Students’ Characteristics and Academic Performance in Business Studies among Junior Secondary School Students
This research study was conducted to examine students’ characteristics and academic performance in Business Studies among Junior Secondary Students in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area. Some related literatures were reviewed to further widen the knowledge horizon of the research.
The core objectives of this study were to find out how career choice, gender and class attendance affect academic performance of students. Three hypotheses were formulated to test and find out if these variables have any significance on a student’s academic performance. The population of the study consists of 7,957 students and 440 members of teaching staff derived from eight (8) public Junior Secondary Schools in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
Simple random sampling technique was adopted to obtain sample size of 264 which represented 60% of the total population of the teaching staff. Structured questionnaire with six (6) items was used in gathering information (data) for this study. The data gathered were analyzed using a simple percentage and the statistical instrument used in testing the formulated hypotheses was Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC).
A criterion for decision making was that, when the result of the test is positive, the alternative hypothesis was accepted and the null hypothesis rejected and vice versa. From the research findings, it was discovered that career choice, gender and class attendance significantly affect academic performance of students.
Based on these research findings, some suggested recommendations were made by the researcher to assist scholars, parents, education authorities and other stakeholders in education to have better perspective, orientation, and appreciate the significance of these variables in the education of the child.
1.1 Background to the Study
Characteristic is a combination of a number of traits that determine a set of important personal attributes and how people interact with others (Wang and Lin, 2005).
Traits theories have tried to identify the major traits that characterize a personality. Daminabo (2008) notes that characteristics are the sum total of the attributes that differentiate people or the stability of a person’s behaviour across different situations. In other words, it means those qualities that an individual is noted for. It is enduring dimensions of personality characteristics which differentiate people from one another (Colman, 2003).
Put differently, trait is the sum total of stable characteristics in a person across different times and situations, which make him or her unique or distinct from others. This agrees with the views of Marshal as cited in Agbakwuru (2000) that personality traits are consistent differences between the behaviour characteristic of two or more people. In the views of Guilford as cited in Agbakwuru (2000), distinguishable relatively enduring ways in which one individual varies from another.
All of these views subscribe to why there exist multifaceted shades of behaviour patterns across the globe. Some people are extrovert, some introvert while some are docile or indifference and they exhibit different kinds of tendencies influence the way individuals could achieve its own set goal(s) in life be it in social, economic and political undertakings. This implies that individual performance be it in academic, commerce or politics is a product of individual characteristics (trait) towards a given situation or undertakings.
Performance albeit academic performance is a phenomenon influenced by multiple internal and external factor. As noted by Guzman and Cassaretto (2003), performance is an effect of multiple adoptive, behavioural and psychological variables. Psychologist have identified factors such as intelligence, self concept, gender, study habit, maturation and home background among others as being responsible for performance albeit academic performance (Guzman and Cassaretto (2003).
Edel (2003) noted that academic performance is a phenomenon influenced by multiple internal and external factors. In Nigeria educational setting, the educational curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of the society. The curriculum is used in all the public primary schools thus provide a common platform to judge performance.
The educational policy provides a minimum standard for teachers who could be employed to teach in public schools. Incidentally, there exists observed poor academic performance among students in successive examination. This has become a critical source of worry to the government, educators, parents and the society and researchers at large. Thus, this research is integral to means of finding out what could possibly be the cause of poor academic performance among students.
Students’ Characteristics and Academic Performance in Business Studies among Junior Secondary School Students
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In Nigerian educational system, the problem of under-achievement has assumed a worrisome crescendo. In an attempt to pass examinations under all cost, students have been suspected to devise various illegal means to make sure success is achieved in examinations, even when they are not academically competent.
Examination malpractice has thus risen steadily to become a seemingly untamable monster. It is increasingly becoming difficult to equate competence with supposed academic performance as represented in their certificates. Many candidates are unable to defend the result the supposedly acquired honorably.
And of course this has consistently led to inability to compete effectively in the job market which has become a serious issue. Several factors have been researched into in the past as to the cause of this social malaise, but there seem to be indications that some hidden factors may be responsible that needs unraveling.
The researcher has consequently chosen to find out the root cause of this problem among the students. As a consequence the researcher had decided to examine the effect of students’ characteristics and academic performance in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objectives of the study are to explore students’ characteristics and academic performance among business studies in junior secondary schools in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:
- Find out if career choice of a student has any significant effect on students’ academic performance.
- Find out whether gender influences students’ academic performance.
- To find out whether class attendance has any significant influence on students’ academic performance or not.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
- Does career choice have any effect on a students’ academic performance?
- Does gender influences students’ academic performance?
iii. Does class attendance have any significant effect on students’ academic performance?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were formulated in line with the research questions to guide the study:
HI: There is no significant relationship between career choice and students’ academic performance.
HII: There is no significant relationship between gender and students’ academic performance.
HIII: There is no significant relationship between class attendance and students’ academic performance.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research “Students’ Characteristics and Students’ academic performance in Business Studies among Junior Secondary School Students in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area” is significant and timely as it has much to do with issues related to academic performance of students in schools in the contemporary society. Aside from this, the information and findings from this study will serve as a future reference to other researchers, teachers and scholars on the subject matter.
This research will be of contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of students’ characteristics on students’ academic performance.
Theoretically, the findings of this study are considered significant because it can help in providing empirical information in identifying and explaining the various students’ characteristics variables and their effect on students’ academic performance. This will eventually be of immense help to curbing the problems surrounding examination malpractice.
Practically, the findings of this study will be useful to: the teachers, students, parents, school guidance counselors, Parents’ Teachers Association (PTA), educational administrators and the society at large.
The findings of the study will be of immense help to the teachers. The teachers will realize the necessity of individualizing their teaching by structuring their teaching methods and instructional resources to take care of the divergent students’ characteristics of the students.
At the end of this study, its relevance cannot be underestimated as it will make information readily available by serving as a reference material on the subject matter.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was designed to focus on the students’ characteristics and academic performance. In terms of coverage, the study was designed to cover junior secondary school students in few secondary schools not beyond the boundaries of Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The full realization of the success of any adventure or project in life could be limited to some factors, and this research work could not have been an exception. One of the factors is the scope and coverage.
By this limitation (scope), the researcher could not go beyond two basic areas; students’ characteristics and students’ academic performance as these constitute the major thrust of the study. In terms of coverage, the researcher could not go beyond junior secondary school of some selected secondary schools in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
Lack of related literature and research materials on the subject matter was another contributing factor to this trend. Another factor is reservation of information. In the course of conducting this research, it was realized that some respondents were not really willing to give information needed for the success of this work but not for the researcher’s persistency and free consultancy method adopted in administering the questionnaire. This was an arduous task the researcher had to face to get valid and reliable information for use.
Insufficient fund especially in this economic recession tends 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). Time constraint experienced by the researcher in the course of this work cannot be left out. The researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic activities. This consequently helped greatly in cutting down the time devoted for the research work.