Background to the Study

Education is the best legacy a nation can give to her citizens. This is because the development of any nation depends on the educational attainment of her citizenry and the quality of education of such a nation. Education does not only provide knowledge and skills but also inculcates values to students. It prepares individuals to be responsible citizen life. According to Mahmmud (2010), cultural heritage and values are transmitted from one generation to another through education. The responsibility of training a child always lies in the hand of the parents. This is congruent with the common assertion by sociologist that education can be an instrument of cultural change which is being taught from home.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is firstly identified in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, China in December 2019 as a pneumonia of unknown origin (1). Later, the international committee on taxonomy of viruses (ICTV) identifies the causative agent of COVID-19 as a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus−2 (SARS–CoV−2) (Zhu, 2019). COVID-19 outbreak spreads rapidly not only in China, but also worldwide, therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced it as pandemic on March 12, 2020 (WHO,2020). The total number of confirmed cases and mortalities are 23,491,520 and 809,970, respectively, in 216 countries as of August 25, 2020

The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak disrupted life around the globe in 2020. As in any other sector, the COVID-19 pandemic affected education in many ways. Government actions have followed a common goal of reducing the spread of coronavirus by introducing measures limiting social contact. Many countries suspended face-to-face teaching and exams as well as placing restrictions on immigration affecting Erasmus students (Rodrigues, Almeida, Figueiredo, Lopes, 2019). Where possible, traditional classes are being replaced with books and materials taken from school. Various e-learning platforms enable interaction between teachers and students, and, in some cases, national television shows or social media platforms are being used for education. Some education systems announced exceptional holidays to better prepare for this distance-learning scenario.

In terms of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on different countries’ education systems many differences exist. This lack of homogeneity is caused by such factors as the start and end dates of academic years and the timing of school holidays. While some countries suspended in-person classes from March/April until further notice, others were less restrictive, and universities were only advised to reduce face-to-face teaching and replace it with online solutions wherever practicable. In other cases, depending on the academic calendar, it was possible to postpone the start of the summer semester (Molins-Ruano, et al.,2014).

A socio-economic status is a definite background variable that represents a feature of the social structure in society (Oakes & Rossi, 2003). It is a fact that families where the parents are privileged educationally, socially and economically promote a higher level of achievement in their offspring. It is understood that low socio-economic status may negatively and depressingly affects students‘ academic achievement because due to low socio-economic status, a student does not have access to important resources and generates additional stress and tension at home (Eamon, 2005). Heyneman (2005) stated that students may not show effective performance in school whose parental socio-economic status is low. Saifi and Mehmood (2011) stated that socio-economic status is a combined measure of economic and social position of an individual or family relative to others on the basis of income, education and occupation. . Farooq, Chaudhry, Shafiq, and Berhanu (2011) concluded that the higher level of socio-economic status is the best indicator which plays a fundamental role in promoting quality of students‘ achievement. In a nutshell, the influence of socio-economic status of parents on their children‘s academic performance cannot be undermined. 3 Socio-economic status is the combination of economic and sociological measures of an individual‘s work experience and the economic and social position of an individual or family in relation to others on the basis of income, educational level and occupational status. For the analysis of a family socio-economic status, the household income, education of earner and occupation are checked as well as combined income compared with an individual, when their own attributes are assessed. Socio-economic status is generally divided into two categories i.e., high socio-economic and low socio-economic, to explain the two aspects a family which an individual may fall into. Suleman, Aslam, Shakir, Akhtar, Hussain, & Akhtar (2012) found that those children whose socio-economic status was strong are likely to show better academic performance and those with poor socioeconomic status may show poor and unsatisfactory academic performance. Fortunately, there is a range of modern tools available to face the challenge of distance learning imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic (Bedford, 2019). Using these tools, the modification of contents that were previously taught face-to-face is easily conceivable. There are however other important tasks in the learning process, such as assessment or autonomous learning, that can still be challenging without the direct supervision of teachers.

Several governmental measures have been taken to counteract the risk of disease spreading. These measures include travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines for travelers, social distancing, bans on public gatherings, schools and universities closure, business closures, self-isolation, asking people to work at home, curfews, and lockdown (Gostin et al, 2020). Authorities in several countries worldwide have declared either lockdown or curfew as a measure to break the fast spread of virus infection (Paital, et al.,2020). These measures have a negative worldwide effect on the business, education, health, and tourism.

COVID-19 pandemic has affected all levels of the education system. Educational institutions around the world (in 192 countries) have either temporarily closed or implemented localized closures affecting about 1.7 billion of student population worldwide (Nicola, et al., 2020). Many universities around the world either postponed or canceled all campus activities to minimize gatherings and hence decrease the transmission of virus. However, these measures lead to higher economical, medical, and social implications on both undergraduate and postgraduate communities.

In another perspective, the issue of academic achievement has become a focus of many educators. The alarming issue in mathematics could be discussed from the social aspect and each individual point of view (Murugan & Rajoo, 2013). The social aspect includes learning environment which seems to affirm the consistency of relationship between learning environment and students’ cognitive as well as effective outcomes (Ashby, et al, 2011). Thus, learning environment could be an essential key determinant to the students’ achievement. According to Bosque and Dore (1998), higher-achieving students are likely to have been exposed to curriculum content under an ideal learning environment. In fact, Frenzel, Pekrun & Goetz, (2007) attributed underachievement in academic as a result of poor learning condition. This also affirmed that most scholars are of the opinion that educational attainment/achievement is likely to be determined by the idealness of the learning environment.

Due to the suspension of classroom teaching in many schools, a switch to the online teaching for students basically students from advanced private schools becomes effective (Sahu, 2020). This form of learning provides an alternative way to minimize either the contact between students themselves or between the students and lecturers. However, many students have no access to the online teaching due to lack of either the means or the instruments due to economical and digital divide.

Students who are confined at home with their parents due to COVID-19 may feel more stressed and anxious. Sprang and Silman (2013) show that children who were isolated or quarantined during pandemic diseases are more likely to suffer from acute stress disorder, adjustment disorder, and grief. Such adverse psychological factors may in turn have a detrimental effect on learning (Kuban and Steele 2011). It may be possible to compare these stress symptoms to those developed in the aftermath of hurricanes or earthquakes. For instance, as regards secondary education, Di Pietro (2018) uses a standard difference-indifferences approach to examine the effect of the L’Aquila earthquake on the academic performance of the students of the local university. Following this event, many students are likely to have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that include poor concentration, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

It is well known that the school environment influences achievement through peer effects. Being in a classroom and hence having the opportunity to interact with classmates may produce important positive externalities. Peer effects may operate through many different channels. Students may teach each other and get improvement together. Classmates’ high achievements may motivate the student (through competition or social influence) to work harder. The student can also develop an interest in reading or in mathematics thanks to his/her peers (Sacerdote 2011). Additionally, classroom activities provide a central role in helping students acquire social skills that have important implications for their future personal and professional growth (Goodman et al. 2015). The interaction with teachers and other students is found to be essential for the development of positive self-esteem, self-confidence, and a sense of identity. It also improves students’ ability to work in groups in collaborative and productive ways. There is significant evidence showing that social skills are positively associated with cognitive skills and school achievement (Malecki and Elliot 2002; Cunha and Heckman 2007). It is, however, important to observe that also online learning platforms offer socialization opportunities. Not only do they incorporate class-based interaction and communication (including one-to-one contacts and group projects), but often provide also extra-curricular activities such as, for instance, online clubs. One advantage of online socialization is that it eliminates, or considerably reduces, social barriers among students (Watson and Gemin 2008). These capture the mind of the researcher to investigate the socio economic effect of Covid 19 on students academic performance with particular reference to secondary schools in Ado local government area of Ekiti State.

Statement of the Problem

In Nigeria, many secondary schools are been established at various places by government, private organizations or individuals (Tella, 2008). As a result, teaching and learning takes place under different environment. Every school has its location, facilities and also operates under different classroom condition, but all the students are expected to write the same standard examination at a completion of secondary education. It may be reasonable to expect a uniform performance from all the candidates since they were taught using the same curriculum and syllabus but in most cases some schools seem outperform others in all respect.

Most of the streets have no light, insufficient facilities, sick buildings and no ventilation to develop students reading skills during the COVID19 pandemic. This makes it difficult for students to read during the Covid19 lockdown. Most students were motivated by their educated parent through provision of educational materials like text books, exercise books, computer etc. and other were not. Although some students prefer online education which provides opportunity for self-study during Covid19 lockdown. But the main challenge online education faces is how to give practical lessons. Since most of the subjects are practical; therefore, it is not easy to learn it online.  Also, Oselumese et al.(2016) opined that students cannot study unless the level of lighting is adequate. This also applies to students who take classes online. A good level of lighting, in conjunction with proper ventilation, helps to improve the academic performance of students. On the other hand, when the improvements in lighting levels inside the house are relatively scarce, it is insufficient to improve the academic performance of students. On the other hand, Braat-Eggen et al. (2017) found that during the Covid19 lockdown students at home get distracted easily due to noise when they were reading or performing cognitive tasks. This also applies to students who take online classes, since they are exposed to a higher level of noise at home, and therefore, a higher level of distraction when taking online classes from home affect students reading skills.

Purpose of the study

The main objective of the study is to find out the effect of Covid 19 on students academic achievement in selected secondary  school Ningi local government area of Bauchi State.

Specifically, the study sought to;

i.                   Find out effect of covid19 on students academic performance

ii.                  Identify attitude of students towards school closure in secondary school

iii.              Find out extent to which online learning develop students learning

iv.              Examine ways to curb wide spread of covid19 among students

Research Questions

Based on the above objectives, the following questions were raised to guide the study.

i.                   What is the effect of covid 19 on students academic performance

ii.                 Do secondary school students have positive attitude towards school closure?

iii.              To what extent has online learning develop students learning

iv.              What are the ways to curb the spread of covid 19 among students ?

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would be important to teachers and teacher educators who need to understand the factors which may affect students ’ academic achievement  in school subjects. It will help them to work toward providing experiences that are motivating to students   against the backdrop of gender and self-concept differences. This will thereby contribute to students  ’ interest, self-confidence and effective learning as individual differences are considered in the course and planning and delivery of academic instructions.

It is believed that the findings of this study have brought to the fore the need to re-assess the curriculum and other pre-vocational subjects taught in secondary schools should be taking into consideration the learners’ personal variables. Such a re-assessment may have implication for students   who may wish to change their perception toward education and the teachers, their instructional strategies. But without empirical investigation of students academic achievement  as may be differentiated by gender and self-concept, there exists little basis for teachers to develop appropriate instructional strategies to help students   achieve the curriculum expectations.

Teachers would have great reluctance to change the status quo of their teaching without adequate proof of need. It was against the background of helping teachers bring enthusiasm and varied teaching strategies into the classroom, addressing different students  needs and ensuring sound learning opportunities for every students  that the study identified gender and self-concept variables vis-à-vis academic achievement  for investigation

The researcher expects that this study will be useful to secondary   school students   as it will suggest some remedial measures knowing full well the influence of socio-economic status and this will enhance effective and better academic achievement  of the secondary   school students .

It will also be of benefit to education authority in location of schools in rural and urban areas by providing educational facilities to both areas to facilitate effective learning and spirit of competition in urban and rural areas.

Scope of the Study

The study on effect of Covid 19 on students  academic achievement of students will be carried out in selected secondary  school Ningi local government area of Bauchi State.

Definition of Terms

·        Students : These are learners in secondary   school within age thirteen and eighteen years of age.

·        Secondary school: This refers to as the secondary education where children learn before tertiary level.

·        Academic Achievement : academic achievement  is the extent to which a pupils, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals.

·        Socioeconomic: In this study Socioeconomics means the studies of how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes.

·        Pandemic:  is defined as “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.


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