The Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Academic Achievement of Senior Secondary School Students in Lagos, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study investigated the impact of emotional intelligence on academic achievement of senior secondary school students in Lagos, Nigeria. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement among senior secondary school students. A sample of 156 participants randomly selected from three senior secondary schools was used. The schools were randomly assigned to the two treatment conditions (emotional intelligence training techniques) and control group. Questionnaire and achievement test were employed to generate data for the study. Two research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The hypotheses were tested using descriptive statistical method, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Pearson product moment correlation coefficient statistics. The study revealed that there is a positive relationship between emotional intelligence skills and academic achievement such that developing emotional intelligence skills of a student will lead to the enhancement of his/her academic achievement. Thus, there is the need to inculcate the development of emotional intelligence skills into the school curriculum. This is considered important because of its impact in improving the academic achievement of students. The findings of this study may assist stakeholders in the education sector in developing a better understanding of the effects of emotional intelligence on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, academic achievement, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, self-management skills and intrapersonal skills.

INTRODUCTION

The trend in the academic achievement of secondary school students in Nigeria in the last two decades has become a major source of concern to all stakeholders in the education sector. This is so because of the great importance that education has on the national development of the country. There is a consensus of opinion about the fallen standard of education in Nigeria (Adebule, 2004). Parents and government are in agreement that their huge investment on education is not yielding the desired dividend (Adegbite, 2005). There is mass decline in the achievement of students in both National Examination Council (NECO) and the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE),( Dawa, Adamu and Olayomi ,2005). The annual releases of Senior Secondary Certificate Examination results (SSCE) conducted by West African Examination Council (WAEC) depicts the problematic nature and generalization of poor secondary school students' achievement in different school subjects especially mathematics and English language among secondary school students (Adesemowo, 2005).

Poor academic achievement is an achievement that is adjudged by the examiner as falling below an expected standard. Academic failure is not only frustrating to the students and the parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of the economy and polity (Aremu, 2000). Morakinyo (2003) agrees that the falling level of academic achievement is attributable to teacher's non-use of verbal reinforcement strategy. Adegbite (2005) found out that the attitude of some teachers to their job is reflected in their poor attendance to lessons, lateness to school, unsavory comments about student's performance that could damage their ego, poor method of teaching and the likes. Edun and Akanji (2008) asserted that poor academic achievement among our students is usually attributed to the school authority and teachers' attitude to their work.

Oyinloye (2005) attributes the problem of poor academic achievement to low level of emotional intelligence among secondary school students. He believes that "students who lack emotional intelligence show some adjustive challenges or in some ways fail to handle effectively the demands of school work. Such students might be said to have little or no emotional intelligence and may not be capable of attaining personal goals which include high academic achievement. …