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Reading Culture Essay

4815 words - 20 pages

By Dr. Olaniyi Bojuwoye
A ten-item questionnaire containing various descriptions of school-related characteristic which have been found to adversely affect pupils academic performance was administered on 809 teachers and 1012 students of secondary schools from ten randomly selected states in Nigeria. The respondents ranked the characteristics in terms of their degree of effect on pupil academic performance. The result showed that lack of resource materials for teaching, instructional strategies, teacher shortages and teachers’ attitude to work were rated more highly than other ...view middle of the document...

To achieve these goals Universal Primary Education (UPE) was introduced nationwide in 1976, although hitherto this has been practiced in some parts of the country. Toward the end of the second decade of achieving nationhood status, therefore, Nigeria witnessed a phenomenal expansion at all levels of her education.
* Gratitude is due to the University of Ilorin Senate Research Grant Committee for making available the funds for this research project.

Despite the laudable motives which seemed to justify the very "high cost of the expanded education programme of the late 1970s, (the expansion which is still proving very difficult to cope with) the schools in Nigeria are not really effective engines for the diverse functions for which they are set up. The performance of the schools as attested to by the academic performances of the students especially at the secondary school level have been rather very disappointing. The situation actually tends towards threatening the future of the nation. The reports of the many

studies and surveys (for example, the 1980-1984 Statistics of Education by the Federal Ministry of Education, Lagos ; the report published in the Times Publication (Nigeria) of September 15, 1985 and the one in the Nigerian Guardian of February 2, 1990) and the many editorials in many Nigerian dairy newspapers all point to the academic performances of Nigerian secondary school students which have been on the decline for some times now. This declining trend has been causing a lot of concern and fears in various governmental quarters since the reports conclude that the nation is heading for the breeding of generations of illiterate Nigerians. The failure of Nigerian schools is thus indicating that the health and the well-being of the nation's society may be in jeopardy. The literature on poor academic performance by school pupils reveals as causes factors related to personal characteristics of pupils (Thompson & Standford, 1975; Reinhart, 1976 and Belkin, 1981) and factors related to the pupils' environment - the school and the home (Liitle & Thompson, 1983). In support of the pupil environment as a factor in academic achievement Maclean (1966) and Little and Thompson, (1983) note that the difficulties resulting in failure by the pupils may not necessarily lie with the child but with the educational system and in particular the school. Lockheed and Komenan (1989) report that if we control for the student background, school characteristics have significant effects on academic achievement and that in many cases the effects of the school characteristics are greater than the effects of family background. According to Wehlace and Rutter (1984) although a number of study findings reveal that academic failures are caused by factors related to the social, family and personal characteristics of the pupils, however, these results have been negligible in the obvious implications they carry for shaping school policy and practice. They were therefore...

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