EFFECTS OF PEER GROUP ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ARABIC STUDENTS
- Background to the Study
Educational activities are geared towards ensuring that students achieve mastery of educational objectives. In school , the extent to which these objectives have been achieved is determined by their level of peer pressure, time management as students success are reflected in their academic performance.
Peers play a large role in the social and emotional development of students (Allen; 2005). It is natural that the influence of an early age increase through the peer group by imitating friend as they grow and mature. A Peer refers to someone that you learn from his/her behaviour with the intention of copying him/her in such behaviour. (Hardcastle, 2002).
Peer pressure also known as peer influence or peer group. This due to the similarity of the outcome. However, the term peer pressure is often used among psychologist to explain the influence on peers on a person. Hartney (2011) defined the term “pressure” as the process by which someone is reinforced to do something he/she might not otherwise choose to do. According to Hartney, (2011) it could be said that peer influence refers to the pressures that peers can have on each other. Peer influence is emotional or mental forces from people belonging to the same social group (such as age, grade or status) to act or behave in a manner similar to themselves. This shows that peer group has an embedment of press influence or pressure. Jones, (2010) defined peer group as the ability of people from the same social rank or age to influence another of same age bracket. Peer group is usually associated with teens although its influence is not confined to teenagers alone. Mature adults, teens, young adults and children can be seen doing things in order to be accepted by their peers. Peer group is commonly associated with episodes of adolescent risk taking (such as delinquency, drug abuse, sexual behaviours), because these behaviour commonly occur in the company of peers. Peer group can also have positive effects when youth are influenced by the peer toward positive behavior such as volunteering for charity or excelling in academics (Kellie, 2013).
However, peer group can also have a negative effect. They can encourage each other to indulge in many atrocities such as use drugs or alcohol, or become involve in other risky behaviours. Majority of adolescents with substance abuse problems began using drug or alcohol as a result of effects of peer group. Peer group may influence in various ways like joining group who drink alcohol, smoke cigarette and Indian hemp among others. It may also lead to the decision to have a boy/girl friend, negative peer group indulges youth into loitering about in the streets, watching films and attending parties during school hours, taping as alternative to stealing which may eventually graduate into armed robbery (Arief, 2011).
There is no doubt that Arabic Language has an exceptional position in Islam. Allah has chosen the Arabic Language as an effective medium of communication for His message. Arabic is not only a language per se, but a language that has been chosen by Allah to communicate with His servants. Allah says in the Quran: Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran in order that you may understand Quran 12:2). Faryadi (2002) stated that Allah is emphasizing that learning Arabic is proper way in understanding His message. Indeed, in order to understand the beauty of Al-Quran, the revelation by which Allah has sent down His messages, one must make the learning of the Arabic Language a priority. In the educational arena, Nigeria is one of the fastest developing countries in the world. Arabic Language has been a pivotal to economic and educational development in northern Nigeria. The sub-division of makranta Alo and makranta llmi in North before the advent of the Western education cannot be robbed off from the history of Nigerian education. The roles of friendship on understanding the concept of Arabic language cannot be jetissoned. This is because the better ones friends are, the better the understanding of such student.
The academic performance of every student is wired with the state of the cognitive condition that the child his. The reason for this is that cognitive skill is the processor that processes the learning bits that student learns in the class. Raheem (2015) stated that to process and exercise knowledge gained by every students required three skills. These skills are receptive skills, cognitive skill and productive skills. Receptive skills are skills that students used to receive information, these are reading and listening. Cognitive skill is the skill used by the students to process the information received, this is the reasoning faculty of the students. Productive skills are skills that the students use to express what they have learnt through receptive skills and their cognitive skills has processed. Defect in the learning ability of a student will have effect on the cognitive state of such student. As a result, students with learning disability will of no doubt needs positive peer group who will assist their ability in their academic performance especially, in subjects like Arabic Language.
1.2. Statement of the problem
The roles that peer group plays in the life of students is not limited. The primary reason on this is that student’s life is surrounded with friends making and group association. This is one of the reasons why some groups are known as leading sets while some are known as failure group. Learners with learning disabilities are often known to be performing below average in their academic pursuit. However, if these learners make the choice of good peer group, it is believed that their academic performance will be improved, but if they make the choice of bad peer group, it is believed that there academic performance may be adversely affected. What bothers the mind of the researchers is that they are curious on investigating the effects of peer group on academic performance of students with learning disabilities in Arabic language.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to examine the effects of peer group on the academic performance of Arabic students in some selected Muslims schools in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State.
1.4 Scope of the Study
This research work assessed the effects of peer group on the academic performance of Arabic students in some selected Muslims schools. The scope of this study is some in some selected Muslims schools in Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State.
1.5. Significance of the study
This study will be of help to many people in the society especially students who are in secondary school as it will be of benefits to educational planners and educational managers. This is because they will be able to have an in-dept look into how peer group affect the academic performance of learners with learning disabilities in Arabic language. The study is also of significance to specialists taking care of the educational curriculum of learners with learning disabilities in Nigeria.
In addendum, the study will be of immense benefits to teachers teaching learners with learning disabilities Arabic language as they will be able to understand the effects of peer group on what they are teaching their learning disabled students. Without doubt, this study will really be of great benefit to Ministry of Education, and government at large by aiding them in giving setting educational policy.
1.6 Research Questions
(i) How does peer group affect the academic performance of learners with learning disabilities in Arabic language?
(ii) Does relating with peer group has effect on the moral behaviour of Arabic students who are learners with learning disables?
(iii) Does peer group that students relate with has effect on the academic performance of students in Arabic Language?
1.7 Operational Definition of terms
– Academic Performance: This means the result of educational efforts students in English language.
– Peer group: This means friends and colleagues that a person moves, discuss and shares experience with in school or environment
– Effects: In this study, this means the pressure that does come from friends and colleagues in taking a decision. This may be positive or negative.
– Arabic Language: In this study, it refers to one of the foreign languages that is learnt in Nigeria majorly by Muslim students as it is the language of their religion texts.
This study intends to dwell on effects of peer group on the academic performance of Arabic students in some selected Muslim schools in Afijio Local Government of Oyo state. The study employed a survey research method to collect information on the effects of peer group on the academic performance of Arabic Language students comprises of four (4) selected Muslim secondary schools in Afijio Local Government, Oyo State. The researcher randomly selected sixty (60) students from the selected schools for the study. The instrument used in collecting the data for this study was questionnaire designed to elicit response to the three (3) research questions raised in chapter one. The study showed that most of their friends in their examinations because of their encouragement in the class, this enhance their academic performance positively. In fact, many of their friends do not discourage students who try to improve academically in school. Also, they spend most of their time in school with friends revising for examination and most of them do engage in group reading with their friends. The finding shows that most of the students are not drug addicts. This shows that most of their friends are of a good moral. Most of their friends do attend school regularly and most of them and their friends always solve any assignment given to them in Arabic Language as a result many of them affirmed that their current achievement in Arabic Language is better than the previous one before they met their friends. Conclusively, many of their friends do not engage in sexual relation and they do not sneak out of school. Also, many of them and their friends always revised together before Arabic examination and test and more of them and their friends compete with good grades.
KEY WORDS: Peer Group, Academic Performance, Learning Disabilities, Arabic Language, Muslim Schools.