1.1 Background to the study
Education is one of the leading instruments for promoting economic development as it encompasses some processes individuals go through to help them develop and utilize their potentials. Further Okeke (2007) points out that, through education, individuals acquire knowledge, skills and attitude that are necessary for effective living. According to Onsonu et al (2006), central to the educational process is secondary education which provides a vital link between basic education and the world of work on one hand and further training on the other. Usman (2007) noted that central to the education process are educational resources which play an important role in the achievement of education objectives and goals by enhancing effective teaching and learning. According to Adeogun and Osifila (2008) physical resources include laboratories, libraries, classrooms and a host of other physical infrastructure while material resources include textbooks, charts, maps among others.
Akisanya (2010) commenting on educational resources says they are important because the goal of any school depends on adequate supply and utilization of physical and material resources among others as they enhance proper teaching and learning the reason why this study is important. A study by Altbach (2016) noted that nothing has ever replaced the printed word as the key element in the educational process and as a result textbooks are central to schooling at all levels.
Availability of Laboratory Facilities for Teaching and Learning
According to Owoeye and Yala (2010), in some instances textbooks provide the only source of information for students as well as the course of studies for the subjects Squire (1991) writing on teachers reliance on textbooks stated that those seeking to improve the quality of education in instructional materials would inevitably lead to changes in actual teaching. While the selection of a textbook has been judged to be of vital importance to academic achievement, it is sad to say that relevant books are not available for teaching and learning activities. According to Odulaja and Ogunwemimo (1989), lack of textbooks could be identified with high cost. Since the educational process functions in a world of books according to Owoeye and Yala (2010), the chief purpose of a school library is to make available to the pupil at his or her easy convenience all books, periodicals and other reproduced materials which are of interest and value which are not provided as basic or supplementary textbooks. They further noted that as a resource the library occupies a central and primary place in any school system as it supports all functions of the school.
According to Fowowe (2012) a library must be up to date and at the same time allow access to older materials. Farombi (2010) argued the saying that seeing is believing as the effect of using laboratories in teaching and learning of sciences and other science related disciplines as students tend to understand and recall what they see than what they hear or were told .The laboratory is essential to the teaching of sciences and the success of any science course is much dependent on the laboratory provision made for it. Affirming this Ogunniyi (2013) said that there is a general consensus among science educators that the laboratory occupies a central position in science instruction.
However, many studies have established that physical and material resources in secondary schools are inadequate in the world all over. For example World Bank (2018) in a study on textbooks and school library provision in secondary education in Sub-Sahara Africa revealed that textbooks and libraries were not only inadequate but unevenly distributed among rural and urban schools in the area of study. Similarly Asiabaka (2018) on effective management of schools in Nigeria noted that the government’s failure to establish policy directive on minimum standards in relation to schools facilities has led to disparities in acquisition. This is because while some have well equipped laboratories, libraries and other facilities for effective teaching and learning others have none and where they exist, such facilities are poorly equipped.
On the same vein Olaniyan and Ojo (2018) also noted that lack of textbooks and training manuals was one of the challenges facing successful implementation of introductory technology in Nigerian secondary schools. This is supported by Chiriswa (2012) who noted that effective teaching and learning depends on the availability of suitable adequate resources such as books, laboratories, library materials and host of other visual and audio teaching aids which enhance good performance in national examination.
The science laboratory has a direct effect on both students’ attitudes and academic performance as per the instructional theory of learning interaction. It is generally believed that constant practice leads to proficiency in what the learner learns during classroom instruction; hence, “practice makes perfect” (Hager, 1974). The quality of teaching and learning experience depends on the extent of the adequacy of laboratory facilities in secondary schools and the teacher’s effectiveness in the use of laboratory facilities with the aim of facilitating and providing meaningful learning experiences in the learners.
Investigating the relationship between adequacy and academic performance in chemistry, Akpan (2006) examined the adequacy of laboratory facilities using frequency counts and percentages. Lagoke (2007) examined the adequate use of laboratory facilities during science instruction helps to develop values that aid the learners in decision-making. Okeke (2005) study also examined the adequacy of laboratory facilities and academic performance in basic sciences. This study revealed that the adequacy of laboratory facilities had no significant relationship with students’ academic performance in basic science.
Availability of Laboratory Facilities for Teaching and Learning
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The benefits derivable from laboratory in schools are enough reasons to provide facilities for effective teaching and learning. The effective utilization of laboratory facilities in teaching and learning depends on the availability of these facilities and teachers competence in using them.
This to an extent has hampered teaching and learning process in secondary schools. Observation from the researcher’s perspectives shows that teachers can make use of laboratory facilities in teaching in schools if available but due to lack of laboratory resources; its utilization is being confronted with so much challenges. Secondary school curriculum have not fully embraced the use of computer in teaching and learning; this is as a result of the prevailing challenges like non-availability of information and communication technology resources and if available non utilization of it.
However, it is quite uncertain whether secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area have the computer laboratory facilities and also utilizing the available facilities effectively to enhance the capacity of students through teaching and learning. These observations made by the researcher gave rise to the study on availability of laboratory facilities for teaching and learning in senior secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.