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This chapter deals with the following; background of the study, statement of the problem, research questions, research hypothesis, purpose of the study significant of the study, delimitation or scope of the study and finally definition of terms. Education is a useful process that is acquired from birth until death. One can acquire education through many means. It can be via formal, informal or non-formal form of education. Formal education: where school is the main place where teaching and learning takes place through instructional processes using different instructional aids such as textbooks, charts, maps and out of door studies etc. Non-formal education: where the church, mass media, and youth movements, having the acquisition of knowledge non-formally. Informal education: using the home, peer groups, using different methods to transmit knowledge from the more knowledgeable person to a less knowledgeable person with the help of instructional aids such as textbooks, charts, graphic materials, maps.




1.1 Background of The Study


The primary purpose of teaching and learning is to bring a significant change in behavior through active participation and critical thinking of learners. This cannot take place without the availability and proper use of school’s facilities and other needed resources Ogunsaju (1980) the quality of education that students receive depends on the available of the overall school facilities in which teaching and learning takes place. Quality, relevance and access to education can be attained if and only if educational materials are properly available and utilized in an educational institution. According to Durbin et., (1989), resources are the only means through which organizational activities, services and satisfactory ends are attainable. In the educational milieu, these resources embody classroom facilities like board, furniture, instructional materials like charts audiovisual aids, toilets, computer centers, library textbooks and laboratory materials; all of which plays an important and a smooth role in teaching and learning process.


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word textbook did not have its modern meaning until the end of the eighteenth century, when such books were commonly in the hands of students as well as teachers (Ellsworth, Hedley and Barratta, in 1994). These early passages for education were probably from the Bible and some poetry.


During the time of colonization, textbooks were imported from the mother country and taught as facts for the new territory, even of the facts do not match the history of the region. These texts served in part, as a form of indoctrination to the history of the history of the mother country. However, when these territories have gained independence, becoming nations through revolution or their succession from the colonizing country, they have changed their textbooks to reflect their new realities (Encyclopedia of Education, 2008).


The World Bank recommended that 3 to 5 percent of a country’s education budget be spent on textbooks. But in reality, a very small amount is earmarked for such purchases. Burundi and the Central African Republic, spent the figure is only 1percent. Only Kuwait and Malawi spent close to 5% or more (UNESCO, 2016). This means that parents are often left to cover the cost of learning materials for their children, creating further barriers to the acquisition of basic skills and other learning outcomes for the poorest.


Availability to textbooks in Cameroon schools is gotten as some of the publishing houses sell their books directly to the booksellers and some makes use of distributors. These books are kept in school libraries for students and teachers to sign and read. As in most of the African countries, mainly school and textbooks are published causing a disproportional rise of bookshops/booksellers when the new school year starts, but which then close down for the rest of the year again soon afterwards. The prices of the schoolbooks are fixed by the Ministry of Trade, and the prices of other books are set by the publishers themselves and which in many cases are ignored by the bookshops which seem to set their own prices. Because of the way the distribution system works in Cameroon, the publishers are generally dependent on the booksellers.




1.2 Statement Of The Problem


According to the Education and Training Sector Strategy for 2013-2020 on the achievement of quality universal education, the major challenge facing education in Cameroon are many among which are poor quality of education resources, inequitable and inefficient distribution of resources. In order to remedy this


situation it has as some of its objectives to reduce disparities of all kinds in the primary and secondary education by improving the quality learning in primary and secondary schools through interventions in curriculum reform, distribution of learning and teaching materials and literacy programs.


Despite this, students’ academic performance has been found to be poor due to lack of access to textbooks. Many students do not have access to the required textbooks due to some challenges involved in obtaining them while others even undermine the influence of textbooks on their achievement in school. It is against this backdrop, that this study is designed to examine access to secondary school textbooks and its impact on students’ academic performance in History.




1.3 Objectives of the Study


1.3.1 General Objective


The main objective of the study is to examine; availability of History textbooks and its influence on secondary school student’s academic performance.


1.3.2 Specific Objectives


To examine the how different textbooks used in teaching history affects student’s performance in history in the Buea Municipality.

To examine the influence of frequency uses of these textbooks and it influences on students’ academic performance

To identify the difficulties encountered in making text books available to students and its influence on performance in Buea municipality

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