AN EXAMINATION OF FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR SCIENCE STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN ONDO STATE

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AN EXAMINATION OF FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR SCIENCE STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN ONDO STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Since the beginning of time, there has been a continuous interaction taking place between man and his environment in the pursuit of goal achievement, and it was this interaction that gave rise to the concept of an organization. This interaction took place with human, physical, and material resources. An organization, according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, is “a group of individuals working together in a division of labor to accomplish a shared aim.” Some examples of organizations include families, banks, corporations, schools, and others. It is possible to perceive the school as a structured setting in which educational courses are understood. Alternatively, one might say that the school is a formal organization that functions as a transitional stage in life between the home and society (Olabode, 2018; Musa, 2016; Tabir, 2016).

The objective of a school can be boiled down to the academic performance of the students as well as the overall development of the individual. The sole purpose of the school organization is to cultivate the intellectual, emotional, and skillful aspects of an individual in order for the individual to be useful to himself and his society. There are a variety of considerations that must be made in order for an organization to realize its goals. Some of the organizational factors that have an effect on students’ academic performance in the science discipline include: teachers and students related variables such as the qualification of the teachers, the teacher-student relationship, and the teacher’s and students’ attitude towards chemistry teaching and learning respectively; school environment related variables such as class size, availability of laboratory facilities, utilization of facilities, and school location and so on.

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The education of the people in any nation is significantly impacted by the presence of schools as institutions of social order. The extent to which a country has mastered scientific fields is intrinsically linked to that country’s overall degree of progress in meeting the technical requirements of an increasingly globalized society (Yara P., 2019). One of the components that make up science is the body of scientific knowledge. What exactly is the science?

The 17th-century natural philosophers were the ones who laid the groundwork for modern science, which may be defined as an attempt to understand nature. The following is an example of a comprehensive definition of science: “Science….is a human endeavor involving the continual process of seeking explanations and understandings of the natural world, and also includes that which the process produces—reservoir man’s of knowledge.” The scientific method involves both procedure and result (NSTA, 1961). Scientists engage with the natural world in order to uncover its secrets by formulating hypotheses and devising experiments to put those hypotheses to the test; as a result, new scientific information is generated, which may then be put to either beneficial or harmful use (Ajeyalemi, 2019). He went on to say that science is unique from other fields of study due to the provisional nature of its knowledge, the testability of its tenets, the universality of its methods, and the non-obsolescence of its methods. Additionally, he stated that science has three dimensions: its knowledge, its method, and its applicability. The scientific method may be broken down into its component parts, which include chemistry, physics, mathematics, and biology. Making pupils scientifically literate is a primary purpose that is widely acknowledged for the teaching of science, and this objective is consistent across all areas of the scientific field. “The objectives of chemistry teaching in Nigeria senior secondary schools are to: I Facilitate a transition in the use of scientific concepts and techniques acquired in integrated science with chemistry; (ii) Provide the students with basic knowledge in chemical concepts and principles through efficient selection of content and sequencing; (iii) Show chemistry in its inter-relationships with other subjects; (iv) Show chemistry and its link with industry, every day;” I Facilitate a transition in the use of scientific concepts (Nigeria, 2015).

These goals are intrinsically linked to the purposes of secondary education in Nigeria, which are to prepare students for productive lives within their communities and for further study at the tertiary level (National policy of Education Nigeria, 2015).

The goals that have been set are not being met in the lives of a significant number of Nigerians who complete their secondary education each year. This may be attributable to some aspects of the structure of the school, which in turn have an effect on the academic achievement of the pupils. Many researchers have found that students in senior secondary schools are not very interested in science (Esiobu, 2015; Okonkwo, 2020). In addition, a large number of students appear to learn very little science at school, learning tends to be by rote, and students find the process of learning science to be difficult (Eyibe, 2019) Even though Chemistry is a topic that has applications in our homes (such as the kitchen, the laundry room, and the bedroom), as well as in industry, it can be a lot of fun if we have a solid grasp of the principles. Students continue to avoid taking chemistry classes despite the fact that it is a critically essential field of study and despite the efforts of both the federal and state governments to promote chemistry education (Jegede, 2017). This is also evident in a recent report by the Shelter Right Initiative (Olubusuyi, 2016) that found that Nigerian candidates lagged behind their counterparts from other countries in the West African region based on performance in science subjects conducted by the West African Examinations Council for a total of eight consecutive years, between the years 1992 and 1999. The tests were administered by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). It has been my experience that chemistry as a science seems interesting, but most students fear it. Some students view it as an abstract thing, something that cannot be grasped, seen, or understood. Chemistry is a very difficult subject that is filled with a lot of calculations, and if the teacher as well as the school is not qualified and equipped to counter-act these dispositions, then it will only culminate in poor performances in the science disciplines on both the internal and the external Examinations. According to Adu, Ojelabi, and Adeyanju (2019), a person’s academic performance may be considered as a simple consequence of all of the academic tasks or rigors that the individual is required to do, and this outcome may be badly or successfully described. According to Ijaduola (2018), academic performance cannot be fostered in students if they are discouraged. As a result, teachers and other machinery are required to significantly contribute to the academic success of students. Over the course of time, parents, scientific educators, members of the general public, and even the government have raised concerns over the level of quality in both the teaching and learning of science (Ivowi, Okebukola, Oludotun & Akpan, 2019). The instruction of science in Nigerian schools has come under fire as a result of the poor performance of Nigerian pupils in scientific courses when compared to their peers in other nations. This is clear from the results of the Second International Science Study, in which students from Nigeria finished dead last in primary science and second to worst in secondary science, compared to students from the other nations that took part in the study (STAN, 1992).

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Educators and researchers have been debating for a long time which school variable has the most impact on the academic performance of science students. As policy makers become more involved in the process of school reform, this question takes on a new level of significance because their initiatives rely on a presumed relationship between a variety of education-related factors and learning outcomes (Hammond, 2019).

A study conducted by Jegede, Okota, and Eniayeju (2019) revealed some of the factors responsible for students’ general poor performance in science, technology, and mathematics. These factors include: inadequate number of learning facilities in school as opposed to consistent increase in the number of students; poor laboratory facilities; and inability of teachers to put across ideas clearly to the students.

The majority of schools in Nigeria are not equipped with the necessary resources, and as a result, they are unable to produce competent scientists; in addition, some of the teachers have not received adequate training, and as a result, they are unable to be helpful and resourceful to their students; the knowledge that these teachers pass on to their pupils focuses primarily on the cognitive component of education; pupils learn theories but are not taught how to apply those theories to actual life situations. Some schools that are given access to the facilities do not make use of them in the teaching and learning processes; rather, they only make arrangements for pupils to use them when they are being evaluated by other organizations. Olakoya (2015) argued that in an educational setting such as a secondary school, it is indisputable that facilities such as furniture, laboratory equipment, and material have a great influence in the teaching and learning process. This is due to the fact that without these things, empty buildings and structures, regardless of how attractive they are, cannot be used for educational purpose. Because of this, having access to them and making good use of them is unquestionably a crucial component of effective educational planning; without it, the academic performance of children cannot be improved. It was against the foregoing background that this study seeks to examine  factors responsible for science students’ academic achievement in ondo state

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Everyone, including the government and society as a whole, should be concerned about the present scenario in Nigeria, which consists of a high failure rate in the scientific subject in our senior secondary schools. According to the findings of many pieces of research, many students felt that science was difficult, tedious, and not attractive to them (Salau, 2017) Additional issues that hinder students’ academic achievement in chemistry include their engagement in laboratory work, their attitude toward chemistry instruction, and the availability of chemistry laboratory resources (Okebukola, 2018). Poor academic performance of students in chemistry due to some organizational factors is a problem because the goal of equipping students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology, as formulated in the Nigerian National Policy on Education (FGN, 2015), will become a daydream if it is not controlled and the citizens will not be able to develop scientific literacy useful for coping in the modern scientific and technological world. This is a problem because the goal of equipping students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology was This is in line with the goals of chemistry education, which are not being achieved due to some organizational factors; most chemistry educators regard practical chemistry as being very important for a variety of reasons, some of which include motivation, concept learning, development of skills, and appropriate scientific attitudes. The scientific field of chemistry emphasizes hands-on learning, and the recommended approach of instructing it, known as guided discovery, is a resource-based instructional strategy (NTI, 2017). This provides support for the hypothesis that complete mastery of chemical principles cannot be attained without the use of instructional learning resources. The correct usage of laboratory resources is required for teaching chemistry, despite the fact that students are only seldom exposed to practical work. According to Lee and Fraser’s research (2020), many educators in the field of science do not put a significant amount of importance on laboratory activities because they believe that doing so takes time away from instructing in order to cover a curriculum that is driven by specified examinations. According to Akpan (2019), the lack of practical activities that chemistry students participate in has led to poor communication and observational skills. This, in turn, has led to students’ poor performance in chemistry and a high failure rate among the students in both external and internal examinations.

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According to Morgil, Secken, and Ycel (2017), the activities that took place in many laboratories were centered on verifying what was already known rather than assisting students in developing process skills that could motivate them to remain on the task for longer, thereby leaving the mastery of skills up to random chance. This shows that many students only work to previously supplied answers without focusing on what the instructor teaches, which ultimately leads to their having poor performance in external examinations. Based on my own personal experience, this is the reason why. In order to solve these ongoing issues of a high failure rate in chemistry, one needs to develop a realistic picture of what is currently happening in the teaching and learning of science in Nigerian schools, identify the factors that are limiting the academic performance of the chemistry students, and then try to develop a reasonable ideal picture for which the nation can strive towards within the existing resource limitations. Only then will it be possible to solve these lingering problems. As a result, factors responsible for science students’ academic achievement in ondo state

13 Objective of the study.

The general objective of the study is to examine factors responsible for science students’ academic achievement in Ondo state. Specifically the study investigates:

  1. To examine if teachers qualification influence students academic achievement in science subject.
  2. To find out if availability of laboratory influence students academic achievement in science.
  • To investigate if teachers experience influences students academic achievement in science.
  1. To assess if students – teachers relationship influences the academic achievement of students.

1.4 Research questions.

The study sought to find answers to the following questions:

  1. Does teachers qualification influence students academic achievement in science subject?
  2. Does availability of laboratory influence students academic achievement in science?
  • Does teachers experience influences students academic achievement in science?
  1. Does students – teachers relationship influences the academic achievement of students?

1.5 Significance of the Study.

In an effort to improve the Academic Performance of students in Science discipline and make learning of science more attractive, this study makes the following important contributions to knowledge and education:

To stimulate stakeholders to improve upon the isolated variables which have been found to have direct relationship with students’ academic performance in chemistry with the view to enhance performance in the subject.

First, the school educators, curriculum planners and classroom teachers are provided with detailed information about the picture of science teaching/learning and practices in Nigerian secondary school and realistic ways of improving the situation, considering the fact that Teacher qualification and student academic performance are important criteria in the development and implementation of both curricular and instructional performance.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study will examine if teachers qualification influence students academic achievement in science subject. The study will also find out if availability of laboratory influence students academic achievement in science. The study will further investigate if teachers experience influences students academic achievement in science.  Lastly, the study will assess if students – teachers relationship influences the academic achievement of students. Hence this study will be delimited to Ondo State.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Academic achievement:performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university.