An Investigation Into The Causes Of Poor Performance Of Students In Chemistry: A Case Study Of Orhionmwon Local Government Area Of Edo State
This work is centred on “poor performance of students in Chemistry in Orhionmwon Local Government Area in Edo State. The primary aim of this study is to highlight the causes of the situation and assess the quality and quantity of human and material resources (teachers and laboratories) needed for effective teaching of chemistry in the area. in the analysis of the causes and effects of the poor performance of Chemistry students in chemistry, many eminent chemistry teachers have stressed and expressed much concerns about the situation in the form of write up and verbal, regarding ways of remedying or reducing the unfavourable conditions to barest minimum. Data was collected through questionnaires and oral interviews were done personally. Data collected were analyzed by using tables and percentages and findings were obtained. Acute shortage of chemistry teachers, chemistry equipment, laboratories and the conservative beliefs and non-challant attitudes of chemistry students towards chemistry were found to affect their performance greatly in examination.
The role of chemistry as one of the science subjects in both national and global development cannot be over-emphasized. The study of chemistry offers one of the opportunities to develop an understanding of scientific method and the ability to understand the living world of which man himself is a part. This has contributed to its relative popularity among other school subjects especially the sciences. It is important therefore that chemistry of all science subjects should be given priority attention in our schools.
The current development in science and technology which chemistry is not left out has so greatly affected the lives of every human being, to be ignorant of the basic ideas of chemistry which is the physical branch of science that deals with the physical properties and the composition of matter is to live in an empty, meaningless and unrealistic world. Any nation therefore, that is not scientifically inclined, cannot be expected to make any reasonable progress whether in politics, science world, economic development of the nation and or in technology. Based on this fact, scientific and technological advancement constitutes the means by which nations of the world have been classified as developing or undeveloped. To be fully acquainted with the needs of the societies we belong to, chemistry has been made an internal part of the schools subjects. In line with this, the state and Federal Government initiated certain measures such as the admission of large number of students in chemistry in our tertiary institutions. Scholarship for chemistry teachers for further training in the profession, and the provision of chemistry equipment and laboratory facilities are other provisions geared towards the achievement of technological advancement with the priority attention given to chemistry subject in our secondary schools, it is hoped that students with the right attitude towards chemistry would in the near future become great assets to the nation.
1.1 Background to the Study
Chemistry, because of its scope and potentials it’s quite unique in its involvement in several aspect of modern life. Its role as a transforming agent is recognized as crucial especially in a developing economy of ours. In Nigeria where the major problems could be summarized as provision of adequate supply of technology for rapidly growing population, banishing of unemployment and building infrastructures for the much talked of industrialization, the role of chemistry is undeniably dominant. This motivated the researcher to investigate on the reasons for the poor performance of students in chemistry subject and provide ways of improving the situation.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
Chemistry is a science subject which is being taught in most all secondary schools in and outside Edo State and almost all science students offer chemistry in the state because it is essential and relevant for professions like medicine, teaching, agriculture and engineering. Statistics have shown that inspite of student’s interest in chemistry, majority of them still perform poorly. This work shall provide answers to the following specific questions;
- How do students respond to chemistry subjects?
- What are the factors which influence their attitudes towards chemistry subjects?
- How can the student’s attitudes to the subjects be improved?
- How can the teaching methods of the chemistry teachers be improved?
- How can the problems of inadequate and unqualified chemistry teachers be solved?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The aim of this study is to examine and determine the reasons for poor performances in chemistry in some selected secondary schools. The need for this research would also help to suggest ways in which the student’s performance can be improved.
There are many factors that can affect the performance of students in the teaching of chemistry. The study seeks to find solutions to the following;
- Does student’s poor background of scientific knowledge hinder good performance?
- Is there any relationship between student’s unwillingness to learn and poor performance?
- Is there a significant relationship between the availability of adequately equipped chemistry laboratory and performance in chemistry?
- Do bad teaching methods affect the teaching and learning process in chemistry?
- Is there a significant relationship between non-professionalization and poor performance?
- Does student’s home problem hinder their performance in chemistry as a subject?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The role of science has been recognized in Nigerian educational system. At the end of this research, curriculum planners should be able to restructure and modify science curriculum to suit the students, teachers and the society as for the world of science is concern. The science teachers, as well as the chemistry teachers should be able to adopt and use a favourable and suitable method. It is hoped that the findings of this project will be of a great important to secondary school autho9rities in Orhionmwon Local Government Area as well as Edo State ministry of education.
The Nigerian government in her desire to produce young Nigerian chemist who can cope with our expanding industries mainly in the area of petroleum and petrochemical industries where valuable products for our daily use are produced, can rightly benefit from this study. It will also enable us to compare the achievements of students studying chemistry in different schools investigated in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State. This research would be relevant to students, teachers, and parents and to the society in general.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study is limited to Orhionmwon Local Government Area in Edo State. I am however limiting it to those secondary schools that offer chemistry in their senior secondary school (SSCE) certificate examinations (SS 1-3), in Orhionmwon Local Government Area.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Is the branch of science that deals with the properties and the composition of matter formally, chemistry because of it relevance to the body of science was define as that branch of science which deals with nature and properties of substances which make up our environment and the various changes which these substances undergoes in different condition.
This is one that posses the real quality of a teacher and he or she has the spirit of inculcating knowledge effectively into the students without stress. (The person has the qualifications and the experienced as far teaching is concern).
Knowledge or skills acquired through experience or study or by being taught.
A learner is one that is less knowledgeable who sit under the rood of a more knowledgeable person to receive information. So as to be a better person to the society.
5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
Summary and Conclusion
This research work is centred on poor performance of students in chemistry in secondary schools in Orhionmwon Local Government Area. The primary aim is to highlight the causes of the situation and assess the quantity and quality of human and material resources (teachers and laboratories) needed for effective teaching of chemistry in the area.
In the analysis of the causes and effects of the poor performance of chemistry students in secondary schools, many eminent chemistry teachers have stressed and expressed much concern about the situation in the form of write up regarding ways of remedying or reducing the unfavourable conditions to the barest minimum. Data was collected through questionnaires and oral interviews were done personally.
Data collected were analyzed by using tables and percentages and findings were obtained. Acute shortage of chemistry teachers, chemistry equipments, laboratories and the conservative beliefs and non-challant attitudes of students towards chemistry were found to affect their performance greatly in examination.
Chemistry as one of the science subjects is the main source of national and global scientific development and as a result it should be handled by competent personnel with all essential materials and equipment required of the subject. Therefore, from the result obtained during investigation, the researcher recommends that the State Government, Local Government should employ adequate number of qualified chemistry teachers and provide chemistry and laboratory facilities to all schools to promote the teaching and learning of chemistry.
Moreover, government should ensure in-service training for those teachers who are already in the field to update and upgrade their professions. Practical aspects of chemistry must be extensively laid emphasis on because little is comprehended through theoretical learning and much would be understood when what is taught is put into practice. Once this is done, positive impression would be created I students in what they have learnt because of learning by-doing.
Parents Teachers Association (PTA) meetings must be pursued in all schools so as to ensure financial aids from every parents in the association. Teachers should endeavour to make use of local materials required for effective chemistry teaching, because students will comprehend more when what are in their local environment are used to demonstrate learning activities for them.
Government should ensure regular allowances for chemistry teachers so that they can be motivated to impact the best knowledge at their disposal to the students.
Finally, the researcher suggests that qualified, efficient and adequate chemistry teachers should be posted to all secondary schools in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State with adequate incentives. Student’s interest in chemistry must be ensured by teacher’s encouragement, attitudes, approach and presentation of the subject. When all the above factors are met, performances of students in chemistry will be improved considerably.
Suggestions for Further Studies
From the difficulties mentioned under limitation, the researcher have completed this study to the best of her ability, particularly as time would not permit further survey into this area.
But for those that may be interested and wished to go into further study relating to this topic, the researcher recommends that there should be an investigation into the various methods of teaching employed by teachers and the one appreciated best by the students.
Other factors responsible for the poor performance of the students in chemistry should be highlighted apart from those already stated in this work. Moreover, effort should be made to carry out the research in other local government areas in Edo State and other states in Nigeria.
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