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The thrust of this study focused on finding out the impact of school factors on the academic performance of secondary school students in Social Studies Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. In this study five research questions were formulated to guide the study. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study while a sample size of 200 persons constitutes the respondents. The instrument for data collection which was questionnaire was validated by three experts in the Department of Arts and Social Science, Faculty of Education Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, whose contributions were used to validate and make viable the instrument. The data collected were analyzed using mean (x) while the results of the study depicts that size, structure, type ownership pattern and the location of a school respectively, to a large extent shape the academic performance of students. However, Abrahams Maslow’s theory of needs and the theory of input and output model propounded by Ludwig Van Bertalanffy and Welhrich, gave the study its theoretical base and existence while recommendations capable of cushioning the effect of the study’s  identified problems, were also proffered coupled with the areas for further studies.



1.1       Background to the Study

            Poor academic performance of secondary school students in Nigeria has been of much concern and has constituted worry not only to the governments, parents, and teachers and also to the students themselves. Owing to this, academics and researchers have been conducting various studies to find out the reasons responsible for this menace and some in the process have noted that school factors play integral role in shaping the academic wellbeing of the students.

In effect, school according to Hoyle (1986:12) “Is established with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills to those who go through them and behind all is the idea of enhancing good academic performance which is measured by examination”. School also is a learning and social agent that provides the platform and environment upon which a child maybe formally educated for the realization of educational objectives (Oluwaseun, 2016).

Oluwaseun (2016) further stated that human beings have unlimited capacity to learn but may however be limited by the behavioural pattern and facilities which constitutes the factors offered by the immediate environment such as school. Umoh (2006) pointed out that nature only provides the raw materials for learning in form of potential but the extent of these potential developments is a dependent on the determinant and factors of the environment. In addition, Oredin (2008) while accessing the causes and effect of the level of secondary school students academic performance observed that school factors such as the

School size, school ownership, school types, school structure and school locations to an inestimable extent impacts student’s academic performance explaining that these factors are instrumental to tailoring and shaping the levee of students’ academics performance.

Oredin (2008), further stated that the menace of low academic performance which has been or the high strain in the Nigeria educational system cannot be over emphasized for it has eaten deep into the fabrics of the quality of secondary school students who are not only the potential undergraduates but also eventual leaders produced into Nigeria economy. He maintained that, there exist a vacuum in the quality of secondary school student produced and the quality of individuals for various tertiary institutional need of the country. He however maintained that school factors are essential area that should be consolidated on, studied and well managed to enhance the academic performance of students that fall within the sphere of secondary schools.

Similarly, Ayiogu (2014) stated that a school with highly populated student may result in the teacher’s inability to monitor the student as academic activities and engagement which will resultantly will not only reduce the student academic performance but will also frustrate the environment and atmosphere of learning. Further more, he noted that the location and availability of educational resources at the disposal of the students level of academic performance. Also, Udenta (2016), observed that a great number of schools that belong to government have unfriendly environment for learning and at such affect public school students academic wellbeing  when compared with the academic achievement of their counterpart in private schools.

With regard to how school size as a school factor influence academic performance of secondary school students, Oredin (2008), stated that on its students population and this excess cost to be reinvested in other curriculum activities which will increase the students’ academic gains. He explained that small sized-school tends to have a better per student out come compared to larger schools. Kwesiga (2012), maintained that academic performance of student is indisputably, impacted by the school which they studies. He maintained that the number of facilities a school offers usually determines the quality of the school and the quality of a school has relationship with the student’s academic performance index.

In the same vein, Santamu (2006) opined that school influences educational process in content organization, teachers teaching process in and evaluation of academic performance of students. He asserted that the kin of school in which a student studies greatly influence his education base and academic performance. Crosne and Elder (2005), observed that provision of facilities and availability of resources in school is an important structural and learning component of the school. They pointed out that private schools due to better funding, small size, serious ownership, motivated learning and access to resources such as computers perform better than public schools as regards teaching and learning.

It is in the light of this that made some parent to prefer their children going to private school for proper academic background that will ensure better academic performance and reading activities as most public owned ones lacks the basic facilities and conducive-environment for learning (Adetunji and Odine 2007).

Ezeilo (2010), maintain that the breakdown of public educational sector which reflects the falling standard of education in Nigeria with significant effect on the students’ academic performance paved easy intervention of private schools which serve as a saving grace for the falling standard of education. He argued that most public owned secondary schools cannot compete with their private counterpart in terms of students’ academic performance. In relation to this, Udenta (2016), stated that private school which serve as a correction of public school tends to aid students’ learning and by so doing influence the academic performance of their students. He explained that secondary school ownership structure influences the academic base of students.

However, academic performance is generally a pedagogical terminology used while determining learners success in formic education and is measured through examination results and ratings with numerous school factors and variables such as:

  1. School size: The population of students inherent in a given school at a particular time.
  2. School Type: categorize into single sex school and mixed sex school (co-educational).
  • School Structure: which refers to whether a school operators as a day or boarding school.
  1. School Location: The place where a school is located categorized into urban and rural location
  2. School Ownership Pattern: Which refers to these responsible for the establishment and management or private? All these factors respectively exert influence in determining the student academic performance base.

Ojoawo (1999) pointed out that one of the most potent factor that influence the distribution of educational resources and facilities which enhance academic base of student is the location of the schools. He explained that students of school located in urban areas where there is high population density containing high variety of environmental beautification, common place of view and social amenities perform better academically than those situated in rural areas which is characterized by inadequate provision of social amenities coupled with isolated places of view.

Kuliman in Udenta (2016), stated that teachers do not find it easy to accept posting to secondary school located in rural areas because their conditions are not up to the expected standard as their social lives in the area are virtually restricted due to inadequate social amenities and this impact the academic achievement of students in the area. He maintained that the location of school has bearing on the academic performance of the student.

According to Albati (2009;4), while studying school structure as a factors that determines students academic performance opines that “The academic performance between day and boarding school students are at par, most successful secondary school student are day school” observing that “Boarding school system despite its benefit not only detach the students from their parent but also breed vices in the students character and this hampers parent monitoring and students learning as it engender low academic performance”.


In a detailed analysis of how school type as a school variable impact student academic wellbeing, Mendez (2004), cited in Ali and Eze (2013;23) postulated that “mixed school (co-educational school) is better for both student gender skills that will provide a balanced learning environment for both sexes academic wellbeing”. He contended that “without this collegial relationship between boys and girls form in school they will not develop into men and women who understand and respect one another, and separating them while in secondary school will not only take away that opportunity of learning to get along together but will also deprive the benefit of inter-gender interaction for a successful academic achievement inherent in our gender world”.

Shouka & Karl (1999) and Ezeilo (2000), noted that students academic performance is numerously influenced by different factors such as gender, age learning environment parent and guidance social economics status, residential area of student, medium of instruction in school, tuition trend, daily study, hour, accommodation and quality of teachers. Students’ academic performance is a dependent on the kind of learning environment offered by the school where the students are taught. Also student educational success contingent heavily on social status of students’ parents and guardian in the society. (Minnesota 1997 and Udenta 2016).

Staffolani, Benson and Mart (2002), observed that at the measurement of students educational output are the most important of students’ academic performance indicator and the role of instructional medium and school facilities can never be over emphasized  in the process. They identified student’s effort, parent educational background, self motivation of student, learning preference and family income to also constitute factor shaping student academic performance.

Minnesota (1997), in his submission stated that students learning abilities and academic performances are strongly affected by the standard and type of academic institution where they get their education. Explaining that the educational environment of the school one attends set parameters for measuring learning and academic performance. Sparks (1999), in Cosidine (2004) pointed out that school environment and teacher’s expectation from students, also have influence on students performance. He further argued that most of teachers teaching in schools that have shortage of basic teaching facilities often have low performance expectation from their student and when students knows that their, they approach their studies with reduced dedication, leading to poor academic performance.

On another similar note, Pedrosa & Rand (2006) in their study on social and education background pointed out that students who mostly come from deprived socio-economic and educational background perform relatively better than others coming from higher socio-economic and educational area. They further assert that the economic strength of families determines the kind of school their children will be sent to and the nature of school attended by a student determines the academic opportunities accessible to her and he chances of educational success.

On the same note, Escarce (2003), highlighted that due to residential stratification and segregation, schools with lower funding level this situation not only reduces academic achievement and student motivation but also possible high risk of educational malfunction in the student future life academic engagement.

In nutshell, with the provision of empirical facts as made evident by the submissions of various academics and scholars here in, ‘it is the study’s belief that school factors are not only indispensable in determining and shaping the academic performance of secondary school student but also instrumental to their academic wellbeing and ailment.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

            Academic performance which is measured by examination result has been characterized by poor performance of student and this in recent times have given academic, school operators, parents, government and even students a cause for concern, bringing more doubts than it elucidate on how school factors influence students performance, the whole scenario. In this light, it is pertinent to investigate the comic performance of secondary school students within Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

            This study’s broad objective is to investigate and reveal the impacts which school factors have on the academic activities of secondary school students of Afikpo Local Government Area with a view to determine its implication on the students academic performance.

The study specifically intended to:

  1. To ascertain the impact of school size on the academic performance of secondary school students in Social Studies in Afikpo North Local Government Area.
  2. To find out the impact of school ownership structure on the student academic performance in social Studies in Afikpo North Local Government Area.
  3. To find out the impact of school structure (day or boarding) on academic performance of secondary school students in Social Studies in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
  4. To ascertain the impact of school type (co-educational and single school) on the academic performance of secondary school students in Social Studies.
  5. To determine the impact of school location on the academic performance of secondary school students in Social Studies in Afikpo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

1.4 Significance of the Study










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