COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE, COMPUTER SCIENCE AND INTEGRATED SCIENCE IN EXTERNAL EXAMINATIONS FROM 2003 TO 2007
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Measuring of academic performance of students is challenging since student performance is the product of socio-economic, psychological and environmental factors. Education ought to be growing as a profitable industry with the prime objective of maximizing profit by delivering high-quality education that produces well educated, skilled mannered students according to the needs and requirements of the dynamically growing market. There are two groups of students as generally perceived, that is those who improve and those who don’t improve. Students' performance is also affected by different factors such as learning abilities because the new paradigm about learning assumes that all students can and should learn at higher levels but it should not be considered as a constraint because there are other factors like race, gender, and sex that can affect students performance Hansen (2000).
Mishae (2001) explained the effect of age, qualification and distance from learning. Place on the student's performance in his explanation concerns the readiness in doing a particular discipline in the school; for instance, a student that is not capable of doing sciences in the secondary school joins sciences because his/her friends are offering the subjects. Winston et al (2002) added that the academic performance of students is also coined in the student's impatience (this time discount behaviour). Yuonne (1998) further elaborated that students' academic performance is very much dependent on SEB (socio-economic background) as per his statement, secondary school students' performance is with statically significant differences. Alexander (2001) explained that some of the practices adopted by secondary school administration can also influence their academic performance, such practices as organized study groups, debate clubs, media and culture clubs etc.
According to Bello Lawal, an Abuja based educationist and a member of the All Nigeria committee of Principals of secondary school (ANCOPSS). The truth is that the reading culture in Nigeria is generally poor. To make it worse, these days, most of our students hardly read. Instead, they waste their precious time watching television or films, listening to music, playing music, and playing video/computer games.
Another educationist Mohammed (2009) attributed the dismal performance in the external examinations to the lackadaisical attitude of the government and its refusal to adequately fund the education sector. According to him, on several occasions, we clamoured for improved budgeting allocation to the education sector but all these have fallen on deaf ears. For instance, UNESCO recommends that 26 per cent of any country’s budget should be allocated to the education sector but instead what do we have in Nigeria.
Government paying lip service to the education sector. Other countries that understand the importance of education have taken proactive steps to adequately fund their education sector. For instance, Ghana has allocated 29 per cent of its budget education sector, even far more than the UNESCO recommendation. The same thing with countries like South Africa and Botswana which allocated 35 and 37 per cent respectively to the education sector. So until these things are implemented we would continue to Morty age the future of our children.
Statement of the problem
Secondary school students' performances in external examinations have been nagging issues in Nigeria generally and particularly in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State.
Language is a medium of the institution. For teaching and learning to take place effectively, there must be adequate communication between the learner and the teacher. In Nigeria, the English language is a “Lingua Franka”. Except in vernacular, it is used in communicating with the learner in all Nigerian schools. The importance of the English language can hardly be overemphasized. That is why it appears almost every day in the school timetable.
Unfortunately, a cursory look at the performance of students in the English language in particular computer and integrated science in external examination in Enugu North Local Government Area is nothing to write home about. Since computer and integrated science are relatively new in the development of science and technology, the researchers would want to find out why there is an always recorded low performance in English language, computer science and integrated science from 2003 to 2007 in the case study.
Secondly, what facilities are available for teaching and learning the three subjects in the Senior secondary school certificate examination in Enugu Local Government Area.
Purpose of the study
Based on the background and the problem of this study, the main purpose underlying the project is to compare the academic performances of the Senior secondary school students in English language, computer science and integrated science in external Examinations from 2003 TO 2007. (A case study of Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State) specifically, the purpose of the study tends to find out:
Significance of the study
The usefulness of the research work in the educational system cannot be overemphasized if the result of the study is properly utilized. It is going to be a benefit to the students, teachers, parents and government. This would help to provide some information for curriculum designers and classroom teachers in order to utilize relevant approaches to enhance meaningful learning and teaching of English language, Integrated Science and computer science students. Thus, the knowledge of students’ cognitive styles and attitudes would be very useful in both academic and career enhancement.
Scope of the study
The study was based on the Senior secondary school students' performance in external examinations in English Language, Integrated Science and Computer science in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State. This specification covers the following Senior secondary schools;
The schools mentioned above are used in this research work for better coverage and easy assessment.
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study. These questions are:-
Limitation of the study
For proper project research to be carried out effectively, there should be some limitations along the line, these limitations include:
Time Constraint: This is the time consumed by students carrying out a particular project research topic.
First and foremost, for a student to achieve his or her goals on project research, there should be an effective plan on how the materials needed can be gotten.
And this will be actualised by proper research which might involve moving from one place to another in search of these materials. By so doing time is consumed.
On the other hand, some students in a particular group may be giving excuses that the time fixed is not suitable for them, and some may complain that they usually do their domestic work for their parents during the project research exercise, which may demand all attention.
In order to balance the equation, they should be proper plans for time management.
Money: This involves the money needed for the project to be carried out in a situation whereby the money needed becomes high, some students in a group will be affected and this may hinder their chances of participating and finally terminates their work since nothing good comes easy without money.
Difficulty Experiences: This is the experience we encounter in our group. Since everybody has his/her own personal character couple with an individual schedule for daily activity, things can never be done at the same time. Therefore, the time schedule for a particular group to carry out their project research varies.
The insincerity of responding to questionnaire items: this is the inability of the supervisor did not explain properly the most essential things needed and how he wants the project to be done. The project writer may find it difficult to cope.
The research investigated the comparison of academic performances of Senior Science in External Examinations from 2003 to 2007. This study is a survey research design. It is research conducted on a large number of people to identify general opinion. The study was carried out in Enugu North Local Government Area. The area belongs to Enugu Educational Zone. The population of the study consist of all the students and teachers in Senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State. The population of the students are 20, 470 while that of teachers is 4, 300. We used four Senior secondary schools as our sample out of the Senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area, Enugu State. Random sampling techniques were used to select ten (10) students from each of the schools used in the table listed above to ensure that the relevant features of the population were adequately represented. Five (5) staff (teachers) from each of the schools were also sampled. The instrument used was a questionnaire designed to elicit responses to the items in questions. The researchers used the four scales strongly agreed (SA), Agreed (A) Disagree (D) and strongly |Disagreed (SD). The respondents are required to tick against the column that best describes their views on each item. The questionnaire will be distributed to ten (10) students from each school and five (5) teachers from each school and will also be collected through items. The researchers used means to analyze and interpret the data. Interpretation of the data was based on the following scores interval:
SA – Strongly Agreed – 4 points
A - Agreed - 3 points
D – Disagreed - 2 points
SD- Strongly Disagreed – 1 point
The output was determined by finding the mean of each number.