FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR POOR ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA
Various studies done on effect of school environment on academic performance attest to the fact that school environment that is not conducive for learning may lead to under performance (Chimombe, 2011).
Provision of adequate learning facilities at all levels including equipment and human resources enhances the quality and relevance of imparted skills of learners (Lumuli, 2009). Learning involves interaction of students with the environment. Teaching and learning resources include classrooms, laboratories, libraries, playing fields, textbooks among others. Indeed physical resources go a long way in creating conducive environment that promote effective teaching and learning. It is with this in mind that the Draft Report on Cost and Financing of Education in Kenya that (RoK, 1995) identifies textbook ratio and school facilities as some yard sticks to be used to gauge the quality of secondary school education. Juma (2011) links performance in examinations to state of teaching and learning resources in schools. He notes that students from poor backgrounds perform poorly in the examinations because the poor are often in areas where schools are seriously deprived of vital facilities, an attitude of helplessness may be inculcated early into children making them feel that being in school is a waste of time.
Physical materials in terms of adequacy and quality have been noted to have a great impact on performance of students in the examination (Husen, Saha, & Noonan, 1978). A school that has adequate instructional materials is likely to post better quality grades than a school which has poor quality physical resources. A school with inadequate classrooms will be forced to accommodate more students than recommended. This will exert a lot of pressure on resources such as teachers who may compromise their methodology as part of adaptive mechanism (Nafukho, 1991; Pscharapolous & Woodhall, 1985). The lack of basic facilities like laboratories has compromised the teaching of science subjects. Topics that are meant to be taught practically are taught theoretically as part of adaptive mechanism by teachers due to inadequate resources to enable effective teaching of the same. This ends up affecting negatively students’ performance reducing their competitiveness for opportunities whose placement is pegged on performance in such subjects (Mayama 2012; Lumuli, 2009). This study proposes to establish the state of physical facilities in public secondary school in Nigeria in order to evaluate how it is impacting on academic performance of public secondary schools.
Financial Resources and Academic Performance
Financial resource is a key element among educational resources. Financial resources are used for acquisition of other resource such as physical facilities, textbooks and human resources (Lumuli, 2009). Availability or adequacy of financial resources will enable a school acquire other facilities. Despite the importance of financial in promoting acquisition of other resources Draft Report on Cost and Financing of education (RoK, 1995) notes that schools have a narrow revenue base which consist of mainly school fees. School fees make up over 90% of total revenue collected by the schools (Selina, 2012). Even if government has been making contribution in form of subsidized secondary Education (SSE), the contribution may be inadequate unless well managed. Collection of fees still varies from school to school. Where collections are inadequate, the state of infrastructure will be poorly developed compromising content delivery. This ends up putting a lot of strain on existing resources which end up compromising academic performance of the school (Eshiwani, 1993).
Various schools have adopted various techniques of financial management among them being investing in income generating Activities (IGAs) to supplement school budgets. Funds earned through IGAs are used to put up school infrastructure or acquisition of stationery to support learning activity (Kiveu and Mayio, 2009). Study done by Selina (2012) on the impact of IGAs on students Retention Rates in Public Secondary Schools Vihiga District indicate that schools that had IGAs generated income that was used in promotion of motivational Programmes for teachers. Such schools ended up posting better performance in examination compared to schools that did not have such arrangements (Ibid). This study therefore proposes to find out factors that have led to variation in recorded performance among Public Secondary Schools in Teso South District by addressing the variation that exists among schools that have led to differences in performance. In order to address the above issue, this study proposes to establish how financial resources have been utilized to promote performance of different schools as reflected in registered KCSE results.
2.4 Human Resource and Academic Performance
Human resource in school includes teachers, support staff and students. Human resource as a factor of production is affected by adequacy and quality as reflected by level of training and level of motivation (Juma, 2011). According to behavioral scientists, effective worker performance requires motivation ability and reward system that encourages quality work (Ivancerich et al, 1994). Performance of teachers as reflected by level of training and teaching experience will determine the quality of grades attained in an examination (Harbison and Mayer, 1964; Husen et al, 1978 and Heinemann; 1981). A trained teacher will have necessary pedagogical skills which will promote students’ understanding, motivating a student to learn, thereby promoting academic performance.
Adequacy of teachers is reflected by student teacher ratio. Student teacher ratio reflects the number of student that is handled by one teacher in a stream during a lesson (Lumuli, 2009). Low student teacher ratio means that a teacher will be able to handle fewer students, implying high attention level. High student ratio implies that a teacher will be able to handle many students at ago. This will make a teacher to employ teaching methods which are deductive rendering students passive (Michelowa, 2003; Dembele & Miaro, 2003). However, there is need to strike balance as extremely low student teacher ratio leads to under utilization of teachers while high student teacher ratio compromises academic performances affecting quality of education. This study therefore seeks to establish the impact of human resource on students’ academic performance as reflected by KCSE results.
2.5 Learning techniques and Academic Performance
In Britain, teachers emerging from programmes are only slightly better equipped for the demands that will confront them than their predecessors thirty years go. This reflects the static teacher training force itself out of touch to some degree with recent developments in schools. In Britain the return of adult learner to the classroom meant that schools were dealing with more sophisticated clientele than in the past. Staff development meant is essential for the school to meet the wider responsibilities it is now expected to fulfill (Wilson, 2002).
Teachers are essential players in promoting quality education in schools because they are catalysts of change. Teachers at all levels of education system should have access to training and ongoing professional development so that they can be able to participate locally and internationally in decisions affecting their teaching environments (UNESCO, 2000).
Educational management has no choice as to whether to train teachers and other employees or not. This is because the competence of employees will never last forever due to such factors such as curriculum change, technological change transfers and promotions (Okumbe, 1998).