1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Reading is just often referred to or observed as communication between the mind and printed materials that involves getting the meaning, message and thought. It enriches the readers’ imagination and stimulates their intellective growth faster (Ibrahim, 2014). Reading can best be explained as a learned practice of seeking information, entertainment or knowledge through the written word. Practicing reading as a habit will be acquired by reading books, magazines, journals, and electronic information resources. Reading habit is identified as the simple most vital mediators of student’s academic achievement in education and life-long endeavor. Reading becomes a habit when a student has developed in him/her that zeal for creating reading is a continuous process and a life-long activity. Akande and Oyedapo (2018) opined that developing good reading habits would improve the students’ comprehension skills, vocabulary, pronunciation, speed, knowledge, and lifelong learning. Tella & Akande, (2014) assert that the flexibility to read is at the guts of self-education and lifelong learning which is an art capable of reworking life and society. Therefore, for students in secondary schools to perform well in their academic pursuits, reading is the basis of effective learning and educational achievement. Reading habits will enable students to possess effective study skills, knowledge of various information resources, and effective retention capacity. Reading is a necessary tool for knowledge transfer and therefore the habit of reading is an academic activity that increases skills in reading strategies (Owusu-Acheaw and Larson, 2014). Therefore, cultivating reading habits is tantamount to a student’s educational achievement. Research on the relationship between reading habits and student’s educational achievement in secondary schools has for long received attention from scholars and educational agencies. For instance, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2012 conducted a study to find out the link between reading habits and academic performance of the students. The findings of the reading revealed a correlation between reading habits and academic achievement. Similarly, Onwuegbuzie (2014) conducted a series of studies to find out the link between academic success and reading habits and reported a positive correlation between the two variables. However, studies of educational achievement indicate that the majority of students are underachievers (Dizney, 2014, Okegbile, 20140 and Adetunji and Oladeji, 2014). A significant reason for students’ under-developed potentialities is also in their lack of learning strategies. Emily and Betty (2014) recorded that it is not a frequent occurrence that students, who spend inordinate amounts of time memorizing reading materials, are still barely getting by. To them, the student’s personal, emotional, and social development may suffer from the pressures created by the utilization of relatively inefficient learning strategies. Reading habits are learning tendencies that enable students to figure privately. Azikiwe (2014) describes the reading habit as “the adopted way and manner a student plans his private readings, after classroom learning so on attain mastery of the subject”. “Good reading habits are good assets to learners because they (habits) assist students to achieve mastery in areas of specialization and consequent excellent performance, while opposite constitutes constraints to learning and achievement resulting in failure”. Good (2014) defines the term reading habits as the student’s way of reading whether systematic, efficient or inefficient, etc”. Going by this definition it literally means good reading habit produces positive academic performance while inefficient reading habit ends up in academic failure. In Nigeria, there are numerous factors influencing the flexibility of scholars to cultivate effective and efficient reading habits. Ozmert (2015) emphasized the importance of environmental influence as a significant considers the event of scholar's reading habits. In the same vein, Adetunji and Oladeji (2014) submit that the environment of most kids isn't conducive for reading; it's within the light of this that made some parents prefer their children to travel to private school for correct discipline and to inculcate better reading habit. According to Hussain (2010) students in secondary schools often come from economically poor and average income families. These families face various problems causing emotional disturbance among their children which led to poor academic performance. This singular factor has caused serious damage to the achievement status of school students. Also, Akabuike and Asika (2012) academic success at the secondary level is probably going a multidimensional phenomenon that has language proficiency, learning, study strategies, and certain personal characteristics. And this might be achieved when one imbibes decent reading habits which can make him/her a lifelong learner. Early imbibing of reading habits is a necessary skill necessary within the acquisition of information which is extremely demanding within the lifetime of every student within the academic environment. No wonder Greene, (2014) asserts that it's best formed at a young impressionable age at school, but once formed it can last one’s lifetime. Hitherto, when students miss the chance of appreciating and loving to read, at early stage, they're going to find it challenging to imbibe reading habit in later years. Achievement is usually a pedagogical terminology used while assessing learners’ success in formal education and is measured through reports, examinations, researches, and ratings with numerous factors of variables exerting influence. Essentially, the National Policy on Education has identified educational achievement contents per school subjects which are classified as core or elective subjects (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2014). Although studies exist in great numbers on the causative and predictive nature of things of reading habit on student’s educational achievement, all factors of the variables tend to specialize in poor reading habits while the effect is yet to be fully accessed on the nation’s educational development. Therefore, the study investigates the effect of reading habits on the academic achievement of scholars of secondary schools in Mangu L.G.A, Plateau state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The present issue of student’s poor performance in examinations as well as poor speaking and writing of English have been attributed to lack of reading habits amongst them. Poor reading habits in secondary schools have become an issue of great concern among parents, government and educationists in the country. Due to the increasing nature of poor academic performance of secondary school students in external examinations like WAEC or JAMB, many educationists tend to shift the blame on the teaching methodology adopted by the teachers and lack of fund from the government to provide quality textbooks. However, these might not be the main reasons why students perform poorly in examinations. It is clear from all indications that most secondary school students have poor reading habit which might lead to poor academic performance. By and large, the importance of reading cannot be overemphasized, because no learning activity or situation can take place without reading. But one of the major problems facing the educational system in Nigeria is the abysmal failure of students in public examinations especially at the senior secondary level of education (Ajayi 2012). This abysmal failure can be conceived to be linked with the absence of reading habit among students or non-challant attitude to reading to the use of internet. Although there are many reasons why people read, but observations and researches have shown that there is a low reading habit among students in recent times, especially in developing countries, because reading is not considered as a relevant leisure activity as it does not form part of children’s social interaction and watching on television. Another major problem that leads to the absence of reading habits among students is on the advents of ICTs like internet, cell phone, video games and other viewing gadgets. Umar (2009) is of the view that students now have viewing culture instead of reading culture because of the advents of these ICTs gadgets. Also the lack of available information resources like texts books both in the school library and at homes also could lead to lack of students forming the habits of reading. The foregoing reasons prompted the researchers to investigate on the level of reading habits amongst secondary school students in Mangu L.G.A, Plateau state. As true as this might sound, it is yet to gather adequate research evidence to prove that it is a key factor on why students fail.
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine reading habits and educational achievement of secondary school students. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant effect of reading habit on the educational achievement of secondary school students in Mangu L.G.A, Plateau state
H1: There is a significant effect of reading habit on the educational achievement of secondary school students in Mangu L.G.A, Plateau state
H0: There is no significant relationship between students reading habit and educational achievement.
H1: There is a significant relationship between students reading habit and educational achievement
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE READING
This study will be used to many people who may want to know the factors that could make or mar student’s academic performance in science subjects. Therefore, the reading is significant in this regard.
The study is restricted to reading habits and educational achievement of secondary school students, a case study of Mangu L.G.A, Plateau state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Reading: The process of constructing meaning through the dynamic interaction among the reader, the text and the context of the reading situation
Reading habit: This is a behaviour style that is systematically formed by students towards learning and achievement.
Reading skills: These are peculiar strategies developed by the students in reading.
Academic: This has been variously defined but for the purpose of this reading, Hornby (1991) define academic has that which has to do with school college studies or learning in other words designate the intellectual; aspect of education particularly the final subject deals with organized knowledge.
Academic performance: This refers to the performance that falls within specified standard. The specified standard is usually called pass mark and the pass mark is score above average which students are considered having passed and below which students are considered having failed.
Student: A person who is learning or reading at a place of higher or further education.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS