The Impact Of Learning Environment Of Students And Their Academic Measurement In Rural Community

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CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

Physical learning environment includes school buildings (classrooms, assembly halls, labouratories and workshops, libraries and so on) teaching aids and devices such as modern educational hardwares and their softwares in the form of magnetic tapes, films and transparencies (Ogbodo, 2005). They are therefore, materials things that facilitate teaching and learning processes in the school. These facilities enable a skillful teacher to achieve a level of instructional effectiveness that far exceeds what is possible when they are not provided (Castaldi in Auta, 2012). These facilities are therefore related directly to school curriculum. The programmes of the school are expressed as they were through the school site, the buildings, play grounds, the arrangement and design of the building and so on. A well designed functional school building with a wide array of teaching aids thereby provide effective delivery of the schools‘ curriculum and are positively related to academic performance (Bloom in Auta, 2012).

Physical learning environment should be properly planned, developed and maintained in order to ensure its relevance to the school curriculum and its effective teaching and learning in any educational institutions (Dare, 2010). Educational facilities are indispensable as far as the industry is concerned. They are essential for the well being and comfort of teachers‘ and the pupils‘ in the teaching-learning process. According to Kochler in Auta (2012), ―there are no two opinions on the idea that a school building must be spaciously planned, functional and with pleasing architectural features”. He further stated that buildings are to education as the body is to the mind. This is to say that a fine building makes a fine learning atmosphere and poor buildings, a poor learning atmosphere. From the above assertion, we can agree that a school should be housed in beautiful buildings which are not only stimulating centres of education for

 

children but also vital centres of community life. This can only be achieved through excellent planning of school facilities. School facilities embrace both temporary and permanent structures of school sites. School facilities consist of basic systems and structures which a viable school needs in order to function effectively and to fulfill the purpose for which it was established.

At times, pupils and teachers find themselves in a physical environment that adversely affects their morale and in some cases, their health. For example, if the science laboratory is getting deteriorated, it will create fear for both pupils‘ and teachers‘ to conduct practical inside. Also, if the toilet is bad, the odour will convey sickness to both pupils and teachers. When a school building is in disrepair, pupils‘ achievement suffers, for example, a swinging door classroom with broken glass windows is a source of danger to pupils when they run up and down in the class. People are affected and influenced by their environment. Pupils exposed to environment condition in the school facilities are no exception.

Physical learning environment also comprise of those basic infrastructures and all educational equipments that are provided in the school in order to cater for the general and specific needs of pupils as well as to ease the process of teaching and learning both in class and outside the classroom. Uga cited in Ibrahim (2013), attempts a classification of these educational facilities into two broad types, viz; physical facilities and learning facilities or curriculum resources. Physical facilities include classroom, school bay clinic, libraries, laboratories, administrative offices, auditoriums, toilets, cafeteria, common rooms, workshops, parking lots, power and water plants, transportation facilities, classroom furniture‘s, first aid box, sport and recreational grounds, refuse disposal facilities, drainage facilities, gardens and so on, curriculum

 

resources or learning facilities are visual aids, audio aids and audio-visual aids. Uga cited in Ibrahim (2013), adds that the latter is used during the process of instruction.

The realization that the transfer of knowledge does not only take place within  the four walls of the classroom from the teacher to the pupils but rather that learning takes place through discovery, exploration, interaction with the internal and external environment has necessitated the creative and innovative development of teaching learning facilities that reflect these changes (Fenker, 2004). Schools exist to serve socio- economic and political needs of the ever-changing society; consequently they are in constant interaction with their external environment. They receive inputs from the external environment in the form of human and material resources, process them and empty same into the society as finished products and services. The quality of the products bears a direct relationship with the quality of the facilities deployed in the process of the production. According to Porpst in Ibrahim (2013), useful types of resources are to be contacted by the planners and the management team. These are acoustical design engineering, audio-visual design engineering, behavioural sciences, building systems, designs, community and press relations, ecological studies, electrical data processing of hardware, specification electrical data processing for programme development, use of facilities training and financial planning, information management, installation supervision, interior design, laboratory planning and engineering lighting design, management consulting, project planning, safety engineering, site planning and technical equipment specialization.

Ani (2007) stressed that physical learning environment could be taken as the location of the school building, the equipment in the school and other material resources provided in the school or, it could mean the site where the school programmes and activities takes place. Ogunsaju (2004) describes the school facilities as the space interpretation of the school curriculums. The programmes of the school are expressed as it were through the school site; the buildings, play ground, the arrangement and design of the buildings, A well designed, functional school building with a wide array of teaching aids provides effective delivery of schools curriculum and are positively related to pupils. Asiyai (2012) conducted a study on accessing physical learning environment in relation to school facilities in public Primary schools in Delta State, Nigeria. The purpose of this study was to find out the state of the facilities. The study employed the use of ex-post-facto research design and questionnaire was used to collect data from 640 respondent selected through stratified sampling techniques from all the 356 public primary schools in the state. Findings reveals that physical learning environment in relation to school facilities in the schools are general in a state of disrepair. The findings further revealed the maintenance carried out on school facilities were inadequate for majority of the facilities.

 

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