FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS POOR ACADEMIC PERFORMANCES IN CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES (A CASE STUDY OF EGOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA IN EDO STATE)
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This study was to set to investigate the factors responsible for poor performance of primary school pupils in Christian religious studies in Edo State with the aim of making necessary recommendations for improving the performance of C.R.S in the state. The population of the study comprises of four secondary schools in Egor LGA of Edo State. A sample size of one hundred and seventy one (171) respondents out of a total population of three hundred (300) respondents were used to provide the information using questionnaires. Both the teaching and non teaching staffs were selected using random sampling technique. The study revealed that there is a significant relationship between teaching methods and Christian religious studies among primary school pupils. Also, that there are possible measures of reducing poor performance in CRS examinations among primary pupils in Edo State. The study concludes that there possible solutions to factors that causes mass failure in Christian religious studies examinations in Egor Local Government Area. Some recommendations were made based on the above findings of the study.
1.1 Background of the Study
The Christian Religious Education has emerged as a subject of prime importance in Nigerian schools. Its value in the school curriculum is unique among other subjects. The teaching of Christian Religious Knowledge in Primary schools in Nigeria can be dated back to the first half of the nineteenth-century when the Christian missionaries established the first school in Badagry in 1842. This form of education spread to the North in the early 19th century and CRK was taught in the schools. At the early period, proprietors of schools were the Christian missionaries (Methodist, Church Missionary Society (CMS), and Roman Catholic who considered CRK as an important subject to be taught in schools. Since then, Christian Religious education has occupied a prominent position in Nigerian school curriculum till date (Onovughe 2008).
Christian Religious Studies refers to the systematic study of Christian faith as contained in the Old Testament and New Testament of the Holy Bible (Baiyeri, 2010). It is a field of study that is taught at primary, post-primary and tertiary institutions of learning in Nigeria. The Federal Government of Nigeria stipulates that “instruction at all levels has to be oriented towards inculcating moral and spiritual principle in interpersonal and human relations” (FRN, 2004). Christian religious studies is one of the subjects in the primary school’s curriculum and it is also offered in the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE). It is one of the Social Subject subjects. Christian religious studies is a subject because it is an approach to problems in other subjects.
In recognition of the value attached to the subject the subject was not only offered in the primary school alone but also in all levels of institution in Nigeria. Religious training and moral instruction was considered as fundamental to the development of sound education. The essence of teaching Christian religious education includes academic, moral; civil and spiritual objectives. In Christian religious education it is obvious that pupils are taught the way of life. Thus the teaching of the subject instils discipline and obedience in the products. The study of CRK will enable pupils to learn the tenets of the faith and to live a life that is that is pleasing to God. CRK therefore is aimed at producing (training) persons who will be fit or equipped for religious and social responsibility. Thus the focus of CRK curriculum among other things is for pupil’s moral training and academic pursuance. From the above observations, it is understood that Christian Religious Education is not only a subject to learn, but also a way of life, but what is not clear, is whether the teaching of this subject has made any meaningful impact on the students who learn it and on the Nigerian society as a whole. Moreover it can be seen that there is little relationship between what is learned in C.R.K classes and the C.R.K. graduates’ lives at home, as now one hears of so much evil, indiscipline and moral decadence in Nigerian society.
The issue of poor academic performance of secondary school students in CRS examination has been attributed to some factors such as the school environment, peer influence, the family dynamics, etc (Ekeh and Njoku, 2013). But, of all these factors, the researcher feels that roleplay method of teaching play key role in relation to students’ academic achievement in CRS. Student’s mass failure in C.R.S is also affected by numerous factor including gender, age, teaching faculty, students schooling, father/guardian social economic status, residential area of students, medium of instructions in schools, tuition trend, daily study hour and accommodation as hostelries or day scholar. Many researchers conducted detailed studies about the factors contributing student poor performance at different study levels. Graetz (1995) suggested “A student educational success contingent heavily on social status of student’s parents/ guardians in the society. Considine and Zappala (2002) noticed the same that parent’s income or social status positively affects the student test score in C. R.S examinations.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
It has been observed that in most schools, students fail in their SSCE in Christian religious studies. The past performance of primary school students in Christian religious studies in Nigeria is too deteriorating and not impressive. The record shows that while a few school show good performance in the subject others have not performed so-well. While a few schools recorded as high as an average of 80% over a period of many years. The majorities fall below 40% over many years. The majority of the schools performance in Christian religious studies is very poor. According to the outcome of common entrance reports in 2016 and 2017, there is low performance of students in CRS in Nigeria, a greater number failed while only few students passed. The number that failed was greater than the number that passed. The continuous poor achievement of primary school students in CRS over the decades could be attributed to poor methods of teaching. The question is what are the causes of mass failure in Christian religious studies in primary Schools? It is likely that among the reasons, the following are noticeable, Lack of textbooks for students, Lack of instructional materials, Inadequate qualified teachers to teach the students, the libraries are not well equipped, students attitude towards the subject. A lot of reasons have been adduced to this, which led to the study on the causes of mass failure in Christian religious studies in primary school examination in Edo State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The primary aim of this study is to examine the factors responsible for primary school pupil’s poor academic performance in Christian religious studies. The specific objectives of the study includes:
- To find out the factors responsible for mass failure of students in C.R.S examinations in primary schools in Edo State.
- To ascertain the effect of teaching methods on students’ academic performance in CRS examination.
- To find out the ways of improving the performance of students in CRS among primary school pupils in Edo State.
- To proffer possible solutions to factors that causes mass failure in Christian religious studies in primary schools in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are research questions would be of help in the cause of our research:
- Is there any significant relationship between teaching methods and Christian religious studies among primary school pupils in Edo State?
- Is there possible measures of reducing mass failure in CRS among primary school pupils in Edo State?
- Is there any significant effects of learning environments on CRS pupils in primary schools?
- Are there possible solutions to factors that causes mass failure in Christian religious studies in common entrance examination in Edo State?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study would be beneficial to teachers, students, religious instructors, curriculum planners, educational administrators, and researchers. The findings of the study would help teachers to have an insight into the meaning, application and problems of teaching methods and thus change their method when the need arises for proper students’ achievement and interest in CRS in primary schools in Edo State. To students, the study would help to improve their understanding of CRS and thus adjust properly in the society through active participation in the classroom leaning which stimulate their interest and change the negative perceptions they already have in learning CRS in primary school levels. The findings of the study would expose the educational administrators to the importance of conducive environment in teaching and learning and thereby put these environmental conditions such as classroom building, learning materials, quality library etc, in order for proper implementation of Christian Religious Studies curriculum. They would equally be meant to understand the interactional effects of gender and teaching method and thus help teachers to initiate change where appropriate. The findings of the study as well as the concepts, theories and methods would be reference materials for researchers especially those that specialize in Christian Religious Studies.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study is restricted to the causes of mass failure in Christian religious studies in senior secondary school examination in Bauchi State. Specifically Edo State. The teachers and students in the research study are representative sample for the study in the study area.
Limitation of the study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also a major hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to lay hands on several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
1.8. Definition of terms
Factors: A fact or situation that influences the result of something.
Christian Religious Studies: Christian Religious education is the study of God’s revelation to human beings through scriptures, the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (The study of the Trinity).
The concept primary education is commonly observed to be an education given to children within their late childhood. This view may justify why the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004b) in her National Policy on Education defined primary education as the education given in an institution for children aged 6 to 11 plus.
Academic performance: academic achievement is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as secondary school diplomas and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement.
Massive Failure: Something that is massive is very large in size, quantity, or extent.
Christian Religious Studies Laboratory: This is a special room equipped with materials and equipments like ledger cards, long span chalk board rules in ledger form, sample source documents used for financial transactions, sample currency notes in various denominations for buying and selling, adding and listing machines, electronic calculators, duplicating machines, over head projector, tape recorder with play back, flip chart board, magnetic board, TV and Video. These are used for practical lessons in Christian Religious Studies.
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