School facilities have been observed as a potent factor to quantitative education. The importance to teaching and learning of the provision of adequate instructional school facilities for education cannot be over-emphazied. The dictum that “teaching is inseparable from learning but learning is not separable from teaching” is that teachers do the teaching to make the students learn but the students can learn without the teachers. According to Akande (1985), learning can occur through one’s interaction with one’s environment. Environment here refers to facilities that are available to facilitate students learning outcome. It includes books, audio-visual, software and hardware of educational technology so also size of classroom, sitting position and arrangement, availability of tables, chairs, chalkboards, shelves on which instruments for practicals are arranged.
According to Oni (1992), facilities constitute a strategic factor in organizational functioning. This is so because they determine to a very large extent the smooth functioning of any social organization or system including education. He further stated that their availability, adequacy and relevance influence efficiency and high productivity. In his words, Farombi (1998) opined that the wealth of a nation or society could determine the quality of education in that land; emphasizing that a society that is wealthy will establish good schools with quality teachers, learning infrastructures that with such students may learn with ease thus bringing about good academic achievement. Writing on the role of facilities in teaching, Balogun (1982) submitted that no effective science education programme can exist without equipment for teaching. This is because the facilities enable the learner to develop problem-solving skills and scientific attitudes. In their contribution, Ajayi and Ogunyemi (1990) reiterated that when the facilities are provided to meet relative needs of a school system, students will not only have access to the reference materials mentioned by the teacher but individual students will also learn at their own paces. The net effect of this is increased overall academic performance of the entire students.
In his study on resource concentration, utilization and management as correlates in students learning outcome of English language in Rivers state, Farombi (1998) found that the classroom learning environment in some schools was poor. He cited examples of schools without chalkboard, absence of ceiling, some roofing sheets not in place, windows and doors removed among others, a situation which the researcher regarded as hazardous to healthy living of the learners. Commenting on why high academic attainment is not in vogue in some secondary schools in Rivers state, Adesina (1981) identified poor and inadequate physical facilities, obsolete teaching techniques like overcrowded classrooms among others. Throwing more light on the school facilities and moral guiding provision, Fabunmi (1997) asserted that school facilities when provided will aid teaching learning programme and consequently improve academic achievement of students while the models guiding their provision to schools could take any form as rational bureaucratic and or political model. Whichever model is adopted, according to him there is always a common feature of differing allocation of facilities to schools. In his words, Ojoawo (1990), however noted that certain schools are favored in the allocation of facilities at the expense of others. What is even more alarming is the correlation, which these observers claim to exist between quality of facilities and academic performance. Lamenting on the glowing inadequacies of school facilities in our educational industry, Akinkugbe (1994) opined that everywhere you look, the primary, secondary and even in the tertiary there is abundant evidence of crippling inertia, criminal neglect and a pervasive decay in values and standard. Other scholars (Wilcockson 1994, Lawal 1995, Ajayi 1996, Suleiman 1996) have variously identified the significance of facilities in teaching learning spheres. We can say that absence or poor (and or deteriorating) quality of educational facilities can affect academic performance. Gamoran (1992), however, holding a contrary view noted that facilities, teachers salaries, books in the library and the presence of science laboratory had little impact on variation in student achievement once student background variables had been taken into account.
This statement connotes that before such student could perform well in higher educational level, he must have been groomed or cushioned by availability of resources in his elementary days upon which he now uses as spring board. According to Hallak (1990), facilities form one of the potent factors that contribute to academic achievement in the school system, they include the school buildings, classroom, accommodation, libraries, laboratories, furniture, recreational equipment, apparatus and other instructional materials. He went further to say that their availability, relevance and adequacy contribute to academic achievement. He however, quickly added that unattractive school buildings and overcrowded classrooms among others contribute to poor academic attainment. Describing where these facilities should be located, he ascribed that educational facilities should be located in appropriate places while the needs of the users should be put into consideration. In another development, Aliyu (1993) as cited by Johnson (1998) found that there was no significant difference between students in secondary schools with and without adequate instructional facilities. However, he submitted that instructional facilities were indispensible to academic achievement of students in English Language while students could perform well in other subjects without adequacy of sophisticated instructional materials.
Emphasizing the influence of school facilities on students academic performance, Oluchukwu, (2000) asserted school environment is an essential aspect of educational planning, he went further to explain that unless schools are well suited, buildings adequately constructed and equipment adequately utilized and maintained, much teaching and learning may not take place.
The high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. However, the impact of school facilities on students academic performance in an urban city like Rivers state is also known.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main objective of the study is the influence of school facilities on student’s academic performance in English language in Khana L.G.A of Rivers state. However, for the successful completion of the study, the following sub objectives were put forward by the researcher:
(i)To examine the relationship between the school facilities and the student academic performance.
(ii) To identify the impact of school facilities on the academic performance of the students in secondary schools.
(iii)To explore certain factors such as class size that have been perceived to promote or inhibit students learning in the academic process of students in secondary schools.
(iv)To investigate the extent to which the school location affects the academic performance of secondary school students.
1.4 Research question
For the successful completion of the study, the following research questions were formulated:
(i) Is there any relationship between the school facilities and the student academic performance?
(ii) To what extent do school facilities impact on the academic performance of the students in secondary schools?
(iii) How can certain factors such as class size promote or inhibit students learning in the academic process in secondary schools be explored?
(iv) To what extent does the school location has on the academic performance of secondary school students?
1.5 Significance of the study
It is hoped that this study will provide information for parents, educators and school administrators to reflect upon various factors that help students in achieving their academic goals. In so doing, they can investigate the possibility of introducing those factors to their school which may consequently lead to enhancing students academic performance in their educational outcomes in schools. In addition, the fact that this study is conducted in public schools, it shares quite a lot of similarities with many other counterparts. In this connection, this study provides a valuable reference for other schools to reflect upon their school facilities as it affect the academic performance of students in secondary schools.
1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
The scope of the study is the influence of school facilities on student’s academic performance in English language in Khana L.G.A of Rivers state. However, the study has some constrained and limitations which are:
(a)Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
(b)Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
(c)Finance: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 Definition of terms
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or pupils) under the direction of teachers.
A school environment is a school that has appropriate facilities, well-managed classrooms, available school-based health supports and a clear, fair disciplinary policy. It also includes the physical and aesthetic surroundings and the safety, security, climate and culture of the school.
Academic achievement refers to a student’s success in meeting short or long term goals in education.
It is used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age takes place. It follows elementary or primary education and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.