The Role of School Infrastructure in the Teaching and Learning Process in Selected Secondary Schools in Cameroon: The Case of Buea Municipality
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This study sort to investigate “school infrastructure and its role in the teaching and learning process in some schools in the Buea municipality” the study makes used of a survey that make use of a questionnaire and a sample of 70 students and 10 teachers from 3 schools. 4 research question guided the study namely: what is the role of a school library in the teaching and learning process? how does laboratory and workshop facilitates teaching and learning? how does school buildings, classroom facilitates the teaching and learning process?, how does playground contribute to teaching and learning? Data was analyses descriptively and findings from these studies revealed that school infrastructure plays a significant role in the teaching and learning process. At the end of the student, it was recommended that, the ministry of secondary education, should improve the learning infrastructure of the secondary schools in Buea. The principles should ensure the school enrolment match the classroom and the number of benches in class. A specific land size and proper location should be a fundamental requirement for a school registration. This should be adhered to strictly avoid the mushrooming of schools without the vital infrastructure that enhance teaching and learning, the principals should not only provide co-curricular facilities but also ensure that they are well managed.
This chapter covers the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, the research questions, significance of the study, the scope of the study that is the delimitations and the chapter ends with definition of term.
1.1 Background Of The Study.
Buildings, classroom, laboratories and equipment are crucial elements of learning environments in schools. A recent study from U.K found that environmental and design elements of school infrastructure together explained 16 percent of variation in students’ academic progress. Schools in marginalized areas in
Romania faces the biggest investment needs in the country, meaning that students attending these schools are doubly disadvantaged.
72 percent of rural secondary schools are missing a science laboratory and nearly 40 percent do not have indoor toilets. Library services to schools have evolved since the late 1800s from public or state wagons to informal classroom collections what we know today. The later part of 19th Century marked the beginning of the modern American library with the creation of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1876 by a group of librarians led by Melvil Dewey. The school libraries were primarily made up of small collections with the librarian playing primarily a clerical role. Most recently school libraries have been defined by two major guidelines documents; Information power 1 (1988) and information power II (1998).
Globally important mission statement is the UNESCO school library manifesto which states that: “the school library provides information and ideas that are fundamental to functioning successfully in today’s knowledge based society”.
Science laboratories have been part of high school education for two centuries, yet a clear articulation of their role in student learning of science remains elusive. Since laboratories were introduced in the late 1800s, the goal of high school science education has changed. Today, high school science education aims to provide scientific literacy for all as part of liberal education and to prepare students for further study, work and citizenship.
A system-wide transformation is crucial for the attainment and sustainability of improved educational quality (Holt 2000). Proper organizational infrastructures, coupled with adequate school facilities and a starting point for the development and implementation of the school curriculum (UNICEF, 2000).
Studies have substantiated that a whole range of professional quality and other school related factors are associated with high learning achievement. School systems work with students and carry significant social trust for transmitting values, inspiration and knowledge to improve future society (Beryl and Whalen, 2007). Although significant efforts have been made to improve the educational quality in the secondary schools in Cameroon, it must be confessed that learning conditions for teachers and students in the Buea municipality have not been the best in terms of school facilities (infrastructure). (Southwest Education Constitution). The quality of school buildings can help or hinder learning and teaching, a new study claims, well-designed buildings and pleasant surroundings can lead to better attendance and concentration as well as motivation and self-esteem. A lack of research evidence on the importance for the school environment has contributed to the years of neglect that many schools’ buildings in secondary schools have suffered.
School infrastructure is facilities that supplement and compliment the teaching and learning activities. It also helps to develop various facts of personality development of the students (Tambo 2012). The library prime purpose is to provide favorable services and materials that supports teaching and learning process. The school playground provides a save outdoor environment within the school that stimulates students to use their creative energy in healthy interaction with one another which is a co-curricular activity and this activity help to complement the main syllabus. This activity takes place outside the classroom (American Encyclopedia/Wikipedia).
Non educational activities were viewed as being primarily recreational and therefore were detrimental to students learning performance and consequently were discouraged because educator in the 1910s were skeptical about participation in curricular activities. According to Marsh and Klietmann (2007), school should focus narrowly on defined academic outcomes.
Tambo (2012) says co- curriculum is made up of school activities such as sport activities, game and club activities which usually take place outside the classroom or even the school.Science laboratories have been have part of high school education for two past two centuries, yet a clear articulation of their role in student’s learning of science remains elusive.
In the National Science Foundation (NSF) authorization act of (2002) (p.l.107-368, authorizing funding for fiscal years 2003-2007), congress called on NSF to launch a secondary school systematic initiative. The initiative was to promote scientific a theoretical literacy and to meet the mathematical a science needs of students. The congress provides grants for laboratories improvements to enhance the quality if science, engineering and technology instructions.
Tambo (2003) stated that among other objectives of education was to develop creativity, sense of initiative and the spirit of enterprise. This can be effective when learner’s practical’s theory and so school laboratories and workshops are necessary.
The theoretical background deals mostly with the ideas of educators and psychologist and their views on the role of school infrastructure in the teaching and learning process. We shall look at theories of some writers on school infrastructure.
Behaviorism is a learning theory based on trained behaviors as proposed by psychologist B. F Skinner 1985.In it students can learn as a response to classroom or environmental stimulation a can have that learning reinforced with continues exposure to the topic.
Also connectionism is a learning theory proposed by psychologist Edward Thorndike (1932). According to Thondike, learning response are due to connections form with the stimulus (item) in hearing an reading, and in speaking and writing.
The constructivist theory of learning proposed by Jean Piaget argues that people produce knowledge and form meaning based on their experiences and according to him teachers must challenge students by making them effective critical thinkers.
Lastly, the view point of Montessori theory of creativity, she applied the concept of creativity development in numerous ways which one of such is the prepared classroom environment.
Numerous studies have been conducted concerning the relationship between school infrastructure and the teaching and learning process. Adiquate and sufficient school facilities or infrastructure in general is associated with an improved grade point average, increased college attendance an absenteeism (Broh,2002,para8).Guest an Schneider (2003),said researchers have found have found positive associations between school infrastructure and the teaching and learning process .one study conducted by the National Education Longitudinal study found that participation in some activities improves performance while participation in others diminishes performance.(Bros 2002,para 1).school infrastructure have been proven to have facilitated and improve the teaching and learning process and thus strengthening academic performance.
A number of studies have shown that schools with well-equipped libraries laboratories, workshops, and well-constructed buildings, the teaching and learning process is smooth, effective an efficient, then schools that these facilities are absent or insufficient. And also a school with adequate infrastructure reported higher grades, more positive attitude towards school and a higher academic aspiration. This work sets to investigate the Importance of library, laboratories, classrooms a playground in the teaching and learning process in some school in Buea; municipality.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
School infrastructure is a key base for learning in school. School infrastructure includes classrooms, libraries, laboratories, game halls, playgrounds and others. It is in the classroom that the day to day teaching takes place, it is in the library that learners have the opportunity to conduct their own personal study and research as the resource materials are found therein. It is at the school playground that some extracurricular activities take place. School infrastructure is a very important component in ensuring successful teaching and learning. It is a fact that schools vary in the kind of infrastructure they put in place to enable teaching and learning for quality education. These study therefore sets to establish the importance of school infrastructure on the provision of quality teaching and learning process in some schools in the Buea municipality. When the school has no library the tendency is that students don’t carry out research and they don’t effectively do that assignments and teachers don’t get teaching sufficient teaching aids to use when teaching and the resultant result will be that students will not perform well in their academics due to poor teaching and learning .Also when the school lacks well equipped laboratories the tendency is that practical lessons will not be effective which may lead to poor performance in science subjects and technical subjects and learners will also lack the skills required of them at their level and it will also affect technology development of the country. Enrollment in secondary schools in the Buea municipality have not been consistent with the development of necessary infrastructure needed to boast quality education and a successful teaching and learning and as such this study is to find out the importance or effect of these school infrastructure in the teaching and learning process.
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
1.3.1 General Objective
To assess the role of school infrastructure in the teaching and learning process in some schools in Buea municipality.
1.3.2 Specific Objectives
To find out the importance of libraries in the teaching and learning process in some schools in Buea municipality.
To investigate the how laboratories and workshops facilitates the teaching and learning process in some schools in Buea.
To find out how classrooms are essential in the teaching and learning process in some schools in Buea.
To investigate how school playgrounds contributes to effective teaching and learning.