IMPACT OF LECTURES IN AN INADEQUATE CLASSROOM ON STUDWENT ACEDEMIC PERFORMANCE IN THE BUEA UNIVERSITY
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1.1 Background of the study
Historically, inadequate classrooms over the years have been a serious problem to learners’ performances in schools and the University of Buea in particular. Students usually do not pay attention in class, take notes and do not attend classes regularly.In the absence of inadequate classrooms and good schools, the future of our nation begins to look dismal. Recent efforts to reform education according to (The Draft Document of the Sector Wide Approach/Education)have been largely focused upon issues such as improving curriculum and ensuring that highly qualified teachers are occupying our nation’s classrooms. While these issues are important, the current condition of many of our nation’s schools is alarming. As many schools have been allowed to “deteriorate to the point of having classrooms with falling ceiling plaster, chained fire doors, poor temperature and humidity, ventilation effects and nonfunctioning bathrooms, students question whether the society really places a value on them or on education.
Theoretically the constructivist theory stress on a well-organized environment to be stimulating to the adult learner. This theory is highly applicable in this context because the University of Buea is made up of about 80% of adult learners. Also some humanistic theories such as the theory of andragogy by Malcolm Shepherd Knowles (1913-1997) which attempt to differentiate learning in childhood from learning in adulthood, Robert Mills Gagne’s conditions of learning (august 21, 1916- April 28 2002) who based his assumption that different types of learning exist and that different instructionally conditions are most likely to bring about these different types of learning, also play an important role in understanding this educationally problem of lectures in inadequate classroom and its impact on students academic achievements in the university of Buea. Gagne’s work (1985) also focuses on purposeful learning which is the type of learning that occurs in school and believes that the environment also influences the learning process which is also applicable in this context.
Conceptually, Nicole (2006) suggested that, the overall condition of a classroom affects students’ motivation level of learning, result as a result of overcrowding, sitting position. Schools which make provision for adequate space for teaching learning, clean and in good physical condition have better teachers and principals. A teacher could teach better in a school with adequate classroom condition. Nicole further explains that students’ personal behaviors and conducts in the teaching learning process are influenced by the condition of the classroom. That student will learn better in a class which is not congested, neat and in good condition.
As such, the improvement of our nation’s higher educational infrastructure is one area where the problem is severe and the solution seems obvious and direct. If a goal of educational leadership is to affect student academic achievement in a positive manner, we must determine the extent to which students in the University of Buea believe they are adversely affected by their physical learning environments. The sources of the problem of inadequate classrooms in the University of Buea seemed to come from many dimensions. There exists an imbalance in the distribution of universities in all the 10 regions of Cameroon. According to (The Draft Document of the Sector Wide Approach/Education of Cameroon), there are 7 state universities out of 10 regions in Cameroon which is not enough to contain the rapid population growth in the country. Apart from these state universities are also private universities which are attended by well to do students from rich homes who can afford the fees while students from poor backgrounds only go to state universities because of the affordability of the school fees of not more than 65 and 50 thousands.
Contextually, Education system Republic of Cameroon (1st edition November 2008),An overwhelming number of 70% students in Cameroonian schools and universities in particular are being educated in inadequate classrooms and deteriorating school facilities not conducive to increasing student motivation and/or academic achievement. In the absence of adequate, appropriate and safe educational facilities in which students can access the tools to confidently pursue their education, it is unreasonable to expect tremendous gains in areas of student conduct, motivation and/or achievement, as inadequate physical learning environments may adversely affect students.
The No Child Left Behind Act (2001) is the latest approach in the improvement of lectures in inadequate classrooms and closing of gaps in student academic achievement. Traditionally, Universities have received much of the attention in the discussion of school reform. Universities and employers are claiming billions of dollars in expenses to remediate the issue of inadequate classrooms in high education(Fiske, 1991). In economic terms, the improvement of lectures in inadequate classrooms in Universities would seem beneficial to our student academic achievement. Kerr, (2003) says,the costs of improving lectures in inadequate classrooms can grow exponentially for universitysystems with the aim of improving students’ performances. This national push to increased student performance continues as our school lack accommodation. Students interviewed about the greatest needs of their schools note items such as adequate classrooms functional restroom facilities rather than curriculum development (Glickman, 2004). Not only do the government-mandated standards rise, but so do the numbers of children in universities.Research indicates that the quality of air inside a classroom may significantly affect student s’ ability to concentrate (Andrews and Neuroth, 1988).
Adeyemi (2008)advocated that performance is a measure of educational output. Academic performance can be viewed as the extent to which an individual learner acts or does a piece of work, how well or poor he/she does the job or the activities within a learning process. Poor performance however can be regarded as having performed below the required academic performance. Charles (1994), referred to poor performance as performance that fall below the desired standard.
According to Hanover Research (2011), Flexible learning space allow for interactions and collaborative work, which are fundamental to thedevelopment of 21st century skill: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. It is in this light that the researcher seeks to investigate the impact oflectures in inadequate classrooms on students’ academic achievement in the University of Buea.
To meet the challenge of higher education standards and higher expectations in education, the issue of lectures in inadequate classrooms on students’ achievement has to be treated appropriately. In other words, for teaching learning process to be completed, there must be a valid and reliable assessment environment and adequatespace to contain the total population of students offering a course.
Although most often teachers together with learners try to always manage the space,the state of lectures in inadequate classrooms in universities today appears to be of great concern to students’ parents and all educators.Overcrowding, students sitting position, students’ level of motivation and teachers teaching method and it impacton the academic achievement in an inadequate classroom in the University of Buea needs to be address.In order for educational leaders to support reform that will boost student performance, they will need to understand the impact of lectures in an inadequate classroomon students’ academic achievement in the University of Buea.
1.3 General Research Question
What is the impact of lectures in inadequate classrooms on students’ academic achievement in the University of Buea?
Specific research questions
- To what degree does overcrowding impact students’ academic achievement in the University of Buea?
- Is there any relationship between students sitting position and their academic achievement in the University of Buea?
- Does students’ level of motivation affect their academic achievement in the University of Buea?