The study examined school variable and academic performance of students in biology in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa ibom State. Two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. a survey research design was employed in the study. Sample random sampling technique was used to select sample size of one hundred and twenty (120) biology ss1 students from four secondary schools under the study area. (Thirty (30) students from each school) Biology Achievement Test (BAT) was used in collecting the data. The data collected were subjected to independent t-test statistics. The result of the findings revealed that school variables has a significance influence on the performance o students in Biology; as Biology students in small class size performed significantly better than their counterparts in large size. In the same vein, Biology students in private schools performed significantly better than their counterpart in public schools. Also, Biology students in urban school performed significantly better than their counterpart rural schools. From this findings, it was then recommended that the approved teacher-students ration of 1:25 should be maintained in schools in order to facilitate the teaching and learning process and also government should provided facilitate both private and public schools irrespective of the location.
1.1 Background to the Study
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 beings have unlimited capacity to learn, but may however be limited by the behaviour patterns and facilities that the immediate environment offers.
According to Umoh (2006), nature only provides the raw materials in forms of potentials, but it is the environment that determines the extent of development.
In furtherance to the menace of law academic performance which had been on the high strain in the Nigerian academic system and 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 instructional need of the country.
It ensures among others that students are effectively equipped for the posing challenges of the present era of science and technology. ( National policy on Education, 1981) to attain the aforementioned goal, the school variables such as; class size, school location, school facilities, teacher students interaction etc. such be considered.
Since there are numerous school variables, this work is limited to the class size and school facilities.
The relationship between class size and academic performance has been a perplexing one for educators.
Students have found that the physical environment, class overcrowding and teaching method are all variables that affect student’s performance ( Motnar et a1.,2000) as cited by Moffat, 2014). Large class size and over populated schools have directed impact on the quality of teaching and instruction delivery. Overcrowded class rooms have been reported to lead to mass failure and make students to lose interest in school (Udo, 2006).
The type of school a child attends is very important in influencing the educational outcome of a child. For over four decades, series of studies examined school types and their attendance consequences on performance of students in various states of the federation.
Bucking ham (2002) in his write-up, addressed that public, private, boarding and non-boarding schools are different types of schools which learners can learn and achieve their educational goals and objectives studies have found out that students that attend. Private schools are academically sound than students from public schools because they have good qualified teachers, good infrastructures and conductive environment in the school. However, Ajayi (2004) found out that school types make a difference in student’s academic performance. Considering the school locations, for some decades now studies have suggested the important of school as a social environment of learning. Some of these studies examined lo0cation planning and their attendance consequences on academic performance of students in various state of the federation.
The studies were intended to decide where a particular school should be located, the size of the school should be built or not (Mbakwe, 2006). Tanimowo (2005) observed that the distribution of public secondary schools in the state shows disorder, lack of planning and inefficiency. The inefficiency here refers to students’ academic performance.
Mbakwe (2006) conceptualized urban location as that environment which has high population density containing high variety of beauty and common place views. He further identified the rural school location as been characterized by low population density containing a low variety and isolated place view.
Owalabi (2007) accentuated that our high qualified teachers prefer to serve in urban centres rather than rural areas as a corollary of the above, orebiyi (2001), pointed that the teachers do not accept posting to the rural areas because their conditions are not up to the expected standard as the social life in the areas is virtually restricted as a result o9f inadequate amenities, facilities are deficient, playground are without equipment, libraries are not equipped while laborites are full of improvised materials.
Hence, to achieve a qualitative and improved academic performance of students in Biology, school variables must be thoroughly considered. Therefore, this work seeks to determine whether, large and small size and school facilities influence the academic performance of biology students in Onna Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Academic performance, which is measured by the examination results, is one of the major goals of a school. Hoyle, (1986) argued that schools are established with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills to those who go through them behind all this is the idea of enhancing good academic performance. In recent times, the performance of students in both internal and external examination have been a thing of concern to both parents, teachers and the government as the poor is always very glaring.
Several reasons have been given such as; class size, school types, school location, school facilities etc. many people feel that with so many students now enrolled on the public secondary schools, the qualitative education advocate for in National policy on education (2004) may be difficult to achieve because the large class, the more difficult it becomes to control and consequently, a poor overall output. In the other hand, some portent prefers that their children should remain in private schools throughout their secondary school education, while some prefer public schools for their children. In the same vein, some parent allow their words to remain in urban schools for their secondary schools for better academic performance.
The controversy ranges on the problem of this study is an attempt to determine whether large and small class size and school facilities influence student’s academic performance in Biology in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.