A serious government must always strive to help its citizens to reduce poverty and encourage self-sufficiency, self-independent and self-reliance at elementary level. Hence, the introduction of Home Economics as subject in secondary schools educational system as well as a course of study in tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The study sought to find out factors that affect students’ academic performance in Home Economics in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State. Data were collected through field survey and were subjected to secondary analysis. Three research questions guided the study and three hypotheses were tested. The following were the research objectives: to analyse the institutional factors affecting secondary school students’ academic performance in Home Economics in Akwa Ibom State, to identify the parental socioeconomic factors affecting academic performance of secondary school students in Home Economics in Akwa Ibom State and to assess out the attitudes of secondary school students of Akwa Ibom state towards Home Economics subject.
1.1 Background to the Study
Universally, investment in education is usually through three main stages: primary, secondary and tertiary. Mbelle and Katabalo (2003) opined that secondary education mainly aims at meeting global challenges in art, science and technology as well as organizations of production processes and markets. Schultz (2002) stated that investing in education leads to faster growth for developed and newly industrialized countries. That is the reason why; developing countries most especially in Africa are now paying more attention to invest in education from primary, secondary and tertiary levels by increasing enrolment and improving education quality.
The works of Miller-Grandvaur and Yoder (2002) on secondary schools education revealed that Secondary schools are fundamental part of the educational interventions in not only in sub-Saharan Africa alone but in the whole of African countries. Apparently, the introduction of Home Economics on the Nigerian curriculum was born out of its usefulness in addressing skill needs of students and to ensure all secondary school leavers are more productive, independent and self-reliant in their future endeavours. However, the main challenges in secondary school education seem to be academic performance of students. There have been concerns over the years about the factors affecting the performance of students in education attainment and this is what has prompted the current study. In spite of the complexity of factors influencing students’ achievement, studies are pointing to the evidence that institutional factors are associated with academic performance though mainly in other subjects rather than home economics.
Home Economics is one of the subjects needed by every individual irrespective of the person’s profession. For anyone thriving to be self-reliant and independent, the knowledge of Home Economics is necessary. Unfortunately students’ performance in the subject has not been encouraging especially at the post basic education level (secondary schools). Post basic education level is the intermediary level between the basic and tertiary level where systematic and organized education is offered. It is believed that at this level of education, desired attitude, skill and knowledge could be obtained by the recipients. Academic performance according to Eze, Ezenwafor and Obidile (2016) refers to the results of students’ effort in examinations.
According to Chukwudi O.C. (2013), individual differences in academic performance have been linked to differences in intelligence and personality. He explained that students with higher mental abilities as demonstrated by IQ test (quick learners) and those who are higher in conscientiousness (linked to effort and achievement motivation) tend to achieve highly in academic settings. Early academic achievement enhances later academic achievement. However, a number of factors contribute to that. It has also been discovered that certain factors like Peer group influence, location of the home, modern gadgets at home and so on can either influence or hinder the academic performances of students. This study investigated the factors that affect the performances of home economics students in senior secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria using four secondary schools in the state as a case study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
A number of studies have been identified as the problems confronting educational performances of students most especially in Home Economics subject. Their findings identified change of school, family break up, teacher absence, parent illness and death of a family member, student’s illness, learning disability caused by visual or hearing impairment and student’s attitude towards learning as causes of poor academic performance (Browny & Sunniya, 2002). Others include shortage of well-trained teachers, inadequacy of teaching facilities, lack of funds to purchase necessary equipment, poor quality textbooks, large classes, poorly motivated teachers, lack of laboratories and libraries, poorly coordinated supervisory activities, interference of the school system by the civil service, incessant transfers of teachers and principals and automatic promotion of pupils (Vundla, 2012). Mbugua, Kibet, Muthaa and Nkonke (2012) identified the factors to be under staffing, inadequate teaching/learning materials, lack of motivation and poor attitude by both teachers and students as factors influencing academic performance of students.
Igwe and Ikatule (2011) opined that poor academic performance of students is a deficiency in teaching method(s) employed by teachers. According to Tshabalala and Ncube (2013) lack of materials, bad teacher behavior, poor grounding in the subject area at lower levels, poor teaching methods as well as fear of the subject are factors affecting academic performance of students. Enu, Agyman and Nkum (2015) identified the causes of academic performance as inadequate teaching and learning materials, method of instruction, teachers and students’ self-motivation. Specifically, in Home Economics, academic performances of students are influenced by related factors such as negative attitude of students towards Home Economics as a not important subject and therefore meant for those who want to go into vocational works after leaving secondary school, students’ academic aptitude, previous and recent academic performances, insufficient effort and poor motivation (Atieh, 2013). Also teachers’ qualification and experience affect academic performance of students in accounting (Omotayo, 2014). According to Okon (2002) poor application of teaching methods, lack of fund, inadequate teaching experience, lack of teaching aids, lack of qualified teachers and wrong methods of teaching could influence students’ interest in accounting. This study therefore investigated the factors that affect the performance of home economics students in senior secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria using four secondary schools in the state as a case study.
1.3 Research Questions
These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:
i) What institutional factors affecting secondary school students’ academic performance in Home Economics in Akwa Ibom State?
ii) What are the parental socioeconomic factors affecting academic performance of secondary school students in Home Economics in Akwa Ibom State?
iii) What are the attitudes of secondary school students of Akwa Ibom state towards Home Economics subject?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objective of this study was to find out the factors affecting the performance of home economics students in senior secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State. The specific objectives were:
i) to analyse the institutional factors affecting secondary school students’ academic performance in Home Economics in Akwa Ibom State
ii) to identify the parental socioeconomic factors affecting academic performance of secondary school students in Home Economics in Akwa Ibom State
iii) to assess out the attitudes of secondary school students of Akwa Ibom state towards Home Economics subject
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) there is a significant correlation between attitudes of students towards Home Economics and students’ academic performance.
ii) there is no significant relationship between parental socioeconomic factors and students’ academic performance
iii) there is no significant difference between institutional factors and secondary school students’ academic performance in Home Economics
1.6 Significance of the Study
Findings from this study would be helpful to the students, teachers, school administrators and the federal Government as it will expose them to various issues that are affecting our educational system and how they can go about to tackle them. This study will also contribute to academic knowledge and serve as a foundation upon which further research can be made.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study investigated the factors affecting the performance of home economics students in senior secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria using four secondary schools in the state as a case study. Variables of interest include: performance and home economics. While performance is dependent variable, home economics is independent variable.
1.8 Limitation of the study
This study faced limitation that need to be taken into consideration. Apart from the obvious time limit and the delicate subject matter, there were issues that arose from the methodological choices applied to the study. Some respondents were not willing to disclose accurate information needed for the validity of the study.
1.9 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Academic performance: Scores attained in form one end of year examination.
Home Economics: field of study that deals with the economics and management of the home and community.It deals with the relationship between individuals, families, communities, and the environment in which they live.
Secondary school: is the next step up from primary school. Secondary schools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondary schools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools
Teachers: persons who help others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone
Atieh, S. H. (2013). Student perceptions of the causes of low performance in principles of accounting: A case study in Saudi Arabia. JKAU: Economics and Administration, 10, 35-50.
Browny, E. B. & Sunniya, S. L. (2002). Social-emotional facts affecting achievement outcomes using disadvantaged students: Closing the achievement gap. Educational Psychology, 15, 28-36
Chukwudi O. C. (2013). Academic Performance of Secondary School Students- The Effect of Home Environment. Double Gist Publishers. Nig.
Eze, Ezenwafor & Obidile (2016). Effects of problem-based teaching method on students’ academic performance and retention in financial accounting in technical colleges in Anambra State. Online Scholars Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(6A), 634-639.
Enu, J, Agyman, O. K., & Nkum D. (2015). Factors influencing students’ mathematics performance in some selected colleges of education in Ghana. International Journal of Education Learning and Development, 3(3), 68-74.
Igwe, A. U. & Ikatule, O. R. (2011). Effects of computer tutorial and drill (CTD) on senior secondary school students’ achievement in basic electronics in Lagos State. Proceedings of Nigerian Association of Teachers of Technology. Umunze, 108-119.
Mbelle, A. and Katabalo, J. (2003).Report on School Enrolment, Performance and Access to Education in Tanzania, MUnity Secondary School, Uyo na Nyota Publishers Ltd, Dar es Salaam. 22 pp.v
Mbugua, Z. K., Kibet, K., G., Muthaa, G. M. & Nkonke, G. R. (2012). Factors contributing to students’ poor performance in Mathematics at Kenya certificate of secondary education in Kenya: A Case of Baringo County, Kenya. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 2(6), 5-10.
Miller-Grandvaux, Y. and Yoder, K. (2002). A literature review of community schools in Africa. USAID, Bureau for Africa. Washington DC. 113pp.
Okon, E. C. (2002). Strategies for improving students interest in accounting in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Omotayo, B. K. (2014). Teachers’ characteristics and students’ performance level in senior secondary school financial accounting. Journal of Empirical Studies, 1(2), 48-53.
Schultz, T. P. (2002). “Why governments should invest more to educate girls”. Journal of World Development 30 (2): 207 - 225.
Vundla, B. (2012). School Curriculum. Pretoria: North.