Factors That Lead To Poor Performance Of Students In Chemistry In Senior School Certificate Examination (ssce) In Enugu Education Zone Of Enugu State.

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Title page





Table of content




Statement of the Problem

Purpose of the Study

Significance of the Study

Scope of the Study

Research Questions



Literature Review



Design of the Study

Area of the Study

Population of the Study

Sample and Sampling Technique

Instrument for Data Collection

Method of Data Collection


Method of Data Analysis

Decision Rule



Presentation of Findings and Interpretation of Results



Discussion of Findings


Implication of Findings

Suggestions for Further Studies


















Background to the Study

          Nigeria as a society is currently undergoing changes. Since 1997, various government have made efforts to develop education especially science education. Development of science and technology is our national economic and social need. Education is the test investment that plays a very important role in the progress of the nation. The education of the country has great importance in the present world. (scenanor 1997).

          Secondary school in Nigeria is in two stages, first stage which is junior secondary while senior secondary is the second stage. At junior level, students study integrated science and others. While in senior secondary level they study pure sciences which chemistry is one of them. In the past 32 years, our secondary education could not attract the desired talent because of less efforts and low investment on the part of the government. (Nwani 1998).

          Secondary education is an important sub-section of entire developmental system. It provides high level work force for the economy. It also works as a feeder for higher development. It is the most crucial stage of life. The human life is surrounded by various phenomenons. Man has been gathering knowledge about nature since that of civilization.

          As earlier stated, chemistry is one of the main branch of pure science. Chemistry being the science that deals with substances that make up the universe has been defined by Ezekwesiri (1985) as a branch of science that deals with changes in matters and the composition that matter undergoes. Chemistry plays a vital role in modern life as a matter of fact is difficult to imagine life without the use of chemistry. it plays a great role in the development of Agriculture by providing  food, clothing through textile industries, Housing by providing cements roofing sheets, medicine by providing different kinds of drugs, transport that is car, aeroplane according to Anene (1998).

          The interest towards studying chemistry develops when the students are involved in reading the process of science, Ayorinde (1987). It is obvious that studying concepts in chemistry helps to develop body of knowledge to be used in understanding, interpreting, drawing conclusion and shaping future. It can increase the interest of the learners through a variety of opportunities and help them to become scientists in the field of chemistry. The interests of learners are reflected from responses such as liking for science.

          Chemistry as a course in the secondary school is taught in two forms: Theory and practical. Students at the modern era prefer to take science subject at secondary school level, by standard become more. In teaching, chemistry can open doors of opportunity for the teachers. According to Bajah as stated in daily time 19th December (1997), a number of chemistry based industries are established in the society but the local skilled man power is not meeting the requirement of the industries.

          Despite all benefits of chemistry as a course, students at secondary school level still perform poorly. Based on the analyzed WASSCE result of 2004 – 2008 carried out by Ifeanyi (2008), 60% of the student performed poorly and contributed to the poor growth of science and technology in our country. Ifeanyi (2008) stressed that if this trend is not properly checked, the development of science and technology in our country stands at risk. One begins to think what could be responsible for the ugly situation. The answer to this question moves the researchers to go into the field to identify the possible factors responsible for the students’ poor performance in WASSCE chemistry, could it be.

üPoor method of teaching

üLack of qualified teachers

üInadequate provision of laboratory facility

üLack of motivation on the part of the teachers.

üNegative attitude of students towards practical work.

Statement of Problem

          The performance of our students in chemistry is insidiously affecting the development of our economy. This has exposed that the teaching and learning of discipline at secondary level must be facing serious problems. Any meaningful attempt at improving the state of chemistry must be on a thorough understanding and solutions of these problems.

          Therefore, it is vital to identify what problems that leads to students’ poor performance in chemistry. This actually has propelled the researchers to identify the possible factors that militate against effective learning and subsequent good performance of students in chemistry at secondary school level.

Purpose of the Study

          This research is aimed at finding

üThe problems students encounter in the learning of chemistry generally.

üSpecifically, this study intends to find the effects of inadequacy of laboratory resources for effective teaching of chemistry.

üThe effects of employing poor methods of teaching in chemistry.

üThe effects of lack of qualified teachers in teaching and learning chemistry.

üThe effects of students’ negative attitude towards chemistry.

üThe effects of lack of motivation of teachers in teaching and learning chemistry.

Significance of the Study

          The research is very important because it would be of great help to the following people:

üChemistry teachers

üFuture researchers

üPolicy makers, administrators, curricular developers.

Chemistry Teachers: It will help this set of people to improve the teaching and learning of chemistry in senior secondary school by enlightening them on the importance of employing good methods of teaching always in teaching chemistry. It will also help them to identify the problems facing the teaching and learning of chemistry practical which is indirectly affecting the students’ performance in secondary schools.

Future Chemistry teachers: It will also help to train future chemistry teachers in ways they would be able to meet and take effectively the problems of doing chemistry practical in Secondary Schools.

Future Researchers: It will serve as a reference guide for new and future researchers trying to work on how to improve teaching and learning of chemistry in our secondary schools.

Policy Makers, Administrators, Curricular Developers:

          It will enhance understanding of motivation on the part of both students and teachers for effective teaching and learning.




Scope of the Study

          This research is concerned with finding out the factors that militate against the performance of students in chemistry WAEC. The work is limited to about five factors which are:

üLack of qualified teachers

üPoor method of teaching

üInadequate provision of laboratory facilities

üNegative attitudes of students towards chemistry

üLack of motivation on the part of teachers.

And the researchers are limited to conduct their research in Enugu State Zone.

Research Questions

          In carrying out this research, the researchers asked these questions intending that their answers will give solutions to the poor performance of students in chemistry.

üDoes the inadequacy of laboratory resources in secondary school affect the students’ performance in chemistry?

üDoes employing poor method of teaching affect student’s performance in chemistry?

üDoes lack of qualified teachers affect the performance of students in chemistry?

üDoes students’ negative attitude towards chemistry affect their performance in chemistry?

üDoes insufficient time allocation for chemistry affects the students’ performance in chemistry?




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