THE TRENDS IN STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN JUNIOR CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
This research work examined the trends in students performance in junior certificate examination in English language in Enugu North local government area.
Four research questions and hypotheses were formulated to guide this study. The research design used for this study was descriptive research design. The population of the study consisted of all the students of four (4) selected secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State with a total of four thousand three hundred (4300) students. The sample of the study was made of two hundred (200) respondents consisting of both males and females. A self structured questionnaire which was well validated and tested for reliability at 0.68 was used to collect data for the study. A descriptive statistics of frequency count and percentages were used to analyze demographic data while non-parametric statistics of chi-square was used to test the hypotheses set for the study at 0.05 alpha level of significance.
Four hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 alpha level of significance on factors associated with failure of students in English language in Enugu North Local Government, Enugu State.;
- Students factors significantly influenced poor performance of students (cal.t value=149.74> critical.t value=16.92).
- Family factors significantly influenced poor performance of students (cal.t value=70>critical.t value=16.92).
- School environment significantly influenced poor performance of students (cal.t value=20>critical.t value=16.92).
- Peer influence significantly influenced poor performance of students (cal.t value=11>critical.t val=16.92).
The findings of the research work revealed that the null hypotheses were rejected by the respondents and the identified factors could be ameliorated through enhancing the teachers’ quality in terms of subject contents, providing them opportunities for further studies, attending seminars and workshops for update because their quality has significant role to play in teaching and learning of the subject.
Background to the Study
In this era of globalization and technological revolution, education is considered as a first step for every human activity. It plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual’s well-being and opportunities for better living (Battle & Lewis, 2002). It ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable individuals to increase their productivity and improve their quality of life. This increase in productivity also leads towards new sources of earning which enhances the economic growth of a country (Saxton, 2000).For any country, a highly educated human resource contributes maximally to national development in various spheres. Individuals have used education as a ladder to climb to desired social economic levels. Education is also viewed as a tool for social economic changes (John 2017; Njuguna, 2011). As a result, the development of the educational sector should rank high in the scale of preference of policy makers and concerned institutions saddled with the responsibility of effecting national development in any country. No matter how well conceived a country’s developmental plans may be, they would be thwarted due to low achievement. Indeed, poor performance and high failure rate are inimical to the development of any society (Adeyemi and Adeyemi 2014).
In spite of the relevance of education as stated above, the Nigerian society has witnessed great deterioration in the standard of education, which as in turn resulted in poor performance by students in both junior and secondary Certificate Examinations in Nigeria (Alokan, Osakinle & Onijingin, 2013). The quality of students’ performance remains at top priority for educators. It is meant for making a difference locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Educators, trainers, and researchers have long been interested in exploring variables contributing effectively for quality of performance of learners. These variables are inside and outside school that affect students’ quality of academic achievement. These factors may be termed as; student factors, family factors, school environment and peer influence (Crosnoe, Johnson & Elder, 2004).
English language as a school subject is one of the important subjects in junior secondary school education. English language is relevant for both the students who are likely to continue to tertiary level and those who will not proceed. It equips students with a body of knowledge to make them functional and socially relevant in the fast changing world. English language is a distinct and dynamic science discipline. A decline in the yearly number of students’ enrolment for English language at the junior secondary certificate examination level as observed by the researcher and their lack of keen interest in English language as a school subject were the motivation for the study. The performance of students in Junior Secondary Schools in Nigeria has remained an issue of concern to all stakeholders (Ajagun, 2000). The report by Ojerinde (1998) on the survey of the performance of candidates in English language in Nigeria over the years revealed a discernible decline.This perennial decline has remained a source of concern to physical educators, (Nnaka and Anaekwe, 2004).
Statement of the Problem
The differential scholastic achievement of students in Enugu North has been and is still a source of concern and research interest to educators, government and parents. This so because of the great importance that education has on the national development of the country. Parents and government are in total agreement that their huge investment on education is not yielding the desired dividend. Teachers also complain of students’ low performance at both internal and external examination. The annual release of Junior secondary certificate examination result conducted by west African examination Council (WAEC) justified the problematic nature and generalization of differential students’ performance in different subjects especially in English language and integrated science (statistics office, WAEC, Enugu Nigeria 2009).
Hence this study intends to examine the trends in students performance in junior certificate examination in English language in Enugu North local government area
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study
- To what extent does student factors contribute to poor performance of students in Junior School Certificate Examination in English language?
- To what extent does family factors contribute to poor performance of students in Junior School Certificate Examination in English language?
- To what extent does school environment contribute to poor performance or students in Junior School Certificate Examination in English language?
- To what extent does peer influence contribute to poor performance of students in Junior School Certificate Examination in English language?
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between student factors and poor performance of students Junior School Certificate Examination in English language.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between family factors and poor performance of students Junior School Certificate Examination in English language.
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between school environment and poor performance of students Junior School Certificate Examination in English language.
Ho4: There is no significant relationship between peer influence and poor performance of students Junior School Certificate Examination in English language.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study was to find out the trends in students performance in junior certificate examination in English language in Enugu North local government area. Specifically it examined the following factors that associated with failure of English language in Enugu North local government.
- the student’s attitude and aptitude towards offering English language in the study area.
- teacher’s attitude/relationship to students as it influences study of English language.
- the influence of students’ peer groups.
- The availability of instructional materials in English language.
- The wideness of the syllabus.
- Gender influence.
Significant of the Study
This study is very essential to the extent that;
- It will help to identify most suggestions for improving achievement of students so far in junior secondary school examination. Students are the future leaders, the need for them to perform well and bring them to the right attitude towards education is the sole responsibilities of the government, teachers, parents, students and the society at large.
- The information from this research will help the examination bodies and education implementers to measure prospective role of facilitating and adapting ways of improving education.
- It will help the government to make polices that improved polices towards students continuous development in academics.
- It will help the teachers to have a good perception towards teaching and learning in the sense that they use the right teaching methods and the use of relevant teaching instruments.
- To create an awareness to the parents that their contribution in making their children have good reading abilities and study habits.
- Finally, it will help students have the right reception of themselves on the basis that their dedication and attitude to their studies especially in English language will not only improve them but expose them to have a better goal for their future.
Scope and Delimitation of the Study
This study will be restricted to the trends in students performance in junior certificate examination in English language in Enugu North Local Government area, Enugu State. Due to military factors such as time and other resources and the inconvenience of handling a large scope, the study will be delimited to: Enugu North local government area junior secondary school, the use of questionnaire as the research instrument and the use of percentage and chi-square.
Operational Definition of Terms
Pupil: Is a student under the direct supervision of a teacher.
Physical Activity: Is any bodily movement that is produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle and that substantially increases energy expenditure, including exercise, sport, dance, and other movement forms.
Exercise: Is any form of physical activity that helps to promote overall health.
Curriculum: Is the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process.
English language: It is an integral part of total education that has it aims in developing the body physically, mentally, and intellectually through selected physical activities.
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