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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

School Type and Academic Performance of Students in English Language Secondary Schools

School Type and Academic Performance of Students in English Language Secondary Schools

1.1      Background to the Study
English language is recognized as a core subject and the subject remains compulsory for every student at the Primary and secondary level of Education (national policy on Education, 2004). Hence, English language is accepted as a lingua franca in Nigeria and many other African countries, hence it is used as a medium of communication in our social, economic, political and cultural organizations. In schools irrespective of the types, English language is used as a medium of teaching and learning processes. English is also used in carry out political activities it is widely used in our heterogeneous society where about three hundred different languages are spoken in different parts of the country. English languages are used generally for our national businesses and international affairs. Therefore the importance of English languages in our educational hemisphere cannot be over emphasized.
Unfortunately, in-spite of the huge benefit of using English languages for our everyday activities, this subject remains widely or highly dreaded by many students in Nigeria, and the failure rate at the senior secondary school certificate examination level and other external examinations is often high, hence many candidates who aspire for higher education in the university, polytechnic and colleges of education cannot meet up their expectation for further study.
Many researchers all over the world are of the view that knowledge and skills in communication with English languages has a significant influence on the performance of students in other subjects.
However the acquisition of excellent skills of communication with English languages tends to suffer some interference from the mother tongue of the learner. English therefore is a second language and has to be learnt as such before it can be effectively used for communication and other transactions.
Therefore, the need for a standard learning of English Language and a quality education for Nigerian children has been a major concern, mostly to the parents. They believe that the issue of students’ academic performance is very crucial in every educational system. However, the quality of schools, among other inputs determines the output, which is students’ academic performance.
Sabitu (2012) stated that the brilliant performance of a student in the final examination determines the quality of output of the school he/she attended. This is why it is mandatory for secondary schools in Nigeria to function in compliance with the achievement of the national education objectives. Nevertheless, the rate of poor academic performance of student in Nigeria has become a great concern to all stakeholders in education.
Stakeholders in education are curious to better understand the effect of school type on learning because policy, as they know, can influence the quality of any school. A particular type of school is known by such attributes as name, curriculum, learners’ category, and school ownership. Several scholars have reported these factors to be influential to students’ academic performance.
According to Okon and Archibong (2015), household members select school type for their children/wards based on wealth and academic performance. In addition, researchers have found variations in students’ performance based on school type (Ajayi, 2010; Philias & Wanjobi, 2011).

However, these studies also suggested that the subsequent lower attainment of the much larger number of pupils in the associated secondary modern schools at least outweighs any such gains in grammar schools.
Several studies also revealed gender-based (single sex and mixed) educational settings among the major determinants of a child’s academic performance (Link, 2012; Eisenkopf, Hessami, Fischbacher, and Ursprung, 2011). 
To this end, a number of explanations have been proffered for differences between single-sex and coeducational settings in educational processes, and ultimately, in students’ outcomes. One of the most commonly discussed differences between the two types of settings relates to the dominant presence of boys in the coeducational classroom. According to Smyth (2010), boys prevail over the girls in all aspect – good or bad. Smith suggested that the presence of boys in the classroom tends to have a negative effect on girls’ academic engagement and achievement.
Against this differences that this study sought to find out the difference in academic performances in English Language among students who attended a particular school type.
1.2   Statement of the Problem
There has been a consistent academic performance gap among various school types in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria in general. A study done by Munanu (2010) revealed that variation in school type may influence positive outcomes such as high levels of self-esteem, good academic achievement and realistic career aspirations. Studies have tried to relate academic performance gaps in schools to factors like single-sex school, mixed-sex school, career specific schools, and general curriculum education. Research on how one school structure is better off than the other in terms of students’ academic performance remains inconclusive. This is the essence of this study.
1.3   Purpose of the Study
This study is aimed at finding the difference between school type and academic performance of students in English Language in secondary schools. The study is specifically directed to finding the following:
1.   The significant difference in academic performances in English Language between students who attend Public Schools and those of Private Schools,
2.   The significant difference in performances in English Language between students who attend Secondary Grammar Schools and those of Comprehensive Secondary Schools.

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