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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