Background of the Study

There are two categories of schools in Nigeria, namely public and private schools. The public primary schools are funded by the Government or communities and are managed through Parent Teacher Associations. The private schools, on the other hand, are established and managed by private individuals or organizations.

Schools are established for the purpose of teaching and learning. It is also more important that the teachers and learners are properly accommodated to facilitate the teaching and learning that go on there. This is the essence of the school plant and facilities (Alimi 2004). Therefore school facilities are the space interpretation and physical expression of the school curriculum. In Nigeria at large and in Ondo State in particular, secondary schools, irrespective of ownership are expected to function in compliance with the achievement of the national education objectives. To this end, students are expected to perform brilliantly in the final examination as this determines the quality of output of secondary schools. This is one of the parameters used to measure the effectiveness of a school system. The better the performance of the students, the more effective the system is assumed to be (Philias & Wanjobi 2011).In another related study, Cynthia & Megan (2008) confirmed a strong and positive relationship between quality of school facilities and student achievement in English and Mathematics. In Nigeria, it is the general opinion of people that private schools are better in terms of the availability of human and physical facilities and consequently students’ performance than public schools. This situation has made many parents to enroll their children in private secondary schools. Experience has also shown that most students who secured admission into tertiary institution such as Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities are from private secondary

The rate of poor academic performance of student in Nigeria had resulted to economic and social wastage and this have become a great concern to all stakeholders in education. For instance, in 2008, 25.94% of the students had credits pass in English language and Mathematics. Also in year 2009, it was another year of poor result across all states of the federation. According to Okpala (2010) at the rational level, the percentage of candidates that had credit in English language between years 2005-2009 in West African Examinations Council (WAEC) are as follows: 27.53% in year 2005, 15.56% in 2006, 22.54% in 2007, 13.78% in 2008 and 24.94% in 2009. He also stated that candidates who obtained credit passes in five subjects and above including English language and Mathematics between 2005 and 2009 are as follows: 8.53% in year 2005, 13.32% in 2006, 27.74% in 2007, 10.53% in 2008 and 1.80% in 2009.

The break-down of 2009 results in West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and National Examination Council (NECO) indicated a mass failure across the 36 states of the federation. From the analysis in 2009, it was recorded that in Ondo State which is the focus of this study less than 2% of the candidates who sat for the examination made five credits and above in NECO and WASSCE while 0.95% of the candidate made credit passes in English Language and Mathematics.

The failure was not just intense; it was truly hopeless in the sense of the situation in the post-primary training environment. In this case and as earlier declared on December 23, 2010 by the examinations body, only 20.04 per cent or 62,295 candidates obtained credit pass in physics and other three subjects in the Nov. /Dec. 2010 examinations. This is a pointer to the fact that all is not well with the students’ attainment in the cognitive

Apart from the general poor performance referred to above, there appeared to be difference in performance from one school to the other. It may be argued that such variation in performance is unavoidable. Although, the incidence of poor performance appears to be more common in public secondary schools, private schools are not free from the declining trend.

The consequence of mass failure in public examination is the inability of learners to proceed to higher educational institution. As a result of this poor performance, stakeholders in education are curious to know the causal factors associated with the problem. Causes of the poor academic performance could include ownership of the school and inadequate facilities. Facilities are of everything used directly or indirectly for the benefit of education. Facilities could also be explained as the entire school plant such as blocks of classrooms, staffrooms, laboratories, workshops, libraries, laboratory equipment, consumables, audio-visual aids, electricity, water, chairs, tables, stationeries, playground, storage spaces and others which school has. It has always been realized that facilities are very important in the development and improvement of education in Nigeria. A school without facilities, either private or public, may not be able to achieve the stated goals and objectives of the system. When facilities are available and skillfully utilized, they influence learning and making it more meaningful. Facilities in education are very vital because they aid teaching and learning.

Bandele (2003) noted that the importance of physical facilities cannot be relegated. Facilities like modern laboratories, libraries and classrooms are to be put in place in all our Adesola (2005) found out that the level of available resources is indeed a plus to the teachers and goes to show the level of ingenuity and commitment of the teachers toward effective delivery of lesson. There is the need for renovation of old buildings, chairs, desks, cabinets and acquisition of modern classrooms as earlier recommended by Alimi (2007). Akinfolarin (2008) identified facilities as a major factor contributing to academic performance in the schools system. These include classroom furniture, recreational equipment among others. Different studies conducted by Ayodele (2000) and Vandiver (2011), showed that a positive relationship exists between availability of facilities and student academic performances.

Research findings on the influences of facilities in private and public secondary schools on students’ academic performance are controversial. Keeves (1978) found out that the type of school, classified as public or private did not make any difference on students’ academic performance. However, Ajayi (2006), found out that school type make a difference in student academic performance. In addition, Philias & Wanjobi (2011) reiterated that the type of schools, (single sex or mixed, private or public) has effect on the academic performance of students in Mathematics. Therefore, this study wants to find out School type and students performance in Physics in WASSCE.

  Statement of the Problem

A study conducted by Moscoso et al., 2000 in America observed that children learning outcome and educational performance are strongly affected by the standard and type of educational institution in which students get their education. The educational environment of the school one attends sets the parameters of students’ learning outcomes. Braun, H., Jenkins, F., & Grigg, 2006 noticed that school ownership, provision of facilities and availability of resources in school is an important structural component of the school. Private schools due to the better funding, small sizes, serious ownership, motivated faculty and access to resources such as computers perform better than public schools. These additional funding resources and facilities found in private schools enhance academic performance and educational attainment of their students.

KENPRO, 2010 observed that most schools did not have adequate classroom to accommodate the large number of pupils enrolled under the FPE programmes. For instance, classrooms appeared to be generally congested and there was hardly any space for free movement during lessons. Also a number of classroom conditions were poor, for instance, lighting depended only on sunlight, which was sometimes inadequate. Also in some schools they had introduced school mats for children to sit on since there were no sufficient desks. But a majority of the teachers felt that the sitting on the mats affected the children’s writing skills and general physical development.

We are therefore faced with the problem to establish weather, the two categories of schools offer the same quality of education. In order to achieve this, we do a prospective cohort study where we follow up these two groups to secondary level and determine their performance after secondary education. Parents are spending a lot of resources and money to take their children to private schools with a belief that they offer better quality than public school. Is it worth spending that much while its can be cheaper in public school for the same quality?


            Objectives of the study

The objectives of this study is to assess School type and students performance in Physics in WASSCE

  • To determine the relationship between type of school and students performance in WASSCE
  • To assess the moderating effect of students altitude on the relationship between type of school and students’ performance
  • To assess the joint effect of type of school, students altitude on students’ performance



            Research question

There are believes that goes around that there is difference between student from public and private schools. The research seeks to answer the following questions:

  • Will there be any difference in academic performance between students from private and public?
  • What are some of the factors that responsible for any difference in performance?
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