ABSTRACT: The main purpose of this study was to investigate on Educational Policies and Academic Performance of Public Secondary School Students. To achieve this purpose, the following null hypotheses were formulated to give direction to the study. There is no significance relationship between National Policy of Education and student’s academic performance in Government, There is no significance relationship between curriculum contents and student’s academic performance in Government. Literature was reviewed according to the hypothesis directing the study. Survey research design was adopted for the study. The essence of the design was to allow researcher to make inference and generalization of the population. Total samples of two hundred (200) respondents were randomly selected for the study. The selection was done through the simple random sampling technique; this was to give every member of the population area equal and independent opportunity of being selected for the study.
Questionnaire was the main instrument used for data collection. It was design by the researcher under the supervisor’s guide that gave its face and content validity. To test the hypotheses and to ascertain whether to reject or retain the hypotheses, Pearson product moment correlation analysis were considered appropriate because of the nature of variables involved. The 0.05 level of significance was used for the statistical testing of each hypotheses Based on the conclusion of the study, recommendations and suggestions for further studies were made.
Educational Policies and Academic Performance of Public Secondary School Students
1.1 Background Of The Study
Since independence, the Government has addressed challenges facing the education sector through Commissions, Committees and Taskforces. The first commission, after independence was the 1969 national Curriculum Conference which was attended by a cross-section of Nigerians. The conference was a culmination of expressions of general dissatisfaction with the existing educational system which had become irrelevant to national needs, aspirations and goals. There were lot of ills and shortcomings in Nigeria educational system as it was based on the British educational system which did not pave way for yearning needs, interests and aspirations of Nigerian society. The 1969 Curriculum Conference however had a prime purpose of improving the quality of Nigerian education (Adeyemi B. A. et al, 2012).
A functional education system should produce students with ability to create solutions, to have cognitive, attitudinal and emotional orientation that dispose them to generate answers, solutions and innovations to questions, problems and not passive consumers of what other people have generated. Functional education according to (Ayeni, 2012) is the efficient management, monitoring, evaluation and reviews of the resource inputs and transformation process (teaching and learning) to produce quality outputs (students) that meet set standards and expectations of the society. It is the prerogative of schools to offer unique services in different areas such as academics, discipline, and regularity in attendance, commitment of teachers, enabling environment for learning, supervision, instructional materials, curriculum coverage/delivery, malpractice-free examinations, moral, career counseling, community relations, aestheticism, sports, cultural activities and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
All these are being prescribed in educational policy framework which according to Coburn and Stein (2006) are intentionally formulated to bring about changes in teaching and/or learning by influencing the practices of members of one or more target groups (e.g., teachers, coaches, principals, etc.) Examples of such policies are the National Policy of Education, Educational curriculum etc. which clearly specify the conduct of teachers to organize their instructions around tasks of high cognitive demand, and principals to become instructional leaders by observing instruction and giving teachers feedback.
Educational policies are initiatives mostly by governments that determine the direction of an educational system (Okoroma 2000). According to Osokoya (2006) Education is a distinctive way in which the society inducts its young ones into full membership. Hence, every modern society needs some educational policies to guide it activities in the process of such initiation. In the view of Awokoya (2010), educational policy is directed towards increasing the quality of educational aspirations of the people. He believes that the objective of any policy is to satisfy individual needs, community pressures and the degree of complexity and sophistication to which socialized personnel must be educated and trained to meet these demands.
For many years now the general performance in Government in West African School Certificate Examination has been very poor. There may be some cogent reasons behind if as Erdson (1993) wrote condition within the institution of social science itself, its practices, values or procedures which establish limits or restriction on social science behaviours are often included. The research for the determination of academic performance on social science has taken many directions, has consumed much time and effort and continues to generate public concern. The result of this research had indicated that academic performance is the outcome of relations of various level of analysis.
Hence, the issue of poor academic performance of students in Government in Nigerian schools has been of much concern to the educational agencies, parents, teachers and even student themselves. The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the system of principles that guide educational decisions to achieve rational outcomes.
Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor policy implementation, teaching methods, school environment including problems with student-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with student health problems, student behavior, and student academic performance (Crandell & Smaldino, 2000; Davis, 2001; Johnson, 2001; Lyons, 2001; Moore, 2002; Stricherz, 2000; Tanner, 2000). There is therefore need to investigate on Educational policies and academic performance of public Secondary school students in Government in Ikono Local Government Area.
Educational Policies and Academic Performance of Public Secondary School Students
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The need for Educational policies came about as a result of the 1969 national Curriculum Conference which was attended by a cross-section of Nigerians. The conference was a culmination of expressions of general dissatisfaction with the existing educational system which had become irrelevant to national needs, aspirations and goals.
Though Nigeria had witnessed a series of educational system since its birth in 1914, immediately after independence in Nigeria, there was a lot of ills and shortcomings in Nigeria educational system as it was based on the British educational system which did not pave way for yearning needs, interests and aspirations of Nigerian society. This called for the 1969 Curriculum Conference that focused on Nigerian children in Nigerian society with National Policies on Education in 1977, 1981, 1998 and 2004 respectively (FRN, 1977; 1981; 1998; 2004), all with the prime purpose of improving the quality of Nigerian education (Adeyemi B. A. et al, 2012).
The utmost importance attached to education in Nigeria was clearly underscored in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004). The Federal Republic of Nigeria, in this policy, adopted education as an instrument “par excellence” for effecting national development. Government has stated that for the benefit of all citizens, the country’s educational goals shall be clearly set out in terms of their relevance to the needs of the individual and those of the society in consonance with the realities of our environment and the modern world.
Hence, the high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where educational policies are not set out such as the National Policy of Education, educational curriculum and the syllabus which are structurally effective. It is therefore imperative to examine the important of educational policies and academic performance of public Secondary school students in Government in Ikono Local Government.