Causes Of Students Poor Academic Performance In Social Studies In JSS Certificate Examination: A Case Study Of Oka Secondary School, Benin City

Social Studies Project Topic

Causes Of Students Poor Academic Performance In Social Studies In JSS Certificate Examination: A Case Study Of Oka Secondary School, Benin City


The purpose of this study is to find out some of the causes of student poor academic performance in Junior Secondary School in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area. In carrying out the study a questionnaire was designed and administered to principals, vice principals, and teachers of the selected schools. The result shown that lack of laboratory/museum, syllabus, field trip/excursion, lack of teaching aids, teaching method, unqualified teachers can discourage the interest of the students. To each of these problem a solution had been suggested, if these suggestions are applied by the government and the teacher, the problems of poor academic performance will be reduced drastically in the country and in the selected schools in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

To start with, it is proper to disabuse your mind from the earlier opinion that social studies is the study of history, geography, religious studies, government civics, economic history, anthropology or sociology. It is not an amalgamation of the subjects listed above under the big umbrella of social studies. Hence, Adeyemo (2000) defined it as the totality of experience students goes through having been exposed to such a course based on man’s interminable problem in chosen environment with a full knowledge of unable factors whether historical, geographical, traditional political, social, religious, economic, psychological, cultural, scientific or technological that are normally responsible in man’s wed of interaction with his environment.

As Uche (1980) puts it, social studies provides understand their physical and human environment in order to act as responsible citizen. It has become imperative to find out the trend of performances of students in social studies in the junior secondary school certificate examination in Oka Secondary School, Benin City. As the society becomes more complex and advanced in technology man restricted social studies. This a lot of innovations emanated in different perspectives some of such innovation includes, change in shelter, transportation, use of products, culture, social institutions, socialization and change in education. In other to cope with the change/innovation in social studies, the subject was introduced to junior secondary school curriculum. Hence, junior secondary schools are the level where rudiments of social studies are taught.

Ulabar (1984) observed that students performance in social studies in Ikpoba- Okha local government area has been affected by lack of qualify social studies teachers, lack of laboratory. Teaching aids, poor teaching method, poor motivation, wrong choice of course, financial problem, family problem, inadequate equipment, psychological problem, lack of provision of guidance and counselor and poor health. Despite all the effects devoted to the problem of poor academic performance, there has been little success. This study is therefore aimed at looking into these problems and other with a view to provide solution to them. It is the hope of the research that recommendation that would be made based on the findings would help to ameliorate the situation. Similarly, it is believed that the recommendation would be of immense benefit to educational planner’s policy makers, teachers and students.

1.2 Statement of Problem

This process of teaching and learning bring the individual in contact with educational process. In 2010, the performance of student in social studies has left much to be desire. Efforts so far made at improving this seemingly bad situation will not see to be proving the desire result. It would appear from past efforts that the problems have not been either correctly diagnosed, or solution provided have been adequate enough to ameliorate the situation.

In the light of the above it is obvious that the teachers and students themselves, who in the studied separately, would provide the needed solution.

The problem that arises from this situation is a decline in the numbers of students enrolling in social studies at the secondary school level. This definitely has a negative overall effect on the economy. How that the country needs to be self sufficient the youth must be encouraged to study social studies.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The study is aimed at achieving the following objective.

  1. To determine the performance of students in social studies in junior secondary school examinations.
  2. To appraise the adequacy of facilities and equipment available in teaching social studies in junior secondary school.
  3. To find out the extent to which students social economic background affects their academic performance in social studies.
  4. To find out the extent to which poor condition of services for teachers and lack of qualified teachers can influence student’s academic performance.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study will help to know more light on the student’s poor academic performance in social studies so as to appraise the problems and prospects of the study is significant because social studies is the basic antidote for interaction between man and his environment. It is researcher sincere hope and wish that this little contribution will be of immense benefit to the motivate their interest towards the study of the subject in schools.

Government is likely, to benefits immensely from his study since the recommendation made in the later part of study would highlight the areas that need to be given more attention in the teaching and learning of social studies in junior secondary schools.

The result of the research work would undoubtedly enable the social studies teachers to improve his teaching method and effective use of teaching aids. It wills also emphases needs for students to show more interest in the subject

1.5 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the causes of student’s poor academic performance in social studies in the junior secondary school certificate examination 2010 in Oka Secondary School, Benin City.

1.6 Research Question

To facilitate the achievement of this study, the following research question will be treated.

  1. Does the inadequacy of social studies laboratory affect the performance of students?
  2. Does student performance affect the participation of field trip/examination?
  3. Does the unavailability of teaching aids affect student’s performance?
  4. Does method employed affects students performance in JSS 3 examination?
  5. Does the supervision of teaching affect student’s performance in JSS 3 examination?
  6. Does parental pressure affect student’s performance in JSS 3 examination?

1.7 Definition of Terms

The following terms used in this study are described or defined below:

Study Habit:

A well planned and deliberate pattern of study which has attained a form of consistency on the part of the students towards understanding academic subject and passing examination.

Academic Performance:

This is used inter changeable with academic achievement. It refers to students score arising from their responses to some set of learning tasks presented in a test or examination situation.


Syllabus is a guide or planned topics, which the teacher uses to teach the students, with in the school year.

Field Trip:

Field trip are sometime called excursion. They give the students the panoramic view of what they have been learning in the class.


Library is a room or building for a collection of books, kept therefore reading, the school library is an important department in the school which helps to promote on inclemency the growth of their knowledge.

Qualified Teacher:

This is a person that undergoes series of training in methodology of teaching and be able to change or promote study performance.

Teaching Method:

This is different method used by teachers to promote students learning towards particular subjects.


This is the arousal of student’s interests in learning.


This is a building in which objects of artistic, cultural, historical or scientific interest are kept and show to the public.

Teaching Aid/Instructional Material:

There are objects or material which promote the effectiveness of instruction and help the teacher to communicate more effectively.

Chapter Five

Conclusion, Implication and Recommendation

This chapter of the study is set to summarize the description analysis done. In the previous chapter. It also makes recommendation and conclusion of the work. In summary the purpose of the their study is to evaluate the cause of student in J.S.S Certificate Examination in Oka Secondary School, Benin City.

In order to carry out the investigation, a background study into the cause of student poor academic performance was made research question were formulated to serve as guild for collection of data to be texted since the population for the study was very large, it has to be sampled by using simple random selection method. The data were analyzed using the simple percentage statistical method of analysis.

In the study while answering question majority of teachers in the areas of study were not much experience. The bulk of teacher handing social studies N.C.E holders.

The number of people of period allocated to social studies per week were not sufficient for a detailed work. Student were not sufficient involved in field trips many teacher taught outside their area of specialization.

Finally, the study has been able to establish that teaching aids employed by social studies teacher to some extents influence the performance of student.

Implications of the Findings

From the analysis of the research question the following were the finding:

  1. That majority of the students in the school (about 70%) were of the opinion that non-availability of laboratory facilities affected students performance in social studies.
  2. That majority of the students in the schools (about 80%) indicated that laboratories were not fully equipped.
  3. Majority of the students in the school about 65% are of the opinion that students did not participate in field trip while 35% agreed.
  4. That only 58% of the student visited laboratory for practical.
  5. About 55% of the students agreed that field trip are important to social studies while 65% through otherwise,
  6. That about 59% agreed that the use of teaching aids in social studies contributed to students performance in examination.
  7. That 62% agreed that teachers always use combination all the methods in teaching social studies which affected their performance.


This study was designed to find out how to improve the performance of students in social studies. The findings revealed that laboratory facilities are essential to social studies teaching good and favourable performance. However, some schools especially in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area are situated in remote area of the town surrounded by house and forest. That majority of the respondents indicated that there is not enough supply of teaching materials and aids in the secondary school.

Recommendations Based on the Findings of the Study

This following are recommendation to the findings of this study.

  1. The parents, teachers in collaboration with the ministry of education and government should make provision for equipping social studies laboratory in school.
  2. Government, PTA and school authority should make provision for modern teaching aids for teaching social studies.
  3. The teachers should be encouraged to use various method of teaching such as field trip and experiences. This can be done, it may attend seminars or conferences in teaching methods.
  4. Government should provides schools with guidance.
  5. The majority of education should re-organize the inspection of schools to ensure teaching and learning process especially in social studies.
  6. The government sho9uld encourage teachers to improve their teaching qualification or go for further studies.
  7. More teaching periods should be allocated to social studies.

Suggestion for Further Research

This research work was carried out in secondary school therefore this same topic can be investigated in higher institution of learning to ascertain the causes of students poor academic performance among students. Finally, this research should be encouraged in all institutions of higher learning in the country.

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