CAUSES OF POOR PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN THE BASIC EDUCATION CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION IN SELECTED PUBLIC JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS IN MAMPONG MUNICIPALITY - Project Topics & Materials - Gross Archive

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CAUSES OF POOR PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN THE BASIC EDUCATION CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION IN SELECTED PUBLIC JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS IN MAMPONG MUNICIPALITY
ABSTRACT

The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors that cause poor performance of students in the Basic Education Certificate Examination in selected Public Junior High Schools in Mampong Municipality. The objectives of the study were to identify student related factors that contributes to poor performance of students in the BECE, ascertain home conditions responsible for the poor academic achievement of students in BECE and to find out school related issues that contributes to the poor academic performance of students in the BECE in Mampong Municipal. Descriptive survey design was used with closed ended questionnaires to collect data for the study. The targeted population of the study was all the headteachers, teachers and parents of selected Junior High Schools in the Mampong Municipality. A total of 200 headteachers, teachers, students and parents were sampled for the study. Among the main findings were that, there are a lot of factors that contribute to poor performance
of students which includes lack of textbooks to cover syllabus, poor revision

management, too many extra-curricular activities, poor economic background of parents, low academic background of parents and divorce of parents, teachers� absence from classes, students� abuse/humiliation, lack of proper supervision among others. Based on the findings, it is recommended that regular Parents Teacher Association (P.T.A) meeting should be organized to educate parents to honor their responsibilities by providing the learning needs of students that are not provided by the school.
TABLE OF CONTENTS   
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.0 Introduction       
1.1 Background to the Study        1
1.2 Statement of the Problem        5
1.1 Purpose of the Study        7
1.4 Objectives of the Study        7
1.5 Research Questions        7
1.6    Significance of the Study
1.7    Limitations of the Study
1.8    Delimitation of the Study   
1.9 Organization of the Study        10
1.10 Definition of Terms        10
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0    Introduction    11
2.1    Theoretical and Conceptual Framework    14
2.2.1    Human Resources    14
2.2    Input    19
2.2.2    Material Resources    20
2.2.3    Individual Student Differences    20
2.3    Academic Processes    21
2.3.1    Discipline    21
2.3.2    The Home and Parental Attitudes    21
2.3.3    Supervision    22
2.4    Output    22
2.4.1    Factors influencing student�s performance    22
2.5    Factors that contribute to student�s success in External Examination    29
2.6    Factors that contribute to student�s failure in External Examination    31
2.7    Characteristics of Good Teaching    35
2.7.1    Learning Styles    38
2.8    Educational Implications of Learning Styles    42
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
3.0    Introduction    44
3.1    Research Design    44
3.2    Population    45
3.3    Sampling and Sampling Procedure    46
3.4    Data Source    47
3.5    Data Collection Instrument    47
3.6.    Piloting    48
3.6.1    Validity    49
3.7    Administration of Questionnaire    49
3.8    Data Collection Procedures    49
3.9    Data Analysis    50
3.10    Challenges Faced During Data Collection of the Study    50
3.11    Ethical Consideration    51
CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
4.0    Introduction    52
4.1    Demographic Characteristics of Respondents    53
4.2    Analysis of the Research Questions    54
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.0    Introduction    65
5.1    Summary    65
5.1.1    Main Findings    66
5.2    Conclusions    66
5.3    Recommendations    67
5.4    Suggestions for Further Research    68
REFERENCES    69
APPENDICES    76
 

LIST OF TABLES

TABLE PAGE
4.1    Demographic Characteristics of Respondents    53

4.2    Students related Factors that Contribute to students� poor performance    55

4.3    Home Factors that Contribute to students� poor performance in the BECE    58

4.4    School related Factors that Contribute to students� poor performance in the BECE


CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.0 Overview
This chapter provides an introduction to the thesis. It comprises the following subtopics: background to the study, statement of the problem, Purpose of the study, objectives of the study, Research questions. It spells out the limitation, delimitation, definition of terms, importance of the study and the organisation of the rest of text.

1.2 Background to the Study

Mampong is one of the nine (9) Municipal Assemblies in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Principal occupations are farming, trading, forestry, and fishing. There are fifty five (55) Junior High Schools in the Municipal, consisting of 52 public and 3 private institutions. (EMIS, NOV. 2015).
The educational system of any nation is a mirror through which the image of the nation can be seen, shaped and also likely to be shaped. Education, according to many authors, has been and will continue to be the potential cause of change in any society. Education is also meant to develop manpower for different levels of the economy which is an ultimate guarantee of national self-reliance. Hence from the formulation and clarification of purposeful education must emerge the realities of life, taking into account the entire scope of human life and at the same time, considering specific needs of the individual (Singh and Rana cited in Siaw, 2009).
Education is considered as the development of the endowed capacities in the individual, which will enable the one to control his / her environment and fulfil his /
her possibilities to a large extent (Saxton, 2000).
Indeed, in this era of globalization and technological revolution, education is considered as the first step for every human activity. It plays a vital role in the development of human capital and is linked with an individual�s well-being and opportunities for better living (Battle & Lewis, 2002).
In truth, quality education ensures the acquisition of knowledge and skills that enable individuals to increase their productivity and improve their wellbeing. Educational institutions have no worth without students. Indeed, that is to say students are the most essential assets for any educational institution (Sentamu, 2003).
This view however becomes valid only when students academic performance is good enough. Thus, grades awarded to individuals at the end of an academic study are important indicators of ability and productivity when those individuals look for their first jobs. In fact, a person�s education is closely linked to his / her life chances, income and wellbeing (Battle & Lewis, 2002).
Thus, Students success in any academic task has always been of special interest to educators, Parents and society at large (Ajayi, 2006). The issue of factors affecting students academic Performance therefore remains a top priority to educators (Considine & Zappala, 2002).
The UN Convention on the Rights of the child states that, no person shall deprive a child of access to education; immunization, adequate diet, clothing, shelter, medical attention or any other thing required for his or her development. In Ghana, the value of education is given more weight through the introduction and implementation of Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE). This policy has been given a further boost with the introduction of a capitation grant and the attendant school feeding programme (SFP). Education is accepted all over the
world as  the bed-  rock  of national  development and  a major  factor  in the
maximisation of human resources. Globally, governments spend huge amounts of their income on education. This funding cannot be made in vain and it is then necessary to determine the extent to which it is purposively deployed. One such benchmark is student performance in school. According to Mankoe (2002), performance refers to the extent to which a worker or student contributes to achieving the goals of his or her institution, and an individual with weak motivation might perform well owing to some chance factor that boosts performance.
High quality basic education is of great concern to many Ghanaians these days and parents select schools for their children based on track records in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (B.E.C.E). All things being equal, each parent will strive for a school with a good academic standing.
The poor academic performance of pupils in Mampong has been a concern for the Municipal assembly and the education directorate over the past few years. The schools have shown poor performances in all public examinations and as one director puts it, �their BECE results have been appalling�. The schools in the municipal have been performing poorly in the national performance monitoring tests administered by the Ghana Education Service and they have also performed consistently poorly in the Municipal Mock Basic Education Certificate Examinations. (Mampong Municipal Medium Term Development Plan, 2014).
The development of any nation or community largely depends upon the quality of education available to its citizens. It is generally believed that the basis for any true development must commence with the development of human resources. Hence, formal education remains the vehicle for social-economic development and social mobilization in any society. Education is accepted all over the world as the bed-
rock of national development and a major factor in the maximisation of human
resources. Globally, governments spend huge amounts of their income on education. This funding cannot be made in vain and it is then necessary to determine the deployed. One such benchmark is student performance in school. Mankoe (2002)
In 2013, the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results released by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) showed that out of the 308,379 candidates who sat for the examination, only 190,921 candidates were able to obtain aggregates between 06 and30 (the required national pass aggregates), which represented 62 per cent (WAEC, 2006). Again the 2008 BECE results indicated that about 282,202 candidates obtained the pass mark, which represented 62.18 per cent. (WAEC, 2008). This buttresses the issue that poor performance in BECE is a problem which needs to be tackled.
Anamuah-Mensah (2010), an educationist attributed the phenomenon to lack of effective supervision and monitoring at school, lack of motivation for teachers and inadequate number of qualified teachers to fill empty classrooms. Also, Etsey (2005) attributed the cause of poor academic performance in the Shama Sub-Metro of Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Assembly (SAEMA) in Ghana to a combination of factors relating to the school environment, teachers, pupils and parents. In the same vein, Diaz (2003) found factors such as intellectual ability, poor study habit, achievement motivation, lack of vocational goals, low self-concept, low socio-economic status of the family, poor family structure and anxiety as contributing to educational performance.
Various researchers have investigated and found a number of factors that contribute to poor performance of pupils in basic schools in Ghana. It goes without saying that poor academic achievement in school may be the result of interplay of
several factors. The present study will not only carry out an empirical study on the
causes of poor academic performance in the Basic Education Certification Examination as means of offering tentative recommendations on the way forward for educational development in the Mampong Municipal.


1.3 Statement of the Problem

On many occasions, statements made by government officials, heads of schools and other public individuals indicate that the standard of education in Ghana is improving. This is seen through the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results released by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) in respect of final year Junior and Senior High School students respectively.
Hoyle (1986) argues that schools are established with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills to those who attend them. According to Ankomah et al., (2005), high academic performance, as measured by the examination results, is one of the major goals of a school. Even though, Ghanaian public schools are equipped with professional teachers, available statistics shows that 36 percent of such JHS in the Ashanti Region scored zero in the 2012 BECE. This situation has raised eyebrows and exposed schools to public criticisms, as evidenced by negative comments from the Ashanti Regional Minister (GNA, 2013). Over the past few years, concerns have been raised about the poor academic performance of pupils in Mampong Municipal JHS�s by parents and the Mampong community. According to CIG-Ghana, those pupils in the Mampong Municipal have, for Seven years, been performing poorly at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). The statistics showed that in 2004 the Municipal was 60th on the BECE league table and in 2005 and 2006 it was the 69th
and 88th respectively. In 2007 and 2008 it placed 91st and 89th respectively and for
2009 and 2010 it was incredibly 98th and 103rd respectively. In the 2012/13 academic year, out of a total of 263 candidates who were presented for the BECE, only 70 candidates (27%) passed with aggregates between 7-30 in the Municipal of only 10% of them were girls. Since the elevation of the district nto municipal status in 2007, it seems to be making interventions aimed at contributing to the field of basic education (Care International, 2011).
One tends to wonder, what could have been the contributions of municipal assembly in the area of basic education such that performances of pupils in Mampong Municipal over the past few years are abysmally persistently consistent? Also, it is interesting to know that for over the period of municipal assembly operations in Mampong Municipal no academic research has been done to bring to light the causes of poor performances of pupils in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
The persisting abysmal performances of pupils in BECE coupled with the lack

of research on the factors contributing to poor performances of pupils in the BECE underscores such an investigation. Clearly, there are many possible reasons for poor academic performance, but, the causes of such a state of affairs in Mampong Municipality are precisely not known. The present study will therefore seek to identify factors causing pupils of Mampong Municipal to perform poorly in BECE in
order to assist educational authorities to develop appropriate strategies to improve their output.
 

1.3    Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to to investigate the factors that cause poor performance of students in the Basic Education Certificate Examination in selected Public Junior High Schools in Mampong Municipality.


1.4    Objectives of the study

1.    To identify student related factors that contributes to poor performance of students in the BECE in Mampong Municipal.
2.    To ascertain home conditions responsible for the poor academic achievement of students in BECE in Mampong Municipal.
3.    To find out school related issues that contributes to the poor academic performance of students in the BECE in Mampong Municipal.

1.5    Research Questions

In order to achieve the objectives of the study, the following research questions were addressed by the study:
1.    What are the student related factors that contribute to poor performance of

students in some schools in the Mampong Municipal?

2.    What are the home conditions that cause poor performance of students in the

BECE in Mampong?

3.    What are the school administration factors that contribute to the poor performance

of students in BECE in the Mampong Municipal?
 

1.6    Significance of the Study

The significance of this study on the factors that cause poor performance of students in the Basic Education Certificate Examination will be vital in the following perspective:
Identifying the causes of poor performance of students in the Basic Education Certificate Examination will enable managers, heads, and staff to have an in depth knowledge of the causes of poor performance of students and how to manage it.
The results of this study will provide the selected Junior High Schools, Mampong Municipal Assembly and its Education Directorate, the Government of Ghana, and other stakeholders with relevant information for their efforts to improve the performance of schools.
The study will provide the Ministry of Education and for that matter the Ghana Education Service with in depth knowledge generally, on the causes of students poor performance in the BECE for the necessary action to improve performance.
The outcome of the study will also serve as a guide to other researchers in education who may like to make further research on the factors that cause poor performance of students in the Basic Education Certificate Examination in other Districts and Municipalities, so that more general information about factors that contribute to falling standards in education especially in Public schools could be obtained and addressed to improve academic performance of students.
The outcome of the study will contribute to the literature of academic

institutions such as the University of Education, Winneba and other bodies worldwide
by serving as a reference source. The study would also add to the body of knowledge in the study area.



1.7    Limitations of the Study

Due to financial constraints, material and time, the sample was delimited to

selected schools in the Mampong Municipality. Most of the respondents were initially reluctant to take part in the study since they felt it was waste of time because, no monitory value was placed on it. Some of the respondents delayed in filling the questionnaire on time despite numerous reminders which in turn delayed the completion of the work. Another constraint was that some of the respondents felt reluctant to disclose full information due to fear of intimidation by their superiors and colleagues. In spite of these two limitations, the findings of the study are reliable and can be used for decision making as suggested in the recommendations.



1.8    Delimitation of the Study


The study explored the factors that cause poor performance of students in the Basic Education Certificate Examination with quantitative `data collected from the major stakeholders namely: teachers, students and literate parents. The study however was delimited to only selected schools in the Mampong Municipality due to financial and time constraints. Therefore, its application to a larger population or wider area was not reliable. Therefore, for a more complex assessment or evaluation, the views of the remaining schools in the Municipality will have to be surveyed to overcome this problem.
 

1.9    Organization of the Study

The study was divided into five chapters. Chapter One is the introduction which comprises, background to the study, statement of problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, significance of the study, limitations of the study, delimitation of the study and the organization of the study. Chapter Two is the review of the relevant literature while Chapter Three is the methodology which includes the introduction, research design, population, sample and sampling techniques, research instrument, reliability and validity of the instrument, data analysis and ethical considerations.
Chapter Four deals with the analysis and discussions, and Chapter Five also deals with the summary of findings, conclusions, recommendations and suggestions for further study.



1.10    Definition of Terms

It is important to define some key concepts that have been used in order to clarify the context within which were used in this study.
Academic achievement refers to a successful accomplishment or performance in a particular subject area. It is indicated as by grades, marks and scores of descriptive commentaries. It includes how pupils deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers in a fixed time or academic year. In order to avoid monotony, different terms such as academic performance, student performance and pupil performance are used in this study. All meant to refer to academic achievement of learners.
 

Low Academic Achievement refers to a situation in which the pupil performs below his or her potential in both class tests and subsequent BECE exams, resulting in low levels of knowledge acquisition that fall short of what is required to successfully complete basic education and continue to senior high schools, technical and other vocational institutions in the country. The concept is interchangeable with poor academic performance in this study.


School environmental factors refer to the quality of the physical environment, building and facilities. Pupil�s perceptions of their school environmental influence their academic performance and engagement in school.


Home conditions refer to the provision of educational resources in the home. They refer to whether homes provide a stimulating environment, full of learning physical objects and materials and whether parents spend time with their pupils in pursuit of activities that aid in cognitive development including monitoring of children�s use of time outside of school.


Teacher factors refer to teachers� commitment to teaching, qualification and experience, his or her mastery of the subject matter and methods of teaching. Teachers are believed to be the major source of knowledge for pupils as well as the main actors in educational curriculum Implementation.


School administration is the division of the school system that initiates and makes available what is needed to ensure quality teaching and learning in the school.
 

Pupils� characteristics refer to pupil (student) well-being, perception of the school environment, motivation, involvement in scholastic and co-curricular activities and efforts of students, perception of student�s on parental support and involvement, and locus of control in all areas have significant effects on a student�s academic achievement.


The Study Area

An important component of the research process is site selection. According to Berg (2004), an inappropriate location could �weaken or ruin eventual findings. The researcher must be careful to identify an appropriate population, not merely an easily accessible one,� to obtain the most relevant data. Bosofour R/C in the (Central A Circuit), a town in the Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region was purposefully chosen for the study area for a number of reasons.
In the Mampong Municipality, BECE results and academic performance in general are relatively poor in Mampong Central A Circuit when compared to other circuits in the Municipality. Academic achievement variations in each of the basic schools in Mampong Central A Circuit were also taken into account.
Firstly, Bosofour R/C JHS for instance, is a school out of the five (5) basic schools in

Mampong Central A circuit that has shown consistent poor performance in BECE and other public examinations.
Secondly, being familiar with the area and within reach of the researcher, it would lessen the negative impact on the collection of data as well as the analysis in light of time limitation and financial challenges likely to be faced during the study.
Lastly, personal acquaintance with and work experience in the locality could help the

researcher gain access to valuable information. Bosofour has a population of 15, 400
 (Mampong Municipal Assembly, 2015). Though Bosofour is a town in the Central A circuit among others in the Mampong Municipality. The main language spoken in Bosofour is the Asante Twi and their main occupations are farming and trading.
As a circuit in the Municipality, the paramount chief of Mampong rules the people from Bosofour. Even though majority of the people are Christians specifically Catholics, Funerals are organized in Bosofour every fortnight and mostly Friday�s preceding funerals are considered �holidays� for most school children. They stay away from school with the consent of their parents to help in organizing the funerals.
They fetch water and run errands just to get food to eat during the celebrations. Again, schooling on Fridays is not very pleasant to pupils in Bosofour R/C Junior High School. This is because mostly they either weed at school or fetch water for teachers during contact hours while others prefer to stay away from school and go to the farm. Indeed, teaching and learning on Fridays is not very encouraging. Teachers seem to be tired and give notes to pupils to copy instead of being in the classroom with them. These are important issues that might be affecting performance in the school, and an indication of why Bosofour is a good choice of area for the study.

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