This study was carried out to examine the challenges associated with the poor performance of home economics students in Osimili North Local Government Area of Delta State. Multiple methods of data collection were used. First, data were collected through students. Second, an observation method was used to collect data, such as, time management by learners, their behavioral patterns inside and outside the classroom and in the schoolyard. Finally, document analysis was used to analyse the attendance and performance of students on attendance registers, quarterly and half yearly schedules, and mark sheets.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is one of the most important aspects of human life and a basis for human development. It is imperative that every child should have the opportunity to achieve his or her academic potential (Haki Elimu,2008).The Nigerian government is making effort to achieve the goals of providing education for all school age children, low performance of students in secondary schools have been a “sign” reflecting the larger number of unqualified graduates. It is necessary that this sign can be scientifically analyzed to discover its underlying cause in order to suggest deliberate actions that should be taken to solve this problem. This research work aimed at examining the challenges associated with the poor performance of home economics students in Osimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
It is an inevitable fact that the quality of education is the central theme in our education systems. Westera, (2001) emphasized that the quality of education is increasingly judged by focusing on students’ performance, what students actually learn, and how well they learn it. A number of studies have been conducted with the purpose of understanding how quality in education is achieved. Grauwe and Varghese (2000) focus on the textbook as the key factor for improving quality in education rather than on teacher competence; but in some of the literature teacher competence is singled out as the key factor (Shulman, 2006 and Westera, 2001,). In order to achieve a high quality of education in the era of Education for All it is not an easy task. In order to give access to education to the whole population, the state needs to build and develop many schools, supply a large number of teachers, and provide the necessary educational resources.
One factor that might be attributed to poor academic performance could be socio-economic background, creating a negative social environment at home. According to Solo (1997), the atmosphere at home helps to foster or break school success. He further argues that domestic quarrels by parents especially those who are poor and unemployed result in child neglect and eventually the learner’s performance will be affected negatively. Munn (1996) contends that urban learners perform better than those in rural areas families in urban areas can afford to provide their children with balanced diet than rural families. The arguments concerning lack of facilities and resources in rural-based schools are always raised where there is serious under performance at schools. Learners who perform poorly might have other problems that are not academic, such as death or divorce, which is highly emotional issues to cope with. The situation might become worse because schools have no mandate to interfere with family matters unless the family requests advice or intervention that is in line with ethical considerations. Hence, the participation of parents in the education of their children could facilitate discussions of issues by parents and educators as they are encountered at home and at school. Some parents might not talk about the behavior of their children, thus resulting in a negative relationship between educators and parents. Education is one of the most important aspects of human resource development. Therefore, poor school performance does not only result in learners having low self-esteem, but also causes significant stress to the parents. There is a suggestion that the school environment should link up with the environment at home in terms of warmth, love, understanding, and encouragement (Karande&Kulkarni, 2005: 72). The findings of this research may come up with recommendations that might enhance communication between the educators and parents to discuss the strategies that might improve performance of learners.
The decline of performance at high school as compared to a learner’s performance at primary school could be due to tighter academic standards where hard work and creativity are necessary to cope with, to add to this, less or no personal attention and fewer opportunities to participate in classroom decision-making (Berg, 2003:530-631). There are arguments that the poor academic performance could be due to the teaching methods that were used during primary schooling, which created dependency in learners. Students complain that teachers at school are not friendly. As a result, their level of performance drops. This research could recommend how underperforming learners could be assisted and encouraged through addressing the issues raised by such learners and by encouraging educators to give learners individual attention during study time since some of their problems might be academic while others might be problems within their families.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The result of low quality secondary school leavers who lack useful skills for life in their community is the rising number of the jobless, criminals, drugs addicts, and prostitutes. The society is expected to be transformed by quality education economically, socially, politically and morally under good management. Research findings revealed that there have been poor students’ performances in secondary schools in Africa. This may be due to factors like the problems of quality and quantity of knowledge available in these schools, quality and competent teachers, lack of effective management (Mosha, 2000). Once the issue of poor students’ performance in secondary schools is not taken care of,poor quality in secondary education will still influence the quality of higher education.In the long run this will make it difficult for Nigeria to cope up with global changes of information and technological explosion. This research work aimed at filling the gap of knowledge on the challenges associated with the poor performance of home economics students in Osimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
1.3 Research Questions
These are some of the questions the study is designed to answer:
i. What are the factors that affect the academic performance of students in Home Economics?
ii. What are the effects of poor performance of students in Home Economics on the general society?
- What is the level of performance of Home Economics students in Osimili Local Government Area?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objective of this study was to find the challenges associated with the poor performance of home economics students in Osimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.The specific objectives are:
- To identify the factors that affect the academic performance of students in Home Economics.
- To examine the effects of poor performance of students in Home Economics on the general society.
- To investigate the level of performance of Home Economics students in Osimili Local Government Area.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) There is no significant relationship between socioeconomic status and poor academic performance of students in home economics.
ii) There is no significant correlation between low standard of education of students and poor academic performance of students in home economics.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study could shed light on how to achieve quality education and helps the students to do better in their academic pursuit. The study might provide insight into the problems whose solution might help inform specific actions to be taken to efficiently and effectively address the poor performance of these schools. This study would not only assist the students in their academic year journeys in life and improve their level of performance.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study investigated challenges associated with the poor performance of home economics students in Osimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.The samples for this study will be selected among students in some secondary schools in Osimili North Local Government Area of Delta State.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The only constraint encountered by the researcher was finance. This limited the researcher to print just two hundred questionnaires as against the proposed two hundred and fifty questionnaires. The researcher, however, came up with findings that would be worth making reference to in future and also contribute to the existing literature.
1.9 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.
Poor performance:the consistent failure to meet specified standards and levels of performance following a period of sustained support, development and investigation.
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