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Environmental Variables and Students Academic Performance in Physical and Health Education in Secondary Schools

Environmental Variables and Students Academic Performance in Physical and Health Education in Secondary Schools 

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ABSTRACT

The study was conducted to examine the environmental variables and Academic Performance of students in Physical and Health Education in Obot Akara Local Government Area. Two research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.

The total population of the study comprises all senior secondary two students from all the public secondary schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area. One hundred and twenty students were the sample size from six selected public secondary schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area.

The instrument used in this study was the past result of the promotional examination in Physical and Health Education in the 2015/2016 academic session. Findings showed that there is a significant difference in the academic performance of students in schools with well-equipped laboratories in Physical and Health Education and also that there is a significant difference in academic performance of students in urban and rural schools in Physical and Health Education in Obot Akara Local Government Area.

From the findings, it was recommended that the Ministry of Education especially the State Secondary Education Board should organize symposia and seminars regularly on ways of implementing quality supervision in public secondary schools. Also, teachers of Physical and Health Education should provide practical-oriented activities to develop the students’ competencies in solving problems. 

Environmental Variables and Students Academic Performance in Physical and Health Education in Secondary Schools

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1  Background to the Study

There is a growing assertion that environmental variables have a strong relationship with student’s academic performance in schools. This is predicated on the observation that a group of children with nearly the same intelligent quotient (IQ) may show a glaring disparity when exposed to the same instructional materials. The cause of such disparities puzzles even the teacher who is supposed to provide ready-made answers to such disparities.

What the child learns in his environment prepares him for his formal education. Thus, the role of the environment as it applies to the academic orientation of the child is highly indispensable. This has been identified by many scholars and educationists such as Mege (2014), Lyons (2001), and Chuma (2012).

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According to Umoh (2006), nature only provides the raw materials in the form of potential to the child but it is the environment that determines the extent of development of the child. In furtherance to the menace of low academic performance which had been under a high strain in Nigeria’s academic system and cannot be overemphasized as it had eaten deep into the quality of students and eventual leaders produced in the Nigerian economy. Bloom and Offiong (2002) in trying to justify this, claim that the environment exerts a powerful effect on the growth and development of a child.

Environmental Variables and Students Academic Performance in Physical and Health Education in Secondary Schools

In assessing the cause-effect of the environment on the level of students’ academic performance, researchers consider some variables of the environment as school location and availability of instructional materials amongst others that could tailor the level of students’ academic performance.

The environmental variables which include the school size, school type, school structure, school location, parental education, and occupation are deemed fit to affect students’ academic performance. Hence environmental variables remain an important area that should be studied and well-managed to enhance students’ academic performance.

Bandele (2003) noted that the importance of environmental variables in the school cannot be neglected. He added that at any educational level, the quality of education depends upon several factors such as school location, availability and utilization of instructional materials, teachers’ qualification, and motivation amongst others.

Similarly, Okumbe (2011) asserted that some environment variables that affect the academic performance of students include the home environment, peer group, classroom environments, and the field/laboratory environment. This becomes a concern to the researcher and it forms the background for the study of environmental variables and students’ academic performance in physical and Health Education in Secondary schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

The promotion of vocational skills in the academic endeavour for national growth and development is the priority of nations. The schools, educators, industrialists, and researchers are now very concerned with the relevance and contributions of learning environments to the student’s cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills in the world of work (Nsa, Offiong, Udo, and Ikot; 2014).

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However, parents and stakeholders in education have complained about the poor academic performance of students in internal and external examinations as announced by the Head of National Office WAEC that only 38.68% of the candidates had five credits and above, including mathematics and English in the 2015/2016 May/June result.

According to the head of the National Office (HNO) of WAEC, he further said that 118, 101 results representing 7.41% were withheld due to examination malpractice (Fapohunda, 2015). Reasons range from poor and ineffective teaching personnel to inadequate or non-availability of facilities in schools, location of the schools, family variables, and school type amongst others as asserted by Umoh (2015) and Amos (2016).

This, therefore, raised the question: could environmental factors such as school location, and school laboratory influence the academic performance of students in physical and Health Education in Secondary Schools? To provide an answer to this question, the researcher investigated environmental variables such as school location and school laboratory on students’ academic performance in physical and Health Education in Secondary Schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area.

1.3   Purpose of the Study 

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the environmental variables and students’ academic performance in physical and health education. Specifically, the study is meant to:

(i)  Compare the students’ academic performance of students in physical and Health Education in schools with well-equipped laboratories and those without such facilities.

(ii)  Compare the students’ academic performance of students in physical and Health Education in urban and rural schools.

1.4   Significance of the Study

The study is highly significant in enabling parents, educationists, and education stakeholders in measuring environmental variables in relationship to academic performance. Also, this study will be of benefit to educationists who are interested in knowing how non-classroom factors affect students’ academic performance.

This study is also helpful to parents who are interested in the educational performance of their children most especially in physical and Health Education and parents who are intending to mould their children to become physical educator tutors in the future as this study tends to assess environmental variables and students’ academic performance.

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Also, this study will be of immense contribution to professionals in physical and Health Education bodies whose program of catching the best young athletes in their fields as this study will explain the relationship between the environmental variables and students’ performance in the fields of physical fitness in our secondary schools.

Finally, the knowledge among the physical and Health Education teachers on the negative influence caused by poor classroom management will make them develop and enrich proper classroom management and control culture in order to improve the good performance of the students. The finding of this study will also draw the attention of all the teachers not to teach whenever the classroom is not properly arranged.

1.5  Research Hypothesis

(I) There is no significant difference in students’ academic performance of students in physical and Health Education in schools with well-equipped laboratories and those without such facilities.

(ii) There is no significant difference in students’ academic performance of students in physical and Health Education in urban and rural schools.

1.6   Delimitation of the Study

This study was delimited to environmental variables with a particular focus on school laboratory and school location on students’ academic performance in physical and Health Education in secondary schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area. Similarly, the study employed sessions in selected public secondary schools in Obot Akara Local Government Area.

1.7   Limitations of the Study

In the course of conducting the research, the researcher encountered some challenges. These were in the area of finance, inadequate time, and research materials.

1.8   Definition of Operational Terms

The following terms used in this work were defined by the researcher as used in the study.

(a) Environment: These include all readily available materials in the students immediate surrounding used for the study of physical and Health Education.

(b) Academic Performance: The scores of students in school as examined through the administration of tests and examinations in a particular subject area.

(c) Environmental Variables: The totality of factors that directly or indirectly influence the teaching and learning process. It includes the availability of school laboratories and school locations (Urban and rural) as used in this study.

Mr. Harrison

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