Education Project Topics

An Investigation Into the Variables Affecting the Academic Achievement of Secondary School Students in Economics



Background to the Study

Education is a kind of social service that is offered to the general population of a nation with the purpose of enlightening the people of that nation. The acquisition of skills is made possible by education, and this in turn permits the growth of a nation. In Nigeria, like in so many other developing nations across the globe, there is an unwavering trust that education is the path to both economic development and political stability. This is also the case in Nigeria. Education is both the essential driving force behind long-term, sustainable human growth and the pivot point around which all other endeavors are organized. According to Bell’s hypothesis (2003), no country can go beyond the degree of knowledge it currently has. Indeed, countries that have accomplished great things in the globe place a substantial amount of importance on the role that education has played in their success (Obianime and Nwachukwu, 2021). This is due to the fact that via education, people are able to gain information, skills, and attitudes that are helpful and relevant, which in turn enables them to live meaningful lives in which they are able to contribute to the world. As a consequence of this, education delivers its recipients from the shackles of ignorance, poverty, redundant work, and illness.

However, the provision of a quality education is impossible without an efficient educational system that ensures effective teaching and learning (effective implementation of the educational curricula) in schools at all levels of the educational system. Without such a system, there will be no provision of a quality education. This is because, over the course of teaching, the curriculum, inasmuch as it relates to each and every educational level, is translated by the instructors into concepts, skills, and attitudes, which are then conveyed to the learners. Better learning outcomes and performance on the part of the learners may be reached when this procedure is carried out successfully. This is due to the fact that the true objective of education, as outlined in the National Policy on Education, is for teachers to instill in their students the ideals and principles of good education while also facilitating their transmission to others (Obianime & Nwachukwu, 2020).

Creativity, self-reliance and independence of mind, nationalistic outlook, and freedom from mental colonization should all manifest as learning outcomes in the lives of students who graduate from that level of education in Nigerian schools, particularly secondary schools, in addition to brilliant performances in the various subjects taught by teachers. This is in addition to the expectation that students will achieve brilliant performances in the various subjects taught by teachers. The aforementioned underlying problems are not anything that are exclusive to schools in Nigeria. Scholars who are concerned with educational development have been hammering on the ever-intriguing issues of failure of Nigerian educational quality and students’ poor academic performance in a world that is rapidly changing and has its own complex and complicated schooling phenomena. In this world, schooling phenomena are complex and complicated(Obianime & Nwachukwu, 2020).

For example, Okam (2021) observes that on average, the performance of secondary school pupils in economics on placement tests like WAEC and NECO has been declining every year. These examinations include both national and international components. Other academics (Lanham, 2020) who share the same perspective as Okam have attempted to attribute the decline in students’ performance in economics and other relevant subjects to poor school physical facilities, out-of-date books in the libraries, ill-equipped laboratories, antiquated workshops, abandoned classroom blocks, unmotivated shabby teachers who look hungry, a lack of available instructional materials, and inadequate availability of classroom based furniture and materials. Okam disagrees with these explanations. He believes that the decline in students

Nevertheless, as of today in some state, the government has taken a notable policy action that has resulted in the renovation of the physical facilities in almost all of the public primary and secondary schools in the state of Lagos, as well as providing them with adequate school and classroom based infrastructure. Even better, some of the schools have been endowed with the resources necessary to support Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The instructors have also got some financial incentive, so they are not neglected in any way, and neither are the students. According to a recent report by Damole (2019), all of the aforementioned positive changes that have been implemented in state schools have not resulted in any discernible improvement in the students’ performance in the various subjects that they are studying or in the placement tests that they are taking. This is the context in which this research aims to investigate the elements that are really impacting the academic performance of students attending state secondary schools, with a specific focus on economics.

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Statement of the Problem

There have been a number of attempts made by writers (Obianime & Nwachukwu, 2020) to investigate the elements that influence the academic performance of students studying economics in secondary schools. However, none of them have made an attempt to look at the big picture and determine, in a single research, all of the elements that influence students’ academic achievement in the topic. Some of the writers did not even consider any other factors that may influence students’ academic success in economics beyond the one they researched. In addition, the majority of the writers carried out their research at the state level, but they did not include a significant number of the secondary schools or the students who attended those schools from the local education districts (Obianime & Nwachukwu, 2020). Because of this, the purpose of this study is to fill in the gaps that have been identified above by concentrating on secondary schools and the students who attend them in the local education districts. Additionally, this research will investigate comprehensively all of the factors that are thought to influence students’ academic performance in economics, categorizing them into the following four groups: home, school, and classroom environmental factors.

Objective of the Study

The general objective of the study is to investigate the variables affecting the academic achievement of  secondary school students in economics. Based on this main objective, this study sought to:

i.          To examine the various variables affecting secondary school student academic achievement in economics.

ii.        To assess the effect of school environmental on the academic achievement of students in economics.

iii.      To  ascertain the extent to which  quality of teacher affect the academic achievement of secondary school students in economics.

Research Questions

The following questions have bee formulated for this study

i.          What are the various variables affecting secondary school student academic achievement in economics?

ii.        What is  the effect of school environmental on the academic achievement of students in economics?

iii.      What is the extent to which  quality of teacher affect the academic achievement of secondary school students in economics?

 Significance of the Study

This study will be of great value to the federal and state ministries of education as it will reveal to them the various weak areas needing policy actions to strengthen teaching and learning at the secondary schools in order to achieve the expected performance among the students.

Also, for this study to examine the factors affecting state secondary school students’ academic performance in economics, the results are expected to be another contribution to existing literature and body of knowledge on the influence of the home, school, classroom and socioeconomic factors on state secondary school students’ performance.

While previous studies have generally addressed and evaluated specific impacts of selected factors affecting secondary school students’ learning and experiences in many other areas in Lagos State, little effort has been devoted to secondary schools’ learning outcomes , hence, this study is an effort that has covered this gap.

The study will also be of  benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

Scope of the Study

This study will examine the various variables affecting secondary school student academic achievement in economics. The study will also assess the effect of school environmental on the academic achievement of students in economics. Lastly, the study will ascertain the extent to which  quality of teacher affect the academic achievement of secondary school students in economics. Hence this study will be delimited to Edo State.

Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Definition of terms

Variables: an element, feature, or factor that is liable to vary or change.

Academic achievement: performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university