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Prose fiction, a fundamental genre within literature, encompasses a vast realm of imaginative storytelling that engages readers through the use of written language without the constraints of poetry’s structured rhythms or dramatic scripts. It encompasses novels and short stories, delivering narratives that explore the dimensions of human experiences, emotions and relationships. According to Abdullahi and Bako (2013) through prose fiction, authors have the freedom to construct intricate worlds, shape characters with depth and complexity and delve into the subtleties of psychological landscapes. This genre allows for the seamless interplay of plot, dialogue, description and introspection, fostering a deep connection between readers and the fictional universe. Prose fiction’s flexibility enables exploration of various themes, genres and styles, serving as a mirror to society, a canvas for creativity and a vessel for empathy as readers vicariously live the lives of characters, ponder intricate dilemmas and confront profound questions about existence.

The study of prose in secondary schools holds immense significance as it intricately weaves together a tapestry of educational benefits. Through the exploration of prose, students not only enhance their language proficiency but also cultivate crucial critical thinking skills by delving into narratives’ depths, unraveling intricate characters, discerning underlying themes and dissecting literary devices. According to Adams and Adams (2017), this engagement with prose transcends the pages of books, fostering cultural and historical awareness by offering glimpses into diverse epochs and societies, nurturing empathy and broadening perspectives. As students immerse themselves in the lives of fictional characters, they foster emotional intelligence and empathy, enriching their ability to navigate complex emotions and diverse perspectives in both personal and societal contexts. Moreover, prose cultivates a profound appreciation for literature’s power to evoke emotions, provoke thoughts and kindle imagination, thus nurturing lifelong love for learning and reading (Ahmed & Rahman, 2011). Prose’s exploration also prompts self-reflection, aiding in the formation of identity during the transformative years of adolescence. By igniting imagination and encouraging creativity, prose not only enriches intellectual endeavors but also equips students with life skills that extend far beyond academia, enabling them to adapt, thrive and contribute meaningfully in an ever-evolving global landscape.

Teaching prose in Nigerian secondary schools stands as a pivotal element within the English language curriculum, skillfully weaving together diverse strategies to nurture linguistic competence, critical acumen, cultural consciousness and literary appreciation. Through a meticulously crafted curriculum, students are seamlessly introduced to an array of prose texts, both timeless and contemporary, originating from varied cultures and epochs, fostering a dynamic comprehension of narratives. According to Baker and Chen (2015) this pedagogical journey entails a meticulous selection of texts resonating with cultural significance and moral values, often encompassing Nigerian and African literary gems alongside globally acclaimed works to enrich the students’ literary tapestry. The educational process hinges on an analytical framework, equipping students to dissect intricate narrative elements such as plot, characters, setting, themes and literary devices. Guided by perceptive educators, the classroom becomes a haven for robust discourse, as students articulate interpretations, share insights and respond to texts with intellectual rigor and expressive eloquence.

Intimately intertwined with this approach is the art of close reading, whereby students meticulously examine textual nuances, stylistic choices and narrative strategies, thereby honing their capacity to discern literary subtleties. According to Collins and James (2019) this educational odyssey is enriched by an exploration of the cultural and historical contexts that imbue the texts with significance, broadening students’ horizons while fostering a holistic understanding of societal influences and epochal transformations. Prose is further illuminated through comparative studies, enabling students to juxtapose and evaluate diverse narratives, cultivating an enriched perspective on universal themes. As assessments take shape, ranging from thought-provoking essays to vivacious class participation, students’ assimilation of prose’s essence is evaluated through varied dimensions. According to Davis and White (2014) amid this educational landscape, technology finds its place, seamlessly integrating digital tools and online platforms to augment engagement and interaction. Beyond academia, educators endeavor to kindle an enduring ardor for literature, guiding students toward independent reading pursuits, fostering book clubs and igniting dialogues that bridge literary themes with contemporary realities. Thus nurturing not just scholarly proficiency, but also abiding love for the written word and the profound insights it offers.

Township and rural secondary schools represent two distinct educational settings with unique characteristics and challenges. Urban secondary schools are typically located in densely populated areas, offering a wide range of educational resources, infrastructure and extracurricular opportunities. These schools often have diverse student populations and access to advanced technology, libraries and specialized teachers. In contrast, rural secondary schools are situated in sparsely populated areas, often characterized by limited resources, infrastructure and access to educational facilities (Adams, 2019). They may face challenges such as teacher shortages, inadequate funding and limited extracurricular activities. The differences in these settings can significantly impact the educational experiences and outcomes of students, highlighting the need for targeted interventions and strategies to address the specific needs of both urban and rural secondary schools.

The comparative analysis of students’ performance in urban and rural schools in prose aims to examine and understand the differences in academic achievement between these two settings. By comparing the performance of students in discussing prose themes, analyzing prose characterization, giving prose plot summaries and explaining prose settings, this study seeks to shed light on the potential disparities that may exist between urban and rural schools in Pankshin Local Government Area.


            The ideal situation is for students in both urban and rural schools to demonstrate comparable levels of performance in prose just like any other subject, ensuring equal educational opportunities and fostering academic excellence for all students. However, there is a noticeable disparity in the performance of students in urban and rural schools when it comes to prose. Urban schools tend to exhibit higher levels of achievement in prose, while students in rural schools struggle to attain similar proficiency. Recognizing the importance of addressing this performance gap, efforts have been made to improve the teaching and learning of prose in both urban and rural schools. These measures include curriculum enhancements to incorporate more engaging and relevant prose materials, targeted teacher training programs to enhance instructional techniques and the provision of instructional resources such as textbooks and supplementary materials.

Despite these well-intended measures, a significant performance gap between students in urban and rural schools in prose persists. The efforts, though valuable, have not been sufficient to bridge the divide and ensure equal academic outcomes for all students.

Given the persistent performance gap, there is an urgent need to conduct a comparative analysis of students’ performance in prose in urban and rural schools. While efforts have been made to address the performance gap, there is limited research specifically examining the performance of students in urban and rural schools in prose in Pankshin Local Government Area. Existing studies often focus on broader educational disparities without delving into the specific challenges and factors that contribute to the performance gap in prose.

Therefore, this research seeks to fill the existing knowledge gap by conducting a thorough comparative analysis of students’ performance in prose in urban and rural schools in Pankshin Local Government Area.


            The main aim of this study is to make a comparative analysis of students’ performance in urban and rural schools in prose in Pankshin Local Government Area in order to:

  1. Ascertain the performance of students in these two areas in prose literature.
  2. Find out probable resons for the great differences between students in these two locations.
  3. Suggest solutions for improving learning opportunities for learners in the rural areas.
  4. Create a level ground for fair competition for students in village secondary schools


The study is guided by the following research questions:

  1. To what extent do students performance in prose in urban secondary schools differ from that of students in village secondary schools?
  2. What are the probable reasons for the differences in the performance of these two sets of students?
  3. What are the immediate suggestions that can help improve the learning opportunitieis of learners in village secondary schools?
  4. How can government at all levels create a level of playing ground for students in these two localities?


The study “Comparative analysis of students’ performance in urban and rural schools in prose in Pankshin Local Government Area” can n inform educational policy-makers at the local, regional and national levels. Policy-makers can use the results to understand the performance disparities between urban and rural schools and develop targeted policies and interventions to address them. This can include resource allocation, infrastructured development, teacher training programs and curriculum improvements.

School administrators and teachers in both urban and rural schools can benefit from the study. The findings can help them identify the specific areas where improvements are needed and develop strategies to enhance students’ performance in prose. This can involve curriculum modifications, teaching methodologies and the implementation of targeted support programs.

Parents and guardians of students in urban and rural areas can benefit from the study’s findings. The research can provide insights into the factors that influence students’ performance in prose and help parents make informed decisions about their children’s education. It can also assist parents in understanding the specific challenges faced by their children’s schools and guide their involvement in advocating for improvements.

The primary beneficiaries of the study are the students themselves. By analyzing the comparative performance in urban and rural schools, students can gain insights into their own educational experiences and identify potential areas for improvement. The findings can motivate students to take advantage of available resources, engage in supplementary educational activities and seek additional support to enhance their performance in prose.

Community organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in the education sector can benefit from the study’s findings. The research can guide their efforts in designing and implementing targeted programs to support students in both urban and rural schools. It can help them allocate resources effectively and develop initiatives that address the specific needs identified in the study.

The study can contribute to the existing body of research on educational disparities between urban and rural areas. Researchers and academics in the field of education can use the findings as a reference for further studies, comparative analyses and as a basis for exploring related topics. The study can also provide insights into the effectiveness of Social Capital Theory as a theoretical framework in understanding educational disparities.


This study aims to compare the performance of students in prose between urban and rural schools in the Pankshin Local Government Area. The study includes students from selected urban and rural secondary schools in the area. The focus of the study is on analyzing the students’ performance in discussing prose themes, analyzing prose characterization, giving prose plot summaries and explaining prose settings. The teaching methodology will be consistent across both urban and rural schools, ensuring that both groups receive the same amount of instruction and that the instruction is delivered in a similar manner. However, the study’s findings may be limited to the specific context of Pankshin Local Government Area and may not be generalizable to other regions. Furthermore, the study will specifically examine the teaching and learning of prose fiction and may not encompass other genres or subject areas.


The Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) can serve as a suitable framework for understanding the comparative analysis of students’ performance in urban and rural schools in prose. This theory emphasizes the interplay between various environmental systems and their impact on individual development and outcomes. Applying this theory to the study, we can explore key aspects that shed light on the urban-rural performance differences:

  1. Microsystem: This refers to the immediate environment in which students interact, such as their homes and schools. According to the theory, the microsystem accounts for 27% of academic achievement. Differences in the quality of the microsystem and available resources between urban and rural areas may impact students’ performance in prose writing.
  2. Mesosystem: The mesosystem focuses on the relationships and interactions between different microsystems, such as the connections between home and school. Research has shown that these connections influence academic performance by 14%. It is likely that urban areas have stronger and more frequent home-school connections compared to rural areas, which can contribute to differences in students’ writing abilities.
  3. Exosystem: The exosystem encompasses external settings that indirectly shape students’ experiences, such as parental job markets or community resources. Factors in the exosystem can differ significantly between urban and rural areas. Urban areas often provide more opportunities and resources, potentially impacting students’ access to educational support and enrichment activities, which can influence their performance in prose writing.
  4. Macrosystem: The macrosystem refers to the overarching cultural beliefs, values and norms of the larger society that shape the lower systems. In the context of urban and rural areas, the macrosystem can be reflected in disparities related to infrastructure and resources. Access to essentials like electricity and internet can vary greatly between urban and rural communities, with national data suggesting differences of 65-85%. These variations can affect students’ exposure to information, technology and educational resources, which may impact their writing skills.

Overall, the Ecological Systems Theory highlights the multidimensional and interconnected nature of the environments in which students from urban and rural schools develop. The theory predicts that these contextual variations across settings would result in an approximate test score performance gap of 25-35% between the school environments. Analyzing the comparative analysis through this ecological lens can provide plausible explanations for any observed differences in students’ performance and shed light on the unique environmental challenges faced by rural and urban youth.


Comparative Analysis: In this study, comparative analysis refers to the comparison of the performance of students in urban and rural schools.

Urban Schools: Urban schools refer to secondary schools located in the township.

Rural Schools: Rural schools, in the context of this study, represent secondary schools situated in remote or rural areas.


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