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Comparative Study of Students Performance in WASSCE and NECO in Biology from 2013 to 2018

Comparative Study of Students Performance in WASSCE and NECO in Biology from 2013 to 2018

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 ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to compare students’ performance in biology in the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and National examination council (NECO) examinations in Ukanafun Local Government Area between 2013 and 2018.

They were drawn from two secondary school in the study area. All members of the population were used as sample also since the analysis was based on an already existing result. The research questions and there null hypotheses were formulated for the study. They were tested using the mean (x) of the scores obtained from the two examinations.

The results showed that (i) there is a significant difference in students’ academic area in private and public secondary schools in WASSCE and NECO (ii) there is no significant difference in the academic performance of male and female students in WASSCE and NECO in biology in Ukanafun local government area.

The study recommended that examination questions should be reviewed from time to time in order to minimize the poor performance in both WASSCE and NECO. 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study

Examination is described by Uduh (2009) as the process of finding out how much of the objectives of specific tasks a learner has learnt, also, Fagbaminye (1998), defined examination as a tool for measuring and judging the standard of education in any country.

However, Examinations could be coeternally or externally conducted. Internal examination are usually developed and administered by schools using teacher- made tests. These could be conducted weekly, termly or at the end of the school year. External examinations are developed and administered by public examinations bodies.

WASSCE and NECO

Public examinations are often used to set a standard of performance schools. This was why the British colonial administration masterminded the setting up of the West African senior secondary certificate examination in 1952. It was meant to administer examination in gold coast (Ghana), Gambia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

The West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE), is charged with the responsibility of conducting HSC/GCEA Level, the West African Examination (SSCE) 0’ level (internal and external), technical and business studies examination as well as the national common entrance. It also conducts examination in General Certificate in Education for non-West African Countries.

however, In 1999, national examination council (NECO) was set up specifically to administer public examinations in Nigeria. One of the reasons for the establishment of NECO came from complains among the public that the standards set by WAEC or WASSCE was too high and this was held responsible for the mass failure in WASSCE or WAEC (Abiodun, 2012). NECO is responsible for conducting the following examinations in Nigeria; senior secondary certificate examination (internal and external), Junior Secondary Certificate Examination, National common entrance and Gifted Examination.

Equally, Ajayi and Ekundayo (2010), reported that in order to establish its mark,  NECO compromised standards leading to 67.3% of the candidates making five credit passes at it frit examination in 1999. However, due to severe criticism, NECO stepped up its standard leading to the worst performance in 2009 when only 1.8% made five credits in the November/ December examination (NECO, 2010).

Comparative Study of Students Performance in WASSCE and NECO in Biology from 2013 to 2018

The controversy regarding the performance of students in both WASSCE and NECO today is a national issue. There is a lot of disagreement as to which of these examinations produce the better result. The general conclusion however is that student performs poorly in both WASSCE and NECO (Adesemowo, 2005). Stakeholders have continued to trade blames on the causes of mass failure of students in public examinations. Some people put the blame on government, some on parents, some on society and students themselves with the teachers having a lion share of the blame.

As accusations and counter-accusations on who to blame on the mass failure of students persists, the fact remains that all the stakeholders have role to play in solving the problem of abysmal failure of students in public examinations. Studies have revealed a general poor performance in science subjects both in WASSCE and NECO over the years.

However, Nnaka and Anake in Archibong (2010) reported that in biology chemistry and physics, only 31%, 39% and 51% of students who enrolled for the examination in 2006 had credit passes respectively. It is against this background that this study was carried out to compare the academic performance of students in WASSCE and NECO in Biology in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

In contemporary Nigeria, a greater emphasis is being placed on industrial and technological development. As a result, students are encouraged to take up science related subject like Biology. This is to enable the country achieve its aspiration to be among the top economics in the world by 2020 (Obioma, 2007). To achieve this, the country needs good performance in the sciences one of which is Biology.

Unfortunately, the performance of students in the sciences at the secondary level of education had not improved in the past decade as reflected in the Chief Examiners Annual Reports of both the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and National Examination Council (NECO) both regional and national educational examination bodies respectively Asikhian, (2010).

According to Archibong (2010), 27.5% of senior secondary III students who took WASSCE examination in 2005 passed Biology at credit level while 30% passed at credit level in 2006. In 2007, only 25.5% passed at credit level while only 13.7% passed at credit level in 2008. In 2009, 25.9% passed at credit level while only 20% passed at credit level in 2010 (Sam, 2011). Only 4.7% of the candidates in Biology passed at credit level in NECO examination in 2009. The problem of this study was; does the academic performance of students in Biology differ significantly in WASSCE and NECO?

Comparative Study of Students Performance in WASSCE and NECO in Biology from 2013 to 2018

1.3  Purpose of the Study

This study was undertaken to compare the study of students’ performance in West African senior secondary certificate examination (WASSCE) and National Examination Council (NECO) in Biology between 2013-2018 in secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area. The specific purpose are;

(i)   To find out if students perform differently in WASSCE and NECO in biology secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

(ii)   To asses if students in private and public secondary schools perform differently in WASSCE and NECO in Biology in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

(iii)  To examine if male and female students perform differently in WASSCE and NECO in Biology in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

1.4  Research Questions

In order to achieve the above stated objectives, the following research questions were stated;

(i)   Is there any significant difference in academic performance of students in WASSCE and NECO in Biology in Ukanafun Local Government Area?

(ii) Is there any significant difference in the academic performance of students in private and public secondary schools WASSCE and NECO in Biology in Ukanafun Local Government Area?

(iii) Is there any significant difference in the academic performance of male and female students in WASSCE and NECO in Biology in Ukanafun Local Government Area?

 1.5  Research Hypotheses

Based on the above stated objectives, the following research hypotheses were formulated:

(i) There is no significant difference in the mean academic performance of students in Biology in WASSCE and NECO examination in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

(ii) There is no significant difference in the mean academic performance between students in private and public secondary schools in Biology in WASSCE and NECO examinations in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

(iii) There is no significant difference in the mean academic performance between male and female students in Biology in WASSCE and NECO examinations in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

1.6  Significance of the Study

A study on the comparison in the study of students’ performance in WASSCE and NECO will useful in several ways; firstly, it will provide information to the examination bodies regarding the students’ performance in Biology in particular. This would help them in deciding on periodic review of their patterns of question as well as the making guides.

Schools will also find the work useful in determining the level of their preparedness for each of the examination. Moreso, the government will find it useful in seeking to provide the staff and equipment necessary in teaching Biology in schools on order to improve and promote the academic performance of students.

Hence, this study will also help the schools in assessing the effectiveness of the teachers in Biology, and it will also help to determine the kind and quality of staff development needed in the school system.

1.7   Limitation of the Study

It is focused on comparative study of students’ performance in WASSCE and NECO in Biology. The survey was limited to s4econdary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State. The study also focused on the results of WASSCE and NECO internal examinations between 2013 and 2018.

The overall challenges this study faced was that the principals were not willing to give out the relevant results. They claimed that it was a confidential document. This caused the researcher to visit the schools for several times before being able to collect the results.

1.8   Scope of the Study

The scope of this study was limited to few selected secondary school in Biology in WASSCE and NECO examinations in Ukanafun Local Government Area. The study was only limited to senior secondary three (SS3).

1.9   Definition of Operational Terms

For the purpose of avoiding ambiguity in the use of terms, the following terms used in this study are defined;

Students’ Performance: This is the level of knowledge or skill attained by students in a given subject usually measured by a test score or examination grade obtained by students in the school.

WASSCE: West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination. It is a certificate examination for West African Countries.

NECO: National Examination Council. The exam body came into existence in 2000. It is a certificate examination for a Nigerian only.

Biology: This is a branch of knowledge that deals with living organisms and vital processes.

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