1.1 Background to the Study
It is globally accepted that education enables individuals to contribute to the development and improvement in the quality of life for themselves, their communities and the nation in general. Primary school is no doubt the foundation of education and has prominently been regarded as a fundamental human right. It is a general statement that no nation’s educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers. The quality of teachers found in our secondary schools goes a long way in determining the quality of products from this level of education. In recognition of this, the National Policy on Education (NPE) (2004), affirms that no education can rise above the quality of its teachers. Thus, learning cannot take place without the middle man called a ‘teacher’. A good teachers produce good pupils and so, good citizens, while bad teachers produce bad pupils and so, bad citizens. According to Joachim (2005), teachers are highly intelligent people with ability to impact knowledge and understanding to their pupils.
Tsavga (2011), maintains that the learning environment plays a vital role in determining how pupils perform or respond to circumstances and situations around them. This implies that no society is void of environmental influences. The learning environment determines to a large extent how a student’s behave and interacts, that is to say that the environment in which we find ourselves tend to mould our behaviour so as to meet the demands of life whether negatively or positively. The author opined that the desire for both qualitative and quantitative education has multiplied the problem of providing an effective and conducive learning environment for teaching and learning. In Nigeria, there is an increase in the number of students’ enrolment in schools with little or no regards to improving the learning environment so as to better their performance.
For learning to be meaningful and effective, Learning environment according to Zaria in Aliade (2008), is a place where teachers impact knowledge of the various subjects to students thereby bringing them up morally and guide them as regards to career choice. Aliade (2008), stated that learning environment should have good infrastructural development, adequate trained teachers, good leadership and adequate instructional materials among others. All these characteristics according to the author have positive impact on academic achievement of students in primary schools. In the same vein Abenga (2005), opined that an improved environmental condition leads to higher intelligence scores while poor environmental conditions reduce these scores.
According to Okpala (2000), many school children in Nigeria learn under the shade of trees while many sit on the floor to learn in their classrooms. Ndukwe (2002), the other hand found that many schools have no adequate games and recreational facilities. Akinbote (2001), asserted that many of the primary school teachers are not sufficiently equipped in both the pedagogical and content knowledge of what they are to teach in the schools. From the foregoing, it is evidently clear that the Nigerian (public) schools cannot be regarded as child-friendly.
In other words, most of the Nigerian schools’ environments are not conducive enough for the development of appropriate skills, knowledge, interests and attitude in individuals to become responsible citizens, it means therefore that we still have a long to go in the provision of a child-friendly school environment for our children, , government and UNICEF have been trying in the last decade to make the learning environment child friendly, a visit to most public primary schools reveals that situation still requires drastic attention. The pupil’s poor performance may be due to poor learning
environment especially in the following areas: schools library services, school location, school facilities among others.
It is against this background that this study discussed the importance of providing child-friendly (conducive) environment for Nigerian primary school pupils for quality learning.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The wellbeing of the children should be the concern of every nation as they are the leaders of tomorrow. The schools are institutions established to help these children to be to themselves and the nation as a whole. In the last 10 years or more the quality ration offered in Nigeria has been on the downward trend due to poor conditions ling and inadequate facilities (which must be appropriately provided to yield result in terms of teaching and learning efforts). In some extreme cases, and learning is done in open classrooms, dilapidated buildings, floor and which can hardly facilitate learning. Unfortunately, many of the leaders in are scarily bothered about the precarious environment in which our children the likely implications on learning outcome and with the adoption of a basic Education (UBE)
programme and the aggressive renovation of primary schools in Anambra state to improve the situation, concrete steps to be equally taken to guarantee sustainable provision of facilities that will functional and conducive environment for learning.
It has been revealed that some primary school pupils cannot write or read a letter. Many attended as many as three different schools within their primary’ school level ant failures or due to unconducive learning environment. Over the years, environment of Nigerian primary schools have suffered neglect in consideration of issues of renovating dilapidated classrooms, construction of new classroom buildings of other necessary facilities. This is obvious in the way that pupils in ry schools are learning in dilapidated classrooms or under the tress with scats. no instructional facilities with unqualified teachers among others.
Okpala (2000), has observed with dismay that the learning environment are nothing to write home about. The school climate is not interesting for teaching and learning, instructional material are inadequately provided. Infrastructural facilities are in dilapidated conditions, lack of trained teachers and other facilities that promote teaching and learning are also in short fall
which may tend to influence students academic performance in school subjects. It is on this premise that the researcher is motivated to appraise on the strategies for improving the learning environment for achievement maximum performance in primary school subject with specific focus on school climate, discipline and physical facilities. Aliade (2008).Have identified other factors as school climate, instructional materials, discipline and physical facilities, teacher quality, type of location of school, class size and over population of students as being responsible for poor academic performance of pupils in primary schools. Therefore, it is against this background that the researcher examined the strategies for improving the learning environment in primary schools for maximum performance in school subjects.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The main purpose of this study way to investigate on the strategies for improving the learning environment in Primary schools for maximum performance in school subject. The study set out to find out the following;
- To find out how school location and infrastructures affect primary school pupils performance in school subjects.
- To ascertain the ways in which the class size and instructional materials affect the ling of primary school pupil’s performance in school subjects.
- To examine the degree to which unconducive learning environment contributes to pupil’s performance in primary schools subject.
- To compare learning environments in selected public to private primary schools and their relationship on the school academic performance of the pupils.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be of immense benefit to the government, nongovernmental organization, schools, head teacher, teachers, curriculum developers, pupils, and future researchers with interest in educational development.
This study will be of great importance in providing relevant information that can be used by government (federal, state and local government) who is seen as the principal actor in terms of educational development in the society to provide adequate facilities and maintenance strategies in primary schools. The work will be great advantage to non-governmental organization such as United Nation Children and Education Fund (UNICEF), United Nation Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and other related agencies to see the poor conditions of primary schools in Nigeria and intervene where necessary.
The findings of this study arc of relevant to head teachers who are the principal agents of curriculum implementation because it provides recommendations that would help them to make appropriate utilization of learning environment to create conducive atmosphere that would enhance effective teaching and learning. It is a fact that people work better in places where they feel comfortable and it is believed that the results of this work offered recommendations on how to better up poor conditions of schools thereby creating enabling environment for teachers’ job satisfaction which no doubt will have positive effect on pupils’ learning outcome. The Head teachers in the primary schools on the other hand will greatly benefit from the findings of the study in that it will serve as a reference material to know the areas where improvement will be made for teachers. This can be done through organizing seminars and workshops for teachers.
The work made recommendations that would help school heads on how to in facilities of learning environment appropriately in order to create enabling and environment for the purpose of enhancing learning process and realization of educational objectives. The study also added to the body of literature on learning tent and pupils’ learning performance which would serve as a source for people who will conduct research in related areas.
Curriculum developers and school plant planners would hopefully benefit from the outcome of the findings of this study because both the school plant planners and the curriculum developers need information about the current state of learning environment especially the physical aspects either for the purpose of developing new school or for reviewing or developing a new curriculum. However, it is essential to consideration the available instructional materials, facilities and equipment of the physical learning environment before reviewing or developing a new– curriculum.
The findings from this study will help to keep the teachers abreast of the various knowledge for enhanced performance in teaching, and learning in primary schools, through attending workshops and conferences. The parents will also benefits from this the sense that it will give them joy and happiness to see that the teacher’s teaching their children are academically sound and up-to-date. The pupils in primary also benefit as their knowledge and skills will improved on the various subjects.
The findings of the study will be of great benefit to the researchers who would use the study as a good reference material for further studies thereby contributing to body of literature on the theme. It is hope that the final result of this research help in finding possible ways of implementing a conducive learning for primary school pupils in Orumba South, other local governments and states.
1.5 Scope of the study
The scope of the study is on the strategies for improving the learning environment in primary schools for maximum performance in school subject. This study will be delimited to the strategies for improving the learning environment in primary schools for maximum performance in school subject.
The content area covers school building, library services, school location and school facilities.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study;
- What extent does location and infrastructures affects primary school pupil’s performance in school subjects?
- What extent does class size and instructional materials affects the learning of primary school pupil’s performance?
- What extent does unconducive learning environment contribute to pupil’s performance in primary schools subject?
- What extent does learning environment differ in primary schools and their relationship on their performance in school subject?
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