THE EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN TAFAWA BALEWA MEMORIAL COMMERCIAL COLLEGE SAMARU KATAF IN KADUNA STATE

THE EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN TAFAWA BALEWA MEMORIAL COMMERCIAL COLLEGE SAMARU KATAF IN KADUNA STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the study

Environment is anything immediately surrounding an object and exerting a direct influence on it (Gisbert, 2011).  E. J. Ross (2014) also viewed “Environment as the external force which influences us.” Thus, environment refers to anything that is immediately surrounding an object or living things and exerting a direct influence on it.  The environment by which man is surrounded are affected by factors which may be natural, artificial, social, biological and psychological.

Environmental influence before now have not been considered as one of the factors that affect academic performance in secondary schools hence it has little or no attention in educational discourse and consideration. But over the past decade remarkable studies for instance, Ibe (2008), Esomonu (2002) and so on indicated a correlation between the environment and academic performance of students. They added that environment plays a major role in the life of every individual whether a student, teacher, employer or employee. Though some people are yet to believe that environment brings about better performance. Udoh (1980) in his article "The Environmental Health Problems in Nigeria Schools", Identified some unhealthy practices in our schools. These include sitting of schools, inadequate facilities, poor ventilation etc. Most of the schools have no light, insufficient facilities, dilapidated buildings and no ventilation. Under these conditions, the health of students and teachers according to Udoh (1980) may be adversely affected, which will in turn reflect on students performance. Therefore, for the students to carry their learning effectively and efficiently, it is necessary that learning takes place in conducive environment. Hence, it is pertinent to critically look at the environmental factors that influences academic performance of students, measures that can help improve them and make some recommendation because at the very heart of our educational mission is the goal of improving academic performance of students. Researchers such as Goodenow (2002) Juvonen & Weiner (2003) have shown that environmental factors to a large extent affect both the physical and psychological potentials of an individual. This has led to the contention that many students fail to develop their potentials due to inadequate environmental stimulation. However, there are some environmental factors which have contributed to this poor performance of students .

The physical school environment has some influences on students’ academic achievement in secondary school. The physical facilities, human resources, and the relationship among them determine the physical environment of the school. Research has shown that schools having the needed facilities for teaching and learning performs better than those schools with less or without facilities. This is simply because teaching and learning in secondary schools is best done where laboratory/ workshop facilities are available. Ogunyemi (2009), nd Esomonu (2002). It was also discovered that poor facilities and inadequate space, as well as the arrangement of items including seats in the classroom, library and laboratory/ workshop, would affect the organization of learning environment Ogunyemi (2009).  Castaldi (2004) stated that educational facilities are those material or services that facilitate teaching and learning in school. Ibe (2008) agreed that educational facilities in our institutions are equipments, tools, learning/instructional materials, consumable materials and infrastructure (classrooms, assembly halls, libraries, laboratories and workshops).

The school social environment has a broad influence on students’ learning and growth, including a significant aspect of their social, emotional and ethical development. Social factors such as romantic relationships, organizations and clubs, and sport activities have been found to have effect on students' academic performance. These social factors affects academic performance of students in terms of time demanded and psychological state they cause. Positive educational environments are neccessary to facilitate optimally adaptive students outcomes, including learning motivation, school adjustmen, and achievement (Eccles, Wigfield,& Schiefele, 2008)

Researchers (e.g Goodenow 2002; Juvonen & Weiner, 2003). have been noting for some while that school success does not only involve academics. adding that, supportive school environment foster positive outcomes by promoting students sense of connectedness, belongingness in the community. These terms are used interchangeably here to refer to students’ sense of being in a close, respectful relationship with peers and adults at school. In particular, students’ active connection with teachers and their perceptions that teachers care about them are what stimulate their effort and engagement (Goodenow 2002; Juvonen & Weiner, 2003).

The geographical location of school environment has a significant influence on the academic achievement of students. The uneven distribution of resources, poor school mapping, facilities, problem of qualified teachers refusing appointment or not willing to perform well in isolated villages, lack of good roads, poor communication, and nonchalant attitude of some communities to school among others are some of the factors that contributed to a wide gap between rural and urban secondary schools. Schools located in rural areas lack qualified teachers. This is because, they do not want going to rural areas that lack social amenities. They prefer to stay in urban schools to enjoy social amenities and other privileges that are not in rural schools. It is also observed that a lot of coaching of urban students is done to prepare them for public examinations, thus promoting the spirit of competition that may be lacking in the rural schools students probably, owing to limitations in exposure and experience. In other words, students in urban locations have the advantage of favorable learning environment that apparently enhances their academic performance (Nworgu, 2010).

The physical structure of a school building and the interaction between the students and teachers are two main diverse factors that both affect the performance of students and help to define the broad concept of school climate (Freiberg 2008). Additionally, School climate can be a positive influence on the health of the learning environments as Freiberg (2008) notes that school climate can be a positive influence on the health of the learning environment or a significant barrier to learning. The school environment can affect many areas and people within schools, for instance, a positive school climate has been associated with fewer behavioural and emotional problems for students. Therefore, it is believed that positive interpersonal relationship and optional learning opportunities for students in all demographic environment can increase students' achievement behaviour. Positive students-teachers relationship brings about a positive and supportive school climate for students for smooth running of academic activities which result in good academic performance. In the other way round, school climate can also affect teaching and learning negatively if it is not conducive for the students. A positive school climate can yield positive educational and psychological outcome for students and school personnels. Similarly, a negative school climate can prevent optional learning and development (Freiberg 2008, and Manning and Saddlemire, 2006).

            Concept of Academic Performance.

Academic performance is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important. Bossaert, Doumen, Buyse and Verschueren (2011) defines academic performance as students success in meeting short or long-term goals in education. Lassiter (1995) looks at students academic performance as referring to a student's strong performance in a given academic area. A student who earns  good grades or awards in science for instance, has achieved in the academic field of science. He further stated that education associations and schools monitor the overall level of students academic achievement to decide what if any challenges, need to be made in the educational system. Good (2009), in his own opinion, defines academic performance as the knowledge obtained or skills developed in the school subjects.

1.1.1    Historical Background of the Study Area

Tafawa Balewa Memorial Commercial College is situated in Samaru Kataf under Zangon Kataf Local Government  Area in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Its headquarters is in the town of Zonkwa. The Local Government is situated  between Latitude 925N and 1020N and Longitude 745E and 840E. It has a land area of 5625 square kilometres and a population of 316,370 at the 2006 census. The people predominantly belong to the Atyap Ethno-Linguistic group. these people includes: the Bajju, Atyap proper, Bekulu, Anghan and Atyia Charak. There are also the hausa settlers elements and other Nigerian people settling among the aboriginal people.

Tafawa Balewa Memorial Commercial College Samaru Kataf was established with a circular letter from Government house GH/KD/S/82 on 28th September, 2002 following the approval by the Government for the splitting of  Tafawa Balewa Memorial College Samaru Kataf  into two independent schools with the following names:

i.          Tafawa Balewa Memorial Commercial College Samaru Kataf to be under the Ministry of Science and Technology to be managed by Science and Technical  Schools Management Board.

ii.         Government Secondary School Samaru Kataf to be under Ministry of Education to provide the education needs of children from the neighborhood. With the splitting of then, into two, the Science and Technical schools Management Board (S.T.S.M.B) posted a staff inspector from the board headquarters Mr. Yakubu S. Yamusa to head the new TBMCC and assisted by Mr. MacBulus B. Musa. The School at the beginning enjoyed great academic achievements. Structurally, the school was okey and the instructional materials and laboratory equipments were adequate. The Climatic condition of the school was admirable and in term of discipline, the school was one of the most disciplined school among the schools in the board. As the school keep growing, more students were being enrolled and more teachers posted, instructural materials and facilities then was becoming inadequate and the structures becoming dilapidated. Peer group influence became serious and alarming and some students started hiding in the nearby bushes. Because of senioriy and unhealthy relationships among students, the academic performance droped. The year 2015, all schools under STSMB were matched with other schools in the minstry and school in question was matched to other schools in Zonkwa Zone, yet academic performance was not improved as announced by Prof. Mrs. Ifeoma-Isiug Abanihe (2015). It is for this reason the researcher got motivated to investigate the effect of environmental factors on the academic performance of students in Tafawa Balewa Memorial Commercial College, Samaru Kataf.

Fig 1.1 Map of Kaduna State showing Samaru Kataf in Zango Local government area. As the study area.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The influence of school environment on academic performance of students has being an issue of concern to all stakeholders in education. This is evident in the rate of mass failure of students in both internal and external examinations for National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) as announced by the registrar /chief executive officer, Prof. Mrs. Ifeoma Isiug- Abanihe (2015).

Several research findings have identified some factors such as instructional materials, discipline, physical facilities, teachers' qualification, type of location of school, classroom size, poor study habit and over population of students in classroom has being responsible for poor academic performance of students Ajewole and Okebu-kola (2000), Farombi (2008). The researcher has observed with dismay that the  school environment in the study areas is nothing to write home about. The school climate is not interesting for teaching and learning, instructional materials are inadequately provided, infrastructural facilities are in dilapidated conditions, lack of trained teachers and other facilities that promote teaching and learning are also inadequate which may tend to influence students academic performance in school. It is on this premise that the researcher got motivated to conduct a research on the effect of Environmental Factors on the Academic Performance of Students in Tafawa Balewa Memorial Commercial College Samaru Kataf of Kaduna State with specific focus on physical environment, social environment, school geographical location and climatic environment.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The major purpose of this study is to analyse the environmental factors on the academic performance of students in  Tafawa Balewa Memorial Commercial College Samaru Kataf in Kaduna State. Specifically, this study will seek to:

i.          Determine the physical school environmental factors that affects students academic performance 

ii.         Examine the school's Social environmental factors that affects students' academic performance.

iii.        Determine the critical factors that affects students academic performance

1.4       Research Questions.

The following questions were formulated as to guide the study:

1.         What environmental factors that affect academic performance of students

2.         What School Environmental factors affects academic performance of students

3.         What critical factors influences students' academic performance.

1.5       Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were developed for the study and will be tested at 0.05 level of significance:

HO1. Environmental factors has no significant influence on the academic performance of students

HO2.   School environmental factors has no significant influence on students' academic performance of students.

HO3. Critical factors in school has no significant influence on students' academic performance.

1.6       Basic Assumptions

The academic performance of students  in Tafawa Balewa Memorial Commercial College achievement test was analyzed for the purpose of this research work on the assumptions that:

a.         The school under investigation provide a fair representation of our secondary education in terms of staffing, financial management and students population that cut across different socio-cultural background

b.         It provide reliable and valid measures of the achievement of the students

c.         All other variables were controlled during the administration of the achievement test.

1.7       Scope of the Study

This Research is limited to the effects Environmental factors on the acdemic Performance of Commercial Students (CS 1, & 2)  in Tafawa Balewa Memorial Commercial College, Samaru Kataf in Kaduna State.

1.8       Significance of the Study

The findings of this research work  will be of great benefit to the Students and teachers, Educational planners and policy makers, and feature researchers.

i.          It will benefit the students and teachers of Technical Colleges because it will enhance the academic performance of the students especially in the school in question. In the aspect of the teachers, it will benefit them by way of putting up new ideas to the teaching methodology in the school.

ii.         Educational planners and policy makers will also benefit from the research work because it will help them in making policies relating to the teaching and learning in schools, that  will enhance the performance of students.

iii.        Future researchers, the study will add to the already pool of knowledge and serve as a guide for the future researcher and general public to draw theirs from

1.9       Summary of the Chapter

This chapter summarizes the introductory part of the study. The introduction is based on the following sub-headings: Background of the study, Statement of the Problem, Objective of the study, Research Questions, Research hypotheses, Basis Assumptions, the Scope of the Study and the significance of the study.


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