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School Location and Academic Performance in Integrated Science among Junior Secondary School Students


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This study titled “School location and students’ academic performance among junior secondary school students in Integrated Science” was conducted to investigate the influence of school location on the academic performance of students in Itu Local Government Area. The population of the study consisted of all JSS III students in all the secondary schools in the area. The sample size was 400 students randomly selected from eight secondary schools out of the twenty three (23) private and public schools in the study area. Three research questions and three null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The design for the study was survey research design.

Integrated Science Achievement Test (ISAT) and a 14-item questionnaire was used for data collection. Data was subjected to t-test statistical analysis. The findings of this study revealed that there was no significant difference in the academic performance of students in urban and rural schools in Integrated Science. Thus, it was recommended among other things that: libraries, laboratory and other facilities should be provided and distributed equally among locally and urban located schools; teachers should be evenly distributed such that experienced and qualified teachers are posted in a good number to both urban and rural schools.


School Location and Academic Performance in Integrated Science among Junior Secondary School Students




1.1    Background to the Study

The quest by teachers and educators on factors that can help improve students’ academic performance has been on the high side for many decades now following the realization of education as an important instrument for national development. Most researchers have directed their studies on factors such as socio-economic status of parent (Ekanem, 2011); parents literacy level (Akpan, 2014), teachers qualification and experience (Udo, 2010) and lots more. Inspite of these good researches and recommendations made, remarkable variation still persist in the academic performance of students in various school locations making it difficult for teachers, counsellors and the likes to have a firm stand on the type of school to recommend to parents when such need arises.

Besides teachers, students, school and parental related factors, it is believed that the location of a school may play a significant role in the way a student performs academically. Schrander (2013) maintained that school location is as important as every other factor that can promote learning and should be considered first before approving the take-off of any school. School location in this context refers to the place or the geographical area where a school building is cited for teaching-learning processes and other educational activities. In Akwa Ibom State, education has been made not only free but compulsory to every child thus; hardly would any Local Government in the state exist without a school.

Some of these communities especially in the rural environment are faced with poor road network and other social amenities while the urban environments are characterized by industries and other commercial centres, which jointly constitute factors that may influence academic performance of students. Poor road network, epileptic power and water supply, inadequacy of teachers and dilapidated school facilities mostly characterize the rural area and has been observed to be a strong factor that influences teachers’ choice during posting.

On the other hand, the urban schools though witnessing mass exodus of teachers and students into it are also faced with its own challenges due to its location which is the noise. Noise produced by heavy trucks, plants, engines, factories, industries and other forms of automobiles mostly characterized urban schools.

Again, the high population of humans in urban areas makes market and even churches to constitute a source of noise to urban schools. However, school located in the outskirt of urban areas happen to be at intermediary point  as it experience little of the urban and rural features put together. The above features mentioned which characterizes schools in a given location are expected to have it effect on academic performance of a student thus forming the bases in which this research is conducted.


1.2    Statement of the Problem

Akwa Ibom State has witnessed a tremendous increase in the number of schools built in different localities and locations in the state.  Although the intention is to make education more accessible, this in a way could be as a result of the fact that some school owners are seeing it as a very lucrative line of business and as such do not mind whether the location will support adequate learning or not. Some school owners turn their bedrooms for this purpose while some go as far as sharing a building used in marketing and other businesses making the whole situation more confusing to parents and educators.

Observation have shown that while most parents will want to send their children to urban schools, some others choose the rural schools for their wards with the belief that it has a conducive learning environment compared to those at the urban areas. The researcher having noted this state of confusion decided to investigate the impact of school location on the academic performance of students among Junior Secondary school students in Itu Local Government Area.


School Location and Academic Performance in Integrated Science among Junior Secondary School Students

1.3    Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the place of school location in the academic performance of students. Specifically, the research objectives were;

  1. To determine the differences between the academic performance of students in urban and rural schools.
  2. To determine if gender is a factor in the academic performance of students in urban schools
  3. To determine if gender is a factor in the academic performance of students in rural schools.


1.4    Research Hypotheses

Three null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

  1. There is no significant difference between the academic performance of students in urban and rural schools in Integrated Science
  2. There is no significant difference between academic performance of the male and female students in urban schools.
  3. There is no significant difference between the academic performance of male and female students in rural schools.

1.5    Significance of the Study

The study may be of a great significance to parents, counsellors, policy makers and students:

–       To the parents, this research finding may provide the answer to the type of school they should send their wards to.

–       The counsellors will help counsel the parents and students on the right location that will be more friendly to learning using the findings of this work.

–       To the policy makers, the finding of this work may be useful in making policy which when enforced will regulate the siting of schools with a view to promoting good learning environment that will enhance quality teaching-learning process. In general, the results of this study will recommend factors that

government should consider for locating, relocating or complete removal of a school structure to ensure better performance particularly in Integrated Science and promote learner friendly environment.

School Location and Academic Performance in Integrated Science among Junior Secondary School Students

1.7    Delimitation of the Study

The scope of this study was limited to Integrated Science students who sat for the Junior West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination in 2014. Emphasis was laid on students from Itu Local Government Area alone.

1.8    Limitation of the Study

Certain factors limited the speedy completion of the study. These are:

Transportation: The area selected for the study posted a great challenge as some were not accessible due to poor road networks. Some even required the use of canoe or swimming skill.

Time: This was the major factor that militated against the study as the time was too short for the completion of this work. Apart from two identified limiting factors of transportation and time, the researcher had some difficulties in soliciting the cooperation of the school heads and the students sampled for the study.


1.9    Definition of Terms

The following terms were used in the study:

Integrated Science: This refers to an approach to the teaching of science aimed at enabling students gain the concept of fundamental unity of science and also gain an understanding of the roles and functions of science in everyday life and the world in which they live.

School: This is a place where formal or organized education is being given.

School Location: This refers to the geographical area or place (rural, urban, hill, valley or plane) where a school building is sited and used for teaching-learning process.

Academic Performance: This refers to the extent to which a student or an institution of learning achieves success in what was learnt or on the goal that was set. It will be used interchangeably with achievement scores. 


I am Prince Stephen. The admin of I'm a passionate writer, editor and an experienced educational blogger who writes articles on education, educational research and school news. I based in Afaha Nsit, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

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