Tag Archives: examinations

Comparative analysis of academic performance of students in external examinations in Ondo State, Nigeria from 2008 to 2012

Title: Comparative analysis of academic performance of students in external examinations in Ondo State, Nigeria from 2008 to 2012

First author and student: Margaret Toyin Aboginije abogtoyin@yahoo.com

Co-author: Dr Noorullah Shaikhnag Noorullah.Shaikhnag@nwu.ac.za

Id orcid.org/ 0000-0002 1423 7696

Senior lecturer –Deputy Director, North West University, Faculty of Education- Mafikeng campus

B Com (UDW-UKZN), BEd, MED, PhD (Educational Psychology, NWU).

Co-author: Prof Anna-Marie Pelser ampelser@hotmail.com

Co-author: Professor Anna-Marie (AMF) Pelser – anna.pelser@hotmail.com

iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8401-3893

Research Professor, North-West University, Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences- Entity Director – GIFT, Mafikeng Campus.

HED (Home Economics, PU for CHE), B Com (UNISA), B Com Hons (PU for CHE), M Com (Industrial Psychology, NWU), PhD (Education Management, NWU)

Corresponding author: Prof A.M.F. Pelser – ampelser@hotmail.com

Co-author: Dr Shanae Naidoo Shantha.Naidoo@nwu.ac.za

ID ORCID:https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8107-6493

North-West University, South Africa: Potchefstroom, North West, ZA

Lecturer: Life Orientation, Sub Area Leader: Edu-HRight (Bio-Psychosocial Perspectives)

MED (Learner Support), PhD (Educational Leadership and Management, UJ).

Corresponding author: Prof A.M.F. Pelser – ampelser@hotmail.com

Ensovoort, volume 41 (2020), number 12: 1

Abstract

This study investigated the performance of students in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) in Ondo State, Nigeria from 2008 to 2012. The researchers, being concerned about the declining academic performance of candidates in public examinations such as WASSCE and NECO SSCE, undertook a quantitative analysis of the performances of candidates in the SSCE in selected subjects – English Language, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Economics and Agricultural Science, to establish their comparability and to account for the level of their performance. The research design was Causal- Comparative. A sample of 3,011 participants was drawn from a population of 115,373 using stratified-random and purposive sampling techniques. The instrument for data collection was a result collection form titled “Academic Performance in WAEC and NECO SSCE.” Eight hypotheses were tested using correlated samples t-test and descriptive statistics set at .05 alpha levels. Findings showed a statistically significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in all the subjects, except for English Language. It established also the poor performance of candidates in hard sciences. The recommendation is that the two examination bodies should draw questions from the same syllabus to assess comparatively the students’ cognitive domains as candidates performed better in WAEC SSCE than in NECO SSCE. Government should provide adequate facilities such as laboratory equipment to all the schools to enhance teaching and learning. Teachers, parents and school administrators should adequately prepare candidates for both examinations.

Keywords: comparative, examinations, NECO, performance, students, SSCE, WAEC,

 Introduction and background

Education in Nigeria is no more a private venture, but a huge Government project that has witnessed a progressive development of Government’s dynamic intervention as well as active participation (Afolayan, 2014). The Federal Government of Nigeria has adopted education characterised by excellence for effective national development (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). Nigerian education development was restructured in 2006 and shifted focus from the colonial system of education that emphasised vocationalization to entrepreneurship and skills training. This was effectively achieved through repositioning curricula to meet the emerging needs of a global and knowledge economy (UNESCO, 2007; Okorafor & Nnajiofo, 2017). This restructuring introduced the 9-3-4 system of education which was conceptualised as the nation’s operationalisation of Universal Basic Education (UBE) Strategy.  The former 6-3-3-4 system of education which had four stages was compressed to three (i.e. the 9-3-4) and the first two stages of the former policy merged into one.

The first 9 years were regarded basic as well as compulsory (primary and junior secondary education); the next 3 years referred to the senior secondary school while the last was the four years in tertiary institutions (Yekini, 2013). The curriculum was designed to address the Education for All (EFA) agenda of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The agenda aimed at eradicating illiteracy by the year 2010 and increasing the adult literacy rate from 57% to 70% by 2006 (FGN, 2000). As a result, a considerable share of the nation’s income was invested in education. For example, in Ondo State, in the year 2006, a significant 28.03% was allocated to the education sector, out of the total budget for the year, 17.88% in 2007, 24.60% in 2008, 21.97% in 2009, 19.92% in 2010 (Ministry of Education, Akure).

According to Kpolovie et al (2011), candidates’ performance in their final examinations after these investments has since been a matter of concern to Governments, society, concerned citizens, institutions and organizations. Students in various secondary schools in both private and public schools in Nigeria have to sit their final examination conducted by either the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO) to determine their performance which in turn qualifies them for entry into higher institutions of their choice (Kpolovie et al., 2011).

Nigeria has been participating in WAEC’s examination since its establishment in 1952, until 1993 when the Federal Government under decree No 69 of August 1993 established another examination body known as the National Examination Council (NECO) in order to scale down WAEC’s work load and having an examination body that is purely national in character. The promulgation was based on a series of panel recommendations such as the Angulu panel 1992 and the Osigele Task Force 1991 (Ukwuije, 2012). The NECO Act was passed into law in 2001 with offices in 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The fallen standards of education in Nigeria have generated sharp criticism in public and in the media. There has also been criticism that NECO questions are tougher than those of WAEC (Kpolovie, et al 2011). The poor performance in external examinations, especially in Secondary Schools Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by WAEC and NECO has become a source of concern for stakeholders in the education sector, especially in view of the nation’s goal to be one of the world’s top-20 economies by 2020.

It is not an overstatement that secondary education is unique in the educational development of a child, being the link between primary and tertiary education. It is aimed at developing a child beyond the primary level, considering that primary education is insufficient for children to acquire literacy, numeracy and communication skills (Ige, 2011; Yusuf, 2009). Certification at the end of senior secondary school education depends on the performance of a student in the Continuous Assessment (CA) and Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), coordinated by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO). The aims of secondary education as stated in National Policy on Education are to prepare a child for higher education of learning and for useful living within the society (UNESCO, 2007).

A child must obtain a minimum of five credits in two sittings, including English language and Mathematics, to proceed to university education in the country.

Academic performance of students in examinations, particularly, the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), is currently affected by various factors (Waters & Marzano, 2006). A number of variables have to be considered in efforts to identify the factors affecting academic performance of students. Identifying the most significant variables in academic performance is complex and challenging, considering that performance depends on a range of variables such as the socio-economic status of the child, school variables, jurisdictional variables, student variables and others. Adepoju (2002) established that about 93% of secondary school leavers in any given year fail to qualify for university education. Similarly, Ajayi and Osalusi (2013) report that the performance of students in English Language and Mathematics in the May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) showed an unpredictable trend of mass failure for some years. They further reported that 19.26% had at least five credit passes in English and Mathematics in 2003, 18.26% in 2004, 27.53% in 2005, 15.56% in 2006 and 25.54% in 2007.

In a comparative study of students’ academic performance in public Examinations in secondary schools in Ondo and Ekiti States, Nigeria, by Adeyemi, (2011), findings indicate that the performance of students in the Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) and the Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) examinations was low, especially in the hard science subjects. Similarly, Kpolovie, et al (2011) also carried out  research on the performance of secondary school students in WAEC and NECO SSCE from 2004 to 2006 in selected subjects – Mathematics, English Language, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Literature-in-English, Economics, Government, Agricultural Science, Food and Nutrition, and Geography, to establish their comparability and discovered a statistically significant positive relationship between candidates’ performance on WAEC and NECO SSCEs in all the subjects. 

The literature indicates that over the years, there have been controversies over which of the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) is better suited for candidates in terms of academic performance (Ali & Enyo, 2016). One school of thought is that the SSCE conducted by WAEC is preferable to the examination administered by NECO. The other school shares the view that the NECO SSCE is more robust than the WAEC SSCE (Ige, 2011).

Many stakeholders are convinced that NECO SSCE questions are more difficult than those of WAEC SSCE (Bamidele & Adewale, 2013), while others are swayed to the conviction that the syllabus of both examinations have a different scope. Previous investigations show that many students do not exhibit much interest in science subjects despite the fact that they are aware of the benefits accruing from a STEM-focused curriculum (Ali & Enyo, 2016).

 Against this background the overall aim of this study is to analyse the performance of candidates in WAEC and NECO Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) in some subjects taken by science students in Ondo State, from 2008 to 2012, and compare the results of the two examination bodies.

Specifically, the objectives of the study are to determine:

  • If there is a difference in the performance of candidates in the two examinations during the period 2008-2012 in eight selected subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geography, Agricultural Science and Economics.
  • The extent of performance of students in these major subjects.
  • The percentage of students who passed and failed each subject in the two examinations during the period of study.

Hypotheses

The following hypotheses guide this study:

  • There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in English Language from 2008 to 2012.
  • There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Mathematics from 2008 to 2012.
  • There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Physics from 2008 to 2012.
  • There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Chemistry from 2008 to 2012.
  • There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Biology from 2008 to 2012.
  • There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Geography from 2008 to 2012.
  • There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Economics from 2008 to 2012.
  • There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Agricultural Science from 2008 to 2012.

Research design

In this study, a Causal-Comparative design was employed within a post-positive research paradigm (Kpolovie et al, 2011) to investigate the difference that exists between the students’ academic performance in WAEC and NECO SSCE in eight subjects in Ondo State between 2008 and 2012. The Causal-Comparative research design focuses on making group comparisons and one independent variable (Maheshwari, 2018) because both the cause and the effect have already happened. The data utilised in this study were used as they were collected from the source without any manipulation (Hussain, 2019).

Population and sample

One hundred and fifteen thousand, three hundred and seventy-three (115, 373) candidates from 304 public secondary schools from eighteen (18) Local Government Areas of Ondo State that sat for both the NECO and WAEC SSCE from year 2008 to 2012 constituted the population. The sample size for this study was 3,011 participants. A stratified-random sampling technique was used to select 30 out of 304 public secondary schools based on the existing three senatorial districts in the State (i.e. Ondo North, Ondo South and Ondo Central).

Instrument

The instrument used was a special Results Collection Form entitled ‘Academic Performance in WAEC and NECO SSCE’ designed by the researchers to gather the data and information required for this study. The form was used to collect the WAEC and NECO results of the selected students from the examination records. Each candidate’s performance in both examinations was compiled on the relevant instrument for ease of coding, conciseness and comparison. The scoring in terms of relative performance of secondary school students on the WAEC and NECO SSCE was rated thus: the highest grade in both examinations, A1, was given a score 9, the second highest grade B2 was given the score 8, B3 was scored 7, C4 scored 6, C5 scored 5, C6 scored 4, D7 scored 3, E8 scored 2, and F9 scored 1. The researchers adopted correlated samples t-test and descriptive statistics to analyse data using SPSS at 0.5 level of significance. This study does not integrate reliability and validity, as the data used are already in existence (secondary data) and cannot be manipulated (Kpolovie et al, 2011).

Data Analysis

The data for the study were analysed with SPSS using correlated samples t-test to test for the hypotheses and descriptive statistics to determine the percentage passed and failed in the two examinations.

Results

The results of the data analysis are presented in Table 1 to 8 based on the study’s hypotheses.

Hypothesis one: There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in English language from 2008 to 2012.

Table 1: Correlated samples t-test results of difference in WAEC and NECO SSCEperformance of candidates in English language.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE N r Mean Standard deviation t Df Sig.(2-tailed)
WAEC

& NECO

3011 .244(.000)

 

-.013 1.718

 

 

-.424 3010 .671

Table 1 shows that the mean difference in the two sets of scores is -.013, a standard deviation of 1.718. The computed paired samples ratio is -.424 with 3010 degrees of freedom and a p value of .671. Since the p value (sig. 2-tailed) of .671 is greater than the chosen alpha of .05, the null hypothesis of ‘no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in English language’ is retained. In summary, the correlated samples t test is not statistically significant as t (3010) = -.424, p >.05, 2-tailed. Also, the table shows that the performance of candidates in WAEC and NECO SSCE in English Language was correlated at r = .244(.000), which is significant.

Hypothesis two: There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidate in mathematics from 2008 to 2012.

Table 2: Correlated samples t-test results of difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Mathematics.

MATHEMATICS

 

N r Mean Standard deviation t df Sig.(2-tailed)
WAEC & NECO

 

3011 .369(.000) .297 1.850 8.814 3010 .000

Table 2 shows that the mean difference in the two sets of scores is .297, a standard deviation of 1.850. The computed paired samples ratio is 8.814 with 3010 degrees of freedom and a p value of .000. Since the p value (sig. 2-tailed) of .000 is less than the chosen alpha of .05, the null hypothesis of ‘no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Mathematics’ is rejected. In summary, the correlated samples t test is statistically significant as t (3010) = 8.814, p < .05, 2-tailed. It was observed in the table also, that there is significant relationship between the performance of candidates in WAEC and NECO SSCE in Mathematics as r = .369 (.000).

Hypothesis three: There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidate in physics from 2008 to 2012.

Table 3: Correlated samples t-test results of difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in physics.

PHYSICS

 

N r Mean Standard deviation t df Sig.(2-tailed)
WAEC

& NECO

3011 .313(.000) .596 1.871 17.494 3010 .000

Table 3 shows that the mean difference in the two sets of scores is .596, a standard deviation of 1.871. The computed paired samples ratio is 17.494 with 3010 degrees of freedom and a p value of .000. Since the p value (sig. 2-tailed) of .000 is less than the chosen alpha of .05, the null hypothesis of ‘no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Physics’ is rejected. In summary, the correlated samples t test is statistically significant as t(3010) =17.494, p < .05, 2-tailed. Table also shows the result of paired samples correlations of candidates in physics WAEC and NECO SSCE. The r = .313 and a p value of .000, which is significant.

Hypothesis four: There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidate in chemistry from 2008 to 2012

Table 4: Correlated samples t-test results of difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in chemistry.

CHEMISTRY

 

N r Mean Standard deviation t df Sig.(2-tailed)
WAEC

& NECO

3011 .285(.000) -.290 1.925 -8.263 3010 .000

Table 4 shows that the mean difference in the two sets of scores is -.290, a standard deviation of 1.925. The computed paired samples ratio is -8.263 with 3010 degrees of freedom and a p value of .000. Since the p value (sig. 2-tailed) of .000 is less than the chosen alpha of .05, the null hypothesis of ‘no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Chemistry’ is rejected. In summary, the correlated samples t test is statistically significant as t (3010) = -8.263, p < .05, 2-tailed. It also is clear in the table that there is a significant relationship in the candidates’ performance in Chemistry WAEC and that of NECO SSCE as r = .285(.000).

Hypothesis five: There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidate in Biology from 2008 to 2012.

Table 5: Correlated samples t-test results of difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Biology.

BIOLOGY N R Mean Standard deviation t df Sig.(2-tailed)
WAEC

& NECO

3011 .289(.000) -.522 1.817 -15.780 3010 .000

Table 5 shows that the mean difference in the two sets of scores is -.522, a standard deviation of 1.817. The computed paired samples ratio is -15.780 with 3010 degrees of freedom and a p value of .000. Since the p value (sig. 2-tailed) of .000 is less than the chosen alpha of .05, the null hypothesis of ‘no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Biology’ is rejected. In summary, the correlated samples t test is statistically significant as t (3010) = -15.780, p < .05, 2-tailed. It was also observed that there is a significant relationship between the performance of candidates in WAEC and NECO SSCE in Biology as r = .289 (.000).

Hypothesis six: There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Geography from 2008 to 2012.

Table 6: Correlated samples t-test results of difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Geography.

GEOGRAHPY N R Mean Standard deviation t df Sig.(2-tailed)
WAEC

& NECO

3011 .293(.000) .382 2.171 9.645 3010 .000

Table 6 shows that the mean difference in the two sets of scores is .382, a standard deviation of 2.171. The computed paired samples ratio is 9.645 with 3010 degrees of freedom and a p value of .000. Since the p value (sig. 2-tailed) of .000 is less than the chosen alpha of .05, the null hypothesis of ‘no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Geography’ is rejected. In summary, the correlated samples t test is statistically significant as t (3010) = 9.645, p < .05, 2-tailed. Table 6 also shows the result of paired samples correlations of candidates in Geography WAEC and NECO SSCE. The r = .293 and a p value of .000. This means a significant relationship exists between the two sets of scores.

Hypothesis seven: There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidate in Economics from 2008 to 2012.

Table 7: Correlated samples t-test results of difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Economics.

ECONOMICS

 

N R Mean Standard deviation t Df Sig.(2-tailed)
WAEC

& NECO

 

3010 .319(.000) .728 1.894 21.087 3009 .000

Table 7 shows that the mean difference in the two sets of scores is .728, a standard deviation of 1.894. The computed paired samples ratio is 21.087 with 3009 degrees of freedom and a p value of .000. Since the p value (sig. 2-tailed) of .000 is less than the chosen alpha of .05, the null hypothesis of ‘no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Economics’ is rejected. In summary, the correlated samples t test is statistically significant as t (3009) = 21.087, p < .05, 2-tailed. Also, it can be observed in the table that a significant relationship exist in the candidates’ performance in WAEC SSCE Economics and that of NECO SSCE Economics. The r = .319 and the p value significant at .000.

Hypothesis eight: There is no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in agricultural science from 2008 to 2012

Table 8: Correlated samples t-test results of difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Agricultural Science.

AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE N R Mean Standard deviation T df Sig.(2-tailed)
WAEC & NECO

 

3011 .423(.000) .555 2.005 15.182 3010 .000

Table 8 shows that the mean difference in the two sets of scores is .555, a standard deviation of 2.005. The computed paired samples ratio is 15.182 with 3010 degrees of freedom and a p value of .000. Since the p value (sig. 2-tailed) of .000 is less than the chosen alpha of .05, the null hypothesis of ‘no significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Agricultural Science’ is rejected. In summary, the correlated samples t test is statistically significant as t (3010) = 15.182, p < .05, 2-tailed. It was also observed that there is significant relationship between the performance of candidates in WAEC and NECO SSCE in Agricultural Science as r = .423 (.000).

How does the percentage of candidates that passed and failed each subject in WAEC differ from those candidates that passed and failed each subject in NECO SSCE from 2008 to 2012?

In order to answer this research question, the descriptive statistics of percentage of candidates that passed and failed each subject in WAEC and NECO SSCE from 2008 to 2012 were determined. The results obtained are presented in Table 9 below:

Table 9: Percentage of candidates that passed and failed each subject in WAEC and NECO SSCE from 2008 to 2012.

WAEC SSCE NECO SSCE
S/N Subjects % Passed % Failed % Passed % Failed
1 English Language 39.4 60.6 28.9 71.1
2 Mathematics 37.3 62.7 27 73
3 Chemistry 32.5 67.5 35 64.9
4 Biology 39.1 60.9 46.9 53.1
5 Physics 51.5 48.5 32.1 67.9
6 Geography 41.2 58.8 26.9 73.1
7 Agricultural science 50.5 49.5 33.1 66.9
8 Economics 44.6 55.4 23.3 76.7

 Discussion of findings

Findings derived from hypothesis one (Table 1) show  that there  was no  significant   difference  in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance  of candidates in English language  from 2008 to 2012 at .05 alpha level. This verifies that the difference in the performance of candidates in WAEC and NECO SSCE English Language were so small to be of significance. In spite of this, there was a statistically significant relationship between the performance of candidates in English Language WAEC and NECO SSCE as the same candidates that performed well in WAEC SSCE equally performed well in NECO SSCE English Language and the same candidates that performed poorly in WAEC SSCE also performed poorly in NECO SSCE in English Language.

Findings of hypothesis two (Table 2) revealed a  statistically significant  difference in  WAEC and  NECO  SSCE  performance of candidates in  Mathematics  from  2008  to  2012  at .05  alpha  level. This difference means that the performance of students in Mathematics in WAEC were not the same in NECO when their grades were compared. There was also a significant relationship between the performance of candidates in WAEC and that of candidates in NECO SSCE in Mathematics. This means that the candidates that performed well in WAEC SSCE Mathematics also performed well in NECO SSCE, while those that performed poorly in WAEC SSCE also performed poorly in NECO SSCE in Mathematics.

In testing hypothesis three (Table 3), it was discovered  that  statistically a  difference existed between WAEC  and  NECO SSCE performance  of candidates  in  Physics  from  2008 to  2012 at  .05 alpha  level. This difference means that candidates’ performance on WAEC’s physics were not the same performance on NECO’s Physics in terms of grade. There was a statistically significant relationship between the performance of candidates in Physics WAEC and NECO SSCE as the same candidates that performed very well in WAEC SSCE equally performed very well in NECO SSCE Physics and the same candidates that performed poorly in WAEC SSCE also performed poorly in NECO SSCE in Physics.

Findings of hypothesis four (Table 4) showed that there was a statistically significant difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Chemistry from 2008 to 2012 at .05 alpha levels. This difference means that there were variations in the candidates’ performance in the two examinations. There was also a statistically significant relationship that existed between the performance of candidates in Chemistry WAEC and NECO SSCE as the same candidates that performed very well in WAEC SSCE equally performed very well in NECO SSCE Chemistry and the same candidates that performed poorly in WAEC SSCE also performed poorly in NECO SSCE in Chemistry.

The result  of hypothesis five (Table 5)  showed statistically a  difference in WAEC and  NECO  SSCE  performance  of candidates in Biology from 2008 to 2012 at  .05 alpha  level. This difference means that the performance of students in Biology in both examinations were not the same. There was also statistically a significant relationship that existed between the performance of candidates in Biology WAEC and NECO SSCE as the same candidates that performed very well in WAEC SSCE equally performed very well in NECO SSCE Biology and the same candidates that performed poorly in WAEC SSCE also performed poorly in NECO SSCE in Biology.

The test of hypothesis six (Table 6) showed a statistical difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Geography from 2008 to 2012 at .05 alpha level. This difference means that candidates’ performance in WAEC’s Geography were not the same performance in NECO’s Geography in terms of grades. There was also a significant relationship between the performance of candidates in WAEC and that of candidates in NECO SSCE in Geography. This means that the candidates that performed better in WAEC SSCE Geography were the same candidates that performed better in NECO SSCE Geography and the same candidates that performed poorly in WAEC SSCE also performed poorly in NECO SSCE in Geography.

Findings of hypothesis seven (Table 7) indicated a difference in WAEC and NECO SSCE performance of candidates in Economics from 2008 to 2012 at .05 alpha level. This difference means that the candidates’ performance in Economics in WAEC were not the same performance in NECO when their scores were being compared. There was also significant relationship between the performance of candidates in WAEC and that of candidates in NECO SSCE in Economics. This means that the candidates that performed better in WAEC SSCE Economics were the same candidates that performed better in NECO SSCE Economics and the same candidates that performed poorly in WAEC SSCE also performed poorly in NECO SSCE in Economics.

The results of testing hypothesis eight (Table 8) showed a difference statistically in WAEC and  NECO SSCE  performance  of candidates in Agricultural Science from 2008 to 2012 at .05 alpha level. This difference means that the candidates’ performance in Agricultural Science in WAEC  were not the same performance in NECO when their scores were being compared. There was also a statistically significant relationship that exists between the performance of candidates in Agricultural Science WAEC and NECO SSCE as the same candidates that performed very well in WAEC SSCE equally performed very well in NECO SSCE Agricultural Science and the same candidates that performed poorly in WAEC SSCE also performed poorly in NECO SSCE in Agricultural Science.

Consequent upon the comparison of candidates’ performance in WAEC and NECO SSCE in each  of the subjects selected from 2008 to 2012 (Table 9), it was  observed that there was poor  performance among the students on the whole.

Conclusion

Considering the findings of this study and the results obtained, the article concludes that there was a significant difference in the performance of students in WAEC and NECO SSCE in Ondo state in all the subjects under consideration, except in English Language. Also, it was established that candidates performed better in WAEC SSCE than in NECO SSCE. This implies that students might have prepared more for their WAEC examinations than NECO examinations. It also confirmed the attitude of students to their studies as there is implicit evidence of non-readiness for examinations in the hard sciences assessed in this article. Many students failed to prepare adequately for their studies before examinations.

Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are submitted:

Public secondary schools students in Ondo state should be diligent in their studies, especially those offering hard sciences.

There should be sufficient and experienced science teachers in all the public secondary schools in the state to teach students offering science subjects. Adequate facilities such as laboratory equipment should be made available by the government to all the schools to enhance proper teaching and learning.

The two examination bodies should draw questions from the same syllabus to assess the students’ cognitive domains as candidates performed better in WAEC SSCE than in NECO SSCE. Officers in the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Quality Assurance officers in the state, should intensify efforts in conducting regular visits and routine inspections of schools to monitor the teaching and learning processes.

Declaration of conflicting interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

References

Adepoju, T.L. 2002. Locational factors as correlates of private cost and   academic performance of secondary school students in Oyo State, Nigeria. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Ibadan.

Adeyemi, T.O. 2011. A comparative study of students’ Academic performance in public examinations in secondary schools in Ondo and Ekiti states, Nigeria. Current Research Journal of Economic           Theory, 3(2), 36-42.

Afolayan, F. O. 2014. A holistic review of public funding of primary education in Nigeria.

IOSR Journal of Research & Method in Education, 4(6), 68-74.

Ajayi, I.A & Osalusi, F.M. 2013. Mass failure of students in West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in Nigeria: The teachers’ perspective. International Journal of Case Studies, 2(4), 01-05.

Ali, H.O & Enyo, A.E. 2016. Correlation Analysis of Student Achievement in West African Examination Council and National Examination Council of Nigeria in Mathematics. Journal of Research in National Development, 14(1), 1-13.

Badmus, O.T & Omosewo, E.O. 2018. Improving Science Education in Nigeria: The Role of Key Stakeholders. European Journal of Health and Biology Education, 7(1), 11-15.

Bamidele, S.O & Adewale, A.E. 2013. Comparative Analysis of the item difficulty levels of WAEC, NECO and NABTEB Mathematics Achievement Examinations. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 761-765.

FRN. 2004. National policy on education, Lagos: NERDC Press.

Hussain, M. 2019. How do causal-comparative research designs fit to Information Systems science? Date of assess: 11 March 2019. https://www.researchgate.net/post/

Ige, A.M. 2011. Myths and realities of falling standard of education in Nigeria: The way forward. Niger. J. Prof. Teach. 2, 36-48

Kpolovie, P.J., Ololube, N.P. & Ekwebelem, A.B.I. 2011. Appraising the performance of secondary school students on the WAEC and NECO SSCE from 2004 to 2006. International Journal of Scientific Research in Education; 4(2), 105-114.

Maheshwari, V.K. 2018. Causal-comparative Research. Literature Review in Behavioural Research. http://www.vkmaheshwari.com/WP/?p=2491.

Okorafor, A.O. & Nnajiofo, F.N. 2017. TVET policies and practices in Nigeria: Why the Gap? European Journal of Education Studies, 3(4): 612-624.

Ukwuije, R.P.I. 2012. Educational Assessment: A Sine Qua Non For Quality Education. A paper presented at the 83rd edition of the inaugural lecture series held in UNIPORT, Nigeria.

UNESCO. 2007. Education for all. Global Monitoring Report. P 408

Waters, T. J., & Marzano, R. J. 2006. School District Leadership That Works: The Effect of

Superintendent Leadership on Student Achievement. A Working Paper. Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL).

Yekini, O.L. 2013. Education as an instrument for effective national development: Which way Nigeria? Business & Entrepreneurship Journal, 2(2), 27-38.

Yusuf, H.O. 2009. Strategies for improving the teaching of reading comprehension in primary schools. J. Educ. Res. Dev. 4(3), 63-68.