1.1 Background to the Study
Education all over the world is acknowledged to be the most powerful and indispensable instrument for not only economic and political advancement but also for social development (Nwagwu, 2008). Hence, the Federal Government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument for nurturing productive citizenry and fostering National Development (Ukpong, 2013). The author maintained that for education to thrive there are key factors that need to be considered. These factors include school type, family background, classroom size, school facilities, and teachers’ characteristics. As a matter of fact, from the above-mentioned factors, the environment in which the school is situated can equally affect the social development and academic performance of learners.
However, the environment in which the school is located constitutes much to the survival of the child as no educational institution can thrive well in an unconducive environment or an environment where there are youth restiveness and anti-social vices. School is an environment that constitutes all that surrounds the learners in the course of learning. The environment embraces such provision as good roads, electricity, well-equipped laboratory, library and well-ventilated classroom with manageable class size. It has been noted that as future leaders of this great nation Nigeria, children should be given the type of education that is capable of transforming their dreams into reality through the use of the environment that is child-friendly.
The current wave of violent crime and blatant disregard for moral values by most youth in our society is evidence of formal decay and inadequacies in teaching principles in the school environment. A child-friendly environment, however, can stimulate the learners in that certain things that are taught in the abstract could be seen in a lively environment. In view of this, some pupils are facing difficulties due to a lack of facilities in their school environments than to have a shallow understanding of some concepts and low academic performance. Miskel (2002) has observed that the environment in which the school is located consists of the internal characteristics that distinguish one school from another and influence the behavior of the pupils. The researcher further explains Childs’ friendly school environment to constitute pupils, teachers, administrators, and even the pupils within the school as they work to balance the organizational and individual aspects of the school system. Thus when the school environment is Child-friendly, children will develop socially and most of the evils disrupting our society would be halted. The present research will examine some of the aforementioned areas of child-friendly environment as they affect the social development of pupils in primary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The issue of anti-social behavior among various people in our society has attracted serious criticisms by citizens of our society (Ukpong, 2003). Such delinquent behavior is known to begin from home, school and then generate to the wider society. The root causes of these vices according to some researchers could be traced to greed or discontentment. Stealing, robbery, fighting, kidnapping, prostitution, laziness among others are some of the deviant behaviors that exert significant influence on our social development. There is no doubt that apart from the aforementioned factors, the child-friendly environment could also affect the social development of pupils positively in schools.
It is as a result of the above reasons that the researcher is motivated to conduct a study on the child-friendly environment and social development of pupils in public primary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study has been to examine the influence of a child-friendly environment on pupils’ social development in Uyo Local Government Area.
Specifically, the study intends to:
- ascertain the relationship between the availability of a safe and secure environment and pupils’ social development in Uyo Local Government Area.
- assess the relationship between the availability of play facilities and Pupils’ social development in Uyo Local Government Area.
- examine the relationship between pupils’ social involvement in school’s social activities and their social development in Uyo Local Government area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study would be of immense benefits to teachers, pupils, educationists, government, and researchers in the following ways;
i. It will reveal if a child-friendly environment certainly affects the social development of pupils and the teaching-learning process in general. This will assist in future decisions about school development.
ii. If it is ascertained that a child-friendly environment promotes pupils’ social development, then the government will see the need to locate schools in an environment that is teaching learning-friendly.
iii. It will further enlighten teachers on strategies to adopt in teaching aimed at developing the social behaviors of pupils.
iv. The study will also serve as a reference manual for future researches on related issues.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised with the purpose of the study:
- To what extent does the availability of a safe and secure environment relate to pupils’ social development in public primary schools in Uyo Local Government Area?
- To what extent does the availability of play facilities relate to pupils’ social development in public primary schools in Uyo Local Government Area?
- How does pupils’ involvement in school’s social activities relate to their social development in public primary schools in Uyo Local Government Area?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The understated hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.
- There is no significant relationship between the availability of a safe and secure environment and pupils’ social development in public primary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
- There is no significant relationship between the availability of play facilities and pupils’ social development in public primary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
- There is no significant relationship between pupils’ involvement in school’s social activities and their social development in public primary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
In the course of the study, the researcher faced certain problems that threatened the success of this investigation. These were; insufficient funds, time frame allocated for the completion of the research work and researcher’s academic workload.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The study was restricted to the child-friendly environment which includes the aspect of the school environment as well as social development in the environment.
1.9 Operational Definition of terms
The following terms used in the study were defined by the researcher as follows:
Environment: This is the physical condition that the school exists in. It constitutes all that surround the learners in the course of learning. It is an organization where several children of various homes meet, hence offering them an opportunity for interaction and cooperation among them and the wider society.
Child-Friendly Environment: This refers to a favorable interaction within the environment which is capable of inculcating right or acceptable social attitude to the child.
Social Development: This is the acquisition of the ability to behave in accordance with social expectations. It is also a progressive improvement through direct activation of the individual in the comprehension of the social heritage and the formation of flexible conduct pattern in conformity to this heritage
Professional Teacher: This is an individual who has undergone a course of study and is duly certified by an institution recognized to train teachers.
School Facilities: These are educational materials that enable a skillful teacher to achieve a level of instructional effectiveness that exceeds what is possible when they are not provided.
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