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School Variables and Academic Performance of students in Biology in Secondary Schools

SCHOOL VARIABLES AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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ABSTRACT

This study examined school variables and academic performance of student in Biology in secondary schools. Two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Quasi experimental research design was employed for the study. A sample size of one hundred and thirty (130) students were selected for the study using simple random sampling technique. Biology Achievement Test (BAT) was used as instrument for data collection. The data collection was subjected to statistical analysis using T-test. The result revealed that the students taught in a small class size performed significantly better than their counterparts taught in a large class this was evident in calculated t-value of 13.22 against a critical t-value of 1.99. Equally, students from school with adequate facilities performed significantly better than their counterparts from school without facilities in Biology Achievement Test, as indicate in a calculated t-value of 3.14 against a critical t-value of 2.00. Hence, the null hypotheses were rejected at .05 level of significance. It was then recommended that the recommended teacher – students’ ratio of 1:25 should be maintained in schools so as to facilitate the teaching-learning process and bring about better performance in examination.

School Variables and Academic Performance of students in Biology in Secondary Schools

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

In Nigeria and the world at large, education is seen as a pivot for human changes and development. Hence, education is a tool for global revolutionary changes which has helped to improve all facets of human endeavours. For education to thrive, there are key variables that need to be considered. These variables include class size, school facilities, school Location and teacher’s quality. According to Ajayi, (2001, as cited in Ukpong, 2011) these variables are so important that they can affect students’ academic performance in school. 

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However, for many years now, educationists and researchers have debated on which school variables influence students performance. As policy makers become more involved in school reforms, this question takes on new dimension since their initiatives rely on presumed relationship between various education related factors and learning out-come.

Ajayi, (2001, as cited in Ukpong, 2011) suggested that school bring little influence to bear upon a child’s performance that is dependent on his background and general social context. Ajayi noted that school variable such as availability of school facilities, class size, libraries, laboratories and Location remain an important area that school be studied and well managed to enhance student’s academic performance.

According to Otu (2002, as cited in Ukpong, 2011) overcrowded class rooms lead to mass failure and make students to lose interest in school. Hence, to achieve a qualitative and improved academic performance of students in Biology school variables must be thoroughly considered. Therefore, this work seeks to determine whether large and small class size and school facilities influence students’ academic performance in Biology in secondary school in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.

Studies have shown that the physical environment, class overcrowding and lack of teaching learning facilities in the school are variables that affect students’ performance (Moffat, 2004). Large class size and over populated schools have direct impact on the quality of teaching and instruction delivery.

According to Inyang (2008, as cited in Ukpong, 2011) school is an environment which constitutes all that surrounds the learners in the course of learning. The environment embraces such provisions as good roads, electricity, well equipped laboratory, library facilities, well ventilated class room and use of relevant instructional materials among others. Consequently, the issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the Government, parents, teachers and even students themselves. The equality of education does not only depend on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective co-ordination of the school variables.

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School Variables and Academic Performance of students in Biology in Secondary Schools

1.2       Statement of the Problem

In recent times, the performance of students in both internal and external examinations have been a thing of concern to both parents, teachers and Government as the poor performance is always very glaring. Worried by some yearly reports, it is observed that poor academic performance of secondary school students especially in external examinations like West African senior school certificate Examination (WASSCE), unified tertiary matriculation Examination (UTME) among others are on the increase despite all guidance programmes and cancelling strategies mounted in schools on areas such as teachers teaching methods, family background, instructional materials, school Location among others to improve students’ academic performance, students’ performance is still on the decline (Abang, 2008).

 However, it is on the expectation that apart from the fore mentioned factors, school variables like class size and school facilities could also exert influence on students’ academic performance in school there by resulting in to poor performance.

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