Journal article Open Access

Teacher Competence as a Determinant of Students' Interest in Science Education

Brenda Nachuah Lawyer

Science education is a fundamental requirement in the development aspirations of any country. Education at secondary school level often provides a foundation for acquisition of further knowledge and skills in tertiary institutions of learning. It is a bed-rock where future productive human capital is nurtured to serve the dynamic needs of a nation’s labour market and the economy in general. This is particularly emphasized by law N0 98/004 of April 14, 1998 to law down the guidelines for education in Cameroon; stating that secondary education shall prepare learners for the job market. Those charged with the transmission of such knowledge must be competent in discharging their duties on the one hand and students must be adequately interested on the other. This study therefore sought to investigate the influence of teacher’s competence on students’ interest in science in secondary schools in Fako division. The objectives of the study were to find out how; teachers’ mastery of subject matter to be taught affects students’ interest in science and the relationship between teacher’s training and teacher competence in relation to learners’ interest in science. The study targeted all form 6 students and their teachers in public, confessional and lay private schools. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The sample consisted of 341 respondents selected using simple random and purposive sampling techniques. Data collected was analyzed using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation analysis with the help of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Findings suggest that teachers’ mastery of subject matter significantly affects students’ interest in science (Гxy=0.224), there is a significant relationship between teacher’s training and teacher’s competence (Гxy=0.214) strongly correlated to students’ interest. Based on these findings, it is recommended that teacher education programmes should lay emphasis on the mastery of content to be taught; teacher education should focus attention on learner interest as an important aspect of teacher competence; people with academic qualifications should mandatorily go through teacher education courses that will equip them with pedagogical skills.

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