Author: Ejesi Nkoli Stella
Department: Educational Management and Policy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Nigeria is faced with an overwhelming poor academic achievement at the primary school, the corner stone of other levels of education. A decade ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria took a positive step towards reversing the unacceptable trend through a paradigm shift in the mode of teaching in primary schools by promulgating the policy on the use of specialist teachers in primary schools to teach the core subjects (FRN, 2004). Sadly, till date, the policy provision has been implemented in breach and generalist teaching management is still being practised. Little or no investigation has been carried out to find whether specialist teaching management would enhance learning achievements. This gap has necessitated this study, to ascertain the effectiveness of subject specialist and generalist teaching managements on primary school academic achievements,for the Federal Government’s position to be strengthened so that the reason to implement the policy will be made clearer.The study employed a non-randomized control group quasi-experimental design. Four research questions and four hypotheses guided the study.The entire population of primary four which comprised 133 pupils of intact classes was used. Four teachers in experimental school who specialize in English Language, Mathematics, Basic Science and Social Studies were selected from the teachers on ground, according to area of specialization, to teach the experimental group while the Control Group was taught by a generalist teacher. The instrument for data collection was the Achievement Test for Upper Primary School (ATUPS). The data were analyzed using mean, and ANCOVA. The results revealed that the pupils taught under specialist teaching management performed better and achieved more than those taught under generalist teaching management. There was significant gender difference in the core subjects except in Mathematics on the basis of the use of generalist teaching managements. It was recommended that the Federal Government should set in motion, the implementationas well as the monitoring of the compliance of use of specialistteaching approach in Nigerian primary schools. The Federal Government should also recruit and retain competent school managers and competent teachers in order to sustain this policy.Development of existing primary school teachers should mostly be tailored to suit the teachers’ subject areas.

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