Causes And Effect Of Mass Failure In Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE)

Project and Seminar Material for Education

Causes And Effect Of Mass Failure In Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE)


There has been a problem for some years now, student’s poor academic performance in junior secondary school certificate examination. It is always on the increase, in the light of this significant problem that this study is based to find out the causes and effect of mass failure in junior secondary certificate examination(JSSCE) in Awka education zone of Anambra state, how ever the centre of interest is on junior mathematics examination. In the process of the study,( 5) research questions were formulated and tested, to validate these research questions (10) schools was randomly selected from the entire population. Research instrument in form of questionnaire was administered to the area involved in the study. On the whole (250) research questionnaires were sampled to the respondents which include students and their teachers while (200) respondents were collected. Based on the findings of this study some recommendation were made as follows, government and other stake holders in education should provide adequate facilities and conducive environment to enable teachers function effectively, and teachers on there part ,must assume positive professional attitude, and show more willingness, more moral maturity and more commitment in the conduct of their professional duties. Government should employ more qualified teachers and those with qualification low than (NCE) should be sponsored for in- service training and distance education programme. Conclusion more effort should be made to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics in junior secondary schools for positive change in student performances.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

For Nigeria to realize her dream in the development of junior secondary school, the citizen of the country must show outstanding performance in all secondary school subjects .In recent years, student academic achievement in junior secondary school certificate examination has been on the decline. Poor performance among junior secondary school students who are the focus of this study, has been attributed to two board factors which includes hereditary and environmental factors can be subdivided into students, home, teachers, and school factors (Nwankwo, 2001) .Ojunleye B. (2009) reports that one of the major causes of academic failure by students is deeply rooted in ineffective study techniques. She further observed that effective study habits do not just happen, rather they are acquired and have to be processed to make them firmly established in students to became a style of intellectual functioning .Onyejiaku in iyalla(2001) strongly feels that there are certain underlying techniques which every student who wants to excel in academic most recognize, realize, internalize and practice .Academic performance basically devoted a student attainment in a learning situation .The academic performance of a student may be high average, good, poor, or low. Bal care (1986) outlined many factors, personality factors like anxiety, level of aspiration, motivation to learn, self concept need for achievement, emotional problems and study habit .Teaching and learning of junior subjects requires classroom teaching, laboratory investigation and field practices for effective acquisition of the skills.

However, most junior secondary schools lack not only qualified teachers but also teaching materials for practical. Effective teaching in junior secondary schools depends on the way the teachers impact knowledge to the students frequent field practical, regular use of instructional material for teaching and learning .it has been discovered that if these methods have been used effectively it will result for proper acquisition skills in junior secondary subjects. The establishment of junior secondary school education by the state government in Awka zone Anambra state like any other states has the same aims and objective as the national policy specify that secondary education is the education receive after primary education and before the tertiary institution

The junior secondary school certificate examination(JSSCE) is an external examination organized and conducted by the ministry of education, it is the only instrument that could evaluate the performance of both students and teachers at the end of junior secondary school career .The success or failure of the student in examination is a clear manifestation of the student academic activities during the course ,success or good performances determine a brighter future for the individual while failure is disastrous as it always indicate ,a dropout which is the common effect in the area of this study.

Years back ‘academic performance of students in junior secondary school certificate examination(JSSCE) in Awka educational zone Anambra state had become mass failure .This sad perpetual occurrence in the area of study had become a matter for serious concern to parents, guardian , states and nation .This situation of things has made it pertinent for us to ask why and what are the causes of mass failure of student and the effects in junior certificate examination in these years as compared to the past as the mass failure has reflected on the retrogression of a good considerable member of prospective youth in the state .It is against the background that this project focuses attention upon the major causes and effects that militate against student performance in the junior secondary school certificate examination in these selected secondary schools over a number of years, without dealing on student activities while in school and unfold their weak points which have reflected their failure .The staffing and qualify of teachers in there schools should also be examined critically and relate it to students performance in the certificate examination .The part played by parents and guardian cannot be forgotten in the investigations and also the Anambra state government running of secondary schools would be closely examined .The researcher is confident that among the above enumerated sources and others will foster a smooth research to find out the problems affecting student academic performance.

Finally, it is obvious that this findings of the study will definitely aspire the researcher to seek for possible suggestions and recommendations to students and teachers, parents, sponsors and government bring and end to student mass failure in a such external junior certificate examination and improve student performance in the future examination in these schools and other parts of the country having similar educational problems.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Perhaps not much attention has been given to the performance of students in junior secondary school subjects in recent years .This neglect, no doubt has relegated this junior subjects to the background in our junior secondary certificate examination .

A close look at the 2004/2008 JSSCE result records confirms that student’s performance has been very poor generally and the increasing number of school dropout in the area of the study is a clear pointer of the theme. It is obvious that one of the problems militating against student performance is caused by the students who are not dedicated to their studies in school. The administration, quality of teachers, and their method of teaching in these schools, the negative attitude of students in classroom, the parents in ability to provide useful materials like test books, exercise books and school fees, and problem of inadequate instructional materials for teaching and learning in schools. What then could be responsible for this problem in our junior secondary education system? This study, therefore, is directed at finding out the causes and effect of mass failure in junior secondary certificate examination.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to find out the causes and effect of mass failure in junior secondary school certificate examination. The interest of the researcher is to examine critically and identify the cause and effect of mass failure in junior secondary certificate examination.

Specifically the study sought to find out if

  1. There are sufficient numbers of qualified teachers in junior secondary school
  2. The negative attitude of students towards mathematics
  3. There are adequate instructional materials
  4. There is motivation to student by the teacher during mathematics class
  5. There are good background from primary school and the contribution of parent towards their children, Allocation of sufficient time for teaching in junior classes.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

Hypotheses one
  • Ho: Students are not motivated to study mathematics in junior secondary schools
  • Hi: Students are motivated to study mathematics in junior secondary schools
Hypotheses two
  • Ho: Teachers’ qualification affects students’ performance in junior secondary schools.
  • Hi: Teachers’ qualification affects students’ performance in junior secondary schools.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The student will be able to appreciate the importance of the effective domain like interest and motivation in improving their performance. With this awareness, the student might put up a positive attitude, which will increase their performance and enhance higher grades in junior subjects. Junior secondary school teachers will also be able to adjust their teaching methods and offer remedial helps where they find out that student are putting up a low attitude towards the subject .State government will also see the need of guidance and counselor in each school’s, the ministry of Education and curriculum planners will find the result of this study useful for better organization of junior subjects in Education

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is primarily concerned with causes and effect of mass failure in junior secondary school certificate examinations. This study covers Awka Education zone of Anambra state. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

1.7 Definition of Terms


Having an effect on or involving a large number of people or forming a large amount.


Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success


An examination is a formal test that you take to show your knowledge or ability in a particular subject, or to obtain a qualification.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Discussion of Findings

In summary, we have noted some causes and effects of mass failure in Junior Secondary School Certificates Examination focuses in mathematics.

Some of the causes are:

  1. Insufficient number of qualified teachers.
  2. Negative attitude of students towards mathematics.
  3. Shortage of instructional materials.
  4. Difficult nature of mathematics as perceived by the students.
  5. Poor student motivation in the classroom by subject teacher.
  6. Poor mathematics background from primary school.
  7. Parents
  8. School administrators

Furthermore, all these causes have effect towards the study:-

  1. In this modern world, many are still dropping out from school with unjustified reasons, and lack of self-confidence.
  2. Academic performance and quality of students are declining due to their inferiority compliance.
  3. Students being lazy and unserious with their studies.
  4. The ineffective teaching of mathematics places an obstacle to the technological development of Nigeria.
  5. Failure in mathematics can causes unnecessary diversion in choice of carrier or course selection in higher institutions.

5.2 Conclusion

As earlier stated, this research work was designed to find out the causes and effects of mass failure in junior secondary school certificate mathematics examination (JSSCE) in Awka educational zone. From the analysis of the data obtained, the researchers found out that shortage of instructional materials, poor students motivation in the classroom by the teachers, poor mathematics background from primary school, insufficient number of qualified teachers are the factors that causes the mass failure in Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination.

Also provision of adequate instructional material by the government to schools, teachers should motivate the students, proper use of mathematical textbooks and conducive classroom environment were some strategies that are deducted from the study that can be used to improve student academic performance. It is believed that if the points mentioned above are given urgent attention, then an improved performance of students in mathematics may be insight, teaching and learning mathematics starting from lower level of learning that is from nursery schools to the higher level of learning so that the role of the mathematics as foundation in science and technology development in Nigeria will also be recognized.

5.4 Recommendation

Mathematics Teachers

The researcher recommends mathematics teachers to consider students cultural and learning backgrounds in choosing instructional strategies. It is suggested that they align teaching methods with the assessed learning needs and capabilities of students. Teachers may attempt to find a balance of teaching strategies rather than teaching student hence few understand the subject and at last many fail the subject. They may be able to realize the importance of recognizing learning styles, identify students’ differences, and adjust the teaching methods accordingly. By doing that, teachers would be able to deliver content clearly, making every student understand mathematics, motivate students leading better performance in mathematics subject. Lastly, it is also suggested for the teachers to learn to formulate their way of teaching especially if their school do not have available facilities to support their teaching activity. They may learn to develop their profession and innovativeness in teaching in order to maximize the use of available resources of the school to improve students’ performance in mathematics subject.
Students The study highly suggest that students take in hand their perception and feedback towards their teachers’ teaching methods in order for the teachers to effectively bring into line their way of teaching to the students’ way of learning. It is recommended that for students to learn effectively, they need to be flexible by using strategies outside their preferences in order to meet the demands of the challenging environment. Students must be ready to be guided in mathematics using learner centered methods, which is the very effective way of teaching. Student must not be lazy by not doing self-practice daily. They are also encouraged to actively participate in classroom activities in order to have an enjoyable and satisfying learning outcome

School Administrators

For school administrators, it is recommended to ensure availability of the instructional materials and facilities for the execution of different teaching methods that are aligned with the teaching methods and students’ learning in classrooms. Effective teaching and learning cannot be achieved in the absence of those instructional materials. It is also highly recommended that school leaders provide more in-service seminars, trainings and workshops for the teachers focusing more on how the teachers would enable them to align their instructional strategies they prefer and use to the learning preferences and capacities of the students. Furthermore, teachers should also be encouraged by the head of schools to pursue post graduate studies in order to upgrade their instructional competencies even if they have degrees in teaching profession. Lastly head of mathematics departments must be empowered to manage teaching and learning in mathematics. They must be provided with all guides and teaching resources

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