Evaluating The Reading Ability Of Pupils In Selected Upper Primary Schools

Primary Education Project and Semina Material

Evaluating The Reading Ability Of Pupils In Selected Upper Primary Schools


This study was carried out to evaluate the reading ability of pupils in the later years of their primary education. Sixty (60) primary four, five and six pupils from some selected schools in Abeokuta Metropolis were tested individually. They were rated on a three-point scale for their accuracy in recognizing the words and punctuation marks of sentences taken from one of the school texts. The time spent reading the passage was also recorded. In contrast to the private school pupils, a very high percentage of the state school pupils were found to be very poor and slow at reading. Also a written interview was designed to gather information from teachers of the four schools and recommendations were made on how the government and the school authorities could go about intensifying their efforts to get our pupils to be proficient in reading.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

In order to perform well above average in any academic work in an institute of learning, a student must have developed, to a fairly high standard, his reading skills. As posited by Kirlin (1964) quoted by Unoh (1995) “Achievement in reading is necessary to achievement in school and when no provision is made for achievement by the poor reader, that student eventually is frustrated into a miserable state of failure”. He goes further to say that the relationship between the reading ability to scholastic success is not open to dispute. In the same vein, Cullough and Traxder (1967) quoted by Unoh (1995) stated that “Reading proficiency is the royal road to knowledge. It is essential to success in all academic subjects” the same goes for study skills. A student whose study skills are not well developed cannot succeed in reading skills.

Written language is quite different in nature from spoken language and the process of learning to read and write is capable of transforming the individual, bringing with it a new and higher level of consciousness, this is according to the Nigerian teachers languages, volume 4. It is noted that some of our pupils in the upper classes of the primary may after all, be very poor in reading, that is they may not recognize many words that we expect them to recognize. As a course of this, the study focuses on evaluating the reading ability of pupils in upper classes of primary schools in Abeokuta metropolis.

1.2 Purpose Of The Study

The rationale for this study is to evaluate the reading ability of pupils in upper classes of primary schools and the major problems confronting the reading aspect therefore, the study aims at the following .

  1. Identifying series of reading exercises that pupils engage in.
  2. The effect of mother tongue on the students’ reading ability.
  3. The effect of environment on the pupils’ performance in reading activities.
  4. Suggesting solutions to the problems and making necessary recommendations for improvement.

1.3 Statement Of Problem

The constraints to the reading ability of pupils in upper classes of primary schools will be established in the research. It is noted that the population of the pupils in class and the influence of mother tongue with a kind of environment a child is exposed to during his/her early stage contribute either negatively or positively to the reading ability of pupils.

Research findings on reading have revealed the following reading obstacles as militating against proper understanding of materials read.

  1. Pointing to words.
  2. Vocalizing or reading aloud.
  3. Regression.
  4. Uncontrolled head movement etc.

This research is aimed at investigating the reading skills of pupils in the upper primary schools, the problems encountered will be looked into and proper recommendations will be given for improving the pupils reading ability.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

The study is aimed at facilitating awareness on pupils’ reading ability in upper classes of primary schools especially in Abeokuta Metropolis. It is also to help pupils perform better under classroom situation involving the knowledge. It will also guide the school stakeholders, management and teachers, to make right decisions, choice of reading materials that would enhance and facilitate the rate at which the students read.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. Does class population affect the pupils’ reading ability in primary schools?
  2. Does poor background influence or affect the performance of pupils’ reading ability?
  3. Will students who attend private schools perform better in reading aspect than those in state schools?
  4. Does incompetence on teachers’ part contribute to the children’s reading skill?
  5. Is there a negative or positive correlation between class size and reading ability?
  6. Does students’ reading materials or textbooks have any effect on students’ performance in reading activities?

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The research will cover some selected schools within Abeokuta Metropolis. However, it is hoped that findings from the area is expected to generalize the research work to some primary schools in Abeokuta and possible solution offered also is expected to be applicable to all pupils in primary schools.

This study is based on questionnaire to be filled by teachers and pupils in the selected schools. Also, observations by the researcher will be extracted from other related materials and literature.

1.7 Research Hypothesis

This study will be guided by the following hypothesis

  1. That the mother tongue of a child affects his/her reading skills.
  2. That the environment and background status of pupils influence their performance in the reading aspect.

1.8 Limitation Of The Study

In the course of undertaking this project, there emerged some problems which have limited the scope and depth of the project and this led the researcher to only cover some selected schools in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun Sate, because of time and financial constraints.

1.9 Definition Of Terms


It is the possession of the use of something and also the ability to remember something.


A change by an action or cause, an impression.


To consider people, things etc as belonging to a particular group, using an official system.


The number of people living in a particular area, country.

Mother Tongue:

The first language of a child.

Reading Ability:

It refers to the level at which pupils read, whether at a high rate or lower rate.


Anything related to education, it is concerned with studying from books, as opposed to practical work.


A good standard of ability and skill.


A very large city that is the most important city in a country or area.

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