The major objective of the study was to find out factors affecting agricultural science performance in Ordinary Level National examinations from 2016 to 2019 with reference to selected schools in Kano state City. From 2008 to 2019 the overall National agricultural science pass rate in Ordinary Level secondary schools were below 50%. The study wanted to find the pattern of the SS3 student’s performance in the WAEC examinations from 2016 to 2019, as well as, the students’ and teachers’ opinions on that poor performance. The study used cross sectional research design to collect data from the population samples. It employed two stage-sampling design to select the 100 respondents who were form three students studying agricultural science from selected schools. The first stage used purposive sampling to select 5 schools in Kano state. The second stage used simple random sampling to select 20 form three students, ten boys and ten girls from each of the five schools. Purposive sampling was also used to select key informants. Data collection was done by using questionnaires, interviews and documentary review. Data from questionnaires were collected, edited, coded and summarized and then analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 12.0 (SPSS 12.0 for windows). Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were employed to show the patterns revealed from the findings. The major findings of the study show that insufficient facility distribution and accessibility in secondary schools, problems of enough qualified agricultural science teachers in schools and poor students’ home support services were among the major challenges which led to poor performance in the WAEC examinations results. The study recommends to provide enough learning facilities, as well as, enough motivated agricultural science teachers in secondary schools.

1.1 Background to the Study
Science in the secondary schools is taught through two main categories; as Basic Science at the Basic secondary and the separate science subjects as Chemistry, Physics and Biology at the Senior Secondary. It is however worrisome to note that research studies and findings had pointed out that there is low achievement in secondary school science (Onwuakpa and Nweke, 2000).

One of the major issues that bothers students in Nigeria today is their academic performance (Ojukwu, 1994). Poor academic performance of students in internal and external examinations is a reflection of the problems and challenges facing the educational system in Nigeria today (Fehintola, 2016). Education helps individuals to adopt to a new environment. In Nigeria, education is seen as the only means of getting to the top hierarchy in any endeavor. Thus, poor academic performance usually brings about sadness and frustration to the individual concerned and to his/her parents as well as other members of the family. As a matter of fact, it gives parents and students feelings of satisfaction and joy when children excel academically (Fehintola, 2016). To this end, the importance attached to good academic success or performance by the students as well as their parents and the difficulty experienced by these students have resulted in wide-spread failures, low grades, examination malpractices, cheating, and so on. These are the cases with the students taking the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) (Ojukwu, 1994).

There has been wide cry each year when WAEC or NECO releases their annual results as a result of students poor performance especially in the Science subjects (Salami, Mohammed, & Kanolade; 2019). Candidates’ performance at the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by WAEC and NECO has consistently remained poor with Agricultural science having one of the worst and poorest results over the years (Ibe & Madusnum, 2001). For example, a look at the five-year SSCE results in Agricultural science from 2010 to 2014 shows that in 2010 out of 105,453 that sat for Agricultural science in all the secondary schools in Abia State only 26,680 credited Agricultural science.

Of all the science subjects, Agricultural science is vital for preparing scientists and technologists both at middle and upper manpower levels. Agricultural science is one of the basic sciences which are essentially the pre-requisites for technological breakthrough. Hence, the need for effective Agricultural science education in Nigeria appears very crucial and therefore, demands considerable attention. For instance, Chemical Technologists and Technical workers are needed in all those Agricultural science-related fields mentioned above. In the higher manpower requirement, 18 experts are needed in chemical engineering. These fields cannot be effectively studied without Agricultural science as it serves as pre-requisite to them. This implies that Agricultural science is an important science subject needed for higher education in virtually all the science related professions such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Engineering, food and nutrition. So these aspects of the importance of Agricultural science explain why schools, governments, students and parents are worried over students’ poor achievement in Agricultural science in senior school certificate examination.

Agricultural science is one of the most important disciplines in the school curriculum; its importance in the general education has world-wide recognition. It is worth to emphasize that the field of agricultural science, science and technology are related to the economic heart of every highly-developed, industrialized and technologically advanced society (Burmeister 2019). Teaching and learning of science have significant roles towards technological development in a developing nation since agricultural science is embedded in our life and society, economical, ecologic and societal influences (Hofstein 2011). In Pakistan, students’ academic performance is measured by Graded Point Average (GPA) (Galiner, 2006). The performance is also measured through the result of a particular subject like Agricultural science (Hijazi & Naqvi, 2006).

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Considerable attempts have been made at researching on some of the variables above but none has focused on what the students themselves perceived as factors that cause poor performance in agricultural science. Researchers have so far focused on teacher-related problems in the teaching of science subjects. Other identified factors of poor academic performance are motivational orientation, self-esteem/self-efficacy, emotional problems, study habits, and poor interpersonal relationships, among others. The role of instructional material, methods, practical’s, and the like on the academic performance were also studied by Nnaka and Anaekwe (2004). Given the wide ranging effects of students’ poor academic performance and its concomitant social and destructive emotional effects on the students, parents, society and the nation, it is appropriate and should be a welcome development to explore what students actually perceive as factors or reasons for their poor performance at the external examinations conducted by WAEC and NECO. This will enable proffering of solutions for a better performance by students. Following from the above and given the fact that the factors suspected to be some of the reasons why students’ performance in Agricultural science continued to decline, this study’s main motivation was to investigate what the students perceive to be the causes of their poor performance in Agricultural science at both May/June and November/December examinations.

1.3 Research Objectives
(i) To analyse performance in the SS3 WAEC examination results from 2016 to 2019.

(ii) To determine teacher and students perceptions on poor agricultural science WAEC examination performance.

(iii) To collect and identify factors leading to poor performance of agricultural science students in ordinary level secondary school examinations.

1.4 Research Questions
(i) What are the patterns of the SS3 student performance in the WAEC examinations from 2016 to 2019?

(ii) What is the opinion of the students and teachers on the poor agricultural science subject performance in the Form IV WAEC examinations?

(iii) What are the factors affecting that performance?

1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study would significantly form basis to explain some basic truth to the: State‘s government and officials of Ministry of Education on taking the right decision on the provision of infrastructural facilities to aid teaching and learning process which will help improve the academic performance of day and boarding senior secondary school students in Nigeria. It will help the respective school authorities in the state to take corrective measures within their jurisdiction through adequate planning of resources to meet the demands and guide their actions on future projects on the education of day and boarding staff and students for successful teaching and learning process in the schools.

It will stimulate administrators to investigate and formulate constructive strategies with a view to reducing or eliminating student’s poor performance through student’s welfare support services in the Senior Secondary Schools, Nigeria.

Parents would give much attention and supervision to the student‘s work and hence result in improvement of student’s performance.

1.7 Scope of the Study
This research work on analysis of factors affecting student’s agricultural science performance in WAEC. The scope of the study is restricted to the schools within the urban areas in Kano state that have presented students for WASSCE for at least ten years.

1.8 Delimitation of the Study
Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.

However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.

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