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Assessment of Factors Responsible for Poor Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School in Biology

Assessment of Factors Responsible for Poor Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School in Biology

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The purpose of this study was to assess the factors responsible for poor academic performance of senior secondary school in biology in Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State. To achieve the purpose of the study, three research questions were posed; subsequent three null hypotheses were formulated from the research questions to direct the study.

Literature was reviewed on the hypotheses directing the study- survey research design was adopted for the study. A total sample of one hundred and fifty (150) respondents were randomly selected for the study. The selection was done through the sample random sample random sampling techniques. As a rentable tool for data collection four point questionnaire was the instrument used.

It was constructed by the researcher under the supervisors’ guide that gave it face and content validity. The questionnaire was successfully administered by the researcher and collected upon completing to test the hypotheses and to ascertain whether to accept or reject them, the independent t test analysis, and Pearson product moment correlation analysis were considered the most appropriate statistical technique employed to test the hypotheses, because of one nature of analysis involved in the hypotheses directing the study.

  All hypotheses were subjected to testing at 0.05 level of significance with critical values and degree of freedom. The result of the analysis indicates that students related factors, home related factors and school related factors significantly influence academic performance. Based on the findings of the study, recommendations and suggestions for further studies were made. 

Assessment of Factors Responsible for Poor Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School in Biology



1.1     Background to the study

The factors affecting academic performance of students in biology include the student’s attitude, classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are factors that has role to play when it comes to students’ academic performance.

(Ajayi, 2001 and Oluchukwu, 2000).  Hansen (2000) said that: Student’s performance depends on many factors such as learning facilities, gender and age differences etc. that can affect student’s performance. A study effort from student and the proper use of the facilities provided by the institution to the student, a good match between student’s learning styles and are positively affect the student’s performance.

Biology is one of the science subjects that senior secondary school students offer at the Senior levels in the Nigerian secondary schools, (FRN, 2004). Biology is a very important science subject and a requirement for further learning of a number of science-related professional courses like medicine, agriculture, pharmacy, etc. In contemporary Nigeria, greater emphasis is placed on science and technological development.

As a result, students are being encouraged to take up science-related subjects. Today, Biology pervades literally every field of human endeavour, and plays a fundamental role in educational advancement. This is seen in all the technological advancement in the world today, which is because of scientific investigations. However, the issue remains that in most secondary schools in Nigeria, there is high rate of failure in the subject.

Biology is a branch of science that deals with the study of living organisms. Biology is primarily concerned with the nature of organisms and their relationship to each other and to their environment. Biology as a subject endeavors to enable one understand himself/herself, understand major biological processes that take place within himself/herself; for example digestion, respiration, circulation, excretion and gaseous exchange.

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Through Biology organisms tend to appreciate the effect of these biological processes and the larger environment as a whole. Biology like other science subjects is a practical- oriented discipline which seeks to develop in a learner scientific inquiry and problem solving skills. The general goals of Biology Education is to equip the learner with the basic knowledge, skills and attitude that will enable one to lead an independent and useful life both to himself/herself and the larger community in which she/he lives.

Considering its fundamental characteristics and importance, biology is today a standard subject of instruction at all levels of our educational systems, from pre-primary to tertiary. It is the only core science subject at Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE), whose study is very relevant to man’s successful living (Akindele, 2009).

The Biology subject caters for the needs of a learner who may pursue his /her studies in the subject and its related disciplines.  In many areas, biological knowledge can be applied in general improvement of man’s well-being as evidenced in Medicine, Agriculture and Industry. Success in life has so much been associated with ones performance in examination.

Students who do well in examinations get a chance of proceeding to higher levels of studies and consequently, being a source to manpower in many biologically related careers. Failure in Biology means a general shortage of manpower in these Biology-related professions. This is because Biology forms the basis of important disciplines such as Medicine, Veterinary, Dentistry, Agriculture and Forestry. Besides, Biology has played a very important role in providing knowledge for current biological issues such as Biotechnology, Genetic engineering, waste disposal and food security.

Assessment of Factors Responsible for Poor Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School in Biology

Instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning, the teachers as well as the students themselves are essential in teaching-learning process especially Biology.  The extent to which student learning could be enhanced depends on their location within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students.

The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, students, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2002 Lyons, 2001; and Ostendorf, 2001). These factors can adversely affect student behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among student.

Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on students’ ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities, which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by students including poor concentration and hyperactivity, lethargy, or apathy, creates a stressful set of working conditions for teachers. Because stress and job dissatisfaction are common pre-cursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect upon the academic performance of students.

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According to Nakpodia and Urien (2011), the teacher stands out as one the most important factors determining the quality of education and its contributions to national development. At every level, people who go to school look on the teacher for the acquisition of the necessary skills to enable them become what they want to be. Thus, students often look on the personal qualities, their educational qualities and professional competence which are rewarding to the learners. It is on this note that the role of educational administrators in assisting teachers to help students achieve the objective of instructions in their various fields of endeavor stands paramount and a challenge in the 21st century.

Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with student-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with student health problems, student behavior, and student achievement (Crandell & Smaldino, 2000; Davis, 2001; Johnson, 2001; Lyons, 2001; Moore, 2002; Stricherz, 2000; Tanner, 2000). To complement these studies, the present research will examine the aforementioned factors as it affect students performance in Biology in secondary schools.

Assessment of Factors Responsible for Poor Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School in Biology

1.2   Statement of the Problem

The performance of biology in secondary schools in Isi Uzo Local Government Area in recent decades has been rapidly dropping; the trend shows there is speed downfall of performance in biology and other science subjects especially in secondary schools. And the failures in science subjects may results into shortage of science experts like doctors, engineers, and teachers.

Therefore there is a need to investigate on what are the root causes and factors influences poor performance in biology, and how to eradicate the problem. Hence this study will  assess the factors responsible for poor academic performance of senior secondary school in biology in Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to assess the factors responsible for poor academic performance of senior secondary school in biology in Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State. Specifically, this study seeks to examine:

  1. The relationship between students related factors and the student academic performance
  2. The impact of home related factors on the academic performance of  students  in the secondary school
  3. How school related factors affects the academic performance of  students  in the secondary school

1.4     Research Questions

  1. Is there any relationship between students related factors and the student academic performance in biology?
  2. To what extent does home related factors affects student performance in secondary school in biology?
  3. What effect does school related factors has on the academic performance of students in biology in secondary school?
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1.5     Research Hypothesis

  1. There is no significant relationship between students related factors and the student academic performance in biology.
  2. There is no significant relationship between home related factors and academic performance  of students in biology.
  3. There is no significant relationship between school related factors and academic performance of biology students.

1.6   Significance of the Study

It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in school.

In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school environment as it affect the academic performance of student in secondary school.

1.7     Scope of the Study

This research work focuses on factors affecting academic performance of biology students in secondary schools in Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Borno State. This research work  covers all public secondary schools students in Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Borno State.

1.8  Limitation of the Study

Apart  from  time-frame  and  shortage  of  finance,  the  major  limitation to  this  research  is  the  inability  of  the  researcher  to  cover  the  whole public secondary school in Isi Uzo Local Government Area of Borno State as the title suggest.

1.10   Definition of Terms

Biology: Biology can be defined as a natural science subject which study all living things of contents from in the biosphere and earth surface.

Factor: Factor can be defined as a circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result.

Students related factors: Factors such as individual motivation and interest, mental concentration, participation in extracurricular activities, and self-directedness in learning, as well as students’ sense of satisfaction with learning

Home related factors: The home environment means the family background of the child, which includes all the human and material resources present in the home, that affect child’s living such as the parent’s level of education, occupation, social-economic status and the socializing facilities available in the house.

School related factors: These factors refer to observable instructional behaviour of teachers in the classroom rather than on factors that may explain such behaviour (e.g. teacher beliefs and knowledge and interpersonal competences)

Student: A student can be defined primarily as a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving employment at desired field.

Academic performance: Academic performance is the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects

Secondary school (also” high school”)is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.

Mr. Harrison

Project Gurus is a subsidiary website owned by Harrilibrary Integrated Services which was registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria that was established in 1990 vide Companies and Allied Matters Act no 1 1990 as amended, now on Act cap C20 Laws of Federation of Nigeria. Our aim and objective is to assist students all over the world on their educational research works. We are committed toward assisting students at all level of education in their academic work. We have a team of seasonal writers who are vested with the current knowledge in research work. For more information contact on via Email @[email protected] or WhatsApp us on +2348127963962

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