Problems Affecting The Academic Performance of Rural Secondary School Students

Problems Affecting The Academic Performance of Rural Secondary School Students in Enugu State

Problems Affecting The Academic Performance of Rural Secondary School Students in Enugu State

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Since early 1970s, rural development has been identified as a strategy for improving the economic and social life of the rural inhabitants in Nigeria. Since then successive government at various levels embarked on several programmes aimed at rural development. A few of those programmes are the national Accelerated food projection programme

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, the River Basin Development Authorities, the Agricultural Development Project, the Green Revolution Programme, Operation Feed the nation and poverty Alleviation programme. All these programmes aimed at meeting the basic needs of the rural people, besides, some basic infrastructural facilities are lacking in our rural communities. Some of these amenities that are insufficient include; health facilities, good roads, pipe borne water and educational facilities etc.

The sources of rural problems seamed to have received different interpretations from different scholars. According to Lipton (1977) rural people are the main source of their own difficulties by rapid population growth. Okafor (1986) viewed the source of rural problems from a different perspective. According to him, lack of understanding the true relationship between the urban and rural sectors is the main issue at stake. As he observed, the relationship should be symbiotic in nature as opposed to the exploitation type that is existing. He concluded that lack of equitable distribution of social amenities with in urban and rural areas is the main bare of contenting coupled with high level of illiteracy among the rural populace.

In this study, the problems effecting the academic performance of rural secondary school students, especially as they affect their educational attainment with be studied. Widespread illiteracy among the rural people was seen s the major contributing factor in rural under-development and poverty. The spread of literacy was considered necessary for communicating new knowledge and ideas. These ideas will create in them an awareness of their situation and will sensitize them to think of improving the situation.

In Nigeria, it is stated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 1998) that the federal government has adopted education as an instrument for effecting National development, this was the drives behind the establishment of schools in the rural areas in recent time. The idea therefore is aimed at bring education to the door post of the rural populace. What is not far fetched after all, is the effect of such proliferation in our educational system. This seems to have contributed immensely towards educational imbalance. Generally, education is the process by which parents, communities and home would the individual by subjecting him or her to a selected contributed environment for the purpose of attaining social competence and optimal individual development, Aliobu (2005), therefore, education is seen as the major instrument, which can be used for developing our rural areas.

For this to be achieved, the issue of insufficient teachers and inadequate infrastructural facilities in our rural secondary schools should be addressed.

In Enugu state like other states of the federation, several factors have combined together in recent time to make education one of the greatest problems of rural development programmes. What is today very oblivious is that many of our rural secondary school students have many problem and it had given the researcher concern to investigate or to determine whether insufficient teacher and inadequate infrastructures in our rural secondary schools constitute the problems. Also to investigate whether settlement pattern and parents occupation constitute the problems affecting academic performance of rural secondary school students in Igbo-Eze north local government area of Enugu state.

In this state, the urban-rural gap is very wide. In spite, the proliferation of local government areas of the state including the thirty newly created development attaining an urban status.

A typical example however is Igbo-Eze north local government where this study is focused. Rural-urban disparity is characterized by inequalities of income distribution, infrastructural facilities and man-power distribution.

Finally, the situation in our rural secondary schools call for self-examination, Harold and Development (1979) see self-examination as a preparation for insight, a ground breaking for seeds of self-understanding which gradually blown into changed condition in rural schools. It becomes obvious that positive steps are to be taken towards the better condition of our rural secondary schools students in Enugu state, we should look at those problems affecting the students.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

It has been observed that educational attainment of children of equivalent social background varied according to the region of the country in which they live. Therefore, it because imperative to examine the problems from one angle, which is to investigate the problems affecting the academic performance of rural secondary school students in Enugu state but with specific emphasis on Igbo-Eze Local Government Area.

Therefore, the researchers priority is to determine whether insufficient teachers constitute the problem affecting the academic performance rural secondary school students, and he equally wants to determine whether inadequate infrastructures in rural secondary schools contribute to the problems affecting students in Igbo-Eze local government.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study, which is the “problem affecting the academic performance rural school students in Igbo-Eze Local Government Area”, is of importance to students, teacher, educational administration and the society in general.

To students who wish to carry out further research on this topic, this will serve as a guide to them because most of the information which they would have found difficult to get is already discussed in this work. To students in the school who have not know the brain behind the falling standard of education especially in the rural areas, after going through his work will understand it and make it know to the school heads.

Teachers and head teachers who wish to know the problems affecting the academic performance of their student and address them to supervisors when they visit their schools.

The educational administrators through the information they get from the supervisors will relate the nature of our rural schools to the government and advise them on how to solve the problems affecting the academic performance or rural secondary schools students.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The main purpose of this study centres on problems affecting the academic performance of rural secondary school students in Enugu state, with specific emphasis on Igbo-Eze Local Government Area. Specifically, the study is intend to;

1. Determine whether insufficient teachers contribute to the problems affecting the academic performance of secondary school students in Igbo-Eze Local Government Area.

2. Ascertain whether nature of parents occupation constitute to the problems of affecting the academic performance of secondary school students in Igbo-Eze Local Government Area.

3. Find out whether inadequate infrastructures in secondary schools in Igbo-Eze Local Government Area constitute the problems to secondary school students.

4. Determine whether settlement pattern in Igbo-Eze Local Government Area constitute part of the problems affecting the academic performance of secondary school students.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope or delimitation of this study covers the problems affecting the academic performance of rural secondary school students in Enugu state, using Igbo-Eze Local Government as a case study.

RESEARCH QUESTION

The following research questions have been down for this study.

1. How does insufficient teachers constitutes to the problem affecting the academic performance of secondary schools students in Igbo-Eze Local Government Area.

2. How does the nature of the occupation of parents constitute the problems affecting the academic performance of secondary school students in Igbo-Eze north local Government Area.

3. How does inadequate infrastructures constitute the problems affecting the academic performance of secondary students in Igbo-Eze Local Government.

4. How does settlement pattern constitute the problem affecting the academic performance of secondary school students in Igbo-Eze Local Government Area.

LITERATURE REVIEW

In this chapter the researcher will survey various related work of different matter of this study.

In view of this, the subject matter is subdivided into the following subheadings:

Insufficient teachers in our rural secondary schools

The nature of parents occupation in the rural area

Inadequate infrastructures in rural secondary schools

Settlement pattern and rural secondary schools.

Review of related empirical studies

Summary of related literature

INSUFFICIENT TEACHERS IN OUR RURAL SECONDARY SCHOOLS

In considering the issue of insufficient teachers in our rural secondary schools today, Aleke (2001) stated that developing a society or a nation encompass both provision of physical infrastructures and carefully raising of manpower.

She observed, the manpower development is important for societal development, indeed its possibility and success wholly rests on education. For this reason, teacher have to be sufficient in order to ensure the societal development. Having said this Ukeje (1966) observed that teachers are the hubs of educational system and the success of any educational system depends on their numbers quantity and devotion.

He further stated that important position in the society are headed by teachers so that, their quality and quantity have to do determined by degree of excellence designed execution of teaching.

Considering the important of teachers in our educational system, Oleutan (1983) opined that for teaching-learning process to be effective knowledge of subject matter as well as skills in teaching are important. Furthermore, Kanno (1997) states that the acquisition of both knowledge and skills provide the teacher with basic tools that will enable him to meet all the challenges of the ability to teach in a manner that makes the learner not only to learn the concept taught, but also found them stimulating and interesting.

Commenting on the standard of education in this country, Oti (2002) noted that, about 80% of the causes of our educational backwardness in this country has been attributed to the insufficient teachers and unqualified teachers in our educational institutions especially in secondary schools level. Based on this statement Kalu (2002) traced the fallen standard of education in Nigeria to lack at incentive in educational system. That the regular cry by the teachers about government lack of concern for the needs of the teaching profession is the main bone of contention. She further stated that poor attention to teachers problems have resulted to teachers giving on strike to register their dissatisfaction. This ugly situation has contributed to the fallen standard of educational system.

Furthermore, another factor causing insufficient teachers can be attributed to the death of teachers of different categories and it one of the major problems that are contributing to insufficient teaching in our rural secondary schools.

Oti (2002) lamented on unquantitative nature of teachers in our rural schools. He concluded that institutions, that are responsible for training of teachers should take urgent steps to senitize the educational system by producing quantity and quality teachers.

In fact, insufficient teacher have led to World Bank publication (1975) which noted that shortage of staff is another problem of academic performance in our rural secondary schools. The scarcity of teachers is found virtually, in all subject areas. Even, when the supply of trained manpower is adequate, number of personal saving in the rural areas is often small compared to urban areas, thereby resulting to shortage of teachers in our rural secondary schools. The problem of insufficient teachers in the rural secondary schools was observed in Enugu state of Nigeria. Here, the problem of posting of teachers to rural areas was identified. And it was indicated by Amadi (2000) that teachers are usually reluctant in accepting transfer from urban to rural areas because of several factors, which include force of the nature of the community, colleagues they are likely to meet.

Prosser (1987) noted that shortage of teachers is the major constraint of the rural secondary schools. In the same vein, Oti (2002) equally noted that this problem of shortage of teachers in our rural secondary schools started after Nigeria’s civil war in 1970. There was influx of school children in our primary schools all over the country during this period. As a result of this, there was shortage of teachers to teach those children. Consequently, government decided to recruit teachers from all works of life to solve the problem, but till date insufficient teachers is still the order of the day.

Shortage of manpower in rural secondary schools is noticeable in different categories. For instance, it has led to lack of effective leadership and shortage of educational administrators in our rural secondary schools.

THE NATURE OF PARENT’S OCCUPATION IN THE RURAL ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Home background of students has a very significance role to play in their educational career in the schools. It is clear that many parents are farmers, while some are teachers. For the fact that many of them are farmers they leave homes before bird and come back at dust weary and tired to inquired of their children’s academics or social well-being. This always continues and forms the life pattern of such family. Home environment in no small measure influences the child academic performance, hence this progress or retrogress in life originate from there and how well he is able to manipulate it. To this end Ukaome (1999) observed that the role of the family in child’s socialization is a determining factor in the child’s environment. He also said that socialization experience and family motivations contribute to the child’s academic success in school, stressing that the parents occupation, social status and life style of the parents determine the child’s success and response to education.

Similarly, Ukanu (1999) note that to a large extent parents, beliefs, their philosophies of life, social status and political power and prestige all act as sociological factors that always influence the students, academic achievement. On the other hand, some parents that are government workers are often transferred which might not warrant their stay in their former living place. Following this, parent could take their children along with themselves at any time of the year and this seriously has negative impact on the students, academics because such immediate transfer might be at beginning, middle or towards the end of school environment, he faces a new teacher with new method of teaching. Consequently, it must take a long time for such student to adjust fully, and for this reason, the students might be affected by their parents occupation.

People have done a lot of the relationships between the student and parents occupation and their philosophies of life, especially the rural parents who are farmers that may or may not have known the value or importance of education in ones life. As he can act funny any time for the influence of farm work and stop his children from going to school. For the fact that they are farmers they can further, and say the they farm work has consumed all their money, for school fees, thereby facing them out of school. As a result of this Nwangwu (1976) explained that some students come from homes where it is even difficult for parents to feel and cloth their children properly. In such a case, even free primary education does not guarantee their children the opportunity to complete their primary education. The parents may still not be able to provide money for books and schools uniform and these are enough reasons for students to perform poorly or even drop out from school.

In addition, parental attitude towards farm work affect majority of the students in rural areas. Third negative attitude may lead to discouraging the students from showing interest in education. They may not give them time for private studies at home parents may pick quarrels with them frequently for spending time in schools related assignment. It is not rare to here some parents reports “know it is not that book that you will eat today, will you go into the kitchen at once”. On the other hand, positive parental attitude to education is supposed to influence the level of academic achievement of their children.

INADEQUATE INFRASTRUCTURES IN RURAL SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Many rural areas suffer inadequate infrastructural facilities and social services. Our educational system is still plagued with serious problems of basic infrastructures. Basic infrastructures, science and technical equipment, furniture, library are evidently inadequate in supply of these basic school necessities has received the attention of the public in recent time. Therefore, in view of Amadi (2001) noted that inadequacy of these infrastructures constitute another source of frustration and disillusionment among teachers. She further advised the industry of education and Educational Boards to make these materials available to schools.

Aliobu (2005) stressed that since education is generally accepted as the most important instrument for change that the fundamental change in the intellectual and socio-economic outlook of any society is as a result of education has continued to be accorded very high priority in the sectoral allocation of resources.

In Enugu state, the awareness of importance of education supply in term of basic infrastructural facilities were noted with high priority, and this has contributed to people of Enugu state. The problem of inadequate classroom is a major issue in Enugu state school system. As statistics in the secondary Education Board (2001) has shown the cause of inadequate classroom in Enugu state school enrolment from 46,000 to 99,000 between 1999 and the year 2000. This revealed an increase in demand for basic infrastructures or educational facilities, such as classroom, library, laboratory equipment and other instructional materials.

In order to sustain the universal Basic Education in Enugu state, Engr. Peter Ede the former commissioner for education in Enugu state said that the state government spent additional N78m on education to its sustained efforts in the rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools across the state. He further stated that the state government has embarked on the provision of six classroom blocks for twenty (20) secondary schools across the state.

The problem of enrollment and supply of infrastructural facility in the schools are more pronounced in our academic performance of rural secondary schools and this has led Begmand (1976) to attribute this to a number of factors. In the first place, very often, some average rural community, like urban areas for further education. The implication of this, is that such parents do not pay attention to the needs of our rural schools. As a result of this, rural schools are left for the lower class of the rural populace to maintain. Secondly he observed that some of these rural schools were built later than the urban schools. These schools are isolated in remote areas and parents from such area find it difficult to contribute towards the maintenance of such schools, and this affects their interest in education.

King (1976) was of the view that people in urban areas with old schools are helped by the government and other individuals in order to maintain their schools than rural people. He further stated that people in the urban areas are always concerned about learning environment of their children and complain when they feel that the environment is not conducive for them importance. In most secondary schools in this state, there are no enough books, except in some schools in the urban areas. When books are not in the library it becomes very difficult for the poor parents to afford money to buy textbooks for their children in the school. Therefore, this problem of inadequate textbooks is one of the problem affecting the academic performance of our rural secondary school students in Igbo-Eze local government area of Enugu state.

What is clear today is that these problems are still around us is our educational system, where attempts were made to supply these, their distribution tends much towards urban areas. Community on the problems of rural secondary schools, Udochu (1986) pointed out that most of our post primary institutions are nothing but glorified primary schools. He further noted that our rural secondary schools are ill equipped. In some schools in rural areas there exist on laboratories, library, and other modern educational facilities like computers let alone the inadequacy of them.

RURAL SCHOOLS AND SETTLEMENT PATTERN

The locations of post-primary to learn, unlike the rural people who depend on government for all their needs. The few people who are not willing to do so send their children to urban areas where there are well equipped schools.

On the other hand, rural secondary schools are mostly based on self helped projects, which may not be completed. They rely on government and commercial labour for the survival of their schools.

With regard to inadequate infrastructures in rural schools. Would Bank (1975) noted that despite what may be substantial public expenditure on educational facilities, changes for education are often beyond the means of the rural people that in many areas education for a large number of rural poor children are often two years of primary school, even when schools are made available for them writing on the provision of educational facilities in schools, Combs (1978) observed that the provision of educational facilities is not appropriate to the rural dwellers, lacks library services, science equipment, sports facilities, domestic water supply, electricity and other economic infrastructures.

The need for books to support teaching and learning is of paramount institutions require minimum number of people to support its establishment so that there will be regular supply of students who will attend such institutions. If the population where educational institution located is small compared to size and status of them, it will be waste of scare resources to locate the institution in these areas. In view of the fact that even post-primary schools will require significant number of people to support its existence, it is obvious that this category of educational institution can be located in a fairly large settlement. Consequently, the distribution of settlement of various sizes within a locality would influence the even distribution of educational institution between the urban and rural areas in some states in Nigeria which Enugu state is not an exception.

Therefore, in view of settlement pattern Okafor and Onokerhoraye (1986) observed that, are many localities where their population is too low to support some infrastructural aid social services. And, in contributing to the nature of settlement pattern in rural areas Amadi (2001) noted that shortage of teachers are quit reluctant to live in such areas. So schools located in them often suffer shortage of teachers. In these circumstances, educational institutions are attracted to areas with large settlements, while those with poor settlement are neglected.

The neglect of our rural areas has caused a lot of harm to our academic performance in our rural schools. This is because people in the rural area find it difficult to provide for themselves if government does not provides for them. In view of this, Nwabor (2002) observed that one of the greatest problems of rural schools is the attitude of some parents who live in these rural areas. That, those who are little but rich do send their children to urban schools to study, and when this happens anything concerning the rural schools is not their concern. If eventually, they send them to these rural schools, there will be constant problems, reasons being that, some of them attack school authorities for beating their children when they misbehave. He further stated that in this situation, teachers are always the target of the parents, stressing that the nature of rural schools is nothing to write home about, especially in secondary schools where a little bet higher learning takes place. Then the schools or community that can not support or provide its basic needs is bound to suffer.

Virtually, no head of school is completely satisfied with the accommodation of the school. Certainly, most heads are concerned about building big structures in their schools but because they are handicapped by space, it becomes difficult to achieve their aim. Based on the above findings Barry and Tyre (1978) noted that schools helps to develop communities in some rural areas. That is enough structures are built in the schools, they will uplift the community and the students that study in those schools and the schools will have enough community and effective teaching and learning will also take place.

They further, noted that for this to be achieved, enough space or land should be made available for establishment of schools.

In Nigeria, most schools need space to build their library, laboratory and also for expansion of their agricultural section. But those things are not possible because of unavailability of space. The problem of space is both internal and the space within the schools and external when the problem is between the school and the community in which such schools is located.

Externally, people living around to the school always constitute a problem to the school especially when space is concerned. They always interfere with school land and claim that it is their own. As a result of this, space which the school could have been used for building are taken by the rural dwellers or villagers for their private use.

Consequently, some students could not afford to go to school every day because of the distance of the schools from where the students are living, especially the young ones who can conformably tell their father that their legs are paining them, and such may hinder the students from going to school every. Therefore, the un-proximity of their settlement from their schools caused uncompromising problem to the rural secondary school students in their academic performance.

REVIEW OF RELATED EMPIRICAL STUDIES

Studies have been conducted on problems affecting the academic performance or rural secondary school students in Enugu Local Government Area, but a few in some other areas.

According to, Ani (2001) he carried out a research on the causes of poor academic performance of secondary school students in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu state with a sample of Ibo stated that 40 teachers. His findings revealed that parents related factors, teachers related factors, and students related factors have a negative influence on students performances.

Aliobu (2005) in her research work “a survey of academic performance problems facing secondary schools in Enugu state” observed with total number of 200 questionnaires distributed to students. Her findings revealed that inadequate infrastructural facilities (eg classroom, furniture) contribute to the poor performance of students. Ochiagha 92006) also carried out a research on the determining the availability of instructional equipment in the teaching and learning of business students in junior secondary schools or economic studies in senior secondary school in Igbo-Eze north local government area of Enugu State, his findings also show that the inadequate instructional equipment contribute immensely to the poor performance of student in business subjects or economic subjects.

SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW

In summary, it is clear from these views that as a result of these numerous problems affecting academic performance of our educational system, the system has not only failed to ensure mass participation but also practice discrimination in manpower distribution, infrastructural facilities.

However, evidence gathered from the related literature identified basis favouring urban schools than rural schools. The inequalities are made worse by differences in the quantity of teachers, educational facilities and other inputs between schools serving different geographical areas.

Problems Affecting The Academic Performance of Rural Secondary School Students in Enugu State

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