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1.1 The Study’s Background

Science is commonly acknowledged as being of considerable international relevance, both for the economic well-being of nations and for the necessity for scientifically knowledgeable individuals (Fraser and Walberg, 1995). Because of the numerous issues that they face, knowledge in science and technology is now required in all countries and by all people worldwide.

Among these problems include the rise of novel drug-resistant diseases, the impacts of genetic experimentation and engineering, the ecological impact of contemporary technology, the perils of nuclear war and explosions, and global warming (Alsop & Hicks, 2001). As a result, tremendous changes are occurring in industry, communication, agriculture, and medicine.

Science, as a development tool, plays a key role in bringing about these changes through boosting technical growth, promoting national prosperity, improving health, and fostering industrialization (Validya, 2003). Weham, Dorlin, Snell, and Taylor (1984) emphasised that science is and will continue to be the basic subject throughout history.

According to Zsuzsa (1981), the choice of educational programme is made in direct proportion to the individual’s access to information and assistance, as well as the breadth of educational possibilities accessible. As a result, the school should ensure that students make educated decisions.

According to Tiqet (1999), high success in internal and external examinations in any topic fosters academic discipline devotion and a desire to study the subject. Despite all efforts, it is currently noticed that the objectives for promoting scientific literacy are not being met, science enrolment is relatively low, achievement in specific grade levels is dropping, and teacher morale is low.

In the past, kids with higher intellectual abilities were chosen to study Science and Mathematics in secondary school. However, when more of these students enter colleges, they are less likely to choose a career in science (Voogot, 2001).

Students enter secondary school with the assumption that the school will provide them with an atmosphere in which they can choose the subjects they want to study depending on their skills and interests. The most essential motivating factor in learning is interest in the subject (ibid).

Ndalichako (2014) conducted research to answer two fundamental questions:

1) Which subjects are most popular among secondary school students?

2) What are the causes for students’ interest, or lack thereof, in specific subjects?

The findings of an observation, documentary review, and focused group discussion with form three and form four students revealed that the majority of pupils in secondary schools favoured arts subjects, owing to the difficulties they have when learning Science.

Students’ motivations for choosing a particular subject included inspiration from significant individuals, commitment and support provided by subject teachers, availability of teachers and their teaching styles, and the relevance of the subject to their daily life experiences. 2014; Ndalichako et al. People usually seek professions that are related to their academic interests.

People in general find that, for whatever reason, they tend to be interested in certain subjects and disinterested in others from the time they are young children, and taking a career in an area in which they have no interest is likely to be unbearable (Ryan, 2000). In this fast expanding competitive market, industry seeks graduates who can meet their research and development needs while also competing effectively with their peers globally.

The overall situation in Nigeria is a warning that the wide disparity between learners opting for Science and those opting for Arts subjects is a warning that Nigeria will be less likely to improve its local and global leadership in Science unless the government takes corrective action to produce or import enough experts in these fields (Ibid).

A key goal of education in the twenty-first century is to produce scientifically literate individuals capable of critical thinking, making sense of complex facts, and problem solving (NRC, 1996). According to research, if all children are to become scientifically literate, science training must engage and meaningful to them.

To accomplish this, secondary school science instruction must offer students with opportunity to explore the world, apply scientific principles, gather and analyse data, and establish connections between these explorations, their personal lives, and communities.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Secondary school students, particularly science students, are frequently faced with the challenge of indecision when it comes to selecting a course for higher study. For a long time, many secondary school students have struggled with this issue. It is a problem that must be addressed, knowing full well that the importance of sciences in secondary education cannot be overstated in a nation’s educational progress.

Students with a decent background nevertheless need to develop themselves in the academic areas in which they are particularly interested and have talent. Many students have been found choosing courses for their university education without considering their potential or the advice of a school counsellor where available; it is against this backdrop that this study seeks to identify the factors that influence the selection of science subjects in secondary schools.

1.3 The Study’s Objectives

The primary goal of this study is to identify the factors that influence secondary school students’ choice of science topics. More specifically, the study attempts to:

1. Determine the elements that influence students’ selection of Science disciplines.

2. Investigate the elements that keep students interested in Science disciplines.

3. Look at what factors influence student achievement in Science topics.

1.4 Research Concerns

1. What variables influence a student’s choice of Science subjects?

2. Are there any factors that keep students interested in science subjects?

3. What are the factors that determine student achievement in Science subjects?

1.5 Importance of the Research

The study would be very useful to school administrators since it would assist them in understanding the factors influencing the choice of science disciplines and initiating relevant steps to improve students’ performance in science subjects. The study findings will also aid the relevant government departments, allowing them to develop policy concerns concerning subject choice and later career choice at higher levels of education in Nigeria.

The study would contribute to the body of academic information in the field of education, which other researchers might use as a reference in the future. Researchers and research institutes may use the findings of the study to develop new research projects.

Other scholars interested in doing research on education development and student performance in relation to education management activities and strategies in the country will find the study useful. Furthermore, the study greatly enriches previous studies on student performance, and it reveals problems related with secondary education and student performance, which are critical in creating solutions for addressing the identified problems.

1.6 The Study’s Scope

This research will be carried out in Ogun state, with secondary school pupils from Abeokuta North LGA being sampled.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

Obtaining funding for general research activity will be difficult during the course of studies. Correspondents may also be unable or unwilling to complete the questionnaires sent to them.

However, it is expected that these limits will be addressed by making the best use of available materials and devoting more time to study than is necessary. As a result, it is strongly considered that, despite these constraints, their impact on this research report will be small, allowing the study’s purpose and significance to be met.

1.8 Definitions of Terms

Science subjects: These are subjects that are core to the examination board in Kenya secondary education and include courses such as biology, chemistry, physics, and others; nevertheless, the focus of this study was on the factors influencing students’ decision of selecting them.

Choice: Refers to a student’s preference for one science subject over another. The study focused on determining the essential factors that influenced students’ subject choices. The subject can be chosen to a greater or lesser extent.

Secondary schools are the educational levels that come after primary school and before higher education.

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