1.1 Background of the Study
In light of the modern recognition of education's pivotal role in fostering a nation's progress, the field of education is currently undergoing substantial growth and advancement, emerging as one of the most essential societal services on a global scale (Salahu and Aminu, 2010). This notable expansion is evidenced by significant investments in educational resources, a proliferation of educational institutions, a surge in student enrollment, and an increasing number of educators. Consequently, educational establishments, particularly schools, have become more intricate, requiring skilled and dedicated educators to effectively manage this dynamic scenario.
Nonetheless, the quality of education stands as a crucial determinant in societal development. In the quest for high-quality education, several elements contribute to students' academic achievements. Among these factors are instructional materials and school facilities.
Ogunsaju (1980) emphasized that the quality of education students receive is contingent on the availability of comprehensive school facilities in which the process of teaching and learning takes place. The achievement of quality, relevance, and accessibility in education is only feasible if educational materials are readily accessible and effectively employed within educational institutions. Educational resources serve as the conduit through which information is efficiently conveyed from educators to learners. Within the context of schools, essential school facilities encompass textbooks, various types of buildings (both academic and non-academic), equipment, classroom amenities, furniture, teaching aids, audio-visual tools, restroom facilities, computers, libraries, and laboratory materials – all of which are crucial for facilitating effective learning.
Instructional materials have been recognized as a potent strategy to facilitate effective teaching and learning. The significance of high-quality and adequate instructional materials in teaching and learning becomes apparent through their skillful integration during classroom instruction. This category of instructional materials encompasses all the tools that educators can utilize to enhance the engagement and memorability of learning experiences (Tety, 2016).
Farombi (1998) states that instructional materials comprise books, audio-visual aids, educational technology software, and hardware. He further asserts that the presence, sufficiency, and relevance of instructional materials within classrooms can influence the quality of teaching, ultimately having a positive impact on students' learning and academic performance.
According to Oni (1992), instructional resources constitute a strategic factor for educators in structuring and delivering education. This is because they aid in clarifying concepts that educators might find challenging to convey without the assistance of instructional materials. This, in turn, enables students to learn more effectively, thereby positively influencing their academic achievements. Discussing the role of instructional materials in teaching and learning, Balogun (1982) noted that effective science education programs rely on the availability of teaching equipment. This is due to the fact that instructional materials assist learners in developing problem-solving skills and cultivating scientific attitudes.
Expanding on this point, Ajayi and Ogunyemi (1990) underscore that the provision of instructional materials tailored to meet the specific needs of the teaching process grants students access to the reference materials mentioned by the teacher. This approach also permits each student to learn at their individual pace. The net outcome is a substantial improvement in students' performance.
School facilities encompass the physical structures and resources within an educational institution that facilitate the teaching and learning endeavor. According to Buckley et al. (2004), school facilities not only aid teachers in fulfilling their duties but also assist learners in achieving effective learning outcomes. Furthermore, they emphasize that the availability and proper utilization of school facilities can influence teachers' inclination to teach effectively, ultimately benefiting students' academic achievements.
Lawrence (2003) underscores that the absence of adequate school resources adversely affects the motivation of both staff and students. A favorable school environment coupled with sufficient school facilities exerts a significant positive impact on teachers' motivation and students' accomplishments.
Moreover, O'Neill (2000) asserts that school facilities have an impact on student achievement, attendance, and teacher retention. Hopkins et al. (1996) identified a correlation between negative effects on student achievement and inadequate school facilities. According to Shahzad et al. (2012), having appropriate and high-quality school facilities constitutes fundamental prerequisites for achieving the desired objectives of an educational program. This assertion is reinforced by their emphasis on the complex nature of learning, requiring motivation from both students and teachers, alongside essential school facilities like standardized buildings, classrooms equipped with necessary amenities, instructional materials, and developmental tools.
Academic performance signifies the assessment of students' accomplishments across diverse academic subjects. Teachers and educational administrators commonly gauge achievement through classroom performance, graduation rates, and outcomes from standardized tests. The academic performance of students has remained a topic of substantial concern for parents, school administrators, educational researchers, and policymakers in both developed and developing countries (Makori and Onderi, 2013).
Numerous factors influence students' academic performance in Nigeria, including peer pressure, inadequate study habits, exam malpractice, involvement in cult activities, substance abuse, absenteeism, subpar school infrastructure, and insufficient instructional materials. These factors possess the potential to significantly impact students' academic achievements.
As a result, this study aims to explore the correlation between instructional materials, school facilities, and students' academic achievements within Sokoto State Metropolis.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Instructional materials play a pivotal role in enhancing the comprehensibility, significance, and ease of teaching and learning processes. They serve as crucial variables that govern the pace of learning, involving the establishment of an environment wherein students can unfold their complete potential and lead productive lives aligned with their individual or collective interests and societal needs. This significance is particularly evident in the realm of language education.
Similarly, the presence and quality of school facilities constitute essential elements that contribute to establishing a conducive and efficient learning environment. Sufficient facilities not only empower educators but also inspire students, contribute to teacher retention, and exert a positive impact on student achievement, attendance, and the overall caliber of educational programs.
However, despite the acknowledged importance of instructional materials and school facilities, there remains a gap in comprehending the precise manner in which these factors influence the academic performance of students within Sokoto State Metropolis.
1.3 Aim of the Study
The main objective of this research is to examine the effect of instructional materials and school facilities on the academic performance of students in Sokoto State Metropolis.
1.4 Research Objectives
The study sets out the following specific objectives:
This study aims to achieve the following specific goals:
- To assess the extent of availability and suitability of instructional materials in secondary schools located within Sokoto State Metropolis.
- To evaluate the condition of school facilities and their appropriateness in creating a conducive learning environment.
- To determine whether a correlation exists between the utilization of instructional materials and students' academic performances.
- To explore the impact of school facilities on the academic accomplishments of students.
1.5 Research Questions
- Is there satisfactory accessibility to instructional resources in secondary schools within Sokoto State Metropolis?
- How do the existing school facilities contribute to the overall learning ambience in these educational institutions?
- Does a statistically notable correlation exist between the utilization of teaching materials and students' academic achievements?
- In what ways do school facilities influence the academic achievements of students?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
Ho: The presence of instructional materials and school facilities does not exert a significant impact on the academic performance of students in secondary schools located in Sokoto State Metropolis.
Ha: The availability of instructional materials and school facilities significantly influences the academic performance of students in secondary schools situated within Sokoto State Metropolis.
1.7 Justification of the Study
This study's significance lies in its potential to offer well-founded insights into the factors that impact students' academic performance in Sokoto State Metropolis. The findings from this research could serve as valuable input for educational policymakers, administrators, and stakeholders, emphasizing the importance of proper instructional materials and adequate school facilities in improving learning outcomes.
1.8 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on investigating the interplay among instructional materials, school facilities, and the academic achievements of students within secondary schools located in Sokoto State Metropolis. The research specifically probes into the accessibility and sufficiency of instructional materials, as well as the condition of school facilities. While acknowledging the wider educational context, the study does not undertake an exhaustive evaluation of external national or regional influences that might affect the educational landscape in Sokoto State Metropolis.