Appraisal Of Academic Performance Of Students In Senior Certificate Examination In Civic Education Or In Some Selected Secondary School In Niger State

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Appraisal Of Academic Performance Of Students In Senior Certificate Examination In Civic Education Or In Some Selected Secondary School In Niger State


ABSTRACT
Learners’ academic performance is an area of great concern to all stakeholders in education worldwide. Schools in Niger State have recorded dismal performance in Nigeria Senior Certificate Secondary Examination (SSCE) in the last five years. The study sought to establish the appraisal of academic performance of students in senior certificate examination in civic education. The objectives of the study were; Determine the extent to which teaching resources influence students’ performance in SSCE, Examine the extent to which teacher adequacy influence students’ performance in SSCE, Assess the extent to which physical facilities influence students’ performance in SSCE and Examine the extent to which head teachers’ supervisory role influence students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public secondary schools in Niger State. The study was guided by Education Production Function Theory. The study used descriptive research design. The target population of the study was 30 head teachers and 270 Heads of departments in 30 public secondary schools in Niger State. The study used Simple random sampling, stratified sampling and purposive sampling techniques in selecting a sample size of 9 head teachers and 81 heads of department from the target population. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the head teachers and heads of department. Validity of the questionnaires was ascertained by experts from the school of Education while reliability of the instruments was determined using the Cronbach alpha. Quantitative data was analyzed using frequencies, percentages mean and standard deviation while hypotheses were tested at the 0.05 level of significance using Pearson correlation coefficient. The study found out that teaching resource especially radios, television, computer and projectors were inadequate and that teacher inadequacy was occasioned by the fact that there were no immediate replacements made once teachers had transferred from schools. In addition, the study found out among others that library and laboratory facilities were inadequate. Lastly, the study found that, the head teachers rarely vetted teachers’ lesson notes and rarely appraised teachers. Overall the study found out that teaching resource, teacher adequacy, physical facilities and head teachers supervisory roles had positive and significant relationship with students’ performance at SCE. The findings further found out that SSCE performance in Niger State has been declining over the years. The study recommended among others that, the Ministry of Education should equip public secondary schools with adequate textbooks, teachers’ reference books, radios, television, computers and projectors to improve performance of students in SCE. Similarly, the study recommended that Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should recruit and post more teachers in Niger State and should replace teachers immediately when they are transferred to address the problem of teacher inadequacy. Finally, there is need for head teachers to intensify teacher performance appraisal in order to give regular feedback to the teachers.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Education is an essential ingredient for the development of any society and is seen as a pathway to raising political, social awareness as well as upholding the level of manpower (Onyara, 2013). These benefits have led to increased number of pupils in primary and in secondary schools’ world over (World Bank, 1990). According to Yara and Otieno (2010), education is a fundamental human right. The pivot to sustainable development, peace, and stability within and among countries is the provision of quality education to their citizens (Oguntuase, Awe, & Ajayi, 2013).

According to Mwangi and Nyagah (2013), the performance of an individual in the National Examination is a predictor of that person’s future. Due to the concern of the countries around the globe about their citizen’s future, education has become a major Centre of investment. For the betterment and improvement of educational achievement; countries further invest in school facilities for better performance of the students (Yichun, Rodney& Lance, 2012). Expenditures on Education have been seen to increase and majorly focused on the students, for instance, Canada and America had an increment of students’ spending nationally from $7,077 to $9,040 and $8,118 to $10,770 in 1998 and 2005 respectively (Statistics Canada, 2008; National Center for Education Statistics, 2007). This increase is as result of the belief that school facilities have effects on students’ academic performance (Dearden, Ferri, & Meghir, 2002; Earthman, 2002).

Many countries in Africa are paying attention to invest in education from primary, secondary and tertiary levels. However, the main challenge is poor academic performance of students (Miller & Yodar, 2002). In Botswana, for example, the government is offering free basic education to all the children attending school. In addition, the government supports education from primary to secondary level. To achieve this, the Ministry of Education receives a hefty share of the country’s budget (Matambo, 2013). Despite all the efforts by the government on education, the students’ academic performance has been declining lately from 2010 (Luke & Mavis, 2014).

In Tanzania, the government has initiated several policy structural reforms to ensure quality education (United Republic of Tanzania, 2001). Notable among these are the Education Sector Development Programmes, institutional vision to be focused on vision 2025 aspiration and the National Science and Technology Policy (URT, 2001). Despite these efforts, low academic performance in secondary schools has been recorded. United Republic of Tanzania (2012), reports that academic performance of students has been deteriorating. For instance, pass rate for Divisions I to III was as follows; 36.6% in 2007, 31% in 2008, 17.91% in 2009, 11.5% in 2010 and 10.05% in 2011(URT, 2012).

The government of Nigeria has implemented free primary education (FPE) and subsidized secondary education to increase access. The government input through Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in secondary schools has been towards improving teaching/learning resources and infrastructure for better academic performance in national examinations. The establishment of additional national secondary schools has also been aimed at improving the students’ academic performance. Despite all the efforts by the government to improve the academic performance of the students, the academic performance in SSCE is still at stake (Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOEST), 2010).

Nigeria’s system of education provides for 8 years in primary and 4 years in secondary education. After 4 years of secondary education the students are subjected to a Nigeria Senior Certificate Secondary Examination examination which varies from School to School and from year to year. Factors that can cause this variation in performance can either be school based factor or external factors among others. According to Onyara (2013), school-based factors are those within school control that can influence students’ academic performance in public secondary schools. They include; teaching resources, teacher adequacy, physical facilities and head teachers’ supervisory role.

Teaching resources are significant in that they help in boosting clarification for better understanding of more complicated concepts (Wanyama, 2013). According to Wanyama (2013), instructional materials such as radios and educational films motivate the students as well as students’ vibrant discussions. These materials induce critical thinking in the learners hence making them independent in tackling their activities. In the year 2002, the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOEST) in Nigeria, in conjunction with United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) launched the child-centered interactive approach to teaching and learning. According to the Ministry of Education (MOE, 2001), the academic performance of learners can be influenced by availability, distribution and utilization of educational resources. Other factors, which have influence on academic performance, include the frequency of use of the resources as well as the time allowed for their use.

Teacher adequacy can compromise the quality of education (Boyd & Barbarin, 2008).To identify the adequacy of teachers in the learning environment, the student teacher ratio (STR) need to be determined. Student teacher ratio will tell whether an institution is having adequate teachers or not. The advantage of having low STR is reducing the number of students to be handled by a teacher in the classroom. This ensures the teacher’s attention to the students and thus good academic performance. On the other hand, high STR will mean that a teacher will have to handle a large number of the students in the classroom at the same time. Students’ academic performance is influenced by the transfer of teachers from schools without replacements leading to lack of enough teachers’ thus influencing teacher-student ratio (Wanyama, 2013).

Physical facilities refer to the school buildings; classrooms, library, dormitories, laboratories, toilet facilities, offices and other infrastructure that would motivate students towards learning (Akomolafe & Adesua, 2016). If physical facilities are available, adequate and effectively utilized they can lead to high students’ academic performance and if not they can lead to low students’ academic performance (Akomolafe & Adesua, 2016).

Head teacher supervisory role refers to the head teacher’s intervention to ascertain, maintain and improve the quality of education students receive at school (Nyamongo, Sang, Nyaoga &Matoke, 2014). Head teachers’ supervisory role include; vetting of teachers notes, regular visits to observe teachers lesson presentation and giving feedback, observing teachers attendance and punctuality, regular checking of students exercise books to find out teachers output of work and inspecting pupils assessment records among others (Amina, 2015). Onumah (2016) argues that the academic performance of any level of education is dependent on the quality, regular and continuous supervision of head teachers. However Onumah (2016) goes on to say that most public secondary schools have a problem of ineffective internal supervision by the school head teachers leading to poor academic performance and the way forward to this phenomenon formed the basis for this study.

Several researchers have carried out research with the quest to address the factors influencing academic performance in Nigeria Senior Certificate Secondary Examination (SCE). For instance, Simiyu (2013) carried out research to examine the factors influencing the students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Trans Nzoia West State. The study found that school factors greatly contribute to students’ academic performance. The study further found that presence of a wellstocked library, relevant text books, well trained teachers’, spacious classrooms are factor that can contribute to good academic performance. According to Onyara (2013), students’ poor performance is due to lack of learning facilities and resources as well as poor supervision of learning activities. The study also shows that almost half of the heads of schools rarely take a look at teacher’s professional records Academic performance is also influenced by the transfer of teachers from schools without replacements. This leads to lack of enough teachers’ thus leading to poor academic performance (Wanyama, 2013). A study by Simiyu, 2013; Onyara, 2013 and Wanyama, 2013 have been done in other Counties in Nigeria and there is no evidence to show that a study on school based factors influencing student performance in SSCE has been done in Niger State. The current study sought to appraise academic performance of students in senior certificate examination in civic education.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The desire to provide quality education for all children is one of the major objectives of the Ministry of Education. As such, the government of Nigeria has continuously implemented measures to improve the quality of Education in secondary schools. Despite government measures like improving physical facilities, learning resources in schools through the CDF fund and free and subsidized secondary education to boost performance, performance in public secondary schools in Niger State has been persistently low.

Statistics held at Niger State Education Office (SCEO, 2017) show that most of the secondary schools have recorded a mean score below 4.5 in SSCE between 2012 and 2016 except 5 schools with a mean score above 4.5. According to the report, the SSCE mean score for the State from 2012 to 2016 is as follows; 4.144, 4.070, 4.750, 4.874 and 3.151. The factors for this inconsistency performance over the years are not well understood which has made it difficult to design strategies that can improve the SSCE performance of poorly performing schools. The researcher was compiled to carry out this study to appraise academic performance of students in senior certificate examination in civic educationin Niger State.

A number of studies conducted in other parts of the country found that the presence of a well-stocked library, relevant text books, well trained teachers and spacious classrooms contributed to good academic performance (Simiyu, 2013; Nyamongo, Sang, Nyaoka & Matoke, 2014). Nyamongo, Sang, Nyaoka and Matoke (2014) found that there was a significant relationship between the head teachers’ supervisory role and students’ academic performance. Studies by; Simiyu, (2013) and Nyamongo, Sang, Nyaoka & Matoke (2014) have been done in other counties in Nigeria and no evidence that a study on school based factors influencing student performance in SSCE in Niger State has been done. Therefore, this study sought to investigate school based factors influencing students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public secondary schools in Niger State.


1.3 General Objective of the Study

The general objective of the study was to investigate the school-based factors influencing students’ performance in Nigeria Senior Certificate Secondary Examination in public secondary schools in Niger State.

1.3.1 Specific objectives of the Study

The study was guided by the following objectives: to;

  1. Determine the extent to which teaching resources influence students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public secondary school in Niger State.
  2. Examine the extent to which teacher adequacy influence students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public secondary schools in Niger State.
  3. Assess the extent to which physical facilities influence students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public secondary schools in Niger State.
  4. Examine the extent to which to which head teachers’ supervisory role influence students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public secondary schools in Niger State

1.4 Hypotheses of the Study

The study was guided by the following hypotheses:

  1. Ho1: There is no significant relationship between teaching resources and students’ performance in SSCE in public secondary schools in Niger State.
  2. Ho2: There is no significant relationship between teacher adequacy and students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public Secondary Schools in Niger State.
  3. Ho3: There is no significant relationship between physical facilities and students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public Secondary Schools in Niger State.
  4. Ho4: There is no significant relationship between head teacher’s supervisory role and students’ performance in civic education in SSCE in public secondary schools in Niger State.

1.5 Significance of the Study

At the school level, the study will provide insights to head teachers, teachers and the Board of Management on the school-based factors influencing students’ academic performance in SSCE. The findings will also help guide the head teachers in addressing poor performance in public secondary schools in Niger State and in creating an understanding of the basic requirements of achieving and maintaining excellence in public secondary schools in Nigeria.

The findings of the study could be useful to policy makers in Education sector in charge of allocation and disbursement of funds to public secondary schools in Niger State. The Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MOEST) could use the study findings to determine the status of teaching and learning resources and physical facilities in secondary schools. The findings could also be used by the MOEST to assess the extent to which the government funding has enhanced equitable distribution of teaching and learning resources for effective teaching and learning in secondary schools. The findings of the study could be helpful to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) who could ensure that all the secondary schools have adequate trained and professionally qualified teachers for effective curriculum implementation. Finally, the study could guide future researchers undertaking similar or related studies and consequently contribute to existing knowledge in the study area.


1.6 Limitations of the Study

The researcher envisaged to encounter the following challenges’: First, the head teachers and heads of department in the study may fail to give the expected information due to fear of victimization. The researcher addressed this problem by approaching the head teachers and heads of department professionally and assured them that the findings would be used for academic purposes only and that their identity would not be revealed. Second, it was difficult to control the attitudes of the head teachers and heads of department which may have influenced the validity and reliability of their responses. However, the researcher assured the head teachers and heads of department that the information would be used for academic purposes only.


1.7 Delimitations of the Study

The study was conducted in Niger State. Secondly the study was delimited to public secondary schools which sat for SSCE examination and no private secondary schools were considered. The study was delimited to responses from head teachers and heads of department in Niger State.


1.8 Assumptions of the Study

The study was carried out under the following assumptions:

  1. The researcher assumed that the head teachers and heads of department would be cooperative, honest, and trustworthy in their responses to the research questions and also be accessible to respond to the research questions in time.
  2. The researcher additionally assumed that the State administrators would give the obliged consent to collect data from the school head teachers and heads of department in Niger State.

1.9 Definition of Significant Terms

The following definitions of words were used in the study as follows:

Academic Performance:

Refers to student achievement measured by mean grade attained in Nigeria Senior Certificate Secondary Examination.

Head Teacher Supervisory Role:

Refers to role of head teacher of overseeing teaching/learning process.

Physical Facilities:

Refers to the school infrastructures that are used by students and teachers in their daily school activities; classrooms, library, dormitories, laboratories among others.

Public Secondary Schools:

Refers to institutions owned by the government and are registered to offer education to learners on regular basis from form one to form four.

School Based Factors:

Refers to the internal factors that are within the control of the school.

Teacher Adequacy:

Refers to the number of teachers that can conveniently handle a given number of students. For instance one teacher to teach 40 students

Teaching Resources:

Refers to the resources teachers use in classroom to support specific learning objectives as set out in the lesson plan.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is organized into six chapters.

  • Chapter one covers; background to the study, statement of the problem, general objective of the study, specific objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, limitation of the study, delimitations of the study, operational definition of terms and organization of the study.
  • Chapter two covers review of related literature arranged as per study objectives and explained from global, regional and narrowing to Nigerian situation while identifying research gaps through local studies done, summary of the literature review, theoretical framework and conceptual framework.
  • Chapter Three covers research methodology which includes: introduction, research design, target population, sampling techniques and sample size, data collection instruments, validity and reliability of research instruments, data collecting procedures, data analysis techniques and ethical considerations.
  • Chapter four covers research results of the study.
  • Chapter five covers discussions and interpretations of research findings.

Chapter Five


Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusions

This section gives conclusions and recommendations of the study based on the formulated research objectives in chapter one:

Teaching resources are critical in determining the academic performance of students. Where teaching resources are adequate, performance of learners will improve and vice versa. It is instructive therefore to conclude that the availability and adequate teaching resources significantly influences the academic performance of students to a great extent as was established from the findings of this study. The study concludes that if schools are given adequate teaching resources students’ performance at SSCE would improve.

The study also concludes that teacher reference books & guides and course books are adequate in most of the schools in Niger State. It was also concluded that radio, television, computers and projectors are not adequate in most of the schools in Niger State thus posing a challenge in implementation of ICT integration in teaching and learning. The study concluded that there was positive and significant relationship between teaching resources and SSCE performance. Based on the finding therefore, the study concluded that adequacy of teaching resources would leads to improvement in SSCE performance in public secondary schools in Niger State, Nigeria

The study concludes that schools in Niger State are understaffed and that whenever teachers are transferred, the Teachers Service Commission does not replace them promptly. The researcher concluded that schools in Niger State do not engage form four school leavers with good grades to mitigate the problem of teacher inadequacy The study also concludes that BOMs in schools in Niger State employ trained and qualified teachers to help mitigate the problem of teacher inadequacy the researcher also concludes that when teachers transfer from majority of the schools in Niger State there is no immediate replacement. The study also concludes that the teacher student ratio in schools in Niger State is low. The researcher Concludes that there is a positive and significant relationship between teacher adequacy and students’ performance at SCE, this implies that teacher adequacy can lead to improvement of students’ performance in public secondary schools in Niger State, Nigeria.

The study concludes that locker/chairs are adequate in schools in Niger State. Further, the researcher concluded that facilities like laboratory, library, dining hall. Offices, toilet/bathrooms and playground were inadequate in schools in Niger State. The study further concluded that physical facilities influenced students’ performance in SSCE to a great extent. Further, it was concluded that that there was a positive and significant relationship between physical facilities and students’ performance in SCE. The researcher also concluded that adequacy of physical facilities can lead to improved students’ performance at t SSCE in public secondary schools in Niger State.

Based on the findings of the study the researcher concludes that, head teachers rarely vet teachers’ notes and present and issue a confidential feedback to teachers after a lesson observation session. The study can also conclude that head teacher’s supervisory role influence students’ performance in SSCE to a great extent in school in Niger State. The study concludes that there is a positive and significant relationship between head teachers supervisory role and students’ performance at SSCE in schools in Niger State. This implies that when head teachers play their supervision roles quite often, the students’ performance significantly improves. Therefore, it was concluded that the greater the frequency of supervision by head teachers, the greater the improvement in performance in SCE.


5.2 Recommendations

The study makes the following recommendations based on the study findings as per the objectives:

  1. The MOEST should equip public secondary schools with adequate textbooks, teachers’ reference books, radios, televisions, computers and projectors to improve performance of students in SSCE in Niger State.
  2. The government should increase its capitation vote head for purchase of lab equipment’s and chemicals so that learners can do more practical’s and improve their SSCE performance.
  3. Head teachers should encourage teachers to be innovative and use locally available materials to prepare adequate teaching aids and charts in relevant topics to enhance teaching thus improve students’ performance at SCE.
  4. The Ministry of Education should visit schools to ascertain the actual purchase of textbooks as per the ministry’s recommendation and take measures against head teachers found not to have bought the books.
  5. Teachers’ Service Commission should recruit and post more teachers in Niger State to ensure adequate teacher student ratio as per the Curriculum Based Establishment
  6. Teacher’ Service Commission should replace teachers on time when they transfer to address the problem of teacher inadequacy
  7. The government should allocate funds in public secondary schools in Niger State to enable them to put up facilities like modern laboratory, library, dining hall, offices and modern dormitories to create conducive teaching and learning environment.
  8. The government should ensure that all the schools have adequate playing ground.
  9. Head teachers should monitor teachers class attendance on a regular basis and ensure that they vet often the teachers lesson notes
  10. Quality Assurance and Standards officers(QASOs) should ensure regular supervision in schools
  11. Head teachers should intensify teacher performance appraisal in order to give regular feedbacks on the performance of the teachers.

5.3 Suggestion for Further Study

The researcher suggests the following areas for further research:

  1. A similar study to be carried out in the entire county or in other counties to ascertain the influence of school based factors on students’ performance in SSCE.
  2. The current study was delimited on the influence of school based factors on students’ performance in SSCE. It is suggested that a study be done on the influence of external school environment on students’ performance in SSCE.

Appraisal Of Academic Performance Of Students In Senior Certificate Examination In Civic Education Or In Some Selected Secondary School In Niger State


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