Comparative Study of Academic Achievement of Rural and Urban Secondary School Students in Biology

Comparative Study of Academic Achievement of Rural and Urban Secondary School Students in Biology
Comparative Study of Academic Achievement of Rural and Urban Secondary School Students in Biology

Abstract: The purpose examine comparative study of academic achievement of rural and urban secondary school students in Biology. To this end, the work provided the background of the study through detailed introduction offered in chapter one, relevant terms were defined and the purpose, hypothesis and significance of the study were stated. A detailed Literature review was obtained from published books, Journal newspaper and articles.  Six secondary schools were used for the study, 100 students constituted the sample for the study, 100 students came from urban schools while the remaining 100 student are from rural schools.

Equal number of male and female students were also used. Three hypothesis were postulated for this study in line with three research question. Student achievement test in Biology (SATB) was structured as an instrument for data collection and was analyzed using the independent t-test analysis technique.



Comparative Study of Academic Achievement of Rural and Urban Secondary School Students in Biology




1.1 Background to the Study

academic performance has been described as the scholastic standing of a student at a given moment. This scholastic standing could be explained in terms of grades obtained in a course or group of courses, Daniel and schoulen (1970). Also, Simkins (1981) asserted on this scholastic standing and argued that performance is a measure of output and that the main outputs in education are expressed in terms of learning, which is change in knowledge, skills and attitude of individual as a result of their experiences within the school system.

STAN (1992), supported this argument and reported that performance is the level of attainment of a person in an examination, that is how an individual is able to demonstrate his or her abilities is an examination.

Al-shorayye (1995) regarded student’s performances in an examination as being dependent on his cumulative grade point average. His argument supported Wilson(1977) assertion that a students success is generally judged by examination performance while the best criterion of performance is the sum of the student’s academic performance in all the subject taken.

Researchers had deliberated much on performance as a measure of school output. According to Bruce and Neville (1979), educational achievement is measured by standardized achievement test developed for school subject. Blaug and Woodhall (1968), argued that the only measure of performance of school leavers is the attainment in G.C.E examination. Consequently they measured output in terms of number of school leavers weighted by different indices of quality or number of passes and reported that performance in G.C.E is one relevant criterion of educational quality and that academic index measured output in terms of G.C.E results.

The pattern of grading students in the Junior Secondary certificate (JSE) and the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examination in Nigeria is such that the distinction grade is being represented by A1 to B3. The credit grade is represented by C4 to C6. The ordinary pass grade is represented by D7 and E8 while the failure grade is represented by F9 (WAEC, 2006). It needs to be mentioned however that the distinction and credit grades are the only requisite grades for admission into Nigerian Universities and Colleges and candidate must have at least credit in five subject including English Language and Mathematics in order to qualify for admission (JAMB, 2007).

Considering the results in the WAEC and similar examinations, a fall in performance in public examination has been reported in many countries. In Nigeria, Adeyegbe(2002) found that there was no decline in students performance in SSC examinations. He reported that topics where teachers found difficult to teach, students tend to perform below expectation Supporting this point, Onipede (2003) reported that student’s performance below expectation in SSC examinations in many subject areas especially in English and Mathematics.

Researchers have identified different factors that could cause students failure. Wankowski (1973) for instance reported that academic failure seems to be associated with the lack of personal confidence, emotional instability and temperamental tendency toward extra-version. It is important to state that in a developing country like Nigeria, it is possible to identify schools which have outstanding facilities and amenities. These institutions more often are those that  have a long history or institution with strong community support.

The other institutions are those owned by the communities but with no attachment to personalities in the society. This type can be found in every Local Government Area in our state today (Akpan, 1985). However, the concern of educational researches is to find out to what extent these differentials in terms of locations affect the quality of education received by students.

Science occupies a very strategic position today in the scheme of things in Nigeria Society. Etibeng (1993), assert that learning science has been recognized in Nigeria not only as an important tools for industries, Medicine, agriculture and domestic comfort

In the academic world, the differences observed between the urban and rural setting have in no small way posed a great problem to the Nigerian society. The achievement of educational goals in those two settings has given both the educationist and psychologist a task of their life time. In this regard, Bassey (1994) opined that while rural setting is that environment with an average populace having as their major occupation, primary agriculture; the urban area is characterized by large population where 80% of its dwellers are engaged in industrial activities.

Accordingly, the influence of Socio-economic background of parents on students determine where the homes of these students are situated and of course, the school they attend, following the contention of Bassey (1994) learning in these two settings differs in forms and methods, specifically, children in the rural area whose environment is devoid of adequate space for recreation, well equipped schools and other useful infrastructural facilities which may help in their learning, will be more or less different, slow or even adamant in the drive towards acquisition in permanent numeracy and vocabulary for hitch-free expression of any kind which is a key to sound academic performance.

Comparatively, children born and breed in urban setting have learning facilitated in number of ways; watching of television programmes, attending house parties, travelling, playing with toys and other ways which exposed the children to experiences that act as determinant to their accelerated gain of knowledge even before school age.     

According to Akubuiro (2002), urban learning environment has a greater access to social, cultural and economic facilities and services and as such produces a high performing learner while in the corresponding rural situation, a poor performing learner. As in all learning area, the urban school children out perform rural school children. She added that in the rural areas, many children are required to spend most of their useful time in farms, during planting and harvesting seasons thereby not allowing the child enough time to invest in academic work.

On the side of the urban students, urban environment outside the school setting provides the practical experience needed to help the science students perform better. The present research is embarked upon to examine comparative study of academic achievement of rural and urban secondary school students in Biology in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State.     

Comparative Study of Academic Achievement of Rural and Urban Secondary School Students in Biology

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that while Biology remains the mandatory and core subjects offered in schools by students, the performance of students in the subject during both internal and external examination has not been very impressive. This issue of poor academic performance of students has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even students themselves.

Previous studies have investigated factors responsible or affecting the academic performance of students to include students-teacher ration, school location, infrastructural materials, teachers characteristics(qualities), method of teaching, instructional material, students attitude and many other (Akpan, 1996; Bassey 2006; Uche 2001). To complement these studies, the present research will examine the comparative study of the factors affecting the academic achievement of rural and urban secondary school students in Biology in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.

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