MATHEMATICS ANXIETY AND ITS EFFECTS ON STUDENT’S CAREER CHOICE. A CASE STUDY OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN CHIKUN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KADUNA STATE
Mathematics has always been one of the core subjects in the secondary school education. This is because Nigeria as a nation regards mathematics as one of the most important subjects that could help the nation meet her objective for science and technological advancement. As indispensable at secondary school level as it is, it has been observed that not many senior secondary school students in Nigeria secondary schools opt to study mathematics related courses as career choice in the higher institution. This study is necessitated by the anxiety many senior secondary school students of Chikun local Government Area of Kaduna State have for mathematics as a subject and how it’s effects their career choice. This trend is posing a lot of threats for the future of the mathematics related profession in this 21st Century. The objective of the study, therefore, was to investigate the level of mathematics anxiety among senior secondary school students in Chikun Local Government Area and the difference between student who have high level of mathematics anxiety and those with low level of mathematics anxiety in relationship to their career choice in Chikun Local Government Area. The descriptive research design was adopted for the study. Three research questions were raised to guide the study. The sample size used for the study was three hundred and seventy five (375) senior secondary school students determined from the population of study from some selected Senior Secondary Schools comprising of both private and government own secondary schools used for the study. A total of 400 copies of the questionnaire were administered and three hundred and seventy-six (94%) which were properly completed were retrieved and subjected to statistical analyses. Weighted Mean was used to answer the research question one. Weighted mean of 2.5 and above was used as benchmark for high while weighted mean of less than 2.5 represented low decision rule. Research question two and three was analyzed using Fisher’s F-test / Two-tailed test and pie chart distribution. The study revealed that there is a high level of mathematics anxiety among senior secondary school students and that Senior secondary school students with both low and high mathematics anxiety do not make career choice that are mathematically inclined in Chikun Local Government Area. Based on the findings, the study concluded that the students have generated a lack of interest in mathematics as a subject and due to this, it has a negative reflection on their career choice. In addition, most students tend to choose courses that the society places high values upon. In view of this, the study recommends that students should keep an open mind to their subject difficulty especially in mathematics. Also an interactive approach to teaching and learning be sustained in the mathematics classes and that school counselors, teachers, and parents can help students in pointing to the direction of occupations that match student’s interests and skill and use it to link interests and skills with careers.