The influence of the physical school environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in ilorin west local government area, kwara state.

The academic performance of students is associated with several factors of which the physical environment of the school is a vital factor.

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The academic performance of students is associated with several factors of which the physical environment of the school is a vital factor. Understanding this influence and the degree of impact is significant in devising means of improving the learning outcome of Students. This underlying phenomenon formed the basis for the conduct of a study in Ilorin Local Government Area (LGA). The study evaluated the influence of the School’s physical environment on academic performance of Students. A total of 250 Students formed the total study population drawn from five (5) private and five (5) public schools. Simple random samplingtechnique was used to administer questionnaires which was structured to reflect responses from Secondary School Students as it related to the immediate environment, location of schools, distance of students home from school, state of the classroom, availability of amenities and recreational facilities. The study utilized a descriptivesurvey research design that ensured that each member of the target population had an equal and independent chance of being included in the sample. Five (5) research questions were raised for the study and five (5) hypothesis were teste. Data obtained was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statisticaltechniques embedded in SPSS-20. Data obtained from analyzed responses was presented in three forms; Demographic characteristic, descriptive analysis and inferential analysis. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the five (5) research questions posed for the study. T-tests statistic was used in testing the five (5) hypotheses formulated at 0.05 level of significant at 249 degree of freedom were all accepted with calculated t-test values being less than the respective table values. The immediate environment surrounding the school had significant impact on students irrespective of whether it is in the Rural or Urban community. Students in Schools with adequate facilities and good school building designs and infrastructures were positively influenced for better academic performance


Title page                                                                                                                    i

Certification                                                                                                                .ii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      .iv

Abstract                                                                                                                      v

Table of contents                                                                                                        vii


Background to the study                                                                                            1

Statement of the problem                                                                                           12

Purpose of the study                                                                                                   13

Significance of the study                                                                                            14

Scope of the study                                                                                                      15

Research Questions                                                                                                     15

Research Hypotheses                                                                                                  16

Definition of key terms                                                                                               17


Concept of Environment                                                                                            19

Concept of Academic performance                                                                            21

Physical Environment of Educational Institutions                                                     .23

Secondary Educational in Ilorin West Local Government                                         24

Studies on Physical Environment and Students’ Academic Performance                 29

Appraisal of the Literature Review                                                                            36


Research Design                                                                                                         37

Population of the study                                                                                              37

Sample and Sampling Technique                                                                                38

Research Instrument                                                                                                   39

Validity and Reliability of the Instrument                                                                 39

Procedure for Data Analysis                                                                                       40

Method of Data Analysis                                                                                           40


Analysis of data to answer the research questions                                                     41

Finding of study                                                                                                         80

Hypotheses testing                                                                                                      85

Discussion of findings                                                                                                89


Summary of findings                                                                                                  91

Conclusion                                                                                                                  92

Recommendations                                                                                                      93

Suggestion for further findings                                                                                  94

REFERENCES                                                                                                        95

APPENDICES                                                                                                          106



Background to the Study

Intelligence is not the only determinant of academic performance of a student (Shamaki, 2015). The academic performance of a student is most often associated with a lot of components of learning environment. According to Bosque (2013), “teaching and learning environment ought to implement six (6) functions: inform, communicate, collaborate, produce, scaffold and manage. He further added that the learning environment refers to the whole range of components and activities within which learning happens”. Hence, learning environment takes into account several variables that have direct and indirect effect on students’ performance.

Denga (2012) maintained that each environment plays a part in shaping the development of the child academically and otherwise. Accordingly, a child gets from his environment all he needed to enable him develop best. Students of urban surrounding have more opportunities to radios, educative film shows, electricity, televisions, well equipped laboratories and libraries etc that help or contribute in moulding their approaches when compared to rural location students regarding academic achievement. Effiong (2011) on his part opined that any two individuals with approximately equal intelligence but living in two separate and distinct environments may end up attaining unequal intellectual heights.

Past and present research in education has long-established that academic performance of all categories of students have been a point of concern to many educators (Ashby, Sadera, & McNary, 2011).

Indeed, learning environment plays a major role in shaping the quality of academic achievement. It seems there is perceptional consistency among scholars about learning environment and the student’s cognitive and effective outcome (Lizzio, et al, 2012). It was observed that the learning is optimal when body, soul and spirit are in accord; otherwise learning will be ineffective. Hence, clean, quiet and comfortable environment are important components of learning environment. Furthermore, creating an ideal learning environment must be a top priority. Being comfortable should be a combination of several factors which include; temperature, lighting, and noise control (Murugan & Rajoo, 2013).

Ryan (2013) stated that a large amount of a child’s time is spent sitting in a school classroom. This place is where they will learn the various skills deemed necessary and proper for them to achieve success in the global society. The classroom is where they will gain an understanding of their place in the world and the gifts that they have to offer it. It is where the student develops what they want their future to look like, as well as knowledge of the skills needed to reach that goal. With the classroom being such an important place in the growth of a child it is important to understand the ways in which to affect this environment in order to receive maximum effectiveness in instruction. If schools really do play a large role in teaching the next generation how to be successful members of society then every precaution should be taken to make sure that the learning environment is one that helps students thrive. If not approached correctly, a classroom can be set up in a way that stifles creativity or does not promote a positive learning environment. There are many things that can affect this environment. There are physical elements such as wall art, arrangement of desks, or resources. Also, there are intangible elements such as the energy of the classroom, the rules, or the sounds within the room. Each of these can impact a student’s focus and performance in the class. They can also affect a teacher’s attitude in the class.

Included in each of these elements of the classroom is the emotional environment. The way in which a teacher organizes their class, or how they control it, will yield positive or negative consequences for their students. If a teacher is unmotivated or negative there will be a direct impact on the students within the classroom. Similarly, if a teacher is motivated and positive they will likely have a beneficial impact on their students as well. It is important for a teacher to understand this cause and effect in order to understand how to organize their classroom to create a better learning environment.

Byoung-suk, (2012) stated that children need safe, healthy and stimulating environment in which to grow and learn. During the school year, children can spend 6 to 8 hours at the school where the environment plays a significant/critical role in child development. More of the time is spent in the school yard or travelling to and from school. This condition requires careful planning and designing to optimize experiences that support education, health and stewardship. Therefore, the school environment is of paramount importance in shaping and reshaping intellectual ability. However, supportive and favourable school environment enriched with enough learning facilities, and favourable climate makes students more comfortable, more concentrated on their academic activities that resulted in high academic performance. The forces of the environment begin to influence growth and development of the individual right from the womb of his mother. The educational process of development occurs in physical, social, cultural and psychological environment. A proper and adequate environment is very much necessary for a fruitful learning of the child. The favourable school environment provides the necessary stimulus for learning experiences. The children spend most of their time in school, and this school environment is exerting influence on performance through curricular, teaching technique and relationship (Arul Lawrence 2012).

Mudassir & Norsuhaily (2015) remarked in a document prepared by policy studies association (PSA) reviewed in 2014 in Washington D.C. (USA)  that students’ academic performance is more heavily influenced by the quality of the environment than by students’ race, class, prior academic record or school a student attended. This effect is particularly strong among students from low-income families and African-American students.

Considerable research has been conducted on teaching skills, climate, socio-economic conditions, and student performance (Rafferty, 2013). Depending on the environment, schools can either open or close the doors that lead to academic performance.

The school environment, which include the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, etc. are variables that affect students’ academic performance. Hence, the school environment remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance students’ academic performance. The issue of poor academic performance of students in Ilorin metropolis has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even students themselves.

Eze (2016) explained that the quality of education does not depend on teacher’s ability as reflected in their performance of duties, but also in effective co-ordination of the physical environment. Emphasizing the importance of physical environment to student academic performance, the physical environment is an essential aspect of educational planning, he further explained that “ unless schools are well suited or situated, building are adequately constructed and equipment are adequately utilized and maintained teaching and learning may not take place.

Great educators such as Comenius, Fafunwa and Dewey emphasized the important role `physical environment plays in the education of children.

School environment which include instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning, accessories planning, teachers as well as students are essential in teaching-learning process. The high levels of student’s academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional spaces such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. Learning takes place through the experience which students gain from environment in which they are placed. Parents and teachers ought to be concerned with providing environmental conditions to maximize the development of children. It is believed that a well-planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students. Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Turner (2014), quoting Marsden (2011), which reported that safe and orderly classroom environment (aspect of instructional space), school facilities (accessories) were significantly related to students’ academic performance in schools. It was equally asserted that a comfortable and caring environment among other treatments helped to contribute to students’ academic performance. The physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, students and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon (iv) oxide in classrooms and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teachers, which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates (Frazier, 2012). These factors can adversely affect student behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among student. Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on students’ ability to learn, the combination of poor facilities which create an uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for teachers, combined with frustrating behavior by students including poor concentration and hyperactivity, lethargy or apathy, creates a stressful set of working conditions for teachers. Because stress and job dissatisfaction are common precursors to lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the aforementioned characteristics of school facilities have an effect on the academic performance of students.

Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with student-teacher ratio, school location, school population, classroom ventilation, poor lighting in classrooms and inconsistent temperatures in the classroom with student health problems, student behavior and student achievement (Crandell & Smaldino, 2011; Davis, Moore, 2012; Stricherz, 2013;). To complement these studies, the present research will examine the highlighted areas of the school environment as it affects students’ performance in schools in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State, Nigeria.

Despite various views on the importance of school environment on teaching and learning, very little is known about it, although there has been a great deal of researches on some aspects of teaching and learning process such as the relationship of reading program or teaching methods on the achievement of reading skills. Sinab(2015) explained that the forces of environment begin to influence the growth and development of the individual right from the mother’s womb. A proper and adequate environment should provide the necessity for fruitful teaching and learning experience of the child.  The home and school should provide necessary stimulus for learning experience. The child spends most of the time in school and the environment exerts influence on performance through curriculum teaching and relationship. Educational institutions are intimately linked with the society at large, therefore, the general condition of schools is a matter of great concern for the nation.

Twenty-first (21st) Century learning environments are envisioned as places where the learner is engaged in self-directed and co-operative learning activities, and the physical environment is planned so that it can be routinely re-organized to mediate learning (Partnership for 21st century Skills, 2016).

Academic performance has been largely associated with many factors. Most students in Nigeria are daily confronted with challenges of coping with academics under serious emotional strains; trekking to school, poor school environment, being taught by unmotivated teachers under harsh learning conditions and uncooperative-to-study attitude of parents who often toil to provide for the family.

Academic performance is undoubtedly a research after the heart of educators, teachers, psychologists, policy makers, parents and guardians, social workers, etc. in attempts to investigate what determines academic outcomes of learners, and they have come with more questions than answer. Recent, prior literature has shown that learning outcomes (academic achievements and academic performance) have been determined by such variables as; family, schools, society and motivation factors. It has been noted that much of the previous studies focused on the impact of demographic and socio-psychological variables on academic performance as a factor of government (Joktham & Sizkan, 2013). In spite of the seeming exhaustiveness of literature on the determinants of academic performance of learners, there seems to be more area of interest to be investigated.

School sector (public or private) and class size are two important structural components of schools which the economic status of parents would determine the one to be afforded. Smaller class sizes create more intimate settings and therefore can increase teacher-pupil bonding which has also been shown to have a positive effect on pupil’s success.

Pupils from low economic background who attend poorly funded schools do not perform as well as students from higher economic classes (Ibitoye, 2014 &Omidiji, 2015). This trend is a huge problem to parents, teachers, government and Stakeholders in the education system.

Statement of the Problem

In kwara State and particularly Ilorin West Local Government, some secondary schools are dotted with dilapidated buildings equipped with obsolete facilities situated in unconducive environment. Teachers work at times under stressful conditions and a handful of them go the extraordinary path to convey lessons that should be learnt with ease. It is not unusual to find teachers and students interacting academically under collapsed school buildings, buildings with wrecked roofing, large class size, or sometimes under trees and easily distracted open spaces. Poor academic performance of students in Ilorin West Local Government is a concern to all stakeholders including students.

Ekpeyong (2012) noted that the quality of education does not only depend on the teacher’s ability as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective co-ordination of the school physical environment. The efficiency of a school system in achieving its organizational objectives and goals depend on the effectiveness of the various physical environmental factors to which the component of the system are subjected to (Eke, 2015). However, it is believed that physical environment might have an impact on students’ behavior and attitudes towards learning.

This study therefore seeks to identify and determine the type of physical environment provided for Secondary school students in Ilorin West Local Government and how it has affected academic performances.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to examine the influence of physical environment on the academic performance of secondary school students in Ilorin West Local Government with the intents to providing valid and useful suggestions towards the provision of standardized and conducive school environment towards enhancing students’ academic performance.

Specifically, the study will examined the following;

  1. The influence of physical environment on student’s academic performance.
  2. The extent to which school location affects the academic performance of students.
  • The extent to which school environment affects student’s academic performance.

Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to stakeholders in the educational sector in Kwara State in the following ways:

  1. Formulation of strategies for curriculum developers and education planners to enhance student’s academic performance through the provision of appropriate physical environment.
  2. Provide useful resource to teacher-in-training and those already on the field to further enrich their knowledge on the issue of school environment and students’ academic performance.
  3. Provide a wide spectrum of knowledge on how to create, manage and sustain a conducive physical environment for better educational outcome of the students.
  4. Provide relevant information for the government on the effect of poor physical environment on student’s academic performance.

Scope of the Study

The study will be limited to ten (10) Secondary schools in Ilorin West Local Government. The population for the study was drawn from five (5) public and five (5) private secondary schools using an acceptable scientific sample size determination technique from the total population of secondary school students in the ten (10) schools. Questionnaires were administered to students randomly. Insufficient financial resources and time were the major limitations and constraints to this study on the part of the researcher.

Research Questions

The following questions were raised to sharpen the focus of this research.

  1. Does physical environment have any influence on academic performance of secondary students in Ilorin West Local Government?
  2. To what extent does physical environment influence the academic performance of secondary school students in Ilorin West Local Government?
  • Does availability of facilities in secondary schools affect the student’s learning attitude?
  1. What impact does the location in which the School is located have on students?
  2. What is the relationship between the physical state of school building, the general surroundings and learning outcome of students?

Research Hypothesis

The following hypothesis were tested in the study:

Ho1: There is a significant influence of the physical environment on students’ academic performance in Secondary Schools.

Ho2: There is a significant influence of the physical environment of Urban Secondary Schools on Students’ Academic Performance.

Ho3: There is a significant influence of the physical environment of Rural Secondary Schools on the Academic Performance of Students.

Ho4: There is a significant influence of the physical environment of Public Secondary Schools on the Academic Performance of Students.

Ho5: There is a significant influence of the physical environment of Private Secondary Schools on the Academic Performance of Students.

Definition of Key Terms

The following are terms defined operationally:

  1. Academic performance: Academic feats attained in school subjects revealed in test scores or performance in examination.
  2. Attitude: Disposition or state of mind.
  3. Dilapidated buildings: buildings in a state of disrepair or deterioration especially through neglect.
  4. Hyperactivity: An increased state of activity.
  5. Lethargy: A state of extreme torpor or apathy, especially with lack of emotion or interest; loosely, sluggishness. Laziness.
  6. Obsolete facilities: facilities that a no longer in use or gone into disuse or neglected.
  7. Physical environment: the visible surroundings of, and influences on a particular item of interest.
  8. School system: a collection of organized things or planning around a school.



Literatures in this study will be reviewed under the following sub-headings:

  1. Concept of Environment
  2. Concept of Academic performance
  • Physical Environment of Educational Institutions
  1. Secondary Education in Ilorin West Local Government Area
  2. Studies on Physical Environment and Students Academic Performance
  3. Appraisal of the Literature Review

Concept of Environment:

Environment means everything around a living being especially the circumstances of life of people or society in their life conditions. It comprises the set of natural, social and cultural values existing in a place and at a particular time, that influence in the life of the human being and in the generations to come. It is not only the space in which life develops, but it also includes living beings, objects, water, soil, air and the relations between them as well as intangibles like culture. It is a set of physical, chemical, biological and social components that, in a short or long term, cause direct or indirect adverse effects on living beings and human activities.

In the general theory of systems, an environment is a complex of external factors that Act on a system and determine their course and their way of existence. An environment could be considered a superset in which the given system is a subset…


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