Influence Of Government Return Of Mission Schools In Enugu State On Students’ Academic Performance In Senior School Certificate Examinations
Prior to independence in Nigeria, individuals, corporate bodies, religious group and government jointly and severally had input in the area of education. But with the dawn of military ascendancy and the corridors of power take-over of mission school was unleashed on the educational sector. Several years have gone by and we are trying to pick-up our broken pieces.
This work is an attempt to look into effects of government return of mission schools in Enugu State as a way of helping to chart a new course in the area of education.
The problems encountered by the government ownership before the return of mission schools were outlined and the various solutions to each of the problems were provided to ensure that the standard of education in the mission schools was improved upon. The study was conducted in three mission secondary schools in Enugu State with the population being 120, comprising of the principals, teachers and the students in the mission schools.
The preferred statistical tool adopted for the data collection was questionnaire which was administered to the respondents and was later collected for analysis and observations. The mean score method was used in computing the data collected.
From the analysis of the data collected, it shows that the return of school to mission owners has helped to stem the tides of examination malpractice, reduce indiscipline and also expose the students to religious activities.
Hence, the study was concluded with the agreement that the return of mission schools to Enugu State on the students’ academic performance in senior school certificate examination has brought more positive changes in the educational system.
1.1 Background to the study
Expressed briefly and clearly, school could be viewed as an institution or an educational platform dedicated to teaching and learning. To this effect, schools are veritable instrument at the disposal of the society entrusted with the arduous task of transmitting, broadening and preserving the whole gourmet or deposit of existing body of knowledge. This deposit of knowledge includes socio-cultural gains, traditions, political, economic and scientific achievements. The schools help the society to transmit these deposits from generation to another.
In effect, the progress or retrogression of any given society is directly proportional to the quality of its educational endeavors. It follows then that any valuable and holistic assessment of educational achievement within a given society must of necessity begin with the assessment of the dynamics of the quality of the educational super structure and inter-play of events.
Mission schools from the dawn of European appearance of the Nigerian educational horizon have proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Mission schools have shown her conviction in general education and formation of man.
According to Ome (2012), the church through the school participates in the dialogue of culture with her own positive contribution to the cause of the total formation of man.
Furthermore, he noted that the absence of the catholic school would be a great loss for civilization and for the natural and supernatural destiny of man.
Our schools in general and education at the secondary school level in particular are important to the extent that they produce or prepare citizens to be responsible and capable of being functionally integrated or assimilated into the productivity chain of the society. Schools have proved to be a double-edged sword. It can be an agent of transformation and change when managed effectively. If it is hijacked and mismanaged, it could become an agent of chaos, instability and destruction. The outcome of school products is hence dependent on management of various factors.
The discomfort and instability palpable within the Nigerian society speaks volume about the dwindling fortunes in our educational sector. The fallout arising from the publication of 2012/2013 WAEC, GCE and NECO results which shows a 90% failure in English Language and Mathematics is but an eye opener.
Accordingly, parents, religious groups, government and other stake holders are of the opinion that we must know where the evil rain started to encounter us before we will know where and how it will stop. The point of convergence of the crisis, many maintain that it lies with the government take-over of schools from the mission in 1975.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The question that begs for an urgent answer is when and where did it all begin? Where lies the point of prevarication? How and when did we arrive at this present quagmire?
The answer from all indication is not farfetched. The trajectory of our educational down-turn is to be located squarely in the politics that emasculated education sector soon after attainment of independence. Just few years into the story and euphoria of independence, Nigeria was engulfed in a bitter civil conflagration. It is crystal clear that education was one of its causalities. Indeed she was hardly hit.
Put differently, there is no gain saying the fact that the Nigerian-Biafran civil war consumed much of the nation’s educational superstructures that were still at infant stage. The greatest part of the civil destruction of lives and properties were recorded in the Eastern Nigeria. Reason being that the East was the amphitheatre of the war that lasted for more than 36 months. Secondary education suffered terribly as a result of this civil altercation. Schools were converted into barracks with chairs and reading desks used as firewood.
The military take-over of mission schools did not help matters in our educational down turn. In fact, that action was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Education in Nigeria in general and secondary education in particular has defied all remedies and is yet to recover ever since from the military salvo.
The embers of arguments are yet to pitter out. It is maintained in many quarter that the then military government under General Gowon whose formal training is to cock and shoot guns with not properly articulated quest for unity, attitudinal change, character modification, new orientation and national cohesion dabbled into an area not trained for. Arguments adduced for government take-over of mission schools are indeed lame and jaundiced. The aims which the government set out to achieve have remained a pipe dream. In fact government have swallowed the pestle and have been sleeping standing ever since.
Though in its entire entirety, government take-over of schools may not be totally bad. Many schools of thoughts are convinced that it was vindictively and ill conceived, maliciously packaged and delivered to perpetually punish some pre-conceived enemies.
The hasty and haphazard manner through which some mission schools are being returned still leaves more to be desired. We may not yet sing our “nunc dimities” in Enugu state with the return of mission schools. It is the concern of this project to see or x-ray the performance in external examinations by some of these government returned schools.
1.3 Research Question/ Hypothesis
The basic superstructure of the research question or the fulcrum upon which the hypothesis are the under listed questions. They are as follows
- To what extent can the return of mission schools help in revamping the fortunes of secondary school students?
- To what extent have the infrastructure fortunes of these schools been contributing to the poor academic performance of students?
- To what extent have the change of baton in terms of ownership and administration impacted or helped to stem the tides of examination malpractice?
- To what extent can improved supervision, enhanced enumeration and protection of stakeholders in post primary schools help to promote academic performance in returned mission schools?
1.4 Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study was to x-ray the influence of government return of mission schools in Enugu State on secondary school students’ academic achievement in senior school certificate examinations.
The specific purposes of the study were to:
- Identify the extent to which the return of mission schools can help to revamp the fortunes of secondary school students.
- Ascertain the extent to which the infrastructure fortunes of these schools contributes to the poor academic performance of the students.
- Investigate the extent to which the change of baton in terms of ownership and administration impacted or helped to stem the tides of examination malpractice
- Ascertain to what extent improved supervision, enhanced enumeration and protection of stakeholders in post primary schools can help to promote academic performance in the returned schools.
1.5 Significance of the study
The not far-fetched significance of the study is to help policy makers in formulating ideas that will help resurrect or revamp our fortunes in secondary schools.
The beneficiaries are the government, citizens and the church
With right policies in place, government will realize its aims in education which will in turn reflect in development landscape of the polity. Good and responsible citizens will outweigh the deviants. Huge investment in security and reformatory facilities will be a thing of the past. Nigeria as a nation needs not only material resources in order to advance her socio-economic development. The government stands to benefit an increase in the number of educated human resources that will help galvanize other resources so as to attain the height with a view of making the nation great.
The general population will be better for it. The citizens will reflect greater character formation, responsible and functional contingency fit into productivity chain will abound. Hence, no unemployment or under employment of the citizens. Citizens will be trained to suit the demands of the society they live in. Life fulfillment and job satisfaction will be the other of the day. The citizens benefits by knowing their rights.
With proper education improved with sound morality, the mandate of Jesus Christ to His church;
“Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Mt 28:19-20) would be ipso facto to be accomplished.
The progress of our country is the progress of the citizens and the church. To this effect, critically planned, executed and assessed secondary education is necessary. It has become imperative that all hands must be on deck for this venture. This study is thus aimed at stimulating and galvanizing a sustained action from all concerned.
The church imbibes discipline and stands to benefit when more souls are drown to God and the world being a better place.
Education is everything. i.e. The life wire and indeed the jugular vein of any nation is the education sector. Secondary Education is the central in this venture.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of content is basically centered on the improvement of the performances of students who sit for external examination at the expiration of the exposure to the teaching and learning process in secondary schools.
The scope of Area for maximum yield has been narrowed down to three pre-selected schools which are as follows:
- Enugu educational zone
- Udi educational zone
- Nsukka educational zone
1.7 Limitations of the study
In the course of this research work, the researcher was not left without problems. The researcher encountered the following problems.
Some of the teachers were reluctant to complete the questionnaire complaining that they have conflicting programs and so much work to do.
As such, most of the respondents were not able to fill the questionnaire on the spot and so the researcher had to make repeated calls to the schools to collect back the questionnaire.
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