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INTRODUCTION

1.1      BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Students’ education is closely linked to their life chances, income and wellbeing (Battle and Lewis 2002). Therefore, it is important to have a clear understanding of what benefits or hinders ones educational attainment. There are several areas of the environment that are mostly linked to academic achievement these include student role performance (SRP) factors, school factors, family factors and peer factors. Student role performance is how well an individual fulfills the role of student in educational settings, sex, race, school effort, extracurricular activities, deviance are all important on SRP and have shown to affect the academic achievement of students. Environment such as the neighborhood, family background, relationship between teachers and students. Research has shown that socio-economic status, parental involvement, and family size are particularly important factors (Major Banks, 2006). Peer influence can also affect student performance, peer pressure and peer conformity could lead to students participating in risk taking behaviours which have been found to have a negative indirect effect on the academic achievement (Santor and Kusumaker, 2000).

Over the years, authorities have sought to find out the reason for the downward trend in the academic achievement of secondary school students. From biological perspective, the reasons have been attributed to reason of a reflection of these students genetic inferiority. In other words, the inability of most students from rural areas to achieve academic excellence is an inmate deficiency.

Undoubtly, it is the failure of some schools to transmit the values and cultural patterns necessary for the students to reach optimal academic performance. Factors affecting a student educational achievement include the culture of school the student attendance, the attitude of the principal and teachers to the students, motivation and the value transmitted by the school in general. The older theory of school improvement held, that is the result of improperly implemented research based educational programs.

Environment of both home and school contribute to the development of students. Next to the home, the school is the most important experience. In the process of the development of the students, the school to which the student attend also influence academic of the student. School environment perceived by student has an advantage of characterizing the setting through the eyes of the actual participants. Learning can also be defined as the process of acquiring more knowledge and understanding in other to be useful to the environment. Munn (2005): defines learning as a more or less permanent incremental modification of  behaviour which results from activity, special training or observation. The classroom is a learning environment where interaction occurs among teachers, student and learning takes place. Learning environment needs to be constructive in nature engaging learner in sense making or reasoning.

School environment implies a measure of the quality and quantity of the cognitive creative and social support that has been available to the subjects during their school life in terms of teacher-students interaction. The classroom environment consists of teacher support, teaching materials, task orientation, study habits, involvement, disengagement etc.

It is therefore necessary to study the academic learning environment of students in these contexts of home and school and trace the casual factor for enhancing the academic accomplishment of students. School environment may consist of both negative and positive characteristic which affects the perception of the student. There is no doubt that conditions of environment also constitute the performance of students across all fields of endeavour. Hence, a good environment enhances qualitative learning. Generally, students from low socioeconomic status attend government schools while students from wealthy families attend private schools or public schools. These two types of schools have major difference in medium of instruction. In addition, home learning environment, school learning environment and academic achievement may be influenced by various socio-economic factor like age, gender, family size, parents education and occupation.

The kind of academic climate in school and among students, promote either a positive or a negative attitude towards their work at school. The negative attitude are bound to have a strong influence on their academic performance and manifest themselves in undesirable behaviours such as inattentiveness and truancy which in turn further affects their academic achievement. Academic achievement is always dependent on school learning environment as well as home environment. Culture is neither static nor deterministic. It gives us just one important way in which to understand some difference among students. Learning and thus can indicate appropriate strategic and modification in curriculum. (Netos, 2002). School culture can be defined as the basic assumption, norms and values and cultural artifacts that are shared by school members which influence the functioning at school effectiveness.

Environment has been said to have a major influence on students academic achievement, recent decades in many countries especially where violence has been on the increase in some neighborhood where students resides, which are all the physical social and economic factor affecting students academic achievement. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2009), the incidence of the environment on academic performance can be linked to stress which students pass through when they are just newly admitted into the secondary phase of the school where these teens find it difficult to adjust to live in the classroom and the environment which they come from. To date, little research has been conducted to systematically examine the relationship the environment has on the academic performance of students. (Daughterty, 2008) Students seem to view their grade as a reflection of the academic achievement they aspire to attain self-worth, forgetting how the environment can impact or influence these achievements. Students who place such contingencies of self- worth on their academic performance may also be at risk for instability in self-esteem (Crocker, 2002).

1.2   Statement of the Problem

There is public outcry and concern by parents teachers, government and students over the re-occurring low performance in examination in secondary schools. Considering the powerful influence the environment has on the students and its importance as a primary influence on the aspirations of students, it can be argued that academic achievement of the student could be enhanced or hindered depending on the environment students come from. It appears that many people have not yet recognized that environment has a great impact on students academic achievement. Based on this information above, this study’s concern therefore is to look at some environmental factors that can be used as a yardstick to check if really environmental factors has any influence on the academic performance of students, in secondary schools. Hopefully the findings of this study will help the researchers to make sound recommendation(s) on how to tackle the problems of poor academic performance. The above study shall seek to find out if environmental factors of this study include: Family size, infrastructural facilities, adequacy of qualified teachers and parents marital status, affect academic performances of students in secondary schools in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State.

1.3   Aim and Objectives of the Study

The major purpose of this study examines environmental factors and their influence on student’s academic performance while the general purpose included the following;

1. To know if family size have influence of academic performance of students.

2. To find out if infrastructural facilities have influence of students academic performance.

3. To determine if adequacy of qualified teachers has any relationship with students academic performance.

1.4   Research Questions

The following research questions were asked to guide this research:

1.     Does family size have influence on academic performance of students in secondary school in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State?

2.     Do infrastructural facilities have any effect on academic performance of students in Secondary School in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State?

3.     Does adequacy of qualified teachers affect academic performance of students in Secondary School in Esan West Local; Government Area of Edo State?

1.5   Significance of the Study

The findings of this research would help students, teachers, administrators, parents and the government, Students would benefit from this research by understanding how the environment and environmental factors can influence their academic performance in schools.

Findings of the study would make teachers understand the environmental factors that can be faced by students and how they can help in tackling such impending problems. The finding can also help the school administrators to be able to provide positive environmental conditions that would assist the students gain more academically. Parents will understand how they can help on bringing out the best of their wards/children academically.

The study’s findings will help the government to provide the necessary infrastructural and instructional facilities to nation — building instead of trying to destroy the nation, to make a point.

1.6   Scope and Limitations of the Study

The scopes of the study are secondary school students that reside in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. Four secondary schools were randomly selected from the rural and urban towns constituting two schools respectively from each setting.

A study of this nature should not be completed without discussing some problems encountered by the researcher. The various problems that limit outcome of this research work were therefore discussed below;

In the first place the research depended mainly on the responds of the students. The time set aside for this study was too short; as a result, the researcher has no opportunity to make all intensive and extensive study on the topic.

There were incessant strikes by teachers in the Local Government Area used as the case study of this research work this prolonged this work.

Finance, also limited the outcome of this research work. The researcher would have loved to go to many libraries outside the state, so as to collect more information but financially, his movement was constrained.

Finally, students could not return all the questionnaires distributed to the researcher and this has only made the researcher to only work with the ones that got to him.

 

The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following.

a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study 

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Influence: The power that something or somebody has to make something or somebody behave in a particular way.

Academic: Something based on subjects that are taught to develop the mind rather than to provide practical skills.

Performance: how well or badly one does something.  

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

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