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Causes Of Poor Academic Perfomance Of Students In Economics In Senior Secondary Schools Certificate Examination In Mbaitoli Lga Of Imo State

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ABSTRACT

This research study is on the causes of poor academic performance of students in economics in senior secondary school certificate examination in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State. Five research questions were used to guide the study, the design for the study was descriptive survey. The population for the study includes SS3 students in Government Schools in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State which was 834. The researcher randomly picked three (3) schools out of the 10 schools with 277students as sample size. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire. The reliability index is 0.63 and the instrument for data analysis was Pearson Product Moment Correlation. Based on responses gathered from respondents, it was found out that the causes of poor academic performance of students in economics in senior secondary school certificate examination are as follows; lack of qualified economics teachers, students negative attitude towards economics, lack of motivation, lack of adequate infrastructural facilities and instructional aids. Finally,  a number of recommendations were made which include; asking government to properly fund departments of economics and also provide the necessary materials for effective teaching and learning of economics, asking the ministry of education to ensure that only qualified economics teachers are allowed to handle the subject in senior secondary schools and ensure that the teachers are employed in the area of their specialization.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter, the researcher discusses the issues under the following subheadings; background of the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study and significance of the study and research questions.

1.1     Background of the Study

One of the major problems facing the educational systems in Nigeria is the abysmal failure of students in economics, particularly at the senior secondary school level of education. The failures of students in economics SSCE can lead to serious consequences if undetected and left untreated. The failing student loses self confidence and becomes discourages and decreases his/her effort to study further. Most at times, these failures spring up not only from external factors but from within the students in question.

Also, the impression that economics is a difficult subject that is full of calculations causes failures among students. Because of this impression, there is poor performance among secondary school students who are the focus of this study and the best procedures to be taken to put to an end the failures of students in economics in senior secondary school certificate exams in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo state.

Hence, factors associated with the poor academic performance of students in economics in senior secondary school certificate examination in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State could be traced to several factors that can be compartmentalized into parents associated factors, schools associated factor, government and the societal factors. In other words, the causes of poor academic performance if students in economics in senior secondary school certificate examinations are multidimensional in nature. Parents play significant roles in the education of their children.

Apart from the fact that they pay school fees and other levies, they buy textbooks, uniforms and other materials required by their children and wards. In addition to this, they are expected to supervise their academic works and give them good moral training. They are also expected to find out how their children are behaving with the view to take corrective measures where and when necessary.

However, the failure of parents to play these roles could negatively affect the academic performance of the students. Studies have shown that the poor academic performances of students are caused by the parents. Sometimes, polygamous families contribute to poor academic performance of the student. Parents inability to provide breakfast, textbooks and basic school needs for their children, less interaction with children’s teachers and less involvement in the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) resulted in poor academic performance of students (Estey, 2005). Akande (2007) also defined insufficient parental income and family type as causes of poor academic performance of students.

Moreover, other parents’ associated factors of causes of poor academic performance of students in economics could be traced to the parents’ lack of proper guidance, failure to provide necessary materials for their children to work within school and family breakdown (Ajayi and Ekundayo, 2010). The importance of teachers in educational attainment of the students cannot be overemphasized. The quantity and quality of instructional delivery by the teacher will, to a large extent, determine the academic performance of the students in external examinations (SSCE, NECO) etc.

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This perhaps usually prompt some parents to enroll their children in private schools where better academic performance appears to be guaranteed as a result to more supervision and higher quality of teaching by teachers.

Another important teachers’ associated factor is the teachers’ attitude and improper use of new technological innovation and the use of instructional materials. Most Nigerian secondary school economics teachers fail to take into consideration the dynamic nature of the subject. The subject involves drawing of graphs and the use of powerpoint projection is also needed. The traditional content/knowledge oriented teaching is still very much practiced by teachers. Abdullahi (2003), was of the view that teachers mostly prefer to use traditional ways of teaching which they have been familiar with or as they were taught, which do not successfully aid proper learning. It is also said that successful achievement of stated objectives in teaching and learning is always associated with using the right technique.

Various causes of poor academic performance of students which are attributed to the teachers were non-use of verbal reinforcement strategy and lateness to school (Morakinyo, 2003), poor interpersonal relationships (Aremu and Sokan, 2003), others which include absenteeism, inability to complete the syllabus and less interest in children understanding of lesson and poor methods of teaching (Asikhia, 2010). Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010), also defined incessant strike, poor methods of teaching, teachers inability to cover syllabus and teachers lack of resourcefulness in teaching as causes of poor academic performance of students in most subjects (economics). Therefore, it is clear to us those unqualified teachers in our secondary schools leads to poor academic performance students in economics and also in external examinations.

Inadequate infrastructural facilities and instructional media are regarded as another cause of poor academic performance of students in economics in our secondary schools. Instructional materials and facilities are important part of the process of learning as they provide practice and feedback in learning track.

In our present day secondary schools particularly public students are in most cases sitting on the floor and windows during lessons. In some cases, students are living under trees or living in dilapidated classroom. In addition to that, even where there are enough classes, they are overcrowded and laboratories are lacking. All these cannot allow for proper learning of economics and other subjects hence leads to poor academic performance of students.

Saad (2007) was of the view that teaching and learning takes place effectively when classes are moderate. But the present day Nigerian class is over populated with students over 120 and this cannot allow for proper learning and teaching. On the other hand, in the area of instructional resources or media, there is dominance of textbooks, dictionaries, workbooks and posters in the teaching of economics in secondary schools in Nigeria. Modern media such as audio, video tapes, language laboratories, programmed textbooks, flash cards, computers, magazines and newspapers are rarely used.

Considerable research evidence abounds to show that students are responsible for their poor academic performances. Aremu and Sokan (2003) found out that the student factors of poor academic performance were poor study habits, psychological adjustment problems, lack of interest in school programme, lack of interest in school programme, low retention, association with wrong peers, low achievement, motivation and emotional problems.

Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010) have shown that students lack of financial support, absenteeism, truancy, use of local language in the classroom, lack of interest and joy in teachers lessons and learning disability cause poor academic performance of students.

Other causes include low cognitive ability, gender prematurity, medical problems and inability of students to understand examination questions. The school system has its own share of the blame for poor academic performance of students. According to Estey (2005), the causes of poor academic performance of students in economics is traced to the doorsteps of the school were large class size, limited materials and inadequate textbooks.

Government plays crucial roles in the management of educational system in terms of policy formulation, programmes implementation, finding, administration, supervision among others. The extent to which government is committed to these roles could make or mar the educational systems. It is therefore not out of place to blame government for the failures of students in external examinations. Studies have shown that the causes of poor academic performance of students attributed to the government instability of educational policy, leadership problems, job losses, inadequate poor supervision of instruction (Etsey, 2005, Amedafe and Edjah, 2004).

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Other includes irregular payment of teacher’s salaries, inadequate and specialist teachers in schools (Ajayi and Ekundayo, 2010). The work so far reviewed has shown that the causes of poor academic performance of students are multi-dimensional in nature. This implies that solutions to the problem require collaborative stakeholders’ effort. It is to be noted that this scenario is peculiar to the 36 states and Abuja (Federal Capital Territory) in the country.

Ajayi (2012) further elaborated that the situation is pathetic that stakeholders keep on wondering why this type of education has persistently failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the society. The failures of students in economics constitute wastage in investment in secondary education; it has put a big question mark on the quality of secondary education in the country. Each time the results of students in senior school certificate exams (SSCE) are released, it has been a tale of woes and national embarrassment.

Students are said to be the bedrock of the national educational system. This is further supported by Joshua (2004) saying “secondary education is the pilot around which the development of the nation’s economy revolves’. It is the engine room that provides the input, resources into the nation’s economy and higher (tertiary) education production systems. Annually, the results for economics among students have been discouraging.

According to Uduak (2009), the high percentage of candidates who failed WASSCE, NECO, GCE yearly is reflected in the low percentage of the candidates that meets the university admission requirements. Thus, whatsoever the causes of poor academic performance of students in economics in senior secondary school certificate examinations may be, it should be noted as said by the president of the World Bank, Barber Conable, while introducing a World Bank policy on education, that “without education, development will not occur; only an education person can command the skills necessary for sustainable economic growth and for a better quality of life”. That is the more reason why attention must be given to academic performance of students.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

In recent times, students have performed below expectation in external examination specially in economics subject. The performances of the secondary school students have been very low in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State. This is not a welcome development as this by extension does not add to the development of the country. Hence, an evaluation of economics is necessary; therefore the researcher wishes to investigate the factors responsible for this poor performance and to suggest solutions to restore the interest in the subject.

 

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this research is to identify the various causes of poor academic performance of students in economics in senior secondary school certificate examination in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state. With the following objectives;

  1. To find out the various factors responsible for the poor academic performance of economics students in SSCE exams,
  2. To find out how the qualifications of teachers teaching economics affects the students performance in external examinations,
  3. To find out how the attitude of the students towards the study of economics in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo state affects their performance,
  4. To ascertain the extent to which students’ failure in economics could affect the larger society?
  5. To suggest various strategies that could be adopted by schools to prevent the failures of students in the subject (Economics) in external exams.

1.4     Significance of the Study

This study will be relevant to the following educational stakeholders, to the teachers, students, government, examination bodies, the society, educational administrators, ministry of education, school authority and economists.

To the teachers, the study will help the economic teachers in a large measure to tackle economics. It would help to direct the economics teachers’ attention to the need for them to adopt more appropriate teaching method in order to bring about the desirable experience in the learners alternative uses to meet prescribed ends and also be able to apply the principle of economics.

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This study will be of great benefit to the students, the factors that causes them to perform poorly in economics (lack of interest, poor study habits, absenteeism) etc and be in a position to appreciate the ways of improving their performance and also helps to produce sound economics students that will function very well in the economy such as knowing how to use scarce productive resources with alternative uses to meet prescribed ends and be able to apply the principle of economics, the product of economics should be able to pick employment within a limited employment opportunities in any economy.

The findings will provide training information which will be incorporate to the curriculum. The curriculum planners will integrate the information into the training model or packages of the economics easy for students to understand and find economics easy in secondary level. The students which are the focal subject of the school, will stand a chance to retrace these ways back to proper use of instructional materials, keen interest in studies, punctuality and regularity to school, which at the end will enhance better performance.

To the government, the findings would help the state government in setting her priority right in regards to education in Mbaitoli LGA of the state which has not been given adequate attention. Government would need to realize that these children are the leaders of tomorrow. Thus, Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State secondary schools will be enviable to contend among other schools. The findings will also assist the government in the area of giving incentives to the teachers, providing libraries, economics textbooks, economics dictionaries and other instructional materials.

This research work will be of importance to the society because of the role of economics in national building. The society should ensure that qualified and experienced teacher are employed in adequate numbers and instructional materials purchased for practical purposes; this will definitely expose the students to excursion and more practical work in economics.

The educational administrators will benefit from this study because there will be room for them to include economics in curriculum as  a compulsory subject in other to help the nation’s economy grow by making admission into the higher institution available based on a credit in economics among others.

This study will help the ministry of education and the school authority to employ professionally qualified teachers who will handle the teaching and learning of economics in senior secondary school effectively for the benefit of the students and the society at large. The ministry of education and the school authority should encourage the economics teachers to attend workshops organized for them and collaborate with the government and PTA (Parents Teachers Association) should make sure that every material needed for teaching and learning of economics are provided. The secondary schools should make sure that economics get enough periods on the timetable.

To the examination bodies, (WAEC, NECO, GCE) etc, the findings would help in reducing their workload/burden and misbehaviors from students.

To the economist, it will be of great benefit because it will provide information for the formulation and evaluation of economics plan.

It is hoped that the finding of this study would also form the basis and serve as a resource material for further research work by future researchers on this issue.

1.5     Scope of the Study

The study focused on evaluating the factors associated with the causes of poor academic performance of students in economics in senior secondary school certificate examination in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State. It geographically covers few secondary schools in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State.

1.6     Research Questions

  1. What factors are responsible for the poor academic performance of economics students in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State?
  2. How do qualifications of teachers teaching economics affect the students’ performance in external examinations?
  3. How does the students’ attitude towards the subject affect their performance in Mbaitoli LGA of Imo State?
  4. To what extent does the students’ failure to economics affect the society at large.
  5. What are the strategies to be adopted by schools to prevent economics students’failure in SSCE exams?

    Pages:  90

    Category: Project

    Format:  Word & PDF         

    Chapters: 1-5                                                      

    Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

    Project


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