Education is a dynamic force in the life of every individual in influencing their physical, mental, emotional, social and ethical development. It is obvious that, only through the forces of education (both formal and informal) human standards and ideas can be raised. An individual irrespective of their marital status or gender needs to be given the best education.
Education of women effects development and progress of society, and women with education can lead better social development and economic growth. Study conducted by Bari, (2005) revealed that women education has long term benefits to the family and the society. Mothers’ education has significant effects on the education of their children as well as on the society. According to Chaudhry and Rahman (2009), through higher education women are able to internalize the particular culture of their society in which they are expected to be a good wife and wise mother. According to Murray, (2009) higher education provides women with better health and job opportunities.
The consequences of marital status on female student on their education can be drawn from both negative and positive perspectives. It has become an issue of concern that the marital status of a female student may influence their approaches to learning and that their approaches to learning also may influence their academic achievement either positively or negatively.
Approaches to learning refer to the foundation that affects how student learn in every other content area. It encompasses students‘ engagement, motivation, and participation in the classroom. Studies conducted by Goldien (2007) revealed that many young married female students face many problems and leave their education uncompleted due to different social and cultural factors. Even if they are fortunate to complete their education, their performance is abysmally poor. This termination of education and abysmal poor performance in their studies is the outcome of the challenges encountered when combining education with their responsibilities as home-keepers in their families.
Having to study poses challenges for women due to their family responsibilities and several challenges arise when individuals tend to negotiate the role of university students with their role inside of marriage and the family. Women from time immemorial have been saddled with many family responsibilities and are traditionally assigned many roles including custody of children, maintenance of the home, feeding and preservation of the family health.
Female Students getting married has a profound physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional impacts, which has the capacity to dash away the educational opportunities and chances for personal growth. It almost leads to pregnancy and childbearing, and is likely to result into a lifetime domestic and sexual subservience.
Academic achievement represents achievement outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university. School systems mostly define cognitive goals that either apply across multiple subject areas (e.g., critical thinking) or include the acquisition of knowledge and understanding in a specific intellectual domain (e.g., numeracy, literacy, science, history).
It is against this background that assessing the effect of marital status among female students of National Open University Makurdi Study Centre is to be made in the light of it mode of learning.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problems of academic achievement among female students of National Open University Makurdi Study Centre are many and sometimes complicated. Some of the notable ones include; combining the roles of house wife and that of a student. This problem may be a hindrance in the effective achievement of female married students in school, because they are expected to properly take care of the home at the same time expected to perform well academically. On the other hand, some of the married students, despite their dual situation of combining both roles of care givers at home and being students, may perform better in school than the unmarried students.
It is also observed that some students who were unmarried earlier tend to perform lower after marriage while some tends to perform even better after their marriage. Can it be safe to say that marital status affect the level of female academic performance in the Makurdi study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria?
1.3 Research Question
Consequently the following questions are derived from the main question
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this research is to find out how marital status affect the academic performance of female students in the Makurdi Study Centre of National Open University of Nigeria, it will also pursue the following Objectives.
Determine the level of academic performance of unmarried female student in National Open University, Makurdi Study Centre.
Examine the influence of marital status on the academic performance of male students in the Makurdi Study Centre.
To determine the right approaches a female married student will adopt to increase academic performance in the Study Centre.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study is significant in many ways. It will help address the problems of approaches to learning and academic achievement among married female students of the Makurdi Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria. It will also help the students to identify ways of developing good approaches to learning to enhance their academic achievement.
The study will be useful to teachers to understand why married and unmarried female students perform differently in their academic achievement and be able to help student’s device means of enhancing their approaches to learning and academic achievement at school. To educational psychologist and counselors, this study will assist them to prepare seminars and conferences to enlighten the students and provide them with knowledge on how to inculcate good approaches to learning so as to enhance their learning.
The study will also enlighten the general public on issues that hinders or promote academic achievement of married female students and draw their attention to understand that poor approaches to learning can lead to poor academic achievement.
To the guidance and counselors, it will enable them to organize seminars and conferences to enlighten and orient students and the general public on issue regarding approaches to learning and academic achievement of married and unmarried students; problems of marital adjustment and how to cope with studies.
1.6 Research Hypotheses
For the purpose of this research, the following hypotheses are stated.
There is no significant difference in academic achievement of married and unmarried female students in the Makurdi Study Centre
There is no significant difference in approaches to learning of married and unmarried female student in the Makurdi Study Centre
There is no significant difference in academic achievement of deep and surface learners of Study Centre
There is no significant difference in approaches to learning of male and female students in the Study Centre
1.7 Scope and limitation of the Study
This study focused on the effect of marital status on academic performance of female married students in the Makurdi Study Centre of the National open University of Nigeria only. Some of the challenges encountered during the research is the unavailability of married female students on ground to source information due to the nature of the programmed.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Academic Achievement: Academic achievement represents achievement outcomes thatindicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university. Academic achievement is measured by students‘ cumulative grade point average (CGPA).
Approaches to Learning: refers to the foundation that affects how student learn in everyother content area. It encompasses student‘s engagement, motivation, and participation in the classroom.
Gender: Is the state of being male or female (typically used with reference to social andcultural rather than biological perspective).
Marital Status: refers tothe condition of being married or unmarried i.e. that is single or married.
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