The study investigated the demographic variables as predictors of effective secondary school
supervisory practices in the North-Central states of Nigeria. The purpose of the study was to
determine the extent to which gender, experience, professional qualification and age can
predict effective secondary school supervisory practices. The design of the study was
correlational survey. Four research questions and four hypotheses guided this study. The
target population consisted of 2,051 external supervisors from Ministries of Education,
Teaching Service Boards, and Area Education Offices as well as internal Supervisors from
Government Secondary Schools in the North-Central States of Nigeria. The sample of the
study consisted of 528 respondents. Multi-stage sampling technique was used where random
sampling technique was used to select three states out of the six states in the North-Central
States of Nigeria while proportionate certified random sampling technique was used to select
secondary schools in each of the sampled states. The instrument for data collection was
researcher’s developed questionnaire titled Demographic Variables Supervisory Practices
Questionnaire (DVSPQ). The instrument was face validated by two experts in educational
administration and one in measurement and evaluation from Faculty of Education University
of Nigeria, Nsukka. The overall reliability yielded 0.93 using Cronbach alpha coefficient
Method. Data was analyzed using Pearson r and R2for answering research questions. The
hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using linear regression analysis. The
major findings of the study were that gender, experience, professional qualification and age
to a little extent predict supervisors’ effective secondary school supervisory practices. The
educational implications are that, the study has provided empirical evidence that gender is not
a hindrance to supervisors’ effective secondary school supervisory practices; the finding of
the study also shows that experience has little impact on supervisors’ effective performance
among others. The following recommendations were made based on the findings, that the
government can employ supervisors on equal basis not minding whether they are males or
females; both experienced and inexperienced supervisors can be employed by the
government since on-the-job experience is most important; the government can encourage
supervisors to attain higher professional qualifications; both young and old supervisors can be
employed and on-the-job training given to them during their service years.
Background to the Study
School systems worldwide are faced with the challenge of how to improve teaching
and learning outcomes which can be possible through effective supervision of schools.
Supervision is the process of guiding, directing and helping the teachers in the improvement
of the instructional process (Afianmagbon, 2004). Supervision is viewed as a process of
directing, overseeing, guiding or making sure that expected standards are met (Igwe, 2001).
Supervision can also be defined as that which helps to improve the teaching and learning
processes in schools. It involves supervising teaching and classroom activities of the teachers
(Igbo, 2003). Supervision can thus be regarded as an educational process that focuses on the
improvement of teaching and learning processes in schools.
The purpose of supervision in secondary schools among others include to provide
assistance to teachers towards the improvement of teaching and learning process; to provide a
conducive teaching and learning environment in order to promote effective teacher
performance and learning in schools; to help teachers in identifying their strengths and
weaknesses with a view to providing relevant in-service training; to induct beginning teachers
into the main stream of the school system (Oluwole, 2007). Supervision is important in
schools because according to Akpa and Abama (2000), it improves the teaching competence
of teachers which invariably, positively enhances students learning. In the view of Oyedeji
(2011) it will be very difficult to attain the standards that are set if supervision is not adequate
or not undertaken at all. Therefore, supervision helps to enhance the quality of education.
According to Onasanya (2006), teachers need supervision to work harder no matter their level
of experience and devotion. Without supervision both teachers and school administrators
backslide rapidly in their performance.
Supervision can be grouped into two categories: instructional and personnel
supervision. Instructional supervision is a service that exist to help teachers to do their job
better (Anuna, 2004). Personnel supervision on the other hand, deals with the set of activities
which are carried out by the supervisor with the aim of sensitizing, mobilizing and
monitoring staff in the school towards performing their duties ultimately in terms of
achievement of the stated aims and objectives of the educational system (Nwankwo, 2008).
The study has concentrated mainly on the instructional supervision. The reason being that
instructional supervision is an essential activity for the effective operation of a good school
(Ajani, 2001). To crown it all, the Federal republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) stated that the
success of any system of education is dependent on adequate supervision of instructions.
Schools are mainly established for instructions and supervision is designed to improve
instruction. Supervisors are then put in charge of schools to supervise them to make sure that
everything is done correctly. A supervisor is a person or someone who possesses the right and
appropriate professional and academic qualifications that will enable him/her to carry out
supervisory practices in schools effectively (Afianmagbon, 2004). In the same vein, Hazi
(2004) has defined a supervisor as any certificated individual assigned with the responsibility
for the direction and guidance of the work of teaching staff members. The above implies that
a supervisor should be an individual with appropriate professional qualification to enable
him/her carry out supervisory practices in schools effectively.
There are two categories of supervisors namely the internal and external supervisors.
The internal supervisors are the principals of secondary schools or staff delegated by the