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Factors Affecting Student’s Poor Performance In Economics In Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, In Ideato South




This study investigated the factors affecting students poor performance in Economics in secondary school examination in Ideato South. The study has three objective and three research question. The research design adopted for this study is the descriptive survey method. The population of the study comprised teachers, and senior secondary school student at 6 selected senior secondary schools out of 15 public senior secondary schools in Ideato South, which is 2500. The population size for teachers is 50, and student 1450 in the 6 selected public senior secondary schools out of 15 in Ideato South and the sample size of 100 was selected randomly. Questionaire was used as instrument of data collection. Some of the major findings of the study were that poor qualification of economics teachers could affect students’ academic performance because of financial constraints, emotional disturbances, based on the findings of the study, implication were highlighted and recommendations were made. Based on the findings from the study, the researcher recommends as follows. Adequate instructional materials for the teaching of economics in senior secondary schools in Ideato South should be provided by the ministry of education and school management.  Teachers should improvise instructional materials to teach economics in the senior secondary schools in Ideato South. Teachers of economics should make constant use of instructional materials in teaching economics in senior secondary schools in Ideato South.



In this chapter, the researcher discusses the background of the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, significance of the study as well as the research questions.

Background of Study

The importance of economics to any given society cannot be over emphasized. Every family is a part of economy and every one use the rules of Economy too. From the time we are born, we become consumers of various products and services (say medical services, baby foods and so on). We grow and diversify to attain various different roles as producers, trades mediators and agents. Today’s world is that of “economic implication” where economic factors most importantly money, dictates all the elements of the society. Economics is an issue or discipline which everybody; even ignorant households are learning (Michael, 2014).

In the late 1890s’, Professor Lionel Robbins defined Economics is a social science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scare means which have alternative uses. It is also defined as a science which deals with production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. There are two schools in economics, namely, micro economics and macroeconomics. The combined result of these two determines the effect of economics on the socio-economic, political and cultural development of the society. The importance of economics as a subject in Nigeria educational system and the nation’s technological development has been recognized in many fora.

In today’s world, the amount of resources available to us is reducing each day. This condition will only worsen if we keep using our resources with low efficiency and effectiveness. The study of economics provides a mechanism for looking at possible ways to optimize resources utilization and reduce wastages. The study of economics is not restricted to higher education only. That is why economics is studied in secondary school education curriculum in Nigeria.

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Nevertheless, the stability of economy is a quest for any economic system or society. Only through economically sound practices can we ensure that the economy is stable and growing at the same time. The knowledge and the practice of economics among economic agents help to stabilize the overall economy. As a matter of fact, if a society keeps on putting money into a project which yields little or nothing to its growth and development, then the economy becomes inefficient and so does the society. Inefficiency in the use of economic resources leads to undesirable effects in the society. This problem is responsible for the socio-economic disintegration of the society via destructive social evils, like increased crime rate, hunger, unemployment and poverty, etc. understanding of economics is important for the growth of individual economically. A person needs to understand the economic situation and stipulations present in his own life. He may not need the hard objective understanding of economics, but he definitely needs to understand the economic practices that he needs to follow to eradicate chances of “going broke” or bankrupt. The study of the subject is important because it covers all areas of human lives and occupies the unique portion of man’s activities.

However, despite the above importance attached to the learning and teaching of economics in our educational system, the performance of students in secondary schools in Nigeria has remained an issue of concern to all stake holders (Ajagun 2018).

Explaining reasons for mass failure in WAEC, “the Head of National Office, West African Examination Council (WAEC), Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, attributed the high failure rates in examinations conducted by the council to several factors. He said WAEC, as a body entrusted with the conduct of the examination, should not be seen as a public enemy because the council does not fail candidates deliberately.” This message was conveyed on January 24, 2011 by The Deputy Registrar/Controller, Science Department, Mrs. Olayinka Ajibade, to over 900 students from Lagos and Ogun States at the year’s Students’ Academic Success Summit, held at the University of Lagos. Also speaking at the summit, the representative of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Mrs. Aisha Dahiru, noted the poor percentage of applicants admitted into Nigerian universities over the years to foundation factors, wrong subject combination, poor shading of the script errors associated with online registration and the attitude of some parents that force careers on their children. In her explanation, less than 20 per cent of the applicants that sat for the admission test were actually admitted into universities.

Similarly, in 2011 May/June WAEC result which was released, it was shown that around one million students who sat for the examination failed. This has been a major concern for government and the society. According to the Head of National Office, West African Examinations Council (WAEC), the causes of massive failure in WAEC can be attributed to some candidates’ lack of knowledge of common pitfalls, coupled with inadequate coverage of the syllabus and non-familiarity with test format.

Referring to the roadmap of education by a Non-Governmental Organisation named “the youth of Nigeria,” there was a report that West African Examinations Council (WAEC) 2009 results show an overall poor performance with only 26% percent obtaining a credit pass in Mathematics and English (, 2009). In the same vein, the National Examinations Council (NECO) November/December 2009 results show 98% failing to clinch five credits, including Economics, English and Mathematics. Only 1.8% got five credits, including Economics, English and Mathematics. Other subject like economic was not left out. It was the poorest result in the history of the examination body.

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Commenting (on the issue of mass failure in 2009 November/December NECO examinations) in the Nigerian Tribune of April 5, 2010 by Tope Ademola, a Public Affairs commentator, said that there could not have been a worse period for the Nigerian educational system than the disclosure that 98 per cent of students who sat for the November /December 2009 examination of the National Examination Council (NECO) failed. According to the report, only 4,223 out of the 236,613 candidates who sat for the examination had credits in five subjects, including English and Mathematics. The figure regretfully represents less than two per cent of those who took the examination. He explained that the recorded mass failure is a reflection of the precipice on which the nation has found itself. While the students have their own portion of the blame, a substantial part of it lies at the doorsteps of the nation’s policy makers or leaders, who over the years treated the sector with levity (Aworanti, 2010).

In the same vein, the National Examinations Council (NECO) registered another mass failure in the November/ December external 2010 examinations as out of the 25 subjects taken by students none had up to 50 per cent pass record. This message was reported by the Registrar of the council, Professor Promise Okpala, who announced the results to newsmen in Minna on March 30, 2011.Out of the total number that sat for the English Language examination, 51, 781 candidates passed, constituting only 20 per cent and in Mathematics, 87, 508 translating to 34 per cent of candidates that sat for the examination passed. French Language recorded the lowest pass with no candidate having a credit out of the 473 students that sat for the subject, amounting to 57 per cent failure (Ebije, 2011). This is worrisome because it has strong implication for the study of economics at institutions of higher learning. Thus, the study sought the views of teachers on the causes of inadequate achievement in SSC Economics examinations.

Statement of the Problem

In the last few years, it has been observed in most secondary schools that a high percentage of students are performing very poorly in Economics in National Examinations for example, WAEC and NECO (Examiner’s Report, 2009) due to ill motivated behaviour of the students towards the Education, lack of professional teachers, existence of lazy teachers and lack of teaching facilities and equipment (David, 2014). Some of these reports have shown that there are poor academic activities in secondary schools which obviously lead to rampant failure in external examinations among secondary schools students.

Academic performance has been chronically poor in some public secondary schools in Nigeria particular in Ideato North, despite the Government’s effort to improve quality of education. Many stakeholders have tried to attribute the wanting academic performance to the socio-economic factors. Very little has been done to look into these problems, therefore, it is against this background that the researcher was prompted to find out factors affecting student’s poor performance in economics in senior secondary school certificate examination, in Ideato North LGA of Imo State.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to find out the factors affecting student’s poor performance in economics in senior secondary school certificate examination, in Ideato South LGA.

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Specifically, this study is set;

  1. To find out students’ related factors contributing to poor performance in economics in senior secondary school Examination.
  2. To find out teachers related factors contributing to poor performance of students in economics in senior secondary school examination.
  3. To find out the school related factors contributing to student’s poor performance in economics in senior secondary school examination.

Significance of the Study

The outcome of this study will be of great benefit to teachers and students of economics because the information from this research work will review some important data such as advise the teachers to further their education and get more knowledge on the study of economics because they are the only way to students future, bring to the knowledge of government to organize seminars and workshops in order to expose teachers of economics to some many academic activities which will in turn help in student performance.

Students will also benefit because they will be motivated by the information from this research work which will go a long way in making them to see Economics as a compulsory subject. Teachers should devise every means possible to teach this subject and make sure that students grasp everything they should know in economics before examination. This could be done by making sure that they cover their scheme of work every term.

The finding of the study will provide training information which will be incorporated to the curriculum. The curriculum planners will integrate the information into the training model or packages of the economics students and provide a better instructional material that helps to make it easy for students to understand and find economics easy in secondary level.

The educational administrators will benefit from this study because there will be room for them to includes 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. Students should be serious with this subject and become friend with it. They could do this by reading Economics every day attaining classes and by studying their Economics dictionaries and textbooks.

The principals should make sure that they have enough Economics teachers for their students. They should encourage their economics teachers to attend workshops organized for them. The principals in collaboration with the government, and PTA should make sure that every material needed for teaching and learning of economics is provided.

Scope of the Study

The study shall be delimited to economics teachers and students in Senior Secondary School in Ideato South local government area of Imo State.

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to guide the study.

  1. What are the students’ related factors contributing to poor performance in economics in senior secondary school Examination in Ideato South LGA?
  2. What are the teachers related factors contributing to poor performance of students in economics in senior secondary school examination in Ideato South.

What are the school related factors contributing to students’ poor performance in economics in senior secondary school examination in Ideato South.

Pages:  66

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5                                                                       

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract, References & Appendix.


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