Abstract: The study examined study habits and pupils’ academic performance in Home Economics in Primary Schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area. The population for the study was all the primary four pupils in Nsit Ubium Local Education Authority in the 2015/2016 academic year which number stood at one thousand three hundred and eighteen (1318). Simple random sampling technique was used to select one hundred and fifty four (154) respondents. Three null hypotheses were formulated in line with the purpose of the study. A structured questionnaire was used as an instrument for data collection. The data collected were analyzed using Pearson product moment correlation (PPMC) statistics. The findings revealed a significant relationship between effective reading habits and pupils’ academic performance in Home Economics in primary schools. Equally, studying in noisy and distracted environment affects pupils’ academic performance in Home Economics negatively leading to low academic performance in the study area. Based on the outcome of the statistical analysis, the null hypotheses were rejected. It was therefore recommended among others that regular counseling services to train pupils on study skills strategies should be employed in order to boost their study habits and enhance pupils’ academic performance in school. It was then concluded that effective reading habits relate significantly to pupils’ academic performance. Also, studying in noisy and distracted environment affect pupils’ academic performance in Home Economics negatively leading to low academic performance.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is an acceptable instrument for change. It is generally regarded as an activity undertaken to bring about learning or desirable changes in the behaviour of a learner. Learning cannot be said to have taken place if at the end of the lesson the learners’ behaviour has not changed in line with the objectives set down at the beginning by the teacher. For learning to thrive, there are key factors that need to be considered these factors include; school location, study habits, home variables, classroom size and teachers’ quality (Inyang, 2001). The author maintains that these factors are so important that they can affect the performance of students in school.
However, study habits as explained by Nneji (2002) are learning tendencies that enable students learn. It is a regular practice in studying that affects how well an individual learns or study. It is also the students’ way of studying whether systematic, efficient or inefficient. Going by these definitions, it literally means that good study habit produces positive academic outcomes while inefficient or bad study habits leads to academic failure. The researcher further outlines examples of good study habits to include; setting a particular time and place to study, being organized, listening in class, doing of home work, school assignment and projects, efficient note taking, effective reading, outlining, rewriting notes, studying with friends and being resourceful. While studying in a noisy and distracted environment, listening to music while studying, skipping class, not listening in class, not doing homework among others are considered as bad or poor study habits.
On this note, Onyejiaku (2007), points out that any behaviour that is stimulated regularly will be repeated learning to habit formation. A student who has developed good behaviour in terms of having regular and scheduled study periods and follows certain study strategies always have better academic performance in school. It has been observed that students are really different; thousands would love to study at night before going to bed, while thousand others would love to study at dawn. Late night is normally quiet and students are unlikely to be disturbed by anyone. Besides, students have longer hours to review all their notes and works unlike the dawn when they will have to struggle against time; for a thorough review at night help learners remember the whole thing they learnt, while the hesitant studying at dawn are highly prone to forgetting. This is true for a particular group of people. This is entirely against the theory of ²early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise². Waking up the whole night to study for examination is sure to affect one’s health; late night study is less productive as the mind loses concentration at late night (Enamhe, 2008). As a matter of fact, lack of sleep affect daily life, weakens the strength of the students and also lead to serious memory impairment, thus making learners lose focus during examination.
Consequently, most of the students do not know whether their study habits and attitude are effective or whether there are other techniques that would yield better academic performance because study habits, strategies are not systematically taught to students in most of our schools. Therefore, the present research will examine study habits as its affect pupils’ academic performance in Home Economics in primary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, there has been a lot of concern about the performance of our pupils in Home Economics by citizens of our society. Many educators, stakeholders in educational sector have been viewing with serious concern about the performance of our pupils in both internal and external examinations. The poor academic performance of pupils keep tasking the already inadequate human and material resources in Nigeria educational system. This singular problem has added weight and has continued to militate against the realization of the objectives of our educational system. Worried by the poor performance in examinations, Abang and Enamhe (2008) investigated the possible factors which might contribute to this academic cankerworm. Many of such studies have been on instructional materials, teachers teaching methods, school infrastructure, pupils’ family background, learners’ personal characteristics, class population among others with little or no consideration on pupils study habits. There is no doubt therefore that apart from the aforementioned factors, study habits adopted by learners could contribute to their poor performance in school examinations since study habits can boost or mar a learner’s ability to study and pass examinations.
It is against this background therefore that the researcher is motivated to conduct a study on study habits and pupils’ academic performance in Home Economics in primary schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area with a view to making recommendations that will ensure better pupils academic performance in the subject.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to examine study habits and pupils’ academic performance in Home Economics in primary schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:
(i) Examine if pupils’ consistency in doing homework influence their academic performance in Home Economics in primary schools.
(ii) Find out if effective reading affects pupils academic performance in Home Economics in primary schools.
(iii) Assess whether studying in noisy and distracted environment affect pupils academic performance in Home Economics in primary schools.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The results of this study will be of great benefits in the following ways:
The study will reveal if study habits certainly affect the academic performance of pupils and the teaching – learning process in general. This will assist in future decisions:
To the Pupils: It will provide the basis for developing appropriate study habits, skills, motivational strategies and techniques for generating pupils interest in Home Economics as well as ensuring a better performance in examination.
To the Teachers: The study will re-direct teachers to be aware of their relationship with pupils in developing positive study habits and skills in their learning process.
To the Government: It will help Government, educational administrators and planners in formulating policies.
To the Researchers: The study will serve as a reference manual for researchers who will undertake a study of this nature in the years ahead.