IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF BIOLOGY STUDENTS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL

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Chapter one

The study of living things is central to biology, which is often considered as the most fundamental of the natural sciences. Biologists try to make sense of the vast variety of life on Earth, of which we are all a part (Adegbite, 2005). One of the main reasons biology should be highlighted in schools is because the notion of life is difficult to grasp (Adegbite, 2005). There are several sub-disciplines under biology, including ecology, physiology, histology, mycology, entomology, virology, and anatomy, to mention a few. Zoology (the study of animals) and botany (the study of plants) are the two major areas of biology (the study of plants). Biology education is significant because it aids in the resolution of a wide range of societal challenges, including health, poverty, food shortages, agricultural production, and environmental conservation. These problems may be addressed by improving agricultural production and conserving the environment.
Learning about biology in the context of everyday life is important not only for personal growth but also for scientific and technological progress. This will be supported by the use of a number of appropriate learning and teaching styles, as well as assessment procedures. Because biology is one of many disciplines that explain science, and biology is the most important fundamental scientific topic in Nigeria, any research effort in the field of biology education is largely focused on science education. This is because biology is one of several disciplines that may be utilized to explain science. Akubuilo (2004) recommended employing activity-oriented strategies such as guided-inquiry, cooperative learning, demonstration, thinking and doing, and analogies to guarantee that schools give result-oriented biology instruction. This was an attempt to ensure that biology lectures in schools be outcome-oriented. As a consequence, scientists in Nigeria have continued to look for new methods to teach biology in order to enhance students’ academic performance (Okebukola, 1998).

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious disorders such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) (MERS). These viruses were initially passed down from animals to humans. SARS, for example, was spread from civet cats to people, but MERS was spread from a species of camel to humans. Several coronaviruses have been identified in animals that have not yet infected humans. The term coronavirus is derived from the Latin word corona, which means crown or halo. Under an electron microscope, it seems to be encircled by a solar corona. The novel coronavirus, dubbed SARS-CoV-2 by Chinese officials on January 7, is a new strain that had not before been discovered in people. Although human-to-human transmission has been established, nothing is known about it.

Chinese health officials are currently investigating the virus’s origins, which they believe originated at a seafood market in Wuhan, China, where wildlife was also illegally sold. According to Chinese experts, the virus may have transmitted from an infected animal species to people through illegally trafficked pangolins, which are treasured in Asia for food and medicine. Scientists believe the virus might have originated in either bats or snakes.

Infection symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing problems, according to the WHO. It may cause pneumonia, multiple organ failure, and even death in extreme situations. The incubation period, or the time between infection and start of symptoms, is now estimated to be one to 14 days. The majority of infected patients develop symptoms within five to six days. Infected people, on the other hand, might be asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms while having the virus in their bodies. 2020 (Wikipedia)

The death toll from the new coronavirus has far eclipsed that of the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic, which also began in China. SARS killed over 9% of individuals sick – roughly 800 people globally, including more than 300 in China alone. MERS, although not as widespread, was more lethal, killing one-third of those infected. As of April 4, more than 60,000 individuals have perished from COVID-19, a highly contagious coronavirus-caused respiratory illness. According to statistics provided by Johns Hopkins University, the number of persons who have tested positive with COVID-19 has surpassed one million. While the new coronavirus has more cases than SARS, the fatality rate remains far lower, at about 3.4 percent, according to the WHO. Scientists throughout the world are rushing to produce a vaccine, but have cautioned that it is unlikely to be ready for widespread distribution until 2021. Since the proclamation was adopted in 2005, there have been five global health emergencies: swine flu in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola in 2014, Zika in 2016, and Ebola again in 2019.

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