This study is on a comparative analysis of the performance of student in mock and WASSCE examination in agricultural science in Nigeria. The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected secondary school in markudi local government of Benue state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up principals, vice principals administration, senior staff and junior staff were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
- Background of the study
Academic performance has been described as the scholastic standing of a student at a given moment. This scholastic standing could be explained in terms of the grades obtained in a course or groups of courses (Daniels and Schoulen, 1970). Simkins (1981) commented on this scholastic standing and argued that performance is a measure of output and that the main outputs in education are expressed in terms of learning, that is, changes in knowledge, skills and attitudes of individuals as a result of their experiences within the school’s system. Mock has been the popular form of Examination conducted to help prepare students for these external examinations. But mock examinations conducted both at school and sectorial levels have been criticized by many scholars as being biased and subject to teacher’s manipulations which makes it inadequate to be used to predict the performance of students in external Examinations. Students are not being judged equally as different types of Mock Examinations are conducted by teachers in various schools and different senatorial districts. There is no uniformity of examinations taken by students to prepare them for the same external examinations. Standards differ from school to school and from district to district. The items in these Mock examinations conducted at school and district levels are not standardized to ascertain the psychometric properties of the items. This makes the examination unparallel with the external examinations that are developed in a standard form by experts which have known psychometric properties. To better strengthen the preparedness of students for the external examinations, government repackaged mock examination to be conducted centrally and in the same examination conditions as these external examinations. It is taken in the first term of SS III. The examination papers are equally marked centrally by teachers. Recently, the result of the mock examination was published and given out to students and could be accessed on the internet which is different from the usual practice of keeping the results with the school principals. All these are done by the government to equip the students for the public (eternal) Examinations. Public examinations are viewed as external school examinations opened to the general public and conducted by examination bodies using tests that have known psychometric properties. These are better developed than the ones prepared by the teachers in the school setting (Adeyegbe, 2004). The examinations are the sense that the examining boards conducting these examinations did not themselves prepare students for the examinations. Agricultural Science acquired the status of a vocational subject and it is one of the elective subjects students can choose at senior secondary school levels. This is to enable interested students to acquire practical agricultural skills that would make them self-reliant in future. Moreover, this would boost Nigeria’s food productivity. In spite of all these policies and programmes, records of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), a major examination body in the West African sub-region, showed that Agricultural Science results are generally poor in Nigeria. On this background the researcher wants to investigate on a comparative analysis of the performance of student in mock and WASSCE examination in agricultural science in Nigeria
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Poor performance of students in Agricultural Science examinations has been a major source of concern for decision makers on the Nigerian economy and stakeholders in the Agricultural education sector. This poor performance has been attributed to several factors. These included students’ poor attitude to the subject, lack of innovative teaching techniques, inadequate funding and inadequate farmlands to practice Agriculture Science. Also, a huge percentage of those that studied Agricultural Science in schools are either unemployed or are not practicing what they learnt in school and their poor WASSCE examination result.