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It is a well know fact that the act of learning and teaching of physics among secondary school students has been deteriorated to the extent that it constitutes to the hurdles that is affecting learning in the classrooms. The  issue of implementing the physics syllabus at most secondary  schools is facing an increasing difficulty especially within the study environment Olowo (2010) stated that “it is this curriculum that gives birth to syllabus and the manner it is been implemented goes long way in the development of any nation”These factors have affected the academic performance in physics education thereby causing mass failure in the student. Questionnaire is begin used to gather information with respect to the issues. SPSS package is been used to analyse the data collected and this has led to the finding that most factors mentioned in this research work such as attitudes of student towards learning of physics, attendance of the teachers in the class room affect the  student performance in physics Education. 




           In Nigeria, physics is taught as one of the science subject at the senior secondary school level, in order to familiarize them with the trend of modern developments which can be achieved if the physics syllabus is implemented effectively according to Ben Yunasa (2000) Therefore, objective of any level of education cannot be achieved if the planned programme for such level of education is not well implemented. Observing this, Onyeachu (2008) asserted that" no matter how well a curriculum of any subject is planned, designed and documented, implementation is important". This is because the problem of most progamme arises at the implementation stage. Recognizing this, Babalola (2004) and Mkpa (2005) remarked that it is at the implemention stage that many excellent curriculum plans and other educational policies are marred without any trace.

           According to Ohuhe (2001), if curriculum is not well implemented, all effort expended in the planning is waste.Also Shaaaba (2002) submitted that the success of any curriculum depends on how it is implemented. He also added that no matter how well a syllabus is designed if there is no proper implementation the question success will be a mirage.  Having known that curriculum is the vehicles through which education is attained (Offorma 2005). Several authors has noted that national policy on education was well structure and the content were adequately defined but the implementation calls for question (Babafemi 2007;Dike 2009). Therefore, the judicious implementation of

           Physics syllabus contribute immensely to attaining technology advancement NPE (2004).

 Concept of curriculum implementation

           The term Curriculum implementation has been defined in different ways by different Scholars. Mkpa (1987) defines curriculum implementation as "the task of translating the curriculum document into the operating curriculum by the combine efforts of the students, teacher and others concerned. Garba (2004) viewed curriculum implementation as "putting the curriculum into work for the achievement of the goals for which the curriculum is designed.

           Okebukola (2004) described curriculum implementation as:" the translation of the objectives of the curriculum from paper to practice." Ivowi (2004) defined curriculum implementation in a nut shell as "the translation of theory into practice or proposal into action. Onyeachu(2008) view curriculum implementation as the process of putting all that has been planned as curriculum document into practice in the class room through the combine effort  of the teacher, leaner, school administrators, parent as well as interaction with physical facilities, instructional materials psychological and social environment.

Implementation issues in secondary education curriculum

There are so many implementation issues affecting educational curriculum. All these include:

1.        Provision of Facilities

           Facilities in the school system include; equipment, buildings furniture such as tables, chairs which enable the teacher to perform their work effectively. Etimatalor (2001) and Olokor (2006) noted that the issues of instructional facilities enhances learning experience and leads to interaction between the learning environments. The issues at stake are to what extent are these facilities provided for effective implementation of secondary education curriculum? Facilities are not provided adequately because what is found in most secondary schools in Nigeria are dilapidated buildings, leaking roofs, lack of chairs and tables for students and teacher use.

Nwachuku (2005) remarked that the public sectors of education (secondary and primary levels has witnessed stagnation and decay.

2         Overloading of the Curriculum

           Curriculum overloading is one of the hallmark of ineffective policy implementation. Oduolowu (2007). Grundskola (2000), affirms that the Nigeria curriculum covers too much information, and suggest redesigning its content to remove unnecessary and irrelevant facts.

Maduewsi (UNESCO,FME,2001)  in her contribution to a report  about introducing a new curricula to African nations, also voices concern for an ever-expanding curriculum due to "additional and or integration of new materials [p.27]. What exacerbates the situation is that teachers are unprepared to cope with growing curricula, which means that instruction becomes ineffective, inappropriate and often inaccurate. Some authors consider the effect if text book reliance on education. In Nigeria the National education research and development council (NERDC) is responsible for curriculum development Oduolowo(2007).The council also sees to the selection and publication of textbooks, instructional guides and lesson plans for teachers.

3.        Teachers’ participation in decision-making and curriculum planning

           Observing the importance of involving teachers in decision-making and planning of curriculum, Obinna (2007) observe that no government policy on education can be realized if it does not first of all perceive the problem and opportunities  before initiating decision-making  process. Ugwu (2005) observed that the relevance of a curriculum is determined only when it is implemented .Kanno (2004) recognized the fact that the success of any curriculum, significantly, depends on the extent to which the classroom teacher is able not only to interprets the curriculum but to implement  it. No wonder Ereh (2005) concluded that teacher characteristics can make or mar curriculum implementation since the responsibility of interpreting and putting the curriculum into use solely rests with the teacher. Unfortunately, these teachers are not involved in decision-making and curriculum planning. This is a very big impingement to implementation of curriculum and learning experiences.

The syllabus

           The syllabus is an outline and summary of topics to be covered in an education or training course. A syllabus is often either set out by a professor or the person that controls the course quality. It may be provided in a paper form or online.

           Both syllabus and curriculum are fused together and are given to students and instructor for guide through the training course or for the period of education session (Wikipedia)

Use of the syllabus in relation to physics education

1         The syllabus serve many purposes for student and teachers such as ensuring a fair and impartial understanding between the instructors and students such that there is minimal confusion on policies related to the course Slatter and Carlson(2005:5)

2         To give student an understanding of the fundamental principle of physics and their application to everyday life and technology.

3         To develop an appreciation of physics as a creative activity, using informed intuition and imagination to create an understanding of the beauty, simplicity and symmetry in nature. Adeyemo (2010)

Why do we need to assess the senior secondary school physics syllabus?

           The main objectives of assessing the senior secondary school physics syllabus are itemise as follows;

1         Knowledge: Student should be able to know basic principles and how it contributes to the social historical technology advancement.

2         Understanding: The student should understand that the knowledge they have learnt and from they should be able to apply it solving day to day problems

3         Skills: The student should be able to use scientific equipment appropriately, also to be able to measure physical quantities in the appropriate S.I unit, the use of experimental data appropriately and working safely in the laboratory.

4         Competence: student should be competence and self-reliance both in relation of scientific concepts to issues in everyday life.

5         Attitudes:  students should appreciate physics as a course/ subject in every of their applications.(Leaving certificate physics ordinary level syllabus(2000) NCCA'

           However, physics been a crucial subject, for which the curricular have been structured. The curriculum that is now in use states it objectives as follows:

1         To provide basic literacy in physics for functional living in the society

2         To acquire basic concept and principles of physics as a preparation for further studies

3         To acquire essential scientific skills and attitude as a preparation for the technological application of physics and

4         To stimulate and enhance creativity. (Omosewo 2000).

           Importantly, the classroom teacher occupy the most crucial position in the syllabus implementation Nwosu(2003). In another submission, Ohuche (1996) and Shaaba (2002) added that the classroom teacher is an important corner-stone in syllabus implementation because he/she is the main force and the last person that ensures that any curriculum is implemented according to specifications.

           The following are the Operational curriculum structured for the Senior Secondary School Physics Students of classes one and two

Senior Secondary School 1: (SS1)

Introduction to physics subject analyzing the different aspect of physics

Fundamental and derived quantities and units

Position  distance and time.


Speed, velocity, displacement, acceleration and equation of motion

Distance and velocity time graph

Scalar and vector quantities

work, energy and power

Density and up thrust


Practical exercise on the laboratory

Heat energy

Thermometers, effect of heat transfer

Evaporation, boiling and expansion

Expansivity and application of expansion

Heat transfer

Electricity charge (Gold leaf electroscope)

Current electricity.

Electric field

Electrical energy, electrical power and buying of electric current

practical exercise in the laboratory; determine of relative density

safety devices,  detecting fault in electric circuit

Practical nature of matter. surface tension, effect and practical demonstration

Viscosity, friction and its application

Unit of measurement

Solar collector

Resolution of vector

Moment and equilibrium of forces and couple.


laboratory practical on moment of forces

Senior Secondary School 2: (SS2)

Newton’s law of motion

Simple harmonic motion


Gas law

Measurement of heat  and energy

Production of wave -definition

Properties and characteristics of wave

Practical exercise

Light waves

Application of light waves and optical instrument

Human eye

Sound waves

Musical instrument

Musical Sound and there characteristics

practical exercise on determine of focal length

Gravitational field


Electric cells

E.M.F and internal resistance of a cell

Molecular theory of matter



Electromagnetism wave

Practical on the Verification of ohms law (electricity)

           This new curriculum has been implemented from September 2011, and it is loaded with student and teacher activities. Hence, it severs a challenge to the teachers in the field as well as prospective teachers whose training in Physics does not match the job they are doing .Daramola (2012).

           Salami (2002) found that teachers that taught Physics at the Senior Secondary School could not teach some topics very well and Omosewo added that there is not enough teachers teaching physics in our senior secondary schools today.

           However this situation calls for serious solutions on the mode of implementation of Nigeria secondary school curriculum. In other to identify the root cause of the problem as well as gaps needs for formation.

           To gauge the level of success of this current implementation and be better able to plan towards and implementation that will instill basic skill in Nigeria youth and to ensure socio-economic empowerment we need to proffer solution to current implementation of physics syllabus


           There is a problem of mass failure in physics education and the problem that is associated with career choosing therefore, this research is aim at examine the possible causes in relation to the assessment of the senior secondary school syllabus


           The overall aim of the investigation was to assess how the curriculum was implemented in Nigeria secondary schools with a view to identify the root cause of the problem as well as the underlying factors that might account for disparity, if any, on curriculum implementation. Specifically, the objectives were to;

1         Asses the availability of specialist teacher in selected secondary schools

2         Determine the numbers of periods used for physics in a week and in a session

3         to determine if the attitude of the student affect the implementation of the Senior Secondary school physics.


           This study will sensitize the policy makers, educational administrators and curriculum planers on the need to plan towards an effective curriculum implementation in the Nigeria secondary schools. This will go a long way in reducing half-baked students and their by leading ton teachers and instructors. Also the inspectors from federal and state  because of its findings and recommendations will provide point of reference. Therefore this study will help to awake physics student thereby having interest in learning physics Bolaji folashade (2001). This will allow the student orientation to be changed and this will foster better understanding of the course/subject (physics)


           The researcher attempt is to look and examine the assessment of the implementation of the senior secondary school physics syllabus critically. To achieve these objectives of this research work, the following research question would be used as guide.

           Dose the number of periods used for physics in a week have any effect on the implementation of the physics syllabus.

           Dose the attendance of student in the class for all the periods have any effect on the implementation of secondary school syllabus

           Does the attendance of the teacher for all periods used for physics as any effect on the implementation of the implementation of secondary school syllabus.


           The students have adequate knowledge of the topics taught in senior secondary school physics for classes 1 and 2 (SS1&SS2)

           The students did not have adequate knowledge of the topics taught in senior secondary school physics for classes 1 and 2 (SS1&SS2)


           This research is restricted to Abeokuta south local government of some selected schools at Abeokuta local government area, the selected school are as follows;

Egba comprehensive  high school

Lantoro high school

Lisabi gramma school

Rev.kuti high school

Na-warudeen high school

St.John high school

Asero high school

Baptist Girls College

Abeokuta gramma school

Igboore-high school


Implementation: Oxford advanced leaner’s dictionary refers to it as putting into effect a plan already mapped out. Obanya (2004) Define curriculum implementation as day to day activities which school management and class room teacher undertake in the pursuit of the objectives of any given curriculum. In this study it means process involved in translating educational plan intonation to bring about change in the learner function effectively in the society. In this regard, implementation is seen as both the means to an ends.

Curriculum: According to Clement (2004a), curriculum is the total package of what is to be taught or learnt. He describe it as process  of translating national education objectives into within school do-able .Offorma (2005) see curriculum as the planned learning experiences of offered to the learners in the school. In this study it is refers to as technological subject outlined in the national curriculum for secondary school manual as part of subject for secondary school education.

specialist teacher:  These are teachers trained in vocational and technical field.

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