Influence of Physical School Environmental Factors on the Teaching-Learning Process in Some Selected Public Primary Schools in the Kumba I Municipality
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This study examined the “Influence Of Physical School Environmental Factors On The Teaching-Learning Process In Some Selected Public Primary Schools In The Kumba I Municipality”
The purpose of this study was to investigate if physical school environmental factors has an influence on the teaching-learning process in public primary schools in the Kumba I Municipality – Meme division. Three hypotheses were used for this study.
The objectives were; to examine the effect of infrastructural facilities on the teaching-learning process, to determine how class size (pupil/teacher ratio) influences teaching and learning and, to determine how school location affects the process of teaching/learning in some selected public primary schools in the Kumba I Municipality.
The instrument used was a questionnaire distributed to 80 teachers from the selected public primary schools in the targeted area. The data obtained which was measured using the Pearson’s Chi Square shows the following results.
Firstly, there is a significant, positive and strong relationship between school infrastructural facilities and the teaching/ learning process with (P<0.000) far less than 0.05. The high value of Pearson chi square (x2= 89.451**, n = 80, p< .05) implies that school infrastructural facilities strongly and positively influences the teaching/ learning process.
Also, there is a significant positive influence of class size (pupil/teacher ratio) on teaching-learning process. Descriptive analysis reveals that, most of the respondents sampled (51.4%) agreed to the question items while (48.6%) disagreed.
From the above statistics it was therefore resolve that; to a greater extent class size has a significant influence on teaching leaning outcome. Lastly, findings showed that there is a significant, positive and strong relationship between school location and the teaching-learning process.
It was also revealed that to a greater extent school location has a significant influence on the teaching-learning process. Descriptive analysis reveals that, most of the respondents sampled (49.1%) disagreed to the question items while (50.1%) agreed.
From the above statistics it was therefore resolve that; to a greater extent, school location was found to have significant influence on teaching-learning process. Conclusion and recommendations were also made in this paper.
This chapter describes the background to the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study, and operational definition of terms.
It is universally accepted, that education enables individuals to contribute to the development and improvement in the quality of life for themselves, their communities and the nation as a whole. Primary school is no doubt the foundation of education and has prominently been regarded as a fundamental human right.
It is an essential component of human capital and it plays an important role in economic growth and development of a country. Primary education, therefore, remains an important area that should be carefully managed.
A study conducted by Kitetu and Sunderland (2000) at the Lancaster University found out that five or more years of a farmer’s primary education led to increased farm productivity, reduced size of farm labour and increased use of yield augmenting inputs. This means that by acquiring primary education one can increase one’s earnings (Kitetu, 1998).
It is believed that a well planned school will gear up expected outcomes of education that will facilitate good social political and economic emancipation, effective teaching-learning process and academic performance of pupils.
Relating this study to international occurrences are the assertions of Williams, Persaud and Turner (2008) quoting Marsden (2005) which reported that safe and orderly classroom environment, school facilities were significantly related to students academic achievement in schools.
In developed countries like the United Kingdom and the United States of America, teaching and learning may not be affected by similar challenges as in the developing countries.
As the developing countries talk of awareness and wastage due to illiteracy of the parents, the developed countries have concentrated in funding their education without fear of any wastage or poor enrolment (MOEST: Report on Sector Review and Development, 2003).
Historically, it has been witnessed through various studies in the developing countries that poor learning environments have always been identified as key factors that lead to poor performance in public primary schools (UNICEF, 2003).
This is due to overstretching of the available resources due to increased enrolment. In Uganda, physical characteristics of the school have a variety of effects on the teachers, pupils and the learning process.
Poor lighting, noise, high levels of carbon dioxide in classrooms and inconsistent temperatures make teaching-learning process difficult. Poor maintenance and ineffective ventilation systems lead to poor health among the pupils and higher absentee rates among pupils (Frazier, 2002 Lyons, 2001and Ostendorf, 2001).
Beyond the direct effects that poor facilities have on pupils’ ability to learn, the combination of inadequate and poor facilities which creates uncomfortable and uninviting workplace for the teachers combined with frustrating behaviour by the pupil including poor concentration also have an effect on the teaching learning process.
The situation is not any different here in Cameroon where several schools suffer due to lack of or inadequacy of infrastructural facilities and instructional materials (UNICEF, 2003). Unless schools are adequately provided with physical facilities and instructional materials, effective teaching and learning may not take place.
In New York, the government has put up measures to ensure all public primary schools has all the required physical facilities, instructional materials and among others variable that may lead to effective learning process.
Instructional materials have been seen as a major component in the teaching and learning process and text books are often the most cost effective means of improving academic achievement and increasing the efficiency of schools (Psachropoulous & Woodhall, 1995).
Conceptually, the physical school environment refers to factors within the school that influence the teaching-learning process. The school environment includes classrooms, library, technical workshops, teachers’ quality, teaching methods, peers, among others variables that can affect the teaching–learning process (Ajayi 2001).
The extent to which pupils learn could be enhanced depending on what the school environment provides to the learners and the teachers.
It can also be defined as the overall design and layout of a school and its learning centres. Teachers should design the environment by organizing its spaces, furnishings and materials to maximize the learning opportunities and the engagement of every child (Vandal Bilt.EDU).
The teaching and learning process on the other hand is defined as combined processes where an educator assesses learning needs, establishes specific learning objectives, develops teaching and learning strategies, implement plan or work and evaluate the outcome of instruction .
According to Ball and Cohen (2000), the teaching and learning process is a process that includes many variables. Here these variables interact as learners work towards their goals and incorporate new values, behaviours and skills that add to their range of learning experiences.
It is therefore in line with aspects of physical school environment and the teaching learning process that this study would be reviewing the concepts of physical school environment which will include; infrastructural facilities, class size and school location.
Theories provide relevant information to a study. The System theory of Ludwig Von Bertallanfy and the Ecological system theory of Urie Bronfenbrenner were used in this study and they provided a theoretical foundation for the current study.
The two theories were chosen because of their relevance to the teaching and learning process as well as the physical school environment. They include both the cognitive and behavioural factors.
In Cameroon, since the inception of Free Primary Education (FPE), there has been increased enrolment which leads to overcrowding in classrooms making the work of the teacher difficult since he/she cannot easily move around in the classroom (Wabuoba, 2011) quoted in Chuma (2012).
In the Kumba I Municipality, school environmental factors such as availability of infrastructural facilities, class size and school location are factors within the school that may affect the teaching-learning process.
Effective teaching-learning process may not take place when the rate of repetition, drop out and absenteeism seems to be high in the division and this affects performance of learners.
The school administration is a crucial factor in the success of a school. The head teacher should be in a position to ensure that all factors within the school that make the school environment favorable for teaching-learning process be put in place to ensure quality standards are maintained.
The Education Act of 1968 stipulates that the head teacher is responsible for overall management, control and maintenance of standards in the schools and is accountable for all that happens in the school.
He is charged with the duty of planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting (Okumbe, 2001). The head teacher is seen as the first supervisor and therefore should always ensure that effective teaching-learning is taking place in the school.
Teaching-learning process can be measured through assessment that is done to pupils using continuous assessment tests (CATS), standardized examination like the First School Leaving Certificate and the Common Entrance Examination.
I noticed so far in the Kumba Municipality that most public primary schools have been met by the metropolis and as a result they’re been disturbed educationally. The presence of markets, churches, bars placed beside these schools play a detrimental role in the academic outcome of the pupil. This of course has a negative effect on the teaching and learning process.
Also, the Cameroon government has invested in education especially in public primary schools through the introduction of Free Primary Education (FPE). The country’s provision of Free Primary Education is an effort by the Cameroon government to increase access and retention of pupils in schools.
Despite efforts made by the Cameroon governments on the promotion of academic performance in public primary schools in Cameroon in general and the Kumba Municipality in particular, by providing good infrastructure, good classrooms with a delectable class size in a very conducive and less noisy environment, it is doubtful that the approach has not been able to deal decisively with pupils poor academic performance.
The educational family has continued to experience cases of poor performance in public primary schools.
It is for these reasons that this study sought to investigate the influence of physical school environmental factors on the teaching/learning process in some selected public primary schools in the Kumba 1 Municipality, South West Region of Cameroon.
- To investigate the influence of physical school environmental factors on the teaching-learning process in some selected public primary schools in the Kumba I Municipality – Meme division.
This study is guided by the following specific objectives.
- To examine the effect of infrastructural facilities on the teaching-learning process in some selected public primary schools in the Kumba I Municipality.
- To determine how class size (pupil/teacher ratio) influences the teaching and learning process in some selected public primary schools in the Kumba I Municipality.
- To determine how school location affects the process of teaching/learning in some selected public primary schools in the Kumba I Municipality.
The study sought to answer the following research questions;
- To what extent do infrastructural facilities affect the process of teaching and learning in public primary schools in Kumba I Municipality?
- How does class size (pupil/teacher ratio) influences the teaching-learning process in public primary schools in the KumbaI Municipality?
- To what extent does school location affect the teaching-learning process in public primary schools in the Kumba I Municipal?