FAMILY ISSUES THAT AFFECT STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA.STUDY OF OWERRI MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

Family Issues

Abstract

The study sought to find out how family background of students in Anambra State, Nigeria influences their academic achievement in senior secondary school Biology. A survey design was adopted for the study. Five hundred and forty-six (546) Senior Secondary Two (SS2) biology students were drawn by simple random sampling from 14 schools within Awka, Nnewi and Onitsha Education Zones, in Anambra State. Three research questions and four hypotheses guided the study. Data were collected using a researcher constructed questionnaire and students‟ SS1 and SS2 school results. Family Issues

The results revealed that family structure, parents‟ occupation and educational level of parents, did not have significant influence on students‟ achievement in biology. Based on the findings, the paper concludes that family background did not have much influence on students‟ achievement in science (biology) as against what most previous studies portrayed. Researches should therefore focus on other possible factors that contribute to students‟ poor performance in Biology and science generally in order to find lasting solution to the problem. Family Issues Some recommendations were also made. Family Issues

Introduction

The overall importance of education in general and science education in particular to mankind cannot be over-emphasized. No nation can afford to neglect science education at any level of education and hope to thrive in any field of human endeavour. Science education is imperative for useful living in any society. It is at the centre for producing resources necessary for socioeconomic, scientific and technological development needed for advancement of any nation. The above notwithstanding, much has been said about secondary school students poor performance in science generally and biology in particular. Over the years, performance in biology has been dwindling. For instance, Okoye and Okeke (2007) in their study found that in 2002, 2003 and 2004 the percentages of candidates who passed West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) at credit level and above (grades 1-6) in biology were 30.3%, 42.1% and 30.2% respectively.

Similarly, Egbunonu and Ugbaja reported that only 30.29% of the biology students who sat for the WASCE between 2000 and 2005 passed at credit level above (A1-C6). In 2008, WAEC Chief Examiners reported a decline in performance in biology especially the theoretical aspect (WAEC, 2008). Again, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on March 17th, 2010 reported that National Examination Council (NECO) recorded 74% failure in biology in their Nov/Dec. 2009 SSCE examination result. Statistics from May/June 2007- 2012 Senior Secondary Certificate Examination by WAEC shown in Table 1 tell the same story. The implication of this persistent poor performance of students in biology is that a great percentage of them fail to get grades that will take them to higher institution for higher studies. This has been a source of concern to wellmeaning Nigerians, parents, researchers and science educators.

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