Comparative Analysis Of Academic Performance In Biology In Some Selected Senior Secondary Schools

Biology Education Project Material

Comparative Analysis Of Academic Performance In Biology In Some Selected Senior Secondary Schools


A comparative study of academic performance in Biology in some selected senior secondary school. Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) Biology in Public and Private Schools in Ogun State Nigeria from 2009 – 2010 was investigated. The ex-post factor comparative research design was employed in the study. The study covered the 3 education zones in Ogun State. A stratified random sampling technique was used to select 24 public and private junior secondary schools from urban and rural areas of Ogun State for the study. The result obtained showed that private schools in both urban and rural areas performed better than those in public schools. Similarly, male students in both private and public junior secondary schools outperformed their female counterparts. Majority 57.3% and 46.44% of the male students in private and public schools outperformed their female counterpart with 41.19% and 44.82%. It was recommended that students should be actively involved in the learning process and that the state government should provide opportunities for Biology teachers to attend seminars, and workshops to avail them the opportunity to facilitate science instruction in schools.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Education is the total process of human learning by which knowledge is imparted, faculties trained and skills developed. Secondary schools not only occupy a strategic place in the educational system in Nigeria, it is also the link between the primary and the university levels of education. According to Asikhai (2010), education at secondary school level is supposed to be the bedrock and the foundation towards higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in a country. It is rather unfortunate that the secondary schools today are not measuring up to the standards expected of them. There have been public outcries over the persistently poor performance of secondary school students in public examinations.

The teaching of biology as a subject in secondary schools is faced with many problems. The poor academic achievement of students in biology as indicated in the report of WAEC and National Teachers Institute (NTI) as well as the result of state common entrance examination has come a persisted public outcry as regards the falling standard of biology education. Science subjects are already facing a problem. This is mostly in the area of availability of laboratories and other teaching facilities in their right number of students studying science. Biology is very important subject; it has to be given more priority. It enables one to understand himself and his intermediate environment. Nevertheless, the knowledge acquired in Biology subject is applied in many fields as Medicine, Biochemistry, Pharmacy, Microbiology and Agriculture among others.

Students’ achievement in Biology subject in Senior Secondary Certificates Examination (SSCE) has been unsatisfactory over many years. Various reasons have been attached to this problem by scholars. Dinah (2013) concluded that, availability of text books, laboratory apparatus and other learning resources contribute significantly to the performance of students in Biology examination. He added that, students with positive attitude towards the subject register better performance than those who had a negative attitude. Those with positive attitude are motivates to work hard and this is reflected in the good marks scored in the examination. Suman B. (2011) conducted a research on influence of parents’ education and parental occupation on academic achievement of students. He concluded that education and occupation of parents positively influence the academic achievement of children.

Femi (2012) concluded that education qualification of parents and health status of students are significant factors that affect the academic performance of students. According to Akinsanya et al. (2014) parents’ education has the highest significant influence on the academic achievement of students. This is because the child from educated family has a lot of opportunities to study hard due to his/her access to internet, newspaper, television. They can also taught extra lessons at home. Students raised from an illiterate family have limited access to that. It has been observed that the falling academic standard and the influencing factors include the economic status of the parents. Just having a look at the present economic situation of the country, many poor parents do send their children to go and do pity house hold work before going to school.

These children were confused on that they can help their family through that. However, poverty of parents has elastic effects on their children academic works as they lack enough resources and funds to sponsor their education and good school, good housing facilities, medical care and social welfare services. Femi (2012) in his study says, socio-economic and education background of parents is not significant factors in students’ performance. Osuafor (2013) in their research on influence of family background on academic achievement of secondary school Biology students revealed that family structure, parents’ occupation and educational level of parents did not have significant influence on students’ achievement in biology.

Memon (2010) in his study revealed that majority of students whose parents were well educated perform better in matriculation examination as compared to those students whose parents were less educated or illiterate. Manalanga and Awelani (2014) concluded in their result that the possible factors responsible for the poor performance in Biology 5090 include lack of financial support, lack of equipped libraries, lack of laboratories and Biology textbooks, method of teaching and accessing Biology 5090. Furthermore, practical Biology exam if highly scored improves the Biology grade. Teachers should be encouraging to asses learners regularly on practical skills. Perhaps, more practical lessons should be availed and documented so that teachers should plan for them and regular inspection to insure the actual order is adhered to (Wabuke, 2013).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that poor performance in the field of science is caused by the poor quality of science teachers, overcrowded classrooms and lack of suitable and adequate science equipment among others. Students perform poorly in biology because; the biology classes are usually too large and heterogeneous in terms of ability level. Snezana et al. (2011) outlined in his study that academic achievement in lessons began with experiment or slide demonstration was higher than lessons beginning with lecture method. In addition, the laboratories are ill-equipped and the Biology syllabus is over loaded (Ajayi, 1988).

A lot of researchers have conducted research on academic performance in Biology but only few has compared academic performance in two different school, however the main aim of this research is to compare the academic performance in biology of two selected secondary school in Ado-Odo Otta, LGA in Ogun state.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to compare the academic performance in Biology of two selected secondary school, specifically the study intends to:

  1. Find out the factors that influence academic performance of students in Biology
  2. Compare the academic performance in biology of two secondary schools
  3. Find out how students’ learning problems in biology subject be improved to make it more interesting

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the factors that influence academic performance of students in Biology?
  2. Is there any significant different in the academic performance of two selected secondary schools?
  3. How can students’ learning problems in biology subject be improved to make it more interesting

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would significantly form basis to explain some basic truth to the State government and officials of Ministry of Education in taking the right decision on the provision of infrastructural facilities to aid teaching and learning process which will help improve the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students.

It will stimulate administrators to investigate and formulate constructive strategies with a view to reducing or eliminating students’ poor performance through student’s welfare support services. It will help the respective Government/policy makers to take corrective measures within their jurisdiction through adequate planning of resources to meet the demands and guide their actions on future projects on the education of staff and students for successful teaching and learning process in the schools.

This research would also help parents to give much attention and supervision to the student‘s work and hence result in improving student’s performance. It would also help curriculum planners to know some of the factors that contribute to low or poor performance of students in Biology. This will enable them to include the most relevant resources when planning a curriculum.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The study is directed at comparing the performance of students in Biology in Otta Ogun state. Due to time factor and financial constraints, it will not be possible to cover all the Schools in Ado-Odo Otta Local Government Area. Some representative samples will be taken; this will include two Secondary Schools

1.7 Delimitation of the Study

Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.

However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.

Chapter Five

Conclusions and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

The study concludes that:

  1. Students in private senior secondary schools in urban areas in Ogun state performed better in Biology Examinations than those in public senior Secondary Schools from 2009 to 2010 school years
  2. Students in private senior Secondary Schools in rural areas performed better in Biology than those in rural senior Secondary Schools from 2009 to 2010 school years.
  3. Male students in private schools in Ogun State performed better in Biology than female students from 2009 to 2010 school years.
  4. Male students in public senior Secondary Schools in Ogun State performed better in Biology than their fellow female students form 2009 – 2010 school years.

5.2 Recommendation

Based on the findings of the study, the researcher recommends that:

  1. The state government should provide opportunities for Biology teachers and Science teachers of other science subjects to attend seminars, service courses and workshops to avail them the opportunity of keeping abreast with effective and current methods of teaching Biology to facilitate science teaching in schools.
  2. Qualified Biology teachers with NCE, BSc (ed) must be employed to teach Biology in schools and not single science subject teachers.
  3. The salary of science teachers should be enhanced and science allowances paid promptly to encourage and motivate them to work hard.
  4. The use of internet and information communication technology (ICT) is strongly recommended for the teaching of Biology in senior Secondary Schools.

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