Problems Challenging the Academic Performance of Physics Students in Higher Governmental Institutions in the Case of Arbaminch, Wolayita Sodo, Hawassa and Dilla Universities


This study was conducted to examine problems that challenged academic performance of physics students in higher governmental institutions in the case of Arbaminch, Wolayita Sodo, Hawassa and Dilla Universities. Questionnaires, interviews and video recordings were used to collect relevant data for the study. Data from questionnaires was compiled and analyzed using a computerized data analysis package known as Statistical Package for Social Science SPSS 17.0. The Pearson chi-square test was used to compute to test association between dependent variable and independent variables and T-test was used to find out how academic performance varied with interest to subject matter. On the other hand, ANOVA test was used to test variation of the academic performance in study sites. Besides, percentages were used for comparison of data analysis. The findings reveal the existence of a significant influence of teachers both in fostering positive or negative attitude to subject (physics) and for their poor academic performance in lower class as well as in higher institutions. On the basis of the findings, the least percentage of students (16%) indicated that their current department was the best choice for them during application for admission. Whereas the highest percentage (84%) of sample class students was enrolled in department of physics without their interest and the academic performance (ESELS result), the highest percentage (70) of students who were admitted to department of physics was below 50%. The p values 0.01 and 0.00, respectively for students who are enrolled in department of physics with best choice and without their interest, are less than alpha level of significance (0.05), which reveals that, there is statistical significance academic performance deference between students in both cases. However, the difference is more significant for those students who are enrolled without their interest. By analysis of Pearson chi-square test summary in respective study sites, the p values 0.01, 0.007, 0.021 and 0.022 respectively are less than the alpha (α) level of significance of 0.05, which reveals that there is strong association between those variables. In the other corner of the ANOVA test analysis indicates that p value 0.01 is less than alpha level of significance 0.05. This reveals variation of academic performance of students between four higher governmental institutions where the study is made.

Share and Cite:

Mekonnen, S. (2014) Problems Challenging the Academic Performance of Physics Students in Higher Governmental Institutions in the Case of Arbaminch, Wolayita Sodo, Hawassa and Dilla Universities. Natural Science, 6, 362-375. doi: 10.4236/ns.2014.65037.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Assefa, B., et al. (2008) Action Research on Enhancing Academic Excellence in a Study Program. Ethiopian Journal of Education and Sciences, 3, 71-80.
[2] Akanbi, A.O. (2010) Students and Teachers’ Perception of the Causes of Poor Academic Performance in Ogun State Secondary Schools [Nigeria]: Implications for Couselling for National Development. European Journal of Social Sciences, 13, 229.
[3] Saint, W. (2004) Higher Education in Ethiopia and the Vision and Its Challenges. Journal of Higher Education in Africa, 2, 83-113.
[4] Semela, T. (2010) Who Is Joining Physics and Why? Factors Influencing the Choice of Physics Students among Ethiopian University. International Journal of Environmental and Science, 5, 319-340.
[5] Daniels, M. and Schouten, J. (1970) Education in Europe: The Screening of Students, Problems of Assessment and Prediction of Academic Performance. Council for Cultural Co-Operation of the Council of Europe, London.
[6] Mallory, J.L. (2004) Factors Which Determine Interest or Fear in Physics. Williamsburg, Virginia, 1-18.
[7] Al-Shorayye, S.R. (1995) The Effect of Admissions Policy, Socio-Economic Factors and Demographic and Personal Considerations on Students’ Performance at Kuwait University. University of Hull.
[8] Aremu, A.O. (2000) Academic Performance 5 Factor Inventory. Stirling-Horden Publishers, Ibadan.
[9] Adeyemi, T.O. (2011) A Comparative Study of Students’ Academic Performance in Public Examinations in Secondary Schools in Ondo and Ekiti States, Nigeria. Current Research Journal of Economic Theory, 3, 36-42.
[10] Al-Methen, A.E. and Wilkinson, W.J. (1992) Perceived Causes of Failure among Secondary School Students. Research in Education No. 48, Manchester. University Press, 26-35.
[11] Díaz, A.L. (2003) Personal, Family, and Academic Factors Affecting Low Achievement in Secondary School. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology and Psychology, 1, 43-66.
[12] Ogunleye, B.O. (2002) Towards the Optimal Utilization and Management of Resources for the Effective Teaching and Learning of Physics in Schools. Annual Conference of the Science Teachers’ Association of Nigeria, University of Lagos, Nigeria, 215-220.
[13] Isola, O.M. (2010) Affects of Standardized and Improvised Instructional Materials Students’ Academic Achievements in Secondary School Physics. M. Ed Thesis, of Ibadan, Ibadan.
[14] Esiobu, G.O. (2005) Genre Issues in Science and Technology Education Development. In: Uwowi, U.M.O., Ed., Science and Technology Education for Development, NERDC Press, Lagos, 137-156.
[15] Adeyemo, S.A. (2010) Background and Classroom Correlate of Students in Physics. International Journal of Educational Research and Technology, 1, 25-34.
[16] Considine, G. and Zappala, G. (2007) Influence of Social and Economic Disadvantage in the Academic Performance of School Students in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 38, 129-148.
[17] Cambridge University Reporter (2003) Indicators of Academic Performance.
[18] American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990) Science for All Americans. Oxford University Press, New York.
[19] Gardner, P. (1974) Sex Differences in Achievements, Attitudes and Personality of Science Students: A Review. Paper Presented at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Australian Science Education Research Association.
[20] Ormerod, M. and Duckworth (1975) Pupils’ Attitudes to Science, Slough. National Foundation for Educational Research.
[21] Osborne, J., Simon, S. and Collins, S. (2003) Attitudes towards Science: A Review of the Literature and Its Implications. International Journal of Science Education, 25, 1049-1079.
[22] Crawley, F.E. (1992) Causal Modeling of Secondary Science Students’ Intentions to Enroll in Physics. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29, 585-599.
[23] Askhia, O.A. (2010) Students and Teachers’ Perception of the Causes of Poor Academic Performance in Ogun State Secondary Schools. European Journal of Sciences, 13, 229-242.
[24] Selim, M. and Shrigley, R. (1983) The Group-Dynamics Approach: A Socio-Psychological Approach for Testing the Effect of Discovery and Expository Teaching on the Science Achievement and Attitude of Young Egyptian Students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20, 213-224.
[25] Nega, M. (2012) Quality and Quality Assurance in Ethiopian Higher Education: Critical Issues and Practical Implication, Netherlands.
[26] Basses, M.P. (2002) Availability of Resources for the Teaching of Science Subject in Public Secondary Schools. A Case Study of Some Selected Secondary Schools in Alimosho Local Government.
[27] Frazer, B.J., Okebukola, P.A.O. and Jegede, O.J. (1992) Assessments of the Learning Environment of Nigerian Science Laboratory Classes. Journal of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, 27, 1-17.
[28] Amin, M.E. (2005) Social Science Research: Conception, Methodology and Analysis. Makerere University Press, Kampala.
[29] Akanbi, A.O. (2003) Trend in Physics Education in Secondary School in Kwara State. Journal of Science Education, 5, 69-75.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.