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JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT VOLUME 8 NO 2, DECEMBER, 2010


 

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SELF-CONCEPT OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGERIA’S FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY

 

Benedict Oyifioda Onyilo and Onyilo Godwin Onyilo

 Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, University of Abuja,Abuja

E-mail: oben4real2005@yahoo.com

 

 

Abstract

This paper investigated the relationship between academic achievement and self-concepts of male and female secondary school students in Gwagwalada Area Council of Abuja Federal Capital Territory. Four research questions were stated and answer in the field, four hypotheses were stated and tested to guide the study. For hundred respondents were randomly selected. From the data analysis, academic achievement and self concept were discovered to be gender sensitive. Some problems discovered were that male students had greater time to play outside school, while female students were always engaged in domestic work. So, the paper concluded with recommendation for the consumption of the home, the school and the Government to encourage the female students.

 

Keywords: Achievement, school, self-concept, domestic work


 


Introduction

Some schools of thought believe that poor self-concept or lack of confidence in the environment would relate to deficiency in students areas of accomplishment and their school achievement. It is, therefore, not surprising that Uba (1989), Akinpelu (2000), Denga(2004) and Onyilo (2005) all observed a significant relationship among variables such as academic achievement, school satisfaction and self-concept. Also, a research study (Salawu, 1991) has shown that this relationship between self-concept and academic achievement exists for student at all levels that is from primary to tertiary levels.

 

In Educational psychology research, the problem of under achievement of students in schools has a long history. In the early 1920s, psychologist generally assumed that the intelligent quotient (I.Q) was the major determinant or predict of school achievement. There were other factors such as personality characteristics, family background, attitude and interests that were also found to contribute greatly to academic success.

 

However, it was observed later by Bawura and Vermon (1993), Akinpelu (2000) that recently, an upsurge of interests in self-reference contracts has become apparent. These interests were particularly evident in the areas of self-concept and self-efficiency. From various researches, such as Akinpelu (2000); Onyilo(2005) and Ogunsuyi (2006); it was suggested that self-perception has important individual influence which define for individuals the nature of their relationships with other people, the type of behaviour and task which they will engage. There is a continuous flow between the self and the stream of experiences involved in the process of living and learning in school. The student perceive, interpret, accept, resist or reject what they encounter in the light of the ways they view themselves as persons generally and as students in particular.

 

Hamacheck in Akinpelu (2001) concludes that there is a mounting body of evidence to suggest that a student’s performance in an academic setting is influenced in both subtle and obvious ways by the concept of self.

 

Statement of problem

The focus of this paper is to investigate whether there are relationship between the academic achievement and self-concept among male and female students in secondary schools in Gwagwalada Area Council, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. What inform the focus on gender as a factor to be considered in this study are, whenever examination is approaching, boys and girls cluster around themselves to study purely class work or homework, the girls tend to go to the boys for an answer. Sometimes, one can hear the females saying he is an intelligent boy and few male and female in academic achievement, self-concept or personality is too great.

 

Ogunsuyi (2006) opines that the academic achievement of male and female depends on many attributes; the traditional and some family believe that males are superior to females, gave males a feeling of better self-concept than females and hence as fair academic achievement than male.

 

Ugwuegbu (1980) claims that males and females academic achievement is a complex response to his family and home environment, his community and its values, his peers, other social contacts, his teachers, his schools. Most importantly, he added, it depends largely on his perception of himself that is self-concept, his education and how much values he places on academic achievement.

 

These researchers above based their research on tradition, family believes and environment/community as it effects males and female self-concept and academic achievement. Here in this study, the researchers are viewing the male and female self-concept it self as it effect their academic achievement. What are the envisaged disparities in academic achievement in Science and Arts subjects between male and female students within the area covered in the study?

 

What can a teacher do in order to enhance a healthy development in these spheres of envisaged disparity between male and female, in order to give a credible benefit to the secondary school students in Gwagwalada Area Council?

 

Purpose of study

The purpose of this study was verified whether there would be any significant relationship between academic achievement and self-concept particularly among the male and female students. The researchers also sort out information on how best the educational sector can effectively bridge the differences if any, between male and female students. Specifically the study was concerned with:

1.      Identify the self-concept of male and female secondary school students in Gwagwalada Area Council of FCT, Abuja.

2.      Ascertaining whether difference exist between academic achievement and self-concept of male and female secondary school students.

3.      Verify whether males perform better than females in science subjects.

4.      Verifying whether males perform better than females in Arts subjects.

Research questions

            To guide the following research question were put forward.

1.      What is identifiable level of self-concept of male and female secondary school students in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja?

2.      What is the certainty that there is difference between self-concept and academic achievement of males and females secondary school students?

3.      Is it correct that male perform better than females in science subjects?

4.      Is it correct to say that males perform better than females in Arts subjects?

Research hypothesis

The following full hypothesis were stated and tested

Ho1  There is no significant difference between male and female self-concepts.

Ho2  There is no significant difference between male and female performance in

            Science subjects.

Ho3  There is no significant difference between male and female performance

            In Art subjects.

 

Research method

The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The rationale was that it selected people and schools from the target population and inference was drawn from the sample to allow for generalization on the entire population. This was because in a study of this nature, it is always not possible to study the entire population.

 

Participants and settings

The researchers had a target population of the 12 secondary schools in the Area Council and students of SS1 and SS II. Eight schools were however used for this study, with a target sample population of 400 students, made up of 200 males and 200 females to avoid gender bias. 25 students were randomly selected from each of the schools.

 

Instrument

The adolescent personal Data Inventory (APDI), developed by Akinboye (1985), was used to measure the students’ self-concepts, the students Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) scores in integrated and social studies were used to measure their academic achievement in the subject area of Science or Arts bias respectively.

 

Result of research question

1.      What is the identifiable level of self-concept of male and female secondary school students?


Table 1: Mean Percentage score according to gender in self-concept

Gender

Mean percentage

Male

50.37

Female

49.63

 


2.      What is the certainty that there is difference between self-concept and academic achievement of males and female secondary school students.

 

 


Table 2: Mean percentage score according to gender

Gender

 

Male

51.38

Female

48.62

 


3.      What is disparity exists in science academic achievement between males and females?


Table 3: Mean Percentage score according to gender.

Gender

Mean percentage

Male

54.44

Female

45.56

 

4.      What disparity exists in Art academic achievement between males and females?

Table 4: Mean Percentage score according to gender 2

Gender

Mean percentage

Male

51.36

Female

49.64

 

Result of the hypotheses tested

Ho1: There is no significant difference between man and female self-concept

Table 5

Gender

N

       X

SD

DF

t-cal

Crit-t

Male

 

Female

200

 

200

50.37

 

49.63

12.026

 

11.153

 

 

398

 

 

0.4973

 

 

1.86

 Ho2  There is no significant difference between self-concept and academic achievement.

Table 6

Gender

N

       X

SD

DF

t-cal

Crit-t

Male

Female

200

200

51.38

48.62

11.34

10.59

 

398

 

0.94

 

1.84

Ho3 There is no significant different between male and female students in Arts academic achievement

Table 7

 

Gender

 

N

 

     

X

 

SD

 

DF

 

t-cal

 

Crit-t

Male

Female

200

200

54.44

45.56

9.314

8.783

 

398

 

0.95

 

1.86

 

Ho4 There is no significant difference between male and female in Science academic achievement.

 

Table 8

Gender

N

 

       X

SD

DF

t-cal

Crit

Male

Female

200

200

51.36

49.64

10.15

9.45

 

398

 

0.497

 

0.621

 


Discussions

The results from research question are as follows.

The research question one; The identifiable level of self-concept of male and female, secondary school students in table 1 is 50.37% for male, while the female has 49.63%. The difference is not large enough, however, the students have grouped themselves in gender with male have higher self-concept than the female.

 

Table 2 is the percentages mean score by gender. It is the answer to research question two: The certainty that there is difference between self-concept and academic achievement of male and female students. The female students have 48.62% as mean percentage score, while the males have 51.38%. This implies that males are better in both self-concept and academic achievement than the females.

 

In answer to research question three, table 3 shows mean percentage scores by gender; that is, if disparity exist in science achievement between male and female students. Here, the males have mean percentage score of 54.44%, while the female is closely followed by 45.56%. This percentage score of 46.95% shows that the males are better than females in the science.

 

The fourth research question was found out whether disparity exist in academic achievement in Arts subjects between males and females; Table 4 was the answer to this question. The mean percentage score by gender are 51.36% for males and 49.64% for females. The males are slightly better than females.

 

The hypothesis one in table 5 examined the research hypothesis, which states that, there was no significant difference between self-concept of male and female secondary school students in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. The result revealed that there was no significant difference between the self-concept scores of males and females respondents in the study. This indicates that gender is not a major determinant or factor in the respondents of self-concept. There was, therefore, no significant difference (X= 50.37, SD= 12.026), were slightly more positive in self-concept than the females’ (X= 49.63, SD= 11.153). However the t-calculated was 0.498, which was critical-t of 1.860. The hypothesis one was therefore accepted at 5% significant level. This could be explained that from the response, males were allowed to play games of football and the like, while female were made to sell some items on the streets, or to do some domestic work at home or after school hours. The females were subjected to domestic work.

 

The second hypothesis stated that there was no significant difference between self-concept and academic achievement. Table 6 showed that the means scores standard deviation of 51.38, and 11.34 for males, while the female students have 48.62, and 10.59. The critical –t of 1.84 is greater than calculated –t of 0.94; at 5% significant level. The hypothesis two is accepted. Those with high score in self-concept were not actually the high scores in the academic achievement test.

 

The third hypothesis stated that there was no significant difference between male and female students in science academic achievement. Table 7 showed the result of the above hypothesis; which showed that there was no significant difference between male and female students. However, an examination of the mean scores, and standard deviations reveal that male (X= 54.44, SD= 9.314) scored a little higher than female counterparts examination of the mean scores and standard deviations reveals that male (X= 45.56 SD= 8.783). The critical –t was 1.86, while calculated t was 0.95. The difference was however, not significant enough to say that male students’ academic achievement was better than the female. Therefore, the null hypothesis was accepted at 5% significant level.

 

The fourth hypothesis stated that there was no significant difference between male and female students in Arts academic achievement. The statistical analysis was done on table 8. This revealed the mean scores, standard deviation, critical-t, and calculated –t. The male respondent (X = 49.64, SD =9.45). This slight difference was again not large enough to reject the null hypothesis; even though the critical –t 0.621 was higher than the calculated –t 0.497; at 5% level of significant the null hypothesis is accepted.

Recommendation

The following recommendations are made in relation to the finding of the research.

The National Commission for Women and some good spirited individuals especially the women populace should work hard in order to further boast the self-concept of female students in their academic pursuit.

 

A deliberate, concise effort should be made by the federal, state and local government towards the organization of seminal, workshops and symposia to educate the populace on the need to mix the significant of females in our schools and society.

 

In National planning programmes, many more women should allowed full participation to encourage the younger ones to improve their self-concept. It is common knowledge and necessary that the impact of the women emancipation programme and women empowerment agenda should be felt by the young female students at secondary school levels. This may be a pointer to the fact that there is a slightly low self-concept and academic achievement of females in relation to their male counterpart.

 

Going by the trend in the global world, the government should pay serious attention to female development rather than paying lip service to the dictum, “train a woman and you are heading towards training a nation”.

The issue of self-concept among female students as discovered in this research indicates that all hands must be on deck, particularly teachers, parents, women activities and NGOs to ensure the development of younger females in the society. They have great potentials to contribute to the technological development of this nation.

 

Women should be encouraged by way of proving special scholarship schemes, differential marking schemes and entry qualification into higher institution to avoid drop outs so that they can develop strong positive self-concept. This will pave way for them to contribute to the national development.

 

Generally, there is the need to make a frantic altitudinal change to female perception in our society. This will help, in no small way, to improve their self-concept and gear up in academic achievement, as it is the case in other parts of the world.    

 

References

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Akinpelu.O.F. (2000). A study of the school achievement and self-concept of hearing impaired students in Nigeria. The Nigeria Journal of Guidance and Counselling.6 (1x2).

 

Bawura .R.A and Vernon.P.E (1993). Self-concept as it relates to academic  Achievement. California Journal of Education Research 13(1) 56-62.

 

Denga.D.I. (2002). Educational and Social Psychology Calabar, Rapid Educational Publisher Ltd.

 

Ogunsuyi.E.A. (2006). Causes and effects of teenage pregnancy, the efficacy Of counseling for safe motherhood. The counselor. 21-121-135.

 

Onyilo, G.O. (2005). Intelligence and Academic Performance of students In disabled schools in Kuje Area Council FCT. Unpublished M.Ed Thesis University of Abuja.

 

Renny.J.A. (1998), The Self-concept, Review of Methodological  Consideration and measurements. Lincoln Neb. University of Nebraska Docs.

 

Salawu.A.A (1991). Relationship between adolescents self-concept Perception of parent’s behavior and the academic achievement Unpublished Phil Thesis University of Ibadan.

 

Ubah.A. (1980). Theories of Personality. Ibadan Clerenanum Press.

 

Ugunegbule.C.N. (1980). Sex Role Development and self Identity. In

 

Okafor.C and Uguruegbolam.C. (eds) (1986) Adolescent Psychology Owerri: Joe Markpa’s Publishers.