This study investigated school variables as predictor of students’ academic performance in Financial Accounting in senior secondary school in Ondo State, Nigeria. The study was a descriptive research of survey type which consists of all senior secondary schools in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State. A sample of five (5) Senior Secondary Schools were selected by simple random sampling technique. From the selected secondary schools, 20 students were selected from each school making a total of 100 students. Questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection. The validity of the instrument was ascertained by the supervisor and test of reliability was carried out with reliability co-efficient of 0.80. The data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as percentage, mean and t-test at 0.05 level of significance. The result showed that school variable such as school facilities, teachers’ qualification, school location and class size have influence on students’ academic performance in financial accounting. The study concluded that based on the findings of the study, it was concluded that school variables such as well-equipped school facilities, teachers’ high level of qualification, conducive school location and small class size are essential in improving students’ academic performance in financial accounting in senior secondary school of ondo state. The study recommended among others that there should be adequate provision of facilities by the government for all secondary schools to cater for the need of the students and enhance effective teaching. The population of students admitted into the school should be dependent on the available space and facilities. There should be a reasonable match between students’ population and the available resources in the admission process. There is the need to make the number of students to be taught in the classes to be moderate so that the teachers can be able to manage the class effectively and give individual attention to students where necessary.
Background to the study
In Nigeria, secondary education aims at preparing an individual for useful living within the society and higher education. Specifically, it aims at, providing all primary school leavers with the opportunity for education of higher level irrespective of sex, social status, religious, or ethnic background; offering diversified curriculum to cater for differences in talent, opportunities, and future roles, providing trained manpower in applied science, technology and commerce at sub-professional grades, developing and promoting Nigeria languages, arts and culture in the content of the world’s cultural heritage, inspiring students with a desire for self-improvement and achievement of excellent fostering national unity with emphasis on the common ties that unit us in our diversity, raising 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 goal and live as good citizens, and providing technical knowledge and vocational skills, necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development ( National Policy on Education 2014).
The school is a social and learning agent that provides the environment upon which a child may be formally educated in order to attain educational goals. Human being have unlimited capacity to learn, but may however be limited by the behavior patterns and facilities that the immediate environment offer. According to Umoh (2016) nature only provides the raw materials in form of potentials, but it is the environment that determines the extent of development.
In furtherance to the menace 0f low academic performance which had been on the high strain in the Nigerian academic system cannot be over emphasized as it had eaten deep into the quality of students and eventual leaders produced into the Nigerian economy. It could be deduced that there exist a vacuum in the quality of students produced and the required quality of individual for various institutional need of the country. In accessing the cause effect of the level of student academic performance, the researcher consider some variables of the school as those instruments that could tailor the level of student academic performance.
However, school variables according to Ajayi (2011) is a schools physical surrounding, which includes the classrooms, school location, libraries, technical workshops, laboratories, teachers quality, school management, teaching methods, peers, buildings and school type. They are variables that affect student’s academic achievement either positively or negatively. Hence, the school factors remain an important area that should and well managed to enhance student’s academic performance. George (2010) added that the extent to which student learning could enhance depend on their location within the school compound, the structure of their classroom, availability of instructional facilities and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the student.
Thus, for learning to take place and the performance of students enhance, the school must be stimulating and encouraging. The school environment must be inviting or welcoming, conducive and accommodating for adequate and effective learning to take place. According to Grant (2005), school buildings furnished and well equipped for habitation. As dilapidating buildings, lacking mental stimulating facilities that are characterized with low or no seating arrangement will also be destructive to students’ academic achievement. It has been proved that students are taught in stimulating environment with laboratory equipment, rich instructional aids, picture and are allowed to demonstrate using their functional peripheral nerves like eyes hands and sense of taste performed better than those trained under theoretical and canopy of abstraction.
However, Marsden (2005) opined that the extent to which students learning could be enhanced depends on certain factors (school variables) such as school facilities, school location, teachers qualification, class size and school type. It is believed that a well planned school with these variables will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students. School facilities are school equipment and materials used in facilitating the teaching learning process. An effective school facility is responsive to the changing programs of educational delivery, and at a minimum should provide a physical environment that is comfortable, safe, secure, accessible, well illuminated, well ventilated and aesthetically pleasing (Bello 2011). These facilities include, a well equipped library, a well equipped laboratory, seats, tables, chalkboard, lighting, charts, maps and computers with internet connection. The facility also includes furnishings, materials and suppliers, equipment and information technology, as well as various aspects of the building grounds, namely, athletic fields, playgrounds, areas for outdoor learning and vehicular access and parking. Marsden (2005) reported that safe and orderly classroom environment (aspect of instructional space), school facilities (accessories) were significantly related to students academic performance in schools. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among students as well as teachers which leads to poor performance and higher absentee rates Marsden (2005). These factors can adversely affect student behavior and lead to higher levels of frustration among teachers, and poor learning attitude among students. It is against this background that this work is undertaken.
The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the government, parents, teachers and even student themselves. The quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties but also in the effective coordination of the school variables. It is believed that the school physical features has a form of relationship with the student academic performance in terms of the class size, structure, ownership, location and type, teachers qualification, teachers teaching methods.
A class with highly populated students may result in the teachers not been able to monitor the performance and also research has postulated a form of severe relationship between the ownership of school and the students’ academic performance say public school and private school. Also, the location and availability of educational resource at the disposal of the student’s in term of school variable effect their level of academic performance.
Most excelling students’ tends to emerge from private school in the modern academic dispensation with the paradox of whose teachers’ emerging from the public school in old academic dispensation in Nigeria. To complement these studies, the present research will examine the aforementioned areas of school variables as it affect students’ performance in Nigeria schools.
Statement of the problem
Academic attainment is an important parameter measuring success in students’ observations and reports have show that success or high academic achievement has become a herculean task to accomplish by student in recent times. Poor academic performance were recorded both at the secondary and tertiary levels of education in Nigeria (Essien 2012). This poor performance of student at all levels in education institutions in Nigeria has attracted much criticism from all and sundry from time immemorial. Soyinka (2012) observed the decline in the academic performance of students’ in post primary institution and maintained that secondary school system in Nigeria needed restructing. He went further to say that academic standard had fallen drastically and the quality of secondary school graduates being produced is questionable and subject to re-examination.
It becomes necessary to find out the causes of such poor performance in our secondary schools. Though, these poor performances have been attributed to a lot of indicators such as student’s factors, and the home factors, the school factors and other exogenous variables are thought to have also determine student’s academic success in school. The interest of this research has been activated by the fact, all the effort made by ondo state government to improve the academic performance of secondary school students’ has not yielded the desired result. It is against this back drop that this study is conducted to examine whether the following school variables (school facilities, teacher qualification, school location, class size and school type) determines academic success of a child in secondary school in Ondo west local government area of Ondo state.
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