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The Influence of School Environment on Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Senior Secondary

The Influence of School Environment on Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Senior Secondary Schools

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate school environment and students’ academic performance in Business Studies in Obot Akara Local Government Area.

A survey design was employed in carrying out the study. The population of this study consisted of all Business Studies students in junior secondary three (JS3) class in all the public secondary schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area. The simple random sampling technique was used in selecting the students in this study.

Four (4) secondary schools were selected out of the available six public secondary schools; fifty students were selected to give a total of two hundred (200) respondents which formed the sample size of the study. The main instrument used in this study was a Business Studies Achievement Test (BSAT).

The independent t-test statistical method was adopted in analyzing the data collected. The result was tested at 0.05 levels of significance.

 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

The school is a social and learning agent that provides the environment upon which a child may be formally educated in order to attain educational goals. Human beings have unlimited capacity to learn but may however be limited by the behavior patterns and facilities that the immediate environment offers.

According to Umoh (2016) nature only provides the raw materials in form of potentials but it is the environment that determines the extent of development. In furtherance to the menace of low academic performance which has been on high strain in the secondary school system and cannot be over-emphasized as it had eaten deep into the quality of students and eventual leaders produced into the Nigerian economy.

It could be deduced that there exist a space in the quality of students produced and the required quality of individuals for various schools need of the country and the society in general (Sambo, 2019).

In accessing the causes and the effects of the level of students’ academic performance, the researcher considers the school environment as those instruments that could tailor the level of students’ academic performance. The school environment is the school infrastructural facilities, school library facilities and school location.

They are deemed fit to affect students’ academic performance. Hence, these school environments remain important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance students’ academic performance.

Similarly, Demas (2013) asserted that the issue of poor academic performance of students in secondary schools has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even students themselves.

The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties but also in the effectiveness co-ordination of the school environment. It is posited that the school physical feature has a form of relationship with the student academic performance in term of the school size, structure, ownership, location and type.

Ekanem (2018) has shown that school facilities such as library facilities assist teachers in making their lessons explicit to learners. Eneh and Nkang (2016) in postulation theory of cognitive development have shown that learners in schools function at the operational stage of mental development.

The Influence of School Environment on Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Senior Secondary

One of the characteristics of the students at this stage of development is that they hardly remember what they learn except taught in concrete form. It is when learning experiences are made in concrete form that learners can remember what they learn and one way of making learning experiences concrete is by teaching the students with school facilities such as, library, computer laboratory and sporting facilities among others.

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Additionally, Fred (2013) identified school environment as the major factors contributing to the teaching and learning effectiveness in the school system. These include infrastructural facilities such as classroom, equipped laboratories and libraries as well as the location of the school.

Different studies conducted by Dele (2010) and Vincent (2011) showed that a positive relationship exist between availability of facilities, school location and academic performance of students.

Similarly, Efrema, (2012) asserted that the teaching of social sciences could be made easy and interesting for students if the school infrastructural facilities such as laboratory facilities and library facilities in the school are available and utilized in the teaching and learning process. It is also noted that a well prepared instruction could be destroyed by non-availability or improper utilization of school facilities by the teachers.

However, Lionel Robbins (1932) in Vendan (2016) posited that Economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. Robbins describes the definition as not classificatory in “picking out certain kinds of behaviour” but rather analytical in “focusing attention on a particular aspect of behaviour, the form imposed by the influence of scarcity.”

He asserted that economics can be used to study other things, such as war, that are outside its usual focus. This is because war has as the goal winning it (as a sought after end), generates both cost and benefits; and, resources (human life and other costs) are used to attain the goal. If the war is not winnable or if the expected costs outweigh the benefits, the deciding actors (assuming they are rational) may never go to war (a decision) but rather explore other alternatives.

We cannot define economics as the science that studies wealth, war, crime, education, and any other field economic analysis can be applied to; but, as the science that studies a particular common aspect of each of those subjects (they all use scarce resources to attain a sought after end).

Moreover, Damsola (2014) maintained based on his research that this subject demands critical technique to be used in teaching the students in order for them to develop interest in the students as well as motivating high academic performance.

He went on to say that the subject can be taught in both urban and rural schools effectively if there is adequate utilization of school infrastructural facilities. In line with this, Edith (2015) was of the view that for effective teaching of Economics which does not have practical activities, there is need for the children to utilize the school library in their learning processes.

Equally, Matthew (2013) investigated the influence of school factors and academic performance of students in Economics in secondary schools in Benin metropolis and concluded that there is a significant influence of school location, school library and the physical environment of the school and the academic performance of students in secondary schools in Benin metropolis and that the availability and utilization of library facilities by students influence the learning and teaching of Economics in secondary schools. This motivated the researcher to interest on reviewing the concept of school environment as it may affect the present study area.

The Influence of School Environment on Academic Performance of Students in Economics in Senior Secondary

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Chiu (2011) observed that school environment encompassed material and human resources; and teaching and learning occur by the interaction between the teacher and the students as well as the interaction of the students with the material resources.

This implies that the school environment include the teachers laboratory facilities, library facilities, the temperature (hot or cold) of the environment, class size, classroom facilities and location of the school which could pose serious problem in the teaching of social sciences.

It is against this background that it became necessary to investigate the extent to which school environment such as school location, school infrastructural facilities and school library facilities influence the academic performance of students in Economics in senior secondary students in secondary schools in Nsit Local Government Area.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The issue of poor academic performance of students in Economics has been an issue that has led to widely discussion. The standard of education in Nsit Atai Local Government Area in particular and Akwa Ibom State at large has made Economics and other social science subjects to go through school environment. School environment include the location of school, infrastructural facilities and school libraries.

It is observed that there has been mass failure in Economics among secondary school students over years. This leads to low enrolment in Economics courses in our universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

This posed serious problem in the educational system and has led to parents blaming the government for lack of provision of adequate facilities in the schools, lack of provision of certain basic amenities and infrastructural development in the local government.

The teachers blame he students for poor reading habit. This therefore interest the researcher seeks to find out whether school environment such as the school location, infrastructural facilities and school library could be responsible for these poor academic performance of students in Economics in senior secondary schools with a view to making recommendations base on researcher’s findings.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of school environment on academic performance of students in Economics in senior secondary schools in Nsit Atai Local Government Area. The study specifically sought to;

  1. Investigate the influence of urban and rural schools on the academic performance of students in Economics in senior secondary schools in Nsit Atai Local Government Area;
  2. To examine the influence of adequate school infrastructural facilities and inadequate school infrastructural facilities on academic performance of students in Economics in senior secondary schools in Nsit Atai Local Government Area;
  3. Investigate the influence of inadequate school library facilities and inadequate school library facilities on academic performance of students in Economics in senior secondary schools in Nsit Atai Local Government Area

1.4     Significance of the Study

The study shall be useful in a number of ways;

  1. The study will be significant in that it will enlighten parents and guardians of students on which schools (schools in the urban area or school in rural area) would be effective to ensure excellent performance of students.
  2. It will help government and all related bodies in making school infrastructural facilities in secondary schools.
  3. It will further help government particularly education administrators and science provider when making policies on the supply of school library facilities to secondary schools.
  4. Curriculum planners and developers will find this study very useful in planning and developing appropriate curriculum in Economics for both urban and rural school location.
  5. It will create awareness and educate teachers on the factors that contribute to the poor performance of students in senior secondary school certificate Examination in Economics thereby admitting the recommended techniques of ameliorating the negligence.
  6. Finally, this is hoped to serve as related literature for those embarking on a future related study.
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1.5     Research Questions

To guide the study the following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. Is there any significant difference in academic performance of students in Economics between urban and rural schools?
  2. Is there any significant difference in academic performance of students in Economics between adequate school infrastructural facilities and inadequate school infrastructural facilities?
  3. Is there any significant in academic performance of students in Economics difference between adequate library facilities and inadequate library facilities?

1.6     Research Hypotheses

To guide the study the following hypotheses were postulated at 0.05 levels of significance.

  1. There is no significant difference in academic performance of students in Economics between urban and rural schools.
  2. There is no significant difference in academic performance of students in Economics between schools with adequate infrastructural facilities and those with inadequate infrastructural facilities.
  3. There is no significant difference in academic performance of students in Economics between schools with adequate library facilities and those with inadequate library facilities

1.7     Delimitation of the Study

The study is delimited to the influence of school variable such as school location, infrastructural facilities and library facilities on academic performance of students in Economics in senior secondary schools in Nsit Atai Government Area. Only senior secondary two students who registered Economics in the 2021/2022 academic session in selected public secondary schools in Nsit Atai Local Government Area were involved in the study

1.8     Limitation of the Study

This research was limited by a number of factors, hence there were many problems encountered. Some of the problems included:

  • Lack of finance to go round all the public secondary schools in Nsit Atai Local Government Area.
  • Geographical factors limited the study to four (4) public secondary schools in Nsit Atai Local Government Area.
  • The study was constrained by limited time frame for its execution and completion.
  • Added to the above, the primary sources of information on school environment were not readily available. It required movements from one library to another to obtain necessary information.

1.9     Operational Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined as used in the study.

School environment: School environment are factors within the students’ surrounding in the school that influence the teaching-learning process these include school location, infrastructural facilities and school library facilities as used in this study.

Student:  A student is a person who attends or undertakes a course of study in an educational establishment.

Performance: This refers to the child’s examination scores or result in the school.

School: School is an institution designed for learning of students under the guidance of a teacher.

School library facilities: Library is a place set apart to contain books, periodicals and other materials for reading, viewing, listening, study or reference. A room or set of rooms or building where books may and other materials for learning may be kept.

School Infrastructural Facilities: These are physical buildings in the school such as classroom, computer laboratory and offices.

School Location: This is the place where a school is located such as urban and rural location.

Mr. Harrison

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