A Comparative Study Of Secondary School Students Academic Performance In Food And Nutrition In WAEC And NECO Examinations From 2006-2011
This paper compares and examines the performance of secondary school students who were candidates in food and nutrition examinations of both the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) from 2006-2011. Through quantitative analysis, the researcher thoroughly examined and analyzed results and statistics from both examining bodies in Nigeria, and to also identify margin of errors recorded in the chosen study areas. The researcher undertook a quantitative analysis of the performance of candidates who wrote the food and nutrition examinations in the following states-Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers State so as to establish their comparability for control purposes. The research design was correlation. A sample of 15,213 candidates was drawn from a population of 1,422,133 examination candidates using a purposive sampling technique. The instruments for data collection included WAEC and NECO SSCE results forms. Three (3) hypotheses were tested with the Pearson correlation technique set at 0.05 alpha levels, and the chi-square test. Findings indicated a statistically significant level between candidates’ performance in WAEC and NECO in food and nutrition in all sampled states as well as performance dependency on the education policies and facilities provided by the state governments.
1.1 Background of the Study
Over the years, students’ performance appraisal and evaluation has been proven to be a vital tool in the development and growth of educational systems in Nigeria. The performance of secondary school students who enroll as candidates for both WAEC and NECO need to be properly examined to check against factors that negatively bring about deviations in the two examinations as well as develop measures to optimize performances in these two examination bodies.
As globalization is fast appearing real, Nigeria has to step up the standards of her examination bodies, compare results and performances of students over time, and establish good control systems for its examining bodies so as to meet international standards and eliminate the ‘WAEC and NECO discrimination’ which is currently preventing our secondary school students from gaining admission to some universities outside Nigeria.
The assemblage of subject examinations conducted by these examining bodies is known as the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and serves as an end-of-course evaluation for all secondary school graduates. The purpose of this examination is to ascertain to what degree students in a particular course have achieved the course or educational objectives (Offor, 2001). In view of the economic and social importance attached to senior secondary school certificates, and the opportunities for higher education for those who posses such certificates, the awarding of this certificate is one of the most important events in the Nigerian academic calendar. It thus goes without saying that much is expected from certificate examining and awarding bodies in terms of ensuring that the spirit and focus of the examinations is not misplaced.
Various studies matching performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO SSCE have received much attention over the years. With the creation of the West African Examination Council, it became necessary for the government and other stake holders in the education sector to monitor and control the activities of these examination bodies to ensure that international standards are met.
Researchers like James Kplovie (2006) and Nwachukwu Oluebube are one of the pioneers on studies involving comparing performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO. In their first research titled ‘appraising the performance of secondary school students from 2004 to 2006, they found out in their hypothesis that there was a statistically significant positive relationship between candidates’ performance on the WAEC SSCE and NECO SSCE between 2004 and 2006 at 0.05 alpha level. This positive relationship means that candidates who scored well on WAEC’s SSCE also did well on NECO’s SSCE. Those that performed averagely on WAEC’s SSCE, performed likewise on NECO’s SSCE and so on. The degree of association or linkage between WAEC’s Mathematics SSCE and NECO’s Mathematics SSCE from 2004 to 2006 was 0.475. The coefficient of alienation 1 − r 2 was found to be 0.89. The percentage of association (r2 x 100) was 21.62%. This value represents the magnitude of the relationship between candidates’ Mathematics performance on WAEC’s SSCE and their corresponding Mathematics performance on NECO’s SSCE.
Although literature on secondary schools’ students performance in WAEC and NECO is not much, the significance of the few published are invaluable to our society.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The noble objective of secondary school education can be achieved if there is an effective evaluation and assessment machinery. Both the West African Examination Council Examination and the National Examination Council have lost their value as they are not recognized by some foreign countries due to integrity and standards issues (Kplovie, 2006).
The need for our examination bodies to gain world wide respect and recognition has prompted the researcher to establish grounds for comparability of our examination bodies, test performance comparability of students with various quantitative analyses so as to identify various loopholes in both WAEC and NECO examinations, and suggest adequate measures to maintain high standards in our examinations.
1.3 Research Questions
The general purpose of this study is to compare and examine the performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO examinations from 2003-2012. The specific objectives of this study are:
- What is mean achievement score of food and nutrition students in 2007 WAEC exams?
- What is mean achievement score of food and nutrition students in 2008 WAEC exams?
- What is mean achievement score of food and nutrition students in 2009 WAEC exams?
- What is mean achievement score of food and nutrition students in 2010 WAEC exams?
- What is mean achievement score of food and nutrition students in 2011 WAEC exams?
1.4 Research Hypothesis
- Ho: There is no significant difference between the mean achievement score of 2003 WAEC and NECO candidates.
- Hi: There is a significant difference between the mean achievement score of 2003 WAEC and NECO candidates.
- Ho: There is no significant difference between the mean achievement score of 2004 WAEC and NECO candidates.
- Hi: There is no significant difference between the mean achievement score of 2005 WAEC and NECO candidates.
1.5 Scope of Study
This research work focuses on the comparisons and relationship between academic performances of students who sat for food and nutrition WAEC and NECO examinations from 2007-2011 using some selected States in Nigeria as case study. This research work covers all public and private secondary schools students in the selected states.
1.6 Significance of the Study
First, the study will provide adequate measures for addressing loop holes and other challenges present in the current administration of WAEC and NECO examinations in order to ensure the integrity and international respects of these examining bodies.
Second, the study will provide comprehensive information for educational planners, educators, and parents on how they can assist students to perform better in subsequent examinations.
Lastly, it will serve as a contribution to knowledge in the subject area. In this regard, it will be useful for other researchers who might want to carry out research in related areas.
1.7 Research Methodology
A historical research design will be use in carrying out this study. The sample for this study constitutes Fifteen thousand, two hundred and thirteen (15,213) candidates who sat for food and nutrition examinations in the chosen states and year brackets. For this research work, purposive sampling technique will be used. This study will be restricted to the categories of students the researcher considered essentially relevant to issues being investigated. Simple percentage statistical analysis will be used for the study.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The only limitation faced by the researcher in the course of carrying out this study was the delay in getting data from the two examination bodies as accessibility was a major challenge. Since most of the data and information were tagged ‘confidential’ it was difficult getting statistics from WAEC and NECO offices as these statistics are not available on the internet. The researcher also found it difficult to analyze some of the data and statistics gotten since some of the data are either in-complete or not available.
1.9 Definition of Terms
or (academic) performance is the outcome of education — the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals.
(also “high school”) is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education (Orji, 2002).
1.10 Study Plan
- Chapter one of this study includes the general introduction, background information about the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, scope of the study, significance of the study, and the limitation of the study.
- Chapter two reviews all relevant literatures relating to the study as well as the researcher’s views concerning previous studies on the challenges of tax policies.
- Chapter three includes the methodology applied in collecting and analyzing data, population definition, study site, and limitations.
- Chapter four presents the results of the study as well as data analyzed, and the interpretation of the analyzed data.
- Chapter five includes a summary of the study, conclusion and recommendations based on the findings from the study.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The study looked at the statistical analysis on academic performance of food and nutrition candidates from 2003-2012 at the various states in Nigeria categorizing them into Four geo-political zones in Nigeria. The summary statistics and the exploratory data analysis provided a clear picture of the difference between students performance in these two (2) examining bodies in Nigeria. Upon critical examination of the overall mean performance it was clear that there was a difference in academic performances of students writing WAEC and NECO examinations in Food and nutrition from 2003 -2012. The individual profiles for the Four Geo-political zones showed us the trend of each individual academic performance as he or she progresses from year 2003 to 2012. It was shown that generally students at the South West geo-political zone start on a high rate dropped at the second and third year and later improve on the subsequent years in both examinations. There were few cases where students started on low level and increased along the three time period. In other cases also they started on a low level, improved upon it during the second year and dropped again at the third year. Students at the south west and south east geo-political zones exhibited a constant progression in their academic performance, thus, they started with high scores and increase it throughout or maintain it.
The summary of findings also goes ahead to validate a similar research conducted by Afolabi (2005). In the study titled “what are the causes of poor performances of students in external examinations”? during the summary of the results and findings, the researcher found out that secondary school students do not do not prepare themselves properly for external examinations, that there is rate of increase of examination misconduct among the examiners, students and school authorities especially in NECO exams, other literatures and hypothesis from this study strongly suggest that inappropriate 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.
In another study by Obuji (2003) and Owo (2002), the various literature reviewed 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 other studies may disagree, 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 the selected areas for the study expect positive outcome from how the performances of students in external examinations can be improved.
- 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.
Comparing academic performance is the basis for improved educational facilities in our nation. This study which compared the average performances of students in both WAEC and NECO food and nutrition examination can be of great benefit in setting the standard of examination in both examining bodies, since a fairly large number of candidates were used over a period of ten years. Although the study showed that most candidates pass NECO more than WAEC, it cannot be stated for a fact that NECO examinations are cheaper and sub standard than its counterpart-WAEC.
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