Background to the Study
Science has become such an indispensable tool that no nation, developed or developing, wishing to progress in the socio-economic sphere will afford to relegate its learning in schools. The role of science in this modern era of technology is wide and profound. In line with this reasoning, emphasized the importance of scientific knowledge in boosting national prestige, military might, national income and international rating of the country. In the words of, “Physics is the most utilized basic science subject in most technology and technology- related profession”. This merely indicates that the enormous role that Physics plays in the technological growth of any nation must not be undermined. In spite of the great emphasis on Physics teaching because of its central role in technological advancement, students are observed to perform poorly in academic achievement in the subject.
Physics is very interesting and one of the best science in the world. There is no gain saying about the fact that physics occupies a very sensitive position in physical science and related discipline. This informs several efforts geared toward studying physics at higher secondary level of education. Hence, it is one of the science subjects one must pass so as to qualify to offer some science courses at tertiary level of education. It is however, very disheartening and heart breaking that despite the key role and much emphasis, being laid on physics, students at higher secondary school level of education are still performing woefully in this subject has being an issue of great concern to stake holders in education, most especially those in the field of science. This has been attributed to myriad of factors such as poor parenting, poor attitude of students towards their studies
Physics which is a branch of pure science is introduced into the curriculum content of secondary schools because of its educational value, relevant to the need of the individual learner and society as a whole (Ogunleye, 2012). Physics is a human endeavor that relies on basic qualities like activity, weight, recording and skills.
The school and teacher’s factors which influence the academic performance of students in physics are the classroom, libraries, quality and quantity of physics teachers, the availability or non – availability of facilities, teaching aids school management, teaching methods, environment and the location of the school.
Nigeria national objectives, as stated in the national policy on education federal ministry of education (2011), are geared towards self realization, better human relationship, individual and national utility as well as towards social, cultural, economics, political, scientific and technological growth. To accomplish these objectives, it is stated in section 10 of the policy that federal and state governments shall maintain and adequately fund the inspectorate and education. Indeed, the relevance of science to national goals, aspirations and economy dictates, to a large extent, the huge commitment and support which most nations make and give to science and technological development Olagunju (2010).
Physics is commonly viewed as the “center science” as mastery of its concepts regarding the structure of matter is prerequisite to further study in all sciences.
These school factor remain important area that should be studied and well managed to enhance student performance in physics.
In essence, physics performs the function of gate keeper for the future study of both pure and applied science, medicine, pharmacy, engineering, agricultural and all other professions at the secondary school level.
The selected factors therefore include school location, school type, laboratory adequacy and frequency of practical classes.
The issue of poor performance of students in physics in Nigeria secondary schools has been of much concern to the government, parents and even students themselves. The quality of physics do not only depends on the teacher as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the school factors.
The school factors includes instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, teaching methods, location, availability of qualify teachers, school programme, facilities and as well as the students themselves are essential in teaching learning process.
According to Williams, Persuade and Turner (2012), the extent to which student learning physics could be enhanced depends on their location which the school compounds 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 facilitates good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and that of physics performance of the students.
Glassman (2013), assert that the physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on teachers, students and the learning process. Poor lighting, noise, high levels in classrooms and inconsistent temperatures make teaching and learning difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective use of school facilities and teaching aids among school students and teachers lead to poor performance in the teaching and learning physics in our secondary schools in Nigeria.
Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on student ability to learn, then combined with frustrating behaviour by students including poor concentration which creates a stressful, set of working conditions for lowered teacher enthusiasm, it is possible that the afore mentioned characteristics of school factors has an influence on the academic performance of student in physics. The importance of the above school factors is enormous as succinctly put by Strain (2012) the success in physics learning is dependent not only on the quality and intensity of instruction and absence of impediments to learning, but also on the make up of the teacher methods and materials.
Statement of the Problem
However, despite the relevance of physics in the field of science subject as a medium of actualization of millennium technological breakthrough in the country as well as the efforts made by different scholars, researchers, government at levels of education to improve the learning of physics in schools, the performance of student in West African senior school certificate examination and other external examinations are very appalling, corroborating the above stand point Ogunleye (2011) reported that only an estimated twenty percent of the population of the country readily understand physics as an important science subject.
Another problem is that, many school factors have been significant determinant of academic performance of students such factors include the qualified and quality of teachers, conducive atmosphere for learning, students enrolment, availability of teaching aids. Jegede (2010) in explaining the role of the school facilities stated that it heightens motivation for learning, making learning move stimulating as well as intellectual rewarding.
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