1.1 Background to the study
Education is the most important component of human resources development and is accorded a pride of place in many countries‟ developmental activities. There is no doubt that the importance of Biology to students cannot be underscored because there is no country that has succeeded without educating its people.
Education according to Osokoya (2009) helps to improve security, health, prosperity and ecological balance in the world. It encourages social, economic and cultural progress, tolerance, national and international cooperation.
Akomolafe (2009) describes education as a single most effective means of curbing population growth, reducing child mortality, eradicating poverty and ensuring democracy, peace and sustainable development.
Education is an instrument for the acquisition of appropriate skills, ability and competence both mental and physical also as equipment for individual to live and contribute to the development of his/her society (Lawal, 2003).
Also, in the views of Usha (2007) it is the process of teaching and training of the child which has to do with imparting and acquisition of skills for a particular trade or profession in which applicable methods are used.
The primary purpose of teaching and learning process is to bring about in the learner desirable change in behaviour through critical thinking. This process however, does not take place in vacuum but in an environment structured to facilitate learning. OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) (2009) described learning environment as a physical space that supports multiple and diverse teaching learning programmes including current technologies, one that demonstrates optimal, promotes effective performance and operation over time; one that respects and is in harmony with the environment; and one that encourages social participation, provide a healthy, comfortable, safe, secure and stimulating setting for its occupants.
However, the societal expectation of quality outputs from the training institution makes students the primary focus of attention in any instructional programme, and the better the learning environment (school), the better it can meet the goals of education and the society in general. Such goals include equipping students with desirable skills, knowledge and attitudes that will enable them to work and live in the society of knowledge National Policy on Education, (CRN2004).
Teachers are expected to make teaching the learners‟ cantered and create enabling environment for students to interact with learning materials in order to concretize their knowledge and skills so that they can become self-confident and self-reliant, and contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the society.
There is a general belief that the condition of school’s learning environment including infrastructure has an important impact on teachers‟ effectiveness and students‟ academic performance. The facilities that are needed to facilitate effective teaching and learning in an educational institution include the classrooms, offices, laboratories, conveniences and other buildings as well as furniture items and sporting equipment.
Comfortable classroom temperature and smaller classes enhance teachers‟ effectiveness and provide opportunities for students to receive more individual attention, ask more questions, participate more fully in discussions, reduce discipline problems and perform better than students in schools with substandard buildings by several percentage points (Earthen, 2002).
According to Mitchell (2008) the environment in which you study can have a big effect on how efficient your study time is. He identified noise, interruptions, lighting, temperature, neatness, comfort, instructional materials, facilities such buildings and equipment to have potential effect on study habits.
Biology as one of the core subjects in senior secondary school curriculum in Nigeria represents one of the modern curricular arrangements which focuses on interdisciplinary study that seeks to solve the complex problems of man in totality. The idea of introducing biology as a subject in Nigeria came up before the civil war, when the social development of Nigerians could no longer cope with the level of colonial destructions. This situation led to indiscipline among youths and adults.
To minimize this and socialize the citizens in such a way as to build a strong, united and discipline Nigeria, the type of education that will help the citizens to know more about the society became very important.
Biology sees the need for students to be given the necessary information for enlightenment, to be taught to have respect for law and order, to appreciate the need to be honest and diligent and to cooperate in their community.
Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC2009) has identified the following as objectives of biology as to help individuals understand their environment, find out its problems and be able to solve the problems; to help individuals to understand the importance of hard work and honesty within the society; to acquaint individuals with the knowledge to understand the laws of our country and be able to obey them; to help citizens understand the importance of cooperating with our family, peer group and leaders; to help individuals understand the needs of our nation and think of ways in which they can carefully contribute to its growth and development; to help individuals understand the wealth of their culture and find ways in which they can use the past and present experience to plan and improve the quality of lives; to help individuals understand the usefulness of being good citizens in our country (Nigeria); to help individuals learn, acquire useful skills, habits and attitudes towards each other and the nation; to make individuals appreciate and understand the role of races, religions and cultures of the world; to enable individuals acquire desirable skills in order to solve our environmental problems and to train citizens to understand one another, tolerate one another despite their differences.
In a different opinion of Davis (2002), one important purpose of biology is helping young people to develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizen of culturally diverse democratic society in an independent world.
Okonkwo (2000) has identified general objectives of biology as creation of awareness in the learners about their immediate surroundings; development of specific fundamental dispositions suchas attitudes, values and norms of the society; promotion of effective and active citizens; promotion of understanding of social problems of the locality and finding possible solutions to them; helping the learners to develop the right attitudes towards people in position of authority; creation of understanding of individual roles during election especially on how to discharge his/her duties efficiently; and demonstration of flexibility and willingness to accept necessary changes within a system for the common good of all.
From the above stated objectives of biology, it can be said without using words that the subject can enable learners to become nationally conscious, better informed and effective citizens. It can inculcate national unity; imbibe the right type values and attitudes for self and national survival and the acquisition of necessary skills, abilities and competencies which individuals need in order to be able to contribute to national development.
Meanwhile, biology is one of the core subjects in Nigerian Senior secondary schools education. Thus, secondary education is the pivot around which the development of the nation’s‟ economy revolves. It is the engine room that provides the input resources into the nation’s ‟economy and higher (tertiary) education production system. Thus, National Policy on Education (CRN2004) described secondary education as the education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage; the broad goals of secondary education shall be to prepare the individual for: a useful living within the society, a higher education.
However, it went further and stated in specific term that, secondary education shall provide all primary leavers with the opportunity for education of higher level irrespective of sex, social status, religious or ethnic background; offer diversified curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunity and further roles; provide trained manpower in the applied science, technology and commerce at sub-professional grades; develop and promote Nigerian languages, arts and cultural heritage; inspire its students with a desire for self- improvement and achievement of excellence; foster national unity with an emphasis on the common ties that unite us in our diversity; rise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour, appreciate those values specified under our broad national goals and live as god citizens and provide technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agriculture, industrial, commercial and economic development.
Finally, it is obvious that secondary education is important and necessary for the survival of individuals and the society at large. Broadly speaking, secondary education prepares individuals for useful living within the society and prepares the individuals for higher education.
1.3 Statement to the Problem
Schools need to be effective so as to be able to deliver the good things expected of them at every point in time. School effectiveness in this context refers to the extent to which schools are able to accomplish their pre-determined objectives. School effectiveness transcends beyond students passing examinations. It also encompasses students‟attainment in other domains of learning. (the affective and the psychomotor domains) (Bandele, 2002).
It has been observed in the recent past that secondary schools in Abuja are not living up to expectation in delivering quality education expected of the system. A lot of problems seem to be bedeviling the secondary school system ranging from inadequate facilities, old and dilapidated structures, inadequate instructional materials and unqualified teachers thereby making the system ineffective (Wanjobi, 2011).
According to Oladele (2003) the evidence of students‟ moral paucity are more conspicuously seen as high crime in the society and that of the institutions of learning.He furtherpositedthattherootcauseof thesemoral laxities translating in higher crime waves is traceable to the non-teaching of ethics, when the students are at the secondary schools.
However, it has indeed, been observed today that there is persistent poor performance of students in both internal and external examinations. Researchers such as Yusuf (2002) and Adeyemi (2008) have all shown in their various studies that the extent of poor performance of students in public examination has no doubt made parents lost confidence in the ability of the public schools to produce good products.
Adewuyi (2002) submitted that conducive learning environment can have influence on both the attitudes and achievement of students. He further added that a positive learning environment is found to be a very important factor of school effectiveness. Therefore, it is against this background information that the researcher examined the Influence of Environment on Teacher’s Job Performance and Students’ Academic Performance in Biology in Secondary Schools in Abuja.1.4 Objectives of the Study
The following are the objectives of the study:
The following questions are raised with regard to this research:
The following are the research hypotheses:
The study was conducted to examine the Influence of Environment on the Teacher’s Job Performance and Students’ Academic Performance in Biology in Secondary Schools in Abuja. Thus, the study used SS2 students of Government Secondary School Garki, Government Secondary School Lugbe, Government Science Secondary School Maitama and Government Secondary School Jabi Abuja.
1.8 Definition of Terms
School Environment: these are the facilities, learning materials made available to the study as well as the conduciveness of the school to enhance or inhibit learning.
Home Environment: this is the availability or non-availability of facilities in the home to enhance or inhibit learning
Parental Education: this is the degree of parents educational attainment with its associated social, economical and financial benefits has the capabilities to enhance or inhibit learning.
House Neighborhood: this is the immediate community that the student lives.
Academic Achievement: the mean performance of the students on the various school subjects.
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