ABSTRACT: The study on school variables and social skills development of pre-primary school pupils was conducted in Ukanafun Local Government Area. The population for the study consisted of one thousand four hundred and twenty-five (1,425). Simple random sampling technique was used to select two hundred (200) respondents. Three null hypotheses were formulated in line with the purpose of the study. A structured questionnaire titled “School Variables & Social Skill Development Questionnaire (SVSSDQ) was used as an instrument for data collection. The data collected were analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) statistics. The findings from the study revealed that pupils’ social interaction, availability of play facilities and location of school contributed to pupils’ development of social skills in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area. Based on the results of the statistical analysis, the null hypotheses were rejected. It was therefore recommended among others that pupils should be given opportunity to interact with their peers both in school and at home as this will help in solving educational problems through contribution of ideas. It was then concluded that pupils’ social interaction, availability of play facilities and location of school influence pupils’ development of social skills positively in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
Background to 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 unlimited capacity to learn, but may however be limited by the behaviour 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 School that determines the extent of development. In furtherance to the menace of poor social skill development which had been on the high strain in the Nigerian educational system and cannot be over emphasized as it had eaten deep into the quality of pupils and eventual leaders produced into the Nigerian economy. It could be deduced that there exist a vacuum in the quality of learners produced and the required quality of individual for various institutional need of the country.
In assessing the level of pupil’s social skills development, Inyang (2001) considers some variables of the school that could tailor the level of pupil’s social development. These include; pupil’s social interaction, availability of play facilities, location of the school, school type among others. Hence, these variables remain as important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance pupil’s social development.
Pupils’ interaction with other pupils within the school environment as well as interactions with activities on different forms of mass media has the capacity to exert significant influence on social behaviours of the pupil’s (Azikiwe, 2008). The author noted that the current wave of violent crime and blatant disregard to social values by most youths in our society is evidence of social decay and inadequacies in teaching principles in school. Consequently, there is no gain say in the fact that play facilities are necessary ingredients which can be used in the development of social skills among pupils. It is therefore an indispensable factor in promoting pupils’ social interaction. Hence, for pupils to develop socially, school variables must be thoroughly considered.
Therefore, this research work seeks to determine whether pupil’s social interaction, play facilities and location of the school influence social skills development of pre-primary school pupils in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The issue of anti-social behaviour among various people in our society has attracted serious criticisms by patriotic citizens of our society. The root cause of these vices according to Ukpong (2003) could be traced to lack of respect for elders or constituted authorities.
However, available data has shown that little or no research has been conducted along the line of school variables in relation to social skills development. It is on the expectation that school variables like pupils’ social interaction, play facilities and location of school could exert influence on pupil’s social skills development. It is as a result of the above reasons that the researcher is inspired to undertake a study on school variables and social skills development of pre-primary school pupils in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study was to examine the influence of school variables on social skill development of pre-primary school pupils in Ukanafun Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:
- Examine how pupils’ social interaction in the school affects their social skill development in pre-primary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
- Find out if play facilities in the school influence pupils’ social skill development in pre-primary school in Ukanafun Local Government Area
- Investigate if the location of the school affects social skill development of pre-primary school pupils in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
– The study will reveal if school variables influence social skill development of pre-primary school pupils.
– It will expose the impact of play facilities on the development of social skills among pre-primary school pupils.
– If it is ascertained that the location of the school promotes pupils’ social development, then government will see the need to locate schools in an environment that will enhance social skill development.
– The study will also serve as a reference manual for prospective researchers who may wish to undertake a study on similar or relate issues.