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ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AS DETERMINANT OF STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

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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

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