1.1 The Study’s Background
Education, as the key to development, has the potential to improve both teaching effectiveness and learner efficiency. School administrators have made efforts to improve the performance of public secondary school students. Classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, and so on are all variables that influence students’ academic achievement (Ajayi, 2001 and Oluchukwu, 2000). As a result, the school environment continues to be an important area that must be studied and well managed in order to improve students’ academic performance.
Academic performance, according to Jam (2009), is the ability to study and remember facts, as well as the ability to communicate your knowledge verbally or on paper. In other words, academic performance refers to how students manage their studies and cope with or complete various tasks assigned to them by their teachers. Academic performance generally refers to a student’s ability to complete tasks or studies. A variety of factors influence the level and quality of students’ academic performance. Scottk (2002)
According to Hussain (2006), secondary school students in public schools frequently come from low-income and middle-income families. These families are dealing with a variety of issues that are causing emotional distress in their children. This singular factor has severely harmed secondary school students’ achievement status.
Achievement is a pedagogical term that is used to determine learners’ success in formal education and is measured through reports, examinations, research, and ratings with a variety of variables exerting influence. Essentially, the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004) has identified school achievement contents based on school subjects classified as core or elective.
Despite numerous studies on the causal and predictive nature of study habit factors on students’ academic achievement. All factors or variables tend to focus on poor study habits, while the effects on the nation’s educational development have yet to be fully realized.
The issue of poor academic performance among Nigerian students has piqued the interest of the government, parents, teachers, and even students themselves. The quality of education is determined not only by the teachers’ performance of their duties, but also by the effective coordination of the school environment (Ajao 2001). The issue of poor academic performance among Nigerian students has piqued the interest of many.
The problem is so severe that it has resulted in a widely acknowledged fall in the standard of education in Delta State and throughout Nigeria. The quality of education is determined by the teachers’ performance of their duties. Over time, students’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations was used to determine teacher and teaching excellence (Ajao 2001).
Teachers have been shown to have a significant impact on students’ academic achievement, as well as a critical role in educational attainment, because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interactions with students (Afe 2001).
Teachers are responsible for both teaching and learning, which is why an effective teacher has been defined as one who achieves the desired results while performing his or her duties as a teacher (Uchefuna 2001). Despite governments’ large investments in public education, its output in terms of student quality has been found to be unequal to government expenditure.
There are numerous factors in Nigeria that influence students’ ability to cultivate effective and efficient study habits. Ozmert (2005) emphasized the significance of environmental influence in the development of students’ studying habits. In the same vein, Adetunji and Oladeji (2007) argue that most children’s environments are not conducive to learning; it is in light of this that some parents prefer their children to attend boarding school for proper discipline and to instill a better reading habit.
1.2 Problem identification
The increasing nature of poor academic performance of public secondary school students, particularly in external examinations such as WAEC or JAMB, tends to shift the blame to the teachers’ teaching methodology and the government’s lack of funds to provide quality textbooks.
However, these are not the only reasons why students perform poorly in exams. All indications indicate that the majority of secondary school students have poor study habits, which may lead to poor academic performance.
It has yet to amass sufficient research evidence to demonstrate that it is a major reason why students fail. Oluchukwu (2000) asserted that the school environment is an important aspect of educational planning, emphasizing the importance of the school environment to students’ academic performance. The scholar went on to say that unless schools are well-suited, buildings are properly constructed, and equipment is properly used and maintained, much teaching and learning may not occur.
Where instructional space, such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, and laboratories, is structurally deficient, high levels of academic performance may not be guaranteed. However, in an urban city like Rivers State, little is known about the impact of the school environment on students’ academic performance. It was agreed that inadequate equipment was provided in public secondary schools. The study on assessment of factors responsible for students’ academic performance in public secondary schools became necessary for investigation due to the aforementioned problems.
1.3 The Study’s Purpose
The primary goal of this study was to identify the factors that influence students’ academic performance in public secondary school. The study is more specifically:
1. To investigate the factors that influence students’ academic performance in public secondary schools.
i. To investigate the impact of human resources on secondary school students’ academic performance.
ii. To ascertain the impact of financial resources on secondary school students’ academic performance.
iii. Determine the impact of physical resources on secondary school students’ academic performance.
iv. To ascertain how learning techniques influence secondary school students’ academic performance.
v. To investigate the obstacles to student academic performance in public secondary schools.
1.4 Research Concerns
The following research questions guided the study.
i. How do human resources affect students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
ii. How does a financial resource affect the academic performance of students in public secondary schools?
iii. How much influence do physical resources have on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
iv. How do learning techniques affect secondary school students’ academic performance?
v. What are the obstacles to students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
1.5 Research Theories
The study was guided by the following hypotheses:
1. No significant relationship exists between the factors responsible for students’ academic performance in public secondary schools.
2. There is no significant relationship between academic performance challenges and student achievement in public secondary schools.
1.6 Importance of the Research
This study will be used by students, researchers, scholars, and educators for further research. It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators, and school administrators to consider various factors that aid students in meeting their academic objectives.
In doing so, they can look into the possibility of incorporating those factors into their school, which could lead to improved educational outcomes for students. This study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect on the school environment as it affects secondary school students’ academic performance. It will be used as a resource for others who want to conduct research in a related field.
1.7 Scope of the Research
This study focuses on the factors that influence students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Rivers State. This study includes all public secondary school students in Rivers State.
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