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Factors Associateed With Mass Failure Of Students In Economics In Senior Secondary School In Ideato South L.G.A, Imo State




The main objective of this study is to investigate the factors associated with mass failure of secondary school students in economics in senior secondary schools in Ideato South LGA. Three research questions were formulated and a descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The population for the study comprised of fifty (50) teachers and 1450 students of the six senior secondary schools in the area of study. However, samples of 100 respondents were randomly drawn from the total population. The method of data collection was through the use of a questionnaire which was structured on a four point likert scale. The data were analyzed using arithmetic mean and standard deviation. The results indicated that socio-economic factor, learning environment and family structure are student related factors that causes students mass failure. Also, the study revealed teacher’s poor method of teaching, poor attendance to lessons and attitude of some teachers to their jobs are teacher related factors that has influenced the performance of students in economics. The study recommends amongst other things, teachers should develop positive relationship with students and stress classroom activities that will involve active teaching-learning process and students’ participation in the class.



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

One of the major problems facing the educational system in Nigeria is the abysmal failure of students in economics, particularly at the senior secondary level of education. School failure can lead to serious consequences if undetected and left untreated. The failing student loses self-confidence, becomes discouraged and decreases his/her effort to study further. And most at times these failures spring up not only from external factors but from within the student in question. Also, the impression that economics is a difficult subject that is full of calculations causes failure among students. Hence, factors associated with mass failure of students in economics in secondary schools could be traced to several factors that can be compartmentalized into parents associated factor, students associated factor, teachers associated factors, schools associated factor, government and the society associated factors. In other words, the causes of mass failure of students in economics are multi-dimensional in nature (Ajayi and Ekundayo, 2010).

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. According to Ajala and Iyiol (1988), polygamous families contributed to poor academic performance of the students. 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 (Etsey, 2005). Akanle (2007), also identified insufficient parental income and family type as causes of mass failure of students. Moreover, other parents’ associated factors of mass failure of students in economics could be traced to the parents’ lack of proper guidance and failure of parent to provide necessary materials for their children to work with in school and family breakdown (Ajayi and Ekundayo, 2010).

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The importance of teachers in the 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. This perhaps usually prompt some parents to enroll their children in private schools where better academic performance appears to be guaranteed as a result of more supervision and higher quality of teaching 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 necessarily aid proper learning. Ya’u, (2003) categorically said that successful achievement of stated objectives in teaching and learning is always associated with using the right technique.

Various causes of mass failure 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 include absenteeism, inability to complete the syllabi and less interest in children understanding of lesson and poor methods of teaching (Asikhia, 2010). Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010) also identified incessant strike, poor methods of teaching, teachers’ inability to cover syllabus and teachers’ lack of resourcefulness in teaching as causes of mass failure of students in most subjects. Roger, (1981) was of the view that 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 lead to mass failure. Sa’ad (2007) was of the view that teaching and learning take 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 teaching and learning. 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-texts, flash cards; computers, magazines and newspapers are rarely used.

In the past five years, most of the students who sat for the SSCE each year did not have credit passes in at least five subjects including Economics, English and Mathematics. The situation is getting worse every year. The nation was shocked and devastated when the National Examination Council (NECO) released its November/December 2009 SSCE result showing that only 1.8% passed with five credits and above including Economics, English and Mathematics which are required for admission into university.

Many more Nigerians have expressed their worries and pointed accusing fingers at the government for not taking education as a project of priority importance judging by the rate of dilapidation and underfunding bedeviling the sector. While one school of thought blamed the government for the entire mess, another believed a combination of factors created by the government, parents, teachers and students themselves led to the failures (Eze, 2011). These issues have necessitated the study of mass failure among secondary school students the best procedures to put to an end to the mess in secondary schools in Ideato South LGA of Imo State.

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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.

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.

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.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to find out the factors associated with mass failure of secondary school students in economics in senior secondary schools in Ideato South LGA.

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Specifically, this study is set;

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

Research Questions

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

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

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

Pages:  70

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF                

Chapters: 1-5                                                      

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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