THE CAUSES OF STUDENTS POOR PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL: A CASE STUDY OF AKOKO-EDO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EDO STATE
This project work is based on an attempt to identify the causes of student’s poor performance in mathematics in some selected secondary school in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State. It is also obvious that a number of factors may have been responsible for this ugly trend in student’s poor performance in mathematics. The project work pointed out the following factors as the causes of student’s poor performance in mathematics in junior secondary school. (1). Lackadaisical attitude of students towards mathematics. (2). The attitude of the teacher as well as their professional qualification contributed to students poor performance in mathematics. (3). Deficiency in some instructional materials to teach and learn. (4). Socio-economic background of the students (environmental factors). These various factors were treated in chapter four of this project work based on the cause of student poor performances in mathematics in junior secondary school in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State. The researcher gave the following recommendations; (1). Students on their own should show interest in the subject, do extra work at home and at school. (2). Parents should provide the requisite educational materials for their children both at home and school. (3). The teacher should evaluate his/her teaching methodology constantly in order to improve on his/her teaching method (4). Government should provide teaching aids, library facilities in the secondary school.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Background of the Study
Statement of problems
Purpose of study
Significance of the study
Scope of the study
Definition of terms
Sample and Sampling
Administration of instrument
Method of analysis
Data Presentation and Analysis
Mathematics can be defined as the science of numbers and space and the language of science and technology. It is an essential requirement by every field of intellectual endeavour and human development to cope with the challenges of life, mathematics can also be defined as the queen and servant of all the school subject since it cut across the school curricula. It is equally seen as the language used to describe the problems arising in technology. It relates other school subjects in area like number and numeration, variations, graphs, fruitions, solutions of equation, and area and volumes.
Brief history of the found teaching of mathematics in Nigeria started with arithmetic’s of component of mathematics at the primary and post primary schools. Fajemidagba (1999) according to him, arithmetic’s was compulsory for every primary school pupils and must be passed before a pupil could obtain the primary school leaving certificate, the same condition hold for the Teacher Training Colleges either grade II or III. After the launching of the spulink the first earth satellite in space in November, 1957 by the Russians, which according to Griffiths and Howson (1974) has an enormous effects on American complacency about superiority in engineering capability over that of Russians. The result of the doubt were series of hot debates and arguments on the suitability or otherwise of the school mathematics and curricular. This occurrence were called “Issues and forces” behind the reformation of school mathematics curricular contents, which also affect various reforms in school mathematics curricula has continued to evolve considering its enormous importance to the development of the world.
Mathematics still remains one of the core and compulsory subjects for the Nigeria students at both primary and post primary schools. Recently, mathematics has become a determining factor to gaining admission into most Nigeria universities as it must be passed up to credit level before one gain admission. In spite of its importance to the student’s advancement in academics many students dread mathematics. Given the right to choose, many secondary school students would out rightly avoid mathematics, this is because many of them have developed some element of fears about the suspect, may be as a result of long time negative information they get every year about the poor and low level performance n WAEC examinations in mathematics or other factors. This research work sets out to unravel. According to Ajagun (2000) the performance of students in junior secondary science in Nigeria has remain an issue of concern to all stakeholders. Dwelling more on the fear of mathematics, by the secondary school students (junior) psychology today.com defined fear as a vital response to physical and emotional danger if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from the legitimate threats.
Toscany Academy (2012) this quote can be translated in the context of threat posed by mathematics to the candidate preparing for the examination. Since most of these students has lost hope and psychologically defeated due to fear, this affect their level of interest and passion in the subject and the greater percentage of students opt for examination malpractices and resort to external help. We all know that fear is learnt “a burnt child dreads fire” is a saying we often use showing that a child learns from his/her experiences. Fear is also contagious as children learn fear from observing other show fears. Children also learn fear from their contemporaries. Phobia on the other hand is a clinical or pathologically intense fear often irrational leading to a compulsive need to avoid a thing or event.
The team phobia in an everyday life can be used to refer to fears which have rational origin. When fear reaches an extreme pitch, it becomes a phobia. The implication of the above in a child is, if failure is greeted with schooling and corporal punishment with little attention to motivation, clarity and relevance, students will dislike to harm a particular subject. When experience of learning becomes so unpleasant, it creates the emotions of fear and boredom. In such situation even the brightest pupils will fail to profit from learning. It is therefore worthwhile to take a look at the causes of student’s poor performance in mathematics in junior secondary school in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.
The lackadaisical attitude of the students towards mathematics in our secondary school has reach such an extreme pitch, that every lover of education, growth and development of Nigeria cannot afford to keep mute on the happenings in the automatics education. Ajagun (2000) decried “the performance of students in secondary (junior) science has remain an issue of concern to all the stakeholders. The overwhelming personal observation on the types of student and teacher found in science classes of out-today secondary schools in Nigeria can be better imagined than to engage as ones study. In the past we used to have brilliant students in science, if that is true, it imples that something has gone wrong somewhere, either that our students do not work hard again, or they have been overtaken by fear of some of these subjects. Fear as we all know is learnt and it contagious and dangerous. It may have be struck our students into avoidance or poor performance in mathematics. This below statement can contribute to the poor performance of mathematics in secondary schools (junior) in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.
- The lackadaisical attitude of the students towards mathematics such as fear.
- The attitude of the teachers as well as their professional qualification contributed to student’s poor performance in mathematics.
- Deficiency in some instructional materials to teach and learn.
- Socio-economic background of the students (environmental factors).
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of this study is to investigate the possible causes and effects of student’s poor performance in mathematics as regards to imp0lication and threats posed to the development of our country Nigeria and the development of science and technology the specific purpose of this study is derived from the general purpose stated above, these include the following;
- To x-ray the causes of poor performance in mathematics amongst the secondary school students in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area.
- To investigate the effects pof this lackadaisical attitude of the students towards mathematics in both internal and external examination.
- To find out how teaching techniques and instructional materials would improve the lukewarm attitudes of students towards mathematics.
- To access the impact of socio-economic background of the students towards mathematics (environmental factors).
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is of immense significant as the findings would use in the following ways;
- To help students overcome the unnecessary factors that has hampered the effective learning of mathematics in our secondary school.
- To help the students improve on their performances in mathematics and other science subjects.
- The prevalent cases of examination malpractice amongst the secondary school students especially in mathematics would reduce to the barest minimal.
- Knowledge of the causes of poor performances in junior secondary school will help the ministry of education board parent teachers and principal to evaluate their different role and make some innovations on their planning.
- It will equally help to improve on the number of candidates wishing to make career in mathematics in our tertiary institutions.
- Nigeria government stands to benefit from this research work in the aspect of positioning the country as a technological and industrialized nation since the bedrock of science and technology is mathematics.
- Finally, this work will help the curriculum designers in their job and how to improve on the mathematics curriculum.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research project will only explore on the causes of students poor performance in mathematics amongst the secondary schools in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State and Nigeria at large so as to reach an irrevocable conclusion on rhte matter, but for time and financial aspects. The questionnaire and interview will be structured to cover only ten secondary schools in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State and the content would span on the causes of students poor performance in mathematics in both internal and external examinations. It will equally harness the best teaching techniques and instructional materials for the effective learning and lesson delivery. The importance of mathematics to the national development will be brought to bear.
The secondary schools include;
- Somorika Secondary School, Somorika
- Okpameri Grammar School, Ibillo
- Ibillorkha Secondary School, Ibillo
- Canna Land Secondary School, Igara,
- Ososo Grammar School, Ososo
- Federal girls College, Ibillo
- Ewan Mise Secondary School, Ewan
- Success Secondary School, Igarra
- Universal secondary School, Igarra
- Solid Rock secondary School, Igarra
According to Carl Friedrick Gauss (1777-1855) referred to mathematics as the queen of the science. If this is true, my question is that can the body function without the head or the mouth function properly without the teeth?
In the course of carrying out this project work the following questions have been formulates to provide the needed information to achieve the set objective of this study namely;
- What are the causes of lackadaisical attitude of students towards mathematics among the students of junior secondary schools in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State?
- What effects do you think this attitude (fear) in mathematics has in the performance of students in both internal and external examinations?
- What impact has these causes of poor performance in mathematics on the national development?