1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The problem of declining morality, especially among the youth, is an age-old and worldwide issue. This is especially true in Nigeria, Syria and South Africa where the ever-decreasing levels of morality affect communities as well as the entire country. For example, the economy of Nigeria is affected negatively due to lowered investor confidence, which is influenced by the high instances of violence and crime. As far as the family is concerned, Nigeria is also suffering. For example, more children are becoming orphaned due to HIV/Aids, and many parents have lost children and even entire families to violence perpetrated by (Boko Haram). This issue has steadily gained importance in Nigeria and has become a “National Attention” as highlighted by the President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in one of his addresses on the need for peace: when he said “the lines between right and wrong are continuing to plague our communities” (Retrieved from the World Wide Web on 24 May, 2012). This viewpoint has steadily been gaining support from various arenas, including Religious, Educational and Political leaders. Morality is therefore seen as an antidote to the ever-increasing incidence of crime such as violence, Kidnapping and even HIV/Aids (Carlo et al. 1999; Judy & Nelson 2000). It is essential that the issue of morality in the country be addressed. Until recent years, public schools had since deflected from their original roles in morality, though many outside the school system continued political pressure to move schools either towards or away from a value oriented curriculum. (KILPATRICK, WILLIAM, 2008). This poses questions and ideas about the appropriate approach to learning and the effect of morality in our teaching-learning process. DUNCAN, (2009) opined that there is no doubt that things are falling apart many people behave as if there is no need for decency and diligence for things that matter. There is an increase in moral, social and cultural decadence. Youths, now parade themselves with arrogance, cultism, vandalism and great lack of morals. The youths and children are now like sheep without a shepherd. They can no longer concentrate or remain focused even on their academic works.
Kara (2009) stated that morale towards learning of English Language besides opinions and beliefs have an obvious influence on students’ behaviours and consequently on their performance. It is argued that those students who possess positive morale about learning have a tendency to increase more positive attitudes towards language learning. (www.ccsenet.org/ass Asian Social Science Vol. 8, No. 2; February 2012). Conversely, negative beliefs may lead to class anxiety, low cognitive achievement, and negative attitudes (Victori & Lockhart, 1995). According to Alhmali (2007), the purpose of education in Nigeria is to obtain high grades and pass the exams. He went further to say that the creativity and understanding of the nature of students and their needs are not taken into account. The teachers’ role is basically to transmit information to their students effectively. There exists little knowledge about the best strategies to develop the students not just cognitively but also behaviorally and emotionally. In Nigeria, English Language textbooks are based on the communicative approach. (Orafi & Borg, 2009).
Meanwhile, the controversial concern is why some students attain higher grades in English language exams than others who are under the same conditions and situations. The concern on the learners’ attitudes towards the target language was emphasized by Gardner (1995), who stated that the learners’ Morale (attitudes and emotions) towards learning another language play a key role in enhancing and motivating them to learn that language. This, in turn, affects their performance, too. It is on this note, that one becomes concerned with the effect of moral and morale on the performance of students especially in English Language.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This study therefore focuses on the effect of moral and morale in the performance of students in English Language; as these issues tend to form a cog in the academic wheel of students.
The basic problem that children have today is not their concentration span which is roughly as long as the life of a smoke rings based on their stereophonic approach to studying.
This research is to examine the extent to which moral and morale affect or influence the pupils studies and their academic performance in English Language.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which moral and morale affect the pupils studies and consequently their academic performance in English Language.
This is why this study has taken into consideration the effect of morale and moral on the academic performance of pupils in English Language and to suggest some solutions that would help to solve the heart breaking problems in the school systems. Another reason why this study is carried out is to contribute to research and humanity, so that the future generation can learn from and improve on it.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Does moral affect the academic performance of the primary school pupils in English Language?
- Does morale affect the academic performance of the primary school pupils in English Language?
- Does the morale of the teacher affect the academic performance of the primary school pupils in English Language?
- Does the moral of the teachers affect the academic performance of the primary school pupils in English Language?
- Does the moral of the parents affect the academic performance of the primary school pupils in English Language?
- Does parent’s morale affect the academic performance of the primary school pupils in English Language?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This work will play an important role in the academic setting such as:
- Enabling one to understand reasons for the fluctuation in academic performance of the primary school pupils in English Language?
- Bringing to light the part moral and morale play in the academic performance of the primary school pupils?
- Making some positive impact and improve the readability of pupils in the primary school.
- It will encourage and urge the pupils to improve their listening skills and pay more attention to things that really matter.
- It will serve as a document that can be referred to in order to clear some doubts in the area of related experiences.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work covered all the primary schools in ikere Local Government Area. However, six schools were selected made up of two Mission School, two private (non-mission) and two public school.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERM
Morale: This is the state of psychological wellbeing of an individual or a group in terms of self-confidence, zeal, optimism, discipline and motivation especially when faced with adverse and hostile conditions.
Moral: According to the Oxford Advance Learners Dictionary is the standard of behaviour, principle of right and wrong. While the New International dictionary looks at it as the conforming to what is right and wrong.
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