FACTORS AFFECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF STATE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ECONOMICS IN EDUCATION
The purpose of this study was to look into the factors that influence the academic performance of state senior secondary school students in Economics in Education District IV of Lagos State. The sample survey design was used to carry out this study.
The study's population included all students from Public or State Senior Secondary Schools in Lagos State's Education District IV. Using the simple random sampling technique, a sample of 300 students was chosen for the study. To collect data for this study, two research instruments were created.
These instruments included a questionnaire designed by the researcher for the students and a forty-item objective economic achievement test. The instrument samples were shown to the research supervisor for validation. A pilot test was carried out using some of the instruments, and the Split-half statistical method was used to determine the reliability coefficients of the instruments, which were found to be reliable at 0.63 and 0.58 coefficients.
The data collected on the respondents' demographic features were presented in percentage tables and interpreted accordingly, whereas the data generated from the respondents' responses to the questionnaire items and their achievement test scores were used to analyze the four research questions and test the four hypotheses posited for the study, using percentages, mean, and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).
The study's findings revealed that home, school, and classroom environmental factors, as well as socioeconomic factors, have a significant influence on the performance of state senior secondary school students in Economics.
As a result, it was suggested, among other things, that the government and secondary school administrators ensure that secondary schools have adequate relevant and appropriate physical and material resources to improve both the school and classroom environments for effective teaching and learning.
1.1 The Background of the study
Education is a social service provided to the general population of a country in order to enlighten the people. Education allows for the acquisition of skills, which allows a country to develop. In Nigeria, as in so many other developing countries around the world, education is widely regarded as the key to economic progress and political stability.
Education is both the primary driver of long-term human development and the pivot around which all other activities revolve. According to Bell (2003), no nation can rise above its educational level. Indeed, nations that have accomplished great things in the world heavily rely on education as a tool (Obianime and Nwachukwu, 2006).
This is due to the fact that education provides individuals with useful and relevant knowledge, skills, and attitudes that allow them to live meaningful and contributing lives in the world. As a result, education liberates the recipients from ignorance, poverty, unemployment, and disease.
Nonetheless, no provision of qualitative education will be possible without an efficient educational system that ensures effective teaching and learning (effective implementation of educational curricula) in schools at all levels of the educational system.
This is because teachers interpret the curriculum as it relates to each educational level and transfer it to the students as ideas, skills, and attitudes. When this process is carried out effectively, the learners achieve better learning outcomes and performance. This is due to the fact that the true purpose of teaching is to transmit and internalize the educational values and ideas recommended by the National Policy on Education (2004).
Apart from brilliant performances in the various subjects taught by teachers, it is expected in Nigerian schools, particularly secondary schools, that creativity, self-reliance and mental independence, nationalistic outlook, and freedom from mental colonization should also manifest as learning outcomes in the lives of students from that level of education.
The aforementioned fundamental issues are not unique to Nigerian schools. However, in a rapidly changing world with its complex and complicated schooling phenomena, educational development scholars have been hammering on the ever-intriguing issues of Nigerian educational quality failure and students' poor academic performance.
Okam (2002), for example, observes that, on average, the performance of secondary school students in economics in placement examinations such as WAEC and NECO has been declining year after year. Other scholars (Lanham, 1999)
who share Okam's viewpoint have attempted to attribute the decline in students' performance in economics and other relevant subjects to poor school physical facilities, outdated books in libraries, ill-equipped laboratories, antiquated workshops, abandoned classroom blocks, unmotivated shabby hungry looking teachers, a lack of instructional materials, and a lack of classroom-based furniture and materials.
However, today in Lagos State, the government of Babatunde Fashola has taken a notable policy action that has resulted in the renovation of the physical facilities in almost all of the state's public primary and secondary schools, as well as the provision of adequate school and classroom based infrastructure. Some of the schools even have Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources.
Teachers are not left out either, as they have received some financial incentives as well. However, according to a recent report by Damole (2011), all of the above positive changes in state schools have not resulted in any discernible improvement in student performance in their various subjects or in their placement examinations. Against this backdrop, this study seeks to investigate the factors that truly influence the academic performance of state secondary school students, with a focus on economics.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Many authors (Obianime & Nwachukwu, 2006) have attempted to investigate the factors influencing secondary school students' academic performance in economics. However, none of them has made a comprehensive effort to capture in a single study all of the factors influencing students' academic performance in the subject. Some authors investigated only one factor as a predictor of students' academic performance in economics.
Furthermore, the majority of the authors conducted their research at the state level, without involving many secondary schools or students from local school districts.
This study aims to fill the above gaps by focusing on secondary schools and students in local education districts, as well as by studying the entire set of factors influencing students' academic performance in economics under four categories of socioeconomic factors: home, school, and classroom environmental factors.
1.3 The Study's Purpose
The factors influencing the academic performance of state senior secondary school students in economics were investigated in this study. Based on this primary goal, the following objectives were pursued in this study:
1. investigate the impact of home environmental factors (parents' educational background, level of parents' value and preference for education, level of parents' income, provision of home lessons, quality home accommodation and space, and so on) on the academic performance of state senior high school students in Economics.
2. evaluate the impact of school environmental factors (principal's leadership style, school policies, tone of school climate; quality and quantity of available physical facilities, level of personnel motivation and supervision, level of social and extra-mural activities in school, etc.) on the academic performance of state senior high school students in Economics.
3. determine the extent to which classroom environmental factors influence state senior high school students' academic performance in Economics (teaching methods used by teachers, level of instructional resources provided for teachers, teacher gender, level of student-teacher cordial relationship, and so on); and
4. investigate the impact of socioeconomic factors on state senior high school students' academic performance in Economics (level of societal value for education, students' religious and cultural backgrounds, level of unemployment, government economic welfare policies, students' involvement in off-school social activities, etc.).
1.4 Research Issues
The following questions were raised to guide the process of this study in order to achieve the aforementioned objectives.
1. Do home environmental factors reduce the performance of state senior secondary school students in Economics?
2. Could the performance of public senior secondary school students in Economics be hampered by school environmental factors?
3. Are classroom environmental factors affecting the performance of state senior secondary school students in Economics?
4. Can socioeconomic factors affect the performance of public senior secondary school students in Economics?
1.5 Hypotheses for Research
During this study, the following hypotheses were proposed for testing.
1. Home environmental factors have no significant influence on the performance of state senior secondary school students in Economics.
2. School environmental factors have no significant impact on the performance of public senior secondary school students in Economics.
3. Classroom environmental factors have no significant influence on the performance of state senior secondary school students in Economics.
4. Socioeconomic factors have no significant impact on the performance of public senior secondary school students in Economics.
1.6 Importance of the Research
This study will be very useful to the Federal and State Ministries of Education because it will reveal the various weak areas that require policy actions to strengthen teaching and learning in secondary schools in order to achieve the expected performance among students.
Furthermore, the findings of this study, which will investigate the factors influencing state secondary school students' academic performance in economics in Education District IV of Lagos State, are expected to add to the existing literature and body of knowledge on the influence of home, school, classroom, and socioeconomic factors on state secondary school students' performance.
While previous studies have generally addressed and evaluated specific impacts of selected factors affecting secondary school students' learning and experiences in many other areas in Lagos State, little effort has been devoted to secondary schools' learning outcomes and factors affecting it in Lagos State's Education District IV, so this study fills that gap.
The study will also serve as a resource for other students conducting research on the same or similar topic.
1.7 The Study's Scope
The purpose of this study was to look into the factors that influence secondary school students' academic performance. The factors were classified as belonging to the home, school, classroom, or societal environment. This study was limited to Education District IV in Lagos State, and it only looked at the district's public secondary schools. Furthermore, only students were involved in the study.
FACTORS AFFECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF STATE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ECONOMICS IN EDUCATION
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