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Background of the Study
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, 2011). 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, 2011).
According to Philips (2014), academic performance is the ability to study and remember facts and being able to communicate his 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. There are quite a number of factors that determine the level and quality of students' academic performance.
Education as the key to development has the capacity to upgrade teaching effectiveness as well as learning efficiency among learners. Efforts 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, 2011 and Oluchukwu, 2012). Hence, the school environment remains an important area that has to be studied well and managed to enhance students’ academic performance.
According to Combs (2012), 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, 2014) has identified school achievement contents according to school subjects which are classified as core or elective subjects.
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, 2011). 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, 2011). Considering governments’ huge investment in public education, its output in terms of quality of students have been observed to be unequal with government expenditure.
Statement of the Problem
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, (2011) 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.
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study is to assess the causes and effects of poor performance of students in English language in selected secondary schools in Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Specifically the study is:
1. To examine the factors responsible for the poor performances of students in
2. To examine the effects on students’ academic performance in secondary
iv. To determine the strategies designed to address the problems of the poor
performances of students in English language.
Significance of the Study
This study will be useful to students, researchers, scholars and 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 schools, 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.
The study is guided on the following research questions.
1. What are the factors responsible for the poor performances of students in
2. What are the effects of poor academic performance on students in Senior
3. What strategies are designed to address the problems of poor performance of students in English language?
Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on the causes and effects of poor performance of students in English language in selected secondary schools in factors responsible for the poor performances of students in English language in selected secondary schools in Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State. This research work covers all public secondary schools students within the study area. It is hoped that students would have achieved much in the course of this research work when completed.
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