Student’s performances in English language and Integrated Science in both internal and external examinations have become a great concern to all stakeholders in education in the state and the nation. This is because the two subjects are core subjects and vital to the development and integration of the nation and her economy.
This is why this research was carried out to compare the performance of students in these two subjects in internal and external examinations in junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
In doing this, the study was focused on the availability of qualified manpower in the two subjects, the effectiveness of teaching methods used by teachers and the effectiveness of instructional materials used by teachers.
The findings of the study showed that: -
1. There are more qualified teachers in English than in integrated science.
2. Teachers do not use varieties of methods in teaching the two subjects.
3. Instructional materials for teaching the two subjects are not adequate.
English language and integrated science are among the core subjects in the junior secondary school level of our secondary education. According to the National Policy on Education (2004:19) other core subjects include French, Mathematics are major Nigerian language, social studies and citizenship education and introductory technology. From the National Policy on Education regarded English language as number one. This of course is because of the importance attached to English language which is a means of promoting social interaction and national co-operation, as well as preserving cultures.
Nwankwo, (1992) maintains that Nigeria is a heterogeneous society with diverse languages and cultural backgrounds. Hence, this diverse nature of the country has favoured the growth and development of English language. Today, the English language has become the key for Nigerian politics, commerce, education and indeed the major organ for official communication. Besides, the importance attached to English language, it is still regarded as a second language because of our mother tongue which is quite different from the English language. The Nigerian child most of the time, is exposed to his/her mother tongue. He is faced with the challenges of mastering mother tongue and the second language English language which differs from mother tongue in intoriation, word stress, syntax and other forms of speech. These differences creates a lot of problems for the child and of course winder good performance in the subject in schools.
According to Ikeagwuani (1997) and Ifediora (1997) English language in not only a social parameter but also a road master as it is the road to all other subjects. It is therefore possible that a good performance in English language may dead to good performance in other subjects like integrated science.
Integrated science on the other hand is a unified course in which the concepts of science are presented through a unified approval. Bajah (1985) defined it as those approaches in which the concepts and principles of science are presented so as to express fundamental unit of scientific though and to avoid premature or undue stress on the distinction between the various scientific fields. The federal government gives science teaching at both primary and secondary levels significant place in the school curriculum. Hence many science curriculum prograemes have been developed for use at both primary and secondary school levels. The Nigerian Integrated Science Project (NISP) was published around 1972. The outcome of this project became very popular with both classroom teachers and students because of the students’ experience as well as the presentation of materials to the students.
Baja (1992) confirms that UNESCO, UNICEF, and World Bank are working on a continuous basis to make science education achieve the objectives spelt out by the federal government for the Nigerian child. STAN has worked hard to translate national and educational objectives into curriculum designed to help each individual attain cognition, acquire process-skills and develop scientific attitudes which will enable them think critically, manage and use available resources to effectively adapt to their environment, assume responsibilities and fulfill economic socio-political roles.
Nene (1997) maintains that the teaching of science is crucial because of its contributions to vocation, discipline and culture. In the aspects of vocation, science helps the students in their everyday life or may be necessary in their future occupations. It also teaches children to think and this sharpens their minds and disciplines them. Culturally, science education is desirable because it forms an essential part of our heritage. Okebukolu (1997) states skills are developed in children which help the teachers to develop the children’s potentials. We should also realize that education is a life-long process designed to equip the individuals to develop their potentials and enhance their contribution to the solution of the problems of our changing world. This is done by equipping the children with the capability to continually probe into control and refashioning their environment to their own benefit and for the benefit of the larger society. Teaching of science for better performance can kindle in the children a sense of joy, excitement and personal satisfaction through the intellectual power discovery, since it is a doing subject. It enhances the child’s appreciations and understanding of his world and the limits of man’s control over nature.
Unfortunately, there is a high degree of low performance of students in these two subjects despite the importance attached to them in our schools. The lack of competence is seen in students’ performances in the junior secondary school certificate examinations. The failure is usually attributed to a member of factors including incompetence on the part of teachers, poor teaching methods, lack of teaching materials, influence of environment on the subjects. What effects do these factors have on the performances in these two subjects among secondary school students? It therefore becomes necessary to carryout a study that will compare the performances of students in these two subjects in internal and external examinations.
Statement of the Problem
The popular opinion in Nigeria today is that the standard of education has fallen short of what it should be. This fall in the standard of education, is seen by many as the inability of the students to perform well in public examinations without help. Reports by examination body in Nigeria have disclosed the recurrent and academic failure of students in both internal and external examinations especially in the English language (Udofor, 1998, NECO Report 2009). Much blames have been heaped on a number of factors. These include the death of competent teachers, poor teaching methods, lack of instructional materials and influence of the environment.
It is therefore necessary to find out the extent to which these factors contribute to the performance of students in English and Integrated Science in secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government in both internal and external examinations.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to compare the performance of secondary school students in English language and Integrated Science in both internal and external examinations in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
In specific terms, the study will find out the following: -
i. The availability of qualified man power in the subject areas in the local government of study.
ii. The effectiveness of teaching methods employed by the teachers of the two subjects.
iii. The effectiveness of instructional materials employed by the teachers of the subjects.
iv. Factors that encourage good/poor performance of students in both internal and external examinations in the local government area.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of benefit to the students, teachers, parents, educational administrations and the society.
It will help students to discover their weaknesses in the two subjects thereby making them achieve better results in the two subjects. The study will help the teachers to understand the appropriate methods of teaching to be employed in carrying out their duties.
It will help parents to understand how they can help their children learn not only the two subjects but other subjects found in the school curriculum.
Educational administrations will benefit from the adequacy or otherwise of trained and unqualified English and Integrated Science teachers in the various schools in the area and even beyond.
It will as well as provide frame-work for other similar research topic.
Scope of the Study
The study was carried out in government owned secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
English Language and Integrated Science teachers and students were used for the study. The variables covered by the study included; the availability of qualified manpower in the subject areas, the effectiveness of the teaching methods employed by teachers in the two subjects, the effectiveness of the use of instructional materials by the teachers of these subjects and factors that encourage good/poor performance of students in the subject.
The following research questions have been formulated to guide this study:
1. To what extent does teachers qualification affect students’ performance in English Language and Integrated Science in both internal and external examinations?
2. To what extent are the methods employed by the teachers in teaching the subjects promote teaching and lerning of the two subjects by the students?
3. How adequate are instructional materials or teaching and learning of the subjects?
4. What are the factors that encourage good performance students in English and Integrated Science in internal and external examinations?