An investigation into factors that affects learning environment of pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal. The purpose of this study is find out environmental factors that affects learning in Pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal, to proffer solution to the problems and to find out how classroom attendant/teachers affect learning environment of pre-primary schools. The research and questions lead to the formulation of (16) sixteen items questionnaire relevant literature were reviewed. The research design used was descriptive survey design. The population of the study consist of one hundred and fifty two (152) teacher and one hundred and thirty five (135) classroom attendant. The sampling technique used was simple random sampling which gave every individual equal chance of been selected, the sample size was one hundred and eight (108) teachers and classroom attendants from ten schools. The instrument for data collection was sixteen items questionnaire, which was analyzed using simple percentage. The major findings shows that over crowding, noise, teachers attitude and poor accommodation are the environmental factors that affect learning in pre-primary schools. The major recommendation was made, school proprietors/owners should build their schools where there is less noise and environmental hazards and the school authority should make available instructional materials that are meant for pre-primary schools.
Background of the Study
Pre-primary education occupies a prime position in today’s national education structure. It is assumed the first point of call in infant journey to formal education. In recognition of the fact that it is a preparatory stage for the success of primary education, the goals of this level of education are heartily centered on foundation laying. Hence Nigerian national policy on education (NPE, 2004) recognized pre-primary school as a preparatory stage before entry into primary school. Infants between the age range of one to four years are taken to an environment conducive enough to learn and be assisted in speech development; express themselves orally in short correct English sentence; observe and say names of objects in pictures , count roman figures, hold pencil very well; scrabble with pencil understand and obey short instructions, understand and follow attentively short stories repeat sounds correctly; identify shapes, name colours, keep table manners keep the class clean, wash their hands, draw and colour, and identify different sexes.
How can schools meet the challenges in raising standards when there are factors within the schools that might negatively affect pupils aspirations, progress and achievement? Achieving enviable education system cannot happen in isolation from the environments in which pupils learn. The effects of physical environment on children’s well being cannot be underestimated. noise level, overcrowding gass/smoke pollution housing and neighbourhood quality are as significant for children’s development as psychological characteristics such as relationships with teachers and peers indeed the physical environment profoundly influences development, cognitive, social and emotional development.
Children’s reading abilities, cognitive development, psychological indicators, and motivational tasks are affected by exposure to noise (Kimberly 2008:44). The most common noises that children are exposed to are from cars, and other people. Over crowding has an effect on interpersonal behaviours, mental health, motivation, cognitive development, and biological measures. Children may engage in withdrawal behaviour as a means of coping with an over stimulating environment.
Other factors according to the Denesy (2004:38) complimenting environmental factors to produce high academic achievements and performance include good teachings, counseling, good administration, good seating arrangement and good building dilapidating buildings, lacking mental stimulating facilities that are characterized with low or no seating arrangement will also be destructive. Thus teaching and learning should be done under organized, planned, and fortified environment with learning instructional aids to stimulate pupils sense of conception, perception and concentration to facilitate systematic understanding and acquisition of knowledge in them. In sum, a child being educated in a conducive environment with a fortified learning or instructional aids or motivational inceptive with prompt academic performance and lack of it will retard academic performance.
It is on the above premises these research investigate into the factors affecting learning environment of pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal.
Statement of the problem
It has been a source of concern to education stakeholders on the issues of the standard of our pre-primary education in the country. It has been speculated that most pre-primary proprietors do not provide conducive environment for learning, some were said to use a room in their apartment for a nursery school where basic things needed for pre-primary education are lacking. Some were said have employed teachers/attendants who are not sensitive to the mental and physical disposition of their pupils. Their knowledge of the use of instructional materials is highly in doubt hence they often teach without the application of some basic instructional materials.
Some people also argue that the school proprietors do not implement their policies particularly in areas such as providing discipline, proper supervision and evaluation.
It has also been speculated that some of the pre-primary schools lack pre-requisite facilities and equipments such as instructional materials, conducive classroom and dilapidated buildings.
It is on the above premise that the researchers were motivated to find out factors affecting learning environment of pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal. Thus the following variables were considered.
- The need for conducive environment for pre-primary school.
- Influence of unconducive learning environment on pre-primary education.
- Availability of learning materials
- Attendant, teacher/pupil relationship in pre-primary school
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate into factors affecting learning environment of pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal. Specifically this study is aimed.
- To find out factors that affect learning environment of pre-primary school in Owerri Municipal.
- To ascertain the availability of learning materials in pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal.
- To find out how classroom attendant, teacher-pupil relationship affect learning environment of pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal.
- To proffer solution to the problems
Significant of the Study
The result of this study will be of immense benefit to education stakeholders such as curriculum planners, school proprietors/administrators, and parents.
From the findings on availability of learning materials in pre-primary schools curriculum planners will understand the problems pre-primary schools is having, hence they will make policy either to enhance it or make some adjustments. On the other hand school proprietors/administrator will find out that they have the task of providing necessary materials for the children. To parents, the results will expose the shortcomings of some pre-primary schools hence they (parents) could endeavour to take their children and wards were there are enough materials.
Result of the findings on environmental factors affecting learning in pre-primary schools will prove to curriculum planners to consider learning environmental while making policies for pre-primary schools. To school proprietors/administrators it will challenge them to make necessary arrangement for conducive environment for pre-primary school. With the result parents and guidance can be enlightened that environment must be considered before they take their children and wards to any pre-primary school.
The result on attendant/pupil relationship will prove to curriculum planners that the policies should be made on cordial relationship and good mannerism of the attendants. Proprietors/administrations to recruit good tolerant and understanding teachers/attendants to take care of their pupils.
Scope of study
This study is centered on factors affecting learning environment of pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal Councils. Particular interest will be place on:
- Environmental dispositions of pre-primary school in Owerri Municipal Council.
- Availability of learning materials in pre-primary schools.
- Attendant/pupils relationship
- Solution to the problems
This study will be sampled in ten selected pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal Council
The following researched questions will guides this study.
- What are the environmental factors that affect learning in pre-primary schools in Owerri Municipal Councils
- Does unavailability of learning materials affect learning in pre-primary school?
- Does attendant teachers/pupil relationship affect learning environment of pre-primary schools?
- What are the possible solution to the problems?