SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BASIC SCIENCE

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
The school is a social and learning agent that provides the environment upon which a child may be formally educated in order to attain educational goals. Human beings, have limited capacity to learn, but may however be limited to the behavior patterns and facilities that the immediate environment offers. According to Umoh (2006), nature only provides the raw materials in form of potentials, but it is the environment that determines the extent of development. In progress to the danger of low academic performance which had been on the high strain in the Nigerian academic system and cannot be overemphasized as it had eaten deep into the quality of students and eventual leaders produced into the Nigerian economy. It could be deduced that there exist a vacuum in the quality of students produced and the required quality of individual for various institutional need of the country.
In accessing the cause of the level of student academic performance, the researcher consider some variables of the school as those instruments that could tailor the level of student academic performance. The school variable, which include the school ownership, school type, and School location is deem fit to affect Students academic achievement. Hence, the school variables remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance Students academic performance. The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the Government, parents, teachers and even Students 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 variables. It is believed that the school physical features have a form of relationship with the student’s academic performance in terms of the ownership, location and type. A school with a highly populated students may result in the teachers not been able to monitor the performance of the students and thus reducing the student’s academic performance and also, research has postulated a form of severe relationship between the ownership of school and the students academic performance say public school and private school. Also, the location and availability of educational resources at the disposal of the students in terms of school variable affect their level of academic performance.
Most excelling students tends to emerge from private schools in the modern academic dispensation with the paradox of whose teachers emerging from the public school in the old academic dispensation in Nigeria. To complement these studies, the present research will examine the aforementioned areas of school variables as it affect Students performance in Nigerian schools. Most Student in their quest for easy subjects combination in school and choosing of a career path in the senior secondary School tend to avoid any calculation inclusive subjects: as Mathematics and also abhor Financial Accounting. And for the few focused Students who decided to study Financially Accounting do find some limiting factors in pursuit of academic excellence on the subject and thus affecting their academic performance in the subject and to which school variable are school type, ownership and location.
The term “academic performance” has been described as the scholastic standing of a student at a given moment. It refers to how an individual is able to demonstrate his or her intellectual abilities. This scholastic standing could be explained as the grades obtained in a course or groups of courses taken. Thus, in predicting academic performance, Daniel and Schouten (1970) emphasized the use of grades in examinations and reported that grades could serve as prediction measures and as criterion measures.
School environmental variables that affect teaching and learning include the following: science laboratories, library facilities, adequate classroom facilities, workshop facilities, School buildings and structures, playgrounds to mention but a few. Teachers and other personnel to manage and service the physical facilities are the teaching, non-teaching and the administrative staff of the school. The availability of those resources and facilities in a given School environment influence the teaching, learning and the performance of both the teachers and the students. Basic Science requires a lot of practical activities involving demonstrations and projects to enable learners develop basic science attitudes and skills. A few secondary Schools have adequate school environment, but many other schools do not have conclusive learning environment. This accounts for the poor performance of students in practical examinations in Basic Science. Most urban schools and private secondary Schools do not have laboratory facilities. They rely on classroom instructions. They perform well in theoretical examinations. This situation has remained like this over the years, it is seen as ignorance on the part of school administrations (government and private agencies) with respect to the relationship between Students academic performance and adequate learning environment. It was against the background that, this study was considered necessary to assess the relationship between Students academic performance and adequate learning environment in order to recommend the implications of appropriate quarters.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Academic Performance, which is measured by the examination results, is one of the major goals of a school. Hoyle(1986) argued that Schools are established with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills to those who go through them and behind all this is the idea of enhancing good academic performance. The poor academic performance of students in Basic Science had in the past been a cause for concern for academic and school operators and such variables that could tend to influence the student performance. Therefore, it’s pertinent to investigate the composition of school variables and their effect on Student academic performance in Basic Science. Much as the situation described here causes concern, it is not yet known why some students fail to attain the standards expected of them. The researcher would therefore like to establish the influence of school variables such as School ownership School type, and location on Students academic performance in Basic Science.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of school environment variables on Students academic performance in Basic Science. Specifically, the study seeks to find out the extent to which;

School ownership influences academic performance of students.

School type (co-educational/single) influences academic performance of students.

School location influences academic performance of students.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions guided this study.
What difference exists on the academic performance of Basic Science Students in Public owned and Private owned schools?
What difference exist on the academic performance of Basic Science Students in Coeducational and single sex schools?
What difference exist on the academic performance of Basic Science Students in Urban and Rural schools?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses guided this study.
Ho1 there is no significant difference in the academic performance of Basic Science Students in Public owned and Private owned schools.

SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BASIC SCIENCE