The Influence Of Laboratory Facilities In The Academic Performance Of Students In Senior Secondary Schools
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is a vital human activity (GoK, 2003). It enables fashion and model individuals in any society to perform well in their environment. According to Boit, Njoki, & Chang’ach (2012), the benefits of education include: boosting society’s productive capacity, reducing poverty by moderating its effects on population, health, and nutrition. Secondary education is a critical sector for both national and individual development. Secondary education, which is more advanced than primary education, is critical in developing a country’s human resource base (Achoka, Odebero, Maiyo & Mualuko, 2007). The critical function of secondary education may explain in part the Kenyan government’s determination to implement Free Secondary Education (FSE) in public secondary schools in order to generate demand for it (Ohba, 2011).
To accomplish excellent academic performance in schools, vital physical infrastructure such as a scientific laboratory, school library, classrooms, and various types of solid waste disposal are required. The science laboratory is crucial to scientific training since it is where theoretical work is put into practice; otherwise, practicals in any learning experience include students in activities such as observing, counting, measuring, experimenting, and recording (Ogunniyi, 1983).
Researchers also believe that effective science education is necessary for: a) ensuring a satisfactory level of scientific literacy in society as a whole, and b) preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers for advancement in higher education and higher education. beyond (Committee on Laboratory Science and Equipment, 2006); b) Ensure the future of practical science in schools by discouraging inappropriate methods (Broers, 2006). (Broers, 2006). Secondary science can take a more “stereotypical” approach to practical activities that should lead to binding or obvious conclusions. Science education addresses seven aspects. Innovation in science education: (future) teachers and teacher educators, scientific thought development through research, contextual dimensions of science learning, use of information laboratory equipment, science teachers and “common sense,” gender differences, and the role of evaluation in determining what is taught. The relationship between teachers’ knowledge and scientific abilities, how they teach science, and the consequences for students is dependent on scientific thought development and the teachers themselves.
On the other hand, laboratory equipment is also very important because it is used in all areas of life, including education. The educational system, which is the most important factor for development, is increasingly rushing to adopt new technologies in order to prepare our future generations for the knowledge and skills they will require in the coming years. In all fields, including science, administration, and research, our educational system strives to use a variety of laboratory equipment. Laboratory equipment continues to have an impact on academic transactions at universities, colleges, and other institutions involving teaching, learning, research, and extension activities. The use of mobile phones, televisions, computers, the Internet and machines is part of our daily lives. In fact, we use laboratory equipment for instruction, communication, transportation, information navigation, entertainment and all types of life needs. Due to scientific and laboratory equipment, most processes in human life have been either simplified, adapted and cost-effective
Laboratory facilities is used in providing learning experiences and self-directed instructions to a learner using tutorial and simulation packages, with assistance from an attendance in. In developed countries, the use of modern lab equipments as a teaching tool has reached an advanced stage (Akundeye,2005) (Akundeye,2005).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Fundamental research in scientific education and cognitive science focuses on how people acquire science and apply it in their daily lives. Science education provides students with knowledge, training, and learning opportunities while also stimulating their physical and mental development. According to the National Science Board Commission on Pre-college Education, Mathematics, Science and Technology, in its report stressed that, most states are failing to provide its students with adequate tools, resources or facilities needed to excel in the 21st Century. When laboratory facilities are adequate in schools, it is necessary to provide students with a strong broad background in the area of science and mathematics education. Students should be given opportunities to grow in their problem-solving abilities, think critically, and acquire scientific and technological literacy (Maureen & William 2012).
Academic performance of pupils in science topics has largely declined in recent decades. Science education in Nigeria is in a dismal state at all levels of education, from primary to intermediate to higher. There is a scarcity of science resources in laboratories, which contributes to pupils’ poor academic performance in science in secondary school (Ihuarlam, 2008; Ifeakor, 2006; Udo, 2006; Okafor, 2000). This scenario currently applies to secondary schools in Rivers State. Despite the fact that Rivers State has a plethora of secondary schools, the level of academic performance among students, particularly those pursuing science courses such as physics, biology, and chemistry, is concerning.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to examine the influence of laboratory facilities in the academic performance of students in senior secondary schools.
Other objectives of this study are:
- To determine the extent of availability of laboratory facilities in senior secondary schools.
- To determine the efficiency of utilization of existing laboratory facilities by secondary school students.
- To examine the academic performance of secondary school students with laboratory facilities and those without.
- To examine the challenges secondary school students encounter in the use of laboratory facilities.
1.4 Research Questions
This study will answer the following research questions:
- To what extent is laboratory facilities available in senior secondary schools?
- What is the efficiency of utilization of existing laboratory facilities by secondary school students?
- Is the academic performance of secondary school students with laboratory facilities better than those without?
- What are the challenges secondary school students encounter in the use of laboratory facilities?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Findings from the study will be relevant to government, teachers and parent and academia. It would also make the government through the ministry of education to realize the need for provision of laboratory facilities to schools and posting of qualified science teachers, technicians and technologists to secondary schools. It will motivate parents to provide basic requirements of practical lesson(s) for their children in secondary schools and also this convince the science teachers that practical lessons are mostly essential for effective teaching and learning of other science subjects like biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture and to say mathematics. Finally, the study would contribute empirically to the body of existing literature and it would serve as a reference source to students or other researchers who might want to carry out their research on the similar topic.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study will be focusing on the influence of laboratory facilities in the academic performance of students in senior secondary schools. Specifically, this study will be focused on determining the extent of availability of laboratory facilities in senior secondary schools, determining the efficiency of utilization of existing laboratory facilities by secondary school students, examining the academic performance of secondary school students with laboratory facilities and those without and examining the challenges secondary school students encounter in the use of laboratory facilities.
Furthermore, this study will be using students of selected secondary schools in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State as enrolled participants for its survey.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other secondary schools outside the State. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Academic performance represents performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university.
A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments, and measurement may be performed.
The Influence Of Laboratory Facilities In The Academic Performance Of Students In Senior Secondary Schools
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do physical facilities affect academic performance of senior secondary school students?
There is no significant relationship between physical facilities and the academic performance of senior secondary school students.
How do facilities affect students with special educational needs?
Facilities have a great impact on academic performances of students, and inadequate facilities translate to poor performance. The study examined the availability and convenience of the facilities that were provided to students with special educational needs in mainstreamed schools.
Is there a relationship between school plant and facilities and academic achievement?
There is no significant relationship between school plant and facilities and students‟ academic achievement under study. However, it is observed that there is a positive relationship yet the correlation in this regard is low, not significant.
What are the factors that influence students‟ performance?
Dada, (1986) posited that, the quality and quantity of these materials (school plant and facilities) have been identified as significant factors determining students‟ performance.