Influence of School Climate on Pupils Academic Performance in Primary Schools

Influence of School Climate on Pupils Academic Performance in Primary Schools
Influence of School Climate on Pupils Academic Performance in Primary Schools

INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL CLIMATE ON PUPILS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN OYIGBO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of influence of school climate on pupils’ academic performance in primary schools. The research design used for this study was the descriptive survey design. The population of the study consisted of all the teachers in the study area. A sample size of 517 respondents was derived through the multi-stage and purposive sampling techniques.

A questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents. The hypotheses were tested using z-test statistics at 0.05 level of significance. Analysed data therefore, with calculated z- value above the z-critical value of ±1.96 were rejected. However, when the reverse occurs the null hypothesis was accepted. The findings of the study revealed that school climate significantly influence pupils academic performance in primary schools.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

Teachers and school head teachers may not so much lay emphasis on school climate viz-a-viz to other related school variables at the beginning of each academic year. A proper and adequate environment is very much necessary for a fruitful learning of the learners.

The favorable school environment provides the necessary stimulus for learning experiences. The children spend most of their time in school. Morever, this school environment is exerting influence on performance through curricular, teaching technique and relationship (Arul, 2012).

In the recent years, pupils’ academic performance in Nigerian schools especially in public schools has been a source of concern to all stakeholders in the state. The enormity and critical nature of educational challenges is evident in the increasing poor performances of pupils. Abdulkadir (2012), Jega (2016), Adedoja (2017), Marafa (2017) and Isaac (2017) revealed that pupils and students have not been doing very well in examinations and their performances had been worrisome.

There has been a general apprehension about the fallen standard of education in Nigerian educational system. The situation in schools has been deteriorating at such an alarming rate. Thus, many critics described the standard of education in Nigeria to have fallen (Aliyu, 2017 & Isaac, 2017). This unfortunate trend has become a source of concern considering the great importance of education to national development.

Coincidentally school climate is one of the foremost school variables that influence students’ learning outcomes. National School Climate Centre (2012) described school climate as the quality and character of the school life. That fosters or undermines children’s development and learning achievement.

It is based on patterns of school life experience which reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching, learning, leadership practices, and organizational structures (National School Climate Council, 2019).

According to Freinerg (1999), school climate refers to the quality and character of school life. A positive school climate helps people feel socially, emotionally and physically safe in schools. It includes students’, parents’ and school personnel’s norms, beliefs, relationships, teaching and learning practices. As well as organizational and structural features of the school (Hoy & Sabo 2019).

 

According to the National School Climate Council (2016), a sustainable, positive school climate promotes pupils’ academic and social development. Negative school climate lack an effective leader and the teachers are generally unhappy with their jobs and colleagues.

 

The National School Climate Center (2016) defined school climate as the quality of school life experienced by students, caregivers, school personnel, and others interacting with the school environment. A positive school climate, then, is one where the school attends to each of the following. (a) fostering safety; (b) promoting a supportive academic, disciplinary, and physical environment; and (c) encouraging and maintaining respectful, trusting, and caring relationships throughout the school community.

Marina and Hinjari (2018) identified six types of climates prevailing in schools such as open, paternal, familiar, autonomous, close and controlled. An open climate describes the openness and authenticity of interaction that exists among the principal, teachers, students and parents.

 

Hoy and Sabo (2019) emphatically stressed that an open climate reflects the principals and teachers’ cooperatives, supportive and receptive attitudes to each other’s ideas and their commitment to work. The principal according to them shows genuine concern for teachers, motivates and encourages staff members, gives the staff freedom. To carry out their duties in the best way they know. Also, does not allow routine duties to disrupt teachers’ instructional responsibilities.

Familiar climate depicts a laissez-faire atmosphere. The principal is concerned about maintaining a friendly atmosphere at the expense of task accomplishment.

Thus, a considerable percentage of teachers are not committed to their primary assignment. Some who are committed resent the way the principal runs the college. This is because they do not share the same views with the principal and their colleagues. As a result, those who are not committed form cliques as they share the same views and become cronies. Over familiarity between the head-teacher and teachers could result in an upsurge of laxity and poor school performance.

According to Oborah (2019), paternal climate depicts an atmosphere where the principal is hardworking. But unfortunately, his/her hard work has no effect on the teachers. There is a degree of closeness between the head-teacher and teachers, but the head-teacher’s expectation from teachers is rather impracticable.

As a result, most teachers, students and parents prefer to maintain distance from the head teacher. In an unsafe school environment, neither teachers nor students can teach or learn.

Thapa, Cohen, Guffey, and Higgins-D’Alessandro (2013) observed that students are more engaged and attain higher academic achievement in schools with positive school climate.

Additionally, organizational structures such as student body socioeconomic status (SES). Retention of staff, racial and ethnic diversity of staff and students, and community support may influence climate. Research has shown the relationship of school climate as a factor influencing success or failure of education to teachers and students (Adesina, 2011). Productive school climate needs a good teaching and learning strategies, sufficient instructional materials, richer classroom ecology, pleasant school culture, objective administration and good school physical structures (Carpenter, 2011).

 

1.2     Statement of the Problem

A school climate may indicate a great deal of cooperation among the various groups in the school setting while another might reveal a climate of tension, friction and even lack of cooperation among the groups. That is to say that the school climate of school could influence the performance of both teachers and students positively or negatively as the case might be.

In one school, the head-teachers and students may find pleasure in working together while in another school, it might be discontent among these schools functionaries. Also, in one school, teachers might appear well organized, competent and may exhibit confidence in whatever they do, whereas in another school, there might be tension as the head-teacher losses control.

It has been observed that in most schools that some teachers are teaching some subjects that are not in their area of specialization. Due to lack of adequate qualified teachers in their area of specialization due to lack of adequate qualified teachers and this may affect effective teaching and learning.

Additionally, some schools have run-down structures, inadequately furnished labs, outdated technology, occasionally empty libraries with antiquated materials, and unfavorable learning environments. All these can affect teaching and learning and pupils’ academic performance

Furthermore, many schools seem to exhibit different types of climate. In this regards, the dwindling performance of pupils in primary schools. As related to school climates constitutes the problem which this study intends to examine.

 

1.3     Aim and Objectives of the Study

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of influence of school climate on pupils academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local Government. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. determine the influence of open climate on pupils academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area.
  2. ascertain the influence of paternal climate on pupils academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area.
  3. find out the influence of familiar climate on pupils academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area.

 

1.4     Research Questions

  1. To what extent does open school climate influence pupils’ academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area?
  2. To what extent does paternal school climate influence pupils’ academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area?
  3. To what extent does familiar school climate influence pupils’ academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area?

 

1.5     Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant difference between the mean responses of qualified teachers and Non-Teaching staff on the extent open school climate influence pupils’ academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area.
  2. There is no significance difference between the mean responses of qualified teachers and Non-Teaching staff on the extent paternal school climate influence pupils’ academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area.
  3. There is no significance difference between the mean responses of qualified teachers and Non-Teaching staff on the extent familiar school climate influence pupils’ academic performance in primary schools in Oyigbo Local government Area.

 

1.6     Significant of the Study

(i)      It would reveal if school climate account for the poor academic performance of pupils in primary schools.

(ii)     It would make known the specific school environmental factors that affect pupils’ academic performance in school.

(iii)    It would provide Government with research data in planning for the overall development of the school system.

(iv)    It would add to the body of existing literature on school climate in relation to pupils’ academic performance.

  1. Finally it would serve as a reference material for further research on climate change and academic performance not only in primary schools but other level of institutions.

 

1.7     Definition of Terms

Influence: Refers to positive or negative effect.

School climate: The totality of factors that directly or indirectly influence the teaching and learning process. It constitute school buildings, classroom blocks, teaching learning facilities. Such as libraries, sport grounds, laboratories, buildings and the general out-lay of the school.

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