The study examinedthe comparative study into academic failure among schools and colleges in home economics in Nigeria using Nigeria Local Government Area as a case study as a case study. The study was guided by three research objectives. A sample of 160 was selected from four secondary schools in Nigeria Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, for the study. Data was collected through a questionnaire and anlaysed SPSS.
1.1 Background to the Study
In Nigeriaone of the ultimate importances of education is to impart every citizen with such knowledge, skills,attitudes and values that will enable him derive desired benefits from his membership of society,have a fulfilling life and contribute towards the welfare and national development (FRN,2004). Academic achievement of Nigerian students atsecondary school levelin almost all their subjects including HomeEconomics has beenlow and not encouraging over the years and this is posing a big threat to our educational system (Obika 2005). This couldbe as a result of poor mastery of the subject matter which occurs as a result of poor method ofteaching. Retting and Canady (1996) reported that in schools where active learning methodsprevail, the students demonstrated significantly higher achievement as measured by the NationalAssessment of educational progress. Hall (1990) stated that teachers in these schools offer students challenging, interesting activities and rich materials for learning that foster thinking, creativity and production.
As improvement in all other sectors of learning grows, problems arise as to the best approaches of instruction in dealing with teaching and learning of Home Economics in Nigerian schools. The attitudes of teachers and students towards the teaching and learning of Home Economics subject need to be investigated and examined towards effective and efficient teaching and learning in secondary schools. In order to make teaching and learning of Home Economics meaningful and interesting so that what is learnt remains an integral part of the learners, teachers and students approaches, perception and attitudes need to be eradicated in order to give an overall knowledge of Home Economics.
Different factors have been identified as the causes of academic failure (Wankowski, 1973; OECD, 1989; Al-Methen and Wilkinson, 1992). Wankowski (1973) revealed that academic failure is associated with the lack of interest, lack of instructional materials, personal confidence, socioeconomic status of parents and temperamental tendency towards extraversion. Also, students’ academic problems arise from personal inadequacies such as low ability; negative self concept, anxiety, maladjustment, environmental influences such as poor classroom conditions, curricular inadequacies, peer groups and the lack of home support. These arguments supported OECD's (1989) remarks that many young people do not learn much in developing countries. Some often leave school before the school leaving age while others are in the habit of attending school irregularly.
School certificate examinations, which determine the placement of Nigerian students in higher learning and/or employment, are of 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. However, this study focuses on a comparative study into academic failure among schools and colleges in home economics in Nigeria using Nigeria Local Government Area as a case study.
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 inNigeria Local Government Area of Bayelsa 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, is to give a comparative study into academic failure among schools and colleges in home economics in Nigeria using Nigeria Local Government Area as a case study.
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 school and college students in Nigeria Local Government Area in Home economics?
ii) What is the prevalence of students’ academic performance in Home economics in Nigeria 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 academic failure among schools and colleges in home economics in Nigeria Local Government Area, Nigeria. The specific objectives include:
i) To ascertain is the level of performance of school and college students in Nigeria Local Government Area in Home economics.
ii) To determine the prevalence of students’ academic performance in Home economics in Nigeria Local Government Area.
iii) To establish 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.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study focuses on the comparative study into academic failure among schools and colleges in home economics in Nigeria using Nigeria Local Government Area as a case study. Therefore, the study shall be limited to both junior and senior 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 students as most of the students were reluctant to give adequate information needed for the reliability and validity of this 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. Secondaryschools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondaryschools may be public schools, grammar schools or comprehensive schools.
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