INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT AND SCHOOL FACILITIES ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN CHEMISTRY
Background to the Study
Education plays an important role in the progress of an individual’s mind and country. People are made aware of what is going on in the world and can understand these issues and take necessary measures, if they are educated. Education tames the astray mind, nurturing its capabilities the same way training builds a clever dog. Webster defines education as the process of educating or teaching. Thus, from these definitions, we might assume that the purpose of education is to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of students.
According to Nwokocha & Amadike (2005) Academic performance of students is the yardstick for testing educational quality of a nation. Hence, it is expedient to maintain a high performance in internal and mostly external examinations. Students’ performance plays an important role in producing the best quality graduates who will become great leaders and manpower for the country, thus responsible for the country’s economic and social development.
It is not a gainsaying that secondary education is unique in the educational development of a child, being the link between primary and tertiary education. The knowledge, skills, values, and traits which a child acquires at this stage will complement those acquired at the primary level and when these are combined will prepare such child for tertiary education. In spite of the roles of secondary education, it is rather unfortunate that secondary schools seem not to measure up to the standard expected of them. There have been public outcries over the persistent poor performance of secondary school students in public examinations and particularly in Chemistry which is undermining the achievement of its objectives.
In recent times, observation has shown that in Ekiti State noted for good academic performance in the past, the performance of students in Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) had declined. Results showed that between 2001 and 2015, only 28% of the students who attempted Chemistry in SSCE were successful (Ekiti State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 2015).
The implication of this persistent poor performance of students is that a great percentage of them fail to get grades that will make them to secure admission into higher institution. The situation is so pathetic that stakeholders keep on wondering why this level of education has persistently failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the society. Apart from the fact that the mass failure of students in Chemistry constitutes wastage on investment in secondary education, it puts a big question mark on the quality of secondary education in the state. Each time the results of students in Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) are released, it has been a tale of woes and national embarrassment.
The problem of downward trend in academic performance of students has often been attributed to a number of school factors among which are; school environment and school facilities. Personal observation has shown that poor performance of students in Chemistry examinations could be largely attributed to the unconducive environment and poor availability and utilization of school facilities.
It appears that school environment which include instructional spaces planning, administrative spaces planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning which are essential in teaching-learning of chemistry are not well located in most secondary schools in Ekiti state which seems to have contributed to poor academic performance of students. The extent to which students learning could be enhanced depends on their location within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories.
Personal observation has also shown that material resources such as adequate classrooms, well- furnished staff rooms, laboratories, libraries, apparatus and other writing materials are in short supply in the schools. A close look at the schools and what goes on there shows that nothing good may come out of most private schools as they do not have adequate facilities, to prepare candidates for senior school certificate examinations (SSCE).
It is against this background that this study investigates the influence of school environment and school facilities on students’ academic performance in Chemistry among private secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Statement of the Problem
The dwindling performance of private school students in Chemistry has been a major concern to stakeholders in education. Many reasons might have accounted for this; among these were perhaps the observed school environment and school facilities.
From the researcher’s experience, it appears students do not usually have access to required school amenities such as well-equipped laboratory and library, conducive classroom, well planned school environment, and adequate material resources, etc. which usually affect their academic performance negatively.
Based on these problems, the general questions raised for the study is: what are the influence of school environment and school facilities as related to secondary school students’ academic performance in Chemistry?
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of school environment and school facilities on students’ academic performance in Chemistry among private schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The study will examine the relationship between students’ academic performance and school environment, the relationship between students’ academic performance and school facilities. The study will also find out which of the school factors will contribute best to students’ academic performance of private secondary schools in Ikere Ekiti state.
This study seeks to answer the following research questions:
1. Is there any relationship between school environment and students’ academic performance in Chemistry?
2. Is there any relationship between school facilities and students’ academic performance in Chemistry?
3. Does school environment and school facilities improve students’ academic performance in Chemistry?
Based on the research questions stated, the following null hypotheses will be generated:
1. There is no significant relationship between school environment and students’ academic performance in Chemistry.
2. There is no significant relationship between school facilities and students’ academic performance in Chemistry?
3. School environment and school facilities will not improve students’ academic performance in Chemistry?
Significance of the Study
The study could enlighten the school principals who are the managers, the managerial roles to play in enhancing the academic performance of the students and also enable the principals to discover areas where more efforts are required and more emphasis needed to be focused in order to enhance conducive school environment and teachers higher job productivity in the secondary schools.
The study could enlighten the government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), philanthropists and other educational stakeholder on availability of material resource in the secondary schools and the need to ensure their adequate provision for effective students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
The study could also enable the teachers to have access to better facilities which will improve their teaching and morale.
It is expected that the study could add to the growth of knowledge on the impact school facilities have on students’ academic performance in secondary schools.
The study could improve students’ academic performance and give opportunity to good results that will help them further their education to higher institution of learning.
Finally, the study could also enable prospective researchers to be familiar with what had already been done in the areas of school factors and students’ academic performance.
Scope of the Study
The study will be restricted to private secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti. It will also be restricted to school factors such as school environment and school facilities in relation to secondary school students’ academic performance in Chemistry. Students’ academic performance will be delimited to (SS 2) students’ results in school terminal examination.
Definition of Terms
The following terms will be operationally defined as used in the study
Academic Performance: This refers to SS 3 students’ examination results in their final SSCE examination (2010-2014)
School Facilities: These refer to the extent to which libraries, laboratory, staff rooms are equipped, adequate classroom and other writing materials are provided.
School Environment: This refers to the general planning of the school. This includes, instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning.
Classroom Environment: These simply refer to classroom arrangement well ventilated classroom, student-teacher ratio, comfortability of the classroom, availability of teaching/learning materials in the class.