This study focuses on the comparison study of academic performance of Home economics students in junior secondary school in Asaba Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. As a descriptive research, the study population comprised 250 samples (50 samples from each school) from five selected secondary schools in Asaba Local Government Area. Stratified random sampling technique was employed in carrying out this study. The instrument used to collect data for the study was an inventory while the data collected was analyzed using percentages, chi-square statistic and chi-square.
1.1 Background to the Study
Academic performance has been described as the scores attainedby students at a given moment. This scholastic standing could be explained in terms of the grades obtained in a course or groups of courses (Daniels and Schoulen, 1970). Simkins (1981) commented on this scores attained and argued that performance is a measure of output and that the main outputs in education are expressed in terms of learning, that is, changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes of individuals as a result of their experiences within the school's system. Noting this point, Al-Shorayye (1995) regarded a student's performance in an examination as being depended on his cumulative grade point average. His argument supported Entwistle and' Wilson's (1977) assertion that a student's success is largely judged by his/her performance in examinationand the best criterion of performance is the total of the student's academic performance in all the subjects offered.
School certificate examinations, which determine the placement of Nigerian students in higher learning and/or employment, are of particular concern.. The public disparages the falling or fallen standard of education as evidenced by the lack of skills and personal integrity of many school leavers (Udor & Ubahakwe, 1979; Ololube, 2008b). Not surprisingly, the evaluation agencies that conduct the examinations are held liable by both universities/colleges and the public for education’s diminishing returns.There are many factors that affecting the performance of students in education attainment and this is what has prompted the current study. In spite of the complex factors influencing students’ achievement, various studies are pointing to the evidence that institutional factors are associated with academic performance not only in home economics alone but also in other subjects. Home economics is a subject needed by every person irrespective of their profession. For anyone to be more productive, self-reliant, self-independent and self-employed, the knowledge of home economics is important. Home Economics education, which is one of the arms of vocational and technical education, is a multi-disciplinary subject that embraces a very large area and draws from other disciplines such as arts and sciences in solving physical, social, economic and political problems of families, individuals and society (Suara and Dairo 1997). It is therefore, a very comprehensive and all embracing discipline whose contribution to humanity and politics are unquantifiable.
The pattern of grading students in the JuniorSecondary Certificate (JSC) and the Senior SecondaryCertificate (SSC) examinations in Nigeria is such that thedistinction grade is being represented by A1 to B3. Thecredit grade is represented by C4 to C6. The ordinary passgrade is represented by D7 and E8 while the failure grade is represented by F9. The academic performances of students in home economics are usually due to related factors such as negative attitude of students towards home economics as a difficult subject, students’ academic aptitude, past and present academic performances, insufficient effort and poor motivation. Also teachers’ qualification and experience affect academic performance of students in home economics. Lack of fund, inadequate teaching experience of teachers, lack of teaching aids or instructional materials, lack of qualified teachers and unavailability of current text-books in Home economics have been revealed as the causes of poor academic performance of students in Home economics.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Home economics education subjects ought to attract many students because of its laudable importance but reverse has been the case. The reason for this probably is due to people’s perception that it does not require specialized kind of training. People are ignorant of the importance of the Home economics not knowingthat studying or taking courses in it can help male and female students receive formation which will help them work solution to problems.
The performance of secondary schools' students in Asaba Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria has been a subject of controversy. Many people are of the opinions that the performancesisimproving while others are of the opinion that the performances of Junior Secondary School students have been woeful. The problem of this study, therefore, was to determine whether or not any significance differences exist between the performance levels of junior secondary schools' students in Asaba Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) what is the level of performance of junior secondary school students in Asaba Local Government Area in Home economics?
ii) what is the prevalence of students’ academic performance in Home economics in Asaba Local Government Area?
iii) what are the reasons for the unstable performance of students in Home economics subject?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine whether there is difference between the performance levels of junior secondary schools' students in Asaba Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. The specific objective included:
i) to examine the level of performance of junior secondary school students in Asaba Local Government Area in Home economics
ii) to establish the prevalence of students’ academic performance in Home economics in Asaba Local Government Area
iii) to determine the reasons for the unstable performance of students in Home economics subject
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between the attitude of students towards Home Economics and academic performance of the students.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is will be beneficial to students, teachers, school administrators and the government in understanding the significant contributions to Home economics to the development of the country. Home economics has an extremely important place in our educational system today. No other academic discipline incorporates in its curriculum as many pertinent life skills that will help students succeed independent of their chosen career paths. The knowledge obtained through home economics will prove valuable throughout the lifespan. It will as well contribute to body of knowledge in the areas of home economics, food and nutrition.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study focuses on the comparison study of academic performance of Home economics students in junior secondary school in Asaba Local Government Area of Delta State, Nigeria. Therefore, the study shall be limited to only the junior students of selected secondary schools in the state.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The research work faced a lot of challenges but two of the challenges were memorable. One of it is the time constraint which limited the areas covered by the researcher. Another one was that the researcher encountered a lot of difficulties in gathering information from many hotels and customers who patronize them.
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.
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