these pupils may not likely stay to completion in northwestern Nigeria and dropout rates are rising slightly as age goes up (National Population Commission / EdData Survey: Basic Education Profile for Northwest Nigeria, 2019). Wealth has been identified as a clear determinant of school completion in most communities in Nigeria. Children in the lower wealth quintiles are much more likely to have never attended school than children in higher ones (Adejimi & Nzabalirwa, 2021).

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

It can be noticed that many children who are within the school-going age in northwestern Nigeria have never attended school, and the dropout rate is rising significantly as age goes up (National Population Commission / EdData Survey: Basic Education Profile for Northwest Nigeria, 2019; Domimic et al., 2022). This is also visible in both the UBEC data and indicator profile for 2018, the UNICEF report of 2022 on the enrolment and completion rates as well as the number of out-of-school children in Kebbi State. More so, the UNICEF report of 2022 report revealed a high rate of primary school-age children (877,677) in Kebbi State who are yet to be enrolled into the school system (UNICEF Nigeria, 2022). This is indeed a worrisome situation in the State and the nation at large.

Aliero is one of the local government areas with the highest number of out-of-school children in Kebbi State (National Population Commission / Ed Data Survey: Basic Education Profile for Northwest Nigeria, 2019). The statistics obtained from the Aliero Local Government Education Authority have shown that there are just over 13,000 pupils currently enrolled on primary schools across the entire LGA. Although, poor family economic status has been attributed as a clear determinant of poor primary school enrolment and attendance in most communities in Nigeria, however, other determinants of children’s school enrolment and completion rates in Nigeria have received little or no attention. One of these is poor school-community and or poor teacher-community relationship. Considering the role of a teacher in the overall development of a child, there is a need to consider the teacher factor in this scenario. Positive relationships between teachers and pupils, parents or the community are important predictors of student academic engagement and school achievement within the community. When parents feel a sense of control and security in the school, they will be more encouraged to send their wards to school. Therefore, it is against this background that this study intends to investigate the influence of teacher-community relationship on primary school enrolment and completion rates across communities in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State, Nigeria.

Objective of the Study

The study is guided by the following objectives:

  1. determine the teacher-community relationship and its influence on pupils’ enrolment

in Aliero LGA, Kebbi State, Nigeria.

  1. assess the influence of teacher-community relationship on pupils’ completion rate in

primary schools in Aliero LGA, Kebbi State, Nigeria.

Research Questions

The following research questions were raised in line with the objectives to guide the study:

  1. Is there any significant relationship between teacher-community relationship and primary school pupils’ enrolment in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State?
  2. Is there any significant relationship between teacher-community relationship and primary school pupils’ completion rate in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State?

Theoretica Framework

The theory underpinning this study is the attachment theory

ATTACHMENT THEORY

The theory focuses on the relationships between two or more people, particularly long-term relationships such as those between school and community (Cherry, 2018). This theory was developed by one of the foremost psychologists, named, John Bowlby in 1958, and published in the trilogy Attachment and Loss in 1969 (Bowlby, 1969). He describes attachment as a “lasting psychological connectedness between human beings and their kind of behaviour, which focuses on establishing and maintaining closeness and contact with an adult figure that is sensible and responsive to the child’s needs (Bowlby, 1969; Cherry, 2018).

Attachment is a theoretical framework used by researchers to better understand how children and their parents develop positive working relationships with their teachers and the school (DeTeso, 2011). The perspective of attachment theory underpinning teacher-student/community relationships argues that students’ perception of a teacher’s nurturing and caring lifestyle can provide adequate room for understanding between the school and the community which entails improvement in enrolment and participation of the base community. This will help to build a solid foundation for students’ academic performance and general social growth (Roorda et al., 2011; Berman-Young, 2014).

This theory is therefore relevant to this study because it underpinned the importance of teacher-community relationships as the basis of academic excellence for students, teachers’ job satisfaction as well as overall improvement in terms of enrolment and completion. There is no doubt that when good and amiable relationships are built between the host community and teachers, it will enable students to develop a sense of belonging and a kind of free mind to consult and interact with their teachers at any point without fear or intimidation (Krstic, 2015). This is why a healthy teachers-community engagement can provide an antidote that could instigate community interest and positive feelings about school, students’ achievement and their academic performance (Hughes et al., 2008).

METHODOLOGY

Research Design

This study used a mixed-methods approach (Quantitative and Qualitative). While quantitative data presented the overall picture of a problem, qualitative data gave the relevant explanatory details. Therefore, by not limiting the study to a single method of research, the research questions were comprehensively and thoroughly been addressed.

Population of the Study

The population for this study consisted of 14,337 respondents, including 335 teachers, 32 head teachers, 32 community leaders and 13,938 parents/guardians within Aliero Local Government Area (LGA).

Sample and Sampling Techniques

A total of 633 respondents comprising of 186 teachers, 29 head teachers, 29 community leaders and 389 parents/guardians, were obtained through Slovin’s formulae for estimating population proportion. The study adopted the multi-stage sampling techniques in selecting its respondents. The researchers used stratified sampling technique to select 29 primary schools. The 186 teachers were selected using simple random sampling technique from the sampled schools. This is to offer every teacher equal chance of representation in this study. Also, the researchers used convenience sampling technique to sample the parents that were used in this study. This sampling technique was used due the fact that the researcher has no control over the movement of parents.

Research Instruments

This research employed questionnaire and in-depth interview to generate data in this research. The questionnaire sought responses from head-teachers and teachers while the in-depth interview schedule sought data from parents/guardians and community heads as they may experience some forms of difficulty in reading and writing since majority of these respondents might not be literate. The schedule was structured as open ended questions with probes to substantiate the expected responses from the respondents. Furthermore, it was translated into the local language (Hausa) in case where necessary.

Validity and Reliability of the Research Instruments

The instruments for this research were subjected to face and content validity by experts in the field of sociology of education, Education Administration and Management and Test and Measurement, Kebbi State University of Science and Technology Aliero who assessed the comprehensiveness, adequacy and clarity of the items in the instruments. The reliability of the instrument was established through a pilot study and reliability coefficients of 0.75 and 0.78 were obtained for the variables: enrolment and completion rates.

Method of Data Analysis

The data collected through the quantitative study was analysed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC). On the other side, the qualitative data gathered through the in-depth interviews were analysed through descriptive analysis and used direct quotations. More so, the data were organised according to themes (Main themes and Sub-themes) as it was structured in the interview schedules.

RESULTS

A correlational analysis was performed to identify whether there was a statistically significant relationship between teacher-community relationship and primary school pupils’ enrolment in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State. Table 1 presents the results of the PPMC.

Table 1: Summary of Correlation Analysis of the Relationship between Teacher-Community Relationship and Pupils’ Enrolment Rates in Primary Schools (n =214)

Variables SD Df r-cal p-value Decision
TCR 3.34 0.16
212 .162** .020S Rejected
PER 3.15 0.39

Key: TCR: Teacher Community Relationship; PER: Pupils Enrolment Rate

Table 1 shows the analysis of the relationship between teacher-community relationship and pupils’ enrolment rates in primary schools in Aliero LGA. The results presented in Table 1, revealed that the p-value .020 is less than the .05 level of significance at 212 degrees of freedom. With this result, the null hypothesis was rejected implying that the teacher-community relationship is significantly related to primary school pupils’ enrolment in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State. However, there was a weak positive relationship (r=.162**) between the two variables. This implies that the teacher-community relationship is significantly improve primary school pupils’ enrolment in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State.

Equally, a correlational analysis was performed to identify whether there was a statistically significant relationship between teacher-community relationship and primary school pupils’ completion rate in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State. Table 2 presents the results of the PPMC.

Table 2: Summary of Correlation Analysis of the Relationship between Teacher-Community Relationship and Pupils’ Completion Rates in Primary Schools (n =214)

Variables SD Df r-cal p-value Decision
TCR 3.41 0.22
212 .787** .033S Rejected
PCR 3.14 0.24

Key: TRC: Teacher Community Relationship; PCR: Pupils Completion Rate

Table 2 shows the analysis of the relationship between teacher-community relationship and pupils’ completion rates in primary schools in Aliero LGA. The results presented in Table 2, revealed the p-value of .033 which is less than the .05 level of significance at 212 degrees of freedom. With this result, therefore the null hypothesis was rejected, implying that the teacher-community relationship is significantly related to primary school pupils’ completion rate in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State. There was a strong positive relationship (r= .787**) between the two variables. Nevertheless, it implies that the teacher-community relationship is significantly improve primary school pupils’ completion rates in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State.

Theme: Opinions of parents regarding the connection between teacher-community relationship and pupils’ enrolment across communities in Aliero ALG, Kebbi State, Nigeria.

Effect of teacher-community relationship on pupils’ enrolment in primary schools

When parents were asked to explain how relationships between teachers and the host community are connected to pupils’ enrolment in primary schools in their respective communities, they unanimously reported that yes, there is a connection between them. Based on the responses of parents, it was established that trust is built on healthy relationships without which we could not entrust teachers with our children. The good relationship we enjoyed with the teachers has given us the confidence and courage to always register our children in the school. One of the respondents interviewed from Nasarawa Aliero had expressed that:

It was because of good relationships with my children in the former area where I stayed that made me keep registering my children in the primary school even when there was a primary school in my new area. I feel satisfied and have confidence in the school and its teachers. So, teacher-community relationships are highly essential to enrolment (Parent, 50 years old, Male, Sub-Urban community, Civil Servant).

Based on the responses of parents, it was established that trust is built on healthy relationships without which we could not entrust teachers with our children.

Parents’ desire for their children’s brighter futures encouraged enrolment in primary school.

When parents were asked to explain if it was the desire for a brighter future that encouraged them to enrol their children in primary schools in their community, 380 parents out of the 396 respondents interviewed heavily linked their children’s education to the pursuit of a brighter future. A respondent from Unguwar Magaji explained further:

He never wished his children to live the kind of life he lived which is why he registered his children in primary school. According to him, even though he had having passion for school, he was not opportune to attend school because his parents didn’t register in school then and his dream was dashed out. Although he is a peasant farmer his desire for school has made him enrol all his children in school so that they can have a better future (Parent, 49 years old, Male, Rural community, Farmer).

However, the responses of the 16 remaining parents interviewed have indicated that they enrol their children in school just to acquire basic literacy and numeracy skills for them to be able to read and write, after which they will choose whether to continue the school or start up a business or even join them on the farm. The expression of one out these 16 parents stressed that:

Our children’s future has been limited by the elite, who often reserve high-profile places for their children. No matter the level of their educational achievement, they are reduced to low-class jobs. This is why I concluded that my children will only attend primary school to acquire basic literacy for survival (Parent, 47 years old, Male, Rural community, Farmer).

Relationship of parents’ sacrifice of domestic work of their children with school enrolment

When parents were asked to relate their sacrifice of domestic work of their children with school enrolment in their community, all 396 parents interviewed linked school enrolment to the sacrifice of domestic work. According to these parents, school enrollment and attendance are largely influenced by the seasons of the year. Very few parents enrol their children in school during the wet season, when more hands are needed for homework. School enrolment/attendance increases in the dry season, when domestic work is less. This is a very common response among parents in remote Aliero communities. One out of the few female parents interviewed also aired her opinion regarding this matter when she expressed:

I was left with 3 children, two of which has been enrolled in primary school. I made a lot of sacrifices, especially domestic work to be able to enrol them in school. We do menial work to be able to feed. The second child helps me to take care of the last child while we work together with the first child. It wasn’t an easy decision that I took to enrol them into school. I am thinking of a better future for them. Now our earnings have been limited. We only work when they return from school and other school-free days like weekends and some days they don’t go to school (Parent, 43 years old, Female, Rural community, Widow).

Thus, the role of the teacher in a positive teacher/community relations  is extremely important since a teacher is sometimes looked at as a member of the family because of their relationship with the children. The teacher, then, is closer to the parents and the community because the parents and the community choose to let that teacher in. This is precisely why the teacher can be so effective when dealing with the community.

Theme: Opinions of parents regarding the connection between teacher-community relationship and pupils’ completion rate across communities in Aliero LGA, Kebbi State, Nigeria.

How the relationship between parents and teachers influence pupils’ completion rate in your community

When parents were asked to describe how the relationship between parents and teachers influences pupils’ completion rate in their community, the parents identified trust, increased confidence, and motivation as some key areas that were boosted by the relationship between parents and teachers which in turn influences pupils’ completion rate in primary school in their respective communities.

How good parents-teacher relationship encourage pupils to complete their academic cycle

When parents were asked to give their opinions for or against the expression that good parents’ relationship with teachers has helped most pupils complete their cycle within the expected period, nearly all of the respondents amounting to 389 associated good teacher-parents/community relationship with the growing zeal for most pupils to complete their cycle within the expected period. Most of these parents believe that their relationship with primary school teachers in their respective community has raised their confidence and they see teachers as second parents to their children creating a better learning atmosphere which encourages pupils to attend and stay until graduation. A respondent from Dorawai community has expressed his opinion that:

It was a result of good relationships with teachers in his community who have many children who have completed primary school. While the pupils see teachers as parents and knowledge givers, the teachers on the other hand build friendships with the children upon the good relationship they share with the community. This made pupils comfortable to stay in school until they graduate from primary school (Parent, 41 years old, Male, Rural community, Farmer).

On this note it clear to attest that a good teacher-parents/community relationship is an important motivating factor since it mates most pupils to complete their cycle within the expected period.

How teachers inspire pupils to stay and complete their programme

When parents were asked to voice their opinion on whether it was teachers who inspire pupils to stay and complete their programme, 201 teachers responded yes, attesting to the fact that primary school teachers inspire pupils to stay and complete their programme. Teachers’ resourcefulness, tactfulness, humility, and their love for knowledge are a source of inspiration to pupils. This great attitude of teachers has made both parents and pupils in love with the school.  Unlike in the past, when primary school faced More pupils staying in schools from beginning to graduation.

The remaining 195 parents have opposed this submission. According to them what inspired children to stay in school and complete their programme was not the teacher alone but a combination of many factors such as the growing desire for greatness that comes from within the child, support from parents and community influences. This implies that teachers are source of motivation to the students who stayed in school till graduation.

Teacher-community relationship and parents’ motivation towards the completion of their children’s education cycle

When parents were asked if the teacher-community relationship motivates them to strive towards the completion of their children’s education cycle, 351 parents agreed that the teacher-community relationship motivates parents to strive towards the completion of their children’s education cycle, while 45 parents expressed disbelief in this assertion. One of the respondents who consented to this premise from the Kaurar Laba community, Aliero had expressed that:

The relationship between primary school teachers and parents in his community has given parents the zeal to enrol and keep more children in school till graduation. The good relationship has brought about understanding and belief that their children are safe. As parents interact with teachers, they often give parents feedback regarding their children’s educational progress and often advise parents on what they may need to do for the overall improvement of their academic progress (Parent, 58 years old, Male, Sub-Urban community, Businessman).

Based on the responses obtained from parents it can be deduced that the more than 90% of the sampled parents across town and village communities have agreed that the teacher-community relationship motivates parents to strive towards the completion of their children’s education cycle. Although parents overwhelmingly associated the teacher-community relationship with the completion of children’s education cycle, however, few parents opposed the connection between the teacher-community relationship and completion rate across primary schools in Aliero LGA.

DISCUSSION

Table 1 shows Summary of Correlation Analysis of the Relationship between Teacher-Community Relationship and Pupils’ Enrolment Rates in Primary School in Aliero Local Governmenrt Area. Table 1 revealed that the teacher-community relationship influences pupils’ enrolment rate in primary schools in Aliero LGA. Thus, this finding is in agreement with the finding of Owan (2019) which discovered that parent-teacher relationship, school-community use of resources, school-community communication and school-community collaboration are significantly related to secondary school enrolment in Rivers State. That is to say, when parents feel part of the school process they would be more likely to ensure general school effectiveness. The submission of Offiong et al. (2021) also agreed with the finding of this study, which considered the teacher-community relationship as one of the basic determinants of school enrolment trends in two neighbouring states of Delta and Edo. Christian and Sayeed (2023) reported that the consequence of an unfair relationship between the school and the community is an increase in dropout; where the percentage of pupils who graduate will be less than the original enrolment. In essence, the teacher-community relationship is a strong prerequisite for enhancing enrolment and sustaining pupils’ attendance in primary schools (Clark, 2022). Hence, a cordial relationship between primary school teachers and parents should be built upon to enhance primary school enrolment.

Table 2 shows Summary of Correlation Analysis of the Relationship between Teacher-Community Relationship and Pupils’ Completion Rates in Primary School in Aliero Local Governmenrt Area. The result of table 2 reveals that most of the sampled primary school teachers have agreed that the teacher-community relationship has an influence on pupils’ completion rate in primary schools in Aliero LGA. The result was consistent with the discoveries of prior research both within and outside the country. Thus, the finding is in agreement with the finding of Ali (2023), who discovered that poor teacher-community relationships hindered parents from fully participating in the education activities of their children in the Arusha district. Furthermore, Gomba (2015) revealed that the interaction between school principals and community leaders contributes to rural students’ intention to stay in school up till graduation. Cui et Al. (2022) equally discovered that good interaction between teachers and local members of the community is significantly related to a higher level of students’ intention to stay in school to completion. Such a relationship accompanied by trust and high confidence is a good source of motivation for parents, who show interest in their children’s education.

CONCLUSION

A comprehensive analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data has highlighted the significance of the teacher-community relationship to the development of primary education in Aliero LGA, Kebbi State, Nigeria. There is no doubt that the problem of low enrolment and dropout of pupils in primary school will be resolved if a good teacher-community relationship is established and sustained. A positive relationship culture developed in a good environment is crucial to foster trust, confidence and motivation from parents and teachers, and these are essential to improving the overall development of primary education in terms of enrolment and completion rates of pupils in primary schools not only in Kebbi State but across the country. Hence, it is important to build and maintain strong positive relationships between parents and teachers for effective collaboration and development of basic education in Nigeria.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the findings that emanated from the study, the following recommendations are made:

  1. Good teacher-community relationships should be maintained and strengthened to improve the enrolment, attendance and completion rates of pupils as well as the general development of primary education in Aliero LGA of Kebbi State.
  2. Teachers are encouraged to relate with parents through the establishment of a Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) and School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) comprising community members and teachers. This will serve as a link that will foster understanding and good relationships between teachers/school and the community and will create a platform for discussing issues regarding enrolment, attendance and completion rates.

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