Comparative Analysis Of The Academic Performance Of Students In Chemistry And Mathematics


1.1    Background To The Study

Before the advent of science and technology in Nigeria, there had been series of controversies over how to better the academic performance of students in Chemistry and Mathematics, Adebayel, (2013). Both subjects being what they are; being needed in Science and in Engineering have raised these vexed questions. Can positive academic performance of a student in Chemistry bring about a positive academic performance in Mathematics of the same student? Chemistry is important in all aspect of life and is one of the key subjects used for selective advancement for some educational system and institutions.

While most people in our society today recognize and appreciate the essential role of Chemistry in our daily lives the teaching and learning of Chemistry is still not at its best. It remains one of the poorly performed subjects in national Examination “KNEC, (2014).

Despite the importance of chemistry to our society the academic performance of students in Chemistry are influenced by several variables amongst which sex is inclusive. Sex influences the choice of career in engineering and in science. “Umoh, (2015) explained that Home Economics, Secretary-ship and other feminine related career have been traditionally regarded as aspect of the School Curriculum reserved for female”. At Schools, Males are likely to take to difficult subject areas and challenging problems – solving situations while the female on the other hand give preference to simple subject and often shy away from difficult subjects like Chemistry.

Unlike Chemistry, Mathematics is not only a compulsory subject for admission into institutions of higher learning in Nigeria but also an important subject that acts as an axis upon which our daily lives rotate.

Mathematics develop in learners and in students the ability to use numbers and find solutions to practical and real live problems involving calculations and reckoning in any vocation to which the learners or the students may be called after school    life.

By and large, Mathematics is needed in scientifically and technologically based career areas. Mathematics are  problem solving and is believed by many students to be a very difficult subject. “Umoh, (2015) stressed that more difficult tasks are usually reserved for the male while less difficult ones are considered feminine in a natural setting “. An example is the breaking of fire-wood which is often seen as masculine and manly tasks at our homes while washing of plates is usually seen as feminine and female task. ” Eke, (2013) discovered that  male secondary Schools performed better than the female Secondary School in Chemistry and Mathematics. “This difference was attributed to sex differences”. (Eke, 2013).

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2014) showed that the male had higher average scores than the female in Chemistry and in Mathematics.

“Adeboyel, (2015) submitted that the understanding of Mathematics concepts improves Students problem-solving abilities and develops in learners a higher attitude towards Chemistry and vise versa”. This could imply that Chemistry and Mathematics are both difficult subjects and could also imply an explanation to why the male who take to difficult subjects areas strive better and outperform their female counterparts in Chemistry and in Mathematics.

Whether or not to stand the grounds, that Chemistry and Mathematics are both difficult subjects; that Chemistry and Mathematics are highly closely related; that the male outdo their female counterpart in Chemistry and Mathematics in Secondary Schools explain why the researcher is interested in  the research study to determine the significant difference in the  comparative analysis of the academic performance of students in Chemistry and Mathematics in Secondary Schools in Onna Local Government Area.

1.2    Statement of the problem

The United States of America and other developed countries of the world have been known for maintaining the pyramid of Science and technology. Among the developing countries of the world where Nigeria belongs, the global rating in Science and technology is almost negligible as compared to that of the United States of America.

The West African Examination Council’s Chief Examiner’s report of May/June (2015) opines that the poor academic performance of students in Chemistry was as a result of Students lack of basic mathematical concepts necessary for proper understanding of Chemistry. Contemporary Examinations results of Unified and Matriculation Examination (UME), West African Examination Council (WAEC), have been very poor in Chemistry and Mathematics as compared to that of arts subjects and commercial subjects. The increasing rates of failure in Chemistry and  Mathematics could be attributed  to a the number of factors among which are;

  • Lack of qualified, trained teachers to handle these subjects,
  • Lack of teaching aids,
  • Lack of well built and equipped laboratory that can take care of experimental work and classes,
  • Lack of interest for the subject on the part of the students as well as sex differences These and many more factors have prompted the researcher to undergo this research study to determine how sex difference  affected the academic performance of students in Chemistry and Mathematics in Secondary Schools in Onna Local Government Area for the benefit of the students and humanity.


Originally posted on February 19, 2021 @ 1:37 pm

About Peter Lawson 2732 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.

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