Senior Secondary School Population And Students Academic Performance

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SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL POPULATION AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN LAGOS STATE

 

Abstract

The study investigated Senior Secondary School Population And Students Academic Performance In Lagos State, Nigeria. Three research questions and three hypotheses guided the study. The descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised 5110 teachers from 297 public secondary schools in Lagos State. 400 teachers from 22public secondary schools constituted the sample of the study. Proportionate stratified random sampling technique was used to select the sample size. A four point structured 15-item rating scale questionnaire titled School Environment Questionnaire (SEQ) was constructed by the researchers and used to collect data for the study. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation to answer research questions while chi-square (x2) test of goodness of fit was used to test the hypotheses at 0.005 level of significance. The study revealed that there was a significant influence of infrastructural facilities, class-sizeand school location on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Lagos state, Nigeria. It was recommended among other things that All schools communities should partner with their schools and provide infrastructural facilities that would complement the effort of the government in enhancing quality education.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even student themselves. 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)That is to say that the environment where the child leaves is a central determinant factor in the performance of students’ at all levels of education. This is because the physical, social and psychological environments provide the mental readiness of the learner for new learning to take place. The term environment can be seen as all the physical, social and psychological factors influencing the life and activities of people in a particular place (Akem, 2008). This shows that environment is not only the place in which the child lives (physically), but also the people with which he/she comes in contact with (socially). In this regard, environment is a place where the child functions; the home, the school, the peer group, the classroom among others.

School environment therefore, comprises all the components of the school system that contributes positively or negatively towards effective teaching and learning (Songu, 2016). A good school environment, therefore, refers to all improved school conditions, such as availability of the right functional and usable infrastructures, availability of the right quality and quantity of teaching materials and workforce, standard class-size, proper location, good student teacher relationship and improved methodologies which combined to encourage teachers and students for effective teaching and learning (Songu, 2016).in addition, Usaini and Abubaker (2015) asserts that a supportive and favourable school environment enriched with enough learning facilities, and favourable climate makes students more comfortable, more concentrated on their academic activities that resulted in high academic performance and as such a proper and adequate environment is very much necessary for a fruitful learning of the child.

Ortese (2006) also postulates that learning is influenced by the nature of the environment, be it at home or school. A conducive environment is free from threat, stress and tension and includes adequate infrastructural facilities, standard class size, appropriate location of the school, teachers’ motivation, adequate instructional materials, type of ownership among others. However, the focus of this paper is to find out the influence of school environment in the areas of infrastructural facilities, class-size and school location on students’ academic performance.

According to Songu (2016), infrastructural facilities refer to the physical and spatial enablers of teaching and learning. These include classrooms, libraries, laboratories, workshops, playfields, school farms and gardens etc. They have to be of the appropriate quantity, size and quality to meet the minimum standards for promoting meaningful teaching and learning as well as students’ academic performance. However, Hassan (2006) adds that these facilities are lacking in most secondary schools, thereby making teaching and learning more difficult for students to comprehend. A research by Sunday (2012) revealed that there is a significant relationship between physical school environment and students’ academic performance in senior secondary schools. The result indicated that students with adequate library, laboratory, classrooms and other physical facilities perform better than those in school with less or without such facilities. This is an indication that poor facilities and inadequate space, as well as the arrangement of items including seats in the classroom, library and laboratory, would affect the organization of learning environment since favourable school climate gives room for students to work hard and enhance their academic achievement.

Hassan (2006) also notes that aside the insufficiency of both infrastructural and instructional facilities in secondary schools, the number of students per class outweigh standard class-sizes which may influence the kind of attention each student would receive from the teacher thereby thwarting learning and academic performance of students. The nature of the class-size in a school determines to a large extent the success or failure of that school especially in terms of students’ academic performance. In line with this, Schanzenbach (2014) noted that class size is an important determinant of a variety of students’ outcomes, ranging from test scores to broader life outcomes. Wisconsin (2000) observes that the percentage of time devoted to instruction in smaller classes increased from 80% compared to large classes, while the percentage of time devoted to non-instructional activities such as discipline and classroom arrangement decreased from 20% to 14%. Usman (2003) note that the teacher-student ratio of about sixty to one makes effective teaching and learning almost impossible as students’ outgrow the teacher’s control. Jones (2005) also agrees withUsman’s and Kennedy’s assertion that students’ disruption will occur frequently in classes that are poorly managed, where students are not provided with appropriate and interesting instructional tasks which are primarily caused as a result of over-crowded class sizeand that the academic performance of such students would likely drop. When a class is over-populated, there is a problem of the teachers not knowing the difficult areas of individual students and thereby not paying proper attention to them. Teachers find it difficult to give frequent exercises to help students work hard in order to retain what they have learnt and improve on their performances especially when the school is not sited in a proper location (Usman, 2003).

School location which is the site of a school too can be one of the hurdles to students’ academic output; that where students undergo long trekking distance to get to school may affect their interest and understanding (Okoh, 2001 &Orlu, 2013). Okoh stretch further that, schools located in an environment where there are noise traffic and noisy sound of machine from play-wood industry may also affect students’ academic performance negatively because, the noisy environment may disturb students from concentrating while studying. In another development,Oworye, (2011) study also shows that there is a significant difference between the academic achievement of students in rural and urban secondary schools as measured by senior school certificate examinations. To the author, the geographical location of schools has a significant influence on the academic achievement of students. This could be seen in the uneven distribution of resources, poor school mapping, facilities, problem of qualified teachers refusing appointment or not willing to perform well in isolated villages, lack of good road, poor communication, and nonchalant attitude of some communities to school among others are some of the factors contributed to a wide gap between rural and urban secondary schools. Oworye, notes that schools located in rural areas lack qualified teachers. This is because teachers do not want going to rural areas that lack social amenities. They prefer to stay in urban schools. It is also observed that a lot of coaching of urban students is done to prepare them for public examinations, thus promoting the spirit of competition and rivalry that may be lacking in the rural students, probably, owing to limitations in exposure and experience. Also, the study has proven that students in urban areas had better academic achievement than their rural counterpart.

On the other hand, students’ academic performance is the outcome of education, the extent to which a student has achieved his/her educational goals or how well a student meets standards set out by government and educational institutions. Michelle (2000) sees academic performance as the ability to study effectively and show how facts fit together and form larger patterns of knowledge. And being able to think for oneself in relation to facts as well as being able to communicate the knowledge verbally or down on paper. To him students’ academic performance is how well a student is able to recall facts learnt by either verbally or written down on paper. One can therefore conclude that students’ academic performance is the process of how students deal with their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different tasks given to them by their teachers.

However, extensive review of literature shows that, academic performance of students seems to have declining in recent times in Nigeria, Lagos state inclusive. Consequently, the issue of poor academic performance in public secondary schools has reached the point where effective use of relevant strategies ought to be explored and employed. The researchers, therefore, deemed it fitto find out the influence of school environmental on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Lagos States, Nigeria.

Statement of the Problem     

In spite of the efforts of government, parents’ teachers associations, old boys associations, non-governmental organizations and the administrators of public secondary schools in the Lagos states of Nigeria to ensure a conducive teaching and learning environment that will enhance students’ academic performance, the problems associated with poor school environment seem to hamper and overwhelm these efforts. This may be due to the large number of students enrolment which leads to over- crowding in available classes, most schools seems to lack basic class-room furniture like seats, desks and tables resulting to some students’ sitting on the floor or logs of wood; sometimes even the available classes lack ventilation which results in adverse health and academic implications. In fact, hardly will one come across a public school where students’ population in the class is regarded as normal. Worst of all, some schools seems not to be located in line with the laid down procedure for the establishment of schools, as they are located in a noisy and long trekking distance. One wonders how effective teaching and learning may take place in such school environment that may enhance students’ academic performance especially in the public secondary schools. It was against this background that the researchers deemed it necessary to investigate the influence of school environment on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Lagos state, Nigeria.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of school environment on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Lagos State. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. find out the influence of infrastructural facilities on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Lagos State.
  2. determine the influence of class-size on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools.
  3. identify the influence of school location on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools

Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. In what ways do infrastructural facilities influence students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Lagos State?
  2. How does class-size influence students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?
  3. What is the influence school location on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools?

Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and were tested at 0.05 level of significance:

  1. Infrastructural facilities have no significant influence on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools in Lagos State.
  2. Class-size has no significant influence on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools
  3. School location has no significant influence on students’ academic performance in public secondary schools

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