ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to investigate School Environment And Pupils’ Academic Performance In Social Studies in Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The population of the study consisted all the Primary five (5) pupils in all Public Primary Schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area, Numbering Two thousand, eight hundred and seventy four (2,874). One hundred and twenty (120) pupils were drawn from six (6) out of the eleven (11) primary schools to form a sample size through a simple random sampling technique. A descriptive research design was used. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The instrument used was “Pupil’s Achievement Test (PAT)”.
The data collected was analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC).The findings revealed that, pupils in urban areas performed significantly better than those in rural areas, the schools with small class size has significant relationship on academic performance of pupils in social studies than those with large class size, it also, signifies that the performance of pupils in public schools performed more significantly better than their counterpart in private schools where laboratory work promotes long term memory. It was recommended that, adequate incentives be provided to rural teachers to encourage them put in their best in their work it was also recommended that Government should bridge the gap between the rural and urban school locations by providing the rural dwellers the social amenities which will enhance better academic performances of pupils and facilitate productivity for good.
School Environment And Pupils’ Academic Performance In Social Studies
1.1 Background to the Study
The school environment, which include the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc are variables that affect pupils’ academic performance Ajayi (2009). School environment include the school building and the surrounding such as noise, temperature and lighting as well as physical, Biological or chemical agent Chiu(2012)
School environment can be seen to include material and human resources a learning place which consist of the entire interaction. The learning environment and appropriate place where teaching and learning take place. The school environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance pupils’ academic performance. The issue of poor academic performance of pupils in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parent, teachers, and even pupils 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 (Ajao 20013), School environment which include instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning, the teachers as well as the pupils themselves are essential in teaching-learning process. The extent to which pupil learning could be enhanced depends on their location within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the pupils.
Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Williams, Persaud, and Turner (2008), quoting Marsden (2005), which reported that safe and orderly classroom environment (aspect of instructional space), School facilities (accessories) were significantly related to students’ academic performance in schools. The three researchers, also quoted Glassman (2008), asserting that a comfortable and caring environment among other treatments helped to contribute to pupils ` academic performance.
School environment is the thread that connects the multitude of activities on the school. In many respects, this thread is almost invisible, yet everyone experiences its influence. Dudek (2011) opined that it could be said to be the external influences in the school that can influence academic performance of pupils irrespective of their intelligent quotient.
School environment can also be considered as the second teacher since space has the power to organize and promote pleasant relationships between people of different ages, to provide changes, to promote choices and activities and for its potential for sparking different types of social and affective learning (Okeke 2007). It has been generally accepted that environment and heredity can hardly be separated from education in influencing achievement, hence a child’s life and ability is influenced by nature and nurture. Heredity provides the natural disposition while a healthy environment makes available a window of opportunities to the learner (Ohuche 2010).
The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, pupils, students, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among pupils as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2009 Lyons, 2010; and Ostendorf, 2011). These factors can adversely affect pupils’ behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among pupil.
It is obvious that the state of infrastructures in the rural areas is nothing to write home about taking into consideration the state of decay and dilapidation coupled with the low socio- economic status of the rural areas. The absence of pipe-born water, electricity, good roads networks, and health care services in the rural areas has affected the teaching- learning process negatively leading to low academic standard. Also, there is low number of qualified teachers as most teachers resent their posting to schools in the rural areas. Schools which are located in the urban areas where there are basic amenities which make life more comfortable have gained more attention by not only the teachers but also the learners.
Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on pupils’ ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities, which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by pupils 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 pupils.
Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with pupil-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms, and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with children (pupils) health problems, pupils behavior, and student performances (Crandell & Smaldino, 2000; Davis, 2001; Johnson, 2001; Lyons, 2001). To complement these studies, the present research will examine the aforementioned areas of school environment as it affect pupils academic performance in Social Studies in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
School Environment And Pupils’ Academic Performance In Social Studies
1.2 Statement of the problem
The problem under study has to do with an unsatisfactory condition of the educational system being operated in Nigeria. The establishment of government schools/community schools has resulted in a situation where by some school were favoured in terms of the provision of rich environment than others. It has been very difficult if not impossible for government to standardize the school environment. Thus, the environment varies from school to school. Some schools have adequate school buildings, good library and suitable textbooks, good administrative management, professionally qualified teachers, good laboratory equipments as well as good location.
While in some schools little or none of these exist. It is because of this that Chike-Okoli (2007) in line with Ikediashi (2009) have pointed out that poor teaching experience, inadequate or poor physical infrastructure, unsatisfactory building design are likely to cause some physical discomfort for the pupils and are therefore bound to influence their academic performance . The problem of this study put in a question form is: What is the influence of school environment and pupils’ academic performance in social studies in Ukanafun Local Government Area.