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1.1    Background to the Study

Mentoring is a technique that promotes learning and growth, hence boosting or improving performance for an individual, a group of persons, or a commercial company. The primary purpose of mentoring is to assist and encourage individuals to manage and regulate their learning in order to maximize their productivity, potential, personal skills, and performance, as well as to be the person they are meant to be (Parsloe and Wray, 2020). Mentoring may be traced back to Greek mythology, namely to the story of “Mentor in Homer’s Odyssey.” “Mentor” has evolved to mean “reliable adviser, friend, teacher, counselor, and wise person.” Words like student, protégé, learner, and mentee are used to describe persons on the other side of the divide who are led or mentored. Every tale always has two sides to it. Mentorship also covers the mentor-mentee relationship. Mentorship, according to Cutterbuck (2020), has just recently arisen as an important issue in academic circles, necessitating inquiry and experimentation. Mentoring, according to Cutterbuck, is currently being introduced and employed at educational institutions all around the world. This is because mentoring involves many parts of the educational sector, from peer mentoring in school to aiding with bullying concerns to professional development for teachers, administrators, and support employees. As a result, it is difficult to define the term “mentoring” because most scholars and researchers have conflated mentoring with coaching and counseling as techniques to guiding. There appears to be considerable confusion over the genuine purpose of mentorship. This is because the concept evolved differently in North America than in the rest of Europe. For example, the term “protégé” refers to a mentor relationship in which the learner is younger, less powerful, and naive, and seems to be guided and led by an older, more powerful, senior, and experienced person who is also an expert (Oti, 2019)

In the Nigerian secondary school system, however, there is no official mentoring program; instead, informal mentoring predominate. This is a situation in which a senior member of staff chooses another person on an informal basis to mentor or guide him/her on the route to growing the teaching profession. This person is a newly qualified or newly employed teacher who has recently graduated from the school system and is inexperienced with the complexities of the teaching profession (Uzomah, 2018).

Mentored individuals (newly qualified instructors) see the mentorship system as a beneficial development. This is because they see mentoring as a tool for career growth. Mentors and mentees engage in a nice manner as well. This is visible in their interaction and the apparent esprit de corps that develops between the director (the mentor) and the directed (the mentee). According to Ayomide (2015), because there is no formal mentoring program in the Nigerian secondary school system, most mentored students see mentoring as a kind of assistance from an older teacher that should not be misused.

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As a result, they appear to welcome the change and see it as a way to further their teaching careers. Most mentees see their mentor(s) as experts and informed advisers who protect them from making mistakes in their chosen professions (Adeleke, 2016). The relationship that develops between the mentor and the mentee contributes significantly to beneficial outcomes in the mentoring process. This is due to the mentor-mentee relationship encouraging the mentor to have a good disposition in directing and teaching the mentee so that at the end of the mentoring process, he/she (the mentee) becomes a better professional person, which goes a long way in enhancing and improving the mentee’s skills and professionalism, who is regarded as the newly qualified teacher employed to teach (Adekoya, 2020).

Abel (2015) identified several mentor roles for new teachers. Positions such as father figure, support system, guide, counselor, scaf folder, and role model were developed. This showed that mentors act as surrogate academic parents, guiding people to do the right thing and instilling professionalism in their mentees. They serve as role models by playing the positions that their mentees aspire to assume in the future. Mentors’ responsibilities include supporting young, newly recruited teachers in completing tasks effectively and mentoring new workers based on their extensive expertise in the field of teaching. Mentors’ roles, according to Burgess and Shelton (2017), include identifying starting points for mentoring, mentoring with the purpose of achieving growth and professional development in the workplace, and measuring the mentee’s degree of development and or advancement. Williams (2018) also did a successful research on mentoring connections in secondary schools. The research emphasized the following aspects of mentoring relationships: supporting, actively teaching, guiding, providing knowledge, supplying practical techniques, providing feedback on lessons, and providing unambiguous assessments of practice. Williams feels that maintaining connections is crucial for mentors and mentees to achieve their goals. According to Rowley (2019), significant characteristics of a “good mentor” include devotion, acknowledgment of the newly recruited teacher’s role, delivering instructional support, being competent with interpersonal skills, exhibiting continuous learning, and transmitting hope and optimism. Rowley went on to say that in order to be a good mentor, the mentor must consider the mentee as someone who needs to be directed, which is achieved by providing instructional aid and effective communication that maintains hope and optimism. The mentor-mentee relationship may not be amicable or robust without communication and feedback..


1.2 Statement of Problem

The importance of mentor-mentee relationship in the teaching profession cannot be emphasized. This is due to the fact that a lack of mentoring relationship between the mentor (experienced teacher) and the mentee (newly hired teacher) results in poor performance and productivity of the newly hired teacher, who lacks the wherewithal to carry out the teaching job due to a lack of mentoring relationship. According to Udoyen (2021), if there is no mentoring relationship between the mentor and the mentee, it is apparent that the newly recruited teacher (the mentee) does not grasp the complexities of the teaching position. When a newly hired worker in the school system is not effectively directed and counseled by an experienced mentor (teacher), he or she performs below expectations, resulting in low productivity and, as a result, poor academic achievement of students, which has been the primary cause of Nigeria’s current low educational standards.The aforementioned issues prompted an investigation of the nature of mentoring relationships and professional development among newly certified teachers in Nigerian public secondary schools.

1.3 Objectives   of the Study

The main objective of this study is to examine the  nexus between mentoring behaviour and career development among teachers. Other specific objectives includes:

  1. To investigate if there isexit mentoring behaviour between experienced teachers and the newly employed teachers in Lagos State secondary schools.
  2. To ascertain whethermentoring behaviour correlates with teachers professional development in secondary schools.
  • To determine whether teachers’ skills and qualities is a determinant ofsuccessful mentoring programme in secondary schools.
  1. To establish if gender differences  is significantly related to  professional development of teachers in secondary schools

1.5    Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will be formulated and tested in this study:

HO1: Mentoring behaviour does not correlates with teachers professional development in secondary schools.

HO2: There is no relationship between teachers’ skills and qualities  successful mentoring programme in secondary schools.

HO3: Gender differences  is not significantly related to  professional development of teachers in secondary schools

1.6. Significance of the Study

This study will be of great benefit to  teachers, student, government and for further studies. To teachers, they would benefit from the findings and recommendations of this study because it will give them an insight on how to carry out their jobs in the school. It will enable teachers to be more productive in doing their daily job of teaching and learning. With this study, many teachers would be-oriented in the art of teaching knowing fully well that the way they teach will affect students’ academic achievement in schools. It will also help the new teachers to understand the importance of relationship and team work in the school. To students, they would benefit from the study because it will help them to have the understanding that their teachers required to be an exemplary one, if his/her teaching experiences would be of great benefit to the child or the student. With the findings and the recommendations of this study, students would be able to identify teachers who “cheat” and real teachers of note in the school system. With this study also, students would be able to know that they need to be taught by trained and experienced teachers if they would put up high performances in their academic careers. To government and school authority, the findings and recommendations of this study will be helpful to both the government and school authorities in that it make them to understand the role mentoring relationship plays in an ideal school setting. This is because if there is good mentoring relationship among teachers, there will be teaching effectiveness in the Nigerian school system. Finally, the study will add to the body of existing literature and serve as reference material to student and scholars who wishes to conduct further studies in related field


1.6     Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on the assessment of educational resource provision utilization and control in secondary schools. The study was delimited to selected secondary schools in Uwana local government area in Ebonyi  State.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only secondary schools in  Uwana local government area in Ebonyi  State.Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other secondary school within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the  research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.

1.8 Definition of Terms

The following operational terms used in this study will be defined thus:

Mentoring Relationship: This is the relationship that exists between the mentor (old teachers) and the mentee (the newly appointed teachers).

Professional Development: This is the process whereby teachers or workers in any organisation is developed through training and retraining processes.

Newly employed Teachers: This is a new teacher in a school organisation. He/she is a person who is newly employed to teach either in primary or secondary school.

Mentor: This is a person who mentors. In a school, he or she could be an experienced and trained teacher who advises or counsel the newly employed teachers.

Mentee: This is a person who is mentored. He or she could be a person newly employed in the primary or secondary school, who needs the direction, counseling and guidance of an experienced teacher.