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Personal Variables and Academic Performance of Students in Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools

Personal Variables and Academic Performance of Students in Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools

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Abstract
This research work examined the effect of personal variables on academic performance of students in Agricultural science in secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area. The survey design was employed in the study.

The population of this study was made up of all senior secondary two (SS2) students in all the four (4) public secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area in the 2021/2022 academic session. This amounted to 1614 SS2 students according to the Local Education committee (LE.C) Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area.

A sample size of two hundred senior secondary two (SS2) in students was selected through simple random sampling technique. The instrument used in this study was “Agricultural Science Achievement Test (ASAT)’’. The data obtained for the study were analyzed using mean, standard deviation and independent t-test statistical method. The result was tested at 0.05 levels of significance.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Development of any nation is hinged on solid educational foundation for its citizenry. This suggests that education is a means of effecting changes in the society in order to build a well-developed country. The objective of education includes creativity, objectivity and intellectual adventure. Education enables a child to develop physically, mentally, socially, emotionally and intellectually.

According to Anderson, Boyles, & Rainie (2012) Education is the key to creating a society, which is dynamic and productive offering opportunity and fairness to all. Therefore, it is axiomatic that efforts should be geared towards maintaining high standards in schools. The standards will be reflected in students’ academic performance.

Academic problem of non-achievers are numerous but the truth is they lack the knowledge of their abilities and lifestyle societal and economic factors and the family. Strengths, moreover, they have not developed the necessary challenges. Academic problems are frequently indicators of larger problems, often having to do with personality and lifestyle, societal and economic factors and the family.

Problems of non-achievers are numerous but the truth is that they lack the knowledge of their abilities and the strength, moreover, they have not developed the necessary study skills and techniques and they also lack the interest and motivation that are requisite for achievement (Abid, 2006 & Chukwu, 2008).

Ekwe (2015) posited that the students occupy the central position in the teaching and learning process and learning cannot be forceful and as such the students must be ready to learn before they can learn. However, due to the important position occupied by students in the teaching learning process, their approaches to learning become necessary to be investigated.

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Personal Variables and Academic Performance of Students in Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools

Bamin, Kazi and Hasan (2013) observed that personal variables of the students need to be study effectively after the lesson in the class as it is critical for ensuring students’ academic performance in secondary schools (Frank, 2016).

Students’ personal variables are concept that revolves around how the student learning experience is influenced by personal, social, cognitive, and academic elements. It’s presumed that these aspects play a pivotal role in both how and what students learn. Through a series of studies, educators can determine what characteristics impact students the most.

The findings of this research are passed on to instructional designers so that they can develop tailored instructions for specific groups. An understanding of students’ personal variable enables students to be more efficient and effective in their learning. It also encourages educators to be more precise in their teachings. Students’ personal variables are so diverse that they range from gender, learning styles and study habits.

Study habit is broad as it combines nearly all other sub-topics under it such as study attitude, study method, and study skills. Study habits are the knowledge and application of effective study skills or techniques by students. The term study habit refers to the way in which students’ study either systematically, efficiently or inefficiently (Rana and Kausar, 2011).

Students adopt several study habits and some of these habits include adoption of personal timetable by students to guide them on their daily activities of which study time is included as well as time for other duties. The adoption of personal timetable to studies is the dimension that assesses the habit of students to avoid certain factors that might distract his/her focus from succeeding in the course of studying.

Another important study habit is note-taking study habit which is the act of taking note in the class during lesson presentation by the teacher. During note-taking, the students strives to record fast the major points from a lesson or a textbook, it makes wide use of abbreviations, acrostics symbols and cryptic sketches, avoiding clear diagrams and tables. It is important as it helps in summary and organization.

These notes will further be expanded of the information in it resulting from notes-taking into detailed and well-illustrated texts, accessible to any person literate in the language and familiar with the subject of the text. Note-taking enable the students to extract important information from a lesson and book within the time allowed where time is of the essence as in the case of reserved books in the library which one has to read for an hour to two.

Also, where scarce books are borrowed from friends which books needed back are soon taking notes of important notes or information is recommended (Eyoh, 2013). It is against this background that this work is being undertaken to empirically investigate the effect of personal variables on academic performance of students in Agricultural science in secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area.

Personal Variables and Academic Performance of Students in Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools

1.2     Statement of the Problem    

There is tremendous pressure on students to earn good grades because academic performance is assumed to possess predictive value on the student’s future endeavor. The importance of academic performance has raised several queries among educational researchers. In search for an answer to the queries, a number of attempts have been made by researchers to identify factors which influence academic performance.

It is therefore based on the above importance that a question arises in mind of the researcher whether personal variable is related to academic performance in Agricultural science or not? Little study has been done looking at the personal variable (study habits, gender and learning styles of students) at any level of the educational system especially in secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area, much which is directed to mainly the junior secondary school students.

Since we live in the information age, this fact clearly makes new demand on the educational system, requiring radical changes on “what” and “how” students learn and why students are not doing as per expectations. This is the premise which motivated the researcher to investigate personal variables and academic performance of students in Agricultural science in secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate personal variables and academic performance of students in Agricultural science in secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area. Specifically, the main objectives of this study are to:

  1. Investigate the difference between the academic performance of students in Agricultural science based on study habits in secondary schools; and
  2. investigate the difference between the academic performance of male and female students in secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area.

1.4     Research Questions    

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. What is the difference between the academic performance of students in Agricultural science based on study habits in secondary schools?
  2. What is the difference between the mean academic performance of students who cram and those who do not cram for examination in Agricultural Science in secondary schools?

1.5     Research Hypotheses    

The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

  1. There is no significant difference between the academic performance of students in Agricultural science based on study habits in secondary schools.
  2. There is no significant difference in the academic performance of students who cram and those who do not cram for examination in Agricultural Science in secondary schools
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1.6     Significance of the Study 

The finding of this study will be useful in the following ways: To the students, the study is designed toward helping students to improve in their personal variables. To the teachers, it is believed that this study will help them to understand the different personal variables adopted by students and therefore use teaching methods that will enhance effective learning irrespective of the students’ personal variables.

To the counselors, it will help in yielding a good basis for students counseling on self-discipline and the right attitude towards studies. The policy makers and planners in education like Ministry of Education will have basis for organizing seminar for students on how to adopt and harness their study habit. As a data bank, it is envisaged that this research work will serve as a store of information for future researchers who may wish to research further into the same topic on related topic.

1.7 Delimitations of the Study

The study was restricted to an investigation into personal variables (study habits and gender) and academic performance of students in Agricultural science in secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area.  It is also limited in scope to selected public secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area only.

Hence research finding on the issue was not generalized as it’s remained valid only to selected secondary schools in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area Local Government Area where the investigation was conducted.

1.8     Limitations of the Study

The study was faced with lack of adequate funding and poor rural roads networks which limited the extent of this research work as well as lack of sufficient time due to other academic work of the researcher.

1.9     Definition of Terms 

The following were defined as used in the study:

Personal Variable:

Study Habit: These are the various ways adopted by students to acquire knowledge, skills, ideas and competence in school subjects like Agricultural science which is personal timetable as used in the study.

Academic Performance: This is the scores students obtain in a Agricultural science Achievement Test (ASAT).

Gender: This refers to male or female students studying Agricultural science.

Learning Styles: This is a specific way used students to get information. It is a style preferred by students to his/her learning. This includes kinesthetic and auditory learning styles as used in the study.

Mr. Harrison

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