Learning Environment and the Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Akwa-Ibom State

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Education is the bedrock of the development of any nation. This is the reason that a government invests heavily in the education of her citizens. Secondary education, a sub-set of the education level, is very necessary in human capital formation. It is the supply base from which tertiary institutions draw their major clientele (students) for admission into their different programmes. It, therefore, presupposes that the provision of qualitative education is the sine qua non for the attainment of the goals of secondary education. Nevertheless, the main objectives of the secondary education in Nigeria as contained in the National Policy of Education are as follows: 1. To develop the personal capacity of individuals

2. To prepare pupils for the world of work and
3. To prepare students for the next stage of education.
The response has been that the concept of life-long loaming and the idea that there is not just one transition from education work; instead the two systems are seen as parallel entities and individuals can expect to interact with both through the course of their work life. Coombs (1969) remarked that secondary school supplies the person who with one or more years training institution or on the job becomes the labour force of a nation. However, our educational systems (secondary schools inclusive) have failed in the areas of character molding, morals, behaviour and academic output. Various stories abound of students and young people’s vices of vandalization, robbery, pick pocketing, tuggery etc. Furthermore, there is mass disregard and disrespect for elders for those in position of authority and for work that the products of our school system exhibit. All these negative vices points to the fact that the area of moral and socialization the school system has failed. As reported by Obemeata (1995) numerous studies have shown that there has been a sharp decline in the academic performance of various levels of our educational system in Nigeria, and the decline has been attributed largely to the poor condition in educational institutions in the country. Worse still there has been an upsurge in the number of both community and privately owned secondary schools, accompanied with a gross lack of modern instructional technologies, poor physical classroom condition and lack of adequate training programme for teachers. The issue of quality in education goes beyond the curriculum or subject content but includes learning environment and school factors. It is the view of Obayan (2003) and Obameata (1998) that classroom learning environment and school factors exerts some dominant influence on learner’s achievement. 1.2 Statement of Problem

The deplorable conditions of secondary school learning environment in Uyo metropolis have become a serious worry in recent times. Children are often said to be future leaders. The place to lay a solid foundation, build and equip their lives to be better future leaders is the school environment. It is however, a concern that the school environments in which these young minds are trained have not been adequately managed. Even literature is very scanty or not there at all on this critical issue of school learning environment in Uyo metropolis Location of schools has not been a concern to the authorities running them. For instance, it is common to find schools located by commercial and other activities that generate noise such as automobiles, neighborhood human discussions, discotheques, etc. to the extent that distract the concentration of learners. Management of waste materials/substances is another problem. Solid waste materials like papers, cellophanes, pack from wrappings, tins, wood, etc littering the environment and class rooms. Where attempts are made to sweep, heaps of refuse are uncontrollably dumped haphazardly and jumbled up together unsorted with both degradable and non-degradable materials which mixes up and causing...
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