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There has been a problem for some years now, student’s poor academic performance in Senior secondary School certificate examination. It is always on the increase, in the light of this significant problem that this study is based to find out the causes and effect of mass failure in Senior secondary school certificate examination (SSCE) in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State, however, the centre of interest is on Senior Christian religious study examination. In the process of the study, three (3) research questions were formulated and tested, to validate these research questions ten (10) schools was randomly selected from the entire population. Research instrument in form of questionnaire was administered to the area involved in the study. On the whole, two hundred and fifty (250) respondents were collected. Based on the findings of this study, some recommendation were made as follows, government and other stakeholders in education should provide adequate facilities and conducive environment to enable teachers functions effectively, and teachers on their part, must assume positive professional attitude, and show more willingness, more moral maturity and more commitment in the conduct of their professional duties. Government should employ more qualified teachers and those with qualification lower than (NCE) should be sponsored for in-service training and distance education programme. Conclusively, more effort should be made to improve the teaching and learning of Christian religious study in Senior secondary schools for positive change in student performances.
1.0 Background of the Study
For Nigeria to realize her dream in the development of Senior Secondary School, the citizens of the country must show outstanding performance in all secondary school subjects.
Christian religious study is the integrated study of humanities and history of religion. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, jurisprudence, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. In recent years, student academic achievement in Senior secondary school certificate examination on social studies.
The word “Christian religious study” which is a branch of the study of human religion, considered as an educational discipline. It deals with logical reasoning of religion and natural science and its environment.
Christian religious study as a school subject is recognized as the foundation of religion. This underscores the importance of Christian religious study competence of all the learners all levels of education and a reason for making Christian religious study compulsory and one of the leading core subject in the secondary schools curriculum. This importance accorded the recognition of the vital role it plays in contemporary society. Despite the effort put in by government, and various stakeholders of education, Christian religious study still remained one of the most difficult subject in schools.
There is a general impression that Christian religious study is difficult by its very nature, and because of this impression, there is poor performance among Senior secondary school students who are the focus of this study. This poor performance in Christian religious study has been attributed to two broad factors which include: Hereditary and environmental factors which can be subdivided into students, home, teachers, and school factors. Ola (1998).
However, students reason that Christian religious study is highly structured and is so abstract and required special intellectual attitude. Thus; students see the subject as something esoteric. Emenalo (1986) in Nwogu (1990) articulated the fact that inherent notion held by many Africans that Christian religious study is a very complex subject which is capable of making one “stressed” is at the centre of the phobia which students exhibits for Social studies and which had claimed many causalities over the years, Nworgu (1990:123), therefore passes the question “how them would any person in fairness expect our poor and innocent children to be as courageous as to face something which is capable of making even an adult mad? The students would prefer to study something else no matter how difficult rather than to attend Social studies classes.
Most parents do not play a crucial role in preparing their children for school. The child is expected to see the world from the perspective of these archaic values and the goodness of otherwise of his behaviour is judged as such. Opposition from the child arises from what appears to him obsolete and defense of traditionalism by the parents. For example, Whaler (1997) argues that consistent and appropriate parental reactions to the full range of a child’s response repertoire will establish a family context conducive to positive reinforcement of child compliance. In contrast, inconsistent parental reactions appear to create a chaotic family context conducive to the negative reinforcement of child opposition. He argues that based on these two forms of contexts, the parent and children seen to generate distinctive personal rules which outline the functions arrangements of contexts, behaviour and reinforcement. Parents on their part hardly requires their children to explain the problem or joy found in their Christian religious study s classes, And this count as one of the causes of mass failure of students in Christian religious study.
Teachers of Senior Christian religious study are hard to come-by because of the site of some schools especially the schools in Nsukka local government Area of Enugu State. The few available teachers have not been given opportunities to up-date the skill and knowledge available in-service training. Teachers have an important part to play in learning Christian religious study by students. According to Nicol (1997) “A teacher can only be seen to be effective, if the students can learn with greater ease and perform well his help than without his help.
Teacher’s attitude can hinder learning especially when one does not present oneself as a high intellectual and formidable person. “A quack doctor is capable to handle an individual as a time but a bad teacher can ruin not only the individual but also a nation. Nigeria is faced with the problem of competent teachers in social study which is the major causes of this mass failure of student in Christian religious study.
The school administrator also has a direct role to play as if relates to discipline of both the student and the teacher supervision of teaching and learning and preparation of students well enough for examination.
According to Ekemia (2006:38) “An effective mental health for principal includes emotional, stability, maturity of character and a large capacity of frustration tolerance with the strength to withstand the strain the strain and stress inherent in running today’s Nigeria secondary school without undue fiscal or psychological disequilibria”.
Many principals are faced with managerial difficulties especially those who lack human relationship cannot execute effective administrative duties in the schools. For example, a school that lacks discipline hardly achieves the aim and objective of the educational system. Through these factors enumerated above, it could be seen that, there are many causes attributed to mass failure in Christian religious study in Senior secondary school. The Senior secondary school certificate examination is an external examination organized and conducted by the ministry of education. The establishment of this Senior secondary school education by the state government Nsukka local government Area of Enugu State like any other states has the same aims and objectives as the national policy on education specified that secondary education is the education received after primary education and before the tertiary institution.
According to Adewale (1992), it is the only instrument that could evaluate the performance of both students and teachers at the end of Senior secondary school career. He further stated that, the success or failure of the student in examination is a clear manifestation of the student academic activities during the course. Success or good performance determines a brighter future for the student wile failure is disastrous as it always indicate a dropout which is the common effect in the area of this study.
Finally, it is obvious that the findings of the study will definitely aspire the researcher to seek for possible suggestions and recommendations to students, teachers, parents, sponsor and government to bring an end to student mass failure of social study in secondary school and to improve student performance in the future examination in these schools and other part of the country having similar educational problems.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Perhaps not much attention has been given to the performance of students in Senior secondary school subjects in recent years. This neglect, no doubt has relegated this Senior subjects to the background in our Senior secondary certificate examination. A close look at the 2015/2016 SSCE result records, confirms that students’ performance has been very poor generally and the increase number of school dropout in the area of study is a clear pointer of the theme. The poor performance is caused by many factors such as; students ineffective study techniques, quality of teachers and method of teaching, the parent’s inability to provide useful materials like textbooks, exercise books and school fees and problem of inadequate instructional materials for teaching and learning of Christian religious study in schools.
In philosophical view of these causes, this study therefore is specifically designed to assess the factors associated with mass failure of student in Christian religious study in Senior secondary school in Nsukka local government Area of Enugu State.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to find out the factors associated with mass failure of student in Christian religious study in Senior secondary school in Nsukka local government Area of Enugu State. The interests of the researchers are to examine critically and identify the causes and effects of mass failure of Christian religious study in Senior secondary school
specifically, the study sought to find out if:-
1. There are sufficient numbers of qualified Christian religious study teachers and instructional materials for teaching of Christian religious study.
2. The previous socio-economic background of the students affects them in studying Christian religious study.
3. The attitude and interest of students towards the nature of social studies contribute deeply to their mass failure in SSCE especially in Christian religious study.
1.3 Significance of the Study
The student will be able to appreciate the importance of the effective domain like interest and motivation in improving their performance. With this awareness, the student might put up a positive attitude towards social studies which will increase their performance and enhance higher grades in Senior secondary school certificate examination. Teachers will also be able to adjust their teaching methods and offer remedial helps where they find out that students are putting up a low attitude. State government will also see the need of guidance and counseling in each schools, the ministry of education and curriculum planners for better organization of Senior subjects in education.
1.4 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study was focused on the factors associated with mass failure of student in Christian religious study in Senior secondary school in Nsukka local government Area of Enugu State. Due to military factors such as time and other resources and the inconvenience of handling a large scope, the researchers focused only on senior student studying Christian religious study.
1.5 Research of the Study
To carry out a detailed study of the research, the following research question will guide to study:-
1. Are there sufficient numbers of qualified social studies teachers and instructional materials for teaching Christian religious study?
2. Does the previous socio-economic background of the students affect them in studying Christian religious study?
Does poor attitude and low interest of students towards the nature of Christian religious study contribute deeply to their mass failure in SSCE especially in Christian religious study?
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