This paper examines school plant and its importance to teaching and learning in the school system. It begins with a brief overview of school plant and relates it to educational planning. It then examines school plant as a concept and explains the teaching learning process. Five (5) importance of school plant are then explained. The paper ends with a conclusion highlighting the main points of the paper.
It has been observed that many schools are now paying more attention to their school plant. School plant which includes all educational facilities has been repeatedly found to have a positive relationship with quality of education.
These educational facilities include the site, the buildings, physical equipment, recreational spaces and textbooks used for the achievement of educational objectives (Oluchuckwu 2002).
Odupurokan (2011) states that a well planned school plant will gear up expected outcomes of education, that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation; effective teaching and learning and academic performance of students. Therefore it can be said that the school plant is an essential aspect of educational planning because unless schools are well suited, buildings adequately constructed and equipment adequately provided much teaching and learning may not take place. Corroborating these, Mark (2002) and Ajayi (2007) maintained that high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms libraries, technical workshop and labouratories are lacking.
WHAT IS SCHOOL PLANT
The school plant is the sum total of building, equipment, textbook including the surrounding where teaching and learning takes place. The school plant includes all permanent and semi – permanent structures in the school.
TEACHING – LEARNING PROCESS
The teaching learning process is a systematic series of activities carried out by teachers to ensure learners (students) behave in a pre-determined way, or imbibe certain attributes (curriculum). These include change in behaviour, attitude and performance in achievement tests. The teaching – learning process is usually guided by a curriculum.
IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL PLANT
Many researchers have shown the obvious relationship between school plant and curriculum, which in turn affects effective teaching and learning. The impact of the physical environment, in which teaching – learning takes place, is very important. The reasons for this are not far-fetched and include:
School plant helps improve students’ performance in achievement tests (WAEC,NECO, JAMB, SAT etc). School plant improves attendance and reduces dropout rate. School pant improves student’s attitude to learning.
School plant increase teaches retention rate.
It boosts teaching effectiveness.
STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN ACHIEVEMENT TESTS
Learning is a complex activity that puts student’s motivation and condition to the test. (Lyons, 2002 in Mcgowern 2007). It has been a long held assumption that curriculum and teaching only have an impact on learning. However it is becoming apparent that the physical conditions of school can influence students’ achievement. A study by Chan and van Berkan (1996) found that 2nd grade students in standard school buildings scored higher as measured by the comprehensive test of basic skill than did their counterparts attending class in sub-standard facilities. They also found that air conditioning, absence of graffiti, condition of labouratories, classroom furniture correlated with students’ achievement at a significant level. In Nigeria, analysis of the WAEC and NECO exams results show that students in well equipped schools (mainly private and urban) do better that those in poorly equipped schools (mainly public and rural). It can be concluded that technologies and adequate school plant better equip students for success in achievement tests.