The study was carried out to investigate the influence of school
environment on academic achievement of students in Enugu State
public secondary schools. The design of the study is descriptive while
the population comprised principals and teachers in the education zone.
The sample size for the study was 600 respondents while a researchers’
self developed questionnaire formed the instrument for data collection.
Three experts validated the instrument and a cronbach Alpha reliability
coefficient method was employed to ensure the reliability of the
instrument. Four research questions and two null hypotheses guided the
study; while student t-test statistics was used to test the hypotheses at
0.05 level of significant. A review of empirical studies was carried out to
guide the researcher into previous studies in the area and also to
provide the researcher with the theoretical base. A 29-item questionnaire
was used to get information from the respondents. Based on the data
collected and analyzed, the following results were obtained. That staff
office, classroom spaces for teaching students and staff common room
represented the major areas that to a great extent affect the academic
achievement of students in public schools, with regard to buildings. It
was also revealed that desks, current books and presence of library
assistants constituted the areas of influence to the academic
achievement of the students with regard to library services in the public
secondary schools. Both the principals and teachers agreed that access
to reading materials in the school, lack of facilities, and nearness to
school and in sufficient qualified teachers very greatly affect the
academic achievement of the students. Inadequate teaching materials
were also noted as a major factor affecting the students’ academic
achievement. The two groups also shared common views in terms of the
great influence of school health services, fencing of school for security
and provision of power supply as important variable affecting the
academic achievement of the students of public secondary schools.
Based on the above, the researcher recommends that schools should be
provided with functional libraries, equipped with current reading
materials to help enhance both the students’ academic achievement and
the teachers’ effectiveness in academic activities in the school.



Background to the study

Generally in the whole world, particularly in Nigeria, education has
been considered to be the corner – stone for development. It forms the
basis for literacy, skill acquisition, technological advancement and ability
to harness human and material resources towards the achievement of
societal goal, (FRN, 2004).

Education is very important in any given society. It is a process by
which abilities and capabilities of individual are developed. These
abilities might be physical abilities, emotional abilities, social abilities and
intellectual abilities. It is the actualizing of human potential so that the
individual can become something more than what he was before.
According to Ugwuanyi (2003) education is the process by which society
establishes to assist the young to learn and understand the heritage of
the past, participate productively in the society and contribute
meaningfully for the development of the society. Emeka (2008) citing
Kneller (2000) sees education as a process by which any society
through schools, colleges, universities and other institutions deliberately
transmit knowledge, values and skills from one person to another. As a
result of deregulation in Nigerian education, the system of education has
two main interest groups – public education and private education.


Public education is the pillar or backbone of society which opens
the door of equal educational opportunity to all citizens. It is a public
owned property which attracts public attention constantly. According to
Ukeje in Akpa, Udoh and Faghamiye (2005):
Public school is concerned with the acquisition of
appropriate skills, abilities and competencies of both
mental and physical nature as equipment for the
individual to live in this society, and acquisition of a
relevant and balanced knowledge of facts about local
and world phenomena. (P. 12-13)
Public schools can also be seen as those schools controlled
neither by individuals nor by private interest or agencies but by those
who represent the society as a whole. In other words public schools are
those schools which are supported and controlled by the government of
the state or nation.

Private schools are those schools that are not administered by
local, state or national government, which retain the right to select their
student body and are founded in whole or part by charging their students
tuition rather than with public funds. This means that the school
established by the missionaries, individuals and voluntary organizations
belong to this group. According to Hernes (2001) United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the
world Bank, private educational institutions are those that are not
operated by a public authority, but are controlled and managed by a
private body or board of governors not selected by a public agency on
selected by public vote. The institution may be run by or operated by non
governmental organizations (NGOS) or business enterprise.
Secondary school is the stage of education following primary
school. It is generally the final stage of compulsory education. Webster
(2009) sees secondary school as a school intermediate between
elementary school and collage usually offering general technical,
vocational or college- preparatory course, while Collins (2003) refers to it
as a school for young people, usually between the ages of eleven and
eighteen. As for the National policy on education (FRN, 2004) it is the
form of education children receive after primary education and before the
tertiary stage.

Environment can be defined as a system within which living
organisms interacts with the physical element while education
environment is a learning place where the learner learn and interact with
learning facilities in order to be socialized and face the challenges in the
society. Agusiegbe (2004) sees environments as consisting of all
elements existing around man and which exert some influence on him.
These include physical, biological and social attributes. Environment can
also be seen as aggregate of all the external condition and influence
affecting the life and development of an organism.


In this study, environment includes all the external condition and
influences in the school that affect the academic achievement of the
student such as laboratory equipment, library facilities, qualified
teachers, furniture, school building, good administrative management,
teacher pupil relationship and school location among others.
Environment for the purpose of this work can be divided into two partshome
environment and school environment.
School environment is the thread that connects the multitude of
activities on the school. In many respects, this thread is almost invisible,
yet everyone experiences its influence. Dudek (2000) opined that it could
be said to be the external influences in the school that can influence
academic achievement of students irrespective of their intelligent
quotient. School environment can also be considered as the second
teacher since space has the power to organize and promote pleasant
relationships between people of different ages, to provide changes, to
promote choices and activities and for its potential for sparking different
types of social and affective learning (Okeke 2001). It has been
generally accepted that environment and heredity can hardly be
separated from education in influencing achievement, hence a child’s life
and ability is influenced by nature and nurture. Heredity provides the
natural disposition while a healthy environment makes available a
window of opportunities to the learner (Ohuche 2001). The


environmental variable of the setting helps to a large extent in ensuring
attainability of the goals of such setting. The environmental differences
and the differences in the quality of instruction from one school to
another can create differences in the level of knowledge acquisition of
the students. This shows that the learning facilities children are exposed
to and the socio-economic influence on them can affect their academic

School environment includes the school building and the
surrounding grounds such as noise, temperature and lighting as well as
physical, biological or chemical agent, (Chiu 1991). School environment
can then be seen to include material and human resources, a learning
place which consist of the entire interaction. The learning environment
is both the natural and provided setting where teaching and learning
takes place. Maduewesi (1990) referred to teaching and learning
environment as the setting physical and conceptual in which teaching
and learning are carried out as deliberately planned. And to Okobia in
Maduewesi (1990) learning environment means classroom
surroundings, physical facilities in the classroom and teacher – pupil

Studies on the relationship between availability of resources and
students academic achievement have revealed that secondary schools
provided with adequate education resources performed significantly


better than those provided with inadequate resources (Balogun, 1995).
Environment is a very important factor in achievement of goal of any
educational programme. People acquire most of their knowledge through
the interaction with facilities provided in the environment for learning.
Also learning is influenced by the environment people are exposed to
and the facilities provided in such environment lead to experience. As in
the words of Piaget (1964) that active interaction with the environment is
regarded as the most basic requirement for proper intellectual

The physical appearance and general condition of school physical
facilities are the striking basis upon which many parents and friends of
any educational institution make initial judgment about the quality of
what goes on in the school. They are often turned off by dilapidated
school blocks with sinking roofs and broken walls, bushy lawn and over
grown hedges. Also are profane writings on walls, littered lawns and
path ways. Finally, the school physical environment is like a mirror
reflecting the image of a school and through it the public decide whether
or not to associate with the particular school (Mgbodile 2004).
In Nigeria today, schools are closely associated with the
communities. Most communities depend on the neighbourhood school
for the provision of good and appropriate environment for
accommodation, furniture and all form of equipment for certain activities


like club or village meetings, wedding reception and church services.
There is need for a well planned and organized educational
environmental enrichment because it fosters good interpersonal
relationship. Moreover, Ajayi and Ashaolu (2005) opined that
environmental enrichment regarding physical facilities is a major factor in
students’ academic achievement. Supporting this Ayodele (2005) and
Ajayi (2007), have shown that school resources aid students academic

It is now certain that most of secondary school products cannot
gain admission into federal universities or university of their choice due
to poor performance in the placement examination into these schools.
This poor performance may be attributed to poor learning environment
especially in the following areas: schools building, library services, and
school location and school facilities.

School building: These are tangible structures which serve as
shelter for educational activities. They include among others classroom,
laboratories, workshops, and teacher’s common rooms/offices, reading
rooms, libraries, dormitories and dinning hall. Despite the evidence that
the quality of a school building affect students’ academic achievement,
most public schools, in Enugu state are in poor physical condition. It is in
line with this that Earthman (2004) opined that the building in which

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