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FACTORS INFLUENCING POOR EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE IN COMMERCIAL SUBJECTS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is the total process of human learning by which knowledge is imparted, faculties trained and skills developed. Secondary schools not only occupy a strategic place in the educational system in Nigeria, it is also the link between the primary and the university levels of education. According to Asikhai (2010), education at secondary school level is supposed to be the bedrock and the foundation towards higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in a country. It is rather unfortunate that the secondary schools today are not measuring up to the standards expected of them. There have been public outcries over the persistently poor performance of secondary school students in public examinations. According to Nwokocha and Amadike (2005), academic performance of students is the yardstick for testing the educational quality of a nation. Hence, it is expedient to maintain a high performance in internal and mostly external examinations. For some years now, reports on the pages of newspapers and research findings have shown the abysmal performance of students of secondary schools in public examinations.
One of the most potent barometers so far, if not the strongest, of measuring school performance of students is through public examinations such as Senior School Certificate Examination (S.S.C.E.) in Nigeria. These examinations are externally moderated and enjoy a lot of public confidence. The form of education children receive after primary and before tertiary stage is called secondary education. Without secondary school products, it is obvious that the basis for any future academic study cannot be laid. From the aims and objectives of the setting up of schools, one would expect that day and boarding senior secondary school student’s performance would greatly improve. Admittedly, no educational system is problem free. However, the decay in Nigerian educational system is becoming embarrassing. Ogunsaju (1990) described it as calamitous. Though, brilliant students can be found even in public schools, the high percentage of failure in WASSCE tends to rubbish the good ones among them.
Commercial subjects play a fundamental role to the economy and have both private and social benefits. Their importance cannot be overemphasized particularly during the period of globalized economy. Commercial subjects prepare school leavers well to cope with the dynamics of the free trade/market of goods and services. In order to meet the objectives of commercial bias subjects there should be teachers who would make sure that the ball is rolling in the right direction of success. The aim of this research is to therefore investigate the factors influencing poor examination performance in commercial subjects in secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The performance of commercial subjects’ students in Nigeria is not encouraging , The high rate of failure has been a source of concern to researchers, educators, government and parents over the past years. Obviously, the great importance that education has on the national development of the country made it so. Research report indicated a consensus of opinion about the fallen standard of education in Nigeria (Adebule, 2004). Parents and government are in total agreement that their investment in education is not yielding the desired dividend. However, the Chief Examiners also reported that candidates’ performance in even in commercial subject is declining and getting worse every year, it is however the aim of the researcher to make research on the factors influencing poor performance of students in commercial subjects in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of this study is to find out the factors influencing poor performance in commercial subject, specifically the study intends to:
1. Find out whether there is any relationship between teacher attitudes towards commercial subjects and students achievement.
2. Find out the relationship between available mathematics teaching resources and students performance in commercial subjects.
3. Examine the school based factors that affect student performance in Commercial subjects in secondary schools
4. Find out the socio-cultural factors that affect student performance in Commercial subjects in secondary schools
5. Investigate student personal factors that affect student performance in Commercial subjects in secondary schools
6. Establish strategies that can be adopted to improve performance in Commercial subjects by students in secondary schools
1.4 Research Questions
1. Is there is any relationship between teacher attitudes towards commercial subjects and students achievement?
2. What is the relationship between available commercial subjects teaching resources and students performance in commercial subjects?
3. What are the school based factors that affect student performance in Commercial subjects in secondary schools?
4. Is there any socio-cultural factors that affect student performance in Commercial subjects in secondary schools?
5. Is there any student personal factors that affect student performance in Commercial subjects in secondary schools?
6. What are the strategies that can be adopted to improve performance in Commercial subjects by students in secondary schools?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: there is no significant factor leading to poor performance of students in commercial subjects
Hi: there is significant factor leading to poor performance of students in commercial subjects
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will serve as a reference on studies concerning students’ performance in commercial subjects. This research work will make commercial subjects teachers to help their students perform well in commercial subjects. Teachers will consider students’ cultural backgrounds before actual classroom teaching to know if the students have the basic concepts in particular unit of study in commercial subjects. Then teachers can be in a position to improve students’ performance in commercial subjects. The study will also help future researchers to come with findings on how school environments and teachers backgrounds are connected to students’ cultural backgrounds that affects performance in commercial subjects.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work will be conducted in Kaduna state, Kaduna north LGA will be the location for this research work, teachers and students from four public schools will be sampled for this research work.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.
However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.
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