THE INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF A CHILD - UNIPROJECTS

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THE INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF A CHILD



THE INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF A CHILD
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
          The school environment, which include the classrooms, libraries, instructional facilities, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are variables that affect child’s academic achievement (Ajayi, 2001 and Oluchukwu, 2000).  Hence, the school environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance child’s academic performance.
          The issue of poor academic performance of children in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, and teachers. The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the school environment (Ajao 2001).
          School environment which include instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning, the teachers as well as the children themselves are essential in teaching-learning process. The extent to which child learning could be enhanced depends on their location within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the children.
          Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Williams, Persaud, and Turner (2008), quoting Marsden (2005), which reported that safe and orderly classroom environment (aspect of instructional space), School facilities (accessories) were significantly related to child’s academic performance in schools. The three researchers, also quoted Glassman (2004), asserting that a comfortable and caring environment among other treatments helped to contribute to children` academic performance.
          The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, children, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among children as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2002). These factors can adversely affect child behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among children.
Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on child’s ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities, which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by children including poor concentration and hyperactivity, lethargy, or apathy, creates a stressful set of working conditions for teachers. Because stress and job dissatisfaction are common pre-cursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect upon the academic performance of children.
          Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with child-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with child health problems, child behavior, and child achievement (Johnson, 2001;  Moore, 2002). To complement these studies, the present research will examine the aforementioned areas of school environment as it affects children performance in Nigerian schools.
Statement of the Problem
          Emphasizing the importance of school environment to children academic performance, Oluchukwu, (2000) asserted school environment is an essential aspect of educational planning, he went further to explain that “unless schools are well suited, buildings adequately constructed and equipment adequately utilized and maintained, much teaching and learning may not take place.
          The high levels of child’s academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, toilet facilities, qualified teachers, audio-visual materials, toys, chats, and rest room are structurally defective. This study therefore examines the influence of school environment on academic performance of a child in Ikere.


Objectives of the Study
The purposes of this study are:
1.     To examine the relationship between school environment and the child academic performance.
2.     To examine the impact of school facilities on the academic performance of  children  in the early child school.
3.     To explore factors such as class size that have been perceived to promote or inhibit children learning in the academic process of children in early child school.
4.     To investigate the extent to which school location affects the academic achievement of early child school children.
Research Questions
1.     Is there any relationship between school environment and the child academic performance?
2.     To what extent do school facilities affect child performance in early child school?
3.     What effect does class size has on the academic performance of children in early child school?
4.     To what extent does school location has on the achievement of early child school children?
Research Hypothesis
1.     There is significant difference between school environment and the child academic performance.
2.     There is no significant difference between school facilities and academic performance  of children
3.     There is no significant difference between class size and academic performance  of children
4.     There is no significant difference between school location and academic performance  of children
 Significance of the Study
          It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help children in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing child’s educational outcomes in school. In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with  many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon the school environment as it affect the academic performance of children in early child school.
Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on influence of school environment on academic performance of early child school children in some selected schools in  Ikere Local Government Area Of Ekiti State. This research work  covers all early child schools children in Ikere Local Government Area Of Ekiti State. However, five early child schools will be used as case study.
Limitation of the Study
Apart  from  time-frame  and  shortage  of  finance,  the  major  limitation to  this  research  is  the  inability  of  the  researcher  to  cover  the  whole early child school in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State as the title suggest.


Definition of Terms
School: A school is an institution designed for the teaching of children (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers.
School Environment: A school’s physical environment includes the school building and the surrounding.
Academic Achievement – Knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects by  test scores.
Early child school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the first stage of schooling, known as early child education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place.
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