AN EXAMINATION OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT IN RELATION TO THE SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL EXAMINATION PERFORMANCE
1.1 Background of the Study
It is the researcher’s aim in this research study to determine if the outcomes of the junior secondary school certificate exams in Nigeria would serve as predictors of students’ success on the senior secondary school certificate tests in Nigeria. An important factor in the researcher’s interest in proposing to conduct a study of this nature is that it is widely known that performance in secondary school certificate examinations (SSCE) has been poor for quite some time (WAEC 1994 and 1995), despite the fact that these students obtained acceptable grades in JSCE and were consistently admitted to SSI. This calls into question the validity (Popham, 2002) of the JSCE as a suitable benchmark for determining a student’s ability to deal efficiently with SSS assignments.
However, at any point in a student’s education, information on his or her talents and preparedness for work as well as for future studies at the next level of school is necessary. This information is often derived from an evaluation of students’ academic achievement in the numerous disciplines they are studying, as shown by their examination results in the various subjects. When making decisions about students, such as certifying them and placing them, it is possible to forecast their future performance at a higher level. The term ‘academic performance’ has come to mean the academic status of an individual student at any particular point in time. A person’s ability to display his or her intellectual talents is referred to as his or her intellectual aptitude. This academic status might be described by the grades earned in a course or in a series of courses completed together, among other things. As a result, when it comes to forecasting academic success, Daniels and Schouten (1970) stressed the use of grades in tests and found that grades may be used both as prediction measures and as criteria measurements. Based on the outcomes of prior examinations, they said that it was possible to make reasonably accurate predictions about the outcome of a future test. The findings of Al-Shorayye (1995) and Adeyemi (1998) provided evidence in support of this claim. The findings corroborated the findings of previous studies who found that the outcomes of the General Certificate Examination (GCE) and the Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) were the greatest predictors of university achievement. A study conducted by Peers and Johnston (1994) demonstrated that the number of passes and grades earned on the Scottish Certificate of Education were reliable predictors of university success in the first and final years of study. Furthermore, according to Gay (1996), high school grades may be used to predict college grades. In a study conducted by Klomegah (2007), the researchers sought to determine the extent to which index scores of university students’ self-efficacy, self-set goals, assigned goals, and ability could predict their academic performances, as well as which index score was the best predictor of academic performance. The findings of the research, which was conducted in North Carolina, United States of America, revealed that self-efficacy had the greatest predictive value and that high school GPA was a stronger predictor of students’ academic success than the goal-efficacy model of motivation. After conducting another study in Ondo State, Nigeria, on predicting senior secondary school certificate examination results based on performance in the junior secondary school certificate examinations, Adeyemi (2006) discovered that junior secondary school certificate examination results were a good predictor of performance at the senior secondary school certificate examinations.
Students’ internal and external evaluations, which are integrated for the purpose of certification and prediction of future performance, were used for the first time in Nigeria when the 6-3-3-4 system of education was implemented in 1982. In the 6-3-3-4 system, the first stage specifies the first three years of a child’s education after the completion of a six-year primary school education. During the first three years of a child’s education, he or she is referred to as a Junior Secondary School (JSS) student, and during the final three years, he or she is referred to as a Senior Secondary School (SSS) student.
Continuous assessment and the final examination for the junior secondary school level are combined for the certification of the junior secondary school level in order to obtain the JSS certificate. The last three years of secondary school, which correspond to the Senior Secondary School level, mark the completion of the student’s secondary education. The senior secondary school certificate is also made up of the student’s continuous evaluation and final examination, which are both performed by the “National Examination Council” (NECO) or the “West African Examination Council” (WAEC) (WAEC). Researchers in Nigeria, on the other hand, have come up with a variety of conclusions on the predictive value of various tests. When it came to other developing countries, the index of academic performance differed from one country to the next. Othuon and Kishor (1994) discovered that the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education scores had a somewhat favorable linear association with the grades earned in the Certificate of Secondary Education exam in the country. Performance in JSCE has been shown to be highly correlated with performance in SSCE in various other states, including New York. Some studies, on the other hand, have discovered that there is no statistically significant association between success in JSC exams and performance in SSC examinations. As a counterpoint to the differing perspectives and findings of previous researchers on the predictive validity of the JSC examinations, the purpose of this study was to examine students’ performance in JSC examinations in order to determine whether or not it could effectively predict students’ performance in SSCE examinations in Nigeria, with a particular focus on some selected secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The performance of secondary school pupils in Nigeria has been a source of contention for quite some time now. The performance was improving, according to certain schools of thought, according to some people (Ige, 2001; Afolabi and Adewolu, 1998). Other schools of thought asserted that the level of performance was deteriorating dramatically (Onipede, 2003).The problem of this study, therefore, was to examine junior secondary school achievement in relation to the senior secondary school examination performance.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The general objective of the study is an examination of junior secondary school achievement in relation to the senior secondary school examination performance. Specifically, this research intends to achieve the following objectives:
- To find out the level of performance of students in the junior secondary certificate (JSC) and the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations in secondary schools.
- To determine the difference in the performance of students in the junior secondary certificate (JSC) and the performance in the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations
- To determine if junior secondary certificate (JSC) examinations a good predictor of performance in the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to address the problem of this study:-
- What is the level of performance of students in the junior secondary certificate (JSC) and the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations in secondary schools?
- Is there a difference between the performance of students in the junior secondary certificate (JSC) and the performance in the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations?
- Is junior secondary certificate (JSC) examinations a good predictor of performance in the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations.
1.5SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant to the ministry of education, head of schools and teachers as it will help establish the link between the performance in JSCE and the overall performance in SSCE, showing the degree to which the former can influence the latter among students in Nigeria. Apart from these, a study like this will serve as a book of reference to students/scholars, researchers in indentifying several factors that could cause students failure in their examination.
Furthermore, this study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
1.6SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study willfind out the level of performance of students in the junior secondary certificate (JSC) and the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations in secondary schools. The study will also determine the relationship between the performance of students in the junior secondary certificate (JSC) and the performance in the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations. Lastly, the study will determine if junior secondary certificate (JSC) examinations a good predictor of performance in the senior secondary certificate (SSC) examinations. Hence this study will be delimited to Ogun state.
1.7 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.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Achievement: a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage
Junior secondary school: a phase of education in state secondary schools for Years 7, 8 and 9, which helps to ensure the bridge between primary and secondary school is safe, strong and consistent for all students
Senior secondary school: It refers to the education imparted in the eleventh and twelfth standard in schools.