INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN KADUNA (A Study of Social Development Department, Kaduna Polytechnic)
The study examines the “Influence of Environmental Factors on Academic Performance of Students in Kaduna Polytechnic”. The purpose of the study is to find out the relationship between school environment and students’ academic performance; to examine the impact of school facilities on the academic performance of students in the Kaduna Polytechnic; to explore factors perceived to inhibit students learning in the academic process of students in Kaduna Polytechnic; to investigate the extent to which school location affects the academic achievement of students in Kaduna Polytechnic and to identify whether school environment motivate students to attend school. A survey method was used along with a five point likert scale questionnaire to facilitate the collection of data from respondents. A sample of 95 were involved and served as respondents. The research questions which guided the study include; What is the relationship between school environment and students’ academic performance?; What are the impacts of school facilities on the academic performance of students in the Kaduna Polytechnic?; What are the factors perceived to inhibit students learning in the academic process of students in Kaduna state?; To what extend does school location affects the academic achievement of students in Kaduna Polytechnic? And how does school environment motivate students to attend school? Data collected was presented using statistical tables with percentage values for the Bio-data and mean value to analyze the research questions. Findings shows that the relationship between school environment and students’ academic performance is that, conducive school environment helps a student find learning interesting, conducive school environment it enhances joint learning and the impact of school facilities on the academic performance of students in the Kaduna Polytechnic is that availability of school facilities enhances learning among students. It was recommended that educational authorities must ensure the school environment must be free from noise pollution and distraction to aid students learned as expected and school facilities should be adequately provided to improve the academic performance of students in the Kaduna Polytechnic. The researcher concluded that availability of school facilities enhances learning among students and secured school in a good location allows good quick learning among students and this should be priotized by school authorities residing in Kaduna Polytechnic.
1.1 Background of the Study
United Nation Education Science and Cultural Organization, (2015) postulate that education is viewed as a critical investment, not only to the individual, but also to the society. All countries of the world are prioritizing this investment especially in formal education. In recent time, Ghana is ranked the most educated country in West Africa which is reflected in its literacy rate and performance in West Africa Examination Council over the years.
Ajao, (2017) postulated that 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 carrying out of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the school environment.
Ajayi, (2018) & Oluchukwu, (2018) put that education is an essential factor for effective development of any country like Nigeria. The western education adopted by Nigeria is highly based on individualism, socio-economic and internationalization which are geared towards national development. Poor performance of students in other West Africa countries is attributed to a variety of factors depending on the country in question. The school environment, which include the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are variables that affect students’ academic achievement.
The school environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance students’ academic performance.
Udoh (2019) opined that issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even student themselves. Environmental influence before now have not been considered as one of the factors that affect academic performance in 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 (2019) 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 (2019) may be adversely affected, which will in turn reflect on students’ performance.
Onukwo (2018) put that 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 individual.
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.
Onukwo (2018) in his note says that a conducive environment enhances growth and development. Student feels happy in a peaceful and friendly environment where as schools sited in noisy urban streets are associated with deficits in mental concentration leading to student’s poor performance. Noise is anything that interferes with teaching/learning process. Noise produces influence on Student information processing strategies, feelings of personal control as well as their level of arousal.
Vikoo (2019) put that some communities have a history/tradition of formal education and modern education influences. The gadgets, resources, facilities in both types of community will influence the learning processes of the child. Student’s cannot single handedly achieve all their goals. So they must be equipped with adequate technological facilities such as textbooks, clients, computer, visual and audio-visual aids, photographs and posters. Vikoo (2019) views instructional material as “any device with instructional content or function that is used for teaching purpose, including books, supplementary reading materials, audio-visual and other sensory materials, scripts for radio and television instrumentation programs for computer management packaged sets of materials for construction or manipulation.
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 pre-cursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect upon the academic performance of students. As a result to the importance of good school environment to academic performance; this study therefore, is to ascertain the influence/impact of environment on the academic performance of students in Kaduna Polytechnic.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Ada, (2015), put that the influence of school environment on academic performance of students has been an issue of concern to all stakeholders in education. This is evident in the rate of mass failure of students in both internal and external examinations, as revealed by research studies. Despite the Kaduna State government’s effort towards the provision and renovation of infrastructures in secondary schools, students‟ performance in both internal and external examinations such as WAEC and NECO (National Examination Council) Entrance and State Common Entrance Examinations and other entrance examinations into higher institution is still very low and below expectation. Several research studies have identified other factors such as school climate, instructional materials, discipline, teacher’s qualification, class size and over population of students in classroom as being responsible for poor academic achievement of students (Ada, 2015).
Dun (2018) put that the researcher has observed with dismay that the school environment in the study area is poor. Infrastructural facilities are in dilapidated conditions, lack of trained teachers and other facilities that promote teaching and learning are also in short fall which may tend to influence students’ academic performance in schools. School buildings and environment is one of the school facilities that influence academic performance of students. The designs of classroom and its lighting also determine if students will perform well or not. Dunn (2018) said that students perform well than in a dark. Without light it is obvious that students may develop bad sight.
Meanwhile, Location/setting of school is one of the environmental factors that influence the academic performance of secondary school student. Onukwo (2017) in his note recorded that conducive environment enhances a child’s growth and development. The high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. Motivational and emotional supports are also other factors that influence academic performance of students (Franser 2017). The absence of these hampers the student’s intellectual development considerably as such treatments invariably result in negative self-concept. Also culture influences student’s academic performance. The cultural environment influences aspiration because culturally based explanations of behaviour tend to focus on the moral codes that operate within particular families, communities or groups. As culture has to do with beliefs values, norms and socializations, research evidence have shown that the environment whether urban or rural industrial also contributes to what a student learns and how it is being learned.
Davis, (2018), notably put that studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with student- lecturer ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with student health problems, student behavior, and student achievement (Davis, 2018 & Tanner, 2015 and the researcher was prompted based on the above assertions to ascertain the importance of environment on the academic performance of the students.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are:
- To examine the relationship between school environment and students’ academic performance
- To examine the impact of school facilities on the academic performance of students in the Kaduna Polytechnic.
- To explore factors perceived to inhibit students learning in the academic process of students in Kaduna Polytechnic
- To investigate the extent to which school location affects the academic achievement of students in Kaduna Polytechnic.
- To identify whether school environment motivate students to attend school.
1.4 Research Question
To achieve the objectives of this study, the following questions were raised.
- What is the relationship between school environment and students’ academic performance?
- What are the impacts of school facilities on the academic performance of students in the Kaduna Polytechnic?
- What are the factors perceived to inhibit students learning in the academic process of students in Kaduna polytechnic?
- To what extend does school location affects the academic achievement of students in Kaduna Polytechnic?
- How does school environment motivate students to attend school?
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that this study will provide information for the participants of this study who are respondents, parents, teachers, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school, which may consequently lead to enhancing students’ educational outcomes in Kaduna Polytechnic.
Communities where this study was conducted shall benefit from this study in the area of suggesting and developing conducive environments for the educational development of the communities to support quality education delivery for the community and the state at large.
In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in some academic institutions, it shares quite a lot of similarities with many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for the government and educational bodies to device best means and ways of developing the educational sector in the state and beyond.
The findings of this study shall be of benefits to researchers who are in the field searching for information as regards to how environment affects educational achievements of students in Kaduna state environment and shall add to existing knowledge for researcher who might use this study for reference purpose.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work focuses on the influence of environment on academic performance of students in Kaduna Polytechnic in some selected schools in Kaduna State. The findings of the study shall be based on the responses gotten from the residents of Kaduna Polytechnic and limited to the respondents in the area alone.
1.7 Definition of Keys Terms
Academic Achievement: this is the measure of knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects by test scores.
School: A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers.
School Environment: A school’s environment includes the school building and the community that host the institution.