Education is valued because it contributes to the national development through the provision of an appropriate human resource that helps to stimulate productivity and eliminate hunger, poverty, disease and ignorance. This study investigated the factors responsible for mass failure of student in home economics in secondary schools in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. A total of two hundred questionnaires were used and were subjected to data analysis. The objectives of this research included: to identify the reasons for mass failure of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area,to investigate the efforts of teachers in combating mass failure of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area and to survey the impact of teachers on students in ensuring better performance of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area.
1.1 Background to the Study
The educational system of any nation is a mirror through which the image of the nation can be viewed. Education, according to many authors, has been and will continue to be the potential cause of change in any society. Education is meant to develop manpower for different levels of the economy in a country which is a guarantor of national self-reliance and self-independence. Hence from the formulation and clarification of purposeful education must emerge the realities of life, taking into account the entire scope of human life and at the same time, considering specific needs of the individual ( Singh and Rana cited in Siaw, 2009).
Secondary schools offer a wide range of subjects. The secondary education curriculum, according to Nyman and Jenkins (1999), revolves around subjects offered in the World War I era and are being taught by trained personnel. Students are dynamic people and always in progress. They are full of capacities and potentials, which have to be discovered and properly channelled hence the inclusion of Art Teaching Curriculum in our school systems.However, there is an underlying complexity of the factors affecting the performance of students in education attainment and this is what has prompted the current study. In spite of the several of factors influencing students’ achievement, a number of studies are pointing to the evidence that institutional factors are associated with academic performance home economics. Home economics is one of the subjects needed by every individual irrespective of their profession. Unfortunately students’ performance in the subject has not been encouraging especially insecondary schools. It is believed that at this level of education, desired attitude, skill and knowledge could be obtained by students who offer this subject.
Academic performance of students in many secondary schools in Nigeria including Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State has been associated with underlying problems such as poor socio-cultural, socioeconomic, School environmental, socio-political factors and many others that need further investigation. Home environments influence adolescents’ aspiration. The social upbringing of the child begins from home (family). It is the home that makes the child to identify himself with the society, culture, religion or social class. Thus the home continues to have a crucial influence on the student’s academic performance.
It is also believed that children from families with low socio-economic status are at a greater risk of hunger, homeless, sickness, physical and mental disabilities, violence, teen parenthood, family stress and educational failure. Students who come from low socio economic background and encounter these environmental factors are four times likely to have learning disabilities than students from high socio economic background while a combination of these environmental factors accelerate academic success. A student, who has not eaten for days and has clothes that do not fit, cannot maintain focus in a classroom. G.U.Anene (2005) argues that students from high social economics status compared to students from low social economic status families that students coming from low socioeconomic background are not provided the same tools as the students from high status and thereby entering schools already behind those not living in similar conditions. Similarly it is believed that malnutrition, lack of motivation in homes, spousal violence, and single parents as well as impoverished home environment affects the development of intellectual ability negatively (Mario2006).This means that students from low socio-economic backgrounds tend to be below or just an average in their intellectual development particularly when this phenomenon is accessed in terms ofscores or tests.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The academic performance of students in secondary schools in home economics has not been encouraging in Nigeria especially in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. The high rate of failure in home economics has resulted into little number of students continuing Advanced level secondary education studies. Moreover, good education does not happen by chance. It is a product of effective teaching and learning coupled with the effort of the teacher, the school, the students, parents and their various home environments. Often a time the blames on the poor performance of students in school are shifted to the teachers and the school authorities.
Many families in our society seem not to give adequate attention to the education of their children. It appears some of the parents have erroneous notion about the performance of their children, they do not know and seem to fulfil their role of guidance and encouragement in the child’s performance in schools. Many people believe that the mass failure or success experiencing in schools could be attributed to the teachers and the school authorities. While other people see socio-economic status of the family as an influence to the child’s academic performance. Several research works have revealed that the students’ performances are efforts of both the school authorities and that of the parents. This study therefore aimed to examine the factors responsible for mass failure of student in home economics in secondary schools in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.3 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What are the reasons for mass failure of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area?
ii) What are the efforts of teachers in combating mass failure of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area?
iii) What are the impacts of teachers on students in ensuring better performance of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is toexamine the factors responsible for mass failure of students in home economics in secondary schools in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. However, the specific objectives are:
i) to identify the reasons for mass failure of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area
ii) to investigate the efforts of teachers in combating mass failure of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area
iii) to survey the impact of teachers on students in ensuring better performance of students in home economics in Nkanu East Local Government Area
1.5 Significance of the Study
Findings from this study would be helpful to the students, teachers, school administrators, parents, guardians and the federal Government this will help them to understand the reasons for the mass failure of in home economics and other subjects in school 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.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study investigated the factors responsible for mass failure of student in home economics in secondary schools in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. Therefore the respondents covered public secondary school students in some selected schools within Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The only challenge faced by the researcher was finance. There was no fund to print as many as possible questionnaires for this study. However, the researcher was able to print out two hundred questionnaires for this study.
1.8 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
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, secondaryschools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools
Anene G. U. (2005). Home Environment and the Academic Performance of a Child, Journal
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Siaw, A. O. (2009). A Comparative Study of Teaching and Learning Processes of the Visual
Arts in Selected Senior High Schools in Urban and Rural Settings in Ashanti Region, Ghana. M.A Thesis, Department of General Arts Studies, KNUST.
Mario C. D. (2006). The Effect of Parent Absent on Children, Child Study Journal, Vol. 6 (2 ),p. 165.
Nyman, A. L., & Jenkins, A. M. (1999). Current trends in education for students with special
needs. In A. L. Nyman, & A. M. Jenkins (Eds.), Issues and approaches to art for students with special needs (pp. 1-6). Reston, Virginia: The National Art Education Association.