1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Extramural classes popularly known as tutorial classes or simply “lessons” has become big business in Nigeria. It is organised by teachers in both the public and private schools officially in school premises, by unemployed trained and untrained teachers and even by school dropouts who could not pass the examinations for which they now prepare the unwitting candidates (Tosanwumi, 2015). The classes are being patronised by pupils in the primary and students in secondary schools preparing for both internal and external examinations.
More recently, the plague has spread to the universities and other tertiary educational systems with “senior students” and occasionally, lecturers organising extramural classes in some so-called difficult courses for fresh students.
While there is nothing basically wrong in the concept of extramural classes, the sense of urgency and the compulsion attached, the quality of the classes, as well as the results of such classes leave room for many questions. Why is this level of dependence on extramural classes necessary? Why has the performance index of the participating students not improved over the years?
According to Tosanwumi (2015), the performance of teachers in many of our educational institutions is very poor. Many teachers in our public and private primary and secondary schools have been shown to be of very poor quality even under the very best conditions.
The most annoying extramural classes are those organised by teachers in the public institutions who shun their normal teaching duties during school hours only to teach the same topics during official extramural classes imposed on the students at additional cost. Absence from such classes simply means that the students would lose the benefits of formal instructions on the topics concerned. Most of the official extramural classes in the public schools just provide another opportunity to enhance the teachers’ remuneration with little or no improvement in the academic standing of the students.
Another drawback to the proliferating extramural classes is the poor quality of the participating teachers. The privately organised classes are manned by a motley group of teachers including jobless graduates, teachers from surrounding schools and secondary school graduates who yet to pass a subject or two in the senior school certificate examination.
Some have been unable to scale the great barrier posed by the post UTME to secure admission into a university or other tertiary institutions. Some of the English teachers in the extramural classes themselves are very much in need of tutorials in English language as they cannot make a single correct sentence in the course of a normal conversation (Tosanwumi, 2015).
The performance of students in any academic task has always been of special interest to educators’ parents and society at large. The primary concern of any educator who is entrusted with the responsibility of selecting students for any advance training in a given field, is the ability to estimate as accurately and as early as possible the probability that such candidates will succeed or fail (Yusuf and Adigun, 2010).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The most disturbing aspect of the extramural classes is their deep involvement in propagating examination malpractice. Prospective students are lured to many of these extramural classes on false claims of fantastic achievements by the centre directors. Many tutorial centre operators succeed in getting the hapless candidates streaming to their centres on the basis of these false claims. But in order to maintain the stream of candidates, they need to show that they can really deliver on their false promises. This is where their involvement in examination malpractice comes in. According to an online comment on the tutorial business, “this is the sad fact and the dark side of the whole business.”
The tutorial centres are the masterminds of a significant proportion of the examination malpractices wreaking havoc on the Nigerian educational establishment, second only to the miracle centres! They specialise in obtaining answers, and sending the same to their candidates in the different centres with the active participation of the coordinators and invigilators. In some cases, they ensure that their candidates are all registered in designated centres where they exact significant influence. In one case in the recent past, a tutorial centre director got all his UME candidates registered in a particular centre where he provided them with authentic question papers and answers for a very handsome fee. Fortunately for the system, the centre result was cancelled!
The more permanent effect of this dependence on extramural classes is the total loss of self confidence by many of their patrons. A relation of mine who just got admitted into one the universities in the south-south got sucked into one of the campus based extramural classes even before the commencement of lectures. The golden qualities of hard work and self reliance are jettisoned in favour of lessons, lessons and more lessons! Because these dividends of tutorial classes cannot be guaranteed within the university campuses, other frauds of unprecedented magnitude and diversity are hatched. If the educational foundation is strengthened, Nigerian students will get rid of the extramural centres that fleece their parents of the resources they can only ill afford and begin to recover their self esteem and self reliance which collectively is the ultimate strength of the Nigerian nation.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study includes the following:
1. To examine the influence of extramural classes on student academic performance in social studies.
2. To examine the factors affecting students attending extramural classes on academic performance in social studies.
3. To determine how lack availability of school instructional resources influence students academic performance in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were stated to guide this study:
1. Does extramural classes influence student academic performance in social studies?
2. Are there any factors affecting students attending extramural classes on academic performance in social studies?
3. Does lack availability of school instructional resources influence students academic performance in secondary schools?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study:
H0: Extramural classes do not influence student academic performance in social studies.
H1: Extramural classes do influence student academic performance in social studies.
H0: There are no factors affecting students attending extramural classes on academic performance in social studies.
H1: There are factors affecting students attending extramural classes on academic performance in social studies.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Education is regarded as an extrinsic good and instrumental in the acquisition of gainful employment, In Nigeria, the kind of Job one acquires largely depends on ones educational level (Kadenyi, 2001). It is in the light of the above consideration that this study aims to give some insight on how day schooling influence academic performance in secondary schools. Hence the study intends to make a contribution to the existing knowledge on effective ways of improving academic performance in day secondary schools.
The study is significant in that the results will contribute to awareness on the trends of education by gender at the smaller unit. The smaller unit being closer to the people will shade more light and enable government design intervention policies in addressing the retention and completion issues. The study will also bring to light gender issues in education that may not have come to light when using large units such as the county for comparison.
Parents will also benefit from the study because this will help them to support the extramural classes for their children to enhance academic performance of students.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope concerns about the influence of extra mural classes on students academic performance in social studies with a particular reference to selected secondary schools and extra mural classes centres in Port Harcourt.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The following limitations were noted in this study:
The study only covered selected secondary schools and extramural class centres in Port Harcourt due inadequate of funds to cover the whole of the State. To add on this, the number of respondents in this research study was limited to the teachers, instructors who were respondents to the questionnaires and other officers who were interviewed. The study distance between schools in the rural set up posed a challenge.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Academic performance: Academic performance refers to how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers. It is also said to be the ability to study and remember facts and being able to communicate your knowledge verbally or down on paper.
School Attendance: School attendance refers to absenteeism and lateness
School Resources: School resources are the teaching and learning materials
Parent Support: Parent support means parents provision of students needs.
Monitoring Mechanism: Monitoring mechanism refers to teaching supervision and evaluation.
Retention: This is a strategy used by education on academically weak students by making them to repeat or redo a class or grade.