1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Primary education is the basic education which aims at preparing children to attain the competence needed to advance further in making a worthwhile contribution to society, which is constantly undergoing changes. In order to fulfil this objective, teachers must keep abreast with current thinking, and engage in training that will enhance the teaching - learning process. Central to the success of the teaching - learning process is the level of attainment by children in the area of reading. Unfortunately, this has created cause for concern in many societies, as the high rate of illiteracy continues to adversely affect the progress of a technological advancing world. Since reading forms the basis for all other areas of learning, it is necessary to ensure that children of the primary grades attain proficiency in reading. This implies that teachers in the primary grades will have to vary traditional methods of teaching, and improve their knowledge base by engaging in training, including information communication technology (ICT) training. A pupil’s ability to further his education after Primary School depends on the extent of interest he has developed in reading over the years. Yusuf (2015) observed that reading is critical for children’s success in and outside school. In the views of Ogbonna (2014) reading literally refers to the ability to recognize and understand characters or speak words that may be printed or written on paper and other formats of recording human knowledge. It is the ability to obtain meaning from words. Consequently, a person who can easily read and write is said to be a literate person. According to NCTE (2013), the 21st century demands that a literate person should possess a wide range of abilities and competencies such as the ability to:
The reading habit of school children in Nigeria is rather poor and this affect to a great extent the academic performance of school children. Poor reading habit is believed to be one of the causes of poor performance in Primary schools in Nigeria today. There is however no generally accepted definition of academic performance because of the multifaceted domains of learning, Be that as it may, every academic pursuit should have some aims and objective which it sets out to achieve. At the completion of such programme, an evaluation is carried out to measure how far the participants benefitted from the programme or the extent to which the desired skills has been acquired by the learners. This evaluation is usually based on the set goals and objective of the academic institution that designed the programme. The outcome of this assessment is academic performance. There is a general lament in the country that the academic performance of Primary school pupils is poor.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
National Policy on Education 2004 states that Primary school pupils should be inspired with a desire for achievement and self improvement both at school and later in life. This is aimed at equipping the pupils to live effectively in this modern age of rapid technological development. This may account for why pupils in primary Schools are expected to study different subjects with multiple choice objective tests as an assessment strategy. To scale through these subjects and assessment the pupil is expected to read wide and score high in most of the subjects. The school library provides the ideal environment to carry out these academic activities. Year after year, the various state governments of Nigeria continue to lament over the poor academic performance of school children who pass through these examinations hence the need for this research. It is however not known through research whether the school libraries in Igabi Local Government of Kaduna state are well equipped to inculcate reading habits in school children and to support the academic programmes of their parent institutions. The need to teach reading strategies explicitly is not stated as one of the desired outcome of the curriculum. In such a case, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the teachers to teach pupils about reading strategies and how to utilize them. To provide comprehension, teachers should aid learners in understanding and using reading strategies (Yigiter, Saricoban, & Gurses, 2005). It is the teacher who must introduce and provide practice in using reading strategies for coping with texts in an unfamiliar language (Eskey & Grabe, 2014). The question is: do the primary school teachers in the country teach reading strategies to their pupils? Most importantly, are they aware of the need to do so?
1.3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine strategies for improving reading ability for enhancing academic performance among Primary school pupils. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
There is no significant effect of improving reading ability on academic performance of primary school pupils.
There is a significant effect of improving reading ability on academic performance of primary school pupils.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research is beneficial in shedding lights on teachers’ awareness of reading strategies and to determine whether they teach pupils these strategies in their reading lessons. Findings from this study will be useful in encouraging the teachers to train their pupils to utilize reading strategies. Suggestion can be made for the teacher to make awareness of reading strategies a priority in their reading lessons. The findings can be utilized in designing the curriculum for teacher training courses. It is necessary to provide support for trainee teachers to become skilled teachers. In order to be able to teach pupils certain strategies, they first need to have thorough understanding of the strategies itself. Lastly, the findings of the study can provide insight in designing materials to be used in school. This is especially important since the development of reading competency is crucial at an early age. At present the teaching of reading strategies are explicitly done at tertiary level but less emphasis is given during their primary and secondary level of education.
1.7. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to strategies for improving reading ability for enhancing academic performance among Primary school pupils, a case study of Igabi L.G.A, Kaduna state.
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.
1.8. DEFINITION OF TERMS
Academic Performance: It refers to how well or badly individual Pupil scores in each specific examinable subject in primary school as indicated by scores and grades.
Reading: The process of constructing meaning through the dynamic interaction among the reader, the text and the context of the reading situation.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS