THE EFFECT OF SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS

THE EFFECT OF SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS

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ABSTRACT

Different school environments contribute to poor performance in the schools in this area and necessitated the need to investigate on the school and home environment affecting the academic results in Uselu secondary school. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between school environment, psychological environment and home environment and how they all influence the academic performance of the students. Descriptive survey design was used. The target populations were students, and teachers from public secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area. Random sampling was used in selecting the population sample. Instruments for data collection were questionnaires for teachers and students. Data was collected in selected schools in the division using the questionnaire designed. The data was then processed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Piloting of the instruments was done at Uselu secondary school. The results were intended to guide stakeholders in improving the school environment with a view to improving student’s performance. From the study findings, the study concluded that the major factors hindering students’ performance were lack of teaching and learning resources, lack of adequate physical facilities, very high TPR. The ratio of the latrines for both genders was very high and therefore the hygiene and sanitation facilities were not adequate and therefore low cleanliness of the toilets rendered the school environment non conducive for learning. The lack of learning and teaching resources negatively influenced the students’ performance. The teachers used participatory method of teaching as they allowed the students to ask questions. The participatory method of teaching by the teachers served to enhance the school environment as the students were part of the learning process. The school environment at students’ homes was not conducive for learning which contributed to poor performance. The school environment at home was highly non-conducive for learning and therefore the students’ performance was negatively affected. The study recommends that to avert the problem of declining students’ academic performance in schools the government and other stakeholders should invent new policies and strategies to improve the school environment. The school management and other policy makers in the education sector should sensitize the parents and students on ways of improving the home environment and make it more 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study 

This study on the impact of the school environment on teaching and learning w as carried out in Uselu secondary school in Uselu quarters of Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. The teachers and students there the subject used. Uselu secondary school is one and single schools, it has never been sprinted into two schools, but it remains as one single schools by the Egor Local Government. Historically Uselu secondary school was founded and opened on October 1980. The available class rooms, than were Ten only was the civilian administration of the late Prof. .F. Alli, then governor of the defunct Bendel State that hatched and executed this school project.

This was based on the free education policy of the party (NPN) it is the importance of education that made that government to establish very many schools at that time to ease the problem of distance in school to lessen the financial bondage on parents and to further eradicate illiteracy from the society.Another important determinant is the family which is the primary unit for socialization. Rollines and Thomas (1979) who studied parental styles found out that high parental control were associated with high achievement. Cassdy and Lynn (1991) explored how family environment impacts motivation and achievement. They included a specific factor of the families socioeconomic status. Crowding as an indicator of how being disadvantaged affects educational attainment they found out that a less physically crowded environment along with motivation and parental supports were associated with high educational levels of children.

Religions also influence academic achievement according to Bahr, Hawks and Wang (1993). This is because religion motivates or de-motivates students and family setup to look at education and performance positively or negatively. Religiosity as an aspect of the family environment is another independent variable possibly influencing academic achievement  Bahr Hawks and Wang 1993, Cassidy and Lynn 1991 explored how family environment impacts motivation and achievement and this means that motivation served as a mediating variable between home background and personal characteristics and educational attainment.

A study by Neibuhr (1995) examined relationships between school, family environment and students’ academic achievement. He was talking about the relationship between classroom motivation and academic achievement. His study in United States suggests that the elements of both school climate and family environment have a stronger direct impact on academic achievement. He completed a study that examined relationships between several variables and student’s academic achievement. The study included an investigation of the relationship of individual motivation and its effect on academic achievement. His findings indicate that student’s motivation showed no significant effects on the relationship with academic achievement and that the elements of both school climate and family environment have a stronger and direct effect on academic performance.

Karemera (2003) in a study carried in South Carolina state university of business found out that students performance was significantly correlated with academic environment and service received. He also found out that the existence of professional development programmes and internship opportunities were associated with better academic performance. 

According to UNICEF (1990), poor school environment in developing countries have always been identified as key factor that lead to poor performance in public secondary schools. The availability and adequacy of learning aids and resources are among the most influential factors which explain the differing performance levels. It’s generally assumed that the use of teaching resources led to better performance in examinations. A study conducted by Leynemann (1998) and Ndiritu (1998) showed that a school library has a significant effect on the learners performance. They found out that the simple presence of a school library was significantly related to achievements in Brazil, Chile, Botswana and Uganda.

According to Micheka (1993), in the cases of school dropout in Kisii district identified parent’s inability to pay school fees as a cause of absenteeism resulting to dismal performance in K.C.S.E. He identified parental involvement in the students work as a factor that affect student’s performance. A positive association between parent’s participation in the child’s school work and performance exist.

Geoffrey Griffins discovered that school administrators have direct bearing on the achievements of the learners because they have a key role of coordinating, directing and facilitating the learning process. Griffins assertion is that poor management have brought down many schools in Nigeria. Another factor that may affect student’s performance is family size, which differs significantly among different ethnic and economic sub groups. Since the language of instruction is English, student’s competence in English is included in the list of variables affecting students’ performance in general. In this study the researcher explored how student’s performance is significantly influenced by school environment in Egor Local Government Area Edo state. These factors can be categorized as follows;

i.                    Classroom Environment

The study of classroom environment is of great significance as learning is the outcome of this environment. As an agent of intellectual stimulation, conducive classroom environment is an important factor in strengthening the child’s level of education. This leads to considerable significance to the study of critical issues of classroom teaching. The method of dealing with the class, curricular subjects and the behavior of the teachers are some of the factors which make the classroom environment favorable or unfavorable, as gratifying or discouraging to the student. The kind of academic climate in school and among students promotes either a positive or a negative attitude towards their work at school. The negative attitudes are bound to have a strong influence on their academic performance and manifest themselves in undesirable behavior such as inattentiveness and truancy which in turn further affects their academic achievements. Academic achievement is dependent on school school environment as well as home school environment (Upadhyay 1983).

According to Najike (2002) in his study in Papua, New Guinea, school environment plays an important role in the academic achievement of school children. The success or failure of school children greatly depends on the quality of classroom environment and social climate. Bradley et al (1988) studied home environment and found out that there was significant correlation between home environment and the children’s achievement, test scores and their classroom behavior. According to Shah and Shamah (1984) in their study on the effects of family climate of students’ academic achievement, revealed that highly significant and positive relationship existed between the variables, family climate and academic achievement.

ii.                  Physical Factors

Health, visual and physical defects, nutrition and physical development affect the learning process. Malnutrition interferes with the whole aspects of personality of a child. This will affect the visual, auditory as well as the physical health of a child that will alter his ability to learn and concentrate (Menmott, Jay and Brennan: 1998).

iii.                Teacher’s Personality and Attitude

The teacher is an important element in the school environment. A teacher may facilitate failure or success of the learner. The teacher may inspire students through the effect of his personality. The personality of a teacher may result in effective teaching and learning. Amiable teachers tend to bring happiness while temperamental ones repulse students. Moreover, sympathetic, loving, enthusiastic and cheerful teachers are loved by the students while rigid control by teachers may cause students to dislike school work. Teachers need to be receptive to their students by creating a supportive school environment (Memmott and Brennan: 1998).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The study is hinged upon following problematic issues: Firstly the physical environment pause serious challenge to learners. This includes extreme weather conditions that alternate between prolonged dry spells and rainy season that adversely affect learning (Fraser, B. J 1998). The physical challenge is made worse because of lack of adequate facilities given that many of these physical facilities are dilapidated. The poor school environment is worsened by poor family setup that fails to provide children with a strong and positive support base. The endemic poverty in the region leaves children vulnerable and psychologically traumatized (Hall, R 1982). 

According to National Examination results in Uselu secondary school 2012 Egor Local Government Area did not appear among the top ten schools in the state neither did it produce the top candidate so this necessitated the need to investigate to ascertain the impact of school environment on student academic performance. This poor performance may be attributed to unfriendly school environment. It’s in this context that this study investigated the effects of school environment of student’s performance in Egor Local Government Area of Edo state.  

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The major objective or purpose of this study is to find out the effect of the school environment on the academic performance of students in school in the selected schools.

Specifically, the study sought to fulfill the following objectives;

i.                    To examine the relationship between school environment and students academic performance.

ii.                  To investigate the relationship between the psychological environment of the student and performance. 

iii.                To examine the relationship between home environment and student’s academic performance.

1.4 Research Questions

i. Is there any relationship between school environment and the student academic performance?

ii. Is there any relationship between student’s performance and their psychological environment?

iii. Does the home environment have any relationship with student’s academic performance

1.5 Research Hypotheses 

Ho1. There is no statistically significant relationship between school environment and the students’ academic performance.

Ho2. There is no statistically significant relationship between psychological environment and the students’ academic performance.

Ho3. There is no statistically significant relationship between home environment and the students’ academic performance.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The results of the study may add to the existing body of knowledge on the factors that contribute to poor performance of students in local and national examinations.  More specifically the study may assist the government with policy recommendations that may be applied to improve school environment in many public secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo state. This may be through provision of resources and facilities which make the school environment favorable hence make the schools child friendly. 

The result may also help in unearthing the psychological or home factors that hinder or facilitate learning and make appropriate policy interventions.

The study may also propose solutions to the psychological and home factors that hinder learning hence seeking to improve performance, attitude and the social concern of the stakeholders like parents and teachers.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study was confined to public secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area because in many of these schools the school environment is not academic friendly. Also, special reference was made to Uselu secondary school. This is because many classes are not secured and children suffer from strong winds, dust and cold. The unfriendly school environment in these schools prompted the researcher to do this research. 

1.8 Limitations of the Study

The study was limited to one division in the state. All the other divisions should have been studied but due to constrain in time and money it was not possible. This being one of the divisions with many schools it’s expected to be a good sample of the study. Transport from one school to another was also a limitation due to poor infrastructure. The weather conditions may be a problem among many others. To overcome these challenges the researcher used motorbikes to hasten the process.

1.9 Definition of Operational Terms

The meaning of the following terms in the context of my study:

Learning: this is acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge behaviors skills values or preferences and may involve synthesing different types of information.

School environment: it’s the social, physical, psychological and pedagogical context in which learning occurs and which affects student’s achievement and attitude.

School: this is an institution designed for the teaching of students (students) under the direction of teachers

School environment: a school physical environment includes the school buildings and the surrounding. 

Academic achievement: its knowledge attained or skills developed in school subject by test scores.

1.10 Organization of the study

In chapter one the following were covered: background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, research questions, significance, limitations, delimitation and definition of significant terms used in the study. Chapter two, looks at what school environment is and how environment affects the student’s performance. The chapter explores the different variables that constitute to a school environment that is the psychological, social and economic as well as home environment.

In chapter three the following are included under research methodology: research design, target population, sample and sampling design, research instruments, instrument reliability, instrument validity, data collection procedure, data analysis techniques and operationalization of variables. Chapter four presents data analysis and interpretation while chapter five presents summary of findings, conclusions and recommendations.


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