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STUDENT’S VARIABLES AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ECONOMICS (A CASE STUDY OF IBESIKPO ASUTAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, AKWA IBOM STATE)
1.1 Background of the Study
An investigation into the factors that affect student’s academic performances in Nigeria has attracted the interest of educators and researchers over the years. This concern arose from the fact that student’s performance in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) has remained poor. According to Agao (2001), the issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even the students themselves.
Adu and Ageni (2004) in their study on an appraisal of the trend in performance of student’s in Economics at the senior secondary certificate examination in Oyo state, particularly revealed that performance of candidates in Economics is not only poor generally, but continue to fall over the years. They further noted that, to better understand the factors which contributed to student’s poor performance in Nigeria, an assessment of the teaching-learning process is imperative to appreciate the impacts of instruction process on students. This assessment of students learning is important for demonstrating academic performance and programme success. The authors also observed that measuring students learning outcomes is a process that necessitates sequential and systematic evaluation of teaching-learning process, since learning take place in a complex environment.
Also, there is a general consensus about the important of Economics in effective management of the nation’s limited resources. This fact is acknowledged by time and efforts devoted to the teaching and learning of Economics in the school today. The training of quality teachers (educationist) and good managers of the nation’s economy that would effect transformation of any nation depends largely on the knowledge of Economics as a subject.
According to Emovon (2011) and kuku (2008), a nation resources managers are as good as Economics teachers. Jegede (2010), supports this view and says that social science based education has always been an index of economic growth and hence, socio-economic recognition of nations throughout the world.
However, the academic performance of students at both internal and external examinations left much to be desired. According to Adeqandu (1998), most studies in education focused on what goes on in the class room while neglecting other important factors such as the socio-psychological factors. The way an individual learn is not only affected by the classroom work and situation but there are other factors which determine what, why and how individual learn.
According to Onecha (2009), man’s educational aspirations and accomplishment are projected by the psycho-social variable in his environment. These variables take unique positions in human beings since they are necessary for understanding human overt and covert actions, potentialities and their performance in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of education.
Bakare (2008) and Gboge (2009), expressed academic performance as that behaviour exhibited by a person that is noticeable after undergoing a programme of instruction in a school, the programme could be a syllabus or scheme of work in a particular class over a period of time. Also Akinboye (2010) claimed that some factors that influence academic performance of students are heredity, environment, time, some that are resident in the students, the family, the school and the society.
Self concept is concerned with all that an individual thinks he is, what he thinks he can do. According to Hassan (2011) and Gboye (2009), it is sort of self-perception, which can be high (positive) or low (negative).
Study habits is broad as it combines nearly all other sub-topics under it, such as, study attitude, study method and study skills. Allport (1995), asserted that, attitudes is mental and natural states of readiness, organized through experience, exerting a directive influence upon the individual’s response to all objects and situations with which its related. Attitudes toward study have great contribution in academic performance and good study pattern. As such, successful learners adopt positive attitude towards study and do not waste time or energy on doing what is not profitable, once they have what to do. If the learning experience is pleasant, the learner’s attitudes and motivation usually is positive and if the learning experience is not pleasant the learner’s tends to avoid it.
There is however a general opinion among researchers that academic performance relating to success and failures do influence self concept, study habits, attitudes to learning through various means. It is against this background that this study investigated self concept, study habits, attitudes to learning and academic performance in Economics of Senior Secondary School students.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Economics is one of the fundamental school subjects which has a direct implication on individual’s management of limited resources and national development.
In Nigeria, although there is an increase in the number of students that are offering the subject, performance in Economics has not been as good as expected. This may be due to the fact that Economics syllabus incorporates some elements of mathematics.
The situation has been posing serious problem for the students in the senior secondary class. Studies have identified students’ variables such as students’ study habits, self concept, attitudes to learning of the students among others as an important factor which influence academic performance.
The problem of this study is to find the relationship between student’s variables and the academic performance in Economics of secondary school students.