FACTORS AFFECTING THE PERFORMANCE OF COMPUTER STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
EKENE VICTOR EYICHUKWU
SUBMITTED TO SCIENCE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT,
FACULTY OF EDUCATION
CHUKWUEMEKA ODUMEGWU, OJUKWU UNIVERSITY,
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (B.SC/Ed) DEGREE IN COMPUTER EDUCATION
MRS REGINA OBIADAZIE
I, Ekene Victor Eyichukwu of the Department of Science Education with Registration Number 2013414022 hereby certify that this seminar titled "Factors Affecting the Performance of Computer Science Students in Secondary Schools" has not been summited in part or full to any other institution.
Ekene V. Eyichukwu Date
This seminar carried out by Ekene Victor Eyichukwu with Registration Number 2013414022 has been approved by the Department of Science Education, Faculty of Education, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli.
Obiadazie Regina Date
Dr. Chinwoke F. U. Date
Dr. Z. C. Obi Date
(H.O.D Science Education)
This work is dedicated to God Almighty.
Many empirical studies are carried out to explore factors affecting computer students' performance. The focus of this research is that student performance in intermediate examination is associated with students' profile consisted of his attitude towards attendance in classes, time allocation for studies, parents' level of income, and mothers education. The research is based on student profile developed on the bases of information and data collected through survey from waec. The study investigated the factor affecting the performances of computer science students in Secondary Schools in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra state such as student factors which include entry behavior, motivation, and attitude. The Government and schools do not provide adequate instructional materials and computer laboratories facilities which affect the learning of computer science in these schools. The government does not award scholarship to computer teachers who have distinguished themselves in excellent services. There are no standard text books for the teaching of computer in secondary schools. All these factors affect the performance of the computer science students in the secondary schools in Awka South. Recommendations were made at the end and suggestions for further studies were also highlighted.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE i
APPROVAL PAGE iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS vi
1.0 INTRODUCTION 1
2.0 DEFINITION OF COMPUTER 2
2.1 Current Status/Performance of Computer Education in Nigerian Schools 3
2.2 Some Problems of Implementing Computer Education in Secondary School 6
3.0 FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE 8
3.1 School Based Factors that Contribute to the Performance Of students in Computer Science 8
3.2 Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Performance Of Students In Computer Science 10
3.3 Students Personal Factors Contributing To Students Performance In Computer Science 11
4.0 RECOMMENDATIONS 12
4.1 Conclusion 13
Nigeria has realized the importance of functional education for the good and service of mankind. This realization is evidenced in the federal Republic Of Nigeria National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004). Where it is emphasized that, the overall philosophy of education in Nigeria among others should be directed to building a united, strong and self-reliant nation by educational activities being geared towards scientific and technological progress. In the developing world, educational policy is faced with a major task, creating chances of success for all children and their citizenry as a whole. It is essential to overcome the problem of illiteracy, school failure and to improve the intellectual capacity of the students. Education is the process of teaching, training and learning especially in school or colleges to improve knowledge and develop skills.
Measuring of academic performance of students is challenging since student performance is product of socio-economic, psychological and environmental factors. For the last 2 years, education in Nigeria is growing as a profitable industry with prime objective of maximizing profit by delivering high quality education that produces well-educated, skilled, mannered students according to needs and requirements of the dynamically growing market. Some factors such as school based factors which include methods of teaching computer science, teaching/learning materials for computer science, effectiveness of computer science teachers in teaching, teacher's attitude towards computer science, computer science remedial lessons. Other factors include socio- economic factors such as students 'parents education background, source of income for parents/guardians.
2.0 DEFINITION OF COMPUTER:
Olisa Chuka O. (2013) defined computer as an electronic device that is capable of accepting data through an input device, processes the data following a set of instruction, stores or brings out the result as information through the output device.
A computer can also be said to be a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a set of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. It has the ability to store, retrieve, and process data. Computer science is now being explored at all field of life because the computer knowledge in universal and varied. In the fields of research, engineering, business, medicine, communication, weather forecasting, education, finance art, healthcare-delivery and indeed most areas of human activities. The computer is an indispensable tool. The knowledge of the computer and the ability to use the computer has become so important and widespread that it has come to be an integral fact of education and literacy.
A student is someone who is enrolled or attends classes at a school, college, or university as stated by freedictionary.com. A student can also be said to be a person who makes a thorough study of a subject. A Computer student is someone who studies, investigates, or examines thoughtfully the science that deals with the theory and methods of processing data.
Figure 1: Computer Students learning computer science
Performance illustrates how well a person, machine, etc. does a piece of work or an activity. It can also be defined as the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function. The act of performing; carrying into execution or action; execution; achievement; accomplishment; representation by action.
2.1 Current Status/Performance of Computer Education in Nigerian Schools
Aduwa-Ogiegbaen and lyamu (2005), concluded that, computer is not part of classroom technology in over 90% of public schools in Nigeria. The introduction of computer education into schools has consisted mainly of buying a few computers and some software.
From the image result below, obtained from source Anambra State WASCE results, computer studies as a subject was qualified for analysis in 2014 with just 2719 number of candidates. This shows that not much improvement has been made in the area of computer studies and more needs to be done. It is very disappointing to know that there has not been any analysis conducted on the subject computer studies from 2011-2013 by WASCE in Anambra State.
Figure 2: Qualified Subjects For Analysis in 2014
Similar to the previous image result as evidence showing the current performance of computer science students another this is another image result showing the number of candidates and it's percentage, and average percentage of candidates per subject from Anambra State WASCE result.
Figure 3: Distribution Of Candidates By Subject(2011-2014)
Consequently, the image below show the statistical entries of results by subject, gender, grade, and percentage performance of Awka South WASSCE result in 2015. The performance of students below shows that is 45.9% of total pass level and 52.5% of total fail level.
Statistical Entries Of Result by subject, gender, grade, and percentage performance. Furthermore, it can be deduced that there is a poor performance of students in computer studies from the result of the 3rd image result and this poor performance maybe attributed to some factors such as unstable power supply, poor network etc.
2.2 Some Problems of Implementing Computer Education in Secondary School
There are several impediments to the successful implementation of computer education in Nigerian secondary school. Some of them are briefly discussed below.
Mismanagement of our huge resources: Many of our political leaders lack the ability to prioritize Nigeria's developmental needs. They invest for selfish reasons and focus on things that are of less priority neglecting technological development, which can be brought about quickly through computer education programme.
Lack of infrastructural facilities: Many of the schools lack adequate infrastructure such as classrooms, laboratories, electricity, air conditioners, and so on
Shortage of qualified personnel: In our schools there is lack of the human skills and knowledge to fully implement computer education.
According to Aduwa-Ogiegbaen & lyamu (2005), there is acute shortage of trained personnel in application software, operating systems, network administration and local technicians to service and repair computer facilities. Those who are designated to use computers in Nigeria do not receive adequate training; at worst do not receive any training at all.
Cost: The cost of computer hardware and software is expensive. Apart from the basic computers themselves, other costs associated with peripherals such as printers, monitors, paper, modem, extra disk drives are beyond the reach of most secondary schools in Nigeria not to talk of the exorbitant Internet connection fees.
Training and instructional emphasis on theory rather that practical: This is a common factor in our educational system most especially in tertiary institutions and is not helping issues. Computer education cannot yield positive fruits without intensive and continuous practical.
Attitude of teachers and pupils to computer education: Because many teachers are not computer literate hence cannot operate the computer they feel reluctant embracing computer education and often try to shy away from students' question. In line with this, many students resolve playing non-educational games for hours on the computer when they have the opportunity.
Students' limited access to available computer systems: Because of lack of computer systems in many schools, many students often end up entering the computer lab (where it is available) a few times before the end of semester or term. While in other cases students are not allowed to use the computer with the belief that they will spoil it.
3.0 FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
a. School based factor: - Availability and usage of teaching/learning facilities, School type and teacher characteristics.
b. Socio economic factors: - Education of parents and their economic status
c. Student Factors: - Entry behavior, motivation and attitude
3.1 School Based Factors that Contribute to the Performance Of students in Computer Science
Methods Of Teaching Computer Science
Data obtained indicate that 5.6% of the teachers use lecture method, 3.4% use project, 64.2% use discussions, discovery method is used by 6.5% while 27% of the teachers use the question/ Answer method. According to (Chuka, 2015) lecture method is ineffective in that it turns the learners into passive participants in the learning process. However despite the disadvantage, lecture method is useful in covering large content (SMASSE, 2005). Discussions, project and discovery methods creates an enabling environment for the learners and ensures that individual differences are taken care of.
Teaching/Learning Materials for Computer Science
Teaching/learning materials such as printers, monitors, paper, modem, extra disk drives etc. should be made available for the teaching/learning of computer science in secondary schools. Information obtained indicates that text books are leading with 94.1%, followed by colored chalk (25.3%). Whereas, charts and Computer Science models take 10.5% and 6.2% respectively. According to Woodhall (2014) textbooks are a major input for performance in examinations. This view is shared by Chepchieng (2014) who observes that availability of and quality of textbooks in a secondary school is strongly related to achievement among children from lower income families especially those in rural boarding schools. That physical facilities contribute positively to students' academic performance ( Munda, Tanui & Kaberia, 2015). Also 43.5% of all students indicated that schools lacked physical facilities and the ones existing were poorly used. According to Munda, Tanui and Kaberia, (2015) physical facilities contribute positively to students' academic performance.
Effectiveness of Computer Science Teachers in Teaching
Student's opinion on the effectiveness of their computer science teachers in teaching the subject shows that 63.3%% indicated that they are highly effective, 27.5% indicated that they are average and 1.9% indicated that they are not effective.
Teachers' Attitude towards Computer Science
Data obtained after analyzing teachers' responses on items soliciting their attitude towards computer science indicate that they have a positive attitude towards the subject. The overall mean perception of computer science by the computer science teachers was 4.18 out of maximum possible score of 5.00. This implies that computer science teachers have a positive attitude towards Computer Science.
Computer Science Teachers' Workload
Data obtained shows that 27.8% of computer science teachers teach below 15 lessons per week, 66.7% teach between 16 to 30 lessons, while 27.8% teach more than 30 lessons in a week. According to the Ministry of Education (2008) a teacher in a secondary school is supposed to teach at most 30 lessons in a week. This indicates that 27.8% of computer science teachers are overloaded. This percentage is high and may contribute to poor performance in computer science.
vi) Computer Science Remedial Lessons
Information obtained shows that 55.6% indicate that remedial lessons are required in order to have computer science syllabus completed. This means that the computer science syllabus is overloaded, teachers do not plan well or learners are slow in learning computer science.
3.2 Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Performance Of Students In Computer Science
The following information was obtained on social economic factors affecting secondary school student's performance in computer science;
Students' Parents/Guardians Education background.
Results indicated that most parents/guardians (66.3%) do not have education beyond secondary school education, 27.5% have college education and only 6.2% have university education. Thus they may not be good role models for their children in academic matters. Desarrollo (2014) indicated that the extent to which parents or other family members are actively engaged in a student's education had appositive influence on the student's achievement in computer science.
ii) Source of Income for Students' Parents/Guardians
Student's parents/Guardians sources of income are farming (39.9%), salary (38%), Business (16.8%) and casual labor (5.3%). However, it was clearly indicated that the income is not consisted; therefore students whose parents rely on them are likely to get inadequate learning resources, and other essential requirements. Performance from such student will always be poor. According to Conger 2013, low parental socio-economic status is associated with diminished resources hence contributing to lower academic achievement.
iii) Cultural Factors
Computer science responses on socio-economic factors contributing to poor performance in computer cited circumcision (11.1%), beliefs (50%), early marriage (5.6%) and family income (61.1%). Also, cultural constraints negatively impacts on achievement level among students. Children who come from insecure environments caused by socio-cultural practices such as cattle rustling, early marriages and female genital mutilation (FGM) show emotional problems at school. They lack concentration in class and confidence in whatever task they are given to do (Durojaiye, 2013).
3.3 Students Personal Factors Contributing To Students Performance In Computer Science
Students' personal factors contributing to students' performance in computer science were found to be gender, economic factors and attitude towards computer science. Students' attitude towards computer science was measured using likert scale and the results obtained indicated that they have a positive attitude towards computer science. Mwamwenda (2013) argued that the achievement of students in a subject is determined by their attitudes rather than inability to study. Haimowitz (2014) indicated the cause of most failures in schools might not be due to insufficient or inadequate instruction but by active resistance by the learners. This argument suggests that favourable attitudes towards computer science should be developed for achievement in the subject to improve.
From the findings of the study the following recommendations were made:
Computer resources centers for teachers should be established in every local education authority.
Private partnership should be encouraged in the provision of computer literacy for teachers in remote areas.
Students should equally be trained to use and appreciate the relevance of computer in teaching and learning.
Education administrators as well as (staff and employees) in education departments and ministries should be trained alongside teachers to be computer literate.
Road infrastructures should be improved upon to enhance the penetration of computer in education in remote areas.
Functional networking and inter connectivity of the system should be properly configures and structured to serve the purpose.
Education software, programmes and tool kits should be well designed to enhance teachers' training within the shortest possible time.
Fluctuations in the power sector is a serious problem, therefore there is need for constant power supply in all institutions as it is a condition for any form of computerization and accessibility of information as far as computer is concerned.
The provision of laptops at school and home: for pedagogical and personal
Purposes; to develop pupils' computer skill and competence; and to support the adoption of new teaching approaches which motivate students and parents and which give students a sense of success;
At this present/current level of students performance, much needs to be done by the students, teachers, staffs, schools, and various educational bodies including the Government and the NGO's (Non-Governmental Organizations) to tackle these limiting factors hindering/limiting the good performance of computer students. All hands must be on deck to ensure that there will be effective and progressive positive results towards computer student academic performance.
In summary, these stated recommendations should be reviewed and if possible, let cooperate bodies involved in education monitoring and development join heads together to map out more strategies to tackle computer education impediments by providing adequate and necessary/needed infrastructure such as adequate classrooms for effective teaching and learning of computer education to students. I believe that if these things are considered there will be steady improvement in the teaching and learning of computer studies thereby limiting underlying factors attacking students' performance which must be curtailed to the lowest minimum.
Aduwa-Ogiegbaen, S. E. and lyamu, E. O. S. (2005). Using information and communication technology in secondary schools in Nigeria: problems and prospects. Educational Technology and Society 5(1), 104-112.
Olisah Chuka, Maduabuchi U. V. (2013). Definition of computer: comprehensive computer studies for junior secondary schools, Unit 2, 44-45.
SMASSE, (2005). (Developing Positive Attitudes towards Computer Science in Meru South). Unpublished Raw Data. Wayne, A. J. & Youngs, P. (2003). Teacher's Characteristics and Pupils Achievement: A Review. Review of Educational research.
Psacharopoulus, G. & Woodhall, M. (2014). Education for Development: An analysis of Development Choices .Washington, D.C: Oxford University Press.
Munda, S. W.; Tanui, E. K.; Kaberia, L. (2015).Relationship between Selected educational Facilities and Students Academic Performance in Secondary Schools in Bungoma District Kenya. Kenya Journal of Education Planning, Economics and Management, Eldoview Graphics, Kakamega, Kenya.
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