1.1. Background of the Study
Education as the key to development has the capacity to upgrade teaching effectiveness as well as learning efficiency among learners. Efforts by have being made by school administrators to improve the performance of Public secondary school students. The school environment, which include the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are variables that affect students’ academic achievement (Ajayi, 2001 and Oluchukwu, 2000). Hence, the school environment remains an important area that has to studied and well managed to enhance students’ academic performance.
According to Jam (2009) academic performance is the ability to study and remember facts and being able to communicate your knowledge verbally or on paper. In other words, academic performance refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. Academic performance generally refers to how well a student is accomplishing his or her tasks or studies. There are quite a number of factors that determine the level and quality of students' academic performance. (Scottk, 2002).
According to Hussain (2006) secondary school students in public schools often come from economically poor and average income families. These families face various problems causing emotional disturbance among their children. This singular factor has caused serious damage to the achievement status to secondary school students.
Achievement is generally a pedagogical terminology used while determining learners’ success in formal education and which is measured through reports examinations, researches, and ratings with numerous factors of variables exerting influence. Essentially, the National Policy on education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004) has identified school achievement contents according to school subjects which are classified as core or elective subjects.
Although studies abound on the causative and predictive nature of factors of study habit on students academic achievement. all factors or variables tend to focus on poor study habit while the effects are yet to be fully accessed on the nations educational development.
The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even student themselves. The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the school environment (Ajao 2001). The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to all and sundry. The problem is so much that it has led to the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Delta State and Nigeria at large. The quality of education depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties. Over time pupils’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching (Ajao 2001). Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on students’ academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with the students (Afe 2001). Both teaching and learning depends on teachers: no wonder an effective teacher has been conceptualized as one who produces desired results in the course of his duty as a teacher (Uchefuna 2001). Considering governments’ huge investment in public education, its output in terms of quality of students have been observed to be unequal with government expenditure.
In Nigeria, there are so many factors influencing the ability of students to cultivate effective and efficient study habit. Ozmert (2005) emphasized the importance of environmental influence as a major factor in the development of students studying habit. In the same vein, Adetunji and Oladeji (2007) submit that the environment of most children is not conducive for studying; it is in the light of this that made some parents to prefer their children to go to boarding school for proper discipline and to inculcate better reading habit.
The increasing nature of poor academic performance of public secondary school students especially in external examinations like WAEC or JAMB, 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 study habit which might lead to poor academic performance.
it is yet to gather adequate research evidence to prove that it is a key factor on why students fail. Emphasizing the importance of school environment to students academic performance, Oluchukwu, (2000) asserted school environment is an essential aspect of educational planning. The scholar went further to explain that unless schools are well suited, buildings adequately constructed and equipment adequately utilized and maintained, much teaching and learning may not take place.
The high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. However, little is known on the impact of school environment on students’ academic performance in an urban city like Rivers State. It was agreed that inadequate provision of equipment in public secondary school. It is based on the above stated problems that the study on assessment of factors responsible for students academic performance in public secondary schools became necessary for investigation.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study was to assess the factors responsible for students academic performance in public secondary school. Specifically the study is:
1. To examine the factors Responsible for student’s academic performance in public Secondary Schools.
i. To examine the influence of human resources on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
ii. To determine the influence of financial resources on students' academic performance in secondary schools.
iii. To establish the influence of physical resources on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
iv. To determine how learning techniques influence the students' academic performance in secondary schools.
v. To examine the challenges for student’s academic performance in Public Secondary Schools.
1.4 Research Questions
The study was guided on the following research questions.
i. What is the influence of human resources on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
ii. How does a financial resource influence the students' academic performance in public secondary schools?
iii. To what extent does physical resource influence students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
iv. How does learning techniques influence the students' academic performance in secondary schools?
v. What are the challenges that affect student’s academic performance in Public Secondary Schools?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses guided the study:
H0: There is no significant relationship between the factors Responsible for student’s academic performance in public Secondary Schools.
H0: There is no significant relationship between the challenges for student’s academic performance in Public Secondary Schools.
1.6. Significance of the Study
This study will be used to students researchers, scholars, educationists who use it for further studies. It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school. This study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school environment as it affect the academic performance of student in secondary school. It will serve as resource materials for others who want to carry out research in related field.
1.7. Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on the factors responsible for students academic performance in public secondary school in Rivers State. This research work covers all public secondary schools students in Rivers State.
1.8 Operational Definition of terms
Academic performance: This refers to the performance that falls within specified standard.
Study habit: This is a behaviour style that is systematically formed by students towards learning and achievement.
Study skills: These are peculiar strategies developed by the students in studying.
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