1.1 Background of the Study
The rapid increase in all facet of Nigerian economy, social, political and educational system is so alarming. There should also be a corresponding increase in the turnout of manpower. The Nigerian educational system should be alert in the training of qualified manpower to meet with the increase.
However, the efforts of our educational system have been confronted by a number of factors which are yet to be identified. The setback in our educational system has an adverse effect on Nigerian national growth and development, since the growth and development of any nation is dependent upon the level of their educational system.
The poor performance of secondary school students especially in agricultural Science could be attributed to a variety of factors. An important element is the influence of school location on the performance of students in agricultural science is in-terms of whether the school is located in the urban or rural area. Generally speaking, the urban area in Nigeria is characterized by availability of social and infrastructural amenities which facilitates the provision and sustenance of life and reliable educational facilities and the suitable environment for education to thrive. The trend of poor academic performance in public examination such as WAEC and NECO is more significant in rural area when compared to that of the urban areas. So, many factors have contributed to these differences. A number of these factors have rendered the potentials of the rural areas undeveloped and untapped. Many factors have contributed to students’ poor performance in the rural area to include,
- Lack of trained teachers
- Inadequate guidance and counseling services
- Poor funding of rural schools
- Lack of libraries and laboratories etc
The situation in our rural area is so frustrating in terms of poorly equipped libraries, for effective teaching and learning, classrooms and offices including laboratories are in dilapidating condition and all these have adverse effect on students’ performance in the rural areas.
Another frustrating factor that impedes the performance of students in the rural area is the curriculum content that does take into consideration the diversified cultures of Nigeria.
Ezewu (1983) was on the opinion that when we talk about inadaptability of our educational system we are infact saying that our educational systems rather than transmit our culture and fit the African properly into its environment, transmit Western culture and alienate the Africans from its traditional environment. Environmental difference is the primary reason for students’ difference in academic performance in urban and rural secondary schools. Studies have shown that students in affluent families perform better than their counterparts in poor families when all other variables are the same. Ezewu (1980) found out that there were differences in acquisition of English Language vocabulary by urban and rural children. This may be due to the experiences they were exposed to, the urbanite is socially advantaged but the ruralite is subjected to a deprived environment which can impede learning.
The review of students’ poor performance in Agricultural Science in recent years both internal and external exams is a signal that all is not well in the implementation of Agricultural Science curriculum in schools. Students’ cognitive variables as an important factor have much been researched into. However, in the present study the researcher is addressing the influence of school location on students’ academic performance in Agricultural Science.
1.2 Significance of the Study
High academic achievement especially in Agricultural Science can be dependent tool on information obtained from the evaluation studies as this could ensure continuity of effort and/or modification, in teaching and learning of Agricultural Science.
This study is designed for the academic performance of urban and rural secondary school students in Agricultural Science in SS 2 examination in Ika Local Government Area. It could help to guide the students and even the teachers on the possible solution to poor performance in public examination especially in the rural area.
However, the results obtained from this study will serve as a reference point for further work on academic performance of urban and rural secondary schools in Agricultural Science in SS 2 examination in Ika Local Government Area.