1.1 Background to the Study
Integrated science, currently Basic Science is the initial form of science a student comes across at the secondary school level; thus, Basic Science prepares students at the junior secondary school level for the study of core science subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Biology) at the senior secondary school level. Basic Science is for that reason a subject which accepts some core science subjects, specifically: biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. Fundamental Scientific research is a topic that cross the institution curriculum and required in all branches of science, applied science and social sciences. For that reason, students need to be well grounded in Basic Science at the junior secondary level to allow them study single science subjects at the senior secondary school level effectively. Basic Science is given excellent focus in the junior secondary school curriculum (Okolo, 2018).
Gender differences in academic achievement have been of great issue to researchers and education policy makers, both local and international. It is just one of the present academic problems under deliberations around the world (Abdu-Raheem, 2012). Today, equality between boys and girls has come to be a significant scourge plaguing the world, especially in developing nations, and in Integrated Science. In the society today, girls are considered as second-class citizens, which does not help nurture their careers in sciences. Like several researchers assert that education overall needs motivation, dedication, and all our cognitive elements. This is to support the idea to helping education; we ought to not concentrate on a biological learner, however his/her powers, performance and intrinsic motivations to reach the end tunnel. It is necessary to welcome the development of a nation in the area of academic economics and particularly in all other areas of development as stated by Kacou Amoin Elise: "The source of economic wealth and the development of a nation is based on the capability and the top quality of men and women".
In a survey study carried out by Olasehinde and Olatoye (2014) to compare male and female learning outcome in science on the basis of students' attitude to science and academic achievement, the outcome revealed no statistically significant difference between male and female students in general science achievement in addition to in attitude to science. However, in both science achievement and attitude, female students had greater mean score compared to male students. Bursal (2013) carried out a longitudinal study on 222 elementary students from Yozgat City, Kadiehri Province, Turkey using science and technology course scores between 4th - 8th grades, and Level Determination Examination results of 6th - 8th grades. Outcome revealed that girls had greater science scores compared to boys in all grade levels. Bursal likewise reported that amongst 4th - 7th graders the difference in science achievement score between boys and girls was not significant, while a statistically substantial difference in favour of girls exist in the 8th grade. In his research, Oludipe (2014) examined the influence of gender and science anxiety as predictor variables of secondary school students' achievement in Integrated science and discovered that gender had no considerable influence on students' achievement as the difference in imply score of male and female students was not statistically significant. Olatoye and Afuwape (2004) reported that there is no significant difference between male and female students' achievement in each of the science subjects, Usman and Memeh (2007) discovered that there is no significant difference between male and female students also in their overall achievements in science subjects.
Regarding school type (Public and Private) and students' academic achievement, studies (Adeyemi, 2014; Braun, Jenkins, & Gregg, 2006; Adeyemi, 2006; Ani, 2006) have established the difference in academic performance between public and private schools in favour of private schools. The study carried out by Adeyemi (2014) contrasted the academic performance between private and public primary schools using a sample of 240 pupils 323 arbitrarily chosen from Ilesa East and Ilesa West Local Government Council Areas of Osun State, Nigeria. The outcome revealed that pupils in private schools performed considerably better compared to those in public schools. In a related study in U.S, Braun, Jenkins, and Gregg (2006) compared the performance between private and public-school pupils in grade 4 and grade 8 and discovered a statistically considerable difference in the mean performance score in favour of private school pupils in both grade 4 and grade 8. Adeyemi (2006) reported that the high quality of result (in regards to qualities acquired) from public secondary schools is low compared with that of private schools that is high. In the same vein, Ani (2006) acknowledged that private secondary school students have the tendency to show high academic achievement as they continue to score high grades in Integrated Science in external examinations.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is high rate of poor academic achievement of students in Integrated Science in Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) over the years. This could be as of the teachers use inefficient techniques, strategies and gender distinctions in science teaching which to name a few factors have added to the student's poor achievement in Integrated Science at the junior secondary school. This poor achievement in Integrated Science has necessitated the need for Integrated Science in junior secondary school by the researchers. Apart from this, inconsistent findings have been made on gender differences and academic achievement (Gimba, 2006; Nsofor, 2004; Akinsola, 2002; Okereke, 2011; Amosun,2011; Asuai, 2013; Ugwuanyi, 2016). The researchers consequently suggested that there is a need to find out if gender has impact on students' academic achievements in Integrated Science.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main aim of this study is to investigate the effects of gender on Integrated Science students’ academic achievement at Junior Secondary School in Nigeria. The specific objectives therefore include:
i) To examine the academic performance of secondary school male and female students in Integrated Science
ii) To find out the academic achievement of secondary school male and female students in private and public schools in Integrated Science
iii) To assess the performance of public and private school students in Integrated Science
1.4 Research Questions
The research questions formulated for this study include:
i) What is the academic achievement of secondary school male and female students in Integrated Science?
ii) What is the academic achievement of secondary school male and female students in private and public schools in Integrated Science?
iii) What is the performance of public and private school students in Integrated Science?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research questions formulated for this study include:
H1: There is no significant difference in the academic performance of secondary school in male and female students in Integrated Science
H2: There is a significant difference in academic achievement of secondary school male and female students in private and public schools in Integrated Science
H3: There is no significant difference in the performance of public and private school students in Integrated Science
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study might be of great importance to the following groups of people:
The teacher will use this study to design suitable methods of teaching and to make the subject they teach relevant, interesting and meaningful to the learners. The teacher in grouping learners for self-help, grouping in the class, that is, they avoid to bundle boys alone in one group but mix them with the rest of their girls’ counter parts. It will also help them have an insight into some factors that affect girls’ academic performance.
It will also help them have an insight into some factors affecting the girl child academic performance. The teachers are also to explain to lay men in the profession of teaching, why boys are better classroom positions whenever responsibilities and tests are given respectively.
Other researchers may use this report as a point of reference and a base for carrying out research in other related areas of education.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study aimed at investigating the effects of gender on Integrated Science students’ academic achievement at Junior Secondary School in Nigeria. It was carried out in some selected secondary school in Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo State.
1.8 Definition of Terms
The following terms were used in this study:
Academic performance: academic performance or achievement is the outcome of education, that is, the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals.
Differences: is the variation that exist among variables
Gender: A state of being either male or female
Integrated science: Basic Science (now known as Basic Science) was defined by UNESCO (1973) and Omiko (2005) as a science in which concepts and principles are presented so as to express the fundamental unit of scientific taught and avoiding premature or undue stress on the distinction between various scientific fields
Performance: is the ability of an individual to accomplished a task successfully
School: Is a social institution that has a set up to ensure intellectual and cultural progress through teachings and learning.