1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Environment influence before now have not considered as one of the factors that affects academic performance in higher institution, hence it has little or no attention in educational discourse and consideration. But over the past decades in correlation between the environment and academic performance of students. Environment play a major role in the life of every individual whether a student, teachers, employer or employee.
Though some people are yet to believe that environment bring about better performance. Udoh (1980) in this article “the environmental health problems in Nigeria schools” identified some unhealthy practices in our school, inadequate facility, poor ventilation etc, most of our schools have no lights, insufficient facilities, sick buildings and no ventilation etc.
Most of our schools, especially the higher institutions in Nigeria are affected by the environmental influence which will in turn reflect on the student performance. Therefore for the student to carry out his/her learning process effectively and efficiently it is necessary that learning take place in a conducive environment.
Hence, it is penitent to critically look at the environmental factors that influence academic performance of students. Measures that can help improve them and make some recommendation because at the very heart of our educational mission is the goal of improving academic performances.
Studies have shown that environmental factors to a very large extent affect both the physical and psychological potential of an individual. This word led to the contention that many students tail to develop their potential is due to inadequate environmental stimulation. However, there are some environmental factors which have contributed to the poor performance of student which are home background, inadequate school facilities, misuse of technology such as internet and school climate, such as student teacher relationship, class rooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers quality, school management, teaching methods, peers etc are variables that affect students academic achievement (Ajayi 2001 and Oluchukwu 2000). Hence, the school environment remains an important area that should be studied and will managed to enhance students academic performance.
The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even student themselves. The quality of education not only depends in the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the school environment (Ajao 2001). School environment which include instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, the teachers as well as the students themselves are essential in teaching – learning process. The extent to which student learning could be enhanced depends on their location within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students.
Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Williams, Perand, and Turnet (2008), quoting Marsden (2005), which reported that safe and orderly class room environment (aspect of instructional space) school facilities (accessories) were significantly related to students academic performance in schools. The three researchers, also quoted Glassman (1994), asserting 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 dioxide in class rooms, 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, 2002, Lyons, 2001 and Ostendat 2001). These lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers and poor learning attitude among students. 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 upon the academic performance of students. Previous studies have investigated the relationship of poor school environment including problems with student teacher ratio, school location, school pollution, classroom with student health problems, student behavior and student achievement (Crandell and Smaldiho, 2000, Davis, 2001, Johnson, 2001, Lyons 2001, Moore 2002, Strichers 2000, tanner, 2000). To complement these studies the present research will examine the aforementioned of school environment as it affect students performance in Nigerian schools most especially here in delta state university, Abraka which is the case study of this research.