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1.1 Background of the Study
Educational in every human community, is an indispensable instrument for human progress, empowerment and affecting national development. This suggests that a nation that lacks a sound qualitative, educational culture and philosophy stands the risk of decay whereas, a nation that sees to the development of its education is bound to achieve great success. Secondary education on its own has the broad aims of preparing students for useful living within the society and preparing them for higher education. The school exist because of the students.
Educational facilities such as science laboratories is a variable that affects student’s academic performance (Ajayi 2001 and Oluchukwu 2000) Hence, such educational facilities like the laboratory, remain an important area that should be studied and will managed to enhance student’s academic performance.
According to the oxford Advance Learning dictionary of learners sixth edition (2005), laboratory is defined as a room or building used for scientific research, experiment, testing. The laboratory has diverse uses such as the preparation of drugs, running of medicate test, chemical activity in the area of chemistry, production of explosives. Laboratory has now become a forum where science teachers and students interact with materials under controlled condition as they investigate nature out of scientific facts and information (STAN 2000). Laboratory exercise consist of activities carried out in the laboratory to produced, practice in designing.
Operating and interpreting experiments learning. The issue of poor academic performance of students and most especially in subject like chemistry has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even the student themselves. The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties but also in the effective coordination, uses, supply and availability of educational facility like the laboratory to the school. (Ajao 2001).
According to Oni (2002) facilities constitute a strategic factor in organizational functioning of which the scientific laboratory is one of them. This is so because they determine to a very large extent the smooth functioning of any social organization or system including education. He further stated that their availability, adequacy and relevance influence efficiency and high productivity. In his words Farombi (2001) opined that the wealth of a nation or society could determine the quality of education in that land emphasizing that a society that is wealthy will establish good schools with quality teaches, science laboratories that with such, students may learn with ease thus bringing about good academic achievement writing on the role of facilities in teaching, Balogun (2000) submitted that no effective science education programmes can exist without equipment for teaching. This is because facilities like the scientific laboratories will enable the learner to develop problem solving skills and scientific attitudes.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The laboratories are reported to be insufficient considering the increase in student enrolment with respect to the number of schools in Nigeria (West 2005) beyond the direct effects of inadequate laboratories there is also lack of qualified teachers to handle such apparatus in the science laboratory facilities there is lack of or insufficient apparatus in the laboratories which as a result leads to low teacher enthusiasm and poor academic performance for students.
The high levels of student’s academic performance in subject like chemistry may not be guaranteed where facilities such as the laboratory, lack of laboratory equipment and lack of manpower to handle the equipment structurally and effectively. Therefore, the study sought to assess the Science Laboratory Facilities on students; academic performance in Chemistry in Kaduna Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this research work is to determine significance of science laboratory facilities and equipment on the academic performance of students in chemistry. Thus the specific objectives are:
1. To examine the impact of science laboratory facilities on the academic performance of students in chemistry in senior secondary schools Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
2. To find out the impact of science laboratory equipment on the academic performance of students in Chemistry in Senior Secondary Schools.
3. To explore qualified science teachers enhance students learning of chemistry
4. To investigate the extents to which availability and adequacy of science laboratories facilities affect chemistry student’s academic performance in secondary schools.
5. To find out science safety practices in Laboratory affect students academic performance in secondary schools in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.4 Research Questions
The research objectives are designed to provide answers to the following research questions?
1. What is the impact of science laboratory facilities on the academic performance of students in chemistry in senior secondary schools Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State?
2. What is the impact of science laboratory equipment on the academic performance of students in Chemistry in Secondary Schools Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State?
3. How could qualified science teachers enhance students learning of Chemistry in Secondary schools in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State?
4. To what extents does the availability and adequacy of science laboratories facilities affect chemistry student’s academic performance in secondary schools?
5. How could science safety practices in Laboratory affect students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State?
1.5 Significance of the Study
1. It is hoped that the result of this study will provide information for the teachers, students, educators, administrators and the policy makers to improve more on the provisions of science laboratory facilities in order to enhancing students academic performance in chemistry and all science students in secondary schools.
2. The result of this study will help Nigerian schools to provide adequate infrastructure related to science in all the secondary schools and proper usage of these infrastructures to enhance and promote science in the schools.
3. The study will be of a great benefits to other researchers that may conduct research on topics similar to this research topic as a source of literature.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on the assessment of science laboratory facilities on student academic performance in chemistry in Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State. It covers the teachers and the students in all Secondary Schools Kaduna South Local Government Area of Kaduna State
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The study had encountered a number of constraints in the event that some of the findings of the research do not happen to be accurate. Problem of security lapses and the respondents however less relevant effort has been made so far towards making these research findings as authentic as in other research. Notably among these constraints includes the following: The effort of the researcher towards the administration of data collection being hindered as noted in the non-challant attitude exhibited by the respondents, low return rate of questionnaire despite all frantic effort to retrieve them and the issue of security lapses in the state capital.
1.9 Operational Definition of Key Terms
Education:- A process of teaching, training and learning, especially in schools, to improve knowledge and develop skills.
Laboratory: Is defined as a room or building used for scientific research, experiment, testing.
Secondary School: Education refers to those who have had primary education or basic education for young people between the ages of 11 and 19 years.
Learning:- Possession of knowledge got by study or gradually change of an attitude about certain things.
Performance:- Refer to the skills exhibited by the learners during oral and written demonstration of the basic English language within and out side the classroom.
Teaching:- Giving instruction or impacting knowledge to students or group of people in a formal way.
Chemistry: One of the science subjects taught in secondary schools/
Infrastructure: Essential facilities provided by the authority to enhance a greater performance among the learners.
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