Table of Contents
1.1 The Theoretical Framework
1.2 The Synopsis of the Selected Films
1.3 Sociological Analysis of Nigerian Teachers in the Selected Yorùbá Comic Films
1.4 Case(s) of Misrepresentation of Teachers in the Selected Yoruba Comic Films
Teachers are professionals who develop and nurture young individuals into responsible and productive citizens. As such, the teaching profession is a noble profession which is expected to be respected by all and sundry in the society. However, this is no more so in Nigeria. In order to discover the cause, this research emanated. Since it is agreed that literature is the reflection of the society, this researcher chose to investigate how various Yorùbá film writers do depict the Nigerian teacher and teaching profession in their films. Two Yorùbá comic films were selected for this study and the sociology of literature was used as the theoretical framework. Various lackadaisical attitudes and corrupt practices of some culprits of the teaching profession were exposed through the analysis of the selected films. Though, the films show these comically and at times misrepresent who a teacher is, those culprits obviously have caused much havocs to the teaching profession. The films were therefore seen as satires calling for the re-orientation of teachers’ integrity. If Nigerian teachers would be maximally efficient, this paper recommended re-orientating teachers’ commitment and integrity, proper monitoring and supervision, encouraging incentives for teachers among others.
Keywords: Teacher, Teaching, Profession, Comic films, Satire, and Integrity.
A teacher is a professional who is saddled with the responsibility of developing and nurturing young citizens of a society, so that they can become responsible and productive citizens of the society. Oyekan (2000) opines that teachers are the most refined human species that skillfully develop and nurture the potentials of productive citizenry for meaningful creation of wealth, pleasure, engineering and survival. As such, a teacher is seen as an educationist or an education professional that does not only impart knowledge of the subject matter into young individuals but also shape their mode of behavior and thinking to become valuable individuals that can solve the problem of their society. Attesting to this, Amahala (1984) says because he is a man of many parts, a teacher is expected not only to impart knowledge but also understand children’s basic cognitive and social problems to foster adjustment of children. In doing so, teachers must see themselves as role model and as stated by Igwe (1990), have some characteristics like sense of honour, good mastery of subject matter and ability to communicate.
From the foregoing, it is obvious that the role of teachers in achieving quality education cannot be over-emphasized. One can out rightly state that the efficiency of teachers in the Nigerian teaching profession is a key to achieving quality education in Nigeria. This is why the National Policy on Education (2004) affirms that ‘’no education can rise above the quality of its teachers’’. This implies that teachers are the hub of any education system (Ukeje, 1983). Efedi (2010) also agrees that the teacher occupies the central position in achieving quality education. He explains that the teacher has the job of setting up learning opportunities, providing learning experiences and utilizing relevant teaching skills and appropriate methods and media to bring learners into face to face encounter with the learning activities that will enable them acquire the desired knowledge, skills and values. As such, Obi (2000) explains that teachers must be accountable to what goes on in education. If students are expected to know more and to apply their knowledge skillfully, then teachers must be models of such learning. High quality teacher is a key ingredient in students’ achievement. He affirms that some quality education is not possible without competent teachers.
In order to show the challenging nature of the job of a school teacher, as one might have been noticing it from our above discussion, Onojete (2010) highlights the statutory duties of Eastern States’ teachers as outlined by the teaching service manual of 1974. These are as follows:
- Teaching diligently and resourcefully the subjects in the curriculum.
- Encouraging and guiding pupils in the pursuit of learning and in all school activities.
- Inculcating by precept and example the habit of good conduct and behavior among pupils in and out of school.
- Maintaining proper order and discipline in the classroom, and while on duty in the school and on playground under the direction of the Principal/Headmaster.
- Arriving to the classroom or school premises at least, ten minutes before the official time for the commencement of work for the day; and remaining in school throughout the official working hours except in cases of illness or other unavoidable cases of absence.
- All causes for which a teacher in the public school system is absent from duty must be such that will be acceptable to the State Schools Management Board. If absence is due to ill health, it is reported immediately to the head-teacher for onward transmission to the Board.
- All teachers in public school system are to conduct their classes strictly in accordance with the officially approved time table, which must be displayed and made easily accessible to pupils by the head-teacher and supervisory officers from the Ministry of Education or Board.
- All through the school year, a teacher may be called upon any time by the Board or the head-teacher, to continue in duty for some special purpose beyond the officially prescribed hours of instruction.
- All teachers are duty bound to attend all meetings summoned by the head-teachers, the Board or the Ministry for purpose of promoting efficiency and better performance on the job, and for overall advancement of education.
- The attainment of all pupils is to be tested and evaluated periodically by teacher.
- It is also the duty of the teachers to provide the parents and guardians with all relevant information in writing concerning pupil’s progress in school, attendance and punctuality for report cards.
- Finally, it is the duty of every teacher to carry out conscientiously and to the best of his ability all his normal functions outlined above, and those of other duty post to which he may be appointed from time to time and other related duties as may be assigned to him by the head-teacher, the Board or Ministry whenever the need arises.
From the aforementioned, it is required of a teacher to acquire some needed skills and knowledge to be able to perform the above duties. A person must be trained and certified before being inducted into the Nigerian teaching profession. Emphasizing the interest and the commitment of individuals in the teaching profession and not only being trained and certified, Akpochafo, (1999) is of the opinion that new recruits into the teaching profession in Nigeria should be intelligent young men and women who are equally interested in the job. In order to ensure that round pegs are put in round holes, the Federal Government prescribed the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) as minimum qualification for teaching in the primary and junior secondary school (FRN 2004). One can therefore assume that the recruits into the Nigerian teaching profession are intelligent individuals that may either be interested in the job or not, as this research will further show.
From the foregoing, we have been able to see that the Nigerian teachers have much on their shoulders as the teaching profession is one that requires much commitment. One should begin to wonder why this kind of precious and noble profession is not well respected in the society in this century. In a bid to investigate why honor is no more accorded to Nigeria teaching profession, this research is a needful. In an attempt to carry out this research in a more dynamic way, this research will look at how Yorùbá comic films do portray Nigerian teacher and the teaching profession, knowing fully that whatever is in literature is more or less in the society. Two films will be used for this study: Mr Teacher by Small World Nig. Ltd and Teacher Oko by Seyi Adeoye. The two films are selected because they are comic films that have contents and themes related to the focus of this research. To detect the current societal issues about teachers and teaching profession from the selected films, the sociology of literature will be used as the theoretical framework. We will then analyze the selected films, focusing on how they portray teacher and the teaching profession in our society. This will be related to what is practically obtainable in the society, thereby criticizing the misrepresentation of Nigerian teacher and teaching profession in their films, if any exists. This paper will be concluded by recommending useful measures that could be taken in re-orientating Nigerian teachers’ efficiency for sustainable development in Nigeria, as called for by its portray in the selected Yorùbá comic films.
1.1 The Theoretical Framework
The Sociology of literature is the literary theory that will be used to analyze the selected films for this study. Sociology of literature is the theory that portends literature as the reflection of the society. It emphasizes the relationship between literature and the society. According to the theory, no literary work (spoken, written or acted) can be isolated from the society from which it emanated.
The theory has it root from Structuralism developed by French scholar Ferdinand de Saussure (Habib, 2005), as post-structuralist’s scholars like Ronald Barthes began to see the limitation of the theory. Among the scholars that have contributed immensely to the development of sociology of literature as a literary theory are Louisi de Bonald, Hogarts, Karl max, and Robert E Scarpit (Ogunsina, 2006). As explained by Oluwatayo (2014), most of these scholars agree that the role of the theory is to show that literature expresses societal ideology in a bid to applaud the just ones and condemn the unjust: suggesting positive changes.
Our knowledge on the sociology of literature, as explained by Adeyemi (2003), has shown literature and its society as Siamese twins. Since the writer or performer of any literary work is not from another planet other than earth and that he comes from the society he is writing or performing for, societal happenings and experiences cannot be found wanting in such artistic work. In the words of Fatokun (2009):
..ìyá tó báṣọ náà ló bẹ́wù, ọmọ ìyá kì í yà. Bí lítíréṣọ̀ bá
ń wo sàkun àwòta ìdàgbàsókè àti àwọn ìṣẹ̀lẹ̀ àwùjọ, a jẹ́
ojúdá iṣẹ́ rẹ̀ ló ń ṣe. Ọ̀kan lára ọ̀nà tí à ń gbà yàwòrán ìṣẹ̀lẹ̀
àwùjọ ni lítíréṣọ̀, ìwúlò rẹ̀ kò sì lóǹkà. (o.i 150)
...both cloth and coat have the same mother, siblings of
same mother don’t separate. Literature does its main work
when it expresses societal happenings and development.
Literature is one of the means of depicting societal
happenings, and its usefulness is numerous. (pg. 150)
Since this study is using artistic work (films) as its case study, using the sociology of literature as the theory of analysis will help to a great extent.This researcher is of the believe that the use of the theory will expose parents’, students’ and the society’s views and experiences about the efficiency of Nigerian teachers and teaching profession. This will go a long way in suggesting a way forward in attaining sustainable development for Nigeria education.
1.2 The Synopsis of the Selected Films
As stated in the introductory session, the two Yorùbá comic films selected for this study are: Mr Teacher by Small World Nig. Ltd and Teacher Oko (Bush Teacher) by Seyi Adeoye. A comprehensive summary will be given on each of these in this session.