Students’ Characteristics and Academic Performance of Students in Business Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

Students’ Characteristics and Academic Performance of Students in Business Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

ABSTRACT: The study examined Students’ Characteristics and Academic Performance of Students in Business Studies in Junior Secondary Schools.  The survey research design was employed in the study. Three research questions and three hypotheses were formulated in line with the objectives of the study. The population of the study comprised of 2,722 business studies students in junior secondary two in all the nine (9) public secondary schools. The sample size was two hundred JS2 students from four public secondary schools. The main instruments for data collection in the study were a fifteen (15) item questionnaire titled “Students Variables Questionnaire (SVQ)” and Business studies Achievement Test (BSAT). The data collected were analyzed using simple percentage and independent t-test statistical tools.

Students’ Characteristics and Academic Performance of Students in Business Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

The findings of the study revealed that: students’ characteristics such as gender, age and learning styles significantly influence their academic performance in business studies in secondary schools in the study area. Based on the findings, it was recommended that students should recognize the need for effective participation during business studies classes and there is need for teachers to be encourage to create room for practical manipulation of objects by providing the materials needed for effective teaching and learning of business studies.



1.1 Background to the study

The teaching learning process involves a vast array of interventional processes at the centre of which is the teacher(the facilitator of learning) on one hand and the students(the learners) on the other hand. Similarly, Business Studies which deals with how individuals and group of people organize, plan and act to create and develop goods and services for human consumption and satisfaction is important in the development of future business men and women. According to Eyo (2014),learning is a purposeful, conscious and complex process which must involves the effort of the learners before there is effective learning. An important feature of learning is that it involves a complex interaction between the students and the learning concepts.

However, according to Ekwe (2015) the students occupy the central role for learning to occur as learning cannot be forceful and as such the learners must be ready to learn before they can learn However, due to the important position occupy by students in the teaching learning process, their variables becomes necessary to be investigated upon. Clark and Rumble(2014) in addition to personal and mental developments, students’ variables analysis is critical for ensuring ones access to social, economic and civic life.

In the contemporary Nigerian society, greater emphasis is being placed on industrial and technological development. As a result, students are being encouraged to take up vocational related subjects. One of such subjects that cut across all the areas is business education.In our march towards scientific and technological advancement, we need nothing short of schooling (Inyang, 2015).

Moreover, individual variables such as gender, age, peer group, study habit, intelligence, and personality play an important role in learning. Other research findings have shown that individual student’s variables such as motivational orientation,self-esteem and learning approaches are important factors influencing academic performance in science.In effort to improve students’ cognitive and effective out comes in school learning, educational psychologist have continued to search for variables that could be manipulated in favour of academic gains of all the personal and psychological variables that have attracted researchers in this area of educational achievement, motivational orientation seems to be giving more popularity and leading other variables.

Workman (2009) reported that variables of the students which involves the age and gender of the students determines the level of learning of the students especially in the secondary level of education. She found that male students response differently to the learning in vocational education compare to their female counterpart due to their physical body structure. Correspondingly, female children lack motivation to study vocational courses since they consider themselves as weak and need language related courses.

In a related study, Achetachi (2013) investigated students’ related factors and their academic performance in vocational education in Abia State College of Education and found out that the age of the student as well as the maturity level of the student make some of the students to fail in learn the materials presented to them.This implies that when children fail to grasp what is taught, the response may often be anger, rebellion, and even depression. A positive learning characteristic requires motivation and satisfaction in the learners before there could be effective learning of any concept in secondary schools.

The judgment of this variable depends on the age of the students.Correspondingly,the policy of school organization for grouping students in the same academic year is based on date of admission to school as well as result from other schools and not based on age difference. In general, students who are born within the same calendar year should be are grouped in the same course. This generates differences of up to one year of age in children with the same chronological age in addition to differences in biological age due to different maturation rhythms of students. The differences in the experiences and maturation of older students involve a relatively better performance in academic settings, which is known as the relative age effect (Jabor, Kungu, Buntat and Nordin, 2011).

Most published studies have found out that regardless of the differences between these studies, such as age of the participants, different backgrounds, students with special educational needs, and different sample sizes, the trend is that younger students within the school year will face more difficulties than relatively older students. This effect is more important the younger the student is, but it reverses when reaching higher education (Jabor, Kungu, Buntat and Nordin, 2011). Therefore, the present study investigated student’s variables and academic performance in Business Studies in Secondary Schools in the study area.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

Business studies are prerequisite subject for students who intends to study commercial courses in the tertiary level of education. It is one of the compulsory subjects that is taught in the junior secondary level of education to students in order to prepare them on the choice of occupation as well as the choice of career in future. Business Studies as a subject is an activity oriented. This suggests that mastery of Business Studies concepts cannot be fully achieved without the effective participation of the students in the learning of the concepts in that subject.

Students’ Characteristics and Academic Performance of Students in Business Studies in Junior Secondary Schools

Furthermore, the researcher observed that over the years, majority of students that sat for the Junior Secondary School Certificate (JSSC) examination have been recording mass failure not only in the area of overall performance, but also in the key subject like Mathematics, English and Business Studies. The percentage of students who passed their Junior Secondary School Certificate (JSSC) with credit in Business Studies, Mathematics and English Language was below 50%. The same poor performances were equally recorded by students in the subsequent year 2017. These ugly trends may have indicated the current worries among stakeholders on factors responsible for poor performance of students.

Hence, the researcher is worried whether student’s variables such as gender difference,age and learning styles could affect the academic performance of students in Business Studies owing to the important position students occupy in the teaching and learning of the subject. This triggers the researcher to investigate students’ variables such as gender difference, age and learning styles and academic performance in Business Studies in secondary school students.

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.