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The study compared the scores of students in English Language and Integrated Science at the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) in Edu Local Government Area (LGA) of Kwara State, Nigeria. The research design was correlational for which the t-test and one –way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were employed. The sample for the study consisted of all students who sat for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 JSSCE in six out of the eleven Junior Secondary Schools in the Local Government Area. The five schools were selected using the simple random sampling technique and all the 1,689 students who sat for the JSSCE in both subjects in the three years aforementioned were used for the study.The scores of students in both English Language and Integrated Science were obtained directly from the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination result sheets from Principals of the selected schools. These were used as measures of academic performance. The data collected were analysed using the descriptive statistics, t-test and one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The result revealed that there existed significant differences in the performances of male and female students in both English Language and Integrated Science in year 2011 with female students out performing their male counterparts however, there are no significant differences in male and female students’ performance in the two subjects in years 2012 and 2013.The multiple comparisons revealed that the scores of students in English Language were significantly different between years 2011 and 2012, 2011 and 2013 as well as between 2012 and 2013. In the same vein, the scores of students in Integrated Science for 2011and 2012 as well as 2011 and 2013 were found to be significant.
1.1 Background to the study
Measuring of academic performance of student is challenging since student performance is the product of socio-economic, psychological and environmental factors. Education ought to be growing as a profitable industry with prime objective of maximizing profit by delivering high quality education that produces well educated, skilled mannered students according to needs and requirements of the dynamically growing market. There are two groups of students as generally perceived, that is those who improve and those who don’t improve. Students performance is also affected by different factors such as learning abilities because new paradigm about learning assumes that all students can and should learn at higher levels but it should not be considered as constraint because there are other factors like race, gender, sex that can affect students performance Hansen (2000).
Mishae (2001) explained the effect of age, qualification and distance from learning. Place on the students performance in his explanation concerns the readiness in doing a particular discipline in the school; for instance, a student that is not capable of doing sciences in the secondary school joins sciences because his/her friends are offering the subjects.Winston et al (2002) added that the academic performance of student is also coined in the students impatience (this time discount behavior). Yuonne (1998) further elaborated that students academic performance is very much dependent on SEB (socio-economic background) as per his statement, secondary school students performance is with statically significant differences. Alexander (2001) explained that some of the practice adopted by secondary school administration can also influence their academic performance, such practices like organized study group, debate club, media and culture clubs etc.
According to Bello Lawel, an Abuja based educationist a member of the All Nigeria committee of Principals of secondary school (ANCOPSS). The truth is that the reading culture in Nigeria is generally poor. To make it worse, these days, mot of our students hardly read. Instead they waste their precious time watching televisions or films, listening to music, playing to music, playing video/computer games.
Another educationist Mohammed (2009) attributed the dismal performance on the external examinations to the lackadaisical attitude of the government and its refusal to adequately fund the education sector. According to him, on several occasions we clamored for improved budgeting allocation to the education sector but all these have fallen on deaf ears. For instance, UNESCO recommends that 26 percent of any country’s budget should be allocated to the education sector but instead what do we have in Nigeria.
Government paying lip service to the education sector. Other countries who understand the importance of education have taken proactive steps to adequately fund their education sector. For instance, Ghana has allocated 29 percent to its budget education sector, even far more than the UNESCO recommendation. The same thing with countries like South Africa and Botswana who allocated 35 and 37 percent respectively to the education sector.
A significant aspect of the Nigerian National Policy on Education (1981) is the demarcation of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) Curriculuminto both academic and pre-vocational electives. The Academic
(core) subjects include English, Mathematics, Nigerian Languages, Science, Social Studies, Music, Arts, Practical Agriculture, Religious and Moral Instructions, Physical Education and two Pre-vocational subjects. Science is however taught at the JSS level in an integrated form referred to as Integrated Science.
Social Studies and Integrated Science are therefore two core subjects taught at the JSS Level; the former is believed to be essential in laying a solid foundation for the teaching of subjects like Economics, Geography and History at the Senior Secondary School level and courses such as Anthropology, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology at higher institutions while the later provides foundations for the teaching of Biology, Chemistry and physics which are basic Science subjects taught at the Secondary School level in an integrated form.
From the above it is evident that Social Studies leads to the study of Art subjects while Integrated Science leads to the study of Science subjects at the Senior Secondary School level and beyond. The performance of Students in any of these two subjects at the JSS level could therefore influence their choice of career. Literature in the field revealed that a number of variables interact to influence academic performance. These variables include among others the way pupils perceive themselves (Self-concept),their socio-economic status and other environmental factors such as location of schools and opportunity or exposure to learn. The performances of students in Social Studies and Integrated Science could also be gender bias as there is a worldwide believe that boys are superior to girls in Science subjects while girls outperform boys in Arts.
The relationship between performances and gender has been investigated by many researchers, the most wider-ranging study probably being that of Comber and Keeves (1973) in Awoniyi (2001) who in their international studies in evaluation found that almost always the boys did better than girls in science subjects in the worldwide survey. Other studies including that of Kelly (1978) in Awoniyi (2001) have supported these general findings which also indicate a drift away from the sciences in the middle year of Secondary Education as far as girls are concerned, together with a lowering of attainment compared with boys.
There have been a lot of researches on comparative studies of academic performance in various areas and subjects but that of Social Studies and Integrated Science have rarely been studied. It is against this background that the present study examined the relationship between students’ scores in Social Studies and Integrated Science at JSS Level with a view of determining if there exist correlation between the scores of students in these two subjects as well as differences in the academic performance of boys and girls in the two subjects. The present study will compare the academic performance of students in Social Studies and Integrated Science at the Junior Secondary School level.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Secondary school students performances in external examinations has been a nagging issues in Nigeria generally and particularly in Edu Local Government area of Kwara State.
Language is a medium of institution. For teaching and learning to take place effectively, there must be adequate communication between the learner and the teacher. In Nigeria, English language is a “Lingua Franka”. Except in vernacular, it is used in communicating the learner in all Nigeria schools. The importance of English language can hardly be overemphasized. That is why it appears almost everyday in the school time table.
Unfortunately, a cursory look at the performance of students in English language in particular computer and integrated science in external examination in Eungu North Local Government Area is nothing to write home about. Since computer and integrated science are relatively new in development of science and technology, the researchers would want to find out why there is an always-recorded low performance in English language, computer science and integrated science from 2003 -2007 on case study.
Educators and researchers have expressed serious concern about the state of teaching and learning in schools all over the country. Social Studies and Integrated Science are not left out as these are often taught by non-specialist teachers. In most of the studies as seen in the literature review, quite a number of researches has been carried out on comparative studies on academic performance of students’ scores but the relationship between students’ scores in Social Studies and Integrated Science have rarely been considered. The focal point of this study therefore is to carry out a comparative analysis of students’ scores in Social Studies and Integrated Science in Junior Secondary Schools in Edu Local Government area of Kwara State, Nigeria with particular reference to scores obtained by students in the two subjects for a period of three years (2011 to 2013).
1.3 Objectives of the study
Based on the background and the problem of this study, the main purpose underlying the project is to compare the academic performances of the junior secondary school students in English language and integrated science in external Examinations. (A case study of Edu Local Government area of Kwara State)
Specifically, the purpose of the study tends to find out:
1. The academic performances of students in English Language and Integrated Science in years 2011, 2012 and 2013.
2. The significant differences in students’ scores in English Language and Integrated Science in the three years studied.
3. The significant differences in the scores of male and female students in English Language and Integrated Science in the three years studied.
1.4 Research Questions
The researchers sought answers to the following questions:
1. What are the academic performances of students in English Language and Integrated Science in years 2011, 2012 and 2013?
2. Are there significant differences in students’ scores in English Language and Integrated Science in the three years studied?
3. Are there significant differences in the scores of male and female students in English Language and Integrated Science in the three years studied?
HO1: There are no significant differences in students’ scores in English Language and Integrated Science in the three years studied.
HO2: There are no significant differences in the scores of male and female students in English Language and Integrated Science in the three years studied.
1.6 Significance of the study
The usefulness of the research work in educational system cannot be over emphasized if the result of the study is properly utilized. It is going to be a benefit to the students, teachers, parents and government. This would help to provide some information for curriculum designers and classroom teachers in order to utilize relevant approaches to enhance meaningful learning and teaching of English language and Integrated Science students. Thus, the knowledge of students’ cognitive style and attitude would be very useful in both academic and career enhancement.
1.7 Scope of the study
The study was based on the junior secondary school students performance in external examinations in English Language and Integrated Science in Edu Local Government area of Kwara State. This specifically covers the following junior secondary schools;
1. New Layout Secondary school
2. Days Secondary School Independent Layout
3. Government secondary school Enugu
4. Coal Camp Secondary School, Enugu
The schools mentioned above are used in this research work for better coverage and easy assessment.
1.8 Limitation of the study
For a proper project research to be carried out effectively, there should be some limitations along the line, these limitations includes:
Time Constraint: This is the time consumed by students carryout a particular project research topic.
First and foremost, for a student achieve his or her goals on a project research, there should be an effective plans on how the materials needed can be gotten.
This will also be actualized by proper research which might involve moving from one place to another in search of these materials. By so doing time is consumed.
On the other hand, some students in a particular group may be giving excuses that the time fixed is not suitable for them, some may complain that they usually do their domestic work for their parent during the project research exercise, which may demand all attentions.
In order to balance the equation they should be proper plans on time management.
Money: This involves that money needed for the project to be carried out in a situation whereby the money needed becomes high, some students in a group will be affect and this may hinder their chances of participating and finally terminates their work since nothing good comes easy without money.
Difficulty Experiences: This is the experience we encounter from our group. Since every body has his/her own personal character couple with individual schedule for daily activity, thing can never be done at the same time. Therefore, the time schedule for a particular group to carryout their project research varies.
Insincerity of responding to questionnaire items: this is the inability of the supervisor did not explain properly the most essential things needed and how he wants the project to be done. The project writer may find it difficult to cope.
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