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1.1 Background of the Study
The modern trend in education and the complex nature of learning and instruction have made the role of the teachers more challenging. This new role does not just involve the more transmission of information to students but it involves looking at the problems associated with learning and instruction. The National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) in Nigeria emphasized that our children should be educated properly so that they can acquire skills and competencies that would enable them function well and solve problems in the society. The accomplishment and realization of these important educational goals in Nigeria lies in the new trend in the educational approaches.
These new approaches to learning and instruction expose the students to conceptualize and effectively manage their own learning and thus reinforce their learning and transfer their training in practical situations. Despite the new approach to learning and instruction, Government at the Government Senior Secondary School level in Nigeria has been plagued with poor results and low achievements. Annual results from West African Examinations Council (WAEC) reveal woeful performances from the students who have made enrolment for Government examinations a yearly ritual. It is worrisome to note too that the performance of these students has continued to deteriorate year after year. It is understood that if the situation in Government remains like this, it will affect both the economic and technological growth of the state. This is because a good mastery of Government is mandatory on all students in order to do well in other secondary school subjects. Students who are handicapped in Government are therefore likely to be handicapped in the acquisition of skills in arts and technological related subjects.
From the foregoing, therefore, we can conclude that Government is an indispensable language of communication in Anambra State
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This research as stated above concerns itself with the study of strategies for improving low academic performance in Government by suggesting possible solution to the following questions:
i) What are the attitude/feelings of the students towards the studying of Government?
ii) What account for the decline in performance in the subject (Government)?
iii) Do they have enough material and human resources for the teaching and learning process?
iv) Do they understand the subject very well?
v) Does the Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) syllabus have either a positive or a negative effect on the student performance?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to find out strategies for improving the performance of secondary school student in Government. Specifically it ought to:
i) To find out the types of facilities available in the secondary schools for teaching Government.
ii) To identify the methods of teaching used in teaching Government.
iii) To identify the extent to which teachers are motivated to teach Government.
iv) To identify strategies for improving the low academic performance of students in Government.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
i) What type of facilities is available for teaching English language in secondary schools in Anambra State?
ii) What are the methods of teaching adopted by Government teachers?
iii) To what extent are Government teachers motivated?
iv) What are the strategies for improving the low academic performance of students in Government?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research work intends to investigate the student achievement in the subject. The research will be significant in the following ways:
i) The findings of the study will shade light on the nature, contents examination and performance level of the SSCE examination.
ii) The findings of the study will contribute meaningfully to knowledge of teaching and learning Government especially with the role of Government in the day-to-day communication.
iii) The findings of the students will also benefit Ministry of Education in Anambra State by recruiting qualified teachers in order to improve the performance of the students.
1.6 Delimitation of the Study
The study covers strategies for improving low academic performance in Government in Government Secondary Schools in Anambra State. Respondents were drawn from selected government secondary schools in Onitsha south Local Government Area.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
In any type of research work, are many hindrances that the researcher must come across in the course of the assignment. The problem encounter in the course of this could be attributed to delays in gathering the relevant data needed for the research work and uncompromising attitude of the people to give the required information. Time is another major limitation as far as the research work in concern. The time needed to implement the work may not be sufficient for logistic reasons. Financial resources may be lacking in carrying out the required work of the project.
1.8 Definition of Terms
· Performance: This relates to the execution carried out or putting into effect the task, job or operation.
· Teacher: A professional trained to impart knowledge to pupils/students.
· Assessment: Evaluation or estimation of the nature, value or quality of something or a subject.
· Effectiveness: It is the ability to determine appropriate objectives, that is, the degree at which School’s goals are met within established resources “doing the right thing.”
· Indiscipline: This can be described as a mode of life not in conformation with rule and non-subjection to contain. The term connotes the regulations capable of obstructing the smooth and orderly function of the school system
· FGN: Acronym for Federal Government of Nigeria.
· Curriculum: Curriculum is the subjects comprising a step by step guide of a course of study in a school.
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