Environmental Factors As Determinant Of Student Academic Performance

Environmental Education Project and Seminar Material

Environmental Factors As Determinant Of Student Academic Performance


Abstract


A school is an environment where knowledge is acquired at various levels. The buildings or environment where this knowledge is acquired is as important as the knowledge itself. With the prevalence of secondary schools established often within residential quarters to cater to the needs of the Nigerian populace, it has become imperative that research explores the impact of building typology/environments on academic performance of students. This study evaluates this relationship in some secondary schools in Oyo state, Nigeria. A survey of secondary school students as well as physical measurements/documentation of both schools was used to obtain the students’ view of their school building, how it affects them and if their school building was built for school purposes or not. Interviews were also conducted to get more information from the students on the subject matter. The data was analyzed using IBM SPSS® 21 for descriptive statistics from questionnaire responses. Study findings reveal that performance of students would improve with the provision of adequate and conducive school environment with emphasis on facilities such as classrooms and toilets. It further revealed that good indoor air quality, good visual comfort and sufficient space within and outside learning spaces are factors that affect performance of students amongst others. The implication of these findings to designers is that the building typology (be it originally residential or institutional) plays a significant role in the overall academic performance of students in the study area.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Intelligence is not the only determinant of academic achievement of a student. Lizzio, Wilson & Simons (2002) noted that academic achievement of a student is most often associated with a lot of components of learning environment. According to Bosque and Dore (1998), teaching and learning environment ought to implement six (6) functions: inform, communicate, collaborate, produce, scaffold and manage. They further added that “conceptually speaking, the learning environment refers to the whole range of components and activities within which learning happens”. Hence, learning environment takes into account several variables that have direct and indirect effect on students.

In another perspective, the issue of academic achievement in mathematics has become a focus of many educators. The alarming issue in mathematics could be discussed from the social aspect and each individual point of view (Murugan & Rajoo, 2013). The social aspect includes learning environment which seems to affirm the consistency of relationship between learning environment and students’ cognitive as well as effective outcomes (Ashby, et al, 2011).. Thus, learning environment could be an essential key determinant to the students’ achievement in mathematics. According to Bosque and Dore (1998), higher-achieving students are likely to have been exposed to curriculum content under an ideal learning environment. In fact, Frenzel, Pekrun & Goetz, (2007) attributed underachievement in academic as a result of poor learning condition. This also affirmed that most scholars are of the opinion that educational attainment/achievement is likely to be determined by the idealness of the learning environment.

Environmental influence before now have not been considered as one of the factors that affect academic performance in secondary schools hence it has little or no attention in educational discourse and consideration. But over the past decade remarkable studies have indicated a correlation between the environment and academic performance of students. Environment plays major role in the life of every individual whether a students, teachers, employer or employee. Though some people are yet to believe that environment brings about better performance. Udoh (1980) in his article “The Environmental Health Problems in Nigeria Schools”, Identified some unhealthy practices in our schools. These include sitting of schools, inadequate facilities, poor ventilation etc. Most of our schools have no light, insufficient facilities, sick buildings and no ventilation.

Under these conditions the health of students and teachers according to Udoh (1980) may be adversely affected, which will in turn reflect on students’ performance. Therefore, for the students to carry his learning effectively and efficiently, it is necessary that learning takes place in conducive environment. Hence it is pertinent to critically look at the environmental factors that influences academic performance of students, measures that can help improve them and make some recommendation because at the very heart of our educational mission is the goal of improving academic performance.

Studies have shown that environmental factors to a large extent affect both the physical and psychological potentials of an individuals. This has led to the contention that many students fail to develop their potentials due to inadequate environmental stimulation. However, there are some environmental factors which have contributed to this poor performance of students which are home background, inadequate school facilities, misuse of technology such as internet and school climate such as teacher-student relationship etc. Given this situation, the problem of the study therefore is to find out really if these are the main environmental factors that affect the academic performance of secondary schools students in Oyo state.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The educational sector in Nigeria is faced with so many challenges part of which religious, environmental and multi-ethnicity, the major determinant of these problems comes majorly from the environmental factor. Intellect of students is what people majorly think of as the factors that determines the performance of student. Starting school in Nigeria is now a trending business everybody wants to start school even without having any knowledge or experience in education, unemployment is a major factor that affect the growing of non-standard schools in Nigeria, we now see schools built in uncompleted buildings, market areas, non-conducive environments. Some parents now prefer taking their children or ward to those types of schools due to the low fees they will pay.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

These study is aimed at discovering those environmental factor that affect the performance of students in Nigeria. The specified objectives are:

  1. To discover those factors that determine the building of non-standard schools in Nigeria
  2. To know those environmental factors that determine the performance of students
  3. To find out the role of private owned schools on the academic performance of students
  4. To discover the role of modern ICT tools on the performance of students in Nigeria
  5. To know the impact of education ministries on equipping government own schools with the right lab and school equipment

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will guide the researcher while conducting this research

  1. What are those factors that determine the building of non-standard private owned schools
  2. What environmental factor affects the academic performance of students
  3. What re the role played by private schools that affect the performance of secondary students in their SSCE exam
  4. Does modern ICT tools affect the performance of students
  5. What impact does the government has on public schools in Oyo state.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to expose the parents, government, private school owners and teachers to basic environmental factors that affect the performance of student, also to enable the ministries of education and stakeholders involve in making the policies needed to reduce not up to standard schools.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study covers the entire students and schools in Oyo state but samples is taken from five schools, each Schools from five local governments in Oyo state, they are: in Oluyole, Atiba, iseyin, Ibarapa east and ogbomoso north local government area of Oyo state.


1.7 Delimitation of the Study

This study is intended to cover the whole country but due to financial and time constraint it is limited to five local government in Oyo state. Another major problem is inaccessibility to so major stakeholders affected in this research.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Environment:

Everything around us both living and non-living

Determinant:

Factors that affect the outcome or result of something

Students:

Somebody who is learning or studying in a formal settings to achieve a certain goal.

Academic:

Anything that relate to education

ICT:

Modern tools or equipment used to enhance the understanding of students

Performance:

The result of a students is in his/her academic aim or goal


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

This study sampled three hundred (300) students of the Oyo State Secondary school, sneaks, from six (6) randomly selected department of the faculty of the social sciences. In order to investigate the relationship between environmental problems in schools and academic performance and psychological development of students, two test instruments were deployed namely the questionnaire and achievement test instruments. The result showed that there was a significant relationship between environmental problems and academic performance and psychological development of students.


5.2 Conclusion

The study set out to examine effect of environmental problems on the academic performance and psychological development of the students of the Oyo State Secondary school, Oluyole. The findings that emerged from the research work are;

  1. The environmental problems that students exhibit in school have negative effect on their academic performance.
  2. Students environmental problems significantly interfere with their psychological development.
  3. There is no gender differences in students deviant behavior.

There is prevalence of deviance, disturbances, crises, unrest and all sorts of anti-social behaviours in the society. That is why Osaat (1999), referred to the present Nigeria generation as a generation of youth associated with social vices. How these problems affect students have becomes a concern for parents, teachers, authorities, government and the general public. These problems have been found to be associated with poor academic performance and psychological development of secondary school students in the state


5.4 Recommendations

On the basis of the findings of the study, the following recommendations are offered;

  1. Teachers should be provided moral, psychological and physical support to students and also live by example. This will help students avoid or deal with deviant behaviours.
  2. Parents should be enlightened to appreciate the benefits of encouraging and motivating their children to achieve a balanced academic and social life. They should also make regular unscheduled visits to their children’s schools to see how they are faring.
  3. The school authorities should embark on providing and encouraging recreational activities such as athletics, football, track and field, debating societies, scrabble and creative writing. These activities will inculcated discipline in the students, and also keep them away from deviant and criminal attitudes. They will equally develop the spirit of sportsmanship, friendship, competitiveness and comradeship which are essential to social balance.
  4. Government should endeavour with adequate facilities. This will enhance a conducive climate for learning, thereby minimizing students stress which often engender acts of deviance.

5.5 Suggestions for Further Study

Based on the findings in the study, the following suggestion are offered for future studies.

  1. Effort should be made by the researcher to cover the area of effect of social economic status of parents on the academic performance and psychological development of students.
  2. The scope of the study should be further broadened to accommodate more schools than this research was able to cover.

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