Causes Of Failure In Senior Secondary School Biology

Biology Education Project Material

Causes Of Failure In Senior Secondary School Biology


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Biology is the scientific study of living beings. It focuses on the nature of organisms and their interactions with one another and with their surroundings. On the other side, it is a discipline that helps people comprehend themselves, including major biological functions like digestion, respiration, circulation, excretion, and gaseous exchange. Biology, like other science areas, is a hands-on field that encourages students’ scientific inquiry and problem-solving abilities.

Biology is the scientific study of life. According to Maduabum (2006), science (Biology) is the backbone of national development since it encompasses all human activities that entail organized understanding of natural events. It simply means that science is the methodical study of nature with the goal of amassing an ordered body of matter, its interactions, and effects. According to Omiko (2011), science is a method of learning about natural facts and theories. This understanding of facts and hypotheses, he claims, fosters attitudes of reality, objectivity, curiosity, self-examination, and the pursuit of truth.

Biology, according to Eweleukwa (2005), is a science discipline that deals with life. It was derived from two Greek words: “bios” for life and “logos” for study. Biology is thus defined as the study of life or living things. Biology, according to Ekwu (2012), is a natural science that studies living organisms. According to him, it is derived from two Greek words: “bios” (life) and “logos” (knowledge). It is an enthralling study that encompasses the earth’s surface and its living beings, ranging from minute cellular molecules to the biosphere.

Biology, according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, is the scientific study of the life and structure of plants and animals. Biology, according to Taylor (2012), is the study of living organisms. Biology, as a natural science, is the study of individual life forms within the world of life known as nature. Biological studies encompass everything known about plants, animals, microbes, and other living things from the past and present. It is the study of fish, grass, flies, grasshoppers, humans, mushrooms, flowers, sea stars, worms, and molds. Biology, in fact, is the study of life on the highest peaks and at the bottom of the deepest seas.

In comparison to other courses on the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate examination, biology has the biggest enrolment and also the highest failure rate, according to Egbujor (2006).

In his 2008 report on practical biology, the Chief examiner noted that “many candidates could not give the distinguishing features of the vertebra” and that “some wasted their time describing the features instead of pointing out the relevant things required.” In his 2006 report on teaching practical biology, the Chief examiner (2006) noted that “most candidates who were to study the diagrams in the stage of germination of seeds and draw a graph for it, avoided the questions.” The handful that attempted it used erratic seeds to create the graph. These kids also struggled to appropriately spell the labels on their diagrams.

The biology teaching syllabus in Nigeria is currently divided into the following sections: themes, performance objectives, material, activity, and notes. The main rationale for having performance targets in the segments is to allow teachers to assess their own teaching and the students’ achievements after each class. Despite meticulous planning and structure in the classroom, some teachers and students still find some aspects of biology difficult to teach and understand. Teachers, for example, are not well-versed in anatomy and genetics in the curriculum, and when they are, they rarely pay enough time and attention to teaching the subjects. According to Oyewole (2011), some lecturers promote the idea that genetics is a difficult and abstract subject that requires a lot of brainstorming and should not be studied.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

According to Charlse (2013), biology teachers in Nigeria have numerous challenges, particularly in secondary schools. These issues at this level had caused a plethora of other concerns that were harming the students’ success in the subject. According to Udofia (2019), many students consider biology to be a challenging subject in secondary school due to their negative attitude toward it, while others find it difficult to read Biology materials due to their reading laxity. This, together with other issues, has resulted in widespread failure of students in biology exams. According to Juso (2017), these causes include students’, schools’, and government’s lack of ambition, as well as a lack of appropriate materials and a weak curriculum.

Furthermore, failure in secondary school biology has been blamed on a number of factors. “Poor performance in biology has been linked to pupils’ lack of ambition, ingenuity, curiosity, practice, confidence, and self-drive towards sciences,” writes Dahs (1998). Similarly, Ndirangu (2000) lamented a lack of practical experience in biology teaching and learning, which resulted in a lack of mastery of critical scientific abilities and concepts. Ekaw (2018), on the other hand, attributed poor Biology performance to a lack of practical exposure during the learning process, insufficient expression of biological statements, and inappropriate use of scientific terminology. Professors, according to Kirima (2000), are to blame for poor biology achievement. Most teachers, according to Kirima, are unqualified, lack innovative teaching methods or the use of learning materials, have low student motivation, focus primarily on theory, and rarely engage students in carrying out practical and projects that, while demanding, equip students with skills and improve their understanding of biological concepts. As a result of students’ poor performance in Biology, this study attempts to identify the reasons to blame for this academic issue in Biology.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to examine the causes of failure in senior secondary school biology. Specifically but not limited to, other objectives of this study are:

  1. To determine the importance of biology in Senior Secondary School curriculum
  2. To examine the extent of failure in biology in Senior Secondary Schools
  3. To determine if the type of teaching methods used by teachers influence the surge of failure in biology.
  4. To examine the role of teachers as a cause of mass failure in biology
  5. To examine the role of students as a cause of mass failure in biology

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. How important is biology in Senior Secondary School curriculum?
  2. To what extent is biology failed in Senior Secondary Schools?
  3. Does the type of teaching methods used by teachers influence the surge of failure in biology?
  4. What are the role of teachers as a cause of mass failure in biology?
  5. What are the role of students as a cause of mass failure in biology?

1.5 Significance of the Study

Due to the current worrying growth of failure in biology subject by students in Senior School Certificate biology tests, the researcher was inspired to engage in this study work on the causes of failure in the Senior Secondary School biology curriculum. The findings of this study will benefit all biology students and biology teachers by encouraging active engagement in biology teaching and learning.

As previously stated, understanding of biology prepares students for a variety of areas such as pharmacy, agriculture, medicine, and so on. For example, if the issue of cells, genetics, meiosis, and mitosis is addressed in terms of heredity and cell division, individuals in society will be able to choose the ideal life partner and be aware of cell divisions in them during embryonic formation in the field of reproduction. Diseases will be prevented in the population, and living conditions will improve. The suggestions will be extremely beneficial to both students and teachers in those areas of difficulty.

Meanwhile, the study’s conclusions will be extremely beneficial to kids, instructors, curriculum developers, the government, and even researchers.

It will also aid in the comprehension of some challenging biological topics as well as alternative solutions. It will assist biology teachers in identifying ways to make biology teaching and learning more straightforward, entertaining, and relevant to the requirements of society.

The outcomes of this study will assist biology curriculum planners in understanding the instrument with which society can promote worthwhile ideas and values that will allow them to gradually reach those social and economic goals as they apply to an individual’s academic advancement

For the government, it will result in long-term development and improvement in the teaching and learning of biology in Senior Secondary Schools, as well as good student achievement in the Secondary School Certificate Biology Examination.

Finally, it will be useful as reference material for researchers.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study will focus on examining the causes of failure in senior secondary school biology. Specifically, it will focus on determining the importance of biology in Senior Secondary School curriculum, examining the extent of failure in biology in Senior Secondary Schools, determining if the type of teaching methods used by teachers influence the surge of failure in biology, examining the role of teachers as a cause of mass failure in biology and examining the role of students as a cause of mass failure in biology.

Biology teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State will serve as enrolled participants for the survey.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

This study will be limited to examining the causes of failure in senior secondary school biology. Specifically, it will be limited to determining the importance of biology in Senior Secondary School curriculum, examining the extent of failure in biology in Senior Secondary Schools, determining if the type of teaching methods used by teachers influence the surge of failure in biology, examining the role of teachers as a cause of mass failure in biology and examining the role of students as a cause of mass failure in biology.

Biology teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State will serve as enrolled participants for the survey, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Failure:

Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. The criteria for failure depends on context, and may be relative to a particular observer or belief system

Biology:

Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of cells that process hereditary information encoded in genes, which can be transmitted to future generations.


Causes Of Failure In Senior Secondary School Biology


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Causes Of Failure In Senior Secondary School Biology


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Frequently Asked Questions


Why do students fail biology final year exams?

Many students fail their final year examinations both at junior and senior secondary schools in Biology due to one reason or the other such as parental responsibilities, students’ factor, schools’ factor, government factor, lack of motivation, lack of relevant materials as well as inadequate curriculum.

Why do students fail in biology in Benue State?

The negligence of Biology has driven many students in the past to mass failure in the final examination. Many people read Biology for examination purposes only. A lot of problems have contributed to students’ mass failure in Biology in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State.

Why do students fail in Senior School Certificate examinations?

Twenty percent (20%) of the respondents indicated that lack of instructional materials in the schools have contributed to the mass failure of students in the senior school certificate examinations.

What causes students to fail a class?

A series of logistic regressions reveals that self-rated health and emotional distress are both associated with greater likelihood of failing one or more classes in the next year and that absenteeism, trouble with homework, and student-teacher bonding account for much of these associations. 

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