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THE MODE OF ENTRY INTO THE UNIVERSITY AND THE STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE


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THE MODE OF ENTRY INTO THE UNIVERSITY AND THE STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

ABSTRACT

The study attempted to examine the mode of entry into the university and students' academic performance at University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. In this study, the literature was reviewed in sub headings. The descriptive research survey was applied in the assessment of the students' opinions with the use of the questionnaire, and the sampling technique. A total of 200 (two hundred) respondents were selected and used for information gathering in this study to represent the entire population of this study. A total of four (4) null hypotheses were formulated, and tested using the Pearson Product Correlational coefficient statistical tool at 0:05 for hypothesis one, while hypothesis two, three and four were tested using the independent t-test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. At the end. of the exercise, the results that emerged showed that: There is a significant relationship between mode of entry and students' academic performance in school There is a significant difference between the academic performance of students who entered the university through JAMB and those who entered the university through Foundation Programme. There is a significant difference between academic performance of students who entered the university through foundation programme and those who entered through Direct Entry. There is a significant gender difference in the academic performance of students due to mode of admission. It was recommended that 4t- is recommended that both the entry foundational programme should be retained and strengthened to become more effective. University of Lagos should bring the cost of being educated through the foundational programme which is meant for the only, to be also affordable to the poor.

CHAPTER ONE

1.1       Background to the Study

This study investigates the mode of admission of Education undergraduates and their academic performance in a Nigerian University using the students’ scores in the two semesters of the 2006/2007 academic session. These scores were subjected to a t-test analysis. It was concluded that most JAMB candidates unlike their pre-degree counterparts are not good materials for degree programmes. It was therefore, suggested that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) be scrapped in Nigeria and the higher school certificate programme be reintroduced in addition to encourage each university to run the school of basic or pre-degree studies (Adeduro, 2004).

A country’s educational objectives as are usually spelt out in its national policy on education, reflect those aspects of the national objectives that are deemed realizable through formal schooling. For more than three decades now, Nigeria has come to realize that the educational institutions in the country have been failing in the performance of their statutory roles. The intellectual attainment as well as the acquired skills of the products of the universities and other educational institutions have been abysmally below expectation (Okpitike, (2001); Ihebuzor, (2007); Frazen, (2003). It is the discouraging state of affairs that gave rise to the phrase “falling standard of education” which has now become a household slogan among Nigerians today.

The situation has become so deplorable that a couple of years ago, an international organization in rating the intellectual standard of Nigerian undergraduates intimated that for about one and a half decades to that time, most Nigerian universities had not been producing graduates  that are of the world standard (Bulus and Garara, 2007).

This assertion was further corroborated by the National University Commission’s (NUC) executive secretary in a T.V programme while justifying the Post-JAMB examination for university bound candidates. The Post-JAMB examination is an innovation to ensure that only good materials are offered university admission since there are doubts on the scores of candidates at JAMB examination. (Okoye, 2009)

It was also indicated by the NUC’s executive secretary that beginning from the 2006/2007 admission exercise, only first degree holders would be eligible to apply for university admission to read certain courses, e.g. in some developed countries medicine, law, engineering which hitherto have been open to senior schools certificate holders (Duro, 2010).

Experience has also shown that people including university lecturers tend to believe that although most of the undergraduates seem intellectually inadequate generally, the education undergraduates in particular seem to be more intellectually sub-standard than the others (Shuiabu, (2004); Ihebuzor, (2007); Okpilike, (2001); Conkline, (2006). This assumption seems justified because of the low cut-off score for education courses in the universities.

Therefore, this study was aimed at comparing education undergraduates admitted through the Pre-Degree (PD) programme and those admitted through the Joint Admission and Matriculation Examination (JAMB) in their academic performance.

In the study, the researcher is advocating the abolition of the JAMB, reintroduction of the higher school certificate programme and establishment of the school of basic/pre-degree studies. All of these will help in bridging the yawning gap that currently exists between the senior secondary school and university curriculum contents., These recommendations are being made in the light of the fact that the importance of relevant previous advanced knowledge cannot be overemphasized (Glasserfeld, 2009). Moreover, the findings have shown that most of the JME candidates are not good university materials. (Uzomah, 2008)

Education is universally recognized as one of the instruments for social, political, scientific and technological development. This is the reason why no society can afford to toy with the education of its citizenry as this will result in a snail speed deve1opment (Azikiwe, 2000). in the 1960s very few people were seeking for admission into higher institutions and those who were admitted got it through hard work. Any person who found himself/herself there was therefore considered intelligent and academically superior to his/her peers (Erigha, 2001).

Although there are basically two modes of entry into Nigerian Universities; that is Universities Matriculation Examination (UME) and Direct Entry (DE), a third mode exists as a way of running away from the Universities Matriculation Examination conducted by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB. Some universities in Nigeria call the third mode Pre-degree Programme (Onuoha, 2005).

There is a conception that the University Matriculation Examination (UME) candidates perform better than the Direct Entry, and Pre-degree candidates in their University Examination. Yet others believe that pre-degree candidates perform better than the UME and Direct Entry candidates in their university examination. Yet another group believes that Direct Entry candidates are supervior to both the pre-degree and UME candidates. The people who hold this view argued that the pre-degree and direct entry candidates cannot pass the UME conducted by JAMB, hence they opted for the pre-degree programme or institutions that enable them to get the Direct entry requirement (Adekoya, 2006).

This belief of people over which mode of entry is better in terms of university performance is different from one group to another, hence this study was undertaken to examine the mode of entry and performance of Nigerian university undergraduates.

The academic performance of students admitted into the universities in Nigeria has been an issue of great concern to lecturers and all those who are interested in the education industry. There are minimum entry requirement that candidates must posses before they can be admitted into degree programme in the universities. University of Lagos is not an exception. The requirements are met for both the pre-degree, UME and Direct entry candidates. Candidates are expected to possess NECO/WAEC SSCE or its equivalents with credits in five (5) subjects (including English and mathematics) relevant to their course(s) at not more than one sitting (Adeleke, 2006).

It is assumed that all those admitted into the University of Lagos irrespective of the mode of entry will be able to cope with the academic rigours but contrary to this expectations, some drop out on the way without graduating from the university, yet some change their courses and others spend extra year(s) before graduating as can be seen with the extension students and even some end up with pass and third class degrees. This scenario shows that performance may be a function of the mode of entry, hence, the problem of this study is to determine the relationship between the mode of entry and performance of Nigerian undergraduates in our universities, especially the University of Lagos (Nwosu, 2005).

1.2       Statement of the problem

No doubt, the mode of entry into the nation’s Universities by students, affects the academic achievement of the learners. There are many students who gained admission through the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) who do not have high academic standard in their subject areas. Many students today who are admitted into the higher institutions of learning, especially the university of Lagos perform poorly in their academics. Most of them are advised to withdraw from their studies simply because they fail to cope with the vigorous academic work loads in their courses, while majority barely get the required Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) to continue to the next level until graduation. Not only that, the admission criteria of cathment areas, educational disadvantaged areas and quota system, are issues that have bedeviled our education system, and if care is not taken, can assist in the collapse of educational standards in Nigeria, especially at the tertiary level.

The above problems gave rise to the examination of the mode of entry on performance of University of Lagos undergraduates.

1.3       Purpose of the Study 

The main purpose of this study is to examine the influence of mode of entry on academic performance of undergraduates at University of Lagos, Akoka Lagos.

This study will also examine the following:

(1)        To examine whether there is a difference between the academic performance of students who entered the University through direct entry and those with JAMB.

 (2)       To find out whether mode of entry influences the academic achievement of students at University of Lagos.

 (3)       To investigate whether there is any difference between the academic performance of students who entered the University through JAMB and through foundation programme.

(4)        To find out whether the academic performance of students differ due to their mode of entry to the University.

(5)        To examine whether the academic achievement of undergraduate students differ due to mode of entry into the university.

1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions will be raised in this study:

(1)        Will the mode of entry to the University influence undergraduate students’ performance?

(2)        Will there be any difference in the academic performance of undergraduates who gained admission through direct entry and those through JAMB?

(3)        Will there be any difference in the academic performance of students who entered the University through JAMB and the foundational programme?

(4)        Will the academic achievement of undergraduates differ due to the mode of entry into the University?

(5)        Is there any difference in the academic achievement of undergraduate students due to mode of entry into the University?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses will be formulated and tested in this study:

(1)        There will be no significant difference in the performance of undergraduate students who entered the University through direct entry and those through JAMB.

(2)        There will be no significant influence of entry mode on undergraduate students’ academic performance at University of Lagos.

 (3)       There will be no significant difference in the performance of students who entered the University through JAMB and those through foundation programme at University of Lagos

(4)        There will be no significant gender difference in the academic performance of undergraduate due to entry mode to the University.

(5)        The academic achievement of undergraduate students will not significantly differ due to mode of entry into the University.

1.6       Significance of the study

This study will be beneficial to the following individuals:

(1)        Students – The students, especially the undergraduates will find this study very important because its findings and recommendations will serve as pieces of information to them concerning the mode of entry to the University and the resultant academic achievement.

(2)        Lecturers – Would be able to know the more that, the academic performance of students depends majorly on their modes of entry into the University. With the results and recommendation of this study, lecturers will have more information on the University admissions mode and their outcomes on students’ academic careers.

(3)        The school Authorities – The school authorities no doubt, would be in-the-know concerning admission modes and their effects on students’ learning outcomes in the school, especially at University of Lagos. With these information at the disposal of the school authorities, they would be able to reformulate policies on admissions.

(4)        Government/Ministry of Education - The government and the ministry of Education both at the Federal and State levels, would benefit from this because, it will enable them to know clearly the effects of mode of entry of students, on their academic achievement especially at the University of Lagos.

(5)        The society – The larger members of the society would be able to appreciate that the academic performance of student cannot be separated absolutely from their mode of entry into the University. With this, the members of the society would know the roles played by University admission and students’ academic performance at schools.

1.7       Scope and Limitation of the study

The study will cover the influence of entry mode on undergraduates’ performance at University of Lagos Akoka, Lagos. Time, finance, sourcing of relevant materials would be hindrance to the timely completion of this project.

1.8       Definition of Terms

Operational terms will be defined in this study accordingly.

(1)        Entry Mode: This means the type of admission a students gains in order to enter any University in Nigeria. It could be Direct Entry (D.E); the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and or the foundational programme (F.P) organized by various Universities in Nigeria.

(2)        Academic Achievement: By this, we mean the overall performance of students in the class tests, continuous assessment and terminal examinations conducted for students at the end of the academic session.

(3)        Catchment Area: This is a concessionary priority or grace in admission which is given to those who live in the area the University is situated or built.

(4)        Quota System: This is a term used to denote the equal right given to some areas in Nigeria for instance, the North and South of Nigeria, have a gap in education. This quota system came to help the Northern Nigeria to square up with educational gap given to them by the southern Nigeria.

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