FACTORS AFFECTING THE STUDY OF LITERATURE IN ENGLISH IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ANAMBRA EAST
Background of the Study
Enhancing the quality of education is a major objective for many nations in the globe such as Nigeria. In Nigeria for example where education has been a significant topic on the public agenda, it had been the focus of special concern from 1994 on, when a new Educational Reform started (Contreras and Talavera, 2019). (Contreras and Talavera, 2019). In Nigeria, according to the Kombo and Tromp (2021), education and training are an investment for national growth. It has been utilized to equip and prepare the young with information, skills and competence essential to allow them to play an effective part in society and to fulfill the demands of national development. Education also develops the individual abilities, personality, attitudes towards work and prepares people for future formal education, training and job. The study also notes that there would be need to place increased focus on quality and relevant education and training. It will also be required to strengthen research as well as to develop science and technology, creative and performing arts and languages. The Kombo and Tromp(2021) postulates that delivering excellent education to rising numbers of pupils, as planned and utilizing the existing resources, is both a problem and an opportunity. It is a difficulty because of the insufficiency of the available Government resources in delivering excellent education. It is an opportunity because of the prospect of seeing education as both a service and an industry, which is promoted in order to extend the resource mobilization base. Teaching and learning Literature-in- English is one of the ways one may achieve competence in the use of English language since literary works particularly those produced in English make effective use of language in numerous ways to get their idea through. Williams (2019) says that the student of English as a second language (L2) if exposed to Literature would absorb and deliberately adopt the rhythm of natural speech, economy and richness of diction, rhetorical and organizational method from drama, poetry and prose. In Nigerian secondary schools, available information reveals that students’ usage of the English language lacks much to be desired (Abe, 2018: Onukaogu, 2022: Fatimayin, 2017). (Abe, 2018: Onukaogu, 2022: Fatimayin, 2017). Pupils are unable to carry on natural conversations in English and are unable to create essays of a high quality. The majority of schools do not have enough English language teachers, which leads to haphazard teaching and learning. In addition, classroom observations and Ogunnaike's findings from 2002 show that Literature is not taught properly by teachers in most cases, and that most schools do not have enough teachers to teach English.
The secondary schooling stage of a child's education comes after the primary schooling stage and comes before the tertiary education level. According to the National Policy on Education (NPE, 2018), one of the purposes of secondary education is to cultivate "a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labor, and..." This is one of the stated goals of secondary education. The ability to do so is one of the things that may be fostered in pupils via the study of Literature in English. Literature written in English is similar to a kaleidoscope in that it offers a wide variety of diverse concepts and lessons that may be applied to various situations. Poetry, drama, fiction, and even non-fiction may all be considered forms of literature, although the term "literature" is most often used to refer to written works of creative imagination. It refers to the collected works that have been written in a certain language or time period. Writing is a reflection of life in its purest form. The subject matter or components of literature are our lives and the ways in which all other topics are connected to our experiences. So, we might have a connection to our own lives via the medium of literature (wiki.answers.com). The 2019 edition of the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines it as "pieces of writing recognized as works of art," with a particular emphasis on novels, dramas, and poetry.
The study of literature provides students with a wide variety of advantages. They include the ability to better one's financial situation, attaining pleasure, becoming more acclimated to a new culture, and spreading knowledge. Literature provides students with the opportunity to get familiar with the subtleties of the English language by exposing them to various usages of the language. As a learner reads, they pick up and automatically employ the language without even realizing it (Nwodo, 2021). Further supporting his position, Nwodo argues that the study of Literature-in-English should be made available to Nigerian students since it provides them with the opportunity to get familiar with various forms of use. She states once again that even students who are interested in science should study Literature in English in order to improve their communication skills since science is communicated via language. Nwodo came to a conclusion by noting that the lack of an emphasis on the study of Literature in English is a gaping hole in the structure of the education system in Nigeria. In a similar vein, Williams (2019) notes that the study of Literature has the practical advantage of allowing the learner to learn about the L2 as well as utilize it. This is something that can only be accomplished by exposure to the language. Therefore, the study examines factors affecting the study of literature in English in senior secondary schools in Anambra East.
Statement of the Problem
Over the course of many years, parents and other educational stakeholders have voiced their worry about the lack of success students have had in the subject of literature. This pattern emerges again and again throughout both the internal and external exams that are carried out on an annual basis by the National Examination Council (NECO) and the West African Examination Council (WAEC). As a direct consequence of this setback, the researcher has come to the realization that it is necessary to investigate the issues that prevent secondary schools from providing an adequate education in literature (Williams, 2019).
Since parents and society as a whole want their children to gain information, the ability to successfully apply skills, and social norms and values, they send them to school. This has increased the importance of literature. The study of English literature is the sole and most effective approach to obtain this understanding of the rules and values of society. There is no other way. It is true that this topic is not addressed in the appropriate manner. This is due to a number of issues, the most significant of which are the factors of students, parents, teachers, and those responsible for developing the curriculum. In light of this, the purpose of the study is to determine the factors that contribute to the difficulties that exist in the classroom when it comes to the teaching and learning of literature in secondary schools. Hence, the study examines Factors affecting the study of literature in English in senior secondary schools in Anambra east.
Objective of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the factors affecting the study of literature in English in senior secondary schools in Anambra east. The specific objectives is as follows:
To find out the school factors affecting the study of literature in English among senior secondary students in Anambra East.
To find out the teachers factors affecting the study of literature in English among senior secondary students in Anambra East.
To find out the students factors affecting the study of literature in English among senior secondary students in Anambra East.
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
What are the school factors affecting the study of literature in English among senior secondary students in Anambra East?
What are the teachers factors affecting the study of literature in English among senior secondary students in Anambra East?
What are the students factors affecting the study of literature in English among senior secondary students in Anambra East?
Significance of the Study
The significance of this study cannot be overemphasized especially now that society is faced with a lot of challenges and poor attention is paid towards education, especially literature as a subject. The beneficiaries of this research include teachers, parents, students and curriculum planners. To the teachers, it will become crystal clear that the problems of teaching literature can be neutralized if the problems are identified and solved. The parents will get to understand the importance of literature which includes: reading proficiency, writing, speaking and inculcation of morals into their children. In the strength of this knowledge, they will encourage their children to take literature serious and even study it as a course in the university. To the curriculum planners, learning has its challenges, therefore they will get to know the problems faced by teachers and students in the course of teaching and learning literature: they will look for ways to surmount it accordingly. To the students, they will benefit from this study as all the problems encountered in the study of literature will be neutralized by the parents, teachers and curriculum planners thereby creating a conducive learning environment for the study of literature.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study borders on the factors affecting the study of literature in English in senior secondary schools in Anambra East. The study will be carried out in some selected secondary schools in Anambra East local government.
Limitation of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend 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), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
Definition of Terms
Literature- in-english: This is a body of written works (such as poems, plays, and novels)