BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Economics is a Social Science topic that has pride of place in the Nigerian secondary school curriculum. Although the emphasis on Mathematics and English language has made these subjects very important, Economics and other related subjects have grown in popularity, particularly among secondary school leavers seeking admission to higher institutions of learning where there are very few spaces for the very many candidates sitting for the various annual entrance examinations. For students seeking admission into the faculty of Social Science or Management Sciences, postsecondary schools often demand credit passes in Mathematics and English language, as well as any other three of Economics, Commerce, Accountancy, Government, and/or Geography. As a result, Economics and other related courses are given a high priority (Ochiaka 2022)
. It should be noted, however, that the level of achievement in these subject areas is heavily influenced by the availability of physical school facilities as well as materials such as textbooks, parental discipline and control, the level of interest shown by students, the level of competency on the path of the teachers, school location and type, and other factors. Because the typical Nigerian child does not begin formal schooling until the age of six, it is assumed that his/her behavior and attitude would be shaped by the socialization obtained at home; here is where parental influence influences the child’s academic achievement. The child’s level of interest in the subject increases when he or she has been prepared for the challenges, and with the assistance of competent teachers who are already on the ground to continue where the parents left off, as well as the availability of teaching materials, the student is expected to excel, not only in Economics, but in all other subjects.
The teaching and learning process in a school context is not complete unless the learning outcome is evaluated. A student’s academic performance assesses his or her grasp of what he or she has been taught. Academic performance of a kid is defined by Epunam (1999) as the child’s learning outcomes, which comprise the information, abilities, and concepts gained and retained over their course of study both inside and outside of the classroom. Henderson and Map (2002) establish strong conclusions about the characteristics of a successful school endeavor to engage families based on the scant information available. These characteristics (such as establishing a foundation of trust and respect, aligning parent-engagement techniques with economic learning objectives, and reaching out to engage parents outside of the school) are prevalent in schools with a high level of parental participation. Swap (1993) found that effective parental involvement must be comprehensive in character, with schools connecting with parents at several venues throughout the education years.
According to Adeyemi (2000), the level of pupils in topics such as Economics is likely the most critical determinant in WASSC examination achievement. He went on to remark that if a student develops an interest in Economics from the first senior secondary class, i.e. S.S.1, where the fundamentals of the topic are taught, such a child would have a solid understanding of the subject and will thrive at the WASSCE level. Other criteria, according to Adeyemi, include the teacher’s degree of proficiency in Economics, the availability of facilities, and instructional materials. The factors listed above all have positive and/or negative effects on the child’s performance when he/she sits for the final West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination in Economics. Because of the increased awareness and interest in the WASSCE, as well as the fact that economics and other related subjects cannot be overlooked, it is important to evaluate and analyze the effects of these militating factors on the outcome of students’ performance.Regardless of a child’s natural ability in subjects related to calculation, which is seen to positively contribute to good grades in Economics and related subjects, parental influence, availability of school facilities, teaching and learning materials (textbooks), all have a significant influence in shaping the child’s overall performance in WASSCE Economics.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Researchers have discovered a declining tendency in senior secondary school pupils’ academic performance, notably in economics, for obvious reasons. Numerous research have been conducted to investigate the elements influencing student performance. Some of these aspects, according to Duyile (2021), include the learning environment, the teacher’s competency, motivation, and the students’ interest, to name a few. Allison (2022) added that improper teaching aids and inadequate teaching materials provided by the government of many state schools; poor parental influence which does not encourage the child to want to give his/her best to improve academic performance, inadequate/poor physical facilities in schools as a major factor in the decrease in student grades, and the problem of incompetent, inexperienced, and unqualified teaching staff are all factors contributing to the decrease in student grades. In light of this, the researcher wishes to study student academic performance in economics-related subjects.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The broad focus of this study is to reviewstudent academic performance in economics related.. other specific objectives of this study therefore consist of the following;
- To determine if teachers of Economics have the resources, qualifications and skill required to teach effectively.
- To investigate whether secondary school students have pre-requisite knowledge, resources and interest required to learn Economics.
- To ascertain secondary school authorities provide the right environment for the effective teaching and learning of Economics.
- To suggest ways of improving academic performance of students in economic related courses.
The study is designed to investigate the following questions:
- Does teachers of Economics have the resources, qualifications and skill required to teach effectively.
- Do secondary school students have pre-requisite knowledge, resources and interest required to learn Economics?
- Does secondary school authorities provide the right environment for the effective teaching and learning of Economics.
- What are the ways of improving academic performance of students in economic related courses?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research project is aimed at analyzing and evaluating the performance of students in the WASCCE 2011 Economics and other related subjects. Hence, the study will be of immense benefit to researchers, teachers, counselors, government and parents on how to help students improve on their academic performance particularly in Economics in the following ways. It examines the roles that should be played by the government, school administrator, teachers as well as the family on how best to help the student achieve better grades in Economics and other related subjects. It will help parents to know the level of their child/ward’s performance vis-à-vis their influence. The study will finally broaden the knowledge of students on the importance of improved academic performance. The study will further enlighten analysts on the importance of economics as a tool for analyzing basic economic problems of the society.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study border on review student academic performance in economics related.. The variable scope for this study will include the Teacher’s qualifications, teachers’ skill, school environment and appropriate instruction. The study covers selected public secondary Schools in Kwali Area council in Abuja.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only public secondary Schools in Kwali Area council in Abuja.. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other secondary schools in other States within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms are operationally defined for the purpose of this research;