Comparative Study Of Student Performance In WAEC Biology Chemistry And English

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Comparative Study Of Student Performance In WAEC Biology Chemistry And English


Abstract


The level of students’ academic performance in Biology, English and Chemistry subjects was found to be very poor. The declining performance of Secondary School Students in Enugu North Local Government Area. is somewhat disappointing. The purpose of this paper is to identify “Students Academic Performance in English, Biology and Chemistry (A Case Study of Some Selected Secondary Schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.).” The design that was employed in this study was a survey design. The area of study of this research comprises of one local government area in Enugu State, which is Enugu North Local Government Areaof Enugu State. The population of the study comprises of sixteen (16) Secondary Schools with the total population of 6,335 students with 70 teachers respectively in Enugu north Local Government of Enugu State. Therefore, in accordance to Krejcie and Morgan Table the population sample of 361 should be collected for the total of 6,335 which tallies with the total population of Science Students in four schools. A structured questionnaire titled: “The Performance of Students in Biology, Chemistry and English in Some Selected Secondary Schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.” was developed by the researchers to collect relevant data. The data collected with the questionnaire were from some selected Secondary Schools in Enugu North Local Government Area i.e. Urban Girls Secondary School, City Girls Secondary School ,Metropolitan Girls Secondary School, Queens Secondary School.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Over the years, many science curricular programs have been developed for use at both primary and secondary levels. For example, Primary Science has developed over the years through programs such as African Primary Science Program (APSP), the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), Primary Science and Mathematics Projects, the Federal Government Core-curriculum Development Project Primary Science has also developed.

Integrated Science got introduced into Nigeria through the Ayetoro Basic Science Scheme and Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN). Despite the emphasis laid on the study of science in Nigeria, it’s very sad to realize that the country is not making any significant head way and is still besieged with technological problems despite the emanation of Chemistry, English, Mathematics, Biology, Agricultural Science and Geography. Besides there have been problems of unified language, lack of technological know-how, unemployment, illiteracy to mention a few.
For these reasons, Nigeria has been grouped among the ‘’third world countries of the world’’ (Sorunke, 1981).
To solve this problem, there is emphasis on the study of science and technology in schools so as to meet up with the manpower needs of the country. In fact, the government has made it a deliberate policy that admission into the higher instruction of learning should be in the ratio of 60:40 for Science and Arts respectively. This is because Science and technology have become an integral part of the world’s culture. It is almost impossible today to live a full and satisfactory life without the knowledge of Science.

Nigeria therefore needs to solve its problems such as improving its transportation system, developing its mineral resources, controlling soil erosion, introducing modern scientific farming and controlling diseases Sorunke (1981).
In the opinion of Ozoro (1977), ‘’the state of science and technology in the country is now a matter of great concern’’-this arises from increasing realization that Nigeria cannot develop rapidly as it aspires to without creating adequate scientific and technical manpower. This is obvious in the fact that expatriate scientist and technician shall only impart machines and ideas that are directly relevant to the problems which in all sincerity are unrelated to our own. Sorunke (1981) has this to say, ‘’Nigeria cannot increase its productivity on the farm, industries, factories and all other sector without science and technology.’’ He added that it will amount to selfdeception avoiding realities to impart machines and experts.

Science (the study of Chemistry, English and Biology) is the nucleus of technological development. No science no developed country. As a result, the teaching of science should be given greater emphasis, so that the country can have a large number of science graduates irrespective of their gender, socio-economic status etc. It must also be noted that our country (Nigeria) is suffering and will still continue to lack behind until science subjects most especially Biology, chemistry and english are given special attention. Most of the reasons why students fail science subjects is due to the fact that our laboratories are not well equipped and even the little available resources i.e. chemicals and apparatus are not able to measure what they ought to measure as in the case of measuring instruments, Sorunke (1981).

Laboratory is an area equipped with scientific apparatus and equipments where scientists perform experiments based on scientific theories. Thus, the laboratory provides resource materials for teaching and learning of science, the laboratories allow students to have experiences that are consistent with the goals of scientific literacy, so if the laboratories are well equipped and the teachers are experts, the students will be motivated to learn Biology, chemistry and englishwhich will then lead to an excellent performance. In a situation where there are no equipments in the laboratories, the teachers can improvise; improvisation plays an important role in science experimentation. According to Science Teachers Association of Nigeria- STAN (1976), ‘’true improvised equipments are those made by the teachers.’’ Another aspect that affects the performance of students in Biology, chemistry and englishis the quality of teachers, their methods of teaching, influence of peer group, influence of Mathematics etc.

For the performance of students in Biology, chemistry and englishto be excellent and encouraging, the teaching must be relevant to the actual Nigerian setting, encouraging the students in actual process of ‘’doing’’ rather than hearing Biology, chemistry and englishso as to boost their ego in terms of their performance in the aforementioned subjects Salman, 2004.

In the past, observation shows that there have been low performance in Biology, chemistry and englishat the ‘’O’’ level Senior Secondary Schools Certificate Examination (SSCE); West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), etc. These observations have raised problems which captivated a lot of attentions from many individuals and organizations. These problems are viewed in various perspectives and blames are shared in various proportions among students, teachers, and the examination body, the curriculum planers and even the state and Federal Government.

The basis of this project is to investigate the performance of students in Biology, chemistry and englishin some selected Secondary Schools in Enugu North Local Government Area..


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There are many factors influencing the performance of students in biology chemistry and English, some of which are peer group influence, teacher’s methods of teaching, motivation, lack of availability of Human and material resources, etc. It is the objective of this study to investigate the student’s performance in Biology, chemistry and English in some selected Secondary Schools in Enugu North Local Government Area..

Over the years, the majority of students that sat for the May/ June West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and November/ December National Examination Council (NECO) have been recording mass failure, not only in the area of overall performance of the students, but also in the core subjects like, Biology, English and Chemistry where the high spate of failures have been a dominant feature of the students‘ performance in secondary schools in the Local Government.

Characteristically, statistics reeled out by the two examination bodies, the National Examination Council and the West African Examination Council, which is the particular focus of this study, each time the results of West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) examinations are released, they point to the fact that students drawn have not been performing up to the required standards despite the high investment which the government, both at the federal and state levels, as well as the parents have been making in the sector, though, some still pull their weight (Amadike; 2005).

Consequently, the out-cry on the persistent poor and unpromising performances of many senior secondary school students in Fagge Local Government of Enugu State specifically, in the past six years (2005/2006, 2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011) in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) made educationists and the government policy makers and the researcher wonder whether the schools are measuring up to the expectations. However, several factors among the numerous problems confronting Senior Secondary Schools in Enugu North Local Government will without doubt positively or negatively affect students’ performance in WAEC examinations. Some of these factors include:

  1. The students are exposed to different studying environment, being less favorable.
  2. Inadequacy of teachers required to cope with increasing number of students.
  3. Lack of supervision by busy parents may give room for laxity of their wards.
  4. Lack of material resources needed to teach the students.

1.3 Objectives for the Study

The objectives of the study are to find out:

  1. Students’ performance and the factors that affect the performance of students in Biology, chemistry and English among Senior Secondary School Students in Enugu North Local Government Area..
  2. If mathematics has any effect in the performance of students in, Chemistry and Biology among Senior Secondary School Students.
  3. The role of science laboratory in the performance of students in, Chemistry and Biology.
  4. Effects of Teachers’ methods of teaching on the students’ performance in Chemistry and Biology.
  5. Factors militating against the performance of students in English, Chemistry and Biology.

1.4 Research Questions

This study seeks to find out answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the performance of students and the factors that affect the performance of students in Biology, chemistry and English among Senior Secondary School Students?
  2. Does mathematics has any effect in the performance of students in English, Chemistry and Biology?
  3. What are the roles of science laboratory in the performance of students in English, Chemistry and Biology?
  4. What are the effects of teacher methods of teaching on the students’ performance in English, Chemistry and Biology?
  5. What are the factors militating against the performance of students in English, Chemistry and Biology?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Nigeria as a developing country places much emphasis on the advancement of science and technology. In order to attain a remarkable height in those areas, appropriate attention must be given to Biology, chemistry and English which will contribute to the advancement of science and technology.

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 students‘ 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 students‘performance.

It would also help curriculum planners to know some of the factors that contribute to low or poor performance of students in Biology, English and Chemistry. This will enable them to include the most relevant resources when planning a curriculum.

The findings of this research would help future teachers to consider some of the factors that yield poor performance of students. As such, teachers will be able to make necessary preparations for it.

The research will be of immense importance to textbook publishers by enabling them publish some relevance resource materials in their publications which will yield excellent performance in students.

Finally, the findings of this study will serve as a foundation for future researchers to build their studies, thus it will add more information to the existing literature.


1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study is directed at examining the performance of students in Biology, chemistry and English in Enugu North Local Government Area., Nigeria.

Due to time factor and financial constraints, it will not be possible to cover all the Schools in Enugu North Local Government Area. Some representative samples will be taken; this will include four Secondary Schools from Enugu North Local Government Area.

The study will be restricted to student’s performance in Biology, chemistry and English in West African Examination Council (WAEC) between: 2010-2014. This will provide the basis for conclusion, recommendation and perhaps possible generalization on the study area.


1.7 Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined as used by the researchers in this work.

Performance:

Refers to accomplishment/ achievement and how well students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks and studies given to them by their teachers.

School Facilities:

Human and physical resources within a school system.

Science:

A systematic study of nature through hypothesis, experiment, observation, careful reasoning, making valid conclusion and inference on the basis of analysis.

Mathematics:

The study of numbers, measurement of space, it deals with the measurement of properties and relationship of quantities as expressed in numbers or symbols.

Facilities:

This is something that makes an action easy i.e., an aid or instructional materials, a convenience.

Laboratory:

A place where scientific work is done, a room or building fitted with apparatus for conducting science investigation or tests.

Poor Performance:

The score which is less than the pass mark i.e., less than 40%.

Learning:

This refers to how to acquire knowledge or skill by studying instruction, practice or experience and to commit to memory thought the knowledge of awareness. It is also a change in behavior due to exposure to some activities.

Questionnaire:

A list of questions in which a person is expected to respond to either in written or verbally. The interpretation or analysis of this Reponses provides necessary data for research.

Equipments:

A set of material physical resources apparatus and implements used in laboratory.

Chemistry:

It is the study of structures chemical and physical properties of matter.

Biology:

It is the study of living thing. It is also one of the science subject that is been attain in school.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

In this chapter, the summary presents the highlights of the major findings. The conclusion gave the inference drawn from the findings. Meanwhile, the recommendations considered possible remedies to identified problems of the study as well as areas for further research.


5.2 Summary of the Work

Education is the bedrock and the foundation towards higher knowledge. Unfortunately, there have been outcries over the persistently poor performance of Secondary School Students in English, Chemistry and Biology. Therefore, this study is directed at examining the performance of students in English, Chemistry and Biology in Enugu North Local Government AreaofEnugu State, Nigeria. In reviewing literatures, this research gives highlight on the concept of poor academic performance; effects of Mathematics on the learning of English, Chemistry and Biology; the role of science laboratory in teaching English, Chemistry and Biology; academic achievement in Biology with suggested solutions in selected Secondary Schools in Enugu State, Nigeria; poor performances of Senior Secondary School students in Chemistry in Nigeria; and factors that affect students’ academic performance in English.

The design that was employed in this study is a survey design. The area of study of this research comprises of one local government area in Enugu State, which is Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The population of the study comprises of sixteen (16) Secondary Schools with the total population of 6,335 students with 70 teachers respectively in Enugunorth Local Government of Enugu State. Therefore, in accordance to Krejcie and Morgan Table the population sample of 361 should be collected for the total of 6,335 which tallies with the total population of Students in four schools. A structured questionnaire titled: “The Performance of Students in Biology, Chemistry and English in Some Selected Secondary Schools in Enugu Local Government Area of Enugu State” was developed by the researchers to collect relevant data. The data collected with the questionnaire were from some selected Secondary Schools in enugu north Local Government Area of Enugu State. i.e. Government Boys Secondary School Nri, City Girls Secondary SchoolandMetropolitan Girls Secondary School.


5.3 Conclusion

The following findings are based on the analysis of data obtained in chapter four.

  1. Most number of students views their laboratories as there are not equipped.
  2. Most of the students do not conduct practicals.
  3. The most difficult science subject is mathematics
  4. Female students perform better than male in English, chemistry and Biology.
  5. Most of the students do conduct group discussion with their peers
  6. Most teachers do not use instructional materials to teach

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are offered in order to improve students’ performance in English, Chemistry and Biology:

  1. Special training should be provided for the English, chemistry and Biology teachers to enhance on the job performance in producing students with good outputs.
  2. The authorities should provide and retain qualified teachers and provide adequate teaching and learning facilities and equipments to schools. Teachers preparation programme should be student centered. They should show equal concern and treatment to students‘ and have knowledge of classroom interaction that serve to undermine students‘ self esteem, academic achievement and ultimately professional preparation so that they are adequately prepared to face the future with hope.
  3. Chemistry, English and Biology laboratories should be established in all the secondary schools in Local Government Area of Enugu State.
  4. Both teacher and students should be involved in the design of teaching and learning materials.
  5. Transfer of whatever is learnt in the classroom should be adopted by teachers because it enables students to appreciate the relevance of the subjects in different spheres of human life. As it was found, more opportunities for students to actively participate in the analysis of problems will improve confidence in solving Chemistry, Biology and English problems.
  6. The ministry of education Enugu should be evaluating the teaching of science by Enugu state science teachers periodically.
  7. The Enugu state ministry of education should give priority to the professional academic qualifications of the prospective teachers.
  8. It is also recommended that similar researchers could carried out with more encompassing geographical scope and involving other science subjects offered in Nigeria senior secondary schools in order to enhance better generalization of the study.

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