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THE IMPACT OF QUALITATIVE SECONDARY EDUCATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN THE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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THE IMPACT OF QUALITATIVE SECONDARY EDUCATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN THE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

 

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The increasing awareness of the importance of education to the upliftment of the individual and societal standards has awakened in people and nations a conscious effort at devoting their meager resources to acquiring qualitative education. Also, “The strategic position of secondary education in the national educational system has made it a target of major concern.” This was the opinion of Segun Adeshina as far back as 1984.

According to Adeshina (1984, P. ii) secondary education stands as a transition zone as it receives primary school leavers and turnout pupils for post secondary education. Cornell (2010) presents a related opinion, by saying that it is necessary for a person to have secondary education because it is a part of the process of gaining the right education. According to Cornell, secondary education is vital because it does not ordinarily serve as the link between what children already imbibed in primary school and college (secondary) education, but also affords them with the opportunity to acquire knowledge that assists in the development of critical and analytical thinking and that of the understanding of the world around. Secondary education is very fundamental in the provision of functional education to the citizens of the country.

Moja (2000) also explains that the education that is offered at this level has two purposes. The first is to prepare pupils to exit school with the necessary skills to find employment and the other is to prepare them to continue with academic careers in higher education. In view of this, Federal Government of Nigeria (2004) in the National Policy of Education asserted that the broad aims of secondary education within overall objectives are preparing students for useful living within the society and preparing them for higher education.

All the foregoing therefore suggests that secondary education is an instrument par excellence for national development. Thus, secondary education is expected to be of good quality and of high standard.

However, the Nigerian school system is increasingly challenged with many complex problems. There is a general outcry that the standards of education are falling and morals flagging. Some blame pupils for the apparent decline in quality of education and moral values. A thoughtful few think that they are due to the nature of changes in all directions. Majority blame the teachers for the woes in our schools. They are not as devoted and dedicated to the cause of education as their predecessors. Teachers as a group blame parents and the children. They also blame government for unattractive condition of service and poor physical facilities in some parts of the educational system. This research project intends not to put the blame on the educational policy or on the system. What the research is saying is that the whole blame is on the lack of adequate educational inspection and supervision, inadequate school facilities, lack of implementation of quality control measure in terms of teacher – pupil’s ratio as stipulated in the National Policy on Education.

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

However, it appears that the secondary schools are not living up to expectation in discharging its obligation. In recent time, there is public outcry on the persistent poor performance of students in public examination. According to West African Examination Council (WAEC, 2007), the percentage of failure rate for English in the past five years surpasses that of the percentage of credit level in Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by it between 2001 and 2005. While in Mathematics, a fluctuating trend was recorded by the candidates within the years. Besides, Saturday Punch Newspaper of September 27, 2008 showed that out of a total of 1,369,142 candidates that sat for West African Senior Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nigeria in 2008, only 188,442 representing 13.76% obtained five credit passes and above in English Language, Mathematics and three other subjects. While 947,945 candidates representing 83% failed the examination. Also, many students engage in all forms of malpractices, parents registering their children or wards for ‘Special Centres’. There is also disappearance of traits like honesty, hardwork, punctuality, self-denial and self discipline which are necessary conditions for effective citizenship in the secondary schools.

It has been observed that very few graduates of secondary schools these days cannot communicate effectively, have poor mastery of English Language, lack required technical skills, oral and written communication, lack requisite knowledge of handling administrative positions.

In addition, there is the challenge of professionally qualified teachers. According to Egwu (2009), there are alarming differences between teachers certified qualifications, their actual teaching competence and performance on the job.

Moreover, there is also lack of modernized and adequate teaching and learning facilities like teachers’ instructional materials, laboratories, library, well-equipped classroom, and office furniture, etc.

1.3     PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

These specific objectives are:

(i)                To investigate the extent of the contributions of adequate school facilities on the performance of the student.

(ii)             To determine the extent to which the students’ learning attitudes affect the performance of the students.

(iii)           To examine how educational inspection and supervision bring about qualitative secondary education.

(iv)           To identify the relationship between teachers’ qualification and effective teaching-learning process.

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

i.                        What are the contributions of adequate school facilities on the performance of the student?

ii.                        Does students’ learning attitude affect the performance of the students?

iii.                        Does adequate educational inspection and supervision bring about qualitative secondary education?

iv.                        What is the relationship between teachers’ qualification and effective teaching learning process?

1.5     RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

Ho1:    There is no significant relationship between adequate school facilities and the performance of the student.

Ho2:    There is no significant relationship between students’ learning attitude and the performance of students.

Ho3:   There is no significant relationship between educational inspection and supervision and qualitative secondary education.

Ho4:    There is no significant relationship between teachers’ qualification and effective learning process.

1.6     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research is of significant benefit to teachers, Government, pupils and students as well as the society at large and also educational planners.

The research will help the pupils and students to be able to learn effectively and intelligently, the government will try to prioritize education projects by funding them, teacher will improve on themselves by acquiring necessary professional skills even as good remuneration for them is being worked out, the schools will begin to excel in their examinations, the quality of education will be highly improved, corruption will be reduced and some with proven integrity will be raised higher.

1.7     SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF STUDY

This study is focused on the impact of qualitative secondary education on the academic performance of students in the senior secondary schools. The study is limited to five secondary schools in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.8     DEFINITION OF TERMS

It is essential to define the terminologies used in this paper because scholars’ view of related concept may greatly differ. Abercrombie (1974) stressed the need for definition of terms when he asserted that “The use of word with so many meanings give rise to confusion both in trying to communicate ambiguously with each other and in attempting to think clearly themselves”. Based on this assertion, the following terms are defined as used in the context.

Quality

This is a degree of excellence, a distinguish attribute and a peculiar and essential character of an inherent feature.

Input

It refers to school related factors such as curriculum content, textbooks, and learning materials, teachers, parents and the community.

Output

Refers to students who have received required level of education.

Outcome

This refers to the desired result to be shown forth or expected from the students who have undergone a level of education like good citizenship, healthy behaviour, etc.

Process

This includes school climate and teaching/learning encounter which include leadership expectation, teacher’s attitude and environment that is safe and gender sensitive and autonomy among others.

Quality Assurance

This is a holistic method of identifying and resolving problems within the educational system in order to ensure continuous quality improvement.

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