INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT AND SCHOOL FACILITIES ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN CHEMISTRY

INFLUENCE
OF SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT AND SCHOOL FACILITIES ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
IN CHEMISTRY
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
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.
 Research Questions
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?
  
Research
Hypotheses
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.
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