THE EFFECTS OF EXERCISE ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF PUPILS IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN UGHELLI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF DELTA STATE
This research was aimed at finding the effects of exercise on the academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State. In this regard, five research questions were raised. The research instrument used in the study was the questionnaire while simple percentage was used in analyzing the data generated through the use of the questionnaire. From the analysis of the data collected, a number of findings were made, namely; (1) exercise could improve mental alertness in primary schools, (2) regular exercise could improve physical fitness, (3) regular exercise could increase academic achievement in primary schools (4) government did not provide adequate sport kits in primary schools and (5) primary schools in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State did not have adequate number of physical and health education teachers. On the basis of the findings, recommendations were made.
1.1 Background to the Study
Children who belong to the same age group, who play together and share the same status or interests are regarded as members of the same peer group. Members of a peer group, through socialization, develop a sense of identity, solidarity and stability. As it were, the group provides the standard of behavior, whether in the form of rules and regulations, do’s, don’ts, upheld by every member of the group. By so doing, the group develops its own culture within the larger culture. For instance, they develop their own social behavior, fashion and dressing pattern. Such ways of life, they display at school and in the classroom. The individual student is motivated not by his own basic desires and drives but by the needs and drives of his or her peer group. To attain one’s goal in life is not an easy task. It involves a lot of decision making, advice seeking and counseling. In like manner, the choice of subjects for the secondary school certificate examination (S.S.C.E) by students is based on the relevance of the subjects to his or her future career, and in most cases based on the wish of peer group and his or her parents. One of the main goals of education is that of helping the individual not only to fit properly into the society, but also helping to develop the mind of the individual to understand his or her environment. Besides these general aims of education, secondary education is meant to prepare the Nigerian child for life in the midst of rapid technological advancement. In this present age of Western education, which has brought with it knowledge explosion, the society has become complex, to the extent that senior secondary school students have become exposed to the problem of choosing from a member of subjects to quality for the course of their choice in the university, college of education, polytechnic or any higher institution of learning. The choice of subjects is very important, because whatever choice that is made can affect the rest of the life of the students, either positively or negatively. According to Durojaiye and Olayinka (1973), most of the time students make unrealistic choices, as such choices are based on encouragement, peer group influence, prestige, occupational value and sex. In the light of the above, it is therefore important for the students to be properly guided in their choice of career. This will help the students to choose courses they will excel in. Presently, Nigeria as a country is unable to provide employment for all her graduates. This is a very big problem because ability to gain employment is the ultimate goal of formal education. This problem may have been due to lack of proper students’ guidance occasioned by lack of guidance and counseling services in the secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
As stated earlier, secondary school students tend to face a lot of hurdles while choosing their life career. The major problem they encounter is that of choosing the subjects that will qualify them for their life career. Some of them depend on either their parents or peer group to choose for them, while others just base the choice on their personal decisions. The reason why they find themselves in such a problem of choice making is consequent upon the absence of guidance and counseling units in most secondary schools in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State. Where they are present, their activities are not felt, as experts are not employed to handle the unit. The result of this situation has not been favourable to both the students and their parents, since the majority of them as a result of wrong subjects find it difficult to gain admission to an institution of higher learning to start their career while others who manage to enter into the institution of higher learning graduate to sit down at home without being gainfully employed.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to investigate the influence of peer group on career choice of secondary school students in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State. In view of this, the study will: 1. Find out the extent to which peer group can influence students’ choice of life career. 2. Find out the extent to which students have utilized the guidance and counseling services in their schools 3. Find out if there are other factors besides peer group that influence the choice of career of students.
1.4 Research Questions 1. Does peer group influence affect the occupational choice of students? 2. Do the subjects studied in school influence the occupational choice of students? 3. Do the educational attainment and occupation of parents influence the career choice of students? 4. Are the secondary schools in Ughelli South Local Government equipped with functional guidance and counseling units? 5. Does sex of students influence their career aspirations?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study is important in the following areas: 1. It will help educational planners to take cognizance of the manpower requirements necessary to meet the socio-economic aspirations of all sectors of the economy and therefore, evolve implementable policies and proposals. 2. It will provide teachers and parents alike with an insight on how to help students make a wise career choice 3. It will reveal to students factors that can influence their career choice negatively or positively. In addition, the study will aid them in their career choice.
1.6 Delimitation of the Study/Scope of the Study
`The study is limited to Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta state of Nigeria. The scope covers the influence of peer group on career choice of secondary schools students
1.7 Limitations of the Study
The following were some difficulties which the researcher encountered: 1. The study was limited to few samples as some respondents were not willing to fill the questionnaire given to them 2. Another difficulty the researcher encountered was the issue of inadequate funds 3. Insufficient time was also a difficulty 4. High cost of printing materials was also a problem to the researcher
1.8 Definition of Terms 1. Peer Group: It refers to a group of people who are of approximately the same age, who share certain things in common such as status, interests, dressing pattern, and goals. 2. Peer Pressure: It refers to a strong feeling that you must do the same things as other people of your age if you want them to like you. 3. Career: It refers to the profession that people engage in for a long period of their lives. 4. Career Counselling: It refers to the concept of counseling on career opportunities 5. Education: It means to bring about desirable changes in the behavior of individuals according to demands and requirements of the society concerned. 6. Secondary school: It refers to a school that is beyond the elementary stage. Students attend this school before proceeding to an institution of higher learning. 7. Government: It refers to a body of persons that makes laws and enforces these laws in a given state or society.