Over the years in Nigeria, there has been a consistent decline in students’ performance in English Language. This sordid situation has caused teachers, parents, curriculum experts and evaluators a serious concern. This study therefore was set out to evaluate the factors affecting the peformance of fct students in english language. To carryout this investigation, data were collected from 50 English Language teachers randomly drawn from the Federal Capital Terirory (FCT), Abuja in Nigeria. Analysis of data revealed that poorly trained English Language teachers, poor instructional delivery, lack of infrastructural facilities, teachers’ attitude towards innovation, the traditional content/knowledge oriented curriculum and general students’ apathy in English language were factors associated with student’s poor performance in English Language. Based on these findings, recommendations were made on strategies that will improve the quality of instructional delivery and learning of English Language geared towards enhancing students’ performance in the subject at the Nigerian secondary schools.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Given the importance of English language as a subject, common sense demands that students should perform well in it. The fact that English language is the most important subject in the secondary school curriculum is incontestable. To be able to understand his or her teachers in all other subjects effectively, a secondary school student requires at least fair knowledge of the English language. Little wonder that English language is referred to as the key to all other subjects. To be eligible for admission to universities and other higher institutions of learning secondary school student must pass English language at credit or distinction level. English is the sole medium of communication in the university communities.English language as a subject, is important and students are required to perform well in it. The statistics of results from West African Examination Council (WAEC) however reveal that year in year out. Only fewer than thirty percent of candidate who writes English language in this very important (WAEC) examination pass with a credit or distinction level. What a shameful and painful revelation owing to this ugly situation. Department of English in some Colleges of Education have established Pre-English programme for the benefit of some of the candidates that could not pass it at the ordinary level stage.I believe that there are some factors affecting the peformance of fct students in english language. This will be discussed below.
1. Some so called English Language teachers are not academically qualified to teach it. They do not teach it well, as they are not specialists in the field of study. They are graduates of other discipline, who took to teaching English language because they could not find even teaching appointment in their respective disciplines.
2. Some students are to some extent responsible for the fact that they perform poorly in English language. They do not even practice the habit of speaking simple and correct English always—– they always speak pidgin English, even when they ask their English language teachers questions about their lessons. This has in fact landed some of them in trouble before their teachers. There are some students who do not buy the recommended English language textbooks for their studies and some students among those who buy theirs do not make effective use of the books.
3. Lastly, most parents and teachers of other subjects who are seen as models by students often discuss with them in wrong English. There are causes of teachers who commit unpardonable grammatical errors when teaching. Some parents who are university graduates make such mistakes as “stop making noise”, “off the light”, “so therefore” etc when interacting with their children. Students generally take such wrong expressions for correct ones and they go a long way to affect their performance in their English language examinations.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Education is only just becoming accepted, as evidenced in the increased enrolments for the past twenty (20) years however, the consistent high rates in some major accounting and technical subjects have fair reaching consequences for national development as a result of high wastage rate of schools with private and public in the country, this arises from the number of candidates eligible for certification. Specifically, students in collaboration of corrupt teachers has always device a way out examination malpractices. Special and miracle centres becomes the order of the day after all, the end justifies the means. This is mostly common in private schools and those schools in remote areas that lack supervision. However, the half baked students with good results but cannot defend it have serious implication of producing quality of students. There is the need to study the cause of the high failure rates abd low quality students that led to academic performance by finding solutions tro the following research questions.
i. Does the quality of English language teachers affect academic performance among students in Secondary School in FCT?
ii. Does the number of teachers available affect the rate of failure in certain subjects?
iii. Does the availability or non availability of workshop affect the rate of failure of candidates in identified subject?
iv. Does the non availability of instructional materials constitute academic performance?
v. Does the interest of students affect academic performance in secondary school?
vi. Does parental support affect the failure rate of candidates in some identified subjects?
vii. Does the role of cultism in some schools affect academic performance?
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The study was to evaluate the factors affecting the performance of FCT students in english language. The investigation was carried at revealing the causes of the poor performance in examination and quality of students trained after their academic journey. This will enable the researcher to make appropriate is recommendations which will lead to an improvement of the performance in the future.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
In this jet age, there is no compromise about ensuring that quality of education is realized. The outcome of the study will be able to source of immense information and help to educational planners, counselors and administers towards to ensuring that our educational system will not be thrown to the dust bin resource planners in the state and federal government will also derive a wealth of knowledge from it. Additionally, it will acts as a guide for recruitment of qualified teachers in different fields and enhancing learning environment. Finally it will be a source of enlightenment to students, parents, institutions, government and the society at large.
SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research covered all the past years by checking the results and assessing the students that passel out during these years in five selected schools. This research study was limited to the responses from public and privates schools FCT concerning the relationship between the adequacy of teachers, infrastructures, available of instructional materials, interest of students, parental support and quality of students produced enables the researcher to pass judgment on the causes of academic performance among students in Secondary School FCT.
Some of the factors which could lead and impact greatly on performance of candidates like, gender, location of institution and type of school (federal state) were not included in the study. In addition, some respondents might not give truthful answers
DEFINITION OF TERMS
WAEC (West Africa examination council) they conduct school certificate exams with the country and west African region.
NECO (national examination council) they conduct senior school exams within the country (Nigeria).
NPE (national policy on education) they make and regulate education policy.
S.S.C.E (senior secondary school certificate examination) this is an examination for these in senior secondary school.