SCHOOL PLANT PLANNING AND EFFECTIVE LEARNING IN SECONDARY SCHOOL SYSTEM
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is believed to be the veritable machinery for the development of a country. This is because of the roles played by educated people in the development of science, social – economic and political structure to improve the individual, families and making the society a batter place to live. In the light of these values, education today must prepare the child to function effectively as an adult in the 21st century. However, Nigerian schools are the least ready to adapt to the onslaught of new information and practices accumulating on daily basis due to the challenges ranging from industrial actions of academic staff, poor school plant planning, lack of fund for infrastructural development and a host of others. This is evident in the suggestion that teachers are handicapped by inadequate training and facilities which made it difficult for the teachers, to prepare students for the new development. The school plant themselves which provide accommodation for teachers and the learners hinder rather than enhance good teaching practices (Aloga, 2014).
School plant planning which include instructional spaces planning, administrative places planning, circulation spaces planning, spaces for conveniences planning and accessories planning are essential in teaching-learning process. The extent to which these spaces could enhance teaching and learning depends on their location within the school compound, their structure, and accessories. It is believed that a well planned school plant will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation, effective teaching and learning process and academic performance of the students (Adesina, 2011).
Emphasizing the importance of school plant planning to students academic performance, Oluchukwu (2000) asserted that school plant planning is an essential aspect of educational planning. He went further to explain that unless schools are well suited, buildings adequately constructed and equipment adequately utilized and maintained, much teaching and learning may not take place.
School facilities in most Nigerian schools today are apt to reinforce rote teaching method and further hinder the students’ capacity for independent and creative thinking. The typical school building in Nigeria is usually a simple row of bare classroom structures – often of rectangular shaped walls in which chairs, tables, and students must fight for space. According to Ezeocha (cited in Aloga, 2014) inadequate physical facilities can lead to undesirable personal behaviours, and large group interaction such as sports/games, drama cannot be conducted effectively without adequate physical space and equipment.
While emphasizing the importance of school plants planning to students’ learning outcome, Oyesola (2007) stated that the main objective of school plants planning is to satisfy educational goals which have been pre-determined by educational planners. He emphasized that better planned school plants will enhance better school programmes and the community needs by providing a place for psychological and physical safety for students and teachers and enhancing the good quality and quantity of instruction.
Similarly, Ajayi (2007) maintained that high level of students’ learning outcomes may not be guaranteed where school site planning, instructional space planning, administrative space planning, space of convenience and circulation space planning are not properly undertaken and the plant components themselves are structurally defective, not properly ventilated and not spacious enough for use.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The relevant literature reviewed for this study revealed that many of the Nigeria’s secondary schools face the combined challenges of poor school plant planning, deteriorating conditions, out-of-date design and capacity utilization pressures. These combined deficiencies impair the quality of teaching and learning and also create health and safety problems for staff and students. The effects of poor school plant planning and poor maintenance of school infrastructure are threats to school management, curriculum delivery and students’ academic performance.
The researcher has also observed during visit to some schools for supervision that most schools visited, the school compounds were bushy, have dilapidated buildings with leaking roofs, broken chairs and desks, rough floors and windows without louvers. In some of the schools, the buildings were dirty, no lightning while some are blown off roofs and indication of absence of or little planning. The roads leading to the sports field in some schools were weedy. It appears adequate management and maintenance is not provided on the available school infrastructure. Location of schools seems not to have 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, neighbourhood human discussions, discotheques, and so on, to the extent that distract the concentration of learners.
The buildings on the other hand are another source of worry. Most school infrastructures are not regularly painted. They are dilapidated and often in shambles which make schools dull and unattractive; this tantamounts to creating a very hostile study infrastructure not congenial to Nigeria’s children who must take their place as leaders of tomorrow with their counterparts in the developed world. During rains, it is common to see class rooms leaking; school infrastructures flooded with run-off and making the children very uncomfortable. Again, all these seem to be as a result of inadequate or poor planning. These are what this study fully explored in the school infrastructure of Lagos, Nigeria. Hence, this study examined the effect of school plant planning on effective learning in secondary schools in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.2 Purpose of the Study
The major objective of this study was to assess the effect of school plant planning on effective learning in the secondary school: Other specific objectives of this study are to:
a) examine the effect of school plant planning on students’ academic performance
b) investigate the impact of administrative space planning on students’ learning effectiveness.
c) find out if there is any relationship between instructional space planning and students’ academic performance.
d) explore the relationship between circulation space planning and students’ academic performance.
1.3 Research Questions
The undertaking of this research project beamed a searchlight on the following research questions:
1. What is the effect of school plant planning on students’ academic performance?
2. Is there any effect of administrative space planning on students’ learning effectiveness?
3. Does instructional space planning enhance students’ academic performance?
4. Is there any relationship between circulation space planning and students’ academic performance?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses are tested in the course of the study:
H01: There is no significant relationship between school plant planning and students’ academic performance
H02: There is no significant effect of administrative space planning on students’ learning effectiveness.
H03: There is no significant relationship between instructional space planning and students’ academic performance.
H04: There is no significant relationship between circulation space planning and students’ academic performance.