COMPARATIVE STUDY OF SECONDARY STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN GEOGRAPHY FROM 2004 – 2008 IN ENUGU NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background of the Study
In spite of the importance of geography which serves as the present day hope in predicting and proffering solutions to our ever increasing environmental problems, ranging from climate change, ozone layer depletion, global warming, flooding, soil erosion, mass movement, drought and desertification, pollutions and earth quakes in other places, the learning of Geography is still impeded in Ankpa Educational Zone of Enugu State. Akintade (2012) stated that, Geography as a school subject is one of the most important subjects in secondary school education. Geography is relevant for both the students who are likely to continue to tertiary level and those who will not proceed. It equips students with a body of knowledge to make them functional and socially relevant in the fast changing world. No doubt Geography is a distinct and dynamic social science discipline that deals with the study of man and his physical environment.
It therefore helps young people to appreciate the value of their environment and its vast natural resources. That Geography as a subject is versatile, expressive, and intellectually stimulating. It exhibits a correlation with all school subjects. It instills in the students the need to appreciate and develop a sense of responsibility towards their own society. Despite this, there is an observable lack of students’ interest in Geography as a school subject in most of the secondary schools within Enugu North local government area. This situation agreed with Akintade (2012) who observed, there has been sharp decline in the number of students that offer Geography at the senior secondary school level in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The various reasons suspected to be responsible for this dwindling and decline of students’ interest for geography as a school subject are explored in this work. Teachers’ attitude and relationship with pupils has a very significant impact on the students’ attitude towards the subject, Bajah (1975) stated that, it is an educational truism that a teacher graduate or non-graduate can only teach what he or she knows. Therefore, it is very important that a secondary school teacher should be academically articulate in his area of specialization. The way he/she relates to the students and passes across his instructions goes a long way to motivate or discourage the student’s interest and attitude towards the subject.