This study investigates the attitude of teachers towards teaching in rural areas in Nigeria using Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria as a case study. The descriptive design was used for the study. Specifically, the study used questionnaire for collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. The study population was one hundred and sixty (160) teachers from the selected secondary schools in the Local Government Area. The study has the following as its research objectives:to ascertain the prevalence of attitude of teachers towards teaching in rural areas in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, to establish the reactions of teachers posted rural areas in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and to determine the effects of teachers posted to rural areas on the academic performance of the students in the rural areas of Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education helps usto develop each area of lives in the society and to utilized and maximize our potentials, abilities in order to one contribute meaningfully and to the development of environments. Education is regarded as the key to civilisation and development. The introduction of colonization and Christianity were followed by western education and it was a common strategy that toattract people. After people have been attracted, education of these people became necessary and this brought about the establishment of schools in Nigeria and the first of its kinds in Nigeria was The Christian Missionary School (CMS) founded in Bariga area of Lagos State in the year 1859.
Education in rural areas in Nigeria comes with poor infrastructure like lack of electricity, poor road network, lack of potable water, lack of health care facilities, lack of security, insufficient teaching staffand sometimes non-payment of academic staff.Nigeria is predominantly a rural society as the vast majority of her population live in rural area. Generally, rural areas in Nigeria are usually neglected and overlooked by the government when it comes to development from social amenities to educational development. Despite the fact that rural dwellers in Nigeria are usually not recognized on government development activities, the nation’s wealth is derived from rural areas across the country. Crude oil, limestone, coal among other resources possessed by the country is hugely deposited in rural areas. The under-development in Nigeria as a country has been linked to lack of development in the rural areas.
Lack of development positively correlates with the neglect of rural areas. As a result of this neglect of the rural areas by the government, therefore, rural-urban migration becomes necessary for the people and this migration however brings negative consequences like overcrowding and overpopulation of the urban areas, increase in crime rate, unemployment and the likes.Since the missionaries and the colonial government were in control of these schools before the successfully handing it over to government after independence in 1960, schools in the rural areas were adequately staffed and the teachers were doing performing their jobs well by teaching effectively. Those rural are villages or communities characterized by the smallest of their population, poor housing or accommodation, the existence of untrained roads and low level of commercial activities. The occupation of the people is predominantly agriculture and they are experiencing lack of social amenities like the provisions of health care facilities, portable water, adequate security, electricity and lack of good road network. Because of thementioned characteristics presence in the rural areas, teachers transferred to such areas started to protest their posting in favour of urban centres that are havethe basic amenities not found in rural areas. These brought about massive rural-urban migration, thereby creating insufficiency in the numbers of teachers available to teach the less privilege students in the rural area schools. The state government now left with no option than to forcefully transfer or post teachers to these rural areas and vice versa. This measure did not work out because most of the concerned teachers always find their ways to remain in urban centres where all their basic and social needs are met.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Rural areas in Nigeria are characterized by series of under-developmental problems such as poor basic health facilities, good road networks, portable drinking water, high illiteracy level and prevalence of extreme poverty among others (Haruna&Onyebu, 2011).These developmental problems are believed to be challenges affecting the process of educating Nigerian child in the rural areas. It is crystal clear that sustainable national development is to a large extent, similar to the level of development as well as the education given to rural child, there is the need for taking the issue of education opportunities in the rural areas in Nigeria to be more serious. The issue of abject poverty and ignorancecan be said constitutes to the participation of people in the rural areas in Education.
Education is to a nation what the mind is to the body and therefore education for all is very important in the country to ensure the advancement and the development of the nation to a greater height. Since majority of the population still live in rural areas, education which is believed to be the bedrock of any serious nation’s development should be experiencing serious development in rural areas, therefore, it is important for Nigeria as a developing nation not to take the issue of education with levity hands. This study however examines the attitude of teachers towards teaching in rural areas in Nigeria using Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria as a case study.
1.3 Research Questions
These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:
i) What is the prevalence of attitude of teachers towards teaching in rural areas in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State?
ii) What are the reactions of teachers posted rural areas in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State?
iii) What are the effects of teachers posted to rural areas on the academic performance of the students in the rural areas of Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objective of the study examines the attitude of teachers towards teaching in rural areas in Nigeria using Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria as a case studyand the specific objective are:
i) To ascertain the prevalence of attitude of teachers towards teaching in rural areas in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
ii) To establish the reactions of teachers posted rural areas in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
iii) To determine the effects of teachers posted to rural areas on the academic performance of the students in the rural areas of Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho1: There is no significant correlation between attitude of teachers posted to the rural areas and the performance of the students in the rural areas.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The finding of this study will be beneficial to the teachers to change their attitude towards teaching in the rural schools. It is also significant to the ministry of education in identifying the causes of teaching in the rural areas and to proffer appropriate solutions to the ugly development. It will also help the government to know the reason why teachers have negative attitude towards teaching in the rural schools and find a lasting solution to it. Many researchers, rural communities and the general public will also benefit from the study.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study investigated the attitude of teachers towards teaching in rural areas in Nigeria using Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria as a case study. Therefore the respondents covered public secondary school teachers in the rural areas in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The researcher was faced with the challenges of finance and access to remote areas in the Local Government. There was no fund to print as many as possible questionnaires for this study. However, the researcher was able to print out two hundred questionnaires for this study.
1.9 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Attitude: this refers to the opinion and feelings that teachers usually have about rural posting. It could be negative or positive.
Rural areas: these are villages or communities characterized by the smallness of their population, poor accommodation or housing existence of untarred roads, low level of commercial availability of potable water and electricity, inadequate transportation and communication system.
Teachers: persons who help others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.
Teaching: the process of attending to people’s needs experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.
Urban areas: these are towns or cities that have the opposite characteristics of the rural areas.