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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The research study is focused on some school related variables as major determinants of students’ performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone. The school variables under consideration for the purpose of this study are: teachers’ quality, the school environment climate, the remuneration system of the schools in Owerri and Okigwe zone in Imo state and the class sizes in various schools. However, recent work on differences in performance of students in various subjects like mathematics, chemistry and physics achievement have highlighted the importance of classroom, teacher and school factors. The Third International Mathematics and Science Study TIMSS (2002) focused on variables such as the student, classroom and school factors; how they relate or influence mathematics achievement in Rivers state and the Abia State. It found that classroom differences account for about one-third of the variation in student achievement in Rivers State and over one-quarter in Abia State. Most of the classroom variations in both States were due to compositional and organizational factors, very little of it due to differences between teachers. This has important implications for policy regarding the improvement of mathematics achievement. It suggests that school systems may gain little by targeting teachers only, and need to give consideration to the role of pupil grouping practices and the effects of tracking and streaming on classroom learning environment.
Another school variable that may influence students’ performance is teachers’ quality. The quality of education of a nation could be determined by the quality of her teachers. The most important factor in improving students’ academic achievement in school is by employing seasoned qualified teachers in all schools (Abe & Adu, 2013). Academically qualified teachers refer to those who have academic training as a result of enrolment into educational institution and obtained qualifications in various areas of endeavour such as HND, B.Sc, B.A, and Master of Art (M.A.) and so on; while professionally qualified teachers are those who got professional training that gave them professional knowledge, skills, techniques, aptitudes as different from the general education. They hold degrees like, B.Ed, B.Sc. Ed, B.A. Ed, and M.Ed degrees and so on. Onyekuru and Ibegbunam (2013) found that teaching effectiveness of teachers from secondary schools was below average. However, Akinsolu (2010) had a contrary result when he found out that teachers’ qualifications, experience and teacher–student ratio were significantly related to students’ academic performance.
In the same vein the school environment climate might also affects students performance. The National School Climate Council (2007) has defined school climate in the following way:
School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is based on patterns of students’, parents’ and school personnel’s experiences of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.
Over the last 30 years a growing body of empirical research has shown that a positive and sustained school climate is associated with and may be predictive of positive youth development, effective risk prevention and health promotion efforts, student learning and academic achievement, increased student graduation rates, and teacher retention (Cohen & Geier, 2010). School climate improvement is a continuous process. Effective school improvement efforts involve the students, parents, and guardians, school personnel, and community leaders (Cohen et al., 2009).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent times most secondary schools in Owerri and Okigwe education have experienced decline in academic performance of student. There have been series of effort put in by the government to improve the academic performance of students but the report received seem a far cry from efficiency. Ahiakwo (2006) found that the performance of various levels of students has decelerated over the years with that of Nigerian children quite remarkable. The Chief Examiners’ Reports of results of our public examinations (WAEC, 2004-2009) has shown markedly a decline in the percentage of passes in most subjects (especially sciences) in most secondary schools in Nigeria. Hence, the prevailing underachievement in external examinations portends an indicator of wastage in human and material resources, a catalyst to the development of an antiscience culture and ultimately an evolution of scientifically illiterate citizenry. Furthermore, Oyekan (2005) had earlier defined underachievement as performance that is below an acceptance standard in the master of subject matter or skills within a given limit. This existing underachievement might be the root cause of avid criticism and dissatisfaction averred against the schools by the public. Should this be viewed as a savage affront to the teachers or an expressive demand for accountability? Apparently, the recurrent thorny issue of students’ poor academic performance in science poses a genuine problem with protrusive impact on all levels of education and development. Considered all round, it is an antithesis to a developing country crusade to scientific literacy and industrial self-reliance. Do these aggregate views suggest a likely relationship between school variables and students’ performance in external examinations? To what extent do teacher quality, remuneration structure and school academic climate relate to students’ achievement in examinations. It is to this regard that the researcher desire to examine some school related variables as major determinant of students’ performance using secondary schools in Owerri and Okigwe education zone, Imo State as the case study.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to examine some school related variables as major determinant of students’ performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone, Imo State. Other specific objectives of the study are:
1. to determine the effect of remuneration system for teachers on academic performance of students in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
2. to extent to which institutional structure has influenced students’ performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
3. to determine the effect of teaching methods on academic performance of students in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
4. to examine whether class size affects students’ performance in Owerri and okigwe education zone
5. to determine the effect of School academic climate on students performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:
1. What is the effect of remuneration system for teachers on academic performance of students in Owerri and Okigwe education zone?
2. To what extent has institutional structure influenced students’ performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone?
3. What is the effect of teaching methods on academic performance of students in Owerri and Okigwe education zone?
4. Does class size affects students’ performance in Owerri and okigwe education zone?
5. What is the effect of School academic climate on students performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: remuneration system for teachers has no significant effect on academic performance of students in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
H1: remuneration system for teachers has significant effect on academic performance of students in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
H0: the institutional structure does not influence students’ performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
H1: the institutional structure influences students’ performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
H0: class size does not affect students’ performance in Owerri and okigwe education zone
H1: class size affects students’ performance in Owerri and okigwe education zone
H0: School academic climate has no significant effect on students’ performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
H1: School academic climate has significant effect on students’ performance in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
H0: teaching methods has no significant effect on academic performance of students in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
H1: teaching methods has significant effect on academic performance of students in Owerri and Okigwe education zone
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on some school related variables as major determinants of students performance in Imo state will be of immense benefit to the Owerri and Okigwe education zone in the sense that the study will cover the gap in literature on the school related variables like teaching methods, instructional materials, class size and school plants and then relate them to the academic performance of students. The study will also serve as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic.
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on some school related variables as major determinants of students’ performance will focus on four (4) (comprehensive secondary school, Owerri, John F. Kennedy secondary school, Owerri, Mercy girls secondary school, Okigwe and Queen of apostles secondary school, Okigwe)secondary schools in owerri and Okigwe education zone. The study will not cover the tertiary institutions so as to save time and cost.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview). Lastlythe researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Teachers Quality: teachers’ quality in accordance to the study is defined as the skills and professionalism of teachers in teaching in secondary school.
Effective Teaching: this simply involve the use of all the materials both intellectual and instructional in teaching of business education inOwerri and Okigwe education zone
Learning: the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.
Climate ChangeMay refer to a change in average weather conditions, or in the time variation of weather within the context of longer-term average conditions
Remuneration system: Remuneration is considered the pay or other compensation provided in exchange for the services performed; not to be confused with giving, or donating, or the act of providing to
Performance: This is the result of an achievement of an individual in his/her place of study
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