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FACTORS AFFECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF STATE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ECONOMICS IN EDUCATION
This study examined the factors affecting the academic performance of state senior secondary school students in Economics in Education District IV of Lagos State. In carrying out this study, the sample survey design was adopted. The population of the study covered the entire students of the Public or State Senior Secondary Schools in Education District IV of Lagos State. A sample of 300 students was selected for the study using the simple random sampling technique. Two research instruments were designed to collect data for this study. These instruments included a questionnaire structured by the researcher for the students and a forty-item objective achievement test on Economics. The samples of the instruments were shown to the research supervisor for validation. A pilot test was conducted using some copies of the instruments; and the Split-half statistical method was employed to determine the reliability coefficients of the instruments and the instruments were found reliable at 0.63 and 0.58 coefficients. The data collected on the demographic features of the respondents were presented in percentage tables and interpreted respectively; whereas the data generated from the responses of the respondents to the questionnaire items and their scores from the achievement test were used to analyze the four the research questions and test the four hypotheses posited for the study, using percentages, mean and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). The study result showed that the home, school and classroom environmental factors, as well as socioeconomic factors have significant influence on state senior secondary school students’ performance in Economics. Accordingly, it was suggested among other things that government and secondary school administrators should ensure that secondary schools are provided with adequate relevant and appropriate physical and material resources needed to aggrandize both the school and classroom environments for effective teaching and learning.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is a social service that is provided for the general population of a country for the enlightenment of the people. Through education skills are acquired; and this enables a country to develop. In Nigeria, like so many other developing countries of the world, there is always strong faith in education as the key to economic progress and political stability. Education constitutes the major engine for sustainable human development as well as the fulcrum around which every activity revolves. Bell (2003) posits that no nation can rise beyond its educational level. Indeed, nations that have achieved feats in the world heavily rely on the instrumentality of education (Obianime and Nwachukwu, 2006). This is because through education individuals acquire useful and relevant knowledge, skills and attitude that enable them to live meaningful and contributive life in the world. As a result, education liberates the beneficiaries from ignorance, poverty, redundancy and disease.
Nevertheless, there will be no provision of qualitative education without efficient educational system that guarantees effective teaching and learning (effective implementation of the curricula of education) in schools at all levels of the educational system. This is because through teaching the curriculum as related to every educational level is interpreted into ideas, skills and attitude by the teachers and transferred to the learners. When this process is effectively carried out, better learning outcomes and performance on the part of the learners is achieved. This is because the real essence of teaching is to transmit and internalize the educational values and ideas, which are recommended in the National Policy on Education (2004).
In Nigerian schools, especially secondary schools, it is expected that apart from brilliant performances in the various subjects taught by teachers; creativity, self-reliance and independence of mind, nationalistic outlook and freedom from mental colonization should as well manifest as learning outcomes in the lives of the students from that level of education. The above fundamental issues are not peculiar with Nigerian schools only. But, in a rapidly changing world with its complex and complicated schooling phenomena, scholars who are concerned with educational development have been hammering on the ever-intriguing issues of failure of Nigerian educational quality and students’ poor academic performance.
For instance, Okam (2002) notes that on aggregate the performance of secondary school students in economics in placement examinations like WAEC and NECO has been dwindling every year. Other scholars (Lanham, 1999) who have the same view with Okam have tried to ascribe this decline in students’ performance in economics and other relevant subjects to poor school physical facilities, outdated books in the libraries, ill-equipped laboratories, antiquated workshops, abandoned classroom blocks, unmotivated shabby hungry looking teachers, non-availability of instructional materials and inadequate availability of classroom based furniture and materials.
However, today in Lagos State, the government of Babatunde Fashola has taken a conspicuous policy action that had resulted in the renovation of the physical facilities in almost all the public primary and secondary schools in Lagos State, as well as provided them with adequate school and classroom based infrastructure. Some of the schools are even blessed with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) facilities. The teachers are also not left behind as they have as well received a little financial motivation. But all the above positive changes in the state schools according to recent report of Damole (2011) have not made any obvious increase in the performance of the students in their various subjects or in their placement examinations. It is against this background that this study attempts to examine the factors that are really affecting the academic performance of state secondary school students with particular reference to economics.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many authors (Obianime & Nwachukwu, 2006) have attempted to examine the factors affecting the academic performance of secondary school students in economics. But none of them has made a holistic effort to capture in one study the entire factors affecting students’ academic performance in the subject. Some of the authors even studied only one factor as independent of students’ academic performance in economics. In addition, most of the authors conducted their studies at the state level without involving many of the secondary schools and students in the local education districts. This study therefore intends to close the above gaps by focusing on the secondary schools and students at the local education districts; and also by studying holistically the entire supposed factors affecting students’ academic performance in economics under four groups of socioeconomic factors home, school and classroom environmental factors.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study examined the factors affecting the academic performance of state senior secondary school students in economics. Based on this main objective, this study sought to:
1.4 Research Questions
In order to achieve the above objectives, the following questions were raised to guide the process of this study.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were posited for testing during this study.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of great value to the Federal and state Ministries of Education as it will reveal to them the various weak areas needing policy actions to strengthen teaching and learning at the secondary schools in order to achieve the expected performance among the students.
Also, for this study to examine the factors affecting state secondary school students’ academic performance in economics in Education District IV of Lagos State, the results are expected to be another contribution to existing literature and body of knowledge on the influence of the home, school, classroom and socioeconomic factors on state secondary school students’ performance.
While previous studies have generally addressed and evaluated specific impacts of selected factors affecting secondary school students’ learning and experiences in many other areas in Lagos State, little effort has been devoted to secondary schools’ learning outcomes and factors affecting it in the Education District IV of Lagos State, hence, this study is an effort that has covered this gap.
The study will also be a reference document for other students carrying out research on the same or similar topic.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focused on examining the factors influencing the academic performance of secondary school students. The factors were grouped under home, school, classroom and societal environmental factors. This study was limited to Education District IV of Lagos State; and covered only the public secondary schools in the district. In addition, only the students were involved in the study.
Tags: Economics Factors affecting economics Relevance of economics Impact of economics Economics in education
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