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1.0   Introduction     –       –       –       –       –       –       –       1

1.1   Background to the Study  –       –       –       –       –       1-5

1.2   Statement of the Problem –       –       –       –       –       5-7

1.3   Purpose of the Study        –       –       –       –       –       7

1.4   Objectives of the Study     –       –       –       –       –       7-8

1.5   Hypothesis               –       –       –       –       –       –       8

1.6   Significance of the Study  –       –       –       –       –       8-9  

1.7   Research Questions          –       –       –       –       –       9-10

1.8   Scope/Delimitations of the Study     –       –       –       10-11

1.9   Definition of Terms   –       –       –       –       –       –       11-12






3.0   Introduction     –       –       –       –       –       –       –       43

3.1   Research Design      –       –       –       –       –       –       43

3.2   Area of Study   –       –       –       –       –       –       –       44

3.3   Population of the Study    –       –       –       –       –       44

3.4   Sample and Sampling Techniques    –       –       –       44-45

3.5   Instrument for Data Collection         –       –       –       45

3.6   Method of Data Analysis   –       –       –       –       –       45




4.0 Introduction     –       –       –       –       –       –       –       46

4.2   Data Presentation and Analysis                –       –       46-55

4.3   Testing of Hypothesis       –       –       –       –       –       55-60

4.4   Discussion of Results       –       –       –       –       –       60-62



5.0   Introduction     –       –       –       –       –       –       –       63

5.1   Summary of Findings               –       –       –       –       63-64

5.2   Conclusion      –       –       –       –       –       –       –       64

5.3   Recommendations    –       –       –       –       –       –       64-65

        References                –       –       –       –       –       –       66-67

        Appendix –       –       –       –       –       –       –       –       68





The study examines “A Comparative Analysis of Achievement Levels of Boys and Girls in English Language in West African Examination Council from 2010-2015 in Selected Secondary Schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State,” which was carried out with the objective of discovering and possibly correcting any possible imbalance in such performances. Correlation research design was adopted for the study. Random sampling technique was used for the selection of the five different schools, according to the performance of the boys and girls in WAEC examination for the period of five years. The population consisted of all SS III students who sat for WAEC examination from 2010-2015 in Pankshin Local Government Area. The statistical tools that were used to analyse the data obtained include: mean scores and t-test. The findings showed that the girls performed better than the boys in English language WAEC examination, because according to research, girls tend to do better in spoken and written language than boys. It is concluded that the girls’ achievement in English language is better than that of boys. The researcher therefore recommends the following: Students should develop positive attitudes towards the learning of English language, mastery of the subject matter should be the teachers’ focus, parents should try in their own little way to provide the recommended textbooks and materials for the learning of their children/wards, Government should provide adequate funds for the purchase of textbooks and other materials for the use teachers and students, among other recommendations.





  • Introduction

This chapter covers the following topics: Background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives of the study, significance of the study, research questions, scope/delimitation of the study and operational definition of terms.

1.1 Background to the Study

Geographically, the English language has its origin in North-Western Germany and was brought from there to England by the Anglo-Saxons. At the time this happened, approximately 1500-1600 years ago, English was very different from what it is today, in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. The difference is signaled by the use of the expression “Old English” (or sometimes, “Anglo-Saxon”) to refer to the earlier form of language of today. This difference is signaled as falling into three main stages or periods, as follows:

Old English: About 450 (or 500) to about 1100 AD.

Middle English: 1100-1500 AD

Modern English: 1500-Present day

The English language belongs to the West Germanic branch of the indo-European family of languages.

        English, as a foreign language, was first introduced into Nigeria in the late 16th and early 17th c AD. The activities of British merchants and Christian missionaries and, then later, British imperialists facilitated the introduction of this exogenous language into the land. With Nigeria’s attainment of a sovereign status in 1960, English was conveniently adopted as the nation’s official language and lingua franca for a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-lingual Nigeria

        In Nigeria, as it is a prevalent phenomenon in most Commonwealth nations, English is the medium of education and instruction. The National Policy on Education (Revised in 2004) underscores in no uncertain terms the role of English in Nigeria’s educational system, and accords it the enviable status of a core and explicitly compulsory subject at all levels of education, bar kindergarten. Little wonder, it is obligatory for such public examinations as the BECE, SSCE and UTME and is indeed a pre-requisite for candidates seeking placement in the tertiary level of education both within and outside the shores of the country. It should be noted that English is the only mandatory subject for all candidates taking UTME (JAMB entrance examination) irrespective of course or career choice.

        The seemingly unending stress on good communication skills at the tertiary level, adds credence to the compulsory status of GST 101 – Use of English – as a course of more than mere relevance and as a thrust of all courses. More than passable self-expression in English enhances a student’s skills in communicating his/her ideas and concepts in both written and oral discussion to earn a pass mark in his/her test or examination.

        In the bid to meet the educational expectations itemized in the NPE (National Policy on Education), there has been concerted synergy by concerned agencies to develop and empower their manpower for optimum productivity via induction courses and in-services  training programmes so as to equip the workforce with the needed professional proficiency.

        The WASSCE Chief Examiner report from 2000-2005 further confirms that there is poor performance of students in English which is seen more in the composition writing aspect of the examinations over the years. The examiner pointed some of the errors to include errors of grammar, punctuation, tenses and spellings that made them to lose whole marks. They ascribed the problem to lack of consistent practice in reading and writing.

        The importance of English language as a school subject derives mainly from its utilitarian value to the larger Nigerian society. English language is the National Official Language (NOL) in Nigeria. It is the language of education, mass media, social interaction, law, science and technology, literary ventures law etc above all, the use of the language has helped to improve communication among the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. Salami (2002) has however, argued that “there is the dear need for improving the quality of spoken and written English language among school children in Nigeria”. This therefore is a challenge to English language.

Meanwhile, this research study operates within the framework of comparative analysis of achievement levels of boys and girls in English language in WAEC Examination from 2010-2015 which is conducted by the West African Examination Body.

        By the end of this investigation, all things being equal, it will become manifest whether or not there exists a relationship between the performance of boys and girls in the WAEC in Pankshin L.G.A of Plateau State. Should any be found, significant recommendations will be made accordingly.

  • Statement of the Problem

Despite the importance accorded English language as a major medium of communication in Nigerian schools, there seems to exist a large number of failures in English language at all levels of learning as reported by researchers’ sense of concern about students’ poor academic achievement level in English language at the senior secondary certificate examination over the years, (Madu, 1999) and (Ariyo, 2010). This does not auger well for the nation’s desire for a sound education for all its citizens. Investment by parents, Nigerian government and other stakeholders in the education of children, in particular, become wastefully enormous.

Although there are available data on students’ poor academic achievements in English language at the senior secondary certificate examination (SSCE) as revealed in the works of Ariya (2010), whether or not there is poor performance of students in this subject, in some selected secondary schools in Pankshin L.G.A. Its gender biased cannot be ascertained without empirical evidence. There is therefore the need to update data in this area.

In view of the above, the problem of this study is to find out whether or not the academic achievement level of boys and girls differed in English language WAEC examination from 2010-2015 in Pankshin L.G.A.

  • Purpose of the Study

Access to education and training is a fundamental right of children in the state.

        The goal of this research is to compare the performance outcomes of S. S students in English in the S.S.C.E (WACE). This study will investigate into the academic achievements of boys and girls in English language WAEC, and also to establish if at all there is any significant relationship in the performance of boys and girls in WAEC.

  • Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of the study:

  1. To identify the extent of achievement of boys and girls in English language WAEC 2010-2015.
  2. To determine whether or not there is a significant difference in factors that predispose boys and girls to the study of English language.
  • Give solutions to gender imbalance in the education sectors.
    • Hypothesis
  1. H0 there is no significant relationship between the academic achievement of boys and girls in WAEC 2010-2015 in Pankshin L.G.A
  2. H1 there is a significant relationship between the academic achievement of boys and girls in WAEC 2010-2015 in Pankshin L.G.A
    • Significance of the Study

The outcome of the study would be of great benefit to the students, teachers, parents, government and other stakeholders in the education industry.

        The students would have known some of the factors responsible for their low level of achievement in English language in external examinations. To the teachers, the outcome of the study will help them improve their teaching strategies to improve the students’ language skills.

        To the parents, as well as guidance, they will equally find the findings of this project beneficial, since they will be better informed to motivate their children and wards to improve on their performance in English language through the provision of the needed learning materials inter alia.

        The study will also be of great importance to the government and other stakeholders in education because its outcome will spur them on, to provide necessary materials required for effective teaching and learning in our schools. Such materials or facilities like classrooms, chairs and tables etc.

  • Research Questions

To successfully come out with some useful findings, the researcher raised the following questions:

  1. Is there any significant difference in the factors that predispose boys and girls to the study of English language?
  2. How can gender imbalance in achievement level in English language in some senior secondary schools in Pankshin L.G.A and Plateau State at large be reduced?
    • Scope/Delimitation of the Study

The study was delimited to five(5) schools out of the many secondary schools in Pankshin L.G.A. The five schools are:

  1. Government Model Secondary School, Pankshin
  2. Government Secondary School Bet, Pankshin.
  • Lankuk Memorial Comprehensive Secondary school, Pankshin
  1. Trinity Missionary College, Pankshin
  2. Good Shepherd College Pankshin


The study was restricted to the analysis of students’ WAEC results from various schools for the academic year 2010/2011–2014/2015.

        Also, the study made selections of the few schools listed above because of limited time and financial constraints as the whole schools in the L.G.A would not have been covered within the time frame.

  • Operational Definition of Terms

Contextual meaning of some relevant terms as they are used in this research work.

  1. Comparative: It is defined as a study that involves comparing something to something else.
  2. Analysis: Is a careful examination of something in order to understand it better.
  • Achievement: Is something important that one succeeds in doing by your own efforts.
  1. Level: This has to do with height, position, rank of size in a scale.
  2. Boys: These are male children or a male person.
  3. Girls: These are young female humans, female children or young female adults.
  • English: A subject of study in the school curriculum that is based on the language originally of England now spoken in many countries and is used as an international language for communication.
  • Language: It is a word, their pronunciation and the method of combining them, used and understood by a community, it is a form of style or form of expression.
  1. Secondary School: A state school attended between the ages of 11 and 16 or 18.
  2. WAEC: Is the West African Examination Council saddled with the responsibilities of conducting the West African senior school certificate examinations for university and JAMB entry.



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