THE INFLUENCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL VARIABLES ON STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ISLAMIC STUDIES IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN OFFA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KWARA STATE
Background of Study
Today’s modern society expects everyone/students to be a high achiever. And the key criteria to judge one’s true potentialities and capabilities are perhaps academic achievement/performance which has become an index of a child/the students’ future. As a result, there is a great pressure on the minds of the child and their parents on how to attain the societal expectations. The educational institution/school that is charged with the responsibility of impacting teaching and learning processes do not exist in a vacuum. Since it has been discovered that the student’s academic achievement is a function of various factors based on the learning environment which comprises of all the student is exposed to in the school and outside the school that can facilitate or inhibit learning.
Hence this study is geared towards examining the conditions and possible influences of supportive environment in the home, school, neighbourhood, peer group and other environmental factors that could enhance the students’ academic achievement in Islamic studies in some secondary schools in Offa local government area of Kwara state. Poor academic performance of students have given rise to accusations and counter accusations by the government and school proprietors, the teachers as well as the parents as to who could be responsible for the problem of poor academic performance. The world fastest growing economy today is in Asia. The Asian Government particular by Japan and South Korea took some desired steps to develop their educational system with a very strict assessment process. This compels students to learn to be able to achieve high scores that can guarantee them places in choice employment. Japan ever requires parents to take examination before their children are allowed into primary school as they believe that home is a vital contributor to the achievement of students in the school system.
Fraser (1981) found that students learn through interacting with their environment and that most of the observable variance in students’ performance is attributed to students’ characteristics and environment of learning. McRobbie, Roth and Lucys (1997) assert that the nature of classroom, environment can have a direct impact not only on their achievement but also on their personal-social behaviours. Schareider (2003) in his study counted school faulty condition to effective teaching and learning in schools. More and Lackney (1994) in their handbook on educational facilities concluded that physical setting has both direct and mediated efforts on social and achievement outcomes.
Statement of Problem
The Nigerian Nation is in hurry to join the league of developed and industrialized nations of the world. To be able to attain this lofty goal, education of the citizenry had been identified as the panacea. The question that comes to mind therefore is “Can the environment under which learning is taking place in our schools lead to the attainment of the goals of education? More specifically, does school environment influence academic achievements? Do the neighbourhood, peer group and parental education influence academic achievement of students?
To find answers to the problem of this study, the following research questions were raised:
1. Does school environment influence academic achievement of students in Islamic studies?
2. Does home environment influence academic achievement of students in Islamic studies?
3. Does home neighbourhood/society influence academic achievement of students in Islamic studies?
4. Does peer group have influence on academic achievement of students in Islamic studies?
5. Does parental education influences academic achievement of students in Islamic studies?
Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to determine empirically the components of learning environment that influence academic performance of secondary school students in Islamic studies in Offa local government area of Kwara state. The knowledge of these components of learning environment that influence academic performance, is to the intent that adequate recommendations as to how these factors can be manipulated to enhance higher academic performance can be determined.
Specifically to determine if and to what extent which:
i. School enrolment/school environment influence academic achievement of students in Islamic Studies.
ii. Home environment influence academic achievement of students in Islamic studies.
iii. Peer group influence academic achievement of students in Islamic studies.
iv. Home neighbourhood influence academic achievement of students in Islamic studies.
v. Parental education influence academic achievement of students in Islamic studies.
Significance of Study
The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to all major players in the education industry. To school administrators in that it will enable them take appropriate steps to create an enabling environment that will increase the academic achievement of students. To the parents as they will be able to know/observe the influence their home environment and neighbourhood have on their children’s academic achievement. To the teacher(s) as they would be able to create a suitable environment that will enable the students perform in that they will be exposed to the factors within their learning environment that can enhance their academic achievement.
Scope of Study
While it is evident from research findings, that a number of factors could be responsible for students’ academic achievement in Islamic studies, this study considers only the factors that could be termed learning environment. This study covers some selected secondary schools in Offa Local Government area of kwara State.
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 parent’s educational attainments with its associated social, economical and financial benefits have the capabilities to enhance or inhibit learning.
House Neighbourhood: This is the immediate community that the student lives.
Academic achievement: The mean performance of the students on the various school subjects.