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Title page
Approval page
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Purpose of the study
1.4 Research questions
1.5 Research hypotheses
1.6 Significance of the study
1.7 Delimitation
1.8 Operational definition of terms
2.0. Introduction
2.1. Some identified social problems by secondary school students and deviance among them
2.2. The concept reading comprehension
2.3. Strategies of teaching students reading comprehension
2.4. The concept of students’ academic performance
2.5. Effect of some social problems (like cultism, smoking, drinking, sexual immorality and drug abuse) a bend to good performance in reading comprehension and education at large
2.6. Summary of literature review

3.1. Research design
3.2. Population for the study
3.3. Sample and sampling techniques
3.4. Instrument for collection of data
3.5. Validity and reliability of instrument
3.6. Administration of data
3.7. Tool for data analysis
4.1. Introduction
4.2. Hypotheses testing
4.3. Discussion of findings
5.1. Summary of findings
5.2. Conclusion
5.3. Recommendations










Nigeria today has no other social service that has attracted so much public discussion as education in recent years. This is because the society and government have all come to realise that the nation’s overall development is inextricably tied to its education system. This study is a quasi-experimental design. The instrument used for data collection was performance test. Two hypotheses were formulated to guide the researcher. The information collected were analysed using students independent test to test the hypothesis that were formulated. Findings indicated that students’ level of academic performance is negatively affected by social problems most especially on reading comprehension. Recommendations were made that teachers, parents, government and school authorities all have roles to play in ensuring that students desist from social problems that would affect their level of academic performance especially in English.


In Nigeria today, no other social service has attracted so much public discussion as education. This is because society and government have come to realize that the nation’s overall development is inextricably tied to its educational development.
Anti-social activities are rampant in the contemporary Nigerian society. This is evident of the social problems witnessed on regular basis. These problems which include various factors such as cultism, prostitution, drug abuse, sexual immorality, alcoholism, poverty, corruption, violence, indecent dressing, child abuse/child trafficking, which has pervaded the length and breadth of the country. There is a large gap between the expectations of society and its actual manifestations. Hardly will a day go by without a record of one form of social problem or the other.
In line with the above assertion, Osarenren (2002) argued that societal attitudes changes because the society is dynamic and changes occur frequently, to support this claims, he mentioned some fundamental reasons for social problems and behaviours in our society which are:
i. Change in societal structure
ii. Disruption of sense of community solidarity
iii. Rise in delinquency and lack of understanding
One may therefore surmise that delinquency is closely associated with urbanization. (Coleman, 1999), viewed that social problem exists when there is a wide difference between the society and its actual achievement. Eitzen, Smith & Beca-Zinn, (2009), believe that certain social issues are detrimental in any situation. These issues prevent people in society from developing in terms of using their full potential, most conditions like smoking, drug abuse, rape, cultism, alcoholism, sexual pervasion, violence, corruption are social problems in any societal setting.
There is a common agreement among experts that deviance is a social problem and can be seen as the product of both person and social traits.
Soerjono Soekanto (1995) defines social problem as a discrepancy between the elements of culture or society which endangers the lives of social groups. Osarenren (2002) opines that any behaviour which does not conform to the rules, regulations, norms and values of a given time is viewed as deviance. In line with this position, Ajuzie, (2005) submit that deviance should be eradicated or put to control in our society. He argues further that the best a society can do in order to achieve this, is to undertake application of knowledge to practical ends, through corrections, development of policies and deviances to reform remobilize and to treat deviant.
Matza (1964) came up with the idea of treating deviant cases when he projected that something must be wrong with a deviant actor, as this compels him to be lawless and inhibits him from abiding to conventional norms and law of society.
Education is a watchdog that is very important for the correction of social problems and ensuring conformity to institutional rules and regulations. The importance of educational impact on change is tremendous, in that, knowledge is light, because it transforms and leads one in the right direction. The ultimate and sure solution lies in effective education both in the homes, schools and wider society.
The major purpose of this study is to examine the effect of some social problems on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in reading comprehension. A case study of Government Secondary School, Bassa.
Therefore, deviance always comes to the mind of people because it is a term that is mostly associated with social problems among youths and senior secondary school students in particular. In account of Nigeria generation has been a generation of youth irrestiveness and normal decadence, sporadic ethnic and religious violence, tribal youth militias and labour unrest among adult, workers and a generation where youths grow with criminal tendencies and growing interests in cultic activities and examination malpractice as the better and dominant means of academic success in most institutions especially of learning.
Deviance, disturbance, alcoholism, smoking, drinking, cultism and sexual immorality are all sorts of behaviours that has been classified as social problems which is rampant in our nation. The main aim of this study is to give more light on the problems with focus on educational sector and precisely on senior secondary school students in Nigeria as a whole. The number of students who get into all sorts of social problems is on the rise each passing day as this has drastically caused effects on students’ academic performance in various disciplines of educational aspects. The effect of social problems is of great challenge to the teacher, parents, guardians, government and other educational stakeholders in Nigeria.
Among most happenings in society, its noted that social problems in schools have come to stay. A practical example is seen when it was recorded by the Nation Newspaper of Thursday, June 21st, 2012; that social unrest broke out in Abuloma, Port-Harcourt. The aftermath of the violence, the newspaper stated that students including teaching staff were recorded to have sustained various injuries. The Nigerian Tribune of Thursday, October 4th, 2012, also recorded the killings of more than forty (40) students of the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Adamawa State as the result of ethnicity and school politics who were involved in cultism and were the main perpetrators of the dastardly act. There are ideas like peace, fairness, law and order, brotherhood, social and equitable justice, and whenever these collective ideas are truncated, social problems become the consequences of such acts.
Drug abuse and smoking of cigarettes is so common among senior secondary school students and this has effect on their academic performance especially in reading comprehension in English. After taking all these substances, the students involved in all these social problems tend to lack concentration and this in turn gives low grades and causes a great effect on their performance in school. Student take all these substances because they are cheap and affordable, most students can afford them irrespective of their background and social class, despite the effort of the government to prohibit the use of drug by those who are under-aged. Ebie (1988) discovered that the abuse of drugs and smoking were found to be on the increase among the following groups: students, long distance drivers, he revealed that students were mostly involved in taking drugs and smoking that the effect of it were more noticeable among students at various levels.
Students’ truancy is caused by social factors like unstable home life, poverty, peer group, lack of parental care and supervision during the teenage and early youth age. Juvenile delinquency is another problem among students, it also causes a lot of worries for teachers and parents. (Coleman and Cressy, 1999) from the account put forward from the onset, it’s obvious that Nigeria as a society is plagued with multifaceted social problems. These problems are affecting every segment of society and also the students in secondary schools which is our main focus of study.
Sexual promiscuity is one of the problems associated with some secondary school students. Adenuga (2006) supports this claim by stating that, the problem of sexual immorality is not a new thing in Nigeria especially among young people in most secondary school students. He went on to reveal that most secondary school students are under the pressure of engaging in pre-marital sex, as the saying goes “Everyone is doing it”. Most students get lost in thought in classroom activities because they imagine sexual acts and this leads to lack of concentration which causes poor performance in their academic pursuit. Sexual immorality can lead to so many things if it’s not checked, these are: lesbianism, homosexuality, transgender sex and other unusual sexual experimentation like bestiality and incest among other sexual abnormalities. One of the dangers of sexual promiscuity associated with teenage boys and girls is that they find words formation difficult in that mental concentration to think when given an exercise and this has caused a great effect on them because they will tend to see new words strange and this will cause problem in reading comprehension of such students. Sexual promiscuity has resulted to unwanted pregnancies and it can result to abortion or teenage parenting which constitutes danger for the affected victims; it makes them become uncomfortable and hard to fit into the society. For example, a teenage girl who gets pregnant will have to pass through series of rejection from parents, family members, peers and other people that are close. This act can lead to school dropout most times which with time cause academic problems on their performance especially in reading comprehension among secondary school students.
Cultism is another social problem in our senior secondary schools today, the system of education is bedevilled by lots of unspeakable abuses; the system is decaying fro infection of social problems, some students instead of applying themselves to serious academic pursuits tend to look for shortcuts to examination successes taking solace in the much abused maxim “the end justifies the means”. Parents cannot totally exonerate themselves from involvement in social problems such as cultism and examination malpractice. The upsurge of secret cult activities in senior secondary schools is so alarming, this is because students are bullying their fellow students for no just reason all in the name of cultism. The major drive of cultism in Nigeria is the drive by students to acquire more firm, power and money. This is why it’s rampant in secondary schools, because most students do join cultism just to make their mates fear and to respect them without knowing that it’s a major problem on their academic performance in school.
Competition and abject poverty are the very roots of cultism in Nigerian educational system. Corruption has eaten deep into our society. Little wonder, Umar (2007), put forward a staggering statistic that about 2% of Nigerians control over 60% of the Nation’s financial assets, while over 70% of the population live below the poverty line.
(Encarta, 2005). The Irony of our country is summarized below by Enech (2006):
”Nigeria, a country blessed with the natural potentials to be among the richest nations of the world, is variously rated between the 13th and 21st poorest country; and 1st and 2nd most corrupt nation in the world” pp. 126.
There is need to know that corruption is a form of social problem that has led to cultism in society.
Drinking is also a major form of social problem in senior secondary schools today. A society like ours even encourages drinking as an aid to relaxation. Most students believes that drinking reduces tension and relax more freely without knowing its destroying them academically in terms of performance and its done as a result of fear in failure in examination and any reading exercise and this leads to aggressive behaviour in school.
In order to establish the effect of some social problems on academic performance of senior secondary school students in reading comprehension in classroom, the school takes a central role in the academic development of the students, parents, teachers and school administrators who are cognizance of the academic well-being of the students. Measure yardsticks are set by school authorities to measure students’ performance, the standard that is being set by the school will determine whether a student is performing well or not with a better reason in the assessment of performance. Ilogu (2004) argued that performance is the behaviour of an individual that can be directly observed by another individual. There are schools of thought in academic performance. One school of thought justifies performance of students by evaluating what students have done as against what they have learnt through a particular course section. This evaluation is done by measuring homework, test and even examination. By this method, areas of strength and weaknesses in a student’s academic performance are determined and evaluated in order to improve on the learning process of the students.
Academic performance of students allows for ranking of students in numerical (values which are measured with a scale). This is about positioning students in terms of performance. It can also be used for placement of purpose, this method is used to determine students that will progress to the next level or class and those that have to repeat another process of re-evaluation. Factors that can influence students’ performance include the following:
i. Hard work and discipline
ii. Previous school attended by the student
iii. Family income
iv. Students’ attitudes towards learning
v. Class attendance
vi. Age of students
It should be noted that academic performance involves how well or how bad a student performs in the classroom. Learning style matched with an instructor’s delivery style. It’s due to all these concrete facts that led to the effects of some social problems on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in reading comprehension.
With all the challenges of social problems in senior secondary schools, this study sets out to examine “the effects of some social problems on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in reading comprehension in English Language”. A case study of Government Secondary School, Bassa L.G.A of Plateau State.
The purpose of this study is to examine “the effects of some social problems on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in reading comprehension in English Language”.
In details the study will have the following purpose which are stated below:
i. To figure out the various ways in which problems affect the level of students’ performance in English Reading Comprehension.
ii. To identify the various types of social problems carried out by students in senior secondary school, Bassa.
iii. To critically analyse the extent to which social problems can influence or affect students in senior secondary school.
iv. To know if the students’ attitude towards social problems is linked with their level of academic performance in reading comprehension.
v. To examine the students’ attitude in view with social problems.
I. What are the effects of some social problems on the academic performance of senior secondary school students on reading comprehension in English Language?
II. Does the academic performance on reading comprehension of senior secondary school students exposed to some social problems differ from those students not exposed to such social problems?
The hypothesis to be tested in this study will include the following:
i. There is no significant difference on the effect of some social problems on the academic performance of senior secondary school students on reading comprehension in English Language.
ii. There is no significant difference on academic performance on reading comprehension of senior secondary school students exposed to some social problems and those that are not exposed to such social problems.
This study will be of great importance to students, teachers, parents, school administrators, government, society and other researchers.
To students, the findings and recommendation of the study will inform and help students understand the manifestations of social problems in schools. It will also enlighten students on ways of managing these social problems (drinking, smoking, drug abuse, sexual immorality and cultism) and its influence in the classroom and outside. The students will also be able to know how the social problems operate and how to manage its influence in classroom activities and their academic pursuits especially on reading comprehension.
To the teachers, it will aid them to identify students who exhibit behaviours that reflect social problems. They will also need to get the knowledge of managing and controlling students that are associated with social problems with the effective help of their parents.
To parents, it will prompt them to have knowledge of social problems which will enable them identify and associate with their children form the interest of solving up-coming social problems that might affect their academic performance.
To school administrators, it will help them pay more attention to social re-orientation programmes such as sex education, health and safety issues, HIV/AIDS awareness, effect of drug abuse, smoking, drinking, cultism and counselling programmes for the students to help in their school works.
Relevant information on social problems in schools will inspire the government to take pro-active measures, which may include enacting laws that will protect the rights of vulnerable students. It is expected that at the top, government agendum is eradication of endemic behaviour and its withering effects on senior secondary school students.
To government, the study will help encourage government to work hard to see in the fervent solving of the prevalent.
To the society, this study will help create awareness about social problems, and this will help in arousing the concern of the society at large, as all this people will stand ground to eradicate the problem of social problems in our society.
The significance of the study to other researchers is that, it will make them make use of this study in terms of referencing when faced with any similar educational challenges. Other researchers will build on this study in areas that are not properly tackled which will in turn solve the problem of social problems on students’ academic performance, as it will help make the world and society a better and free place to live.
This study will cover the effect of some social problems on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in reading comprehension in English Language. A case study of Government Secondary School, Bassa L.G.A of Plateau State.
This study was limited due the following factors:
– Unavailability of materials.
– Due to time and lack of resources (money), the researcher was not able to cover a large sample that is why the study was limited to Bassa Local Government Area only.
The researcher sees that it is important to define the terms used in order to create clarity to the reader on this study.
This is also referred to as academic achievement, it’s the outcome of educational activity that shows the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Academic performance is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment (Wikepedia, the free encyclopedia: 25th/6th/2015:9:29pm)
A social problem is a condition that at least some people in a community view as being undesirable. Example: drinking, smoking, cultism, drug abuse and others.
This is the act of moving away from what is normal or acceptable; a difference from what is expected or acceptable (Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, 8th edition, pp:400)
It’s a practice of having casual sex frequently with different partners or being indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners.
This is the level of understanding of a text. It is an exercise that trains students to understand a language.
Something bad, criminal behaviour by young people.
A standard used for judging how good something is (Oxford Dictionary)
According to (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition, pp:126). Bestiality is any sexual activity between a human and an animal.


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