THE TRENDS IN STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN JUNIOR CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND INTEGRATED SCIENCE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The most innovative contribution contained in the national [policy of education (2004) to the development and modernization of Nigerian educational system is in the area of secondary education. The policy prescribed a two tier secondary education lasting for a period of six years. A child is required to spend three years of secondary education in junior secondary school and another three years in the senior secondary school, if a child or the student performs well in both continuous assessment (C.A) and terminal examination.
Jacobs (1985) enunciated that, the most innovative aspect of junior secondary school is the area of curricula activities which consist of broad or general education, practical opportunities and development of scientific talents. The national junior secondary school curriculum for the first three years of secondary education in Nigeria, is an example. It is designed to provide basic intellectual and practical educational knowledge relevant to the Nigerian society. It is also par of the aim of the curriculum to prepare students formally for jobs as well.
The national policy on education (2004) defined secondary education as the education children receive after primary education and before tertiary stage. The main aim of education is for improvement and performance, the performance is to be continuous in the student as for as education is concerned in order that achievements may be reached in the student.
The Longman English Dictionary (2001) defined trends to mean the way a situation is generally developing and changing.
Oluikpe (1981) stated that English is seen as a general language in the sense that it is the language different people from different tongue use as a means of communication especially under the colonization of the British.
According to Ozohili (2007) English Language is an Anglo fishian language. It is a member of the Germanic common language in the Elbe river region about 3000 years ago. English language is sometimes described as the global international language in communication, science, business etc. It has become a second language for most of the world without anybody disagreeing to every other language. English language occupies a significant position among all the subjects being taught in all educational institution in Nigeria. Nigeria has taken English language to be its lingua-franca, that is a language generally accepted and used considering its multi tribes. English language is also seen as the most important legacy of the British to Nigeria. It is also pedagogically important as it is the language of instruction in virtually all the levels of education in Nigeria.
Onah (1992) opined that English language enjoys a lot of prestige over other Nigeria languages. A credit in English language has become mandatory for transition form primary to secondary school and from secondary school to tertiary institutions. English bestows some status on whosoever speaks it fluently. Education in Nigeria is synonymous to good command of the language. It is no longer viewed as a temporarily borrowed language but has been accepted as part of our linguistic properly (Ozohili 2007)
Ezendu (2002) defined science as a body of knowledge, which is required through observation and systematic experimentation.
The Columbia encyclopedia (1999) defined science as an accumulated and systematized learning in general usage restricted to natural phenomenon. Integrated science came in Nigeria in 1968, West Africa Examination council (WAEC) asked (STAN) Science Teachers Association of Nigeria to review and improve the syllabus.
Khabela (2002) in Bajah (2005) defined integrated science as an approach to the teaching of science, of which concepts and principles are presented so as to express fundamental unity of scientific thought and avoid premature or undue stress on the unified nature of science, Cohen (2004) had this to say. Integrated science course eliminates the repetition of subject matter form the various sciences and does not recognize the traditional subject boundaries when persistency topics of themes.
Chukwuemeka (1991) states that Nigeria Integrated science is inter-disciplinary, Integrated as well because Nigeria Integrated science is an integration of nature of science. Integrated science Integrated materials development in Nigeria was a deliberate attempt to achieving a specific national design.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
The differential scholastic achievement of students in Enugu North has been and is still a source of concern and research interest to educators, government and parents. This so because of the great importance that education has on the national development of the country. Parents and government are in total agreement that their huge investment on education is not yielding the desired dividend. Teachers also complain of students’ low performance at both internal and external examination. The annual release of Junior secondary certificate examination result conducted by west African examination Council (WAEC) justified the problematic nature and generalization of differential students’ performance in different subjects especially in English language and integrated science (statistics office, WAEC, Enugu Nigeria 2009).
Specifically the study will determine how teacher\s qualification and attitude affect students’ performance.
2. What has helped to enhance or facilitate both good performance and bad performance amongst students
3. How parents and students’ attitude affect academic performance.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The ultimate purpose of this study is to find the trends that is the continuous development and change in students’ performance in English language and integrated science. Specifically it aims at,
1. Ascertaining to what extent the use of instructional material enhance students performance,
2. Ascertaining the extent teachers qualification and attitude towards teaching and learning can enhance and improve students in schools.
3. Ascertaining how students and parents participation and interest in their children’s academics has helped to improve students’ result.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is very essential to the extent that;
1. It will help to identify most suggestions for improving achievement of students so far in junior secondary school examination. Students are the future leaders, the need for them to perform well and bring them to the right attitude towards education is the sole responsibilities of the government, teachers, parents, students and the society at large.
2. The information from this research will help the examination bodies and education implementers to measure prospective role of facilitating and adapting ways of improving education.
3. It will help the government to make polices that improved polices towards students continuous development in academics.
4. It will help the teachers to have a good perception towards teaching and learning in the sense that they use the right teaching methods and the use of relevant teaching instruments.
5. To create an awareness to the parents that their contribution in making their children have good reading abilities and study habits.
6. Finally, it will help students have the right reception of themselves on the basis that their dedication and attitude to their studies especially in English language and Integrated Science will not only improve them but expose them to have a better goal for their future.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be restricted to the trends in students performance in junior certificate examination in English language and Integrated Science Enugu North Local Government area, Enugu State.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. To what extent has the use of instructional material help to enhance good performance of students?
2. To what extent has the teacher’s qualification and attitude affect the students’ performance?
3. To what extent does parents and students attitude affect the academic performance?