A STUDY OF READING CULTURE AND ITS EFFECT ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

A STUDY OF READING CULTURE AND ITS EFFECT ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

            Comprehension is at the centre of reading.  Colons & cheek (2011) describe reading as a process that requires the use of complex thought process to interpret printed symbols as meaningful units and comprehend them as a thought unit in order to understand a printed massage.  According to Rubin (2002) affirms that, though reading, humans have the tools to transmit knowledge to each succeeding generation; it allows one to listen to the wisdom and people of the ages.

Reading culture is the process of building up positive reading attitude among students and children over a period of time.  When an individual habitually and regularly read books and other information materials that are not necessarily required for him to advance in his profession or carrier, he is said to have a reading culture (Gbadamosi, 2007).  Reading lecture in essence therefore is the kind of culture that imbibes reading and studding as the basis of growth and development.  It is the type that sees continuous   and dedicated reading of information resources by pupils, children, students and adults for knowledge acquisition, which will be equipped and applied practically for development.  Reading sharpens the mind, makes one reason rationally and objectively as well as projects one for greatness in life.  That is why scholastic in describes readers as leaders.

Be that as it may be, this paper will embrace the following, which includes reading culture among the senior secondary school students in Ondo State, its effect on Academic Performance of this set of students, constrains to the development and improvement of reading culture as well as strategies for the improvement and development of reading culture among the senior secondary school students in Ondo-State and Nigeria at large.

 

Reading is an indispensable tool in learning that forms an integral part of any learning situation, and the bedrock of education. Therefore, Access to information is crucial to individual advancement as well as corporate educational development. Information is indispensable, and, according to Yusuf (2007), bridges the gap between knowledge and ignorance. One of the major avenues for acquiring information is reading. Reading is the foundation upon which other academic skills are built. It offers a productive approach to improving vocabulary, word power, and language skills. Tella and Akande (2007) assert that the ability to read is at the heart of self-education and lifelong learning and that it is an art capable of transforming life and society. Yani (2003) posits that reading habits of Nigerians are a matter of concern in our educational and national development, stating further that in a developing country like Nigeria, the concept of reading habits should not be relegated to the background. This is because through reading, human beings get better informed and understanding of the universe they live on. More so, reading makes a way for better understanding of one’s own experience and can be an exciting voyage of self discovery. A child that forms the habit of reading is always different from his peer group at school because he becomes more knowledgeable than them and understands better than his colleagues what they are being taught in class. Adetunji (2007) described reading as the act of translating symbols or letters into word or sentences that have meaning to an individual. It is also the understanding of what is seen in a text, which is the ability of reader to take incoming visual information, process that information and obtain meaning from it. Reading can also be perceived to be a process of constructing meaning through dynamic interaction among the reader’s existing knowledge, the information suggested by the text being read, and the context of the reading situation. The Wikipedia online dictionary defines reading as a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning. It is a complex interaction between the text and the reader which is shaped by the reader’s prior knowledge, experience, altitude and language community which is culturally and socially situated.

Both reading and reading habits seems to be almost the same, but nevertheless, Okoro 2004 emphasized the importance of introducing children to reading very early in life even before the child steps into school so that children can see reading as a means of enjoyment, self – development, love of literature and learning, it is widely believed that enterprise of developing reading habit has to start at the early part of one’s life and that these should be a conducive reading environment to stimulate lifelong reading. Therefore, Sanzkaeo (1999) sees reading habits to be the behavior which expresses the liking for reading of individual types and tastes for reading. Reading habit is a pattern in which individual organizes his reading. Having a reading habit in students is very necessary, because one of the most important factor of education is the ability to read, understand and critically apprehend the text.(Hetting and Knapp 2001). However to be able to inculcate reading habit, students must develop the habit of reading on daily basis. Beck and Mckeoun (2001) is of the view that the capability of understanding text and reading habits should be developed from early childhood through the whole life. Green, (2001) explained that reading habit is best formed at a young impressionable age in school, but once formed it can last one’s life.

Statement of the Problem

By and large, the importance of reading cannot be overemphasized, because no learning activity or situation can take place without reading. But one of the major problems facing the educational system in Nigeria is the abysmal failure of students in public examinations especially at the senior secondary level of education. (Ajayi 2012). This abysmal failure can be conceived to be linked with the absence of reading culture  among students or non challant attitude to reading to the use of internet. Although there are many reasons why people read, but observations and researches have shown that there is a low reading habit among students in recent times, especially in developing countries, because reading is not considered as a relevant leisure activity as it does not form part of children’s social interaction and watching of television. Another major problem that leads to the absence of reading habits among students is on the advents of ICTs like internet, cell phone, video games and other viewing gadgets.

Research Questions

  1. Do study habits of male and female differ? and its effect on their academic performance.
  2. Could poor reading culture be inimical to personal and national development?.
  3. Could Socio economic background of parents affect the student’s performance?
  4. Can the students reading Apathy be rehabilitated?

Significance of the Study

The study will assist teachers in identifying the social economic and psychological problems facing students, which have negative effects on their performances and to nip them in the bad.  It will serve as an eye opener to the government on the role of library in schools; the negative impact of poverty on education in Nigeria.  Our nation decrepit educational infrastructure is crying for an urgent and holistic overhaul.  The learning environment needs to be safe, neat, creative and functional.

The Scope and Limitations of the Study

Thus research work is limited to senior secondary schools in Ondo State.  Due to financial constraints and time, the research is conducted on randomly selected senior secondary school in Ondo state.  Two schools from each senatorial district will be used as a case study.  The schools are selected from different local government areas and both in rural and urban cities.

Definition of Terms

1          READING CULTURE: The attitudes and beliefs about reading that        are       shared by a particular group of people or in a particular        organization.

2          ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: This is the realization of Learning measured after a learning process has taken place.  Performance relates to the level of achievement of a person (student) given tracts or characteristics.

3          EFFECT: The way in which an event, action, or person changes     someone  or  something

 

This Project is is available for the below list of Nigerian State capitals.
Abia Umuahia, Adamawa Yola, Akwa Ibom Uyo, Anambra Awka, Bauchi Bauchi, Bayelsa Yenagoa, Benue Makurdi, Borno Maiduguri, Cross River Calabar, Delta Asaba, Ebonyi Abakaliki, Edo Benin. Ekiti Ado Ekiti, Enugu Enugu, Gombe Gombe, Imo Owerri, Jigawa Dutse, Kaduna Kaduna, Kano Kano, Katsina Katsina, Kebbi Birnin Kebbi, Kogi Lokoja, Kwara Ilorin, Lagos Ikeja, Nasarawa Lafia, Niger Minna, Ogun Abeokuta, Ondo Akure, Osun Oshogbo, Oyo Ibadan, Plateau Jos, Rivers Port Harcourt, Sokoto Sokoto, Taraba Jalingo, Yobe Damaturu, Zamfara Gusau, FCT Abuja.

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