This study was conducted to determine societal perceptional teaching and teachers’ dedication to work using some selected secondary schools in Lagos State as a case study. The descriptive method of research was adopted in conducting the study. The population of the study comprised all teachers in Lagos State. A total of one hundred teachers were randomly selected as sample from the targeted population. A Likert typed self-developed questionnaire titled Societal Perception Questionnaire (SPQ) was used for data collection. The SPQ was subjected to content validity by three experts in the field of study who scrutinized the questionnaire through face validation. Their expert suggestions were used in perfecting the structural components of the questionnaire before administration on participants on the field. The test retest method was adopted in establishing the reliability of SPQ and an r-valve of 0.65 was obtained indicating the consistency of SPQ in collecting data for the study. A total of one hundred copies of SPQ were administered on selected respondents on the spot. The data collected were used to generate a frequency distribution table for analysis. The descriptive statistic of percentage was used in presenting the data, while the inferential statistic of chi-square was used in testing stated hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings are as follows. Societal perception of teaching/teachers had no significant effect on teacher’s professional efficiency and dedication to work. There was a significant difference between the low status accorded teachers in our society and teachers’ efficiency and dedication to work.

No significant relationship exists between teachers’ negative attitude to work and societal perception of teaching/teachers.






Title Page                                                                                           i

Certification                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                         iii

Acknowledgment                                                                               iv

Abstract                                                                                             v

Table of Content                                                                          vi-vii


1.1     Introduction                                                                            1

1.2     Statement of the Problem                                                        5

1.3     Purpose of the Study                                                               5

1.4     Research Questions                                                                 5

1.5     Research Hypotheses                                                               6

1.6     Significance of the Study                                                         6

1.7     Delimitation of the Study                                                        7

1.8     Limitation on the Study                                                           7


2.1     The Teacher/Teaching                                                             9

2.2     The Development of Teaching Education in Nigeria                 12

2.3     The Contemporary Condition of Teachers and the

Profession in Nigeria                                                                14

2.4     Historical Evolution of Low Status of Teacher                          16

2.5     The Poor Public Image of Teachers                                          17

2.6     Factors Affecting the Status of Teachers in Nigeria                 31




Research Methodology                                                             35

3.1     Research Design                                                                      35

3.2     Population                                                                               35

3.3     The Study Sample and Sampling Technique                           36

3.4     Research Instrument                                                               36

3.5     Validity of Research Instrument                                              36

3.6     Reliability of Research Instrument                                           37


Result and Discussion                                                                      38


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation                                   43

Summary                                                                                          43

Conclusion                                                                                        44

Recommendation                                                                              45

References                                                                                         46

Questionnaire                                                                                   47

















In Nigeria today and also in other countries, education is an important tool for national development, the ultimate strength of any nation hinges on the social responsibility, economic competency and moral strength of her citizens, an onus that is solely borne by the teachers through teaching. This is because education has a vital role to play in the technological and economic advancement of the country. Also because the primary obligation of teaching profession any where in the world is to guide children, youths and adults in the pursuit of knowledge and skills to develop healthy attitudes for harmonious living (Adu & Olatundun, 2007). Teaching according to Mandla (2000) is a social career and no career is more of value to society than teaching.  Its thus, a unique profession whose quality directly influences the future of any nation. Teaching touches the life of virtually everyone in the society, as doctors, scientist, engineer, politicians and so forth were all taught by teachers in the course of their professional training. Ukeje (1991) asserted that in a developing nation, teaching is the most vital and strategic profession for national development. Also in line with his assertion, Salami (1999) argued that the greatness of any nation does not consist in the abundance of her resources but on the educational system and the teachers.

Countries that lack enough educated citizens suffer the risk of technological and economic setbacks. In the past, teachers and the teaching profession were given due recognition and teachers went about their duties diligently and with pride. They (teachers) were content with their jobs and many people would like to be teachers or have their children stay with a teacher for moral and intellectual upbringing. But all this belongs to the past, as the profession has almost become an orphan that is not qualified for the orphanage home. According to Salami (1999) many of the teachers drop into the profession as a last resort and when they find an alternative job that pays higher they quickly drop out. Also it’s a well-known fact that many people today, regard the teaching profession as the dreg of all profession and consequently the last choice by many applicants (Jagun, 1990, Salami, 1999).

This very important sector has received attention from most countries including Nigeria, who before now promised education for all. The government has put in place, the Universal Basis Education (UBE) to help in achieving its aim of giving every citizen a chance of getting educated.

In order to achieve the laudable educational goals as stipulated in the National Policy of Education revised edition (1981) government at both federal and state level have spent huge sum of money on training of teacher, building of schools and purchase of equipment etc.

Training of teachers is one of the most important aspects. To be given adequate attention. If the educational advancement of the country is to be achieved, this is because teachers constitute one of the important segments in the educational environment; they are the ones charge with the responsibility of transmitting and imparting knowledge on the students. Their roles in the educational sector cannot be over emphasized.Their active presence is very essential for the execution of educational programs. The student look up to their teacher as role models who should be emulated, this is because the school acts as the second agent of socialization for the child apart from the child’s immediate family. The child grows up to imbibe most of the teacher’s actions and behavior. The teacher has a big role to play in the muddling and formation of desirable attitudes in the child.

These enormous duties which are expected of the teacher can only be carried out in a very conductive and stable environment. But it is a common knowledge now that teachers whose contributions are very necessary are found to be inadequate in most schools. Generally, schools now have very few teachers taking charge of too many students, which makes it difficult for them to execute their duties thoroughly and efficiently.

Schools that have enough teachers, have those teachers spent most of their time on their private business thus, giving very little time to their teaching profession.

In Nigeria today, the teaching profession has suffered so much setbacks, the status of teachers in the society has been greatly relegated to the background, and the profession lacks the dignity as well as the satisfaction that is desired from it. It also lacks the security that is expected from it and which other profession give.

This trend has led to the teacher approaching the job with little or no sense of purpose. There is no exception of any category of teachers from the university professor to the kindergarten teacher, its dismal account of constant humiliation, denigration from government and society.

The historical evolution of teaching profession revealed that no other profession in Nigeria has suffered in terms of esteem, regard, respect and dignity as the teaching profession despite itsvery important nature.

In some secondary schools in Lagos as well as in others states, teachers are made to share the same room with students because of lack of comfortable chairs and tables for the teachers to use in the inadequate staff room. In such a situation, it is of common knowledge that the teachers will not have the job satisfaction which will inspire them to perform their duties diligently and also it will greatly affect the respect that they deserve from the student.

It has been observed that due to the kind of low status accorded the teaching profession; prospective teachers who have passion for the profession are shying away from the job. Even primary school pupils aspire to be in other profession like medicine, law, accountancy etc. While no one really wants to become a teacher despite the fact that it is the teachers that make each and every one in its chosen career. This attitude accorded the profession has greatly affected teacher’s efficiency in recent time. They no longer approach their work with the zeal and enthusiastic that is expected from them.

It is time for the government and the society to rise up to their responsibilities towards improving and uplifting the status of teachers in the society.

It is against this background of growing concern that the researcher finds the study worth investigating.


Teaching efficiency has dwindled in recent time and this have had adverse effect on the overall performances of students in examinations, looking into the societal perception of teachers and teaching will help in ascertaining the root causes of these problems.


The main purpose of this study was to determine the societal perception of teaching and teachers dedication to work. Other objectives of this study are as follows:

  1. to ascertain the societal perception to teaching and teachers
  2. to ascertain if there is any relationship between the societal perception of teaching and teachers and their efficiency


The following research questions were raised to guide this study:

  1. What is the relationship between societal role perception of teaching/teachers and their professional dedication?
  2. What is the relationship between the low status of teachers and their professional efficiency and dedication?
  3. What is the relationship between teacher’s negative attitudes to work and the societal perceptions of teacher role and teaching efficiency?



The following research questions weretestedin this study:

  1. That the societal perception of teaching/teachers has no significant effect on teacher’s professional efficiency and dedication to work
  2. That there will be no significant difference between the low status accorded teachers in our society and teachers’ efficiency and dedication to work
  3. That teachers negative attitude to work has no significant relationship with the societal perception of teaching/teachers


This study is significant for many reasons.

This study when completed would be an addition to existing knowledge in societal perception of teaching/teachers dedication to work. It would also serve as basis for further studies in the areas of teaching and teachers dedication to work, as it will be a reference material for other researchers.

Furthermore, the findings of this study would help to focus on the way teachers see their job and also the way society sees the teaching profession.

Also the result of these findings will highlight the problems affecting the professional efficiency of teachers in our society. The result will also enlighten the government and the society on the relevance of the profession and ways of improving their efficiency.


This study was limited in scope to randomly selected teachers of five randomly selected public secondary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State of Nigeria. In the same vein, students of the randomly selected schools would not be involved in the study. Names of the randomly selected public secondary schools are:

  1. Egan Secondary Schools
  2. Alimosho Secondary School
  3. Igando Secondary School
  4. Ijegun Secondary School
  5. State High School, Alimosho


A research is an intellectually stimulating experience. A researcher must therefore prepare for that experience by clearly embracing all aspects of investigative study of the phenomenon which the work wishes to put under examinations, be objective and impartial as well as factual. These are limitation because every stage in a research that conforms to the primary requirement of scientific validation ultimately involves time and financial cost.

Time cost is extremely critical to the research the more the time, the more the possibility that all relevant facts may be considered. For this reason, I have limited my study to the political boundary of Lagos state and the choice of five secondary schools from Alimosho Local Government Area.

Another limitation to the study was the financial cost. The financial constraint is particularly most critical when data have to be collected directly by the researcher. The larger the sample frame, the heavier the financial cost. Thus, the researcher has to strike a balance between the cost and effectiveness, this study focus has a relatively limited scope and size in order to accommodate the financial constraint.