THE PROBLEMS OF POOR READING HABITS AND CONSEQUENCES ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL:A CASE STUDY OF OREDOLOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EDO STATE
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Reading as an intellectual activity is undertaken in literate society for obtaining information, acquiring and expanding knowledge. It is an important activity in the life of an individual because it motivates the individual interest towards the achievement of more knowledge. It also affords the individual to derive pleasure and entertainment in sharing from the experiences of others communicated through print or test materials. It is also a process by which printed words are assimilated, interpreted and transmitted into spoken words to understand the meaning and apply it on a daily basis.
Reading is a receptive skill like listening and vocalizing what was stimulated, it also productive when it is done aloud. However, it is a mental process involving the interpretation of signs perceived through the sense organs. According to Longe and Ojo (1996) reading is the ability to transform the visual representation of language into meaning. According to Walker (1998) reading is an active process (not a product like history) in which readers shift between sources of information (what they know and what the text says) elaborate meaning and strategies, check their interpretation (receiving when appropriate and use social context to focus their responses).
The Interpretation Reading Association (2005) says reading is a complete system of deriving meaning from print that requires all the following:
1. The development and maintenance of a motivation to read.
2. The development of appropriate active strategies to contrast meaning from prints
3. Sufficient background information and vocabulary to foster reading comprehension.
4. The ability to decode unfamiliar words
5. The ability to read fluently.
From this definition of reading, we can deduce the reading is a complex activity that requires good mastery and personal interest for sound effectiveness, consequently most students lost interest and concentration thereby leading to poor reading habits among students.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
From early time to the present, Nigeria has attached much importance to reading starting from primary school through the tertiary level. It is important to note that there exist many complex problems that may result to the problem of poor reading habits and its consequences on the academic performance of a child in school system. This made the researcher to dive into possible effects encountered by secondary school students in OredoLGA of Edo State. It is of great interest to note that most secondary school especially in OredoLGA of Edo State is faced with the problem of poor reading habits and this problem has taken deep roots in the part of the students either as a result of lack of qualified teachers, ill-health of students , bad method of teaching, outdated textbooks, family background and psychological factors and teachers poor attitude towards reading and teaching students the proper reading skills.
1. Does lack of qualified teachers affects reading efficiency?
2. Does lack of relevant textbooks in school library affect reading efficiency?
3. Does ill-health affect efficiency in reading?
4. Do bad method of teaching cause poor reading habits?
5. Do family background and psychological factors affects reading efficiency?
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study is carried out in order to:
1. Find out the causes of poor reading habits among students.
2. Look at the effect of poor reading habits and its consequences on the academic performance of a child.
3. Suggest lasting solution
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work would be useful to students, as they will have first hand information of the causes, effect and lasting solution on the problems of poor reading habits. Also, this research will make government, principals, of secondary school and teachers to update themselves with new method of teaching reading and the provision of educational facilities.
The awareness of the consequences of poor reading habit will make students improve on the suggested solution and this will serve as a channel to students as regard their reading in and outside their secondary level and this will motivate them to provide the necessary school materials for themselves. It will also enhance the standard of education because the study will equip students to master some key words and techniques or reading. This will lead to success and self reliance during their exams and in the society.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Reading: It is the ability to attach meaning to printed symbols.
Skills: The ability to do something well
Student: A person usually under the age of 16 who students in secondary school.
Academy: A school or college for special training
Concentration: The ability to focus ones attention.
Comprehension: The power of understanding and exercise aimed at improving or testing ones understanding of language.