Investigation Of Factors Responsible For Poor Performance Of Senior Secondary School Students In Economics

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Background to the Study

  • Economics is one of an important subject taught in senior secondary schools. According to Anowor (2015), Economics is the study of how society decides what, how and for whom to produce goods which are physical commodities such as steel and strawberries and render services which are activities such as message or life concerts consumed or enjoyed only at the instant they are produced. This shows that the importance of economics to the society can never be overemphasized. This position is supported by the earliest economist Adam smith as the wealth and material welfare of the nations.
    1. is the study of the economy, the economy is made up of instructional structures, individuals and interactions among one another in an attempt to coordinate their diverse wants and desires economics is an activity in which everyone is engaged but about which relatively few have any knowledge of economics is more vitally needed than ever before because economics is concerned with most of the societies complex issues. These includes: production, consumption, technological change, inflation, unemployment, wage increase retrenchment of workers raw materials shortage and so on.
    1. defined economics as social science that studies economic agents behavior in finding solution to economics problems with most scarce resources at their disposal. According to this definition the world social science simply refer to that fact that it studies human beings the word social refers to the study of human behavior or man economics as a science simply implies that the tools of science or the process by which science or scientist find solution to problems is adopted by the economists in finding solution to economics problems.
    1. to Iduma (2016) sees economics as the prudent management of scarce resources .the world scarce is derived from English word scarcity simply means limited in supply .This means that resources are not large in quantity and cannot be used to satisfy the wants or demand of the masses.
    2. to Robbinson (2016), Economics is a social science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. Economics science thus precisely describes collects classifieds, and analysis data with a view to validating a theory.

According to Egwu (2015), sees economics as the social science they analyzed production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
Economics aims to explain how economics work and how economic agents interacts    Economics analysisis applied throughout society, in business, finance and government, but also in crime. Education, the family, health, law, politics, religion, social institution, war and science.

Economics according to Adu, Adeyanju and Sobola (2011) is the study of production and distribution of money and goods of a country. It is the study of how people of the society choose to use their limited resources like land, capital, labor, goods and technical knowledge to provide various goods and services for the consumption of man.

Oleabhiele (2012) believed that economics makes it easier to institute practical measures to promote welfare, so that the society may build upon the work of economics. He concluded by saying that the study is not worthwhile for its own sake but only for the healing that the knowledge may help to bring. Economics is relevant to the field of science and art. It enables the individuals to think in the sense that he/she is able to apply its principles to solve practical problems and avoid unnecessary costly mistake. It also enables individuals to understand better the relationship between himself and his fellow human beings in his effort to make a living.

All over the world, the importance of economics as an instrument of nation building and national development cannot be over-emphasized. It is based on this axiom that Nigeria as a sovereign nation requires excellent qualified teacher and teaching aids in the students understanding of the need to effect a change in National Development through the teaching and learning of economics in the senior secondary schools preferably those in SS1 to SS3.

There has also been a traumatic growth in commerce and industry since independence which invariably calls for specialized and qualified manpower to make the various aspects of the economy become imperative. This led to the introduction of economics as a separate subject of study in the new National policy of education. Economics subject was also included in the curriculum that is geared towards producing a group of people who can study and improve the structure of Nigerian Economy. Economics as a field of study provides individuals with sound knowledge on how to be self-employed and better the lots of people in his or her own society.

Profoundly, in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, there have been a lot of factors militating against the study of economics in public secondary schools, which invariably calls for the study of this research work.

The performance of students here is regarded as their grades in examinations. Performance is directly linked to the teaching and learning. The researcher therefore sees Economics as the social science that deals with production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Despite the different definitions of economics ,economist agree that economics is a social science which studies human behavior or man’s activities in relation to production ,exchange, distribution and consumption of goods and services.

Economics deals with how people react to economic situations and how they behave while they engage in their daily economic activities for example how do people react if there is a fall in price of a commodity?

Economics deals with the administration of scarce resources in society that is it is primarily concerned with the use of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. A study of economics equip individuals with the tools of economic principle and tools of economic analysis which will enable to understand current issues and problems confronting society as well as contributed his quota towards increasing the wellbeing of the society.

A study of economics develop the power of critical thinking ,make individual a particular man and also develop objectivity and rationality in the individuals.

It is therefore demanded necessary that students especially those at secondary school level should have acknowledge of the discipline in other to apply the practical aspect of it to their lives. With the realization of its importance efforts have been made by the government towards expanding its studies that the entire students registering senior secondary school certificate in Nigeria must register economics as compulsory social science subject, hence, the study of economics principles and concepts is being encouraged in other discipline such as social studies and commerce.

A higher institution of learning also the study of economics is being integrated in to sociology and political science. The curriculum has been designed by the comparative education study and adaptation center to meet the requirements of economics in the new system. Economics focuses on the question of choice and the way in which the scarce resources are organized.

The proper application of teaching materials is very important in the effective have facilitated the teaching of the subject. The interest and attitudes of teachers and students over teaching and learning of economics in senior secondary schools are of great effects. Onyeji (2000) is of the view that the teacher’s attitude discourages and scares away students from studying the subject. This is so, if the students are not properly guided, they become scared of the teachers and the subject resulting in lack of interest and the student’s performance tend to be poor since effective teaching do not take place.

Academic performance according to the Cambridge university reporter (2013) is defined in terms of examination performance that is characterized by performance in test, in course work and performance in examination both internal and external.

The method of teaching is another factor responsible for poor performance.

Baja cited   that ‘teaching at all levels of the country is out dated. The norm is the traditional approach with the teacher at the center of activities and with memorization as the prima means of learning. Although memorization has its place, it cannot on its own arouse the pupil’s real interest and imagination, nor can it capture their involvement in the process of learning.

According to Abdullah (2014), he stated that ‘in spite of orientation courses, some teachers still go back to their schools to teach by the lecture method or textbook method. In this regard, schools where teachers vary their methods of teaching, the students tend to understand more than schools were the teachers use the lecture method to impact knowledge to the students. Different methods of teaching help to cater for the different abilities of students in class and more able to understand better.

Economics is a subject taught is both theoretical and mathematical level in senior classes with the use of syllabuses .it is usually introduced in ss1 and also required thinking and reasoning. According to Okafor (2013) teaching of economics required specific skills just as the teaching of other subjects. In teaching of economics, it is responsibility of a teacher to select and plan for the contents of the course he is to teach.

According to Agusiobi, (2012) teachers factor in teaching is to address students and make sitting arrangement in the class during his lesson. Ogalanya (2014), motivation strategies, good teaching method, available instructional materials and encouragement. Bloom said it is to give much positive reinforcement and encouragement to students. The researcher sees teachers factor in teaching are stimulate learning as well as guiding, correcting the activities of students. Teaching and learning of economics is not something that one would acquire once in time, it requires gradually a step and a process for one to understand Following the introduction of the Universal Secondary Education, programme into the country, this caused a gigantic increase in student’s population in schools. Some schools have almost eight hundred students on roll. However, there is no doubt that less time is available for individual attention to the students. In most of the classroom, where group work is done, the classes are so noisy and rowdy and the teachers are unable to control the students. Such a situation does not allow for effective learning. Due to the number of students in the classroom, the teachers use much of the time meant for teaching in controlling the students, as such, much work is done in short time because the teachers will now try to teach everything for the period in less time. There will be no time left for the teacher to pay attention to individual students with individual difference. This does not give room for effective teaching of and it affects the performance of the students in Economics.

 lack of sufficient instructional materials generally hinders the teaching and learning of Economics. This fact cannot be over-emphasized, as instructional materials are the only way open to teaching of Economics to support verbal illustration to sustain the pupil interest for a considerable length of times.

M. A. Maduabun( 2014) pointed out that if  is to be properly learned, the classroom for sole reliance on the inadequate school resources will create an undesirable class majority, he therefore suggested that it is described that teacher should endeavor to improve the quality of their teaching through improvisation, so as to make learning a bit more pleasurable and effective.

Statement of the problem

 Declining achievement in the subject has elicited great concern among Economics educators within Nigeria and across its borders. Innumerable efforts in trying to improve the performance of Economics have been witnessed since independence. Various efforts have been geared towards improving the pedagogical approach and in shaping of the Economics curriculum.

The many reason put forward to explain the low students’ academic achievement could possibly be summarized under students related factors like lack of proper equipment, uncondusive environment and so on, home environment like poor parental upbringing, peer group influence, illiteracy of parents. The implication here is that teaching and learning of Economics needs urgent and effective remedies. The remedies among others are; Teacher support materials and provision of the relevant resources in all the secondary schools for improved teaching and learning of Economics.

This poor performance in Economics has raised a concern due to the fact that the country aims at achieving high technological advancement in the 21st century. It is the intension of this study to know if the assessment of factors influencing academic performance of senior secondary school students could amentionate the situation.

    • Purpose of the study

The general objective of this study is to investigate the factors responsible for poor performance of senior secondary school students in Economics a case study of Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu state.

The specific objectives includes:

  1. To find out those factors responsible for poor performance of senior secondary school students in economics.
  2. To determine school related factors contributing to senior secondary school student’s poor performance in economics.
  3. To find out those home environment factors contributing to senior secondary school students poor performance in economics.


Significance of the study

This study will help to make our educational administrators see the need to have qualified economics teachers if not available to handle the subject effectively for the benefits of the students and society at large. It will also help to sensitize the educational administrators to appreciate the need to make available the necessary materials, examples chalkboard, graph, audio-visual materials, etc that will enhance effective learning of economics if they are not available.

This study will if need be direct the economics teachers’ attention to the need for them to adopt more appropriate teaching method in order to bring about the above mentioned desirable experience in the learners. This study will have a great significance to economists for formulation and evaluation of their plans.

It will be useful for learners to identify the factors affecting the teaching and learning of economics. It will help to identify the factors affecting the teaching and learning of economics. It will help to produce sound economics students that will function well in the economy.

This work will serve as a source of encouragement to students and teachers that will come across it. It is hoped that the findings of this study would also form the basis for further research work by future researchers on this issues.

This work adds great knowledge to already existing literature in economics education and education in general.

Scope of the study

This study aimed at identifying the factors that cause poor performance among senior secondary school students in Economics in secondary schools. It examined various factors which include; students related factors ,school related factors ,and home environmental factors that affect senior secondary school student poor performance in economics .it was delimited to Nsukka LGA of Enugu State.

Research Questions

To achieve the objective of the study, three research questions were raised

  1. What are the student’s related factors that contribute to the student’s poor performance in Economics?
  2. What are the school related factors that contributes to students poor performance?
  3. What are the home environment factors that contribute to student’s poor performance in Economics?

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Investigation Of Factors Responsible For Poor Performance Of Senior Secondary School Students In Economics