The influence of school infrastructure on students' academic performance in the BUEA MUNICIPALITY
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The main focus of this study was to examine the influence of infrastructure on students’ academic performance in the Buea Municipality, to investigate the effect of class size on students’ academic performance, find out how sport infrastructure influence students’ performance, to determine the extent to which physical layout of teaching and learning infrastructure affects students’ academic performance and to establish the extent to which the adherence of government policy in school infrastructure influence students’ performance. Five schools and a total of 80 respondents were used for the study. Data was collected with the use of questionnaires administered to students. From findings, respondents pointed out that class size, sport infrastructure and physical layout all have an effect on the students’ academic performance, thus if they are appropriately put in place or available, it will help to better the performance of students. Based on the findings, recommendations have been made for students, teachers and educational authorities as well as suggestions for further studies.
In this chapter, the researcher shall examine the following components, the background of study, statement of problem objectives of the study, the research questions, hypothesis, significance of the study, delimitation or scope of study and operational definition of terms.
1.1 Background To The Study
In both developed and developing nations like Cameroon, the education is a very crucial process through which the individual’s life chances are determined beyond the economic significance, education is viewed as a good in itself and indeed a basic human right with regards to the lower level of education (World Bank 1995). Education is and investment in human beings and a value resources for economic benefit of the country. The government all over the world committed themselves to the provision of education for all (EFA) at Dakar, Senegal in 2000 (UNESCO,2003).
Education does not exist in a vacuum but in and environment structured of physical facilities and material resources that are used in the teaching and learning. The specification given for the establishment, management and material resources in secondary school are stipulated in the laws and policies that govern the countries educational system. The goal of infrastructure system in secondary school seeks to increase school attendance of students, enhance staff motivation and to improve academic achievements of students (Alimi, 2004). There is a link between school architecture and its users, (students and teachers); Research has shown that well planned school with clean and safe learning environment are important for academic achievement (Cash 1993, Earthman and Lemaster 1996). Physical facilities play a key role in the attainment of school attended objectives and overall quality performance in national examination. Public schools are often characterized by lack of infrastructure facilities such as adequate classrooms, latrines and laboratories.
Ironically the introduction of free primary and secondary education has been touted as and accelerator of the afore mentioned problems. Since its inception in the year 2000, the abolition of school fees in the primary education has provided a significant improvement in educational opportunities for children has provided a significant improvement in educational opportunities for children and youths. Nearly 3.4 million children enrolled in primary education in 2009, compared to only 69% in 1991. The abolition of school fees in primary education in 2000 spurred some of this increase in total enrollment. Total secondary enrollment more than doubled in the past two decades, reaching nearly 1.3 million total students in these programs including overstretched facilities such as classrooms, latrines and overcrowding. It may be the fact that dilapidated crowded or uncomfortable school infrastructure leads to low morale among students, teachers and parents. Hence this leads to the drop in achievement when school facilities are inadequate (Fraizer, 1993).
In Nigeria, a study by Ejionvem (2007) states that the physical infrastructure in secondary school were poor and would continue to adversely affect the contributions of secondary education to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Educational facilities contribute directly to the teaching and learning process in the educational system. These facilities and environment also portray the quality of the institution in terms of their staff and students, friendliness, safety and relevance (Okoiye and Uche, 2004).
In East Africa especially in Tanzania, poor physical infrastructure is a common feature in many educational institutions. Most schools are characterized by ramshackle infrastructures. In addition, new programs and expanded intake have been suggested without matching development of the physical infrastructure (Stephen, 2002).
In Cameroon, the condition in Buea create hurdles for children to get quality education and form barriers to school planning. Most teachers like students in Buea have told The Post that they encounter a lot of difficulties in the teaching and learning process. Rufus Lekunze, a history teacher in Bilingual Grammar School Molyko, said that the classes are overcrowded in such a way that it is difficult to discipline the students. In addition, Bryan Gwanmesia, a lower sixth student of Inter Comprehensive High School Buea reported that the school premises are too small that when he tries to read in school, he is disturbed by other students (Fru Rita Ngum, 2009, Cameroon Post line).
1.2 Statement Of Problem
According to the government of Cameroon, education is compulsory throughout the age of 12years. Primary education has been free since 2000; in 2002, the gross primary enrollment rate was 108%. These enrollments in primary and secondary school have not been consistent with the development of necessary physical infrastructure needed to boast the quality education and improve students’ academic performance in national examinations.
Cameroon has been fully engaged with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) since their inception in 2002. This paper examines the situation of access to portable water and sanitation in Cameroon within the context of MDGs, established whether Cameroon is on track of meeting the MDGs in these domains and proposes actions to be taken to bring it closer to these objectives. Based on analyzed data obtained from national surveys, government ministries, national statistical offices, bibliographic research, reports and interviews, it argues that Cameroon will not reach the water and sanitation MDGs. While Cameroon is not yet on track to meet the target of the MDGs for water and sanitation. However, it has made notable progress since 1990, much more needs to be done to improve the situation, especially in rural areas.
1.3 Objective of the study
1.3.1 General objective
Influence of school infrastructure on students’ academic performance
1.3.2 Specific objectives
To investigate the effect of class size on the academic performance of students.
To find out how sport infrastructure influence students’ performance in public secondary school.
To determine the extent to which physical layout of teaching and learning infrastructure affects students’ academic performance.
To establish the extent to which the adherence of government policy in school infrastructure influence students’ performance in public secondary school in Buea.