IMPACT OF READING CULTURE ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF AGRICULTURAL …

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ABSTRACT

Extensive reading has been found to be the most effective way of developing reading skill among students which eventually improving their academic performance. The study aimed to investigate the impact of reading culture on the academic performance of students in Agricultural science. The study was conducted among 100 secondary school students under Odeda Local Government Area in Ogun State using simple random sampling as the sampling techniques. A survey method with the use of questionnaire was adopted for data collection and the data collected were analyzed with the use of frequency count and percentage computation. Tables and test items were used to present the results of the findings. The findings acknowledge the importance of reading and the study confirmed that reading culture has impact on academic performance of students in Agricultural science. Based on the findings of this study, it was recommended that the students should be encouraged to spend time in reading continuously which can influence their study skill and subsequent academic performance.

Keywords:  Reading culture, Academic performance, Agricultural students, Secondary school

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0   INTRODUCTION

          Reading culture is well-planned and deliberate pattern of study which has attained a form of consistency on the part of students toward understanding academic subjects and passing examinations. Reading habit determines the academic performance of students in Agricultural science to a great extent. Both reading and academic performance are interrelated and dependent on each other. Students often come from different environments and localities with different levels of academic performance. Therefore, they differ in their pattern of reading habits. Some students have good reading habit while others tend to exhibit poor reading habit. Academic achievement means how much knowledge the individual has acquired from the school (Bashir and Mattoo, 2012).

          A creative and pragmatic education involve the habit of personal investigation. The act of personal investigation requires self-study to be followed by self-thinking and analysis. Self-study otherwise refers to as reading at one’s own accord, requires a habit which is known as reading habit. Reading makes way for a better understanding of one’s own experiences and it can be exciting voyage to self-discovery. Reading habit is best formed at a young impressionale age in school, butn once it is formed it can last one’s life time (Green, 2001).

          Reading and academic performance are essential for research workers and educationists to know that every child whether he/she is gifted, average, normal etc should be educated in his/her own way but if he/she possesses good study habit, he/she can perform well in Agricultural Science and in every situation. It is the reading habit which helps the learner in ob training meaningful and desirable knowledge. Good reading habit acts as a strong weapon for the student to excel in life (Bashir and Mattoo, 2012).

          According to Pelani (2012), reading habit is an essential and important aspect for creating a literate society in this world. It shapes the personalities of individuals and it helps them to develop proper thinking methods and creates new ideas. Pelani (2012) is of the opinion that effective reading is important avenue of effective learning and reading is interrelated with the total educational process and hence, educational success requires successful reading habit. Before the advent of television, both the old and the young found enough time to read but nowadays, reading habit has lost its importance as both the old and the young are glued to the television. As far as educational institutions are concerned, coaching students for the examinations seems to be the be-all and end-all of our educational system.

          Research on the correlation between study habit and students’ academic performance in Agricultural Science has for long received attention from scholars and educational agencies.

          In Nigeria, there are so many factors that influence the ability of students to cultivate effective and efficient reading or study habit in Agricultural Science. Such factors that are capable of influencing the academic performance of students of Agricultural Science are state of health, motivation, anxiety, their environment, adequacy of infrastructures like textbooks and well equipped library.

          Nuthana and Yenagi (2009) have examined the causes of poor academic performance among the students. Some of the factors identified are intellectual ability, poor study habit, achievement motivation, lack of vocational goal, low self concept, low socio-economic status of the family, poor family structure and so on.

          Factors responsible for the students’ poor performance are problem of teachers, problem of inadequate facilities in the school, problem traceable to the students, problem caused by parents and the society at large and problem of government policies and low funding of educational sector (Ajila and Olutola, 2007). In the same vein, Ichado (1998) also argued that the environment in which the student comes from can greatly influence his/her performance academically in the school.

          The term study or reading habit can be as the students’ way of study whether systematic, efficient or inefficient. It literally means that good study or reading habit produces positive academic performance in Agricultural Science while inefficient study or reading habit leads to academic failure.

          Study or reading habit can be measured directly through report, examination, assessment and rating. Students attitude and reading habit towards any subject, such as Agricultural Science, has been described as a function of their belief about the subject and implicit evaluative responses with those beliefs. Study attitude according to Hussain (2000) referred to predispositions which students have developed towards private reading through a period of time. Study attitude also offers great possibilities for successful achievement in studies.

          Students’ academic performance occupies a very important place in education as well as in the learning process. It is considered as a key criterion to judge one’s total potentialities and capacities which are frequently measured by the examination results (Nuthana and Yenagi, 2009).

          A literature review by Nagaraja (2004) pointed out that for good academic success to be achieved, good study or reading habit and attitude are important.

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

          Research on the correlation between reading habit and students’ academic performance in Science subjects has for long received attention from Scholars and Educational Agencies. For instance, the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) in 1994 conducted a study to find out the relationship between reading habits and academic performance of students. Findings of the reading revealed a positive correlation between reading habit and academic achievement. Similarly, Onwuegbuzie (2001) conducted a series of study to find out the relationship between academic success and reading habit and reported positive relationship between the two variables.

          A major reason for students’ under-developed potentialities may be in their lack of learning strategies. Emily and Betty (2004) posit that it is not an infrequent occurrence that students who spend inordinate amounts of time memorizing reading materials, are still barely getting by.

          Reading habit is learning tendencies that enable students to work privately. Azikiwe (1998) describes the reading habit as the adopted way and manner a student plans hi/her private reading after classroom learning so as to attain mastery of the subject. Good reading habit is good assets to learners because it assists students to attain mastery in areas of specialization and consequent excellent performance in Agricultural Science while opposite constitute constraints to learning and achievement leading to failure. Ozmert (2005) emphasized the importance of environmental influence as a major factor in the development of students reading habit. In the same vein, Adetunji and Oladeji (2007) submit that the environment of most children is not conducive for reading; it is in the light of this that made some parents to prefer their children to go to boarding school for proper discipline and to inculcate be better reading habit.

          Achievement is generally a pedagogical terminology used while determining learners’ success in formal education and which is measured through ratings with numerous factors of variables exerting influence. Essentially, the National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004) has identified school achievement contents according to school subjects which are classified as core or elective subjects. Although, studies abound on the causative and predictive nature of factors of reading habit on students’ academic performance, all factors of the variables tend to focus on poor reading habit.

          Therefore, the importance of reading habit especially at primary and secondary schools cannot be over emphasized considering its effect on the development of intellectual skills and the performance of students.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

          The problem most students have that contributes to their poor performance in tests and examinations in Agricultural science is lack of proper reading habit. For an excellent performance, there is the need for the student to form good reading and study habits. One of the many issues confronting students nowadays is perhaps not their inability to read, but their lack of interest.

          From the assertion above, this work was conducted to examine the reading culture among students and the effect on their academic performance in Agricultural science in secondary schools.

1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

          The aim of the study is to examine the impact of reading culture on students’ academic performance in Agricultural science in secondary school. Specifically, the study intends to:

(i)           Assess the reading habit of Agricultural science students.

(ii)          Compare the academic performance of students who have developed a reading habit and those who do not have a reading habit.

(iii)        Examine factors influencing students’ reading habit.

(iv)         Investigate the effect of reading habit on students’ academic performance in Agricultural science subject.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

          The following questions were raised to guide the study:

(i)           Is there any relationship between students’ reading habit and academic performance?

(ii)          What is the nature of relationship between students’ reading habit and their family background?

(iii)        How important is the method of reading on academic performance of students?

(iv)         Do the school environment, student personality and peer group affect the reading habit of students?

(v)          Are there any differences between male and female students in their performance in Agricultural science?

1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

          These hypotheses were formulated based on the research questions:

HO1:  There is no significant relationship between students’ reading habit and academic performance.

HO2:  There is no significant relationship between students’ reading habit and their family background.

HO3:  There is no significant relationship between method of reading and academic performance of students.

HO4:  There is no significant relationship between the school environment, student’s personality and peer group and the reading habit of students.

1.6   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

          The study, “Impact of Reading Culture on Academic Performance of Students in Agricultural Science”, would be conducted in four (4) different secondary schools in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State.  


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