Junior Secondary School Examination (JSCE) as a predictor of student’s performance in Senior Secondary School Examination (SSCE) in Lagos State

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction  

1.1     Background of the Study

In this research study, the researcher has the interest of ascertaining whether the junior secondary school certificate examination results would act as the predictors of students’ performance at the senior secondary school certificate examinations in Nigeria. The interest of the researcher in proposing to undertake a research of this nature was brought about with the fact that it is common knowledge that performance in SSCE has been low for quite a long time (WAEC 1994 and 1995), despite the fact that these students obtained acceptable grades in JSCE, and were constantly admitted to SSI. This torches the validity (Popham, 2002) of the JSCE as an adequate benchmark to check student’s capacity to cope effectively with SSS work.

However, at any given stage of students’ education, information is required about their capabilities and readiness for employment and for further studies in the next stage of education. This information is normally got from the assessment of students’ academic performance in the various subjects studied as reflected in their examination results. This provides the opportunity for correct decision making, such as certification and placement of students, and for the prediction of their future performance at a higher level. Hence, academic performance’ has been described as the scholastic standing of a student at a given moment. It refers to how an individual is able to demonstrate his or her intellectual abilities. This scholastic standing could be explained as the grades obtained in a course or groups of courses taken. Thus, in predicting academic performance, Daniels and Schouten (1970) emphasized the use of grades in examinations and reported that grades could serve as prediction measures and as criterion measures. They argued that a prediction of a future examination result could be made with reasonable success on the basis of the results of a previous examination. Findings made by Al-Shorayye (1995) and Adeyemi (1998) led credence to this point. The findings supported the findings of other researchers that the General Certificate Examination (GCE) and Secondary School Certificate examination (SSCE) results provided the best predictor of university performance. Findings made by Peers and Johnston (1994) confirmed the validity of the number and grades of passes in the Scottish Certificate of Education in predicting first year and final year university performance. Gay (1996) also reported that high school grades could be used to predict college grades. A research by Klomegah (2007) to investigate the extent to which index scores of students’ self-efficacy, self-set goals, assigned goals and ability could predict performances of university students and which was the best predictor of academic performance. The results of the study which was carried out in North Carolina, U.S.A., showed that self-efficacy had the strongest predictive power and high school GPA was a better predictor of students’ academic performance than goal-efficacy model. From another study on predicting senior secondary school certificate examination results from performance in the junior secondary school certificate examinations in Ondo State, Nigeria, Adeyemi (2006) found the junior secondary school certificate examination results as a good predictor of performance at the senior secondary certificate examinations.

Historically, the introduction of 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria in 1982 came with the use of internal and external assessments of students which are combined for the certification and prediction of the future performance of students. The first stage of the 6-3-3-4 system stipulates the first three years of education of a child after the 6 year primary school education. This first three years of education of the child is known as the Junior Secondary School (JSS) level of education, while the last three years is the Senior Secondary School (SSS) level.

To attain the JSS certificate, continuous assessment and the final examination for the junior secondary school level are combined for the certification of the JSS level. The last three years, which is the Senior Secondary School level, is the end of the secondary education of the student. The senior secondary school certificate also is made up of the continuous assessment and the final examination of the student which conducted by either “National Examination Council” (NECO) or the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

However, researchers in Nigeria have had divergent findings on the predictive validity of some examinations. In other developing countries, the index of academic performance varied from one country to another. Othuon and Kishor (1994) found that the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education scores had a moderate positive linear relationship with the Certificate of Secondary Education grades. In some other States, performance in JSCE has been found to be significantly related to the performance in SSCE. However, some researchers have found no significant relationship between the performance in JSC examinations and performance in SSC examinations.

Against this divergent views and findings of previous researchers on the predictive validity of the JSC examinations, this study intended to examine student’s performance in JSC examinations to determine whether or not it could effectively predict students’ performance in SSCE examinations in Nigeria, with particular focus on some selected junior and senior secondary schools in Apapa Local Government area of Lagos metropolis.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The performance of secondary schools’ students in Nigeria has been a subject of controversy. Some schools of thought were of the view that the performance was improving (Ige, 2001; Afolabi and Adewolu, 1998). Other schools of thought argued that the performance level was dwindling terribly (Onipede, 2003). The problem of this study, therefore, was to determine whether or not any significance differences exist between the performance level of secondary schools’ students in junior and senior secondary certificate examination in Nigeria?

1.3    Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to address the problem of this study:-

  • Is there any significant relationship between the overall performance of students in the JSCE and their performance in the SSCE?
  • To what extent can Junior Secondary School overall performance be a predictor for the future performance of students at the senior secondary school examination?
  • What is the nature and strength of the relationship between selected JSCE subjects and their corresponding performance in SSCE result?

1.4     Research Objectives

The general purpose of this research study was to assess predictive value of the junior secondary school performance in relation to the senior secondary school examination performance. Specifically, this research intends to achieve the following objectives:

  • To find out whether there is a significant relationship between the overall performance of students in the JSCE and their performance in the SSCE.
  • To determine whether the Junior Secondary School overall performance be a predictor for the future performance of students at the senior secondary school examination.
  • To determine the nature and strength of the relationship between selected JSCE subjects and their corresponding performance in SSCE result.

1.5     RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

To attain the objective of this study, the following null hypothesis was formulated.

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between the overall performance of students at the (JSCE) and their overall performance at the (SSCE).

Ho2: Junior Secondary School overall performance will not be a predictor for the future performance of students at the senior secondary school examination.

Ho3: There is no significant effect of socio-economic status, parental education and occupation on quality of students’ academic performance.

Ho4: There is no significant effect of socio-economic status on student’s overall performance in JSCE and SSCE examination.

Ho5: There is no significant difference in quality of students’ performance in relation to their gender.

Ho6: Teachers qualification has no positive effect on student academic performance in JSCE and SSCE examinations.

1.6     JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY

An important justification for this study is that it will help establish the link between the performance in JSCE and the overall performance in SSCE, showing the degree to which the former can influence the latter among students in Nigeria. Apart from these, a study like this will serve as a book of reference to students/scholars, researchers in indentifying several factors that could cause students failure in their examination.

Furthermore, conclusion reached in this research work will serve as a crystal guide to Government, policy makers, Ministry of Education, curriculum designers and evaluation studies in Nigeria to identify which elements of policy area( in terms of students performance) require urgent modification or not.

This research study is also justified on the ground that it will serve as a frontier of knowledge to upcoming researchers who are willing to carry out similar research work.

1.7     Scope of the Study

This research study is not expected to span beyond investigating students performance in JSCE and their corresponding performance in SSCE. However, Due to the large population of schools in Lagos State, the researcher therefore limit his scope to twelve(12) selected junior and senior public secondary schools in Apapa Local Government area of Lagos Metropolis.

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