1.1 Background to the study
Schools are usually set up to provide an environment for teaching and learning, the effectiveness of which requires several factors to be put in place. These factors include a good curriculum, well trained teachers, a good learning environment, teaching aids amongst others. It is generally agreed that the quality of education delivered by teachers and the academic achievement of students in any school is dependent on several factors of which school plant is paramount. Governments, private individuals and organizations in all states in Nigeria are increasingly involved in the provision of schools to meet the increasing demand for secondary education in Nigeria, secondary school enrolment has increased without a corresponding increase in the number of school plants required for effective teaching and learning. This has put a considerable strain on most secondary schools in Kaduna State.
The physical facilities that exist in the school system, which contribute either directly or indirectly to teaching-learning effectiveness constitute educational facilities or school plant (Asiyai, 2012). School plant refers to all physical facilities including buildings, classrooms, laboratories, libraries, recreational facilities, toilets, furniture. According to Undie (2007), school plant embraces the permanent and relatively permanent possessions of the school‘s resources such as laboratory equipment, white board, marker, generators, machines, tools and so on. It can be said that school plant means the school building, all materials, furniture and equipment attached and unattached to the building, all structures and features on the school site, including paths, roads, parking lots, playgrounds, open grounds, trees, flowers and
objects used for implementing or supporting the implementation of an educational programme (National Open University Of Nigeria, NOUN, 2012). School plant can be used synonymously with what some scholars refer to as school facilities. The Encyclopedia of Education (2012) adds that the school facility consists of not only the physical structures but also a variety of building systems such as mechanical, plumbing, electrical power, telecommunications, security and fire suppression systems. The school plant also includes furnishings, materials and supplies; information technology devices as well as various aspects of the school grounds namely sports fields, playgrounds, school farms and other areas for outdoor learning (Abdulkareem & Fasasi, 2012). Staff quarters, sickbays, dormitories, cafeterias and other auxiliary services buildings and components are also a part of the school plant. For Ajayi and Yusuf (2010), school plants comprise the following:
1) Machinery: It includes machines and tools used in the workshop, duplicating machines and so on.
2) School site: This refers to the entire landscape on which the school‗s permanent and semi-permanent structures are built.
3) Buildings: These include classroom blocks, administrative offices, libraries, workshops, laboratories, students, hostels, staff residential quarters, assembly halls, toilets dining hall and so on.
4) Equipment: These consist of typewriters, photocopiers, computers, sporting equipment, laboratory equipment and workshop equipment.
5) Furniture: Desks and seats used in the classrooms office furniture, residential
furniture and soon.
6) Vehicles of various types and sizes.
7) Books, textbooks, periodicals and all library books.
8) Electrical infrastructure: Air conditioners, electrical fans, generating sets and other electrical fittings.
9) Water supply infrastructure: This involves deep wells, boreholes, water tanks and public water.
10) Accessories: These include playgrounds, lawns, parks garden and farm.
It is obvious then that constituents of a school plant are not static, but change from school to school and generation to generation. The school plant has been aptly described by Asiyai (2012) as the space interpretation of the curriculum. The curriculum finds its physical expression in the construction and arrangement of the school plant (Knezevich, 1976).