Education is the key to success," was the song in almost every school assembly students  attended in secondary school. Nowadays the general public hardly hears such choruses sung by school children. In fact, not many   schools participate in common competitions in folk dances such as was the case in the 70’s and 80’s where the spirit of competition was created and it was largely felt in the academics. Education, either formal or informal continues to shape the three domains of human development. These are the cognitive, affective and the psychomotor domains. Much then is said that formal education remains the vehicle for social-economic development and social mobilization in any society. Therefore, education at the basic level must be of a quality that will help the young ones to acquire skills, knowledge, values and attitudes that will enable them to contribute positively to the social, economic, political and moral development of the society.


The causes of poor academic performance among students  in secondary schools examinations have currently generated a lot of discussions among many people in the country especially among stakeholders. This abysmally poor performance of students is widespread just as it is disturbing. Recently, a summit of stakeholders under the aegis of National Education stakeholder’s forum was held to address the trend. The convention x-rayed the performance of students  in the  schools which is next in the ladder of learning to higher studies. It was generally agreed after prolonged analysis of the situation that the level of performance of secondary schools students  is presently on low ebb.

It was also fittingly agreed that most students  of secondary schools perform poorly in their final examinations which is a requisite for gaining admission for studies in higher institutions.

Reasons have been advanced for this continual down ward trend in academic performance. These include poor and inadequate teaching, lack of proper motivation of teachers, inappropriate and inadequate instructional materials. Others include dwindling interest in education among students  and corruption in the system.


Poor academic  performance according to Aremu (2003) is a performance that is adjudged by the examine/testee and some other significant as falling below an expected standard. Poor academic performance has been observed in school subjects especially Mathematics and English language among secondary school students   (Adesemowo, 2017). Aremu (2000) stresses that academic failure is not only frustrating to the students  and the parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of the economy and politics.

Education at secondary schoolsvlevel is supposed to be the bedrock and the foundation towards higher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well as an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in the country. The National Policy on Education (2004) stipulated that primary education is an instrument for national development that fosters the worth and development of the individual for further education and development, general development of the society and equality of educational opportunities to all Nigerian children irrespective of any real or marginal disabilities.

 Morakinyo (2018) believe that the falling level of Academic Performance  is attributable to teacher’s non-use of verbal reinforcement strategy. Others found out that the attitude of some teachers to their job is reflected in their poor attendance to lessons, lateness to school, unsavory comments about pupil’s performance that could damage their ego, poor method of teaching and the likes affect students ’ academic performance.

        The content of Nigeria education must reflect the past present and future of the dynamic Nigeria society in terms of the roles the individual is expected to play in the resent modernalization process.  The Nigeria formal education system is the organized and structured aspect of the education which takes place within the four walls of the school.  It however has to be noted that, all emphasis in terms of government budgetary allocation and general planning, is usually placed on formal education.  Hence, a discussion of Nigeria’s educational system is almost synonymous with a discussion of the formal educational system.  As has been pointed earlier, the formal education system comprises interrelated sub-system or levels.  The major levels of the Nigerian educational system are primary, secondary, (post primary), and tertiary (Post Secondary) (Mkpa:2012).

           There are a number of factors that influence academic performance of learners. Some of these factors are the availability of learning resources, administrative practices, teacher related factors and students‟ socio-economic status (SES). Research has shown that clean air, good light, and a small, quiet, comfortable, and safe learning environment are important for Academic Performance  (Schneider 2012). Effective instructional leadership has been shown to result in school improvement and effectiveness (Lezotte, 2010).

Statement of the Problem

In an ideal situation, schools were supposed to achieve their primary goals of teaching and learning through improved academic performance of students. Students  were supposed to possess basic literacy and numeracy skills before venturing into secondary schools.

Unfortunately, this is not the case in  Owerri North local Government Area where many students  cannot read nor write. Many of them cannot carry out their assignments without their parents’ intervention. There is also persistent poor performance of students  in Owerri North local Government Area of Ondo State. Many students  cannot write their common entrance examinations on their own and pass. Most teachers and parents assist their children in writing such examination.

There have been numerous research work to establish the reasons for poor performance, up till date the problem remain unchanged. Many findings assert that unfortunate methods of teaching  and the attitude of students  towards learning.  However, certain factors have been identified as the cause of pupil’s poor performance. These factors include: teachers qualification, fears on the part of the pupil’s, teaching methods adopted by   teachers etc. these factors are opinion-based, even than research efforts are headed to confirm such opinions. It is on this note the researcher considered it pertinent to investigate the factors responsible  on students ’ poor performance in Owerri North local Government Area.

 Purpose of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to percived the  causes of students poor academic performance in secondary schools in Owerri North local government area of Ondo state

To be able to achieve this objective the following specific objective is considered:

1.     To investigate causes for poor academic performance of secondary school students   

2.     To determine whether the teacher commitment to teaching and work habit can be responsible for   poor performance  of secondary school students in Owerri North local Government Area

3.     To determine whether teacher qualification, availability and use of teaching materials and parental involvement can causes poor performance of  students in secondary schools

4.     To also determine students  -teacher relationship on students ’ academic  performance  in  secondary schools in Owerri North local Government Area,

5.     To offer suggestion on how the problem can be solved.

Researcher Question

This study thus attempts to find answers to the under mentioned research questions and find out where the problem lies:

1.                 What are the   causes of poor academic performance of students in secondary schools

2.                  To what extend does teacher commitment to teaching and work habit can be responsible for students poor performance  in secondary schools in Owerri North local Government Area?

3.                 Does teacher qualification, availability and use of teaching materials and parental involvement can causes poor performance of  students?

4.                 To what extent does students  -teacher relationship have effect on students ’ academic  performance?

5.                 What are  the suggested solution to the factors responsible for students poor performance?

Research Hypothesis

1.                 Is there any significant relationship between teacher commitment to teaching and work habit and the  performance of students  in secondary schools in Owerri North local government area

2.                 Is there any relationship between teacher qualification and teaching environment and the performance of Students  in Owerri North local Government Area

3.                 There is no significant difference on teacher qualification, availability and use of teaching materials  on students poor performance

4.                  There is no significant relationship between students  -teacher relationship and students ’ academic  performance .

Significance of the Study

 It was anticipated that the findings and recommendations of this study would go a long way in generating the much needed information that would be used by various stakeholders in education to improve on the quality of education of their children. Through this study, the assessment results could be guideposts that would help both parents and students  identify their areas of strength and weaknesses and make necessary adjustments to fill the gaps in their roles. The assessment would also help students  think of their own learning and redirect their efforts where necessary and in appropriate direction of needs.

The study would help parents, educational managers and administrators, teachers, Ministry of Education and Sports officials and politicians see, recognize and appreciate the need for motivation and motivate their subordinates and children for an improved performance. The study would also furnish policy makers, Ministry of Education and Sports, and politicians with information on parents’ roles and their implications on students ’ performance; hence giving them a leeway to formulation of better policies regarding parents’ roles within the education systems, based on researched information. It was also hoped to improve level of parents’ status for an improved performance. Lastly, the study was expected to add to the existing body of knowledge and act as a stepping-stone for later researchers in similar studies. It would also help future researchers who have the quest for improving education for all the learners in primary schools in the said area and Nigeria at large.

Scope of the Study

This study is design to  percved the causes of poor academic performance on secondary school. five selected  secondary  schools  in Owerri North local government area and 25 student each from the selected schools will be used for the study.

Limitation of the Study

          The research were confronted with a number of obstacles during the course of this study.  Some of these limitations are discussed below:

Ø   Respondents:  Some of the respondents exhibited negative  character.  Some bluntly refused to full our questionnaire or  answers basic questions posed on them.  Some of them reluctantly accepted to respond with some reservations and maintained that they were not in the best position to respond when actually they were.

Ø   Finance:  There was a problem of inadequate finance to

transport the researchers from their houses to places and the schools were information could be obtained.  Inadequate finance restricted the researchers from obtaining certain necessary and useful resource materials.  Thus, for a successful research work, money is a motivator.

Ø   Programme of Getting Accurate Statistical Data:  It was

difficult on the researchers to get accurate statistical data since there were different levels of teachers with diverse work experience from different fields and endeavours of life, and in different categories in positions from the selected primary schools.

Definition of Terms


Ø   Education:  is defined as the aggregate totality of all the

process by which a child or the young adult develop his ability, attitude, knowledge, skills, competencies and other forms of behavior which are of positive value to the society in which he lives.

Ø   Monitoring:  is the act or a relationship where one person

(teacher) guides the other (student) in developing a philosophy of or a way of life.

Ø   Performance: is the act of achievement.  It is a process

where the student carryout the activities they have been taught and have been guided on what to do normally by the teacher.

Ø   Examination:  is a device adopted for measuring and  evaluation learners success in the teaching learning process etc.

Ø   School: School is a formal institution established and set aside for learning, transformation and preservation of the cultural heritage Okolo (2016). He further calls the school a formidable agent for socialization and an organizer of social relationship

Ø   School Learning Environment: School leaving environment includes those tangible and intangible objects that is both physical and sociological elements that surround the learners and which help learning to take place in the school. They include building and good facilities, instructional resources, the peer group influences relationship among the teachers and students  and the community in general.




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