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A SURVEY OF PERFORMANCE OF PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education according to Harris (1997) is essentially concerned with the transmission of knowledge. It central concern is that the students upon leaving schools will know certain things he did not know on arrival. Above all, education aims to overcome ignorance and to teach people about the world on which they live. Education according to Random House College Dictionary “is the act or process of impacting, acquiring general knowledge and of developing the power of reasoning and judgment” Education can be defined as the collection of all processes by which a person develop abilities, attitude and other forms of positive behaviours and values in the society in which he/she lives, the importance of education in the development of a country cannot be over emphasized. Education is a potent force which could be utilized for solution of social problems and for the utilization of the aspirations of a Nation.
Every society attempts to free its citizens from disease, ignorance, poverty and oppression through economics, social and political development. Education has always been the major instrument used to bring about these changes. The Nigeria National Policy of Education (1981) shows that this country believes in education as a tool for development. In the policy, emphasis was laid on the “individual efficiency, social, cultural, economic, political scientific and technological progress, this is why the Nigerian government has always devoted a substantial amount of its annual budgets to the improvement of the standard of education in the country.
The falling standard in education has been attributed to different reasons. The poor performance of students in examination has given some people concern and these people have tried to find out the reason responsible for this poor performance. Some people have argued that it is as a result of indolence and laxity of students. Alex Ogundeji in his article titled falling standard in education: causes and remedies attributed that falling standard in education to indolence and laxity on the part of the students. He said that “the student’s factors” should not be left out. Invariantly, no matter how dedicated a teacher may be, if he/she student are not devoted to their studies the results of the teacher’s effort will fall short of expectation. It is clear that our present day youths are not serious minded as their counter parts many decades ago. Akporo also blamed the falling standard of education of students, he argued that the low academic performance of students should be blamed on the moral and ethical growth of the youth. While others review the falling standard emanates from chronic lack of professional teachers. The falling standard of education was reflected when upon by Okigbo when he said that “Education is no longer what it used to be in the olden days, the difference in performance when compared to our days shows remarkable difference. Education is greatly valued social services in every country. In Nigeria, it is seen as the key to success in the effort to develop the human and materials resources of the country. The development of education was perceived as being crucial to the development of the economic education is also the best tool that enables an individual to fulfill his responsibility to the best of the society. The social demand for education in Nigeria correlates the sudden upsurge in the number of secondary schools established in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. In recent times or years, thus quarantine education without discriminatory factors such as trace, religion or family class. This could be better described as a partial attainment of the objectives of education as clearly stated in the National Policy on Education.
A detailed study of the first school leaving certificate examination result of recent years in Edo State revealed a general trend of poor performance by students 1996 for instance, out of 45, 825 candidates that sat for the examination, 8%, 15% and 20% of the candidates passed out distinction, merit and pass respectively. Similarly 1997 and 1998 poor performance were equally recorded why that of 1999 and 2000 were also horrifying that it become the subject of debate among concerned citizens. Education planners, administrators, state government and community alike usually focus their activities and efforts in achieving high standard in schools, student s performance at final examination such as first school leaving certificate examination often act as a good indication of the measurement of the attainment of the educational goals one can therefore assert that the very poor performance new exhibited by students in the first leaving certificate examination is a markable deviation from the societal and examinational expectation for high level performance of students. A more specific issue that has emerged from the statistics of the result and under discussion is the great disparity in achievement among student s in different school. While in some schools, student s passed considerably well, majority of student s in some other schools either made fair passed or failed woefully. Its has become ultimately important to investigate into the variables responsible for the variation in students performance from the different schools in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, using the secondary schools in Benin City as a case study. The fact that performance for schools among student s and perhaps have often favored those schools that had recorded relatively good performance (results) in the first school leaving certificate examination. In the light of the existing equalities among these schools, this research would explore if these differences affect the academic performance of the students, that is the quality of education they receive of importance also is the contention of James Coleman that quality education opportunity should match quality result performance, given the same inputs, or difference exist in student s, performance, then it could be traced to differential school inputs, or perhaps others factors.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
It is true that student’s performance in the first school leaving certificate examination reveal greatly on poor performance in recent years. This trend in student performance is not of equal degree. In same school there are relatives, good result or performance while in others has been below expectations. Therefore the generally falling or impression in the society that students fro private schools perform more better than that their counterpart called “students school” the problem of this study is determine whether the class size and the staffing quality or students relation or school contribute to the disparity in their academic performance.
Therefore, the problem of this study will focus on how human resources (quality teachers) and infrastructural facilities such as library laboratory classroom, furniture etc. affect the scholastic performance through the way they are allocated among different schools, thus the study would be directly toward answering the following questions.
The following research questions finding out facilities.
(1) Are these laboratory and laboratory facilities in private school
(2) Are there library facilities in private school
(3) What the average class size in private school
(4) Are there qualified and experience teacher in private school
(5) What is the teacher students ratio in private school
(6) What is the academic performance of students first school leaving certificate examination in both private school
PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to investigate how much influence the quality of schools that student’s attend had no their academic performance using the first schooling leaving certificate examination as a variable.
This becomes necessary so as to examine how inequality apparent in secondary school actually affects student’s performance. Therefore it will be to advocating for educational opportunity to school students in this part of the country.
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This research would be immense benefit to educators, planners, students and various educational agencies in Edo State in particular and Nigeria in general. As on as it will seen to reveal the hazardous effect on inequalities existing in our present secondary schools. In additional these finding would be of important in knowing the ultimate need of necessary in efficiently in resource allocation both human and materials among school and students.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this study is to analyze the effect of staff or class size and the quality and teaching staff in performance will be carried out in six schools in Benin City for the period of these years (2002-2004).
DEFINITION OF TERMS
School quality: This is used here to mean quality of teaching staff, availability of infrastructural facilities like laboratory, school library and furniture.
High Quality School (H.Q.A): This refers to school with poor staffing, either poorly equipped library, classroom, laboratory e.g.
Low quality school (L Q.S): This refers to school with poor staffing position, either poorly equipped library and laboratory or none at all.
School quality questionnaire (S.Q.Q) this is an instrument of finding out information about the quality of different schools.
Experienced Teacher: Teachers with the relevant teaching qualities and have taught for more than five years.
Quality Teacher: All teachers who have the prescribed teaching qualification such as TCII, NCE, AGE and B.ED
Academic performance: The rate at which students pass or fail the subjects offered in their school leaving certificate examination
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