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1.1 Background to the Study
This study focuses on availability and maintenance of school plant which includes the school buildings, grounds, service facilities and other structures that make up a school in order to make sure that teaching and learning take place effectively with little or no interruption. The major aim of this study is to identify the required school plant facilities, ascertain whether they are provided and whether the knowledge, skills, and competences that are necessary for maintaining a school plant are provided. The quality of education delivered by teachers and the academic achievement of pupils of any school is dependent on several factors of which school plant facilities is paramount. School plant facilities are materials resources that enhance teaching and learning thereby making the process meaningful and purposeful. School facilities can be referred to as school plant. School facilities can be defined as the entire school plant which school administrators, teachers and students harness, allocate and utilize for the smooth and efficient management of any Education institution, for the main objective of bringing about effective and purposeful teaching and learning experience.
According to Adeboyeje (2000) and Emetarom (2004), school facilities are the physical and spatial enablers of teaching and learning which will increase the production of results. School facilities serve as pillars of support for effective teaching and learning. Oyesola (2000) posits that school facilities include permanent and semi-permanent structures such as machinery, laboratory equipment, the blackboard, teacher’s tools and other equipment as well as consumables. Good quality and standard of school depend
largely on the provision, adequacy, unitization and management of education facilities. Akinsolu (2004) asserted that Education curriculum cannot be sound and well operated with poor and badly maintained school facilities. From all indication, school facilities are physical resources that facilitate effective teaching and learning. They include blocks of classrooms, laboratories, workshops, libraries, equipment, consumables, electricity, water, visual and audio-visual aids, tables, desks, chairs, play ground, storage space and toilets.
In Nigeria, public school enrolment has continued to increase without a corresponding increase in facilities for effective teaching and learning. As a result of underfunding of education in Nigeria, the government has been encouraging proper maintenance of available school facilities. School plant management entails ensuring that the facilities are kept near their original state as possible. This involves keeping the school sports and football field clean, periodic renovation of the buildings, servicing the school bus and generator sets, repairs etc. for the purpose of restoring the facilities to optimum working condition. Olagboje (1998) sees school plant maintenance as any work carried out on any component of the plant with a view to keeping it at good working condition. According to Hinum (1999) the quality and durability of a building largely depend on the type and level of servicing, repairs and the rate at which the needs and requirement change. School facilities management involves keeping records of the facilities, supervising the facilities, planning for the facilities, motivating students and teachers to participate in facilities maintenance and evaluating the available facilities.
Adeboyeje (2000) reported that schools with well coordinated plant planning and maintenance practices recorded better students performance. Burkett and Bowers (1987) reported that students in newer and adequate school facilities schools outperformed
students in older and inadequate school facilities. Conducive school physical environment could enhance students’ school attendance, involvement in academic activities and academic performance positively.
In addition, Adesina (1999) stressed that the quality and quantity of education facilities available within an education system positively correlates with the quality and standard of the education system. Durosaro (1998) examined school plant planning in relation to administrative effectiveness of secondary schools in Oyo state of Nigeria. He found that schools that planned and maintained their facilities had higher students’ retention and is more effective than the others. Many scholars, researchers, administrators and education planners have confirmed that school facilities in Nigerian schools are inadequate and few available ones are being over utilized due to the astronomical increase in school enrolment. Ikoya and Onoyase (2008) reported that only 26% of secondary schools across the country have school infrastructures in adequate quality and quantity. Ajayi (1999) reported that most of the Nigerian schools are dilapidated due to inadequate funding while most tertiary institutions are living in their past glories. Such situation hinders effective teaching and learning, making the process rigorous and uninteresting to students and teachers. Similarly, Owuamanam (2005) noted that the inadequacy of infrastructural facilities and lack of maintenance for available facilities were major problems facing Nigerian education system. The school facilities are grossly inadequate to match the student’s population and the available facilities were poorly maintained. The availability and maintenance of school facilities will enhance teaching and learning and improve academic performance of students.
Researchers like Wilcockson (1994), Lawal (1996), Ajayi (1999) and Owoeye (2000) have long identified the importance of school facilities in teaching and learning while the inadequacy, deterioration and lack of maintenance of these facilities will spell doom for the teachers and students in the teaching and learning activities. Negligence in the maintenance of school facilities has much negative consequences. When school facilities are not well managed and maintained, they constitute health hazards to pupils and teachers who use the facilities. For instance Ogonor (2001) reported the killing of pupils and teachers of a primary school in Nigeria when the school walls and roofs collapsed. Even large amount of money invested on school facilities are wasted when school buildings and equipment are left to deteriorate without maintenance.
It has been observed that school facilities in Kaduna State are not been maintained by school administrators and hence their depreciation. The administrators appears to spend much time on instructional planning, curriculum development, personnel development and community relations claiming that the management and maintenance of school facilities is the sole reserves of the government. It is also believed the condition of the school plants in Kaduna State is discouraging and contributes to students’ lack of interest in education. This to a large extent must affect their performance. It is against this background that this study will examines school facilities in public secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna, Nigeria with focus on the state of the facilities, the adequacy of the maintenance provided, factors encouraging school facilities depreciation and the roles of school administrators in the management and maintenance of school facilities.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Education system in Nigeria has contributed in no small measure to support the nation’s economy through the provision of qualitative man power and acquisition of knowledge, skills and values. In achieving this, in the 21st century, it has been nightmares due to the poor state of school plant facility which are poorly manage, out of use, aged and not conducive for teaching and learning process.
It has been observed that most schools especially public schools are poorly managed. These schools have become sorry sites. Specifically you notice dilapidated buildings with leaking roofs, broken chairs and desks, rough floors and windows without louvers and bushy compound. In some of the schools, the buildings are dirty, no lightning while some have blown off roofs. The roads leading to the sports field in some schools are weedy. It appears adequate management and maintenance is not provided on the available school facilities.
School facilities are supposed to be kept in good condition near their original state as much as possible by school administrators. But from causal observation and complaints, it appears that school administrators are neglecting on the role of school facilities management and maintenance. Could this observation be the same for all public secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone?
There are specific problems identified that could affect teaching and learning in secondary school. First is lack of basic social amenities in most schools such as electricity, water supply, laboratory, class room etc. Effective and efficient operation of any school is in doubt with absence of school plant management. This adversely creates a discomfort to
the teachers, students and adequate operators of the school’s administrative system. Fabunmi (1997) in support of this asserted that school plant facilities when provided will aid teaching and learning programme and consequently improve academic achievement of the students. Indeed, the supply of electricity and pipe borne water in any school building will help for the maximum use of such school plant and vice versa.
Unequal allocation of school plant facility to schools coupled with inadequate funding of school plant is the second factor which has compounded the myriads of problems linked to this study. Facilities form one of the potent factor that contribute to academic achievement in the school system (Hallak, 1990). If therefore, such facilities as school building, classroom, library, laboratory, furniture, recreational equipment and other instructional materials are not evenly distributed to school due to political reasons, lack of funds or for any other reasons. Then, academic performance of students in such schools should not be queried because of the obvious reasons created. In his contributions, Ojoawo (1990) observed that certain schools are favoured in the allocations of facilities at the expense of others.
Also the issue of funding to the sector has continued to receive public criticism in view of its contribution to other sectors of the economy. It is not too surprising with the United Nations recommendations of countries national; budget of 26% to the entire education sector. This perhaps is to keep the system running ways from its perennial instability (problems caused by poor infrastructure, industrial action and so on).
Lastly, perceived failure of the authorities to provide adequate facilities and teaching aids in schools could worsen the situation already created. In addition, poor
school plant management affects teaching and learning process. Zaria Education Zone has been identified as one of the likely areas affected by some of the problems mentioned above. This phenomenon is dangerous to the society and if not controlled, may lead to high rate out half baked students and drop outs in the nearest future. This informs the significance of this study to justify the observations and suggest way forward.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study is set to achieve the following objectives:
1. Assess the availability of teaching facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone.
2. Assess the maintenance of teaching facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone.
3. Determine the availability of learning facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone.
4. Determine the maintenance of learning facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone.
5. Examine the availability of games and recreational facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone.
6. Examine the maintenance of games and recreational facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone.
7. Find out the availability of welfare facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone.
8. Find out the maintenance of welfare facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions serve to guide the conduct of this study:
1. What are the available teaching facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State?
2. Are the teaching facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State maintained?
3. What are the available learning facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State?
4. Are the learning facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State maintained?
5. What are the available Games and Recreational facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State?
6. Are the Games and Recreational facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State maintained?
7. What are the available welfare facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State?
8. Are the welfare facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State maintained?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following are the research hypothesis:
1. There is no significant difference in effect from the availability of teaching facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone Kaduna
2. There is no significant difference in effect from the maintenance of teaching facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone Kaduna
3. There is no significant difference in impact from the availability of learning facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone Kaduna
4. There is no significant difference in impact from the maintenance of learning facilities in secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone Kaduna
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