English language and gender influences on the prediction of junior certificate perfomance among students in Botswana
PublisherAfrican Educational Research Network. http://www.ncsu.edu
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The poor and deteriorating overall performance in Botswana junior school certificate (JSC) examination is a problem that tends to defeat all efforts at finding a solution to it. Language has been found to be a powerful element of quality of education (Obanya, 2004) and the language of instruction, especially if not the learners’ first language, tends to have unlimited power to bring down performance even on other subjects This study was designed to determine the extent to which this might be true for students in Lobatse cluster schools in southern region of Botswana. Two hypotheses were posited to guide this determination and data on the performance of the 1204 students used in the study was collected from the Examination, Research and Testing Division (ERTD) of Botswana. Correlation and regression analyses were done using SPSS statistical package, and the results support the dominance of English language in determining overall performance in JSC especially for the combined group and for females. A little surprising observation was made in the case of males where science, instead of English language was the significant main predictor. The findings were discussed and recommendations made.