Education is highly imperative to all countries of the world regardless of their level of development. Education is the process of transmitting knowledge, skills, facts, judgment etc. either formally or informally. It is the channel through which human, physical, social, emotional and intellectual abilities are harnessed. Education to Kneller (2000) is the process by which individuals go through schools, colleges, universities and other institutions of learning for transmission of values and knowledge.
Education in the submission of the 1st black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, is the most potent weapon to fight poverty, ignorance and provoke positive reforms in the world. Quality education allows for acquisition of skills, technological advancement and creates an avenue for the exploration of human resources towards the attainment of economic development.
School environment is a concept that goes beyond the physical location of a school; it covers the teacher-student relationship, aesthetic structure of classrooms, libraries, laboratories, quality of teachers, teaching methods, etc, which are crucial in the process of teaching and learning. These elements of school environment affect the academic performance of students (Ajao, 2001). The extent to which student learning is propelled is at the mercy of the location of the school compound, availability of instructional materials and classroom structure. It has been universally agreed among scholars that schools with conducive environment for the activities of teaching and learning will produce positive results of education that will speed up effective teaching-learning synergy, education emancipation and the academic performance of the students.
The physical features of a school have strong influence on students’ performance and the attitude of their teachers in assiduously discharging their duties. In a situation where a school environment is faced with menace such as poor lighting, poor ventilation system, dilapidated facilities, high noise level, high discharge of toxic substances, high student-teacher ratio etc, the process of teaching and learning will be difficult, which will eventually produce poor academic performance of the students. (Ajayi, 2004). The combination of uncomfortable work place for teachers and poor state of school facilities generates stress and job dissatisfaction among teachers. In furtherance, it will also results in indolence and demotivation among the students.
In addition to these, the structure of a school environment influences the level of psychosocial development of the students. The definition of “psychosocial” according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is the combination of psychological and social factors that determines the mental stability of an individual. Social influence like peer pressure, religious belief, self-esteem, family background, stress, hospitality, depression, hopelessness, socialization, style of parental upbringing, family-child relationship and interpersonal relationship helps to shape the personality and psychological makeup of individuals. Students with psychosocial deficiency will surely have difficulty to function in social events and may have challenges in communicating effectively to others (Asoquo & Kalu, 2015).
The alarming rate of woeful academic performance among students in Nigeria has been of much concern to teachers, parents, government and the students themselves. The quality of education is not only dependent on the number and qualifications of teachers, but on the location and coordination of school environment, because the school environment is an essential area that should be well-managed to attain higher student academic performance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
All schools in Nigeria are situated at various places by private individuals, government, corporate and religious organizations. Thus, the process of teaching and learning takes place under different environment.
Every school owns different kind of facilities and classroom structures at varying efficiency level. All students are expected to sit for the same examination at the final year of either their junior or senior secondary school education (Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination at junior level and Senior School Certificate Examination at senior level). Uniform academic performance is also expected to be achieved among the students since they were taught with similar syllabus and curriculum.
In reality, some students in some schools perform better than their counterparts in other schools. This indicates there are peculiar determinants that influence the success or failure of students in examinations. A particular example of such determinants is the school environment. Students taught in a conducive environment tend to perform better than their peers taught in an uncomfortable environment. To this end, it is apt to examine the impact of school environment on the academic performance of students and on their psychosocial development.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to examine the impact of school environment on students’ academic performance and psychosocial development in Nigeria using a case study of secondary students in Ikeja local government area of Lagos state.
The specific objectives of the study are:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The questions of interest raised in study include:
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Four hypotheses relating to each research questions are developed in the study.
H0: There is no significant relationship between schools’ physical environment and students’ academic performance in Ikeja LGA.
H1: There is significant relationship between schools’ physical environment and students’ academic performance in Ikeja LGA.
H0: There is no significant relationship between schools’ location and students’ academic performance in Ikeja LGA.
H1: There is significant relationship between schools’ location and students’ academic performance in Ikeja LGA.
H0: There is no significant relationship between schools’ facilities and students’ academic performance in Ikeja LGA.
H1: There is significant relationship between schools’ facilities and students’ academic performance in Ikeja LGA.
H0: There is no significant relationship between schools’ environment and students’ psychosocial development in Ikeja LGA.
H1: There is significant relationship between schools’ environment and students’ psychosocial development in Ikeja LGA.
1.6 SIGNIFCANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings will be of substantial benefits to students, parents, guardians, teachers, principals, government and relevant stakeholders in the education sector.
The findings of the study will help parents and guardians in determining the choice of the type of school for their children and wards. This is because, the children will enjoy good school learning environment that allows for quality school products.
The study informs teachers, headmasters (mistresses) and principals about their readiness and strong-will to improve school supervision and management methods to ensure quality teaching and learning. It will help them appreciate the fact good school facilities and equipment stimulates students’ academic performance. It will also assist the teachers in the areas of their classroom delivery, teaching effectiveness and increased productivity.
The results of the study will help the government and policymakers to formulate effective planning policies and programmes to foster schools’ academic activities. It will also provide policymakers with knowledge to identify and solve the needs of the schools in terms of building and facilities.
Lastly, it will aid researchers in their future research undertakings in the aspect of school environment, students’ academic performance and their psychosocial development.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study attempts to cover the impact of school environment on students’ academic performance and psychosocial development by prioritizing on secondary school students in Ikeja local government area of Lagos state.
The limitations faced in the study are time and financial constraint. The time given to conduct a study in terms of its vast nature is relatively small, coupled with other academic commitment of the researcher. Also, due to limited funds, the study only covers one local government out of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, a robust and fact-finding research was carried out.
1.8 PLAN OF THE STUDY
The study is divided into five chapters.
Chapter one is the introductory aspect of the study that consists of the general introduction, problem statement, research objectives, questions and hypotheses that guides the study.
Chapter two contains the literature review, by delving on the conceptual framework, theoretical review, empirical review and gaps in literature.
Chapter three presents the research methodology adopted in the study.
Chapter four provides the presentation and discussion of results.
Chapter five gives the summary, conclusion, policy recommendation and suggestion for further studies.
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