Social Environment And Students Academic Performance In Secondary Schools

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Social Environment And Students Academic Performance In Secondary Schools


Abstract


The study was carried out on the impact of Social Environment on students academic performance in Secondary Schools. 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. This study was limited to secondary schools in Abraka, Delta state, Nigeria. The study employed a descriptive survey method in carrying out findings. Stratified sampling was used to select a sample size of about 300. Data was collected through the achievement test and questionnaires were analyzed in relation to the first postulated null hypothesis of the study. The results obtained from the study were that; The social problems that students exhibit in school have negative effect on their academic performance. Students social problems significantly interfere with their social adjustment. There is no gender differences in students deviant behavior. The study further recommended that 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.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

One of the most discussed issues in the learning environment is the issues of social environment and student academic performance. Social environment could be defined as the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops (Ngwoke, 2005). The family is our first school for emotional learning. From there we learn how to feel about ourselves and how others react to our feelings, how to thinks about this feelings and what choices we have in reacting and how to read and express hopes and fears.

This emotional coaching operates not just through the parents say and does directly to their children, but also through the models they offer for handling their feelings and those that pass between husband and wife (Bhattacharya, 2016). Hence, it is very important for parents to develop self-understanding of their emotions and feelings in order to transform that understanding in their children. The more the parents are able to understand their emotions, the better they will be able to manage their child’s emotional personality.

Emotional competence or incompetence of parents has affirmative or adverse effects on adolescents. Findings of many research indicated that children raised in loving, caring, secure, consistent and stable social environment have a greater probability of developing well in socially, psychologically, physically, emotionally and morally (Harlock B. Elizabeth, 2014). During the adolescence period individual begins to form a sense of self, seeks to develop more mature relationships with peers and family and attempt to increase independence (Bhatia & Bhatia, 2008). Supportive relationship with family members have been shown to influence a broad range of social behavioural ,emotional and academic outcomes, including depression, anxiety, self-esteem, delinquency, social competence, involvement with drugs and alcohols, achievement motivation and academic achievement of an adolescents (Mohanraj, 2005).

The social-environment is a most powerful informal learning situation in which the family, more specially parents, acts as an educator. (Sharma & Vaid, 2005) states that, the family is a place in which; the whole ranges of human experiences take place. (Youniss & Smollar, 2005) also stated that, it is what parents do in the home that counts for learning development of children. It goes without saying that lack of encouragement, low quality of parental involvement and lack of stimulating activity in the home will reduce the home’s effectiveness as a learning environment. According to (Feldman & Wentzel, 2000), home environment shows generally stronger relationship to cognitive development. Several researchers (McCullough, Ashbridge, & Pegg, 2004) have found relationships between social environment and academic achievement. Children, who have received good social environment and positive attitudes from parents, can academically perform well. Parents are different from one another, both in their relationship with their own children and their feelings or reactions towards schooling of their children.

The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, students, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in class rooms, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2002, Lyons, 2001 and Ostendat 2001). These lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers and poor learning attitude among students. Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on students ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by students including poor concentration and hyperactivity, lethargy or apathy, creates a stressful set of working conditions for teachers. Because stress and job dissatisfaction are common precursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect upon the academic performance of students. Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with student teacher ratio, school location, school pollution, classroom with student health problems, student behavior and student achievement (Crandell and Smaldiho, 2000, Davis, 2001, Johnson, 2001, Lyons 2001, Moore 2002, Strichers 2000, tanner, 2000). To complement these studies the present research will examine the aforementioned of social environment as it affect students performance in Nigerian schools most especially secondary schools in Abraka, Delta state, which is the case study of this research.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

This study examined the influence of social environmental factors on the academic performance of secondary students in Delta state. During the course of this four research question will guide this study.

In recent times it is has become a common phenomenon to read or hear incidence of student involvement in anti-social behavior such as teenage pregnancy/parenting, child abuse, alcohol in takes, drug abuse, rape, prostitution, sexual prevision, stealing, cultism, adolescent suicide, school dropout and all kind of wanton misdemeanor. Sad to say, these are some of the influence of the academic performance of student observed from the selected secondary schools in Abraka, Delta State as the case study. Many have agreed that deviant act perpetrated by students in the higher education are responsible for the downward turn in academic performance and social adjustment of these students. It is not certain whether efforts are taken by researchers, teachers, school administrators and stake holders at linking behavior among secondary school students to the environmental influence with a view of curbing these behaviours have yielded any fruits in the past.

In the light of the overall challenge of the influence of environment on the academic performance of students, this study set out to examined the effect of its impacts on the academic performance and social adjustment of selected secondary school students in the Abraka, Delta state.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

It is on the basis of this study that will help as easily identify some of the objectives of the environmental influence on academic performance of secondary school students in Abraka, Delta State.

  1. To identify some of the social problems students exhibit in schools. Thereby affecting the academic performance on the long run.
  2. To determine whether there are significant relationship between the environmental influence and the general performance of students.
  3. To find out whether there will be no gender difference in student deviant behaviors.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the social problems students exhibit in schools. Thereby affecting the academic performance on the long run.
  2. Is there any significant relationship between the environmental influence and the general performance of students.
  3. Is there any gender difference in student deviant behaviors.

1.5 Test of Hypothesis

The following hypothesis were tested in this study

  1. The social problems students exhibit in schools will not impact negatively on their academic performance.
  2. Student social problem will not significantly interfere with the social adjustment.
  3. There will be no gender differences in student deviant behaviors.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will be beneficial to the following individuals

(a) The Student:

The findings and recommendation of the study will informed students and help them to understand the manifestations of the impact of social problems and its influence on class room activities.

(b) The Lecturers:

This study will easily help lecturers to easily identify student who exhibit behaviours that reflects on the environmental influence

(c) The Parents:

parents will benefit from knowledge of social problems which will enable them to identify and associates with their children with the intent of solving the perceived problems.

(d) School Authority:

The school authority will be encouraged to pay more attention to social re-orientation programmes such as sex education, health and safety awareness, HIV/AIDs awareness, drug free initiatives and adolescent counseling programmes.

(e) The Government:

Relevant information on the influence of environmental in the academic performance of student will inspire government to take pro-active measures which may include enacting laws that will protect the rights of vulnerable students.

(f) The Society:

This study will create awareness of the impact pof environmental factors on academics performance. This awareness is expected to generate concerns for majority of people and stake holders in the society.


1.7 Limitations of the Study

A part from times frame and shortage of finance, the major limitations to cover three secondary schools in Abraka, Delta state.


1.8 Scope of the Study

The study covers the effect of social problems on the academic performance and social adjustment of secondary school students in Abraka, Delta State.


1.9 Operational Definition of Terms.

i) Academic Performance:

This is the behavior of a student that can be directly observed by evaluating what he/she has learnt during a course of study. This behaviours can be measure through class, home work or class participation.

ii) Deviance:

This refers to the possibility of an individual or group deviating from or established norm.

iii) Social Adjustment:

This is the psychological process through which a student copes with the challenges that his/her peers face daily.

iv) Social Problems:

A social problem exists when a significant number of people in the society believe that certain condition is in fact a problem.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

This study sampled three hundred (300) students of secondary schools in Abraka, Delta State. In order to investigate the relationship between social problems in schools and academic performance and social adjustment of students, two test instruments were deployed namely the questionnaire and achievement test instruments. The result showed that there was a significant relationship between social problems and academic performance and social adjustment of students.


5.2 Conclusion

The study set out to examine effect of social problems on the academic performance and social adjustment of the secondary school students in Abraka, Delta State. The findings that emerged from the research work are;

  1. The social problems that students exhibit in school have negative effect on their academic performance.
  2. Students social problems significantly interfere with their social adjustment.
  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 social adjustment of secondary school students in Abraka, Delta State


5.3 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 social adjustment 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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Frequently Asked Questions


How does a conducive school environment affect students’ performance?

Students’ performance would improve upon the provision of the adequate conducive school environment with an emphasis on facilities like the classroom. It was also revealed that good indoor air quality, good visual comfort, and sufficient learning space are the fundamental factors that can affect student learning outcomes (Okafor et al., 2016).

How does classroom environment affect student performance?

Students’ performance would improve upon the provision of the adequate conducive school environment with an emphasis on facilities like the classroom. It was also revealed that good indoor air quality, good visual comfort, and sufficient learning space are the fundamental factors that can affect student learning outcomes (Okafor et al., 2016).

What is the role of Environment in student’s development?

Environment plays a vital role in the development of the personality of the students. As a student spends most of his life at school, the school environment is highly responsible for the inculcating of great values in him. The Kothari Commission (1964-66) has beautifully said, “The destiny of India is now being shaped in her classrooms” (p.2).

How does lack of resources for teaching affect pupil academic performance?

The result further showed that while the teachers considered lack of resource materials for teaching as having the greatest degree of effect on pupils academic performance, the students on the other hand considered poor instructional strategies as having the greatest degree of effect on pupil academic performance. 

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