The research work examined the causes of students’ low level of interest in Christian Religious Studies in Ekiti South West Local Government Area of Ekiti State. Questionnaires were administered to five [5] schools selected from Ekiti South West local government area of Ekiti State. The statistical and analytical techniques used were simple percentage and tables which were used to calculate the total response of the students from selected secondary school. The research work indicated that the low level of interest negatively affected the academic performance of Christian religious studies students as a subject in the selected schools.  It was therefore, the following recommendation were made that  there should be qualified and competent teachers who have knowledge and mastery on subject matter and teaching strategies, there should be conferences, workshops and seminars on teacher self-efficacy where experts will educate and enlighten teachers on the need for self-efficacy and its importance to teacher effectiveness and finally, parents should continuously monitor their children education by visiting their schools from time to time to know how they performed.



Background to the Study

Education is one of the most important aspects of human resource development. The students’ performance plays an important role in producing best quality graduates who will become great leaders and manpower for the country thus responsible for the country’s economic and social development. Academic achievement is one of the major factors considered by employers in hiring workers especially for the fresh graduates. Thus, students have to put the greatest effort in their study to obtain good grades and to prepare themselves for future opportunities in their career at the same time to fulfill the employer’s demand.

Academic performance in the secondary school determines whether the students will proceed to higher institution for tertiary education.

According to Ilori, (1992) the primary aim of teaching and learning of Christian religious studies is not based on instructing youths in a particular faith or ideology with a view of securing their commitments but rather, it is educating youths for the understanding of the Christian faith. Again, the role of teaching and learning of Christian religious studies (CRS) is concerned about helping the youths to understand the nature of the present secular and pluralistic society and to help them think rationally about the state and place of Christian religion in the society. This is with a view to enable them chose objectively between the many conflicting religious beliefs and practices prevalent in the society today

All stakeholders in the education of the youths are concerned about low level of achievement in the educational pursuit with respect to the attainment of the educational objectives. Many researchers in Science education had been concerned about this downward trend and efforts to identify major factors with the aim of addressing them are being daily projected. The findings of the content analysis process revealed factors influencing the academic performance in Christian religious studies (Tom, Coetzee and Heyns, 2014). They therefore concluded that the main factor identified were CRS contents, characteristics of educators, educational strategies, resources and CRS assessment.

Students’ academic performance is affected by several factors which include students’ learning skills, parental educational background, peer influence, teachers’ quality, learning infrastructure among others.

Education of a child needs multidimensional efforts. Students, teachers, institute and parents all have their importance in their process of learning. Parent’s education is such a motivating force for a child which paves the way for his/her future. It is an admitted fact that the children of educated parents are more confident, resourceful and experienced than the children whose parents lack education.

According to Haimowitz (quoted by Mbugua, Kibet, Muthaa and Nkanke, 2012), the cause of most failures in schools might not be due to insufficient or inadequate instruction but by active resistance of learners. Good student's background has also been identified as factor that could promote high achievement in Christian religious studies (Araoye, 2012).

Academic preparation of students and positive peer influences would enhance academic success and that praise and encouragement by teachers and parents is needed to facilitate students school work (Fonseca and Conboy, 2006).Generally, it has been observed that a group which a child belongs to could influence his learning, studies from various cultures have shown that a child right from infancy to adolescence is faced with urge to belong and to be accepted by the group.

 A basic human need is to acquire an affiliation to a group in the society. Peer relationships are common in the schools and homes and this plays important roles in the socialization of children in Nigeria. Students in the midst of their group transformed into the true picture of their behaviour, they feel more comfortable among fellow students but feel morose at home or at the presence of teacher. The most important influence on student behaviour to learning is not always the teacher but the fellow students.

With this, there is need to identify the influence of peer group relationship on learning, although there are other factors that can influence the learning but the role played by the peer group learning is more than other factors because the attitude of students to learning are not always encouraging. The most common types of peer group to be investigated are the secondary school children who fall into the same group that could have negative influence on their learning.

Hamm et al. in Lavy and Schlosser (2007), argued that, “for many students, friendships are critical interpersonal vehicle that move them towards psychological growth and maturity, allowing social compassion which influences the development of self-evaluation”. The above statement suggests strongly, the unprecedented effect of peer group in almost all facet of adolescent’s growth. Such effect could be seen in social and emotional lives of young people, which does not end at the above mentioned, but could also manifest in their attitude towards educational activities and careful consideration of these elements has shown that they reflect in the academic performance of students.

This indicates that acceptance by the group may have positive effect on the child. A child who is not brilliant enough may do better if he is accepted by a group that is inclined to study. It has been observed that a child learns more easily within his peer group. Where he is wrong, he prefers to be corrected by a member of his peer group than by the teacher.

Within the framework of education production function, educational goals, diverse personnel, curriculum, knowledge, physical facilities, materials, students, finance, and so on, are inputs into the school system with the aim of producing well equipped outputs. To ensure that the school is effective and efficient in the performance of its functions, the three components of men, money and materials must be harmoniously available and managed.

School Resources – Within schools, it is vital to make provision of resources that can be utilized to enhance the academic performance of students. The textbooks, notes, learning materials, technology, library facilities and laboratory facilities, especially in science subjects should include the essential materials. When students will be provided the necessary tools and equipment, they will be able to acquire a better understanding regarding academic concepts and how to perform the experiments. In some cases, especially the students belonging to deprived, marginalized and socio-economically backward sections of the society cannot afford the books and materials required for learning, hence, they are dependent upon the library facilities and fellow students to obtain the books and other materials (Maina, 2010).

Educational facilities are those materials that enhance teaching/learning processes. The further stated that educational facilities refer to buildings as well as items such as machines, laboratory equipment, chalkboard and learners' tools. They are those things which enable a skillful teacher to achieve a level of instructional objectives that far exceeds what is possible when they are not provided ( Adeipe, 2007; Fabiyi & Uloka, 2009). Therefore, the planning and designing of educational facilities for schools, colleges and universities possess a greater influence on the performance outcome of Christian religious studies students. This is certainly true, because deferred maintenance of the educational facilities whether human resources (e.g. teachers), social or physical facilities and inadequate provision of these facilities can create deteriorating environment such as dilapidated buildings, peeling paint, crumbling plaster, broken furniture and non-functioning learning facilities. This of course, affects students learning habit and staff morale.

The determinants of academic performance of the students include, class participation, class assignments, home-work assignments, tests, examinations, and participation in competitions or other events. The pressure of the parents and other individuals upon teachers and school administrators to improve the academic performance has enabled schools to come up with advanced strategies. These include, promoting extra classes for students, introducing effective teaching-learning methods and instructional strategies, using technology, rewarding students for good performance serves as a motivating factor and when they achieve low grades, than they usually tend to work more to make improvements (Nyagosia, 2011). When teachers implement the strategies for rewarding good performance, then they would be motivated to study and improve their academic performance. Secondary school students usually belonging to upper class and wealthy families are aware and aspire to have a good career.

Government efforts to improve academic performance have led to series of interventions like scholarship, training of the teachers, providing of infrastructure and so on. Yet, academic performance in the secondary schools in Nigeria is on the decline going by the low quality of students turning out every year.

Adediran, Ojomo, Olabiyi, & Adeyanju (2015) greatly emphasized the importance of having qualified teachers in the field of teaching, and said that success of any program is conditioned by the ability of the teacher to teach. If there is failure at this point, the whole structure fails.

Moreover, Dewett (2007) mentioned that good teachers are constantly on the alert for methods and instructional materials that will make learning meaningful.

With the wise selection and use of a variety of instructional materials or audio-visual materials, experiences may be provided to develop understanding.

Education system in Nigeria has been in crisis for many years largely due to the fact that the sector is poorly funded. This has led to shortage supply of learning materials and human resources being experienced in the system. Inadequate qualified teachers, high turnover rate of teachers, shortage of classroom, and poor remuneration of teachers and a host of other problems abound in the education sector. The economic crisis experienced in Nigeria impacted on the education system and had played a major role in the decline of the quality of Education offered in the country (Olabiyi and Abayomi 2010). Meanwhile, the future of every nation depends largely on the fate of every child that is born into her; most especially those that are privileged to go through the academic walls of the nation starting from the primary level of education to the tertiary institution. Education is an important industry for social, political and economic development and is being affected by the environment within which it exists (Adediran, Ojomo & Adeyanju, 2015).

Hence, national development has been founded by those who are experts in their areas of specialization, and this would not have been imaginable without the instrumentality of the educational system. Every country endeavors to provide quality education for its people. This problem, as a phenomenon, calls for intensive investigation to know the root causes of students low level of interest in Christian religious studies.

This research was conducted to identify, analyze and proffer solutions and recommendations on the factors that associated with causes of student’s low level of interest in Christian religious studies in secondary schools in Ikere Ekiti.

Statement of the Problem

A lot of problems have contributed to students’ low level of interest in Christian religious studies in Ikere Ekiti local government area of Ekiti state. Many parents blame the teachers’ negative attitude to work while many pupils’ negligence of their class work contributes to failure as well. This research work purposely assesses the causes of students low level of interest in Christian religious studies by identifying, analyzing and proffering solutions to the problem of low level of interest in Christian religious studies in secondary schools in Ikere Ekiti.           Peer influence can never be overemphasized, bad peer group leads to the nonchalant attitude of the students which leads to their low level of interest in Christian religious studies. Low students’ learning skills had also contributed to their poor performance in Christian religious studies which as well leads to failure in the subject. Parental educational background, most of the students were from non-educated parent which also contributed to the students’ failure. Low teachers quality also contribute to the students failure in Christian religious studies, hence some of the secondary school teachers are either not qualified or not effective in their teaching. The bad learning infrastructures like classrooms, teaching aids among others. Un-conducive classrooms, lack of good teaching aid among others had also contributed immensely to the students’ failure. This study is therefore faced with the problem of exploring the causes of students low level of interest in Christian religious studies in Ekiti South West Local government area of Ekiti state.


Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to assess the causes of students low level of interest in Christian religious studies in Ekiti South West Local government area of Ekiti state with a view of finding out ways of improving the performance of students in their final exam in Christian religious studies in Ekiti south West secondary schools yielding a better result.

This study is therefore designed to:

v    Assess the teachers ineffectiveness that contribute to student low interest in Christian religious studies

v    Examine the inadequacy and functionalities of school facilities that contribute to student low interest in Christian religious studies

v    Assess the reading habits of the students  contribute to student low interest in Christian religious studies

v    Examine how peer group contribute to the student lower level of interest in Christian religious studies


Significance of the Study

This study is significance since it is aimed at improving the performances of the students both in internal and external examinations.

The teachers who carry out instructions will find it easier to impact knowledge effectively with the aid of good learning infrastructures like conducive classroom, good teaching aid e.t.c.

The school administrations will effectively carry out the general school administration to improve the student academic performance. This study is meant to help educators and educational planners realize what problems students are subjected to since there is the rapid desire for Christian religious studies education in the medical field, agricultural fields among others, which have to be met adequately with the aid of qualified teachers.

            The study is meant to identify these factors and how much effects it has in the low level of interest of students in Christian religious studies in secondary schools and how solution can be proffered.

In addition, it is hoped that recommendations from this study will be useful to the entire society; also student will be properly instructed thereby making them efficient and more useful to the younger researchers who may wish to use it as a reference material.       


Delimitation of the Study

             The study is limited to assess the causes of students low level of interest in Christian religious studies in Ekiti South West Local government area of Ekiti state. The study covers the influence of bad students’ study habit, bad peer, low teachers’ quality, poor learning infrastructure among others.




Research Questions

        i.            How does the teachers’ ineffectiveness contribute to the students’ low level of interest in Christian religious studies?

     ii.            How does unavailability of school facilities contribute to the students’ low level of interest in Christian religious studies?

   iii.            How does students’ character contribute to the students’ low level of interest in Christian religious studies?

   iv.            How does peer group contribute to the low level of interest in Christian religious studies?


Definition of Terms

Achievement: a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage.

Socio economic: relating to or concerned with the interaction of social and economic factors.

Status: The situation at a particular time during a process.

Student: Denoting someone who is studying in order to enter a particular profession.

Demographic: relating to the structure of populations.

Causes: A circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result.

Academic: relating to education and scholarship.

Peer: a person of the same age, status, or ability as another specified person.

Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.



Literature review related to this study will be reviewed under the following sub-headings;

Ø    Students’ learning skills

Ø    Parental educational background

Ø    Peer influence

Ø    Teachers’ quality

Ø    Learning infrastructure.

Theoretical Framework

Empirical Studies



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