The Factors Responsible For Students Academic Performance In Public Secondary School

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The Factors Responsible For Students Academic Performance In Public Secondary School


Abstract


This study was aimed at surveying the factors responsible for students academic performance in public secondary schools in Rivers State. The population of the study consist of (45) teahers and 250 students of (9) secondary school in Port Harcourt Local Government area of Rivers state. The instrument for the study was questionnaire, titled Assessment of Factors Responsible for Students Academic Performance in Public Secondary Schools questionnaire. The researcher personally administered the questionnaire to the 36 teacher and 180 students. The results of this study confirmed the fact that; teacher factor, students attitude and commitment, methods of teaching, use of instructional materials and the school environment are to a great extent valid factors that influence students’ academic performance. This study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Education as the key to development has the capacity to upgrade teaching effectiveness as well as learning efficiency among learners. Efforts by have being made by school administrators to improve the performance of Public secondary school students. The school environment, which include the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are variables that affect students’ academic achievement (Ajayi, 2001 and Oluchukwu, 2000). Hence, the school environment remains an important area that has to studied and well managed to enhance students’ academic performance.

According to Jam (2009) academic performance is the ability to study and remember facts and being able to communicate your knowledge verbally or on paper. In other words, academic performance refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Academic performance generally refers to how well a student is accomplishing his or her tasks or studies. There are quite a number of factors that determine the level and quality of students’ academic performance. (Scottk, 2002).

According to Hussain (2006) secondary school students in public schools often come from economically poor and average income families. These families face various problems causing emotional disturbance among their children. This singular factor has caused serious damage to the achievement status to secondary school students.

Achievement is generally a pedagogical terminology used while determining learners’ success in formal education and which is measured through reports examinations, researches, and ratings with numerous factors of variables exerting influence. Essentially, the National Policy on education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004) has identified school achievement contents according to school subjects which are classified as core or elective subjects.

Although studies abound on the causative and predictive nature of factors of study habit on students academic achievement. all factors or variables tend to focus on poor study habit while the effects are yet to be fully accessed on the nations educational development.

The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even student themselves. The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the school environment (Ajao 2001). The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to all and sundry. The problem is so much that it has led to the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Delta State and Nigeria at large. The quality of education depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties. Over time pupils’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching (Ajao 2001). Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on students’ academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with the students (Afe 2001). Both teaching and learning depends on teachers: no wonder an effective teacher has been conceptualized as one who produces desired results in the course of his duty as a teacher (Uchefuna 2001). Considering governments’ huge investment in public education, its output in terms of quality of students have been observed to be unequal with government expenditure.

In Nigeria, there are so many factors influencing the ability of students to cultivate effective and efficient study habit. Ozmert (2005) emphasized the importance of environmental influence as a major factor in the development of students studying habit. In the same vein, Adetunji and Oladeji (2007) submit that the environment of most children is not conducive for studying; it is in the light of this that made some parents to prefer their children to go to boarding school for proper discipline and to inculcate better reading habit.


1.2 Statement of the problem

The increasing nature of poor academic performance of public secondary school students especially in external examinations like WAEC or JAMB, tend to shift the blame on the teaching methodology adopted by the teachers and lack of fund from the government to provide quality textbooks. However, these might not be the main reasons why students perform poorly in examinations. It is clear from all indications that most secondary school students have poor study habit which might lead to poor academic performance.

it is yet to gather adequate research evidence to prove that it is a key factor on why students fail. Emphasizing the importance of school environment to students academic performance, Oluchukwu, (2000) asserted school environment is an essential aspect of educational planning. The scholar went further to explain that unless schools are well suited, buildings adequately constructed and equipment adequately utilized and maintained, much teaching and learning may not take place.

The high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. However, little is known on the impact of school environment on students’ academic performance in an urban city like Rivers State. It was agreed that inadequate provision of equipment in public secondary school. It is based on the above stated problems that the study on assessment of factors responsible for students academic performance in public secondary schools became necessary for investigation.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study was to assess the factors responsible for students academic performance in public secondary school. Specifically the study is:

  1. To examine the factors Responsible for student’s academic performance in public Secondary Schools.
  2. To examine the influence of human resources on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
  3. To determine the influence of financial resources on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
  4. To establish the influence of physical resources on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
  5. To determine how learning techniques influence the students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
  6. To examine the challenges for student’s academic performance in Public Secondary Schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The study was guided on the following research questions.

  1. What is the influence of human resources on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
  2. How does a financial resource influence the students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
  3. To what extent does physical resource influence students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
  4. How does learning techniques influence the students’ academic performance in secondary schools?
  5. What are the challenges that affect student’s academic performance in Public Secondary Schools?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses guided the study:

  1. There is no significant relationship between the factors Responsible for student’s academic performance in public Secondary Schools.
  2. There is no significant relationship between the challenges for student’s academic performance in Public Secondary Schools.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be used to students researchers, scholars, educationists who use it for further studies. It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school. This study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school environment as it affect the academic performance of student in secondary school. It will serve as resource materials for others who want to carry out research in related field.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This research work focuses on the factors responsible for students academic performance in public secondary school in Rivers State. This research work covers all public secondary schools students in Rivers State.


1.8 Operational Definition of terms

Academic performance:

This refers to the performance that falls within specified standard.

Study habit:

This is a behaviour style that is systematically formed by students towards learning and achievement.

Study skills:

These are peculiar strategies developed by the students in studying.


Chapter Five


Discussion, Conclusions, Recommendations and Summary of the Work

This chapter focused on discussion, conclusion, recommendations and suggestions for further research and summary of the study on Assessment of Factors Responsible for students academic performance in public secondary schools. The following sub-headings are discussed here in:

  • Discussion of Findings
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations
  • Suggestion for Further Research
  • Summary of the Work

5.1 Discussion of Findings

From the responses gotten from the respondents, the results of this study suggest the need for teachers to develop positive relations with the students, to stress classroom activities which involve active learning-teaching process and students’ participation, and to engage students meaningfully in the subject, so that a fruitful and satisfying result is assured. This is consistent with findings in this study.

Other studies (Akale, 2007 & Asikhia, 2010) reported that the attitudes towards subjects were influenced by other variables; parents occupation and education, gender and socio-economic status. Further, the study showed the importance and significant role played by instructional materials on students’ performance in public secondary schools. This explains why a subject like mathematics, chemistry, physics, integrated science, etc will require real objects that can convert topic that seem abstract to something concrete for students’ understanding. This establishes the conclusion made by Talmadge and Eash (2006) about four decades ago that instructional materials influence student achievement, use of process skills and other learning outcomes. This finding consolidates previous research that revealed positive influence of instructional media on students’ performance (Adedokun, 2002). Finally, research findings in table 2 shows where teachers perceive that environment influence poor academic performance; this may be because students themselves are the victims of this poor performance. Some researchers like Isangdighi (2008) also agree that students’ environment promote poor academic performance. Aremu and Oluwole (2001) submitted that some of the factors of poor academic achievement are motivational orientations, self-esteem, emotional problems, study habits, teacher consultation and poor interpersonal relationship.

On teaching methods as a factor responsible for poor performance of students in secondary school, Asikhia (2010), agrees with the findings of this research that most untrained teachers point accusing fingers at students rather than on themselves when the students are unable to carry out the expected exercise at the end of the lesson or in examination. Therefore, teachers planning should include:

  1. Choice of appropriate teaching and material
  2. Choice of appropriate teaching method
  3. Intensive research on the topic to be taught
  4. Determination of the objectives of the lesson.

5.2 Conclusion

This present study was aimed at surveying the factors responsible for students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Port Harcourt Local government area of Rivers state.

The findings of this survey confirmed the fact that; teacher factor, students attitude and commitment, methods of teaching, use of instructional materials and the school environment are to a great extent valid factors that influence students’ academic performance in public secondary schools. These findings therefore would be of great help to governments, teachers, students, professional policy makers and parents in providing a solid springboard to launch anew a template to finding a lasting solution to the perennial academic performance issues in public secondary schools.


5.3 Recommendation

In view of the findings of this survey, the following are the major recommendations;

  1. Since the present study was limited to public secondary schools, similar studies could be carried out to cover the public primary schools as well as other sectors of education.
  2. There is need to develop a love for mathematics, chemistry, physics, etc through the setting up of “Club” in every public secondary school. It’s aims should be as follows;
    1. To initiate and develop love for science subjects
    2. To help students develop positive attitude towards it.
    3. To learn the “History of subjects” by sharing its slow and painful development from ancient time to the present
  3. Subject teachers’ pre-service and in-service training must be encouraged and funded. Some innovative teaching methods and instructional strategies combined with new technologies in mathematics to enhance effective and efficient teaching and learning.
  4. Student-teacher ratio in our public secondary schools should be reduced.
  5. Regular activities of professional bodies like STAN and MAN should be encouraged in schools.
  6. Government and educational policy makers at the national and state levels must equip all schools moderately equal to enhance teaching, learning, efficiency and positive achievement. Adequate funding to enable the provision of infrastructural facilities, recruitment of qualified teachers, conducive school/learning environment, improved conditions of service for teachers and machinery for periodic supervision and system checks.

5.4 Suggestions for Further Research

In the light of the above findings, future researchers could explore how family background, size, socio-economic status and peer group influence affect students’ performance in public secondary schools.


5.5 Summary of work

This is the portion of the study which ties up the research objectives, significance of the study and the research questions together. This provides the summary of the study, the conclusions with respect to the findings and makes recommendations based on the findings in the study. The conclusions are about the connections between the finding of the present study and the reviewed literature. In the recommendations, an overview of ideas and suggestions for further research is provided. Also, included in this chapter are suggestions that could be used to build on the present study in the Nigerian public secondary schools.


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