Comparative Analysis Of Academic Performance Of Senior Secondary Students In English Language, Computer Science And Integrated Science In External Examinations
The research investigated the comparison of academic performances of senior Science in External Examinations from 2003- 2007. This study is a survey research design. It is a research conducted on a large number o f people to identify general opinion. The study was carried out in Enugu North Local Government Area. The area belongs to Enugu Educational Zone. The population of the study consist of all the students and teachers in senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State. The population of the students are 20, 470 while that of teachers are 4, 300. We used four senior secondary schools as our sample out of the senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State. Random sampling techniques were used to select ten (10) students from each of the schools used in the table listed above to ensure that the relevant features of the population were adequately represented. Five (5) staff (teachers) from each of the schools were also sampled. The instrument used was a questionnaire design to elicit responses on the items in questions. The researchers used the four like scale of strongly agreed (SA), Agreed (A) Disagreed (D) and strongly |Disagreed (SD). The respondents are required to tick against the column that best describes their views in each item. The questionnaire will be distributed to ten (10) students from each schools and five (5) teachers from each schools and will also be collected through item. The researchers’ used mean to analyze and interpret the data. Interpretation of the data was based on the following scores interval:
- SA – Strongly Agreed – 4 points
- A – Agreed – 3 points
- D – Disagreed – 2 points
- SD- Strongly Disagreed – 1 point
The output was determined by finding the mean of each number.
1.1 Background of the Study
Measuring of academic performance of student is challenging since student performance is the product of socio-economic, psychological and environmental factors. Education ought to be growing as a profitable industry with prime objective of maximizing profit by delivering high quality education that produces well educated, skilled mannered students according to needs and requirements of the dynamically growing market. There are two groups of students as generally perceived, that is those who improve and those who don’t improve. Students performance is also affected by different factors such as learning abilities because new paradigm about learning assumes that all students can and should learn at higher levels but it should not be considered as constraint because there are other factors like race, gender, sex that can affect students performance Hansen (2000).
Mishae (2001) explained the effect of age, qualification and distance from learning. Place on the students performance in his explanation concerns the readiness in doing a particular discipline in the school; for instance, a student that is not capable of doing sciences in the secondary school joins sciences because his/her friends are offering the subjects. Winston et al (2002) added that the academic performance of student is also coined in the students impatience (this time discount behavior). Yuonne (1998) further elaborated that students academic performance is very much dependent on SEB (socio-economic background) as per his statement, secondary school students performance is with statically significant differences. Alexander (2001) explained that some of the practice adopted by secondary school administration can also influence their academic performance, such practices like organized study group, debate club, media and culture clubs etc.
According to Bello Lawel, an Abuja based educationist a member of the All Nigeria committee of Principals of secondary school (ANCOPSS). The truth is that the reading culture in Nigeria is generally poor. To make it worse, these days, mot of our students hardly read. Instead they waste their precious time watching televisions or films, listening to music, playing to music, playing video/computer games. Another educationist Mohammed (2009) attributed the dismal performance on the external examinations to the lackadaisical attitude of the government and its refusal to adequately fund the education sector. According to him, on several occasions we clamored for improved budgeting allocation to the education sector but all these have fallen on deaf ears. For instance, UNESCO recommends that 26 percent of any country’s budget should be allocated to the education sector but instead what do we have in Nigeria.
Government paying lip service to the education sector. Other countries who understand the importance of education have taken proactive steps to adequately fund their education sector. For instance, Ghana has allocated 29 percent to its budget education sector, even far more than the UNESCO recommendation. The same thing with countries like South Africa and Botswana who allocated 35 and 37 percent respectively to the education sector. So until these things are implemented we would continue to morty age the future of our children.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Secondary school students performances in external examinations has been a nagging issues in Nigeria generally and particularly in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State. Language is a medium of institution. For teaching and learning to take place effectively, there must be adequate communication between the learner and the teacher. In Nigeria, English language is a “Lingua Franka”. Except in vernacular, it is used in communicating the learner in all Nigeria schools. The importance of English language can hardly be overemphasized. That is why it appears almost everyday in the school time table. Unfortunately, a cursory look at the performance of students in English language in particular computer and integrated science in external examination in Eungu North Local Government Area is nothing to write home about. Since computer and integrated science are relatively new in development of science and technology, the researchers would want to find out why there is an always recorded low performance in English language, computer science and integrated science from 2003 -2007 on case study. Secondly, what facilities are available in teaching and learning of the three subjects in Senior secondary school certificate examination in Enugu Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
Based on the background and the problem of this study, the main purpose underlying the project is to compare the academic performances of the senior secondary school students in English language, computer science and integrated science in external Examinations from 2003-2007. (A case study of Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State) specifically, the purpose of the study tends to find out:
- Why there is poor performance of students in external examinations
- How students perform in external examinations
- How students perform in English Language, Computer Science and Integrated Science in External Examination and when compared, which one among the listed did perform better than others.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The usefulness of the research work in educational system cannot be over emphasized if the result of the study is properly utilized. It is going to be a benefit to the students, teachers, parents and government. This would help to provide some information for curriculum designers and classroom teachers in order to utilize relevant approaches to enhance meaningful learning and teaching of English language, Integrated Science and computer science students. Thus, the knowledge of students’ cognitive style and attitude would be very useful in both academic and career enhancement.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study was based on the senior secondary school students performance in external examinations in English Language, Integrated Science and Computer science in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State. This specifically covers the following senior secondary schools;
- New Layout Secondary school
- Days Secondary School Independent Layout
- Government secondary school Enugu
- Coal Camp Secondary School, Enugu
The schools mentioned above are used in this research work for better coverage and easy assessment.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study. These questions are:
- What are the causes of poor performance of students in external examinations?
- In what ways can the performance of students in external examination be improved?
- How does students perform in external examination in English language, Computer science and Integrated science and which of the three subjects did they perform better on?
1.7 Limitation of the Study
For a proper project research to be carried out effectively, there should be some limitations along the line, these limitations includes:
This is the time consumed by students carryout a particular project research topic. First and foremost, for a student achieve his or her goals on a project research, there should be an effective plans on how the materials needed can be gotten. And this will be actualize by proper research which might involve moving from one place to another in search of these materials. By so doing time is consumed.
On the other hand, some students in a particular group may be giving excuses that the time fixed is not suitable for them, some may complain that they usually do their domestic work for their parent during the project research exercise, which may demand all attentions. In order to balance the equation they should be proper plans on time management.
This involves that money needed for the project to be carried out in a situation whereby the money needed becomes high, some students in a group will be affect and this may hinder their chances of participating and finally terminates their work since nothing good comes easy without money.
This is the experience we encounter from our group. Since every body has his/her own personal character couple with individual schedule for daily activity, thing can never be done at the same time. Therefore, the time schedule for a particular group to carryout their project research varies.
Insincerity of responding to questionnaire items:
This is the inability of the supervisor did not explain properly the most essential things needed and how he wants the project to be done. The project writer may find it difficult to cope.
Discussion, Summary and Conclusion
Discussion of Findings
In the research question 1, which is “what are the causes of poor performances of students in external examinations”? during the summary of the results and findings, the male and the female respondents agreed that students do not prepare themselves for external examinations, that there is rate of increase of examination misconduct among the examiners, students and school authorities, they agreed that lack of proper teaching causes poor performances in external examination, they agreed that lack of orientation causes poor performances in external examination, male respondents disagreed that students do not read according to the syllabus before entering the exams while the female respondent agreed.
Based on this, the teachers and students of New layout secondary school and government secondary school, Enugu expect positive outcome from the causes of poor performances of students in external examination.
In the research question 2, which is “in what ways can the performances of students in external examinations be improved”. In the findings, the male and female respondents agreed that poor application of teaching methodology can help to improve the performances of students in external examinations, they agreed that proper and well equipped laboratory can help to improve the performances of students in external examinations, male respondents agreed that students should develop interest and likeness to every subjects. While the female respondents disagreed, they agreed that teaches’ should always use suitable and proper teaching materials while teaching, they agreed that there should be proper supervision and examination of students in the internal examinations.
Based on this the teachers and students of New Layout secondary school, Day Secondary school Independent Layout, Coal Camp Secondary School Enugu and Government secondary school Enugu expect positive outcome from how the performances of students in external examinations can be improved.
In the research question 3, which is “How does students perform in external examinations in English Language, integrated science and computer science and which of the three subjects did they perform better on? In the findings, the male and female respondents agreed that students perform poorly in English language in external examinations, male respondents agreed that students perform poorly in integrated science in external examinations while the female respondent disagreed, they disagreed that students perform more better in computer science in external examinations, male respondents disagreed that students generally do perform poorly in external examinations while females respondents agreed, they agreed that students used to be afraid of external examinations.
Based on this, the teachers and students of New Layout Secondary school, Day Secondary School and Coal Camp Secondary school, Enugu, expect positive outcome from how students perform in external examinations in English language, Integrated Science and computer science and when compared which one among the listed subjects did they perform better on.
- It will enable the government to employ qualified teachers so as to enhance better performances of the students
- It will help the teachers to know the methodologies to employ while teaching so as to enhance better academic performances of the students in external examinations
- It will enable the government to equip the libraries with current text books
- It will enable the students to know how to prepare themselves for external examinations.
The researches are recommending the following”
- Adequate number of permanent qualified teachers should be recruited. It was discovered that students performances in the external examinations does not only lie on the personal ability of the students individual or collectively but it depends on the impact from the teachers.
- Adequate libraries should be built in schools to enable the students prepare themselves very well for external examinations
- Adequate and well equipped laboratory should be built in schools to enable the students manipulate the equipments and know how to use them.
Summary and Conclusions
Survey research designed was employed in the research work, the area of the study is Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu state. The population of the study consists of 20,470 students and the teachers are 4,300 in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu state.
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