Effect Of Covid-19 On The Academic Performance Of Primary School Pupils In Makurdi Area Of Benue State

Primary Education Project and Semina Material

Effect Of Covid-19 On The Academic Performance Of Primary School Pupils In Makurdi Area Of Benue State


Abstract


Proper education of the child is a basic tool for effective child upbringing and overall societal development. In recognition of this fact, most nations of the world place much premium on the care and education of the child. The advent of the deadly virus disease, Covid-19 has contributed to one of the draw-backs on the education system of Nigeria. Against this background, this paper therefore examines the Effect of Covid-19 on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils in Makurdi Area of Benue State, with a view to proffering solutions to the level of damages caused due to schools’ close down. The primary and secondary method of data collection was used in collection data for the study. Primary data were obtained through the use of questionnaires and interview while the secondary data were obtained through review of relevant literature. The population of the study comprises thirty (30) teachers from public and private primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State, out of which a sample of Twenty-Eight (28) teachers, representing seven (7) teachers from four (4) primary schools (2private and 2 public schools) were used. The sample size was calculated using the Taro Yamane scientific formula. Simple percentage method was used in analyzing the data collected. In testing the hypotheses, both correlation and chi – square were used. The study revealed that Poor academic achievement, limit to social ties between teachers, learners and peers are the impacts of Covid-19 on education in Nigeria. With respect to the findings arrived at, recommendations were made including that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the embarrassing loopholes in the Nigerian education sector as it did on the health sector, therefore, there should be a concerted effort by all stakeholders to redeem the Nigerian education from tilting beyond the precipice. Also, information and communication technology is gradually revolutionalizing learning and teaching at all levels. Therefore, students in primary and secondary schools should be introduced to IT-enhanced learning approaches such as blended learning, computer-assisted learning, and technologies.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

As indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 is a family of viruses that results to illnesses ranging from the regular cold to more serious illnesses like acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). These viruses were initially transmitted from animals to humans. SARS, for example, was transmitted from civet cats to humans while MERS moved to humans from a sort of camel. A few known COVID-19 are spreading in animals that are yet infected humans. The name Coronavirus evolves from the Latin word corona, which means crown or halo. Under an electron microscope, it appears as though it is surrounded by a solar corona. The pandemic Coronavirus, recognized by Chinese authorities on January 7 and since named SARS-CoV-2, is another strain that had not been recently identified in people. Little is known about it, albeit human-to-human transmission has been affirmed (Ajazeera, 2020).

According to the WHO, symptoms of infection are fever, cough, and inability to breath very well, and shortness of breath. In more extreme cases, it can prompt pneumonia, numerous organ failure, and even death. Current evaluations of the incubation period – the time between infection and the beginning of symptoms – going from one to 14 days. Most infected individuals show indications within five to six days. Nonetheless, infected patients can likewise be asymptomatic, which means they do not show any indications in spite of having the virus in their body systems (Ajazeera, 2020).

Many governmental measures were taken to curtail the danger of the virus spreading. Some of these measures include travel bans or restrictions, compulsory isolation for travellers, social distancing, bans on public gatherings, schools closures, business closures, self-isolation, work from home method was employed by many corporate business organisations, curfews, and lockdown (Bedford et al., 2020; Gostin and Wiley, 2020).Authorities in several nations worldwide announced either lockdown or curfew as an action to break the quick spread of virus infection (Paital et al., 2020). These actions undoubtedly had a significant negative impact on business, education, health, and the hospitality industry (Pragholapati, 2020).

Coronavirus pandemic had a great impact on all levels of the education system (Nicola et al, 2020). Educational institutions all throughout the globe (in 192 nations) were either briefly shut or implemented localized closures influencing about 1.7 billion population of students around the world (UNESCO 2020). Many primary schools around the world either postponed or canceled all school activities to minimize gatherings and as well decrease the transmission of the virus. Consequently, these measures lead to higher economical, medical, and social implications on students (Nicola et al, 2020; Esposito and Principi, 2020).

As a result of the suspension of classroom teaching in many schools, a switch to online teaching for students from the primary education to tertiary education became effective reviewed in (Sahu, 2020; Yamin, 2020). This type of learning gives an alternative method to limit either the contact between students themselves or between the students and teachers or lecturers as the case may be (Pragholapati, 2020). However, UNESCO (2020) revealed that many students have no access to online teaching due to a lack of either the means or the instruments due to the economical and digital divide.

Makurdi is the capital of Benue State which also serves as the headquarters of Makurdi Local Government Area, with the following districts of Makurdi (Rural) containing the villages of Adaka, Adeke, Ajam, Agbadu, Agbeshir, Agenada, Akaan, Aki, Akigwe, Akpehe, Akume, Alla and Anter. The area is host to many educational institutions. Among the educational institutions are public senior primary schools and private primary schools. Sometimes around March 2020 many of the public and private schools were shut down in compliance with the federal government directives that all educational institutions should be shut down to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study therefore aims to investigate the effect of COVID-19 on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State, Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In detail account of UNESCO, about 35.9 million primary and secondary school learners were out-of-school as a result of the school closures in 2020. For primary schools, this number totals approximately 25.6 million students, of which about 87 percent (23.5 million) were students enrolled in public schools. The numbers were just as stark for secondary school learners. Of the roughly 10.3 million secondary school students who were out-of-school as a result of the closures, approximately 81 percent (8.4 million) of them were public school students. There was no assurance that all the learners who left the school would be back in school after the pandemic lockdown; some might have changed their lives’ view seeing going to school as a waste of time, some might have died as a result of the pandemic or reasons unknown, some would have changed school, some might have joined bad groups shifting their attention away from school. Etc. this is where the work of parents and guidance comes in to ensure the proper welfare of learners even while they stayed back home. Unfortunately learning within the homes were as well limited looking at the literacy level of some parents in Nigeria; not every parent could handle well the pedagogy aspect of parenthood and besides other commitments of parents are to be considered. The effect of this were not easily noticed now; the future of a child in this category is naturally exposed to a serious academic crash or underperformance if there are no proper interventions, because even now that the ban on movement is lifted and schools are reopened, majority of students will are not learning and they have become nuisance to the societies.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to investigate the effect of COVID-19 on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State. However, the study sought to examine the following specific objectives:

  1. To investigate if COVID-19 schools shutdown had effects on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State
  2. To understand the relevance of primary education to the overall development of the child
  3. To examine the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on education in Nigeria
  4. To find out the efforts made by some schools to ensure continuation of classroom teaching and learning during coronavirus pandemic
  5. To assess out the challenges faced by some schools and pupils to ensure continuation of classroom teaching and learning during coronavirus pandemic

1.4 Research Questions

The undertaking of this research study will be guided by the following research questions:

  1. To what extent did COVID-19 schools shutdown had effects on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State?
  2. What is the relevance of primary education to the overall development of the child?
  3. Does COVID-19 pandemic have impact on education in Nigeria?
  4. What are the efforts made by some schools to ensure continuation of classroom teaching and learning during coronavirus pandemic?
  5. What are the challenges faced by some schools and pupils to ensure continuation of classroom teaching and learning during coronavirus pandemic?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses will be tested by the researcher in the course of the study:

  1. There is a significant correlation between COVID-19 schools shutdown and the academic performance of primary school pupils
  2. There is a significant correlation between primary education and overall development of children
  3. There is no significant impact of COVID-19 on education in Nigeria

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study is significant as it will give an insight into the Makurdi area of Benue State. This study will help the administrators to ascertain the level of damages the schools close down has caused. Furthermore, the study will again be helpful for researchers, pupils and lecturers. Government official, policy makers and schools administrators will benefit from the recommendation of the study.


1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This research work is aimed at investigating investigate the effect of COVID-19 on the academic performance of Nigerian students. A case study of pupils in primary schools in Makurdi area of Benue State. The study was limited to primary school education in Nigeria and COVID-19 side effects on primary academic performance which include academic effects, pupils’ performance and their current state. The study is limited to the public and private primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State, Nigeria and teachers of the selected primary schools.

This study has a major limitations which include the inability of the researcher to travel far and wide to effectively carry out this research as desired due to the insecurity issue in the nation and financial constraint and time factor.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This study undertakes to investigate the Effect of Covid-19 on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils in Makurdi Area of Benue State. The study aims at creating awareness on how the pandemic (Covid-19) has affected the Nigeria educational system.

This chapter summarises the findings, draws conclusions based on the findings and make some recommendations.


5.2 Summary of Findings

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. To what extent did COVID-19 schools shutdown had effects on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State?
  2. What is the relevance of primary education to the overall development of the child?
  3. Does COVID-19 pandemic have impact on education in Nigeria?
  4. What are the efforts made by some schools to ensure continuation of classroom teaching and learning during coronavirus pandemic?
  5. What are the challenges faced by some schools and pupils to ensure continuation of classroom teaching and learning during coronavirus pandemic?

It was revealing that 35.5 percent strongly agree that COVID-19 schools shutdown had effects on the academic performance of primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State.

Secondly, 35.5 percent strongly agree that Primary education is a preparatory ground for the child to acquire basic life skills.

In addition, most of the respondents are of the opinion that Poor academic achievement, limit to social ties between teachers, learners and peers are the impact of Covid-19 on education in Nigeria.

Finally, one of the results from the test of hypothesis revealed that there is a significant impact of COVID-19 on education in Nigeria.


1.3 Conclusion

The main purpose of this study was to assess the Effect of Covid-19 on the Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils in Makurdi Area of Benue State. The population for this study consists of thirty (30) teachers from public and private primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State. Five research questions guided the study with three research hypotheses.

In this study, a survey research design was adopted, the population comprises thirty (30) teachers from public and private primary school pupils in Makurdi area of Benue State, a simple random sampling technique was used to select 28 respondents from the population (28 teachers, representing seven (7) teachers from four (4) primary schools (2private and 2 public schools) namely: Foundation Academy Nursery/Primary school, Wisdom Nursery/Primary School, Gboko Primary School and Police Children School) were used as the sample size. and a questionnaire was the instrument for data collection. Relevant literatures were reviewed which guided the objectives and methodology of this study.


1.4 Recommendation

  1. First, this study reveals that Primary education is a preparatory ground for the child to acquire basic life skills, therefore this study suggests that non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and government need to sponsor enlightenment programmes to educate the parents on the relevance of primary education to the child and societal development and explain the dangers of using the child as an economic tool as well as the need to provide the enabling environment that will enable the child acquire primary education.
  2. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the embarrassing loopholes in the Nigerian education sector as it did on the health sector. The education system in the decade has remained underfunded and is beset by myriads of problems such as inadequate and dilapidating infrastructure, inadequate teaching facilities, poor teachers’ welfare, poor research funding, poor quality of teachers, unconducive learning environment and the like. Without sufficient political will to overhaul and transform the educational sector for greater effectiveness, the standard of education in Nigeria will keep falling, and this spells doom for our national life, therefore, there should be a concerted effort by all stakeholders to redeem the Nigerian education from tilting beyond the precipice.
  3. Finally, as the schools are gradually reopening, there is the need to re-think education in the areas of what, where, how and when learners should learn. In addition, information and communication technology is gradually revolutionalizing learning and teaching at all levels. Therefore, students in primary and secondary schools should be introduced to IT-enhanced learning approaches such as blended learning, computer-assisted learning, and technologies.

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