This paper compares and examines the performance of secondary school students who were candidates in food and nutrition examinations of both the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) from 2003-2012. Through quantitative analysis, the researcher thoroughly examined and analyzed results and statistics from both examining bodies in Nigeria, and to also identify margin of errors recorded in the chosen study areas. The researcher undertook a quantitative analysis of the performance of candidates who wrote the food and nutrition examinations in the following states-Kano, Lagos, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers State so as to establish their comparability for control purposes. The research design was correlation. A sample of 347,609 candidates was drawn from a population of 1,422,133 examination candidates using a purposive sampling technique. The instruments for data collection included WAEC and NECO SSCE results forms. Ten (10) hypotheses were tested with the T-test set at 0.05 alpha levels. Findings indicated a statistically significant difference level between candidates’ performance in WAEC and NECO in food and nutrition in all sampled states as well as performance dependency on the education policies and facilities provided by the state governments.
Key Words: Student Performance, Secondary School, Academic achievement, WAEC, NECO.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Over the years, students’ performance appraisal and evaluation has been proven to be a vital tool in the development and growth of educational systems in Nigeria. The performance of secondary school students who enroll as candidates for both WAEC and NECO need to be properly examined to check against factors that negatively bring about deviations in the two examinations as well as develop measures to optimize performances in these two examination bodies.
As globalization is fast appearing real, Nigeria has to step up the standards of her examination bodies, compare results and performances of students over time, and establish good control systems for its examining bodies so as to meet international standards and eliminate the ‘WAEC and NECO discrimination’ which is currently preventing our secondary school students from gaining admission to some universities outside Nigeria.
The assemblage of subject examinations conducted by these examining bodies is known as the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and serves as an end-of-course evaluation for all secondary school graduates. The purpose of this examination is to ascertain to what degree students in a particular course have achieved the course or educational objectives (Offor, 2001). In view of the economic and social importance attached to senior secondary school certificates, and the opportunities for higher education for those who posses such certificates, the awarding of this certificate is one of the most important events in the Nigerian academic calendar. It thus goes without saying that much is expected from certificate examining and awarding bodies in terms of ensuring that the spirit and focus of the examinations is not misplaced.
Various studies matching performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO SSCE have received much attention over the years. With the creation of the West African Examination Council, it became necessary for the government and other stake holders in the education sector to monitor and control the activities of these examination bodies to ensure that international standards are met.
Researchers like James Kplovie (2006) and Nwachukwu Oluebube are one of the pioneers on studies involving comparing performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO. In their first research titled ‘appraising the performance of secondary school students from 2004 to 2006, they found out in their hypothesis that there was a statistically significant positive relationship between candidates’ performance on the WAEC SSCE and NECO SSCE between 2004 and 2006 at 0.05 alpha level. This positive relationship means that candidates who scored well on WAEC’s SSCE also did well on NECO’s SSCE. Those that performed averagely on WAEC’s SSCE, performed likewise on NECO’s SSCE and so on. The degree of association or linkage between WAEC’s Mathematics SSCE and NECO’s Mathematics SSCE from 2004 to 2006 was 0.475. The coefficient of alienation 1 − r 2 was found to be 0.89. The percentage of association (r2 x 100) was 21.62%. This value represents the magnitude of the relationship between candidates’ Mathematics performance on WAEC’s SSCE and their corresponding Mathematics performance on NECO’s SSCE.
Although literature on secondary schools’ students performance in WAEC and NECO is not much, the significance of the few published are invaluable to our society.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The noble objective of secondary school education can be achieved if there is an effective evaluation and assessment machinery. Both the West African Examination Council Examination and the National Examination Council have lost their value as they are not recognized by some foreign countries due to integrity and standards issues (Kplovie, 2006).
The need for our examination bodies to gain world wide respect and recognition has prompted the researcher to establish grounds for comparability of our examination bodies, test performance comparability of students with various quantitative analyses so as to identify various loopholes in both WAEC and NECO examinations, and suggest adequate measures to maintain high standards in our examinations.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The general purpose of this study is to compare and examine the performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO examinations from 2003-2012. The specific objectives of this study are:
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
This research work focuses on the comparisons and relationship between academic performances of students who sat for food and nutrition WAEC and NECO examinations from 2007-2011 using some selected States in Nigeria as case study. This research work covers all public and private secondary schools students in the selected states.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
First, the study will provide adequate measures for addressing loop holes and other challenges present in the current administration of WAEC and NECO examinations in order to ensure the integrity and international respects of these examining bodies.
Second, the study will provide comprehensive information for educational planners, educators, and parents on how they can assist students to perform better in subsequent examinations.
Lastly, it will serve as a contribution to knowledge in the subject area. In this regard, it will be useful for other researchers who might want to carry out research in related areas.
1.7 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
A historical research design will be use in carrying out this study. The sample for this study constitutes Fifteen thousand, two hundred and thirteen (15,213) candidates who sat for food and nutrition examinations in the chosen states and year brackets. For this research work, purposive sampling technique will be used. This study will be restricted to the categories of students the researcher considered essentially relevant to issues being investigated. Simple percentage statistical analysis will be used for the study.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The only limitation faced by the researcher in the course of carrying out this study was the delay in getting data from the two examination bodies as accessibility was a major challenge. Since most of the data and information were tagged ‘confidential’ it was difficult getting statistics from WAEC and NECO offices as these statistics are not available on the internet. The researcher also found it difficult to analyze some of the data and statistics gotten since some of the data are either in-complete or not available.
1.9 DIFINITION OF TERMS
Academic achievement: or (academic) performance is the outcome of education — the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals.
Secondary school: (also "high school") is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education (Orji, 2002).
1.10 STUDY PLAN
Chapter one of this study includes the general introduction, background information about the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, scope of the study, significance of the study, and the limitation of the study.
Chapter two reviews all relevant literatures relating to the study as well as the researcher’s views concerning previous studies on the challenges of tax policies.
Chapter three includes the methodology applied in collecting and analyzing data, population definition, study site, and limitations.
Chapter four presents the results of the study as well as data analyzed, and the interpretation of the analyzed data.
Chapter five includes a summary of the study, conclusion and recommendations based on the findings from the study.
OTHER SIMILAR EDUCATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS