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Background of the study

The teaching practice exercise provides student teachers with practical understanding of the teaching and learning process, including lesson planning, presentation, class management, communication skills, evaluation, and the needed personality of professional instructors (Afolabi, 1999).

According to Nwanekezi (2011), teaching practice refers to the process of preparing student-teachers for teaching through practical training. As a result of the preceding, it can be concluded that teaching practice is a school-based internship program designed to familiarize prospective teachers with teaching and its routines while also developing their abilities, attitudes, and competence in the profession. The exercise allows trainees to practice numerous teaching approaches in authentic classroom settings while being constantly monitored by competent and experienced teachers.

Teaching, like law and medicine, is a profession. It is also one of the oldest in Nigeria. Unfortunately, it is the least developed in terms of training and practice standards. This is a cause of concern for professionals and even government officials (Moore, 1989)

Education is still the most powerful weapon man has devised, either for his continuous advancement or for his ultimate destruction. Education is the sole viable tool for social reconstruction, and other education is the guarantor of school excellence. Education is the sole pillar of every nation and was for a time a significant business in Nigeria. Teachers therefore have a role to play in a nation’s development, particularly in developing tomorrow’s leaders and intellectuals who will sustain the nation’s development. While Nigeria has been successful in preparing teachers with a variety of teaching qualifications and opportunities for additional training, this has not been reflected in the academic performance of primary and secondary school students.

According to the advancedlearners’ dictionary (2014) a profession means occupation and special training like law, medicine and so on. Profession can also mean a calling or vocation where a performance requires the performer on an elaborate exposure to an esoterictheoretical knowledge acquired after many years of endeavors and moral study. A profession can be likened to a social club which is govern by a code of ethics, the most outstanding of which are expertise authority, responsibility, commitment, dedication, autonomy   and emotional maturity.With the National Policy on Education (2004) the minimum teaching qualification in Nigerian institution of learning is National Certificate in Education (N.C.E). Faculties of education in universities arecharged with the training of teachers under the supervision of lecturers, staff and assessors, because of the nature of teaching given teaching practice a piece prominence in its syllabus.

Teaching practice is a compulsory course and it is the singular course which attracts four credits compulsory course unit in science-related education courses and two creditcompulsory course units in other departments of the Faculty. It is a compulsory course for all students in 400 level final years in the Faculty of Education University of Ilorin.No student in faculty of education programs can be awarded a degree certificate except and until there is evidence of pass performance level in the teaching practice.

The training of teachers now becomes largely the responsibility of faculty of education in university of Ilorin. Students go on six weeks teaching practice and come back with varied experiences. In other words, students experience problems in their teaching practice life. Hencethe need to identify these problems and suggest possible solutions to them.Teaching practice occupies a key position in teacher education program. It is an integral part of the teacher education program which is geared towards preparation of new entrants into the teaching profession.

Studies have also revealed some problems that bedeviled teaching practice exercise. For example; Ognor and Badmus (2006) lamented that teachers of partnership schools did not provide specific aid to student teachers to improve their teaching skills and strategies. Nakpodia (2011) remarked that the periods of six weeks is too short as it does not provide the student-teachers ample opportunity to effectively gain experience which the exercise is intended to encourage. The author remarked that some supervisors do not even have time to sit down and discuss their observations and comments with the student-teacher.

 Statement of the problem

In Nigeria, student teachers encounter a variety of challenges during their teaching practice (money, material) in order to accomplish the aim of teaching. It will be required for the education ministry at all levels of government and faculties of education to identify answers to the problems encountered by student teachers during the teaching practice exercise. These issues include a lack of instructional materials, incentives, housing, and office space for student teachers, an excessive workload placed on student teachers, a lack of cooperation from their practicing schools, pupils’ attitudes toward student teachers, and the student teacher’s inability to manage his class effectively, among others. The extent to which these issues are addressed and recommendations made constitute the study’s problem.

Every student-teacher at the University of Ilorin’s Faculty of Education is required to complete teaching practice before certifying as a teacher. However, in order to uncover specific issues that arise during student instructors’ teaching practice, a comprehensive study is essential. The majority of student-teachers experience anxiety, particularly at their initial arrival at their school of practice, and also during their observation, evaluation, and access (Capel 1997). Some student teachers frequently claim that they have forgotten the material and are anxious when their professors monitor them from the back of the classroom (Bhargava 2000)

Additionally, the majority of student-teachers note on the fact that a secondary school student’s lack of seriousness toward the exercise frequently results in them lacking the essential abilities, confidence, and understanding to deal with classroom problems (Adekunle 2000). Student-teachers express frustration with transportation and housing issues, which has a direct impact on their ability to teach. This investigation was conducted with the intention of identifying some of these issues.

 Purpose of study

The purpose of this study was to identify Problems encountered by students teachers during teaching practice exercise. The study also examined the various problems encountered by the student-teachers during teaching practice such as: Lack of confidence, Lack of accessibility to instructional material, Adjustment to the environment, Relationship between cooperating teachers and the student-teachers, student-teachers and students (learners),Attitude of the student-teachers to work, Attitude of supervisor towards the student-teachers, The study was designed also to find out whether lecturers and student differ in their perception of the problems encountered by prospective University of Ilorin teachers during practice,Extension of duration for student-teacher, Mastery of the subject matter

 Research questions;

The following research questions were asked and answered

(i) Do student-teachers possess prerequisite knowledge of the teaching practice exercise?

(ii) What financial assistance is provided for the student-teachers?

(iii) How does the relationship between student teachers and co-operating teachers affect teaching exercise?

(iv) What is the effect of the use instructional materials in the classroom?

(v) How prepared are student-teachers when they been evaluated by their supervisor

(vi) What is the influence of attitude of pupils towards teaching on teaching practice exercise?

(vii) How specific problems affect students teaching practice?

(viii) What is the relationship between duration of the teaching practice and students’ success in it?

 Significance of the study

The study may contribute immensely toward improving the standard of teaching practice exercise. The students become significant as if highlights the problems controlling student teachers in teaching practice and how these problems can be solved. The result of the finding could be of great values to the government, students and school administrators, the government may be aware of the problems student teachers face whenever they go on teaching practice and this enables them to provide adequate facilities to schools.

Findings of this study may also contribute to student teachers’ realization of some problems they are likely to face during the teaching practice exercise and prepare themselves against the problems before they go out for the task. This work study could enable supervisors and teaching practice organizers to appreciate the problems student teachers face during teaching practices to the student-teachers they will be proud of teaching profession with respect to supervisors, they may be assured that they have equipped a qualified teacher for the society.

Scope of study

This study was concerned with the Problems encountered by students teachers during teaching practice exercise.

The study was limited to final year students of faculty of education, university of Ilorin, Ilorin. Random selection from the ten departments in Faculty of Education was undertaken.

Clarification of Terms

Learning: This is the process of acquiring knowledge. Learning is also the process by which attitudes, knowledge, understanding, skills and capabilities are acquired and retained.

Teaching: An activity aimed at bringing about meaningful learning through a method that is morally and pedagogically acceptable. Teaching is also transmission of the knowledge to the learners. Teaching is giving instructions to somebody on knowledge, skills and attitudes with the intention that the person will be able to know the information or do something, or act in a particular way that is compatible with instruction.

Student-teacher: is a person who is teaching in a school for a limited period under supervision as part of a course to qualify as a teacher. Also a student-teacher is a person studying to be a teacher who does closely supervised teaching in an elementary school or secondary school.

Education: this is the act or process of imparting or acquiring knowledge developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. It is the act or process of imparting or acquiring a particular knowledge or skills as for profession.

Teaching Practice:  This is a temporary period of teaching in a school undertaken under supervision by a person who is training to become a teacher.

Profession:This is an occupation, practice, or vocation requiring mastery of a complex set of knowledge and skills through formal education and or practical experience. Every organized profession (accounting, law, medicine, etc.) is governed by its respective professional body.

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