1.1 Background of Study
Economics as a social science subject involves the study of various human activities in relation to economic environment. Hence it touches some other subjects like social studies, agriculture, geography, commerce, mathematics, just to mention a few.
Given the above circumstances, school environment at any level of education is always challenging and demanding too. It involves the use of several techniques in teaching and learning process. These techniques ranges from the method of teaching with the use of relevant instructional materials to library facilities and to some extend teacher/student ratio among others.
Paul and Robin (1982) said that the most unfortunate thing about economics in our country is that it is viewed as the simplest subject taught and learned by both the teachers and the learners respectively.
In this intellectual voyage of studying school characteristics which include teacher’s qualification, library facilities instructional materials, teaching methods, infrastructure to even recreational facilities among others. Students’ performance in economics on the other hand reflects the outcome in terms of either good or bad result from this study. viewing the from the grass root, the sum total of what is taught and learned in economics is obtained from the curriculum that are always implemented by teachers in the schools, Tarer and Taner (1976) maintain that the curriculum is derived from the societal condition. Hence, the curriculum of Economics must not be static if it must enhance students’ good performance. This calls for regular review from time to time to meet with the demands of the society.
Other problems common in the school setting include: non-participation of teachers in curriculum development (Eddie 2003); method of teaching in which Benzing and Chart (1994) said that the prevailing teaching method in economics is lecture method with chalkboard and textbook support. Without ignoring the problem of non students’ participation due to lack of motivation from the teacher and to a greater extent the educational qualification of the teachers. For it is a common saying that no education can be above the level of the teachers, National Policy in Education NPE (2004).
It is also no new saying that most of our secondary schools lack the basic amenities required for proper teaching and learning of economics such study facilities include library among others.
This underscores the need for this research on the school characteristics and students academic performance in economics.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The need for a system of economics education in Akwa Ibom State is generally recognized. However, there exist a complex problem which has to do with the school characteristics that should be responsible for improve academic performance in the students brought about by the teaching resources and good environmental condition. These are namely, the teachers to be used, the school facilities in place, the curriculum that would be relevant and to have the crop of motivated students that would not be passive or dormant but active in the teaching and learning process among others. Aside, there is no developed economy the world over, which does not sought for good school features as its foundation for good nation building. Unfortunately, there are many problems that affect the students’ academic performance in economics among other subjects in secondary schools that hinder this development.