Analysis of Students’ Grades in STEM Subjects at Senior School Certificate Examination Before and During COVID-19 Pandemic in Nigeria

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Daniel R. E. Ewim, Maxwell E. Uduafemhe

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemichas caused a severe globalhealth crisis that has spread to practically all sectors of human
life. The education sector has been severely hit due to the closure of schools, alternative learning arrangements and concerns
about access to learning by indigent students. It was therefore the purpose of this study to investigate the academic
performance of students in STEM subjects of the senior secondary school exams conducted by the National Examination
Council (NECO)amid the challenges and issues in teaching and learning in Nigeria caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Data
regarding students’ grades in;Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, Technical Drawing, Basic
Electricity, Auto Mechanics, Home Management, and Food and Nutrition,within four years (2017-2020)were sourced from the
National Examinations Council. The study employed a longitudinal technique in an ex post facto research design to look at the
grades obtained by candidates that sat for SSCE in STEM subjects in the period. Quite surprisingly, it was found that the
students performed better in 2020 when compared to 2017, 2018, and 2019. This was suspected to be attributed to resilience on
the part of the students who may have put extra effort to beat the odds introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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