The differential scholastic achievement of students in Nigeria has been and is still of concern and research to educators, government and parents. This is so because of the great importance that education has on the national development of the country. All over the country, there is a consensus of union about the fallen standard of education in Nigeria (Adebule, 2004). Parents and government in total agreement that their huge investment on education is not yielding the desired dividend. Teachers also complain of student’s low performance at both internal and external examination. The annual releases of senior secondary certificate examination results (SSCE) conducted by West African Examination Council (WAEC) justified the problematic nature and generalization of poor secondary school students performance in different school subjects. For instance, the percentage of failure compared with students who passed English and Mathematics between  2007 to 2010 is shown below.

Table 1: The West African Examination Council (WAEC) performance in senior school certificate examination May/June 2007-2010 in mathematics.

Year Total No of  candidate Credit A 1 6% Pass P7-P8% Fail F9%
2007 1019524 33.97 28.16 34.47
2008 1054853 38.20 25.36 34.41
2009 1149277 41.12 31.09 24.95
2010 1249028 46.75 26.72 24.29

Source: statistics office, WAEC, Lagos, Nigeria 2012.


Table 2: The West African examination council (WAEC) performance in the Senior School Certificate Examinations: May/June 2007-2010 English.

Year Credit A 1-C6 Fail F9
2007 29.59 37.61
2008 25.36 36.93
2009 34.48 29.55
2010 29.94 26.54

Source: Statistic office, WAEC, Lagos, Nigeria 2012.

Poor academic performance according to Aremu (2003) is a performance that is adjudged by the examinee/testee and some other significant as failing below an expected standard. Poor academic performance has been observed in school subjects especially Mathematics and English Language among secondary school students (Adesemowo, 2005). Aremu (2000) stresses that academic failure is not only frustrating to the students and parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of death of manpower in all spacers of the economy and politics.

Education at secondary school level is supposed to be the’ bedrock and the foundation towards wisher knowledge in tertiary institutions. It is an investment as well an instrument that can be used to achieve a more rapid economic, social, political, technological, scientific and cultural development in the country. The National Policy on education (2004) stipulated that secondary education is an instrument for national development that fosters the worth and development, general development of the society and equality of educational opportunities to all Nigerian children, irrespective of any real or marginal disabilities.

The role of secondary education is to lay foundation for further education and if a good foundation is laid at this level, there are likely to be no problem at subsequent levels. However, different people at different times have passed the blame of poor performance in secondary school to students because of their low retention, parental factors, association with wrong peers, low achievement, low retention, low achievement, motivation and the likes (Aremu & Sokan, 2003, Arem 85 Oluwole 2001, Aremu, 2000).

However, Marakinyo (2003) believe that the falling level of academic achievement is attributable to teachers’nonuse of verbal reinforcement strategy. Others found out that the attitude of some teachers to their job is reflected in their poor attendance to lessons, lateness to school, unsavory comments about students’ performance that could damage their ego, poor method of teaching and the likes affect pones academic performance. .

The question therefore is what the cause of this fallen standard and poor academic performance of student? Is the fault entirely that of teachers or students or both of them? It is that students of today are non-achievers because they have low intelligent quotient and a good neutral mechanism to be able to act purposefully, think rationally and deal effectively with academic tasks? Or is it because teachers are no longer putting in much commitment as before? Or is it in teachers method of teaching and interaction with pupils? Or is the poor performance of students caused by parents neglect, separation and poverty? The present study therefore sought to identify the causes of students poor performances in the secondary schools in Billiri LGA of Gombe State. .


This study was precipitated by the dwindling academic performance of students in Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe state. Occasioned by the high rate of failure in the secondary school examination (WAEC and NECO). Looking at the level of performances of graduate of secondary7 schools today, one can easily find out that they are some obstacle that are playing detrimental role in students poor performance in secondary schools.

Poor performances in post-primary institutions has achieve an alarming proportion with the society WAEC result of 2013 shows that about seventy percent of students that sat for and write WAEC failed Oviasu (2013) found out that. 21.3 percent ofthose who that 21.3 percent of those who failed did not go back to school. Reports also shows that there has been a sporadic increase in the rate of poor performance in the last WAEC examination.

School location, teachersqualification, teacher’s method of teaching good instructional materials, improper teacher’s motivation, lack of consistencies in educational policies and other educational problems are causes of student’s poor performance in post primary institutions. These problems have aroused great attention to so many well-meaning Nigerians including students which led to the study in investigating the causes associated with students’ poor performances in post primary institutions.

Thus, the basic problem of this study is to investigate the causes of students’ poor performances in secondary schools.


The purpose of this study is to find out the causes of poor academic performance in secondary schools in Biliri LGA of Gombe State.

The specific objectives of the study:

  1. To find out if methods of teaching as it affect students’ academic performance.
  2. To determine if they have an effect on students
  3. To determine    if   the    environment    have    effect    on    students’    academic performance.


  1. To what extent does teachers qualification affects student’s performances in the secondary school?
  2. To what extent does teacher’s method of teaching affect students’ performance in the secondary schools in Billiri LGA of Gombe State?
  3. To what extent does school environment affect students’ performances in the secondary the schools in Billiri LGA of Gombe State?
  4. To what extent will family background affect the performances of student in the secondary school in Billiri LGA of Gombe state?


  1. There is no significant relationship between teachers method of teaching and students poor performances in the secondary schools in Billiri LGA.
  2. There is no significant relationship between school environment and students poor performances in the secondary school Billiri LGA.
  3. There is no significant relationship between family background and student poor performance in the secondary schools in Billiri LGA.


Each year, many students in the secondary schools, slide down the slipper}’ slopes of poor performances. In this study an attempts is made to find out the causes of students poor performances in post primary institutions.

After the analysis of data, it will be interpreted and useful suggestions will be made to students, schools administrators, teachers, parents/guidance, and ministry of education. These categories of beneficiaries from the study can find the study useful to policy makers which will serve as a prescription meant to control this undesirable. Performance of student in the secondary schools.

The study when completed will help the ministry of education to be able to find a way of advising the executives to increase the remuneration of teachers, provide good learning environment and others to that will contribute to the smooth running of secondary learning. .

School administrators: School administrators would find the study as a useful guide in dealing with the day today problems of students and staff which will hinders the smooth learning of students in the secondary schools,

Parents: The study when completed could also aid parents and guardians in the solution of their children’s educational problems.

The school: Since the school is a main area of concern, it will find the study usefulin fulfilling the needs of the students and increasing their performances in their academics.

Others:   interested individuals in knowledge perse and those who are research oriented will find the study useful as tentative answers to their questions and as a piece of literature added to the already existing ones.


The scope of this research is limited to the investigation into causes of student’s poor performance in the secondary school in Billirl Local Government Area of Gombe state. More so, the investigation covers 8 selected secondary schools in Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe State.





Performance:  Refers to the academic achievement of secondary schools students.

Academics: Programme of activities line up for study in the secondary      schools.

Achievement:   A student’ academic performance or attainment in education.

West AfricanSchool Certification(WAEC): A certificate obtain after sitting for an examination organized by WAEC

National Examinations Council(NECO): A body that is charge with the responsibility of conducting senior schools certificate examination.

Secondary School: A school more advanced in grade than the primary school.

Academic   performance:   The   outcome   of learning activities undertaken   by   an individual within a period.

Teachers’ qualification: Refers to the educational attainment of teachers and their experience in teaching. .

Instructional    materials:    The    instrument   or   materials   used    for   classroom instruction.



All project works, files and documents posted on this website, projects.ng are the property/copyright of their respective owners. They are for research reference/guidance purposes only and the works are crowd-sourced. Please don’t submit someone’s work as your own to avoid plagiarism and its consequences. Use it as a guidance purpose only and not copy the work word for word (verbatim). Projects.ng is a repository of research works just like academia.edu, researchgate.net, scribd.com, docsity.com, coursehero and many other platforms where users upload works. The paid subscription on projects.ng is a means by which the website is maintained to support Open Education. If you see your work posted here, and you want it to be removed/credited, please call us on +2348159154070 or send us a mail together with the web address link to the work, to hello@projects.ng. We will reply to and honor every request. Please notice it may take up to 24 - 48 hours to process your request.