Factors Influencing Poor Performance In Science Subjects In Secondary Schools

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Factors Influencing Poor Performance In Science Subjects In Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study was carried out on the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in kwara state. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of science teachers and students of some selected secondary schools in kwara state. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that unavailability of adequate teaching and learning materials influences poor performance in science subjects.The study also revealed that unconducive nature of learning environment influences poor performance in science subjects. Further findings showed that lack of qualified science teachers influences poor performance in science subjects. Therefore, it is recommended that the low achievement level in science subjects at secondary level demands for revolutionary ideas to motivate students in learning the science subjects. Teachers should use modern methods of teaching including use of computers in teaching science subjects in order to motivate and sustain students’ interest in sciences as far as possible and in most science topics. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organizations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Long before the coming of Europeans to Africa, the African people had developed their own system of education, although the systems varied from one community to the other, their goals were often strictly similar (Sifuna and Otiende, 1980).

At Nigeria independence in 1960, education was viewed as a means to eradicate poverty, ignorance and diseases from Nigeria hence adopted an education system that follows 6-3-3-4 (now 9-3-4) system of Education in Nigeriawas implemented which included nine years of primary education and junior secondary education, three years for senior secondary education and after which students were expected to sit for the West Africa Examination Commission for examination (WAEC) to later join various tertiary education institutions for specialization in various professions. Such institutions include: universities, polytechnics and teacher education colleges.

In a study, (Osaki, 1999) found that in many schools, pupils read teachers notes instead of text books, and hence teachers are the main source of information and knowledge. The students may have textbooks, but choose to rely on teachers notes. These notes often encourage rote learning in order to pass examinations. The use of textbooks by pupils for reference and homework is not always effective especially for those in forms one and two (Tilya, 2003).

The situational analysis study ( Chonjo et al,1996) also revealed that science teaching was in a poor state with regard to necessary inputs in the schools(e.g. books, laboratory supplies, good teachers) and teaching and learning processes(classroom presentations, teacher-pupil relations, management of teaching and learning resources and professional development and support).Lack of sufficient resources in addition to poor teaching affected the learning outcomes in terms of student performance in examinations, participation in innovative science activities, andgeneral scientific and technological literacy of graduates. As per the current situation something needs to be done to rescue science education.

For a clear, well-articulated competence based curriculum, adequate teaching and learning resources, and conducive learning environment that will help students develop capabilities, values and skills are needed (TAN/MET 2012). Despite the quantitative achievement gained in terms of quality teaching and learning of science and mathematics practices are hardly improved. Equality is needed in environments and other qualitative aspects, including gender sensitive, child friendly experiences in the classroom, teaching /learning materials and teachers taking responsibility for all learners in a school (TAN/MET 2012).

TAN/MET also argues that the status of the teacher and the teaching profession are in jeopardy if there are no deliberate efforts for teacher development in science, mathematics and English as well as, teaching remuneration and other incentives for quality education improvement. In order to foster the work of civil society organizations (CSO’s), I would like to urge both the government and the society to take on their rightful roles. These include complementing government efforts to improve educational provision through “service provision where state provision is absent or insufficient” designing and implementing successful innovation.

The essence of teaching is to bring about a positive change in the behavior, attitude and thinking of the learner. The teaching approach that the teacher adopts in order to bring about this positive change is very important. The traditional teacher-centered lecture (chalk and talk) approach, which emphasizes the transfer of knowledge and skills and rewards memorization, is the predominant teaching format in Nigeria secondary schools, while a student writes down notes mainly for the purpose of passing exams. This method does not allow much room for critical analysis of issues but it makes students to duplicate the notes given back to the teacher. In this teaching approach, there is very little interaction between the teacher and the students or among the students themselves in the classrooms. Students hardly ask any questions and the teachers rarely provoke students by asking critical questions.

Various studies have reported outdated teaching practices and lack of basic content knowledge have resulted in poor teaching standards in secondary schools in Nigeria. (These poor standards have been contributed extensively by the high number of unqualified teachers who teach in schools which lack the necessary equipment to impact knowledge to the learners. There has been an acute shortage of qualified mathematics and science teachers in secondary schools since 1960s. Currently many schools (Boards of Management) are employing Bachelor of Science graduates to teach science subjects in order to reduce teacher shortage problem.

The Nigeria education system faces a major challenge in ensuring quality education to create a competent human resource base. This is clear due to the poor performance of students in examinations, and especially in science subjects. The annual education sector review provides an opportunity for all key stakeholders to assess and contribute to the development of education. Nigeria education network acknowledges that noticeable progress has been made in education in Nigeria and that much more remains to be done to meet education for all goals. Since science and technology plays a major role in any country’s development, the impact of failure in science subjects will heavily affect the economy of that country.

In Nigeria, we require a clear, well-articulated competence based curriculum, adequate teaching and learning resources and conducive learning environment that will help students develop capabilities, values required, skills and fully maximize their cognitive potential.

History will judge our collective leadership and actions based on the opportunity for the children of Nigeria to receive not only education, but an education that truly enables all children to develop the capabilities, values and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century global village. This justifies the importance of ensuring that teaching science in the early years is a foundation for later education.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The high failure of the learners specifically in the science subjects continues to be a threat in Nigeria. Factors leading to poor performance need to be researched as they continue to be detriment of learners of Nigeria. Efforts in trying to improve the performance of science subjects have been witnessed since various efforts have been geared towards improving the pedagogical approach and in shaping of the science subjects curriculum. Such efforts include: to receive not only education, but an education that truly enables all children to develop the capabilities, values and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century global village. This justifies the importance of ensuring that teaching science in the early years is a foundation for later education.

  1. Introduction of SMASSE (Strengthening Mathematics and Science Subjects in Secondary School Education) programs in Nigeria.
  2. In-service education, workshops, seminars and training of examiners from science and mathematics teachers.
  3. Annual science and engineering faire competitions among secondary schools from subcounty level to national level.
  4. Ministry of education has supplied science course books to all public secondary schools under free or subsidized secondary education system at a ratio of 1:1.

WAEC results in science subjects for many years have been showing similar trend characterized by an extremely poor performance (kitta, 2004). Among the many reasons put forward to explain the low student achievement in sciences includes:

  1. Lack of resources such as books, equipment and classrooms (Kitta, 2004),
  2. Poor quality of science teachers (Chonjo et al, 1996; Sichizya, 1997),
  3. Low level of English language proficiency (Kitta, 1994). The implication here is that teaching and learning of science needs urgent and effective remedies.

The remedies among others are; Teacher support materials and provision of the relevant resources in all the secondary schools for improved teaching and learning of sciences.

This poor performance in science subjects has raised a concern due to the fact that the country aims at achieving high technological advancement in the 21st century. This study sought to investigate the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in kwara state.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to find out the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in kwara state, specifically the study intends to:

  1. To ascertain whether the unavailability of adequate teaching and learning materials influences poor performance in science subjects.
  2. To determine whether the unconducive nature of learning environment influences poor performance in science subjects.
  3. To ascertain whether lack of qualified science teachers influences poor performance in science subjects.
  4. To ascertain whether complications of science textbooks influences poor performance in science subjects.
  5. To ascertain whether lack of practical exercises influences poor performance in science subjects.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. Does the unavailability of adequate teaching and learning materials influences poor performance in science subjects?
  2. Does the unconducive nature of learning environment influences poor performance in science subjects?
  3. Does lack of qualified science teachers influences poor performance in science subjects?
  4. Does complications of science textbooks influences poor performance in science subjects?
  5. Does lack of practical exercises influences poor performance in science subjects?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

H01: The unavailability of adequate teaching/learning materials and complications of science textbooks does not influence poor performance in science subjects.

H02: The lack of qualified science teachers, and the unconducive nature of learning environment does not influence poor performance in science subjects.


1.6 Significance of the Study

This study focused on identifying the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in kwara state and suggest the remedies to be taken in order to rescue the situation. This study also play an important role to the curriculum planners and implementers since it can guide them in identifying which areas to put more emphasis on in order to improve performance of science subjects in secondary schools. This research can also help to identify the major factors that lead to poor performance of science subjects in secondary schools in Nigeria the finding of this evaluation study will shed light on how the real situation is and give valuable recommendations according to the findings. Several research works has been reported and proposed recommendations, however the situation is getting even worse over the years meaning that the best feasible and sustainable solutions must be found.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in kwara state. The respondent for this study will be obtained from some selected secondary schools in kwara state.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

This research project, like all human endeavors, had some challenges that threatened to derail the study’s completion. One of the reasons is that the time allotted for this work was so limited that the researcher did not have enough time to complete the task thoroughly. During data collection, the researcher also had to put forth extra effort to understand the respondents’ interview schedules, several of whom fell into the incomprehensible age group. Also, there were financial and transportation constraints to deal with. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, interview).


1.9 Definition of Terms

Science Subjects:

Are studies deal with structure and behavior of natural and physical world based on facts learned through experiment, observation and development of theories. Science subjects in Tanzania include Physics, Chemistry which are optional subjects, while Biology and Mathematics are compulsory subjects

Academic Performance:

Is the outcome of education to the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational grades.

Poor Performance:

It is unsatisfactory outcome results of examinations, which is failure and cannot help a candidate in any way. Poor performance denotes by letter F which ranges from 21to 0.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern 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, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in kwara state. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in kwara state. The study is was specifically set to ascertain whether the unavailability of adequate teaching and learning materials influences poor performance in science subjects, determine whether the unconducive nature of learning environment influences poor performance in science subjects, ascertain whether lack of qualified science teachers influences poor performance in science subjects, ascertain whether complications of science textbooks influences poor performance in science subjects, and ascertain whether lack of practical exercises influences poor performance in science subjects.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent arescience teachers and students of some selected secondary schools in kwara state.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. Unavailability of adequate teaching and learning materials influences poor performance in science subjects.
  2. Unconducive nature of learning environment influences poor performance in science subjects.
  3. Lack of qualified science teachers influences poor performance in science subjects.
  4. Complications of science textbooks influences poor performance in science subjects.
  5. Lack of practical exercises influences poor performance in science subjects.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. The low achievement level in science subjects at secondary level demands for revolutionary ideas to motivate students in learning the science subjects. Teachers should use modern methods of teaching including use of computers in teaching science subjects in order to motivate and sustain students’ interest in sciences as far as possible and in most science topics.
  2. The government, parents, school administration and the society at large should work together to ensure that the teaching and learning environment is conducive to the teachers and students for effective learning to take place. They should give support by providing the necessary materials and equipment required which includes well equipped laboratories.
  3. Teachers should be more innovative in preparing teaching and learning materials to help them modify their teaching strategies in order to embrace the benefits of interactive teaching, including longer and increased students’ conceptual understanding.
  4. Comprehension, enhanced learning and easy remembering is enhanced by inquiry and interactive teaching approach. Therefore, science educators should employ computer, modeling and animations through technological innovativeness while preparing educational materials. Curriculum material preparation principles should also be observed while preparing these materials.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What factors influence poor performance of students in science education?

The study found out that the factors influences poor performance were; Inadequate number of teachers, Lack of teaching and learning materials, Poor teaching methods (theory) and students’ attitudes towards science subjects.

What is the main cause of poor performance in science subjects?

The study conclude that Scarcity of qualified Science subjects’ teachers and inadequate availability of teaching and learning materials are the major factors influencing poor performance in science subjects in secondary schools in Shinyanga municipality.

What are influencing factors in secondary school education?

Influencing Factors are factors or causes which lead for something to occur or to happen like lack of teachers, lack of teaching materials, and lack of motivation, traditions and customs and difficulty of science subjects. Secondary School Education is an educational level after primary school education.

What are the factors affecting science performance in Kwale district secondary schools?

The general objective is to identify the factors resulting to poor performance of science related subjects in Kwale District secondary schools , while the specific objectives are the individual factors studied, such as teachers attitudes to sciences, peer group influence. socio-economic factora and others mentioned in the study. 

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