1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Students’ poor performance in Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by both the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) (Eze, 2011) is really disturbing especially that educationists now emphasis much on educational accountability. It is worthwhile to reiterate on the role and function of English language and mathematics in Nigeria as that which warrants concern when students’ performance in it is poor. English language is used as the medium of instruction and in learning other subjects in all Nigerian educational institutions. Equally too, no student is qualified for admission into the Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions without scoring a credit pass in it in addition to other four subjects in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO). One other serious issue worthy of note at this point of discourse is that, in Nigeria today, during the placement of students into either schools or classrooms to enhance better performance, the factors mostly considered are ability, aptitude, occupation or trade or career choice, science or arts inclination but always at the exclusion of gender streaming factor. Where and when gender comes to mind, it is an haphazard exercise. It is neither based on policy guideline or research report nor bearing in mind academic performance benefit but on grounds of morality or religious injunctions or obligations. Secondly, this study wasmotivated by issues related to gender equity in education especially in northern Nigeria despite several declarations and provision of legislative tools and other support by powerful international bodies such as UNICEF, World Bank, UNESCO etcetera on this issue. These include the inequity between female and male educational opportunities, low level of enrollment, alarming withdrawal rate resulting in low completion rate, poor or lack of attention and support for the girl-child education, unequal attention given to males and females students especially in coeducational classrooms among others. In addition, the assertion that females have better aptitude and competence in learning language than their male counterparts and the availability of controversial and inconsistency of results of studies on the academic performance of both female and male students’ performance when they are streamed according to gender is academically challenging to have prompted this study. Positive study results on gender streaming include those by Lee and Lockheed (1990); Mallam (1996), Kurumeh,Igyu and Mohammed(2013); Bosire, Mondohand Barmao, (2008); Sax, (2007) etc and unfavorable study results include those of Rowe (2008); Oludipe (2012); Kang’ahi, (2012); Pahlke, E., Hyde, J. S. Allison, C. M. (2014) etc. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of gender streaming on male students’ performance in English language at the senior secondary school level in Niger State. The finding is aimed at curbing the high rate of students’ failure in English language in West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations in Niger State, Nigeria when implemented.
Mukhtar and Iliyasu (2006) were on the view that “in most mathematics and mathematics related fields, there tend to be more male than females. For instance when we look at the ancient mathematicians including; Pythagoras, Thales, Euclid and Pascal, all of them were men’’. However, one begins to ask on the possible causes of such imbalance between male and female could it be female’s brain are weaker than those of males? According to Blasser (2007) “girls and boys start equal in mathematics and science performance in school, they appear to do equally well in both subject in elementary schools. Then some girls begin to lose interest in mathematics and science around the age of twelve. These girls then drop out from Mathematics Classes often forever closing the door on many career opportunities’’.
Mathematics occupies central position in education because mathematics is a science and the nucleus of all other sciences, which lays strong emphasis on both theory and practical. Mathematics is also called the science of reasoning. There were a few premises on which we based our reasoning. Reasoning in Mathematics is of two types: Inductive and deductive. When statements containing mathematical truths were based on general observations and experience, reasoning is called inductive whereas deductive type the statements are products of mind. The method of teaching is very important for teacher of any subject generally and for the mathematics teacher particularly. Method is nothing but a scientific way of presenting the subject, keeping in mind the psychological and physical requirements of the children. For effective learning of mathematics the method has to be as good as the content. It is through method only that it is possible to make a subject interesting and useful. While teaching a set of pupils with varying interests, aptitudes and attitudes, one should be aware of the psychological basis of teaching learning process. Communication of ideas and development of concepts in a precise manner based on a logical development of subject is the most important pre-requisite in teaching a subject like mathematics. Generally students were afraid of studying mathematics, as there are various reasons for that method being one of them. Pupils tend to learn mathematics through a meaningful approach rather than by a mechanical process. Education has any aspects e.g. learning, guidance and counseling, evaluation, teaching and testing. Testing is a process for accurate evaluation. An instrument used for testing is called test.
This show that female’s student performed less than their counterparts, males. However student’s performance is not dependent on sex difference and this leads to continue verification and study on males and 13 female’s performance in Mathematics. Hence, the current study will investigate the comparative study between males and females performance in senior secondary school English and mathematics.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Sex disparities in mathematics education, is like geographical disparities have historically been prevalent in almost all societies and in different aspect of learning. Female students fell that they cannot compute with their counterpart male students in learning Mathematics. However, the gender differences in Mathematics lead to our females to become backward unsuccessful personals in the area of science and technology. Many researches were conducted in the field of gender issues on mathematics and still reported that there is a gap between males and females. There is need to encourage females not to fear mathematics in their life and make it simple for them to become self-reliant, self-esteem, take care of their family and equated with wider knowledge in science and technology. In fact the present study was “A comparative study on males and females performance in senior secondary school mathematics.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study us to compare the performance of male and female students in English and mathematics. Specifically the study intends to:
1. Investigate differences in performance between male and female students in senior secondary schools English and mathematics
2. To find out the level of differences between male and female students performance in mathematics in senior secondary schools
3. To find out the relationship between boyfriend and girlfriend relationship on the performance of both male and female in English and mathematics
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will guide the researcher during the course of this research to achieve the specified objectives above:
1. Is there any difference in the performance of male and female students in senior secondary schools English and mathematics
2. What is the level of differences between male and female students performance in English mathematics in senior secondary schools
3. Is there any relationship between boyfriend and girlfriend relationship and the performance of both male and female in English and mathematics
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1. Ho: is there any significance difference between male and female students performance in English mathematics in senior secondary schools
2. Ho: is there any significance between boyfriend and girlfriend relationship and the performance of both male and female in English and mathematics
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The education of women holds the key to all elements in which depends population control, family health, personal hygiene, nutrition receipting to innovation and educational motivation of children. Therefore, educated females in mathematics will help in upbringing their children to become significantly educated. Educated females in mathematics will encourage other members in their family to study mathematics and other related courses in science and technology without fear. Mathematics is 16 a commercial course especially now as era of science and technology, educated women in that fields will have an opportunity to get a better jobs, as well as chance to help their family members in all personal endeavors. Therefore, mathematics is an indispensable tool to national development. If females are alleviated from darkness of ignorance, many people in the society will be encouraged to study mathematics and become self-reliant. However, if females seemed to be able to fill in their quarter in the labour market, educated or knowledgeable mathematics girls will take part in the development of nation. This will encourage them to become expert and ready to teach in institutions of learning. Finally, if females are well mathematics educated, it will help them to become self-motivated to face essentials and raising their level of education contribute significantly to development. The purpose of women education is to enable them contribute to life, become good citizens and develop self-discipline among others.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study Comparative analysis of male and female student’s performance in English and mathematics initially was aimed to cover at least five local government area in Oyo state but due to time and some other unforeseen constraint, samples was taken only from Ogbomosho south local government area, Oyo state.
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The major constraint that affected this research is limited time and insufficient fund to finance the project, due to this the research is limited to one local government area.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Comparative: measured or judged by estimating the similarity or dissimilarity between one thing and another; relative
Analysis: detailed examination of the elements or structure of something
Performance: the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved
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