Improving Secondary School Students' Academic Performance

As we all know, education is the principal factor that will change the world for knowledge is power. It is the best legacy, and its beneficial contribution cannot be despised. In the quest for knowledge, most students make sure that they attend a school that will aid their knowledge search. Recently, it has been discovered that the performance of students in our contemporary time is now low-grade and abysmal. The students looked up to by the elderly ones as their presumed successors are presently decreasing academics' value, thereby fizzling out the hope anticipated by the predecessors. However, it is generally known that the best gift a parent can give to a child is education. Most students have refracted their focus from the main objective of academics and have started becoming edacious and desperate in search of transient frivolities. Based on my meticulous observations, unequivocally, I can state that the cause of the decline in education nowadays is beyond enumeration. The solution to the cause of academic retardation is quite multidimensional. If the given recommendation is executed correctly, it will undoubtedly result in a glorious commendation.

Nevertheless, I will state some well-observed reasons for this. Presently, the exponential decline in education is a result of indolence on the part of students. I noticed that most students regard academic exercise as an onerous task to undertake. They claim that reading is boring; this is usually uttered or implied due to their lackadaisical attitude to intellectual ambition. A famous adage says that "A Donkey Can Be Forced To The Stream But Cannot Be Forced To Drink The Water". This problem can be improved if students’ proper sensitization on the importance of education is ensured to enhance the students' academic assiduity. Furthermore, the gradual decline in academics is due to a lack of reading and studying materials. Most students are exposed to a relatively exiguous source of knowledge that may not optimally replenish their understanding. This situation is also another cause of the fall in the standard of education that we experience nowadays. Some schools where students are supposed to gather enough information for the advancement of their aptitudinal prowess have libraries with a meager amount of books, which will result in the production of half-baked students. The solution to this shortcoming is to stock the students' information sources well to augment students’ intelligential capability excellently.

Moreover, the fall in education standard could also be precipitated by the inappropriate and antiquated lessons or lectures given by some complacent teachers. Students are usually submissive to the tutelage of a teacher. So, if the lecturers dish out obsolete lectures, the student will grasp it hook, line, and sinker (if he/she is not an inquisitive student). A student should be able to embark on a more personal elaborate research to broaden his/her horizon of understanding on the topic taught, practice enough questions, read extensively, and cogitate deeply on the concept of the studied topic(s). I suggest that refresher courses and training should be given to tutor to improve them academically, methodologically and pedagogically to preclude the transfer of erroneous or sub-standard ideological concepts to receptive students. In addition, students’ practicality must be ensured by students with the aid of the teachers. Most students are purely theoretical, and they should be practical in what they are doing. They must learn the thumb rules in their behavioral attitude towards their study to improve their academic performance.

In any case, students’ woeful performance over the years could be attributed to the inappropriate acquisition of knowledge. Most students are not well informed about the subjects they are offering. The students need to understand the prospects, offer, and requisite for studying those courses. Imagine an 'art and humanity' student declaring pontifically that he/she will offer an architectural course at the higher institution of learning due to his/her confidence in his/her aesthetically artistic drawings and paintings. This notion is just a gross fantasy, which cannot be feasible because the course is highly technical, mathematical, and scientific. As a result of the poor understanding of other course pre-requisite, there is a rife of failure in examinations. Supposing such a student apply for the course in the tertiary institution, he/she cannot be proficiently professional when he/she has completed the study. This situation is one of the reasons we have incompetent personnel in their chosen field of profession. I believe that vehement guidance and counseling will remediate this misdirection in choosing a career.

It is globally known that each individual possesses a different intelligence quotient and acumen. So, we cannot force a child into an academic department that he/she does not have any natural propensity to handle. This action of imposing a course on a student who has no innate tendency and inclination towards has become a recurring issue that requires urgent redress. This baleful action’s resultant effect is the reduction of a student's 'mental prowess' and disposition. As a result, it will invariably cause an obtrusive declination in the student's academic performance and imbue the country with the pernicious effects on her development. Any career a child chooses will contribute one way or the other to the advancement of the world. If a student is good in his field of study, the country's development will be catalyzed. Still, if he or she is not efficient in his/her selected course of study, the country is detrimental or at a disadvantage.

In view of this, the government is in the best position to step into the case by carrying out an upward review on the teachers' remuneration, which should be subject to immediate payment as at when due. This action will serve as a motivation to encourage the superlative performance of the teachers. An adage says that 'The Way You Lay Your Bed Is The Way You Sleep On It', which implies that a hungry teacher will be angry when teaching the students due to of the delay or denial in the payment of his/her salary. Therefore, such a teacher would also poorly deliver service while teaching in the class, which will inevitably result in the students’ poor understanding, which tends to be responsible for their woeful results.In a nutshell, the government is advised to generalize free education from the primary level to the secondary level because some students are naturally endowed with academic brilliance. This capability could not be exhibited due to their poor financial background and inability to afford or purchase the necessary educational materials (i.e., the essential textbooks and stationery). Suppose the government takes over the absolute sponsorship. In that case, there will be a complete concentration of such a student to produce the best result from his/her academic pursuit or endeavor.

Above all, there should be a coaching center for parental orientation on the student's study. Some parents are making learning so stringent for their wards by subjecting them to some busy domestic chores. These children could not have adequate time to concentrate diligently on their given assignments, resulting in their poor performance. Still, suppose the parent could be given the orientation on how to proffer conducive studying conditions for these students by understanding and cooperating with their ward. In that case, it will stimulate the best out of them in terms of their academic results. if all the given opinions and the suggested ideas could be implemented, there would be a significant improvement in the academic performance to discontinue poor results in the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC).

Abogunrin Simeon Mayowa