ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ISLAMIC STUDIES CURRICULUM IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NORTH-WEST GEO POLITICAL ZONE, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This study on the Assessment of the implementation of Islamic Studies Curriculum in Senior Secondary Schools in North-West Geo-political Zone, Nigeria. was inspired as a result of stake holders in Islamic studies education concern over poor performance of students in the subject at senior secondary school external examinations, moral decadence among students resulting to instability retarding national development. Therefore, the concern was to assess the level of Islamic studies curriculum implementation in senior secondary schools in north West Geo-political zone, Nigeria. To achieve that, Five (5) research objectives were set, which aimed at assessing the role of teachers’ qualification the influence of adequate and appropriate instructional materials, influence of class size/ population the role of supervisory activities and the influence of scope and level of difficulty of contents in ensuring effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum content at senior secondary school level in North-West zone, Nigeria. The study raised five (5) research questions and five (5) research hypotheses which are in line with the research objectives. Appropriate literature reviews were of both conceptual and theoretical framework for the study was built on the theory of system approach. The research adapted descriptive survey design and used two instruments; a questionnaire and structured interview. The target population was) seventeen thousand six hundred and forty,(17640) while the sample size was 1,740 comprising teachers, principals, supervisors and directors of Ministry of Education. These groups responded to the questionnaire and structured interview. The research information from the questionnaire were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics such as standard deviation, means and percentages. The non- parametric statistics Kruscal Wallis was used to test the five hypotheses. The structured interview was subjected to chi-square statistical analysis. The outcome of the hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance revealed that the five (5) null hypotheses were rejected. The study revealed that, teachers teaching Islamic Studies in most secondary schools in North West zone were not professionally trained to teach the subject. There were also inadequate instructional materials in schools and learning facilities were found to be grossly inadequate, overcrowded classroom was also discovered. There were also poor supervisory activities by the ministry of education officials. It was also discovered that the scope of the curriculum content is wide and exhibit high difficulty to students in senior secondary schools in the study area. The study recommended that qualified teachers should be employed to teach Islamic Studies, effective supervision should be put in place and there is need for review of the entire curriculum ix contents in order to address the issue of wide scope and to simplify the difficult topics in the curriculum contents.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study There is a general consensus globally that the inculcation of moral and ethical values of the youths is used as a baseline for peace and stability in the 21st century. This means that, economic prosperity of a nation depends largely on the moral consciousness of the youths which cannot be possibly attained without sound effective school curriculum implementation. Islamic Studies as a subject is of prime importance in inculcating moral and ethical values to the students in Nigerian schools. The subject involves the study of human life and moral education. Specifically, it stresses the relationship of man and his various components such as his environment, social, political setting, economic transactions and moral obligations. It places emphasis more on the hereafter than the material world. More fundamentally, the inclusion of Islamic Studies as one of the subjects offered in secondary schools is an indication of the relevance of the subject in Nigerian education. In addition, government and public emphasis on moral and discipline into recruitment exercises in public service, private and non-governmental organizations are significant justification of the relevance of Islamic Studies for individual and national developments. Stakeholders in education and relevant established examination bodies West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB), National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS) have been showing great concern over the poor performance of students in Islamic Studies at secondary schools. Similarly, students‟ poor academic achievements in the subject have also warranted discussion among scholars especially on possible precipitating factors (Lawal, 2011). Evidences that are obvious in schools are factors like unqualified teaching staff, lack of teaching 2 and learning facilities, classroom congestion, poor teachers motivation and inadequate supervision/inspection. Another precipitating factors that can be highly influential in affecting Islamic Studies teaching and learning process in schools include poor completion of curriculum content. This study observed that many students or candidates (during standardized examination) could not answer half of the questions. Many students therefore, resort to examination malpractice. Based on these seeming problems, one begins to ask questions such as do teachers really teach their students all the courses or topics provided in the Islamic Studies Curriculum?” This question is fundamental to express the dis-heartening situation in Islamic Studies teaching and learning process in senior secondary schools. Factors related to curriculum contents activities and successful completion of all the topics that are expected to be taught to students at different levels of Islamic education, within a stipulated period of time are found to be very ineffective in schools today, Alabi, (2000). The curriculum contents that are heavily demarcated by factors of traditional approaches are detrimental to teaching process as, according to him, such curriculum limits learners‟ active participation in learning and equally make teaching and learning flowed. In the same vein, Sumaili (2002) opines that poor implementation of curriculum contents results in learners‟ poor academic performance in examinations as well as formation of negative attitude to learning. In view of scholars‟ assessment and prevalent social realities relating to learners academic incompetence in Islamic Studies, poor attitude to learning and massive students’ failure in both internal and external examinations, this study is therefore, an attempt to investigate the level of implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum in secondary schools in North West Geo-Political zone in Nigeria. 1.2 Statement of the Problem The teaching of Qur‟anic text, understanding of Arabic text, Hadith and fiqh concepts in Islamic Studies Education have been in the ebb tides in secondary 3 schools. Consequently, the teaching of the subject, therefore, depends largely on the effect of various curriculum contents and activities that are based on appropriate methodological and pedagogical approach to effective instructions which are found to be a major problem in Islamic education in secondary schools. Teachers were found to dominate the lessons, with little or no provision of learners‟ active participation. To worsen the situation, instructional materials used in teaching Islamic Studies were not in accordance with modern trends of teaching and learning. Teachers often complain of the poor nature and inadequacy of these vital instructional tools that negate full implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents in schools. To ascertain the validity of this view, this study considered it as part of the problem of the study at hand. Therefore, the study attempted to investigate the implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum of senior secondary schools in North-West geo-political zone of Nigeria. 1.3 Objectives of the Study The general objective of the study is to assess the implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum at senior secondary schools level in North-West Geo-Political zone of Nigeria. The specific objectives are to: 1. establish the scope and difficulty level of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political of Nigeria; 2. examine teachers’ qualification in the effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North- West Geo-Political zone of Nigeria; 3. identify the availability and appropriateness of instructional materials used for the effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political zone of Nigeria; 4. ascertain the influence of students population (class size) in the implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North- West Geo-Political of Nigeria; and 4 5. ascertain supervision activities of ministry of education officials in ensuring effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political of Nigeria 1.4 Research Questions The following research questions were posed to guide the study: 1. What is the scope and difficulty level of Islamic studies curriculum contents for effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political of Nigeria? 2. To what extent do the teachers qualifications contribute to the proper implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political of Nigeria? 3. What is the availability and appropriateness of instructional materials used for the effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political of Nigeria? 4. What influence does students‟ population (class size) have on the implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political of Nigeria? 5. To what extent does the level of supervisory activities of Ministry of Education officials influence the proper implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political of Nigeria? 1.5 Research Hypotheses The following null hypotheses were postulated to guide the study: Ho1 There is no significant difference between scope and difficulty level of Islamic Studies curriculum contents and effective curriculum implementation at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political zone of Nigeria. 5 Ho2 There is no significant difference between teachers‟ qualification and Islamic Studies curriculum contents implementation at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria. Ho3 There is no significant difference between availability and appropriateness of instructional materials and effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo- Political Zone of Nigeria. Ho4 There is no significant difference in the influence of students‟ population (class size) and effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondaryschool level in North-West Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria. Ho5 There is no significant difference between supervisory activities of Ministry of Education officials and effective implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level in North-West Geo-Political of Nigeria. 1.6 Basic Assumptions The study was of the assumptions that: 1. There was wide scope and high level of difficulty in Islamic Studies curriculum contents which results in poor curriculum implementation at senior secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political zone of Nigeria; 2. Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary school level were not fully and adequately implemented due to inadequate qualified teachers in North-West Geo-Political zone in Nigeria; 6 3. Students’ population (class size) had tremendously contributed to poor Islamic Studies curriculum implementation in North-West Geo-Political zone in Nigeria; 4. Instructional materials were grossly inadequate for effective teaching and learning of Islamic Studies in secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political zone of Nigeria; and 5. Ineffective supervisory activity by ministry of education officials had contributed to the lack of full implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum contents at senior secondary schools in North-West Geo-Political zone of Nigeria. 1.7 Significance of the Study Curriculum implementation is a vital aspect of school achievement. The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum in schools. This has a direct link with the performance of students in both internal and external examinations and achievement of Islamic Studies objectives in secondary education. For this reason, the findings and recommendations of this study could be of great advantage to schools, society and the country in general. Specifically, the study would be beneficial to Islamic Studies Teachers, stakeholders and relevant education bodies such as Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Ministry of Education (Federal and State), Association of Teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies (NATAIS), National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS), other examination bodies (WAEC, NECO), as well as curriculum planners responsible for curriculum development. This will be done through the explicit exposure of the level or extent to which Islamic Studies curriculum contents are covered by teachers. This will enable the major stakeholders to take appropriate measures with regard to the level of implementation. The findings have revealed to relevant authorities the needs to determine or select topics in relation to time allotted for in-depth coverage and full curriculum implementation. Factors 7 responsible for poor implementation are exposed for relevant bodies or stakeholders to use in tackling problems related to curriculum implementation. The findings of this research will be of relevance to supervisors in identifying those topics or areas of Islamic Studies curriculum that are usually skipped or not fully taught by the teachers and reasons for doing so. This will go a long way in identification of effective strategies, and application of relevant pedagogical procedures in overcoming such a problem. Furthermore, the findings and recommendations of this study would make supervision and inspections become regular thereby improving teaching and learning. Similarly, the findings of this study will provide clear insight to those examination bodies on the extent of those areas covered by teachers in curriculum contents in schools so as to serve as guide when setting examination questions. Alabi (2000) identified non-coverage of Islamic students curriculum content as one of major problems responsible for students’ massive failure and poor performance in Islamic Studies Examination (NBAIS, WSEC, NECO). Therefore, the outcome of the study will be useful to examination bodies in tackling problems of massive failure and poor performance in examinations. The findings of this study are expected to be of relevance to both teachers and educational administrators alike by means of intimating and expanding their awareness on those difficult areas in Islamic Studies curriculum contents that are not fully implemented (if any) as well as the possible position that will lead to an improved performance in teaching-learning process. This will serve as a viable major yardstick in solving problems precipitated by poor implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum at the senior secondary school level. To the Islamic Studies teachers the findings of the study will serve as a guide to them to use proper teaching methods and instructional materials. It will enable teachers to appreciate the need to be professionally competent in the area of improving their use of instructional materials where they were found to be deficient. 8 The outcome of the study could assist administrators to improve teaching and learning of Islamic Studies by employing qualified and adequate number of Islamic Studies teachers to handle all aspects of Islamic studies curriculum contents. They would also realize the need for seminars, workshops, conferences and so forth. Curriculum experts would find the study useful and see it as a guide when it comes to review of Islamic Studies Curriculum by making its objectives achievable and contents relevant to learners. In addition, the study could serve as a guide to writers of Islamic Studies. . Finally, the findings of the study will help to facilitate further research in related areas of study of curriculum content implementation. In the same vein, the research will motivate the emergence of other empirical studies especially on implementation of Islamic Studies curriculum on students‟ performance in senior secondary school examination in Nigeria. 1.8 Scope of the Study The study assessed the Implementation of Islamic Studies Curriculum in Senior Secondary Schools in North West Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria. The scope covers the Senior Secondary School teachers, principals, supervisors and staff of Ministry of Education in the North-west Geo-political of Nigeria. Thus, sample of stakeholders in relation to the role they play in curriculum implementation process in Islamic Studies Education at Senior Secondary School level was taken. The study dwelt on Islamic Studies Curriculum Implementation in the aspects of its scope and difficult level of contents, teachers qualifications, availability and appropriateness of Instructional materials, influence of students population (class size) and role of supervisory activities in achieving effective curriculum delivery. The stakeholders under consideration are teachers, principals and supervisors of Ministry of Education because directly involved in implementation process and are in good position to assess the curriculum implementation process by objectively giving their views on the subject under study. The study is, however; delimited to teachers, principals, 9 supervisors and Ministry of Education officials in public senior secondary schools in North-west Geo-political Zone of Nigeria.

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