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STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING LOW ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN IGBO LANGUAGE IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN ENUGU EDUCATION ZONE


Project topic for Education department

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals and mobilizing resources to execute the action. It is a planned series of actions for achieving something. They could also be methods, plans or ways of achieving something. Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve the goals are usually limited.

Then to improve is to make or become better, to achieve a better standard or quality in comparison with, therefore when the need to improve arises, one must have some strategies to achieve the goals especially when it comes to Education.

Education in this context is the training of an individual in line with his culture and innovations within it to become an acceptable member of the society with good conduct, character and behavior for positive contribution to the growth and development of such society. With the rate of low performances in academic especially in the learning of languages, the dream to becoming an acceptable member of the society will not be achieved.

The world is made up of different people with distinctive styles of living. Every people, nation, community, town, village has a peculiar way of doing things which distinguishes them from others. Every people in this life have their life pattern which characterizes and identified them as a people. This particular way of living exhibited by different people of the world, nations, tribes, societies and communities is known as culture. Therefore nobody living can disassociate herself or himself from culture, for culture determines an individual’s root.

Language is one of the elements of culture and it is simply defined as an organized system of speech used by human beings as a means of communication among themselves. Ianna (2007) Igbo language is an indigenous language. An indigenous language or autochthonous language is a language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous people, often reduced to the status of minority language. Igbo language is from a linguistically distinct community that has been settle in the area for many generations. Many indigenous people worldwide have stopped passing on their ancestral languages to the next generation, and have instead adopted the minority language as part of their acculturation into the majority culture. Furthermore, many indigenous languages have been subject to linguicide (language killing). Recognizing their vulnerability, the United Nations Proclaimed 2019 the international year of indigenous languages, “to draw attention to the critical loss of indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages.

Therefore, it can be said that language is the greatest vehicular structure and instrument in a people’s culture. It is the language that determines them as a people.

Based on this, parents, pupils, students and teachers should all come together to revitalize our language and make it great again because it is our great tool with which Igbo man’s existence and individuality is determined.

The modern trend in education and the complex nature of learning and instruction have made the role of the teachers more challenging. This new role does not just involve the more transmission of information to students but it involves looking at the problems associated with learning and instruction.

The National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) in Nigeria emphasized that our children should be educated properly so that they can acquire skills and competencies that would enable them function well and solve problems in the society. The accomplishment and realization of these important educational goals in Nigeria lies in the new trend in the educational approaches.

These new approaches to learning and instruction expose the students to conceptualize and effectively manage their own learning and thus reinforce their learning and transfer their training in practical situations.

Despite the new approach to learning and instruction, Igbo language in schools in primary level in Enugu State has been plagued with poor results and low achievements. Annual results from first school leaving certificate (FSLC) and Common Entrance Examination reveal woeful performances from the pupils who have seen that Igbo language is a non-compulsory subject unlike English language and mathematics which they study so hard to get better results in. It is worrisome to note too that the performances of these pupils have continued to deteriorate year after year. It is understood that if the situation in Igbo language remains like this, it will affect both the cultural and economic growth of the state. This is because a good mastery of Igbo language is mandatory on all students whom the language is their mother tongue.

From the foregoing therefore, we can conclude that Igbo language is an indispensable language of communication in Enugu State and other Igbo speaking states.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

            SomeIndigenous languages have for the past years been declining from what they used to be and Igbo language is not exceptional.

            Evidence shows that children with their parents are shying away from speaking and learning Igbo language as their mother tongue, their first language and it is obviously endangering the language.

Due to lack of interest in learning the language, it has led to poor performance of the subject in schools.

            Teachers in schools do not have enough materials and human resources for the teaching and learning process and these result to not teaching the subject effectively and the students not understanding it.

            The syllabus also is not improved, it has been the old used syllabus for the subjects. Therefore, this project attempts a critic look on how to improve the low academic performance in Igbo language in Enugu Education Zone.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to find out strategies for improving the performances of Primary School Students in Igbo language.

Specifically the study sought to:

  • find out the types of facilities available in the schools for teaching Igbo language
  • identify the methods used in teaching Igbo language
  • identify the strategies for motivating teachers of Igbo language
  • identify strategies for improving the low academic performance of students in Igbo language

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  • What type of facilities is available for teaching Igbo language in schools in Enugu State?
  • What are the methods of teaching adopted by Igbo language teachers?
  • What are the strategies for motivating teachers of Igbo language?
  • What are the strategies of improving the low academic performance of students in Igbo language?
1.5 Significance Of The Study

This research work will be beneficial, to pupils, students, teachers, parents and future researchers in the following ways. The findings of the study will help the students in their internal and external examinations like NECO, SSCE, WAEC etc. The findings of the study will make the pupil’s performance to improve in FSLC and Common Entrance Examinations It will contribute meaningfully to knowledge of teaching and learning Igbo language especially with the role of Igbo in the day to day communication. The findings of the study will also benefit researchers for future use and also the Ministry of Education Enugu State for good number of student’s performances.

1.6 Limitations of the Study

Onthe conduct of this research, the following constraints were experienced:

  • Time: this study was carried out when the researcher was in last semester of the study and required more time to search for information and materials, but due to the short space of time, this was not partially achieved.
  • Finance: the financial implications encountered in the course of the project were enormous hence it limited the scope.
  • Lack of Co-operation: respondents being human beings had their personal interest. This could not bring to light certain information that probes their personal interest and that of the organization. Most of the questionnaires were not returned and some not properly completed.
1.7 Definition of Terms

Performance: This relates to the execution carried out or putting into effect the task, job or operation.

Teacher: A professional trained to impart knowledge to pupils or students.

Assessment: evaluation or estimation of the nature, value or quality of something or a subject.

Effectiveness: it is the ability to determine appropriate objectives, that is the degree at which schools goals are met within established resources “doing the right thing”

Indiscipline:  this can be described as a mode of life not in conformation with rule and non-subjection to contain. This term connotes the regulations capable of obstructing the smooth and orderly function of the school system.

Reading:  is the process of receiving and interpreting information encoded in language from via the medium of print.

Writing:  is the process by which author uses his mental ability to put words to paper as well as the result of that process.

Speech: expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulated sounds.

Mother Tongue: this is the original and first language of an individual which they acquire from their parents.

L2:  This is language two. This learnt as a second language in addition to their mother tongue.

Curriculum: is the subjects comprising a step by step guide of a course of study in a schools.


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