Environmental Influence on Academic Performance of Student in Secondary School in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

The issue of poor academic performance of students in secondary school in Ebonyi state and Ohaukwu Local Government Area in particular has been of much concern to the Government, parents, teachers and even students 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 environments that surrounds the students (Acker, 2010). Environments is anything that surrounds man which influences man’s thinking and ideas positively. The environment of man could be social , economics, political, cultural and physical (DuBey in Ndan, 2000). Social environment refers to people in our society and their relationship with each other, how man interact, provide his needs and solve his problems while physical environment refers to physical things that surrounds man such as buildings, atmosphere, plants, mountains, and among others that influence his behavior positively or negatively (Odedele and Egotanwu, 2006). The environment is the immediate surrounding in which the pupils find themselves. It is also referred to as the physical and psychological condition that affects children (Ogbe mudia and Aiasa, 2013). The parents or guardian of the students are responsible for providing the right home environment that will facilitate effective learning for the wards.

Acker (2010) asserts that environments are very important factor in the education of child, because the right to proper and quality of education lies solely on the environments in which the child is brought up Similarly, Orlu (2013) adds that environments play major role in the life of every individual whether a student, teachers, employer or employee. He further identify some un-healthy parties in our schools have no light, sick buildings and no ventilation, under these conditions the health of students and teachers may be adversely affected, which will in turn reflect on students performance. Therefore, for the students to carry their learning effectively and efficiently, it is necessary that learning takes place in conducive environment enhance a child’s growth and development. More so, Onukwo (2004) in his note says that a conducive environment enhances a child’s growth and development. Children feel happy in a peaceful and friendly environment where as schools sited in noisy urban streets are associated with deficits in mental concentration leading to students’ poor performance. Noise produces influence on children’s information processing strategies, feedings of personal control as will as their level of arousal

Studies have shown that environmental factors to a large extent affect both the physical and psychological potentials of an individual. Ths has led to the contention that many students fail to develop their potentials due to inadequate environmental stimulation. However, there are some environmental factors which have contributed to this poor performance of students which are family environment, school physical environment social environment and psychological environment. The family background of the students include all the human and material resources present at the home that affects the students education and living, such as the parents level of education, their occupation, socio-economic status and socializing facilities available in the home.

Thus, the home is the basic institution for providing the child’s primary socialization and laying the educational foundation for the child upon which the other agents of socialization are built (Adesehinwa 2013). More succinctly, what the child learns at home and how his/her family motivate him or her towards education contributes to the child’s success or failure at school. Reacting to this, Achieng (2013) Observes that the family, being a powerful influence on the child and importance as a primary agent of socialization could in no doubt enhance or hinder the academic achievement of the child depending on the social climate in the family. Variance in psycho-social emotional fortification in the family background could be an indicator to high or low academic performance of the student, bearing in mind the intervening effect of high and low socio-economic status and emotional stability of students which is a pre-requisite to academic achievement. This is because psychological problems are potitential sources of trouble of learning.

Adebule (2004) notes that social environment of a child like culture affects the child cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of his intellectual ability. The cultural environment influences aspiration because culturally based explanations of behavior tend to focus on the moral codes that operate within particular families, comities or groups. As culture has to do with beliefs, values, norms and socializations, research evidence have shown that the environment whether urban or rural industrial also contributes to what a child learns and how it is being learned. The school physical environments have variety of effects on teachers, students, and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high level of carbon dioxide in class rooms, and in consistent temperatures makes teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance an ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teacher, which leads to poor performance and higher absenter rates (Bouote 2011). These factors can adversely affect student behaviors, and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among students. The reason for this, is not far fetched, it is because conducive environment enhances a child’s growth and development. But schools sited near quarry industries or at the heart of city like Abakaliki city are always noisy and leads to deficits in mental concentration of student in such schools. In view of the foregoing observation and discussion, the researcher got motivated to find out environmental factors that affect the academic performance of secondary schools students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Statement of the Problem

Emphasizing the importance of environment to student’s academic performance, Onukwo (2004) asserted that conducive environment enhances a child’s growth and development. Children feel happy in a peaceful and friendly environment whereas schools sited in noise urban streets are associated with deficits in mental concentration leading to students’ poor performance. Orlu (2013) noted some unhealthy practices in our schools that affect the student’s academic performance might include site of schools, inadequate facilities and poor ventilation. He further contends that most of our schools have no light, sick buildings and no ventilation under these conditions the health of students and teachers may be adversely affected which will in turn reflect on students’ performance. Therefore, for the students to carry his learning effectively and efficiently, it is necessary that learning takes place in conducive environment.

Studies have shown that environmental factors to large extent affect both the physical and psychological potentials of an individuals. This has led to the contention that many students fail to develop their potentials due to inadequate environmental stimulation. However, there are some environmental factors which might have contributed to this poor performance of students which are family environment, school physical environment. The high levels of student’s academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space, such as classroom, libraries, stick buildings technical workshops and laboratories are structionally defective. In view of the foregoing, the problem to be addressed in this study is what is the influence of environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi state?

Purpose of the Study

       The main purpose of this study is to determine the influence of environment on the academic performance of secondary students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study sought to:

(1) Determine the influence of family environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area

(2) Determine the influence of school physical environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

(3) Determine the influence of social environment on the academic performance of secondary school students on Ohaukwu Local Government Area.

(4) Ascertain the influence of psychological environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be useful to the curriculum planners, government, teachers and students.

The findings of this study will help curriculum planners to ensure that the curriculum of the school subject contains learning experiences that are within the everyday experiences of the students.

The curriculum planners will also benefit from the findings because it will provide information on the areas of the subject that need review and will also alert them on the importance of providing conducive environment for the teaching and learning to ensure proper students’ academic performance.

The findings of this study will enable the relevant government authorities under the Ministry of Education to understand the relevance of environment in teaching and learning processes and equally make fund available for the provision of adequate facilities, electricity and ventilated buildings that will help to enhance students performances both in internal and external examinations.

The findings of the study will reveal some of the bottlenecks that constitute a log on the wheel of teacher’s effectiveness with a view to addressing them through parent teachers Association (PTA). This study will equally afford teachers the opportunity to express their views on issues that affect their professional growth in the school and by so doing; teachers will teach with confidence and they will place the school system, in a better pedestrian.

The findings of this study will be significant to students because improvement in the provision of conducive environment will in turn improve students learning. That’s to say that the result of this study will enable student’s benefits from improved learning which will enable them to function effectively in the society.

Scope of the Study

The study investigated into the influence of environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

The study is designed to focus mainly on the influence of family environment, school physical environment, social environment on the academic performance of secondary school environment and psychological environment.

Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.

(1) What influence does family environment have on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area?

(2) What is the influence of school physical environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area?

(3) How does social environment influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area?

(4) How does psychological environment influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Ohaukwu Local Government Area?

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