1.1 Background to the Study
Over the years, the academic performance of students in secondary schools has been a source of worry to teachers, parents, educational administrators and the society at large. This is more evident in the fact that the input has not always been equivalent to the output. In other words, the knowledge impacted on students by teachers is not always seen reflecting on their performance.
Formal education which is practiced in schools cannot be complete without a certificate being given out. Before any certificate is given to any student, especially at the secondary level, there must have been an examination which would qualify such student for the next class. This kind of examination continues until a student reaches SS3, when he/she is expected to sit for West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE), and National Examination Council Examination (NECO) which are external examinations.
The importance of promotional examinations in secondary schools cannot be overemphasized for several reasons. The foremost reason for any promotional examination is that it remains the only criterion for allowing any student to move to the next class. A student is not expected to move to the next class after having failed the promotional examination, which takes place in third term of any academic session.
Previous studies on the performance of students were almost generalized for both genders. Not much has been done in attempting a comparison of the performance of males and females. This could be due to the fact that several researchers have failed to consider the possibility of having differences in the performance of both genders. If this is the case, it implies that different approaches and effort are required to assist the weaker gender.
The researcher is interested in comparing the performance of male and female secondary school students. This extends to finding out whether there is difference between the performance of males and females at secondary school level.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The main way of showing the academic ability of any student is by having a close check on the student’s performance. Records from previous works show that at certain periods, males have performed better than their female counterparts (Oladeji & Tayo, 2011). At other times, the reverse was the case as it was recorded that females have better performance than their male counterparts ( Khan, 2012).
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