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PROVISION AND UTILIZATION OF SCHOOL FACILITIES AND STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The study investigated planning and utilization of school plant and students’ academic performance in selected secondary schools in Lagos State. Three research questions and five hypotheses were raised and analysed in the study. The study adopted the cross sectional survey research design which included public, private and federal schools in Education District IV in Lagos State. Four hundred and twenty three (423) subjects were randomly selected across the schools in the district and used as the sample of the study. Questionnaires were major instruments used to facilitate data collection from the respondents. The study was limited to junior secondary school (JSS III), senior secondary school (SS III) classes and teachers of English, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies, and Economics in 22 schools in the Education District IV of Lagos State due to financial constraints. Data collected were analyzed using the simple percentage and Chi-square method of statistics. However, the study revealed that a significant relationship exist between adequate provision of school plant and academic performance of studentsin secondary schools in Lagos State; adequate provision and functional school physical plants are good strategies for enhancing a high level of academic performance and rapid increases in the school enrolments without a corresponding increase in the provision of educational facilities contributes to poor performance of students in education. The study therefore recommends among others that material resources for all subject areas should be sufficiently supplied to all the secondary schools in Lagos State and Philanthropists, Parent-Teachers Association should be encouraged to contribute their own quota to the development of secondary schools in the state.
1.1 Background to the Study
School facilities have been observed as a potent factor to quantitative education. The importance to teaching and learning on the provision and utilization of adequate instructional facilities for education cannot be over-emphazied. The dictum that “teaching is inseparable from learning but learning is not separable from teaching” is that teachers do the teaching to make the students learn, but students can learn without the teachers. According to Akande (1985) cited in Afigbo (1996), learning can occur through one’s interaction with one’s environment. Environment here refers to facilities that are available to facilitate students learning outcome. It includes books, audio-visual, software and hardware of educational technology; size of classroom, sitting position and arrangement, availability of tables, chairs, chalkboards, shelves on which instruments for practicals are arranged (Farrant, 1991 and Farombi, 1998).
According to Oni (1992), facilities constitute a strategic factor in organizational functioning. This is so because they determine to a very large extent the smooth functioning of any social organization or system including education. He further stated that their availability, adequacy and relevance influence efficiency and high productivity. In his words, Farombi (1998) opines that the wealth of a nation or society could determine the quality of education in that land; emphasizing that a society that is wealthy will establish good schools with quality teachers, learning infrastructures, students learn with ease thus bringing about good academic achievement. Writing on the role of facilities in teaching, Balogun (1982) cited in Anameze (2001) submitted that no effective science education programme can exist without equipment for teaching. This is because facilities enable the learner to develop problem-solving skills and scientific attitudes. In their contribution, Ajayi and Ogunyemi (1990) reiterated that when facilities are provided to meet relative needs of a school system, students will not only have access to the reference materials mentioned by the teacher, but individual students will also learn at their own paces. The net effect of this is increased overall academic performance of the entire students.
In his study on resource concentration, utilization and management as correlates of students’ learning outcomes, Farombi (1998) found that the classroom learning environment in some schools was poor. He cited examples of schools without chalkboard, absence of ceiling, some roofing sheets not in place, windows and doors removed among others, a situation which the researcher regarded as hazardous to healthy living of the learners. According to Nigerian Tribune on Thursday 25 November, 1999, in a caption; “Mass Failure will Continue until…” the chairman of the National Committee of WAEC, Dr. U.B. Ahmed opined that the classroom is the origin of failure… a close look at the public schools and what goes on there shows that nothing good can come out of most schools as they do not have facilities, adequate and appropriate human resources to prepare candidates for WASCE.
The above statement indicates that the problem of candidates’ mass failure in WAEC’s organized examination will continue until the situation of the nation’s public schools change for the better. Writing on how to improve primary education in developing countries, World Bank publication (1990), citing Mwamwenda and Mwamwenda (1987) linked performance of students to the provision of adequate facilities while referring to a survey of 51 primary schools in Botswana that students performed significantly better on academic tests when they had adequate classrooms, desks and books. Earlier, Fagbamiye (1979) attesting to why students’ performance standard fall observed 559 cases from 13 secondary schools in Lagos State using age, type of school (day or boarding, mixed or single sex), teachers’ qualifications and teaching experience as well as intake quality using students’ entrance examination achievement. His findings revealed that schools which are equipped had good records of achievement and attracted more students. He concluded that good quality schools in terms
of facilities and younger students’ intake perform better in WASCE.
Commenting on why high academic attainment is not in vogue in Nigeria, Adesina (1991) identified poor and inadequate physical facilities, obsolete teaching techniques… overcrowded classrooms among others, as factors.
Throwing more light on school facilities and moral guiding provision, Fabunmi (1997) asserted that school facilities when provided will aid teaching learning programme and consequently improve academic achievement of students while the models guiding their provision to schools could take any form as rational bureaucratic and or political model. Whichever model is adopted, according to him, there is always a common feature of differing allocation of facilities to schools. In his words, Ojoawo (1990), however, noted that certain schools are favored in the allocation of facilities at the expense of others. Writing on poor performance of students in public examinations, London (1993) states that in many developing nations, certain physical facilities are none existent, and that those instances where amenities are available many are of sub standard quality. What is even more alarming is the correlation, which these observers claim to exist between quality of facilities and academic performance. Lamenting on the glowing inadequacies of school facilities in our education industry, Akinkugbe (1994) opines that everywhere you look, primary, secondary, special, technical, tertiary, there is abundant evidence of crippling inertia, criminal neglect and a pervasive decay in values and standard.
Other scholars (Wilcockson, 1994; Lawal 1995; Ajayi 1996; Suleiman 1996) have variously identified the significance of facilities in teaching and learning spheres. We can say that absence or poor (and or deteriorating) quality of educational facilities can influence academic performance. Gamoran (1992), however, holding a contrary view noted that facilities… teachers’ salaries, books in the library and the presence of science laboratory, had little impact on variation in student’s achievement once students background variables had been taken into account.
This statement connotes that before such student could perform well in higher educational level, he must have been groomed or cushioned by availability of resources in his elementary days upon which he now uses as spring board. According to Hallak (1990), facilities form one of the potent factors that contribute to academic achievement in the school system. They include the school buildings, classroom, accommodation, libraries, laboratories, furniture, recreational equipment, apparatus and other instructional materials. He went further to say that their availability, relevance and adequacy contribute to academic achievement. He however, quickly added that unattractive school buildings and overcrowded classrooms among others contribute to poor academic attainment. Describing where these facilities should be located, he ascribed that educational facilities should be located in appropriate places, while the needs of the users should be put into consideration. In another development, Aliyu (1993) as cited by Johnson (1998) found that there was no significant difference between students in secondary schools with and without adequate instructional facilities. However, he submitted that instructional facilities were indispensible to academic achievement of students in English Language, Mathematics, Biology and Geography while students could perform well in other subjects without adequacy of sophisticated instructional materials. He concluded that the effect of instructional facilities on students’ academic achievement is more felt in pure and social sciences.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of the educational system to facilitate learning by creating the ideal situation for the child to discover things for himself especially through adequate provision of school facilities. This indicates that the school facilities would surely have a great impact on the students. The school facilities may indicate a great deal of cooperation among the groups in the school setting while some might not even want to learn at all. This implies that the school facilities will affect the performance of both the teachers and the students either positively or negatively.
This study therefore aims at encouraging school administrators to apply modern techniques in the management of school facilities. It also suggests that school administrators and managers should be constantly trained and retrained on the modern tools of management.
Thus, the standard of education will improve greatly if the resources allocated to education and the available school facilities are optimally utilized.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Cursory observation reveals that majority of students in public secondary schools in Mushin Local Government area of Lagos State perform below desired outcomes in the Senior School Certificate Examination especially when results of previous years are compared. (Ossai, 2004). This observed poor performance motivated this research.
A student’s academic performance is measured by his or her scholastics achievement. This scholastic achievement is known through the use of instructional evaluation and other associated invisible but real influences that influence performance such as school facilities among others.
The causes of poor performance in our public secondary schools have been blamed on several factors. Critics have apportioned blames on teachers, society, parents, school inspectorate and the government about learners’ inability to perform outstandingly well, (Onyechere, 1996). However, issues that bother on inadequate and most times insufficient school facilities have the major blame in students’ academic performance as the sociologists are quick to observe that the environment makes the man. (Gousie, 1998).
School facilities optimization is therefore so important and contribute significantly to students achievement so much that it cannot be neglected in the development of the education sector. As rightly observed by Oni (2005), the availability and adequacy in quantity and quality of the physical/material facilities make possible a school’s smooth operation and enhance effective teaching-learning activity thereby resulting in achieving higher educational attainments by the students.
Therefore the problem of this research is that of poor academic performance of secondary school students in Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State which could be attributed to poor provision and utilization of school facilities.
1.3 Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to:
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses are to be tested in the Study:
1.6 Research Hypotheses
1.7 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will go a long way in enhancing the standard of education and motivate educational managers, school facilities’ planners and administrators in the management of educational system to bring about regular maintenance, reconstruction, where necessary.
This study will therefore provides an appraisal of the utilization of the school facilities in some secondary schools in Lagos State and how this is related to Students’ academic performance in SSCE upon which standard evaluation is often made by external examining bodies.
This study will be limited to five secondary school in Mushin Local government area of Lagos state. Finance, time and other logistics may be major constraints.
1.9 Definition of term
Laboratory: This is a room or building equipped for scientific experimentation; laboratory is also a equipped room for scientific research, or teaching or for the manufacture of drugs or chemicals.
Library: This is a room containing collection of books, periodicals and sometimes films and recorded music for people to read or borrow. It is also a collection of sources, resources, and services and the structure in which it is housed.
Facilities: These are equipment, infrastructures and machines as well as any physical structure.
Provision: This means building new Facilities or building physical structure like classroom and playground.
Instruction Facilities: These are classrooms, laboratories, workshops and library.
Utilization: It refers to the extent of the operation or use of available facilities provided for the studies.
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