SCHOOL VARIABLES AND PRE-PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS IN ORUK ANAM LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
The study of school variables and pre-primary school pupils’ academic performance in Mathematics was carried out in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Two research questions with their corresponding hypotheses were formulated for the study. A quasi experimental research design was employed in carrying out the study. The population of this study consists of two thousand, four hundred and seventy-two (2,472) pre-primary 2 pupils from the study area. A total of two hundred (200) respondents were randomly selected for the study. Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT) containing ten items was used for data collection in the study. The data generated from the instrument were analyzed using independent t-test statistics.
The results of the findings indicated that there is a significant difference in academic performance of pupils in Mathematics in private and public schools. It also revealed that there is a significant difference in academic performance of pupils in Mathematics from urban and rural schools. It was therefore recommended that workshops and seminars should be organized for teachers on the effective use of discipline to promote academic excellence of learners in Mathematics in both public and private schools irrespective of the location.
School Variables and Pre-Primary School Pupils Academic Performance in Mathematics
1.1 Background to the Study
A school system such as the primary school is an essential stage in the educational hierarchy of the society. It ensures among others that pupils are effectively equipped for the challenges of the present era of science and technology (National Policy on Education, 2008). To attain the aforementioned goal, the school variables such as: school type, school location, teacher-pupils interaction etc, should be considered.
The type of school a child attends is very important in influencing the educational outcome of the child. For over four decades, series of studies examined school types and their attendant consequences on performance of pupils various states of the federation. Buckingham (2010) in his write up addressed that public, private, boarding and non-boarding schools are different types of schools where learners can learn and achieve their educational goals and objectives. He further stressed that pupils from independent private schools are more likely to achieve higher end of school scores. Studies have also shown that pupils that attend private schools are academically higher than pupils from public schools because they have good qualified teachers, good infrastructures and conducive school environment.
Public schools on the other hand enroll more pupils than they can cope and that may have contributed in no small measure to poor performance of pupils compared to private schools. Research findings on the influences facilities in private and public primary schools on pupil’s academic performance are rather controversial. However, Ajayi (2014), found out that school type make a difference in pupils academic performance.
Considering the location of schools, for decades now studies have suggested the importance of school as a social environment of learning. Some of these studies examined location planning and their attendant’s consequences on academic performance of pupils in various states of the federation. The studies were intended to decide where a particular school should be located; the size of the schools in each location; whether a new school should be built or not (Mbakwe, 2016).
Tanimowo (2015) observed that the distribution of public primary schools in the state shows disorder, lack of planning and inefficiency. Onokerhoraye (2014) emphasized that lack of suitable school location has contributed to the unbalance of western education from one part of the country to another. Writing on the importance of school, Ojoawo (2019) found that it is one of the potent factors that influence the distribution of educational resources and academic performance of pupils.
Throwing light on locational influence, Mbakwe (2016) conceptualized urban school location as those environments with high population density containing a high variety of beauty and common place views. He further identified the rural school location as being characterized by low population density containing a low variety and isolated place views. Owolabi (2010) accentuated that our highly qualified teachers prefer to serve in urban centres rather than rural areas as a corollary of the above.
Orebiyi (2011) stated that teachers do not accept posting to the rural schools because their conditions are not up to the expected standard as the social life in the areas is virtually restricted as a result of inadequate amenities, facilities are deficient, play ground are without equipment, libraries are not equipped while laboratories are full of improvised materials.
Hence, to achieve a qualitative and improved academic performance of pupils in Mathematics, school variables must be thoroughly considered. Therefore, this work seeks to investigate how school variables such as school locations and school types influence the academic performance of primary school pupils Mathematics in Oruk Anam Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The major problem in this study is pupil’s academic performance in Mathematics in pre-primary school. The fact that pupils’ performance in Mathematics in pre-primary school level is poor is no more news. Many researchers have reported the downward trend in the performance of Nigerian pupils in Mathematics in particular. There are many factors that cause the poor performance of the pupils in Mathematics. Some of such factors is the type of school a child attends as well as the school location among others.
Consequently, some parents prefer that their children should remain in private schools for their pre-primary education, while some prefer public schools through out their pre-primary and primary school education. Still on this issue, some parents allow their wards to remain in urban schools for their pre-primary education, while others prefer rural pre-primary schools for better academic performance in Mathematics.
It was based on this that the researcher carried out the study to investigate how school variables influence academic performance of pre-primary school pupils in Mathematics in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to find out the influence of school variables on pre-primary school pupils’ academic performance in Mathematics in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Specifically, the study was designed:
- To find out if there is any significant difference in academic performance of pre-primary school pupils in Mathematics in public and private schools.
- To find out if there is any significance difference in academic performance of pre-primary school pupils in Mathematics in rural and urban schools.
1.4 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that this study will provide information for pupils, teachers and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help pupils in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, the results of the study will help parents to choose a better school type for their wards as this will improve their academic performance in Mathematics.
Also, the findings of this study will help the Government, by providing knowledge about the environment that will encourage pupils’ good academic achievement in many school subjects. Again, the outcomes of the study would also help curriculum planners to plan Mathematics curriculum that will help learners in the society after learning the contents. Admittedly, the study will provide data base for future researchers for further studies in the area of school type and school location.
Impact of School Variables on Pre-Primary School Pupils Academic Performance in Mathematics
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
- Is there any significant difference in academic performance of pre-primary school pupils in Mathematics in public and private schools?
- Is there any significant difference in academic performance of pre-primary school pupils in Mathematics in rural and urban school?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
- There is no significant difference in academic performance of pre- primary school pupils in Mathematics in public and private schools.
- There is no significant difference in academic performance of pre-primary school pupils in Mathematics in rural and urban schools.
1.6 Delimitation of the Study
The research work is restricted to school variables and pre-primary school pupils’ academic performance in Mathematics in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Among all the variables that determines school variables, only school type and school location were considered in the study as some factors that determines school characteristics.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Several problems were encountered while undertaking this research work. Some of these include:
- The period given for the completion of this study was not enough for a wider and more in-depth study.
- Lack of funds to procure necessary materials for the study and high cost of transportation in getting to sample schools constitutes some hindrances.
- Lack of enough previous research materials on the subject was also an added constraint encountered during the course of this work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
School: A school is an institution designed for the teaching of pupils (or students) under the direction of teachers.
School Variables: As used in this study refers to school types and school location.
School Type: This refers to public, private, boarding or non-boarding school.
School Location: This is a place where a school is situated either in rural or urban centers.
Academic Performance: This refers to the child’s examination scores or result in school.
Pupils: Pupils in this study refers to children who are learning in both Nursery and Primary level of education.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.