1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigeria, students have to sit for a terminal examination known as the Senior Secondary School
Certificate Examination (SSSCE) conducted by two public or national examination agencies namely: the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council
NECO). This is the examination taken by candidates in their last stage of secondary education, that is, candidates in the third and final year of their secondary education. The West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) administered by WAEC is a type of standardized test conducted for its member countries namely: Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra- Leone and The Gambia (West African Examination Council, 2016). The academic school-leaving qualification awarded upon successful completion of the examinations is the West African Senior School Certificate (WASSCE). The WAEC was established by law in 1952 with headquarters in Accra, Ghana and national offices in all member countries with the mandate to conduct such examinations and award certificates of comparable standard to those of similar examining authorities, world-wide.
Education is the total process of human learning by which knowledge is imparted, faculties trained and skills developed. Secondary schools not only occupy a strategic place in the educational system in Nigeria, it is also the link between the primary and the university levels of education. According to Asikhai (2010), education at secondary school level is supposed to be the bedrock and the foundation towards higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in a country. It is rather unfortunate that the secondary schools today are not measuring up to the standards expected of them. There have been public outcries over the persistently poor performance of secondary school students in public examinations.
According to Nwokocha and Amadike (2005), academic performance of students is the yardstick for testing the educational quality of a nation. Hence, it is expedient to maintain a high performance in internal and mostly external examinations. For some years now, reports on the pages of newspapers and research findings have shown the abysmal performance of students of secondary schools in public examinations. Ajayi (2002), Nwokocha and Amadike (2005), WAEC (2007), The Punch newspaper (September 27, 2008), Adeyemi (2008) and Asikhia (2010) have all shown the extent of poor performance of students in public examinations. The persistent decline in students’ performance in public examinations is not only frustrating to the students and the parents, its effects are equally grievous on the society. One of the most potent barometers so far, if not the strongest, of measuring school performance of students is through public examinations such as Senior School Certificate Examination (S.S.C.E.) in Nigeria. These examinations are externally moderated and enjoy a lot of public confidence. The form of education children receive after primary and before tertiary stage is called secondary education. Without secondary school products, it is obvious that the basis for any future academic study cannot be laid. From the aims and objectives of the setting up of schools, one would expect that day and boarding senior secondary school students’ performance in Kano State would greatly improve. Admittedly, no educational system is problem free. However, the decay in Nigerian educational system is becoming embarrassing. Ogunsaju (1990) described it as calamitous. Though, brilliant students can be found even in public schools, the high percentage of failure in WASSCE tends to rubbish the good ones among them.
Therefore, if education is going to continue to hold on to its old image as an instrument par excellence for achieving national development, it has to be salvaged or resuscitated. The popular practices of changing the curriculum or adding more subjects, changing the duration of schooling or voting more money are not yielding the expected results. A lot more has to be done. Nigerians are quick at pointing accusing fingers at poor teaching facilities, inadequate and poorly trained teachers, parental laxity, under funding and so on. While all these are possibilities, there is an urgent need now to reappraise the schools vis-à-vis all these factors since situations are not static. For instance, the government continues to vote more money into the education sector annually without corresponding improvement in the schools. Therefore, this study focuses on the factors affecting student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria, a case study of Ikeja LGA.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Disappointingly, this all important sector is faced with myriad of problems. Prominent among the problem area that brings to light the poor show of the sector is the abysmal outing of students in SSCE. The woeful performance in WAEC and NECO has been a source of worry to Parents and other stakeholders in the
Consequently, the out-cry on the persistent poor and unpromising performances of many day and boarding senior secondary school students in Ikeja metropolis, Nigeria specifically, in the past six years (2005/2006, 2006/2007, 2007/2008, 2008/2009) in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) made educationists and the government policy makers and the researcher wonder whether the schools are measuring up to the expectations. However, several factors among the numerous problems confronting Day and Boarding Senior Secondary Schools in Ikeja Metropolis will without doubt positively or negatively affect students’ performance in WAEC examinations. Many of them lack management of school building, facilities and equipment, such as, books, libraries, science, vocational and languages laboratories, maintenance of instructional materials for the teaching and learning process, maintenance of discipline, management and administration of senior secondary schools, inspection and supervision of school curriculum and time table by State Ministry of Education, inter-personal relationship between school and community, time management, teachers‘ level of commitment, inter-personal relationship between students and teachers and students‘ welfare support services.
Other factors that may equally affect Day and Boarding students‘ academic performance in WAEC examinations include: students‘ indiscipline in schools, inadequate supervision of students‘ conduct in the house, lack of involvement of students ineffective communication in schools, lack of innovation, lack of students‘ participation in school decision-making, lack of students‘ participation in co- curricular activities in schools, inaccurate techniques of evaluating students‘ academic work, frequent change in state admission and promotion policies by educational administrators and planners for the school systems, students‘ poor attitude to school work, teachers‘ qualification and development, students- parents relationships, inaccurate statistical data, retention of unqualified staff, lack of funds which inhibits proper maintenance of human and material resources in schools, poor morale of parents, government and students in the core- subjects and other major indicators.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the factors affecting student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria, a case study of Ikeja LGA. The specific objectives of this study include the following:
1. To find out the impact of economic factors on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria.
2. To ascertain the role of cultural factors on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria.
3. To investigate the influence of demographic factors on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria.
4. To examine the impact of teachers’ performance on factors on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria.
5. To assess the influence of school environment on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The relevant research questions related to this study include the following:
1. What is the impact of economic factors on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria?
2 what is the role of cultural factors on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria?
3. what is the influence of demographic factors on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria?
4. what is the impact of teachers’ performance on factors on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria?
5. what is the influence of school environment on student performance in West Africa senior secondary school certificate examination in Nigeria?
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant effect of teaching and learning aids on student’s academic performance in West African senior secondary school certificate examination.
H1: There is a significant effect of teaching and learning aids on student’s academic performance in West African senior secondary school certificate examination.
H0: There is no significant relationship between teacher commitment to teaching and work habit and the performance of student in West African senior secondary school certificate examination
H1: There is a significant relationship between teacher commitment to teaching and work habit and the performance of student in West African senior secondary school certificate examination
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that the finding of this study will make education authorities to give attention to business education programme. Also the findings and recommendation will provide useful information for the causes of low performance in West African senior secondary school certificate examination by subject teachers and principals of secondary schools improving plan for implementing good education programme. In addition, it will serve as a useful guide to guidance, counsellors, parents, teachers and principals in advising the students on good study habits.
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to factors affecting student’s performance in West African senior secondary school certificate examination.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Affecting: The power to have an effect on people or things, or a person or thing that is able to do this.
Student: A person formally engaged in learning, especially one enrolled in a school or college; pupil
Academic Performance: It refers to the percentage of enrolled students completing educational level.
Students’ Performance: It refers to how well a student meets standards set out by local government and the institution itself.
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