THE ROLE OF EXAMINATION GRADE IN SHAPING THE READING CULTURE OF STUDENTS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the study
This study entitled the role of Examination grade in shaping the reading culture of students in Tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
A big part of any course or study programme is measuring how much a student has actually learned. Examinations can come in different forms, while grading must comply with a certain norm. Examination grade is a piece of written work for mark gotten, usually in the form of a number, that indicates students level of achievement.
The study tried to look at the link between readingculture and the issue of educational imbalance in the country to ascertain connectivity between the two assessing examination grade. Academic achievement determining by examination grade means how much knowledge the individual has acquired from the school is directly linked to reading culture. Various studies have proven that reading culture, whether academic or non-academic, have an effect on academic performance of students regardless of their level. (Bashir & Mattoo, 2012) A good number of children in Nigeria are quite privileged to have access to the internet, television, and other electronic devices and thus, most students would prefer to watch or listen rather than read. Many of today’s children have little or no interest in reading especially non-academic materials as they may refer to it as boring or time wasting. It is for this reason that majority of the youth would rarely purchase a newspaper, journal or novel, and would prefer to watch the content of the material in books as a film or listen to it. Some academic authors have published audio formats of their manuscripts and textbooks to assist student especially in the Senior High School (SHS) but even this also has been ineffective. Students with poor reading culture in the SHS face a lot of challenges if they make it to the tertiary institutions, mostly because they are compelled to read huge volumes of academic books. They may find it even more challenging because they are required to do their own research at the library or online in order to fully understand and succeed in their coursework. The poor reading attitude follows individuals from SHS to the Tertiary level and to the professional world, creating a workforce that can hardly read manuals for devices, medication instructions and public notices. Reading culture can be described as a socialization process and needs to be encouraged at all levels and all contexts. Some progress is being made as seen in the Nigeria Education Service’s announcement that a “reading hour” will be added to the education curriculum of all schools beginning this
2014/2015 academic year. The Acting Director of the GES, Charles Aheto Tsegah told Citi News, the addition has become necessary due to the falling standards of education in the country; a situation he attributed to the bad reading culture of children.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There is no concrete empirical study to show the depth and seriousness of reading activities and their impacts on University students in Nigeria. There are reports that reading has been relegated to the background in our Universities. The extents to which poor reading culture pervade among students of the three major tribes have not been determined. In other words, the extent of the prevailing poor reading culture among students has not been established. The absence of concrete empirical studies to show reading frequency profiles of one major tribe in relation to the others in Nigeria prompted this study.
This study is therefore aimed at assessing the role of Examination grade in shaping the reading culture of students in Tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
1.3 Research Objectives
The main objective of this study is to assess the role of Examination grade in shaping the reading culture of students in Tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The specific objectives of this study are:
- To determine the different reasons for reading that motivates students to engage or not to engage in reading.
- To access the influence of examination grades on reading culture.
- To ascertain the different reading materials students enjoy reading.
- To identify the different interests of students other than reading.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the reasons that motivate students to read?
- What reading materials are students interested in reading?
- How do examination grades influence reading culture?
- What are the different interests of students other than reading?
1.5 Scope of Study
The study was conducted in the University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The study focused on both students and lecturers in the school.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research identified the various structures in society that help promote good reading culture. This information would provide knowledge that would enable the shaping of policies and amending of present systems that would fuel increase in reading and improvement of reading culture in students. This is why it became necessary to conduct a study in Akwa Ibom state to examine the effect of examination grades on the reading culture of students in the University of Uyo, Uyo.
1.7 Operational definition of terms
Extensive Reading is the willingness to read outside academic circles. It is the reading that is not meant to fulfil any obligation but for pleasure. This type of reading is aimed at getting information and it can be through scanning and skimming.
Intensive Reading is a detailed reading. It is geared towards getting implied, evaluative and critical meaning, from a text. This type of reading is aimed at acquiring skills necessary for academic prospects and that is why it also called study type of reading.
Major Tribes in this study are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. Each major tribe constitutes a population that covers more than five states of the federation and the language is predominantly spoken by minority tribes around it.
Minority Tribes constitute a population that is less than a state. This informed the reason why most states comprise more than two of these tribes. Most minority tribes adopt the language of a majority tribe close to them. As a result, some of their languages are going into extinction.
Negative Reading Habit is one’s dislike or hatred for reading which makes one not read anything. Sometimes the person may read only for examination purposes and abandon the task after graduation.
Positive Reading Habit refers to somebody’s positive disposition to reading materials across genres. It is one’s likeness for books that makes reading a hobby.
Reading Culture, as used in this study, is the cultivation of positive attitude and interest towards reading; it makes one read regularly for pleasure and for self-education.
Reading Habits refer to the desire for one to constantly read books, magazines, journals and so on. It is one’s likeness to read regularly.
Reading Frequency Profile refers to the summary of students’ regularity or otherwise of their engagement in reading activities.
Reading Facilitative Variables are factors that enhance reading habits. In other words, they are factors that can make students develop reading habits.
Reading Inhibitive Variables, on the other hand, are the variables that adversely affect reading habits development.
Reading Teacher is not only one who reads, but one who teaches reading in school.
School Location is a reference to whether a school is located in the urban or rural area.
Qualitative Levels of Materials refer to different grades of English language based-texts students read willingly for interest sake. They are classified as high, moderate and low. The high quality materials are the ones capable of improving students’ vocabulary and English language structures.
Quantitative Levels of Materials refer to the amount of reading carried out on a regular basis. That is, how many books students read willingly for pleasure. The levels were quantified into high, middle and low. The number of texts determines the level of reading.
1.8 Organization of the study The study consisted of five chapters. Chapter one comprised background of reading habits in Nigeria and a general introduction to the work. It included statement of problem of the study, highlighted the objectives of the study, the scope within which the research was conducted is also highlighted. An outline of how the work is organized is also detailed in the chapter one. The chapter two of the study reviewed works of literature relevant to the study. The chapter three laid down the various methods that were employed for the purposes of the study. Chapter four discussed the findings from the data collected and the chapter five is a summary of the major findings with recommendations and conclusion to the study.
Focus: examination grade