EFFECTS OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PANKSHIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
EFFECTS OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PANKSHIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
This study was carried out to examine the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on academic performance of secondary school students in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. The survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study was all the secondary school students in Pankshin. The sample of the study was 200 students from 10 selected secondary schools. The random sampling technique was used to select the sample. The questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. The instrument for data collection was the mean score and simple percentage. The findings of the study revealed that the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian schools include suspension of examination, teaching and learning in all secondary schools across the state was put to hold because of the COVID-19 virus therefore, creating learning gap and disruption of Academic Calendar of secondary schools are the Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Nigerian secondary schools, students and teachers were afraid to go back to the classroom for fear of COVID-19, parents of returning students had no money to pay for the academic session, students’ zeal to study was diminished as a result of long stay at home, some teachers and brains in the educational system died: a loss of and workforce as a result of COVID-19.In the light of the findings, the following were recommended among others hand sanitizers should be made available to students and teachers at all entry points in secondary schools, face mask should be made compulsory for students and teachers to wear in and outside the school, all schools should be fumigated in line with the covid-19 protocols, students should be made to sit distantly.
- Background to the Study
The spread of COVID-19 has also caused fear, anxiety and other concerns to citizens in different parts of the world, including groups engaged in the educational process, such as children, teachers and parents (NCIRD, 2020). Parents’ concerns, apart from circumstances created due to physical distancing and other personal factors, are presumed to have been influenced by: an unwillingness to support their children in distance/online learning or home learning; the lack of access to technology and the Internet or the inadequacy of the technological formats used for children with special educational needs; economic hardship (UNESCO, 2020b). It was noted that the concerns of teachers engaged in the learning process were related to opportunities to conduct remote/online learning due to their level of knowledge and skills in the use of technology, access to technology and isolation at home (UNESCO, 2020a). Such concerns have been reported in particular by countries in which, prior to the circumstances created by the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19, the level of use of technology by teachers in the classroom has been declared extremely low (UNESCO, 2020b). In addition, the demands to shift teaching to the online format have also been reported to have increased the level of stress and anxiety of teachers in different parts of the world (UNESCO, 2020).
Though school closure was intended to control the spread of the virus within schools, prevent carriage to other vulnerable individuals, and sustain public health, these closures have had widespread socioeconomic impacts (Lindzon, 2020; Wren-Lewis, 2020; Cauchemez et al., 2009). Furthermore, the far-reaching effects of social/physical distancing and the associated lockdown measures, as well as school closures, have thwarted the education sector and are expected to leave an indelible mark on the education system (Impey, 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020). Over 188 out of 195 countries have been implementing nationwide school closures and restricted education facilities (Nicola et al., 2020; UNESCO, 2020). It is estimated that more than 1,576, 021, 858, which constitute about 91.3% of all the learners across the globe, have been affected by the closure of educational institutions (Fong et al., 2020; Nicola et al., 2020; Sadique Adams & Edmunds, 2008; Brown et al., 2011; UNESCO, 2020). Apart from the impact on learners, school closures have high economic, health and social costs (Cauchemez et al., 2009; Brown et al., 2011; Wu et al., 2010). Timely responses have been in place in most countries, such as Australia, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, with regard to online learning before the pandemic (Crawford et al., 2020). Yet, researchers have shown that the pandemic has posed significant challenges to education in such countries (Crawford et al., 2020). Hence, it is expected that the pandemic would have a more adverse effect on schools that had no online learning platforms before the pandemic (Zhong, 2020; Kachra & Brown, 2019). Zar et al. (2020) pointed out that the indirect effects of the pandemic include disrupted schooling and lack of access to school, more especially in low and medium-income countries.
In low and medium-income countries, the impact of COVID-19 is particularly threatening to education given that education systems have been working on substandard platforms (Dan-Nwafor et al., 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020). It is also challenging in overcrowded resource constrained schools in these regions to provide a safe learning environment for students (Zar et al., 2020). The pandemic has a peculiar dissipating impact on education in Africa and other countries through decreased level of education, broadened existing divide in learning access and outcomes and increased school dropouts (Blundell et al., 2020; Dorn et al., 2020). In Nigeria, the threat posed to education is compounded due to peculiar vulnerabilities, including poor health systems, poverty and inequality, hunger, internally displaced populations, high population densities, urban-rural divide and out-of-school population (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020). Prior to COVID-19, Nigeria accounts for one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children. About 10.5 million children aged 5-14 years in Nigeria were out of school, and only about 61 % of 6 to 11-year-old children receive primary school education on a regular basis (UNICEF Nigeria, n.d.). Hence, while Nigeria is battling with underlying educational challenges that have kept the country behind in getting young people ready for the dynamic workplace (Dan-Nwafor et al., 2020; Obiako & Adeniran, 2020; Yinka & Adebayo, 2020), COVID-19 impacts further exacerbate this problem.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, all schools in Nigeria were closed from March 27, 2020, as one of the Federal Government measures to limit the spread of the disease. This translated to a contextualized state-wide school closure across the 36 states in the country. In response, different states’ Ministries of Education have been releasing modalities for radio and TV schooling and internet-based learning for students in public primary and secondary schools. Though these efforts could be effective, with experience from developed countries, it can amount to a far-reaching negative impact on the education system in developing low-income countries like Nigeria (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020). For instance, as the COVID-19 pandemic is revolutionizing digital and online education globally, primary and secondary school learners in rural and under-served communities remain behind due to lack of skills and resources to adapt or transition to the new learning avenues. In addition, university students who may have the skills to undertake internet-based learning face poor internet infrastructure and a lack of reliable electricity supplies (Crawford et al., 2020; Zhong, 2020). Thus, learning remotely (including ratio, TV schooling, and online learning apps for primary and secondary learners, virtual libraries and online classes in the universities) is practically not feasible in most Nigerian communities. Poorly resourced institutions and socially disadvantaged learners where limited access to technology and the internet, as well as students’ inability to engage in an online environment, undermine Government response (Zhong, 2020).
Obiako and Adeniran (2020) found that the pandemic has impacted education in three major ways, including missed learning for the majority of the pre-pandemic students, loss of access to vital school-provided services and leaving more kids behind. Thus, these impacts are likely to widen the gaps in education quality and socioeconomic equality following the school closures in the country. This is because a lesser percentage of learners who are in the urban areas, who are likely to hail from secondary schools-income families stand more chance to access education during school closure through technology (Obiako & Adeniran, 2020), leaving behind the majority of learners from poor homes and underserved rural and suburban areas of the country (Zhong, 2020). Apart from this, learners in schools that lack the resources or capacity to transition to online delivery are currently missing learning (Leung & Sharma, 2020).
Learning within the homes could also be a challenge or present challenges for learning. Such learners depend on parents’ educational attainment and other commitments, leaving a greater percentage of the learners’ population behind. These problems constitute considerable concerns from all stakeholders in education (Crawford et al., 2020). Hence, even though most states in the country are currently responding through radio and television, a good fraction of the learners are still experiencing some challenges in their education. Furthermore, to the best of researcher’s knowledge, no study has investigated the effect of COVID-19 on secondary school education with particular reference to secondary schools in Pankshin based on perspectives of education stakeholders (educators, parents and learners) in Nigeria. Therefore, this study relied on stakeholders’ views to deconstruct the educational challenges posed by COVID-19 and how those challenges have impacted education and learning in primary and secondary schools.
The Coronavirus pandemic has affected schools worldwide, leading to the widespread closure of schools in the affected countries. As of 28th March, 2020, over 1.7 billion learners were out of school due to schools not in session because of the pandemic. According to UNESCO monitoring, over 100 countries have implemented nationwide closure, impacting nearly 90% of the world’s student population. (UNESCO, COVID-19 Educational Disruption and Response, 2020). School closure does not only affect students, teachers, and families, but have far-reaching economic and societal consequences, (Lindzon, 2020). School closures in response to COVID-19 have shed light on various social and economic issues, including student debt, digital learning, food insecurity and homelessness as well as access to childcare, health care, housing, internet and disability services (Alex, 2020). Previous outbreaks of infectious diseases have prompted widespread school closing around the world with varying levels of effectiveness. (Simon, 2020).
It is in the light of the above discussions that this study seeks to investigate the Effects of covid-19 pandemic on academic performance of secondary school students in Pankshin Local Government Area with the aim of finding lasting solution.
- Statement of the Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant directive issued by the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria led to the shutting down of schools at all levels in order to contain the spread of the virus. With the closure of schools, students of secondary institutions (both private and public) were forced to remain closed until when the disease is curtailed. This development had serious effects on schools such as, lost of loved ones and lost of focus on school and hardship due to the ravaging effect of the pandemic on the economy and psychological trauma. It is in line with these problems that the study seeks to find out the effects of COVID-19 on the educational performance of students in secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area
1.3. Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on the educational performance of students in secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area. Other specific objectives of the study include:
- To identify the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian secondary schools.
- To determine the extent to which schools are affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
- To determine the extent to which COVID-19 has affected the students’ performance.
- To suggest ways the schools can be improved amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
- Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study:
- What are the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian schools?
- What is the extent to which schools are affected?
- What are the suggested ways the schools can be improved amidst COVID-19 pandemic?
- Research Hypotheses
The following hypothesis were raised in the course of the research:
H0: COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the performance of students in the Nigerian Secondary Schools.
Ha: COVID-19 pandemic has affected the performance of students in the Nigerian Secondary Schools.
- Significance of the Study
The importance of this study cannot be underemphasized especially now that the education sector is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The study shall be beneficial to the curriculum planners, government, parents, students and staff of secondary schools in Pankshin.
To the government, they may get to know the effects of COVID-19 on education and therefore they will take measures to avert these effects in the future even if there is an outbreak of such pandemic next time.
The students shall also benefit from the study as the measures taken by government and curriculum planners will aid in averting effects on education in the future. These measures will include the introduction of online lecturers and distant learning, enhancement of ICT facility in the educational institutions, etc.
The teachers on their part may benefit from the study as they will be free to teach the students and interact with them without fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Finally, when this study is completed, it will serve as a reference materials to future researchers who will want carry out further research into the effects of COVID-19 on the performance of students.
- Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study is focused on COVID-19 Pandemic and its effects on education in selected secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. However, despite its limitation to the study area, its findings will be applicable to other parts of the state and country at large.
- Operational Definition of Terms
It is expedient to define the following terms which shall be used in the course of this research:
- Education: This is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners can also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.
- System: A system is a group of interacting or interrelated entities that form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, structure and purpose and expressed in its functioning. Systems are the subjects of study of systems theory.
- COVID-19: Coronavirus Disease is a contagious disease that first emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019. It was later coded “COVID-19” by the W.H.O which stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019. The Coronavirus outbreak remains one of the worst global pandemics for decades. The mortality rate soared and the easy of spread was upsetting. Research shows that older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer were more likely to develop serious illnesses from coronavirus (W.H.O, 2020)
iv. Pandemic: A pandemic is an epidemic occurring on a scale that crosses national boundaries, usually affecting people on a worldwide scale. It is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide, affecting a substantial number of people.
- Schools: These are educational institutions designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers.
- Secondary school Education: Also referred to as second-level, second-stage or post-primary education, Secondary school education is the educational level following the completion of primary education.
- Format: ms-word (doc)
- Chapter 1 to 5
- With abstract reference and questionnaire
- Preview Table of contents, abstract and chapter 1 below
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