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The aim of this study is to investigate the causes of students’ poor performance in economics in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State and to seek meaningful solutions to these problems. The populations of the study consist of all the teachers and student who study economics as subject in secondary schools in Afikpo North L.G.A.

A survey research design was employed and the instrument used was a structured questionnaire. Twenty five questionnaire items were constructed base on the four research questions raised to guide the study data got were analysed using the mean and standard derivation.

The major findings were that, most schools do not make used of instructional materials in teaching economics, that most of the schools lack qualified economics teachers, that most economics teacher do not motivate their student s while teaching and that students lack of interest influence their performance.

Based on the recommendations and suggestions for further study was made and a conclusion drawn.




Background of the Study

  Economic is one of the social sciences and non-vocational elective subject taught in most of all the Nigerian secondary schools.

Economics have been defined by different economists, for instance, Smith (1776) looks at it as inquiry into the nature and causes of wealth of nations. Lawal (1969) define it as the study of production, distribution, exchange and consumption of goods. Longe (1972) see economics as a social science which studies all productive activities produced and distributed for human satisfaction.

Onwukwe and Agwu (2001) define economics as social science, which deal with the study of the behaviour and reaction  of human  beings to those factors which affects their daily lives.

Economics as a social science has become very popular in our time and because of this popularity of the subject, it has attracted the attention of many students with the result that there are many economists today.  Each economists tends to give his own definition of the subject and consequently, there are many meaning of economics.

Mainly, they see economics as the study of how human beings go about the business of organizing, consumption and production activities, thereby improving society and making human civilization possible.

Economics deals with the human being and the satisfaction of their numerous wants.

According  to Anyale (1999:10)

Economics deals with the three main economics question of what, how and for whom. “What” refers to the question of what goods and services will be produced and in what quantities will each of these products be produced “how” refers to the specific combination of factors of production – land, labour, capital and managerial skills used to produce every goods and services.

“for whom” refers to the distribution of goods and services.


Economics like every other course of study have some important benefits which a well grounded  experience and knowledge students will gain.

According to Mackson and Oruta (2000) a well-grounded and knowledgeable student in economics will acquire attitudes necessary for personal economics for affective and national advancement.

Economics is a very important subject both to students as future experts in husbanding the economics fortunes of the state of the nation in general and to the immediate society which will enjoy predicable confidence and security arising from the expertise of the students consequent upon experts grooming by their committed experienced teachers. According to  National Policy on Education (1981:20).

Economics helps man to make national decision, moral and spiritual values in interpersonal and human relations. Care for common good of society and respect to dignity of labour.

Economics was introduced in our academic curriculum after our independence of the development and improvement of our nations’ resources. On this Onwuka (2000) asserted that it was after our independence that our nationalists thought it wise to include technical and vocational subjects such as economic in the secondary schools curriculum for the purpose of nation building  and development.


According to National curriculum on WAEC Syllabus (2003:170) economics was introduced with aims of:

(Testing candidates’ knowledge of basic economic principles, concepts and tools for economic analysis; structure,) functioning of economics institution and giving description of major economics activities, production, distribution and consumption”


After the introduction of economics in our secondary schools, students’ performance in the subject in every senior secondary certificate examination (SSCE) is very good, but today there has been a noticeable decline in the students’ well performance in economic subject.  The students’ poor performance in the subject is increasing in every SSCE especially in Afikpo North.

And this problem of poor performance in economics reduces students’ interest in the study of the subject and also discourages them to fill in the subject in the final examination like National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC).

According to Chief examiner’s report on SSCE/GCE May/June and Nov/Dec 1999 that student’s performance in SSCE is poor especially in economics. This problem of students’ poor performance tends to constitute a burden in the progress in the advancement of those basic benefits which should accrue or gain from economics subject.

In addition to this, Farrant (1980) stated that poor performance in economics in SSCE reduces students’ interest in the subject and also lead them to change to other courses. Consequently to above content, the researcher observed that there has been a constant reduction in the number of prospective students who gain admission to study economics in tertiary institution.

Therefore, this research work is aimed at identifying problems which can result to poor performance of students in economics.

Statement of the Study

After the introduction of economics in most of the secondary school, students performed very well in the subject. Economics students should be able to explain some phenomenon and terminologies that are common in the field of economics both in theoretical and mathematical aspect.


But from introspection, empirical and theoretical review from individuals, teachers, students, parents show that the students performances in economics in certificate examinations have been consistently poor and students in economics cannot solve a problem that concerns or relates to economics.

Therefore, the researcher’s problem here is to find out the factors that cause (s) or are responsible for the students poor performance in economics subject and also find the possible solution of the problem.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to find out the causes and remedies of students poor economics in Afikpo North L.G.A. of Ebonyi state.

The study specifically seeks to:

  1. Find out the factors responsible for poor performance of students in economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North.
  2. Find out whether such factors like lack of equipments and instructional materials influence students performance in economics.
  3. Find out whether short supply of qualified economics teachers to schools in Afikpo North L.G.A. contributed to students poor performance in economics.
  4. Find out whether such factor like lack of motivation, lack of interest in economics by students and inadequate incentive influence their performance in the subject.
  5. Find out possible measures that could be adopted in curbing the causes of poor performance of students towards studying economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North L.G.A.

Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is varied because the result will provide information for Federal and state government of Nigeria, students, teachers, general public (parents) policy makers on the causes and remedies of students poor performance in economics in Afikpo North L.G.A.

This study when completed will contributed some knowledge which may be of help to the federal and state government of Nigeria to improve the quality of education and as well encourage the government to employ qualified economics teachers for effectives teaching of economics in our secondary schools.

For students the study will provide information that will help to develop positive attitude towards studying economics subject in secondary schools in Afikpo North L.G.A.

For teacher, the study will serve as a useful sources of information to the teachers in that they will know how students feel about economics subject and this knowledge will help them in improvement of their teaching methods.

The result of the study will also provide information to the general public to encourage their wards towards  studying economics  subject as their best subject and well as open the eyes of the public to the important of studying economics  subject in training and growing our children. Also serves as a guide to other researchers who may to make further research on how to improve students’ poor performance in economics.

Moreso, the project work when  completed will help to identify the problems associated with the teaching of economics  and its will  enable policy makers or curriculum planners to enact and implement programme and policy that will help to bring the economics  subject competent favourably with other subjects.

Finally, the finding will be create an avenue or opportunity for further studies.

Scope of the Study

This study is focused in Afikpo North L.G.A of Ebonyi state. It limits itself to identifying factors that affect students’ interest or causes of poor performance of students in studying economics.

Research Questions

It is pertinent to ask some questions which is the basis of this research:

  1. What are the factors responsible for the students’ poor performance in economics in secondary schools in Afikpo North L.G.A?
  2. To what extent does factor like equipments and instructional materials or aids hamper students’ performance in economics?
  3. To what extent does lack of qualified teachers in economics militate against students’ performance in studying economics?
  4. To what extent does lack of motivation influence students in the studying of economics?




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