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A Survey on the Effect of Covod19 on the Academic Performance of Students in English Language in Senior Secondary School

A Survey on the Effect of Covod19 on the Academic Performance of Students in English Language in Senior Secondary School

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This research work examined the Effect of Covod19 on the Academic Performance of Students in English Language Senior Secondary School in Pankshin local government area, Plateau state, Nigeria. Two research questions and null hypotheses were stated and tested at 0.05 alpha levels of significance. Literatures relevant to the study were reviewed theoretically based on Social Constructivism learning theory and Lewin’s Field Theory of Motivation. The conceptual framework was done. The population of the study comprised all secondary two (SS2) English Language students in Pankshin local government area of the 2020/2021 academic session. The sample size used for the study was two hundred students (200) drawn from four public schools in Pankshin local government area. The survey research design was adopted in the study.

The instruments used in this study was a questionnaire titled “Corona Virus and Academic Performance of Students’ Questionnaire (CVAPSQ)’’. This instrument was tested on thirty (30) students and the reliability co-efficient was obtained using the test-retest reliability method. Data obtained for the study were analyzed using one-way ANOVA statistical analysis, and findings showed that: There is no significant influence of school closure due to Covid19 on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English Language. Also, there is no significant influence of e-learning utilization due to Covid19 on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English Language.



This chapter presents the background to the study, statement of problem, purpose of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, delimitations and limitations of the study and definition of terms.

  • Background to the study

COVID-19 pandemic has affected all levels of the education system (Nicola et al, 2020). Educational institutions around the world (in 192 countries) have either temporarily closed or implemented localized closures affecting about 1.7 billion student populations worldwide (UNESCO 2020). Many universities around the world either postponed or canceled all campus activities to minimize gatherings and hence decrease the transmission of the virus. However, these measures lead to higher economical, medical, and social implications on both undergraduate and postgraduate communities (Nicola et al, 2020; Esposito and Principi, 2020).

Due to the suspension of classroom teaching in many colleges and universities, a switch to online teaching for undergraduate and graduate students becomes effective [reviewed in (Sahu, 2020; Yamin, 2020)]. This form of learning provides an alternative way to minimize either the contact between students themselves or between the students and lecturers (Pragholapati, 2020). However, many students have no access to online teaching due to a lack of either the means or the instruments due to the economical and digital divide (UNESCO 2020).

The importance of education to human development has been well documented, highlighting the catalytic roles of education in national and human capital developments (Fägerlind & Saha, 2016; Griffin, Care & McGaw, 2012). Education is a means of self-development through learning, knowledge, skills, and habits conveyed across generations. The importance of education for the economic, social and moral development of nations cannot be underestimated. It is of significant concern that education at all levels has been threatened since the emergence of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The coronavirus disease is a highly infectious disease that has plagued the world population over the months from December 2019 till date. The disease spread through droplets (World Health Organization, 2020) and has affected more than 9.1 million persons, and resulted in about 473,000 deaths worldwide (Aljazeera News, 2020) as at the time of writing this paper. As a result, countries have relied on several containment measures, including a range of physical and social distancing measures to flatten the epidemiological curve and avert morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 (Barasa et al., 2020; Viner et al., 2020).

English language is an official language in Nigeria and whatever you want to do you have to communicate in English. As a result of this you cannot escape English language throughout your lives in your carrier of choice. If you want to study engineering, medicine, accounting, economics as well as other formal disciplines in the university English language is compulsory as a pre-requisite for entering into the university (Oribabor 2014)English and the use of English is compulsory in JAMB for all candidates seeking admissions into the universities.

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Evue, (2013) opined that, one of the reasons why English is so central to Nigeria’s educational growth is because of its significant role as a medium of knowledge delivery in Nigerian schools. English is the language of instruction in schools particularly the upper level of primary school, secondary school and beyond. English is one language that has travelled round the world and now has almost as many speakers as its native speakers; a feat that is unparalleled in the history of any language in the world.

That is not all, the language is increasingly growing in strengths, pushing other world languages backward in the global space, opening new frontiers. Owolabi amd Nnaji stated that, English is an irrestible language as far as development is concerned because “for any nation particularly in the 3rd world to be relevant and derive the maximum benefit from the opportunities that abound in every area of human need, for personal advancement and national development, English is a sine qua non”. This is why English continues to hold sway as the language of development in most developing nations of the world, and even in some developed nations of Asia, where it is learned and used as a foreign language [3].

English language is the Nigerian elite. Mastery of the language is the defining attribute of elite status since it correlates with other social makers such as post-secondary or professional education, a good job and comfortable incomes that come with it. Also, acquiring a mastery of English is one of the goals of those aspiring to elite status (Owolabi and Nnaji, 2013).

Different countries have engaged in various measures to implement physical distancing, such as complete closure of the economy, including educational institutions (Nicola et al., 2020; UNESCO, 2020). The pandemic is affecting all levels of the education system, from pre-school to higher education, in a manner that is of irreparable educational and economic implications (Lindzon, 2020).

A Survey on the Effect of Covod19 on the Academic Performance of Students in English Language in Senior Secondary School

For instance, a four-week school closure in New York City translated to an economic impact of about $10.6 and $47.1 billion (Lindzon, 2020). A 12-week nationwide school closure cost 1% of GDP (Araz et al., 2012), while protracted closures could cost 3% of UK GDP (Keogh-Brown et al., 2010). Though school closure is intended to control the spread of the virus within schools, prevent carriage to other vulnerable individuals, and sustain public health, these closures have had widespread socioeconomic impacts (Lindzon, 2020; Wren-Lewis, 2020; Cauchemez et al., 2009).

Furthermore, the far-reaching effects of social/physical distancing and the associated lockdown measures, as well as school closures, have thwarted the education sector and are expected to leave an indelible mark on the education system (Impey, 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020; Nicola et al., 2020). Over 188 out of 195 countries have been implementing nationwide school closures and restricted education facilities (Nicola et al., 2020; UNESCO, 2020).

It is estimated that more than 1,576, 021, 858, which constitute about 91.3% of all learners across the globe, have been affected by the closure of educational institutions (Fong et al., 2020; Nicola et al., 2020; Sadique Adams & Edmunds, 2008; Brown et al., 2011; UNESCO, 2020). Apart from the impact on learners, school closures have high economic, health and social costs (Cauchemez et al., 2009; Brown et al., 2011; Wu et al., 2010).

Timely responses have been in place in most countries, such as Australia, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, with regard to online learning before the pandemic (Crawford et al., 2020). Yet, researchers have shown that the pandemic has posed significant challenges to education in such countries (Crawford et al., 2020). Hence, it is expected that the pandemic would have a more adverse effect on schools that had no online learning platforms before the pandemic (Zhong, 202; Kachra & Brown, 2019). Zar et al.

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(2020) pointed out that the indirect effects of the pandemic include disrupted schooling and lack of access to school, more especially in low and medium-income countries. In low and medium-income countries, the impact of COVID-19 is particularly threatening to education given that education systems have been working on substandard platforms (Dan-Nwafor et al., 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020). It is also challenging in overcrowded resource-constrained schools in these regions to provide a safe learning environment for students (Zar et al., 2020). The pandemic has a peculiar dissipating impact on education in Africa and other countries through decreased level of education, broadened existing divide in learning access and outcomes and increased school dropouts (Blundell et al., 2020; Dorn et al., 2020).

In Nigeria, the threat posed to education is compounded due to peculiar vulnerabilities, including poor health systems, poverty and inequality, hunger, internally displaced populations, high population densities, urban-rural divide and out-of-school population (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020). Prior to COVID-19, Nigeria accounts for one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children. About 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years in Nigeria were out of school, and only about 61 % of 6 to 11-year-old children receive primary school education on a regular basis (UNICEF Nigeria, n.d.).

Hence, while Nigeria is battling with underlying educational challenges that have kept the country behind in getting young people ready for the dynamic workplace (Dan-Nwafor et al., 2020; Obiako & Adeniran, 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020), COVID-19 impacts further exacerbate this problem.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools in Nigeria were closed from March 27, 2020, as one of the Federal Government measures to limit the spread of the disease. This translated to a contextualized state-wide school closure across the 36 states in the country. In response, different states’ Ministries of Education have been releasing modalities for radio and TV schooling and internet-based learning for students in public primary and secondary schools.

Though these efforts could be effective, with experience from developed countries, it can amount to a far-reaching negative impact on the education system in developing low-income countries like Nigeria (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020). For instance, as the COVID-19 pandemic is revolutionizing digital and online education globally, primary and secondary school learners in rural and under-served communities remain behind due to lack of skills and resources to adapt or transition to the new learning avenues. In addition, university students who may have the skills to undertake internet-based learning face poor internet infrastructure and a lack of reliable electricity supplies (Crawford et al., 2020; Zhong, 2020).

Thus, learning remotely (including ratio, TV schooling, and online learning apps for primary and secondary learners, virtual libraries and online classes in the universities) is practically not feasible in most Nigerian communities. Poorly resourced institutions and socially disadvantaged learners where limited access to technology and the internet, as well as students’ inability to engage in an online environment, undermine Government response (Zhong, 2020).

Obiako and Adeniran, 2020 (2020) found that the pandemic has impacted education in three major ways, including missed learning for the majority of the pre-pandemic students, loss of access to vital school-provided services and leaving more kids behind.   Thus, these impacts are likely to widen the gaps in education quality and socioeconomic equality following the school closures in the country.

This is because a lesser percentage of learners who are in the urban areas, who are likely to hail from higher-income families, stand more chance to access education during school closure through technology (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020), leaving behind the majority of learners from poor homes and underserved rural and suburban areas of the country (Zhong, 2020). Apart from this, learners in schools that lack the resources or capacity to transition to online delivery are currently missing learning (Leung & Sharma, 2020).

Learning within the homes could also be a challenge or present challenges for learning. Such depends on parents’ educational attainment and other commitments, leaving a greater percentage of the learners’ population behind. These problems constitute considerable concerns from all stakeholders in education (Crawford et al., 2020). Hence, even though most states in the country are currently responding through radio and television, a good fraction of the learners are still experiencing some challenges in their education.


Further, to the best of researchers’ knowledge, no study has investigated the impact of COVID-19 on education with particular reference to primary and secondary schools based on perspectives of education stakeholders (educators, parents and learners) in Nigeria.

Therefore, this study relied on stakeholders’ views to deconstruct the educational challenges posed by COVID-19 and how those challenges have impacted education and learning in primary and secondary schools. This then formed the background to investigate on the Effect of Covod19 on the Academic Performance of Students in English Language Senior Secondary School in Pankshin’s local government area of Platu State.

A Survey on the Effect of Covod19 on the Academic Performance of Students in English Language in Senior Secondary School

1.2       Statement of the problem

The COVID-19 pandemic led to numerous governments deciding to close schools for several weeks in spring 2020. Empirical evidence on the impact of COVID-19-related school closures on academic performance is only just emerging in the literature. Personal observations indicate a considerably negative effect of school closures on student performance specifically in younger students and students from families with low socioeconomic status.

At the same time, certain measures can be identified that might mitigate these negative effects. This then motivated the researcher to carry out a survey on the Effect of Covod19 on the Academic Performance of Students in English Language Senior Secondary School in Pankshin local government area.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of covid-19 pandemic on students’ academic performance in senior secondary school English language in Pankshin local government area , Plateau state, Nigeria.

 Specifically, the study sought to:

  • examine the influence of school closure due to Covid19 on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language in schools in Pankshin local government area ;
  • examine the influence of e-learning utilization due to Covid 19 on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language in boarding and day schools in Pankshin local government area ;

1.4       Research Questions   

Based on the above purposes, the following research questions will be raised to guide this study:

  • To what extent does school closure due to Covid19 influence the academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language?
  • To what extent does e-learning utilization due to Covid19 influence the academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language?

1.5       Hypotheses

In line with the research questions, the following hypotheses were formulated:

  • There is no significant influence of school closure due to Covid19 on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language.
  • There is no significant influence of e-learning utilization due to Covid19 on academic performance of senior secondary school students in English language.

1.6       Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would be of immense benefit to the school administrator, government, parents, policy makers,

  • It is hoped that the findings of the study may help school administrators reflect upon various factors that influence the teaching-learning process. By so doing, they could investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their schools which may consequently lead to reducing absenteeism, dropouts and repetition and consequently effective teaching-learning process.
  • These findings may also help the government through the Ministry of Education to provide more funds for schools for instructional materials and repair and maintenance of the available physical facilities, and also provide in-service training for teachers in private schools thus improving the teaching-learning process.
  • Parents may also use findings from this study to help improve the school facilities by organizing for fund raising, for instance, to construct a classroom, Language laboratory, library among other facilities irrespective of the pandemic.
  • Policy makers would use the findings to help them make decisions in developing strategies towards improvement of academic standards in secondary schools.
  • Future researchers will use the study in identifying priority areas and gaps on which to carry more research about effect of coronavirus on academic performance in other subjects in secondary schools.

Mr. Harrison

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