EXAMINATION GRADE PURSUIT AS A DETERMINANT OF STUDENTS READING ATTITUDE IN THE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS
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1.1 Background to the study
Reading, one of the most fundamental building blocks of learning, is a process that requires the use of complex thought processes to interpret printed symbols as meaningful units, and to comprehend them as a thought unit in order to understand a printed message (Aina, Ogungbemi, Adigun, & Ogundipe, 2011, p. 1; Onuoha, Unegbu, & Umahi, 2013, p. 2). In other words, reading is a process of decoding symbols in order to derive or construct meaning. Reading is, therefore, vital for everyday activities of being better informed, sharpening and shaping the mind, rational and objective reasoning leading to greatness in life. Reading is also said to be an encapsulating process which is integrative in nature, and which affects the reader’s perceptual, cognitive, and affective domains (Oriogu 2013, p. 61). Simply put, reading is not just for school, it is for life! It is affirmed that humans are capable of transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations through reading. This confirms the assertion that success in school or any life endeavor is dependent on a good foundation in reading competence (Oriogu, 2013, p. 61).
Reading has been said to be the only form of entertainment that is also an essential life skill. Gentile (1976, p. 378) argues that “reading allows an individual the opportunity to grow and develop insights into life and the world at large. Thus, he is able to make effective decisions that lead to personal health and happiness”. Reading is one of the most rewarding pursuits in life and an art that is central to human development. Therefore, developing a reading culture is pertinent to success in life.
Reading culture is the process of building up a positive reading attitude. This is when reading becomes a part of the individual’s life and not only certain aspects, such as school or work. Phillip (2005, p. 1) affirms that reading is not just for the acquisition of literacy, but also for the cultivation of the habit of reading when he stated:
Giving someone literacy skills is like teaching a person to drive and giving them only a few drops of gas: the machine is perfect and the driving skills have been acquired, but it’s not still an automatic skill because there is not enough practice Once the fuel is exhausted, the driving ability becomes useless and begins to deteriorate. With an improved reading culture, however, the person has a continuous supply of easily processed fuel, which allows the new driver to visit certain sites, enjoy driving and, ultimately, achieve limitless possibilities that he offers.
Reading culture is best developed in the formative years of the child. This is why reading should be a major part of the school curriculum and also, an instrument of thoroughly understanding the subject-matter of any school subject. Reading is one of the fundamental skills which students are expected to acquire through the process of schooling without which there would possibly be no other means of achieving academic success (Oyewole, 2017, p. 92).
However, this study is carried out on examination grade pursuit as a determinant of students reading attitude in the tertiary institutions.
1.2 Statement of the problem
A good reading habit has been established as essential for academic success. The extent to which a student excels or performs in his or her studies depends on the kind of study habits he or she develops and uses to a very large extent. It is likely that a student who develops and uses good study habits has a better performance in his studies than one who has poor study habits. The habit of studying plays a vital role in the academic success of every student at every level.
However, it is questionable to what extent students in recent years develop and use their study habits; Like most high school students, they hardly know how to study. Mark and Howard (2009) further emphasize this position as they believe that the most common challenge for student success in all branches is the lack of effective or positive study habits. Most students do not have a study plan to guide them. Some simply attend classes, do homework and prepare for exams, etc. This may not be related to the recent abominable performance of students in final exams.
The high failure rate is actually a concern for everyone. The curiosity to offer solutions to these problems led to choose to undertake the study on this subject. “examination grade pursuit as a determinant of students reading attitude in the tertiary institutions in Enugu State”
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main objective of this study is to assess examination grade pursuit as a determinant of students reading attitude in the tertiary institutions.
The study specifically set out to:
- ascertain the level of reading culture among Nigerian undergraduates.
- assess the frequency of the respondents’ reading.
- determine what constitute tertiary institution students’ reading habits reading culture.
1.4 Research questions
- What is the level of reading culture among undergraduates?
- What is the frequency of the respondents’ reading? iii. What are the reading habits of tertiary institution students?
iv. Is there any relationship between students’ level in the University and their reading culture?
1.5 Hypothesis of the study
The study employed the use of a null hypothesis to carry out its objectives
HO: Examination grade pursuit does not determine students reading attitude in the tertiary institutions
1.6 Significance of study
This study will be of significance to many as to who may want to understand the influence of study habits on the academic performance of senior secondary school students’ terminal examinations. Therefore, the study is significant in this regard.
The beneficiaries of this study are the teachers in secondary schools, the students in secondary schools, parents and future researchers. The findings of this study will provide information to the teachers and students on the types of study habits that enhance students’ academic achievement in secondary schools. The teachers would use the information to guide the students on the best study habits to adopt. The students would use the information to adjust on their study habits to improve their academic achievement. The parents would use the findings of this study to understand one of the causes of their children’s poor academic achievement.
This study attempts to combine study skills with study habit and how they both affect academic performance of students as It will provide valuable information about the effects of poor study habit on the academic performance of students.
The study will also help other researchers and academicians in carrying out research related to the study. The study will therefore serve as a resource material guide.
The researchers believes that students, particularly secondary school student will be benefited from the findings of this study since the study provides basis for awareness and better understanding of how their current study habits affected their academic performance. Likewise gives them a more focused and clear perspective on how the specific behaviors related toothier studies influenced study habits.
1.7 Scope of the study
This study centers on examination grade pursuit as a determinant of students reading attitude in the tertiary institutions in Enugu state.
1.8 Organization of Study
The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.