Academic performance of undergraduates of three new BSc degree programs as affected by gender and, A/L study stream and subject performance
Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension
Objective of this study was to determine the academic performance of undergraduates of three new BSc degree programs as affected by gender and, A/L stream and subject performance. Semester grade point averages (SGPA) over eight semesters and overall grade point averages (OGPA) of 239 undergraduates who followed BSc in Green Technology (GT), Agricultural Recourse Management and Technology (AT) and Agribusiness Management (AB) were analyzed. Significantly higher percentage of GT (91 %), AB (73 %)
... and AT (70 %) students had followed Biological Science as their Advanced Level (A/L) stream. The contributions of physics, Chemistry and Biology to the final A/L performance of the students who followed biology stream were 30, 33 and 37 %, respectively. Contrary, among those who had followed Agriculture, the contribution of Chemistry (22 %) was significantly lower than that of Biology stream students (33 %). Subject Agriculture contributed 44 % to the final A/L performance of the students who had followed Agriculture in A/L. Nine percent of the students had dropped the undergraduate programs after taking examinations in one or even three semesters while another 20 % have failed to complete the programme within the four-year period. Repeaters were significantly higher among male students and those who had followed Agriculture in A/L. Among GT, AB and AT students, the percentage of graduates with a class was 78, 65 and 56 %, respectively. Among students having first or second Class Upper Division grades, 87 and 65 %, respectively were females. First semester GPA values were significantly different among the three degree programs. Clear increases in SGPA values were seen from 6 th semester in GT program and from 4 th semester in AB and AT programs, eventually leading to have statistically similar SGPA values in the 8 th semester. In all three programmes, there was a significant linear relationship (r 2 =0.90, p=0.000) between OGPA values and the 4 th semester SGPA values. The study concludes that students who follow Agriculture stream in A/L get an advantage over those who follow biology stream, in university admission for the BSc degree programs studied. Academic performance of females and, those who followed biology stream was found to better than males and those who followed Agriculture in the Advanced Level, respectively. Lower degree completion rate within the stipulated time, high drop-out rate, gender inequality in academic performance, and deficiencies of the curriculum of A/L agriculture stream are identified as the critical issues to be addressed.