Effect of School Environment on Academic Performance of Pre-School Pupils in Some Selected Schools in Shomolu Local Government, Lagos State.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to examine effect of school environment on academic performance of pre school. Basically the study will look into:
- The relationship between learning environment and children in pre-school’ academic performance.
- Determine the extent the library services affects academic achievement of students of children in pre-school’ academic performance.
- Find out the extent school location affect academic achievement of children in pre-school’ academic performance.
- Ascertain the extents the school facilities affect pupil’s academic achievement in pre-school.
Concept of environment
An environment is the natural surrounding of an organism and it can be land, air or water (Asogwa 2008). According to Onyehalu in Okeke (2001), environment is of three parts namely: physical, social and abstract. Physical environment is objects or materials found in the home, school or community. It also includes people like parents, peers and children. The social environment is the social life, societies, clubs among others. While abstract environment is the reactions, feedbacks responses received on interaction with others. Environment is the physical world inhabited by man, or the realm of nature untainted by man (human action), or the cultural milieu – the physical environment as modified by human action, (Ofomata 2004). It could also be seen as things, around the child that he might perceive or that might have some effect on him. It can be view as all system of air, land, water and life that surround man. In other words environment is the sum total of all the external conditions which may act upon an organism or community to influence its development or existence. For example the surrounding air, light, moisture, temperature, wind, soil and other organisms. As for Monkhouse, in Ofomata (2004), it is the whole sum of the surrounding external conditions within which an organism, a community or an object exists.
Concept of school environment
School environment consist of both material and non-material resources in the school. It includes the teachers, peers, cohesiveness, the subjects, method of teaching. A healthy and attractive school environment makes for conducive learning and promotes students pride in their schools and their interest to stay in school (Mgbodile 2004). Belanger (1996) writing on the importance of learning environment stated that people’s educational life histories are influenced not only by provision of learning opportunities, but also by the quality of the environment where they live or learn. Continuing he stated that learning is more than education provision and that the community in which learners live have a profound impact on their aspiration to learn, their curiosity and their desire to develop their own competency. Graff (1987) in Nwizu (2003) warned that the environment in which the learner acquires knowledge has a great influence on the cognitive achievement of the learner. It has also been generally agreed that the quality of learning is markedly influenced by environmental and organizational factors. Okafor (1992), opined that learning is an intimate transaction between the learner and his environment. This transaction takes place in a specific context. The child learning in a conducive environment transcends the school parameter. It encompasses the entire community and nation. 18 School environments – wall, ground, lights, and mechanical system can serve as active contributors to the students’ learning process. (Keep, 2002). He says that learning opportunities can be integrated into the structure of the school making it an active space rather than passive spaces, housing a disarray of things. Clark (2002) citing Bruner (1966) on the importance of learning environment strongly stated that: Growth depends upon internalizing events into a storage system” that corresponds to the environment, it is this system that makes possible the child’s increasing ability to go beyond the information encounter on a single occasion. He does this by making predictions and extrapolations from his stored model of the world. (P. 45) Quisenberry, Eddowesi and Robinson (1991), for individuals to be self-motivating and self imitating, the environment or the setting must be amenable and responsive to human interaction. If the settings do not allow for permeability and malleability, then individual initiative in the learning process is stifled. As Piaget (1964) sited by Okeke (2001) defined intelligence as an accumulation of knowledge which is as a result of the child’s exploration of, and experimentation with the environment and his ability to assimilate and accommodate the environment. He continue by saying that active interaction with the environment is regarded as the most basic requirement for proper 19 intellectual development. Omengboji (2005) emphasized that material environment is a major determinant of goal attainment in school.
This chapter presents the procedure to be used in this study under following the sub-headings: research design, area of the study, population of the study, sample and sampling techniques, instrument for data collection, validation of the instrument, reliability of the instrument, method of data collection and method of data analysis.
The design for this study is descriptive survey. It is to provide the opinion of the respondents on effect of school environment on academic performance of pre school pupil. Nworgu (2006) defines descriptive survey design as those studies that aim at collecting data and describing them in a systematic way, the features of a given population. The design is considered appropriate because it will enable the researcher to identify the characteristic of the population objectively.
Area of the study
This study was carried out in Shomolu, also spelled “Somolu” town, is a residential suburb located in the north of Lagos state in southwestern parts of Nigeria. The town is plagued by problems of overcrowding, poor housing, and inadequate sanitation. Its local activities include work in leather, handicrafts, and printing. The population of the LGA according to the 2006 census is 402,673 persons. However, Shomolu local government area was formerly known as Mushin East local government. The present Somolu Local Government comprises areas like Community Road, Akoka, areas east of Ikorodu road up to Anthony Oke side interchange, including Somolu, Bashua, Bariga, some parts of Akoka, Igari, Obanikoro, Pedro village, Abule Okuta, Seriki village, Apelehin, Ilaje. Shomolu Local Government is essentially inhabited by the Yorubas’, prominent among them are the Ijebus’, Egbas’, Aworis’, and Ilajes’. Other Yoruba ethnic groups such as Oyo, Osun, and Ekiti are represented in the area. However, other ethnic groups from the East and Northern parts of the country are equally large in number in the Local Government Area. Oshomulo is chosen for the study because it has a lot of pre schools.
Population for the study
The population for the study comprised 287 headmasters and headmistresses and 6438 teachers across Oshomulo local government of Lagos state. Source (PPSMB 2010)
This chapter presents the analysis and results of data collected. The presentation is based on the four research questions and two null hypotheses postulated to guide the study.
Research question one: To what extent do learning environment relate to children in pre-school academic performance?
Discussion of Results
This chapter presents the results of the study based on the data analysis made in chapter four. The results are examined, interpreted and inferences made. The discussion focused on the research questions and the hypotheses postulated to guide the study. Other areas covered in the discussion include findings, conclusion, and implications of the study, recommendation and suggestions.
Extent school buildings affect academic performance of pupil
The result of this research question revealed that the respondents agreed that offices for the teachers, enough reading rooms for students, more classroom accommodations as well as staff common room are the major areas that affect pupils’ academic performance in the school with regard to buildings. The identified areas above ranked high in the opinion of the respondents. The above views are in agreement with the view of Okafor (2003), Lew (2000), and Akpa et al (2005) that school buildings, classroom accommodation for teaching and learning, promote the academic achievement of pupil in the school. The result also indicated that adequate examination hall in the school affects the pupil academic performance.
The finding above underscores the importance of the provision of staff offices, adequate classroom accommodation as well as reading spaces in the school, so as to enhance pupils’ academic performance. This will also promote effective teaching and leaning as teachers’ performance will also be enhanced.
Extent library services affect academic performance of pupil of preschool.
The result of this research questions identified provision of seat for use in the library, enough current reading materials, as well as books for lending as the major areas of the library services that to a great extent affect the academic achievement of students. It was the opinion of the principals and teachers that the above areas be given adequate attention for increased students’ academic performances in the schools. The two groups also agreed that there is the need for the physical presence of trained library assistants in the school, to help guide and direct the students in the libraries. The issue of current books and provision of seats in the library ranked very high in the opinions of the respondents. The above findings are in line with the opinion of Keith (2000), Aguolu (2002) and Mazi (2006) that the provision of enough reading materials in the school library with good seats and tables help to improve the quality of the academic achievement of students in the school. This is also in line with the library research service (2002) that a number of books in the library are nothing if the books are outdated or not current in the fields. The researcher is therefore of the opinion that such identified areas above be addressed by the relevant stakeholders to improve library services in the school.
Extent school location affects academic performance of the pupil
The findings from this research question revealed that nearness to home, lack of facilities, and inadequate fund to procure books for the school to great extent affect academic achievement of students in the schools. However, in the opinion of the respondents, limited access to reading materials, and teachers inability to have access to current material for teaching, as well as insufficient qualified teachers ranked very high as the major areas affecting academic achievement of the students in schools. This agrees with the opinion of Okonkwo (1997) Akabogu (2001) and Bello (2008) that school location influences the academic achievement of the students. This however, differs with the findings of Okonkwo (1997) that school location has more effects on the academic performance of the students in the rural areas. The result also is in line with the view of Akabogu that school location has significant influence in the academic achievement of the students. The researcher supports the view that students are to be made to attend schools that are located very close to their places of residence. Hence, there is the need to ensure that students are given access to admission to schools based on nearness to their places of residence. This will not only promote student participation in the school activities but reduce cost of transportation to parents.
From the result obtained and the investigation into the effect of school environment on academic performance of preschool pupil, the researcher came up with the following conclusion:-
Inadequate offices for staff, classroom accommodation for teaching students as well as common room for teachers to a great extent affect the academic performance of pupil with regard to building in the schools.
The findings also identified seats/desks, current reading material, current books for lending and the presence of library assistants in the schools as critical areas that to a great extent affect the academic pupil of students of schools with regard to library services.
The result indicated that limited access to both the students and teachers to reading material has great the affect academic achievement of students.
Adequate classroom buildings to be provided in the public schools to help promote effective teaching for students improved academic performance. Government and communities to ensure that students have access to the schools nearest to their areas of residence
Efforts should be made by stakeholders to provide schools with functional libraries, well equipped with current reading reference materials.
Qualified library assistants to be posted to schools to aid the students on the proper use of the library service
Enough security to be provided through fencing of schools to ensure peaceful school academic environment
As may be applicable, schools without power supply to be provided with generating sets to help promotes effective learning in the schools.
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