PERCEIVED IMPACT OF SCHOOL CLIMATE ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ONITSHA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ANAMBRA STATE

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PERCEIVED IMPACT OF SCHOOL CLIMATE ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ONITSHA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ANAMBRA STATE

Abstract

The topic of the research was perceived impact of school climate on academic performance of secondary school students in Onitsha North Local Government Area, Anambra State. The target population of the study will comprise the teachers, students and on-teaching staff. The target population was 3,000 respondents. The researcher used simple random sampling method to select the total of (500) respondents from the above school, which comprises the academic staff, non-academic staff and students. The researcher selected (100) one hundred respondents from each school, making a total of 500 respondents from the five schools selected. The researcher used questionnaire to collect data from the respondents. The researcher used simple percentage to analyze the data collected. The instrument for data collection was questionnaire. The findings included the following: that the school environment has power to influence the quality of academic performance of the pupils, secondly, that good school environment gives opportunity to pupils to learn effectively. The researcher recommended that owners of schools should make their school conducive to enhance proper teaching and learning. secondly, owners of schools should spend adequate money on the development of school resources like library to attract attention to the pupils.

 

  PERCEIVED IMPACT OF SCHOOL CLIMATE ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ONITSHA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ANAMBRA STATE

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

It is widely accepted that education is one of the leading tools for promoting economic development as it covers some processes individuals go through to help them develop and use their potentials. Furthermore, through education, individuals acquire knowledge, skills and attitude that are necessary for effective living. This is the reason why in all modern nations, investment in education of the youth is considered most vital (Adeyemi and Adu, 2010; Okeke, 2007).

The school as an organization has certain objectives which it has to achieve (National Policy of Education, 1998). In order to achieve the objectives, the organizational climate of the school is important. This organizational climate refers to the working condition among superordinates (head teachers) and subordinates (teachers) in a bid to achieve the objectives of the school (Adeyemi, 2008).

According to Hoy and Hoy (2006), school climate refers to school achievement. Najeemah (2012) claimed that a happy school is very motivated, with productive accomplishment which made it different from other schools. School climate also means a school’s social environment and culture which influence the behavior of its community. This means that school climate plays an important role in influencing the behavior and achievement of the community in the school particularly the performance of teachers.

School climate is a significant element in improving students’ academic achievement. Student achievement is a major objective of every educational delivery system. This objective can be achieved through comfortable school climate. School climate is an integral and indispensable component of the teaching and learning process in Nigeria and the world at large. Indeed, no meaningful teaching and learning can take place in an environment that is not conducive and safe to both learners and teachers. It is, therefore, imperative that educational stakeholders foster safety and security of school environments to facilitate increased learner enrolment, retention and completion and hence attainment and quality education (UNESCO, 2006).

Schools perceived as being positive, safe, and nurturing environments focused on student learning, perform better in examinations regardless of available technology or teacher training. This is not to say that a school with no textbooks will outperform one with textbooks based solely on environment, but that the learning environment and climate produced by the school as a whole may help or hinder learning.

The learning environment determines the quality of education. The quality of education tends to be evaluated in terms of the number of students passing national examinations (Ndiku, 2011). The expectation of parents is that their children perform well in national examinations in any secondary school attended as long as the criterion for admission to these schools is the same. This is not however the case as the perception among many parents is that some schools seemingly perform better than others.

Halpin and Croft in Ndiku (2011) define school climate as the social atmosphere of a setting or a “learning environment” in which students have different experiences depending upon the protocols set up by the teachers and administrators. Maine Guidelines in Ndiku (2011) define school climate as the synthesis of policies, procedures, activities, programs and facilities both formal and informal within a school infrastructure that affect the attitudes and behavior of all people in the school, staff, students, parents and visitors.

The concept of school climate is multi–dimensional and influences many individuals including students, parents, school personnel and the community. This concept has received attention from various authors and experts in education in a bid to finding solution to poor achievement of students. A good number of them described it from the perspective of the prevailing atmosphere in a school environment.  Of a truth good atmosphere determines the achievement of students in a school. Whether a student achieves well or not all depends on how he perceives the school environment as meeting his academic needs.

In a school environment a lot of factors determine the tone and nature of the academic process which impact on the students’ achievement.  Haynes in Ndiku (2011) asserts that a positive school climate perception helps to supply high risk students with a supportive learning environment as well as preventing anti–social behavior. Such a climate is associated with fewer behavioral and emotional problems for students. Sweetland and Hoy (2000) defined school climate as a relatively enduring quality of the entire school that is experienced by participants, their collective perception of behavior and affects their attitudes in the school. School climate can also be defined as the quality and character of school life (Larry, 2013). Although these definitions are as varied as the schools themselves, they have one common element that school climate affects members of a school either positively or negatively. School climate can however be referred to as the totality of factors present in a school which determines the teaching and learning process.

Furthermore, Okendo et al., (2013) expressly stated that there are primarily two types of school atmosphere that influence student performance, namely good and negative climate. Students do better in a positive school climate because it gives moral, physical, and academic support. Negative school climate, on the other hand, cannot lead to school improvement or increased effectiveness, and implies that the school is inadequate or lacking in physical resources, positive interactions, or learning is not taking place efficiently. A favourable school climate encourages learning, while a poor school climate inhibits learning, leading to pupils developing a dislike for topics in particular and the school in general.

 

A healthy school climate is a school that focuses on academic and the leader is able to influence the teachers and develop their belief that they have an impact on learning and teaching. Najeemah (2012) and Riechl & Sipple (1966) claimed that the characteristics of a school may affect teachers’ commitment and overall performance. Smith (2009) stated that teachers who obtain support from their leaders are more inclined to be committed to the vision and the mission of the school including the school values.

Teachers whether in private or public schools are saddled with the responsibility of performing their basic roles under a conducive and harmonious organisational climate. Suffice it to say that, this is why the National Policy on Education provided a watershed upon which the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education are rooted (Amagionyeodiwe and Osinubi, 2006).

The climate of work plays major role in the life of every individual whether a student, teacher, employer or employee. Though, some people are yet to believe that climate brings about better performance. The school climate, which includes the classrooms, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers’ quality, school management, teaching methods, school size and policies, etc are variables that affect teachers performance (Orlu, 2013). Hence, the school climate remains an important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance teachers’ performance as well as students’ academic performance. Therefore, this study examines the perceived impact of school climate on academic performance of secondary school students in Onitsha North Local Government Area, Anambra State.

Statement of the Problem

The issue of poor students’ academic performance in Lagos State public secondary schools in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even students. The quality of education does not only depends on students’ related factors, but also on the effective coordination of the school climate.

Moreover, when it comes to poor academic performance of the students, people are being too quick to blame parents and the students. But the fundamental problems facing education in Nigeria since independence are largely organizational or issuing bothering on school climate ranging from inadequate school structures, poorly equipped classrooms, high rate of school enrolment, inadequate instructional materials, high drop-out unto inadequate facilities; all these culminating to mass failure in public examination and poor quality of school leavers. It is against this backdrop that this study seeks to investigate the impact of school climate on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Nigeria.

Research Questions

In a bid to undertake this research work, the researcher considered these questions very necessary based on the purpose of the study:

  1. The extent the quality of physical school environment with regards to school buildings affect the academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Onitsha North Local Government Area.
  2. Determine the extent the school resources affect the academic performance of pupils.
  3. Find out the extent teacher-student relationship affect the academic performance.
  4. Proffer solution on how the school climate be improved to influence students academic development.

 

 

Objective of the Study

The general objective of this study is to investigate the perceived impact of school climate on academic performance of secondary school students in Onitsha North Local Government Area, Anambra State.

Specifically, the researcher will examine:

  1. The extent the quality of physical school environment with regards to school buildings affect the academic performance of pupils in primary schools in Onitsha North Local Government Area.
  2. Determine the extent the school resources affect the academic performance of pupils.
  3. Find out the extent teacher-student relationship affect the academic performance.
  4. Proffer solution on how the school climate be improved to influence students academic development.

 

Significance of the Study

The result of the study will also help the government, teachers and  principals of schools know the essence of having a healthy school climate in the school so that they will maintain a favorable learning environment  which will influence educational performance positively.

The study will also serve as additional literature in this area of study.

Scope of the Study

The study covered only the perceived impact of school climate on academic performance of secondary school students, with special reference to Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

PERCEIVED IMPACT OF SCHOOL CLIMATE ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN ONITSHA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, ANAMBRA STATE

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