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1.1 Background to the study
The overall objective in every teaching –learning interaction as usually required is to bring about harmonious development of the individual and acquisition of the desired knowledge, values and skills to enable him/her function in a particular way. The process of teaching needs to be supervised for effective teaching- learning process. The syllabus and curriculum system must be given special care and consideration so as to achieve the desired objectives. Thus, when curriculum system is ensured in every school, there will be positive developments that will bring permanent change in the behaviour of the learner signifying that learning has taken place.
However, human societies differ in the way they teach their children values, norms and skills, while others impart skills in formal way, through organized system, that is a well recognized system approved by the ministry of education. Others prefer more traditional ways in inculcating such desired values, notwithstanding the particular society in which learning takes place, and methodology used, a number of variables interact together to bring about a stable and permanent changes in behaviour.
Thus, the study intends to investigate the comparative academic achievement of secondary schools in geography in selected public and private schools in three main educational zones out of six in Enugu state, namely Nsukka, Enugu and Obollo-Afor
The study also intends to look at these variables, the learner, the teacher and the learning environment, because learning can only take place where there is a learner and the learner has to be physically, mentally, socially and morally ready to learn. Thus, when the learner is not fit to learn due to some health problems or interest, then the objectives of teaching and learning are hampered.
Consequently, besides the two important variables mentioned in teaching-learning process, the environment in which learning takes place has to be conducive for learning. In formal learning, schools are not just a place to learn, to read and write but also receive complete education. Therefore, schools have to provide suitable environment for effective and proper development of the learner so as to acquire the desired skills, but where the school environment is deficient or lacking in the materials required for effective learning, the designed objectives could not be achieved.
The facilities required for effective teaching – learning are: adequate classroom space, curriculum system, experienced teachers, teaching –learning materials such as text books, boards, chalks, visual aids etc.Although all primary schools in Nsukka, Enugu and Obollo-Afor educational zones are under the direct supervision of the state primary Education Board, but a number of differences exist in their performance in geography among the secondary school students across the zones.
This study was carried out in order to address the importance of school facilities and equipments that need to be made available in both public and private secondary schools in the study area. The absence or shortage of facilities and equipments in the primary
schools particularly in these three different educational zones would be a stumbling block and impediment towards the excellent academic performance of the secondary school pupils. It is in view of this that a decision was taken to make a research on the performance of secondary school students in geography in public and private schools in three different educational zones.
1.2 Statement of the problem
It is important to note that meaningful conclusions cannot be attained in every work without a defined focus. Thus, the researcher intends to find out the problems militating against effective teaching and learning of geography in public and private schools in three different educational zones. Some of the problems are: the roles of teachers, the environment in which learning takes place, lack of supervision, lack of adequate teaching-learning materials, instructional school facilities and lack of qualified teachers in teaching the subject of geography at the secondary school level so as to have sound justification of improving learning environment, teaching-learning materials and supervision of instruction in three educational zones, and Enugu state at large.This research therefore intends to find out if there are significant differences in the academic performance of secondary school students of private and public schools in geography.
1.3 Objectives of the study
This study sets out to achieve the following objectives:
1. To find out if there is significant difference in the academic performance of male students of private and public schools in geography in Enugu State
2. To find out if there is significant difference in the academic performance of female students of private and public schools in geography in Enugu State
3. To find out if there are significant differences in terms of school equipment/facilities between the private and public secondary schools in Enugu State
4. To find out if there are significant differences in terms of qualification of teachers in private and public students schools in Enugu State
5. To find out if there are significant differences in terms of teacher welfare package(s) in private and public secondary schools in Enugu State
1.4 Research questions
1. Is there any significant difference in the academic performance of male pupils in public and private secondary schools?
2. Is there any significant difference in academic performance of female pupils in public and private secondary schools?
3. Do private primary schools have better equipment/facilities than the public secondary schools?
4. Do private primary schools have more qualified teachers than the public secondary schools?
5. Do the private primary school teachers have better welfare than the public secondary school teachers?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
1. There is no significant difference in the academic performance of male pupils of public and private secondary schools.
2. There is no significant difference in the academic performance of female pupils of private and public secondary schools.
3. There are no significant differences in the school facilities provided by private and public secondary schools.
4. There are no significant differences in terms of qualification of teachers in private and public secondary schools.
5. There are no significant differences in the teacher welfare provided by secondary school teachers of private and public schools.
1.6 Significance of the study
The main aim of carrying out research in education is to bring about positive improvement in the practice of education through finding new knowledge or information. Therefore, this research is important in many areas to the following stakeholders in the business of education for obtaining good output in secondary education in Nsukka , Enugu and Obollo-Afor educational zones and the state at large.
This study is significant and beneficial to the teachers in many areas. The research will make the teachers conscious of the current status of secondary school students’ academic performance in both public and private schools within these three Educational zones studied. The study will also expose to them the factors responsible for the differences in academic performance of the students in public and private secondary schools if there is any difference and suggest the possible ways to be followed to remedy the situation. At the same time, the research will reveal to them the significance of facilities required for effective teaching- learning like adequate classroom space, curriculum system, experienced and qualified teachers, game fields, teachers’ development etc,
The study is also important to students in their learning process. The research will make them know the level of their academic performance especially in geography subjects. Thus, the students through this research will be able to grasp certain areas of their considerable effort and excellent academic performance in the subject they study, and also be aware of their deficiencies in certain areas of their geography subject. The study is also paramount importance to students because the acquisition of the suitable levels of literacy manipulative, communicative and good life skills, values and norms will serve as bed-rock, for laying a sound foundation for their future learning, improvement and development.
The study is very crucial to the curriculum planners. The curriculum planners are professional individuals who are well trained in curriculum management, they are active participants in the field of curriculum and they are responsible for curriculum planning as regards to contents and implementation procedures. Therefore, curriculum planning has been seen as a collection of readings that presents the knowledge, skills and alternative strategies needed by curriculum planners and teachers at all levels of education from their secondary level to tertiary level.
Thus, the curriculum planners through this study will come to know whether the curriculum system of private secondary schools in the areas studied is in line with public secondary schools curriculum system or not, so that a good action would be taken to ensure similar curriculum system. However, if the curriculum system particularly in geography is similar in both public and private secondary schools in the study area, then the curriculum planners will have a thorough knowledge on the current curriculum system of public and private secondary schools in the study areas. The study will also reveal to them the process involved of curriculum implementation in these selected public and private secondary schools in the three different Educational zones.
The research is also useful and beneficial to the federal, state and local government education policy makers. The policy makers in education include: the minister of education, commissioners of education, local government education secretaries and so on. Therefore, the outcome of this research will give them a clear picture of the level of academic performance of public and private secondary school students. Having known the academic performance of secondary school students especially in geography, the policy makers can create or formulate new educational policy that will ensure the same curriculum system in both public and private secondary schools in the study areas, and Enugu state in general so as to achieve similar objectives in both public and private secondary schools in Nsukka, Enugu and Obollo-Afor Educational zones. The study will make it clear to them the major factors responsible for affecting the students’ academic performance of both public and private secondary schools within the study areas, so that appropriate actions would be taken to resolve the condition.
The public in the business of education are also expected to benefit from this study for obtaining good output in secondary education in the Nsukka, Enugu and Abollo-Afor Educational zones, and Enugu state at large. It has been aware that the concern of most public today is mainly on what they can do to help children to acquire a sound secondary education because of its place of influencing an individual’s performance in later academic life. This research will therefore help the general public in knowing the ways to improve academic performance of learners in three different educational zones. It has been observed that qualitative education is mostly desired by the general public. The study will also reveal to the general public the significance of providing enough school facilities that will facilitate the teaching- learning process so as to have effective and a sound knowledge of secondary school base.
1.7 Basic Assumptions
The research is based on the assumption that:
1. Private and public schools have effective teachers of geography.
2. Private and public secondary schools in Enugu state have adequate supply of instructional materials for effective teaching of geography subject.
3. Both private and public secondary school students in Enugu state perform well in geography subject.
4. Both private and public secondary schools in Enugu state are having good and qualified teachers of geography subject.
1.8 Scope of the study
The scope of this study is limited to finding out the comparative academic performance of secondary school students in geography in six (6) different primary schools selected from three different educational zones of Nsukka, Enugu and Abollo-Afor local governments. The research is delimited to male and female students, teachers and head teachers. Therefore, teachers and students of geography are covered by the study.
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