Abstract: The study investigated Environmental Facilities and Basic Science Teaching in Junior Secondary Schools. Three research questions were stated in line with the objectives of the study. A survey research design was employed in the study. The population of this study consisted of all the 16 Basic Science teachers in all public secondary schools in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The sample size of sixteen (16) Basic Science teachers in eight (8) public secondary schools in Itu Local Government Area was selected using purposive sampling technique. The instrument for data collection was a fifteen-item questionnaire entitled “Environmental Facilities and Teaching Questionnaire (EFTQ)” drawn from the variables of the study.
The data collected were analyzed using simple percentage statistical technique and tested at 0.05 levels of significance. Findings showed that the availability and utilization of laboratory, library and classroom facilities to a very high extent influence the teaching of Basic Science in secondary schools Itu Local Government Area. Based on the finding, it was recommended that adequate library, laboratory and classroom facilities should be provided in the school by the government in order to promote creativity, innovation and learning by doing in basic science.
Environmental Facilities and Basic Science Teaching in Junior Secondary Schools
1.1 Background to the Study
Formal education is an essential component of human development as it plays an important role in economic growth and development of a country. The school is an institution where children receive formal education and the school can only carry out such function when the environment of the school is made conducive for such role. This is due to the fact that, there is a sonic interplay between the teaching process and the teaching environment. Therefore, factors within the environment should be put together to ensure effective teaching among the teachers in any given subject.
The environment is the total surrounding of the teachers and learners which encompasses the school, home, peers, and teachers among others. However, there are several facilities within this environment which the teachers come in contact with during the process of teaching and these facilities may influence the teachers either positively or negatively depending on the relationship of the child with these facilities. Therefore, environmental facilities encompass those immovable facilities and materials found in the immediate environment of the child which are used in the teaching/teaching process. These environmental facilities ranges from school environmental facilities, home environmental facilities, church environmental facilities, public environmental facilities among others.
Furthermore, the school environmental facilities include laboratory facilities, library facilities, classroom facilities, hostel facilities for those in the boarding schools among others which are needed within the school environment. Others are staff offices, instructional facilities and these facilities in some schools are observed to be lacking while in some schools they are dilapidated and need to be renovated by the government. There seems to be insufficient school facilities and this may hinder the teachers’ teaching effectiveness
Furthermore, Ajayi (2011) posited that environmental facilities refer to facilities within the reach of teacher and the learners which may influence the teaching-learning process. To Ajayi, the teacher’s role is mainly the transfer of required teaching traits to the learners in the school which these facilities within the school environment may influence the teaching of the sciences. The school environmental facilities (like classroom facilities, library facilities, school garden, aquarium and the laboratory facilities) are those factors within the school environment which may influence the teaching effectiveness of teachers especially in secondary schools (Johnson, 2013). Conversely, from the above assertions, it therefore seems that these facilities in the school environment could significantly influence the effective teaching of Basic Science in secondary schools.
Besides, the facilities in the classrooms, poor maintenance and ineffective utilization of these facilities lead to poor teaching and learners among the teachers and students respectively. It can also lead to lack of interest and poor motivation among the teachers in the teaching process. In line with this, Usen (2011), asserted that the environment which the teaching takes place has contributed to the ineffectiveness in the teaching of science in secondary schools in Akwa Ibom state. He added that there should be an improvement in the construction, provision and siting of schools facilities. The environment where some schools are sited are very uninviting especially, schools in rural areas where there are few businesses and automobiles in the environment.
The author went further to say that the facilities in the rural areas are not enough and the few available ones are dilapidated compared to some schools in the urban areas which are built in highly busy environment where there are several facilities that encourage the teachers to teach and the students to learn.
Also, some of the schools have no recognized library for the teachers to go and read thereby putting more work on the teachers during lesson planning and delivery. Similarly, Ekong (2014) complained that there is no science laboratory facilities and equipment in many secondary schools thereby limiting the study of sciences to theoretical discussion and teachers resorting to rote teaching. Moreover, the other environmental conditions such as class size which is the number of students in the class influence the teaching effectiveness of the teachers in secondary schools. This therefore formed the background to the present study on environmental facilities and Basic science teaching in secondary schools in Itu local government area with the aim of complimenting the studies of other researchers.
Environmental Facilities and Basic Science Teaching in Junior Secondary Schools
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The growth of any nation does not only depend on her national resources, but also to a large extent, on the availability of competent personnel to explore the resources in the right kind of training opportunities, which in turn, depend on the educational system of the nation. The junior secondary schools curriculum has been sent to schools and attempts have been made to implement it. The school is where teaching and learning takes place therefore, the environment should be conducive enough for effective teaching to occur.
Effective teaching constitutes the interaction between the teacher, learners and the facilities. However, it is known fact that the insufficiency in the number of facilities and materials within the school lead to total verbalization in the teaching of science in secondary schools. Environmental facilities within the school such as laboratory facilities, library facilities, and playground and school garden supposed to be made available and adequate for teachers to use in the teaching of Basic Science concepts.
Unfortunately, cases in our schools in Itu Local Government Area had been in the reverse direction. The case of lack of laboratory facilities and library facilities, science play materials for the number of teachers in the schools to make use of in the teaching/teaching process. These cases had brought serious problems on the educational systems which are identified in the study:
(i) In-effective instructional process, poor teaching/teaching.
(ii) There are also discipline problems in the class due to lack of class activities which facilities would have been used.
(iii) Complicated learner’s evaluation procedures.
(iv) Unsafe and un-conducive classroom environment due to lack of facilities.
The above mention problems had raised concern in the researcher to examine the influence of environmental facilities especially school environmental facilities on the teaching of Basic Science in secondary schools in Itu Local Government Area.