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Project Topic:

IMPACT OF RESOURCE UTILIZATION ON PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1 - 5 ::   Pages: 62 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis  ::   68 people found this useful

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EDUCATION UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT TOPICS, RESEARCH WORKS AND MATERIALS

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Abstract

Resource utilization is an integral part of the overall management of the school. Education in a school is determined by provision of resources, their maximum utilization and management. A direct relationship exists between the quality of school facilities, teaching and learning materials, teaching personnel and the education process. The above will eventually determine the instructional programmes and performance of the school. This study investigated the impact of resource utilization in education in secondary schools as perceived by principal and teachers in Jos south local government of plateau state. This included the use of instructional materials in the teaching/learning process, human resource utilization, school building design, impact of physical facilities and school size on students. The researcher employed ex post facto research design to conduct the study. The target population consisted of all the public and private secondary schools in the local government. The sample consisted of 10 secondary schools; the principal of the sampled school was automatically included in the study while one teacher was randomly elected. The Data was collected through an interview schedule with the school principals and teachers by means of questionnaires. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study found out that teaching learning resources are available in most schools and are properly utilized. In particular materials related to classroom instruction are adequate. However laboratories, libraries, computer rooms, agriculture/home science rooms are inadequate in most schools. The study established that the number of teachers in most schools was grossly inadequate. It was also found out that the physical facilities and recreational facilities were inadequate. The findings of the study provided empirical data about the impact of resource utilization on instructional programmes, performance and eventually the extent of use of resources in instructional programmes. Based on these findings, the study therefore recommends that more funds be allocated to equip the laboratories, computer rooms, science rooms and agriculture rooms. Greater attention be given to support facilities, employment of more teachers and teachers should prepare and make use of professional documents.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

This introductory chapter presents the background of the study, the statement of the problem, purpose of the study, research objectives, research questions, significance of the study, scope, limitations, assumptions, operational definitions of terms, theoretical and conceptual frameworks.

The primary purpose of education is to bring about desirable change in behavior through acquisition of skills, attitudes, competencies, critical and creative thinking. Teaching is a complex and demanding task that requires highly specialized skills, knowledge and resources to impact significantly on student learning. Availability and utilization of resources in an organization is important in achievement of its goals and objectives. Students learning outcome is influenced by appropriate utilization of school resources. Investing in educational resources is the key to ensuring that schools become institutions where students‟ work together, learn from each other and benefit from a supportive school environment, and consequently maximize student learning so that all students achieve their full learning potential (United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO), 2007).

The physical, human and financial resources invested in schools influence not only the education provided to students but also aspects of teachers and student motivation and consequently the educational outcomes. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that resource shortages hinder instruction and lower student performance (OECD, 2007). In addition, inequalities in student’s educational performance often reflect disparities in in the resources invested in schools (OECD, 2008). In some education systems, there are concerns that schools not only lack the resources to meet the educational requirements of their students, but that schools may have fewer resources with which to provide instruction to their students (OECD, 2008). In schools, there are a wide variety of resources that are directly or indirectly related to educational outcomes. 

According to Okorie (2001) student learning outcomes in schools is largely dependent on availability and appropriate utilization of resources, because the students acquire skills using these resources. These resources include buildings, furniture, playground, compound, toilet facilities, lighting, books, teaching materials, among others. These facilities play a pivotal role in the actualization of the educational goals and objectives by satisfying the physical and emotional needs of the staff and students.

These facilities play a pivotal role in the actualization of the educational goals and objectives by satisfying the physical, emotional and cognitive needs of the staff and students.  Abayomi and Olukayode (2006) states that resources in schools are important in education because learning takes place best through discovery, exploration, and interaction with the internal and external environments.  As a result one of the main emphases in education today is the shift from a teacher centeredapproach to a more learner centeredapproach. This involves actually putting the learner’s needs at the center of activities. To achieve this goal teachers need to use a wide variety of resources, which can enrich the learning environment. The adequacy of physical resources and teaching materials as well as their effective utilization has been a matter of serious concern to educators. The utilization of resources in education brings about fruitful learning outcomes since it stimulates and motivates students’ (Okorie, 2001). 

According to Pearls (2000), though teachers are required to deliver formal teaching in a classroom, much of the day-to-day teaching goes on outside the classroom in the course of interaction between learners and their physical environment. Being aware of the resources available can help to enhance teaching and facilitate learning and thus make a shift to a learner centered approach.  A learner centered approach involves enabling students to work with their teachers, with other students and even individually. This is particularly helpful because there are opportunities for learning in virtually every activity that the students carry out; there are not always opportunities for formal teaching events.  The appropriate utilization of resources helps teachers make the shift in their approach to facilitating learning rather than delivering teaching.

Wenglinsky (2005), reports that research has consistently highlighted that appropriate utilization of resources in schools as a key determinant of students‟ academic achievement. The research asserts that, in order for learning to be effective, students need an enabling environment that is both psychologically and physically friendly to the learners. Effective schools have rigorous systems of accountability, a focus on teaching and learning, stimulating and secure learning environments. Poor academic performance is connected with poor learning environment created by a poor state of infrastructural facilities. Lyons (2012), adds that learning is a complex activity that involves interplay of students’ motivation, physical condition, teaching resources, skills of teaching and the curriculum. All these play a vital role in a student’s development. He further concluded that there is an explicit relationship between a schools physical facilities and educational outcomes. Good maintenance, modern systems, and flexible designs are important because the physical structure can limit the learning experience. School facilities should be flexible enough to accommodate changing learning patterns and methods. Ibe-Bassey (2002), agrees with this view and adds that several studies have shown that a close relationship exists between the physical environment and the academic performance of students.  Reedy (2006), adds that the availability of physical facilities and the overall atmosphere in which learning takes place bears direct relevance to the quality of education that students receive in schools.

Johan (2004), states that educational outcomes in schools are closely linked to utilization and adequacy of teaching/learning resources in different ways; poor utilization, underutilization, unqualified educators brings forth low educational achievement. The inadequacy of physical and material resources in schools is a major factor responsible for learning outcome of students. Schools that do not have adequate facilities such as workshops, laboratories, classrooms, teaching learning materials are unlikely to post good results. The principles of facilitating effective learning and teaching involves having the practical skills and putting the learners own experience into practice. They receive inputs from the external environment in form of human and material resources, process them and empty the same into the society as finished products and services.  The quality of the products bears a direct relationship with the qualities of the facilities deployed in the process of production.

Provision and utilization of facilities is a responsibility of stake holders in education. The government ensures the implementation of the national policy on education by providing the enabling environment. In 2003 the government came up with various requirements for every school in order to qualify for the funds popularly known as Tuition Waiver (TW).  These funds provided by the government are supposed to be utilized in purchasing resources such as textbooks, exercise books, laboratory equipment and chemicals, teaching and learning aids reference materials, teacher’s guides, chalk, dusters, registers and internal examinations.  When targets are reached in the purchase of the above resources, funds can be allocated to purchase of items in other categories (Ministry of Education, 2003).

 With availability of extra funds over-crowding in classrooms can be reduced through provision of adequate furniture and equipment to improve teaching and learning environments. This will entail building of new classrooms and rehabilitation and maintenance of existing ones.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

Teachers, resources and the school environment have an obvious impact on education and eventually student’s performance (UNESCO, 2007). Quality education is no doubt a function of availability and appropriate utilization of input resources.  According to Wenglinsky (2005) the availability and utilization of human and non-human resources determines the efficiency of the school system. Abudul-Kareen (2003) asserts that teachers require quality and adequate resources in order to ensure school success.  Glaring disparities in academic performance have been observed in secondary schools in Jos South. This is despite the fact that the schools enroll students with comparable entry behavior and receive comparable funding from the government and other stake holders. This study intends to investigate how resource utilization is impacting on education with a view of addressing the disparity in academic performance in Jos South.

1.3     Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of resource utilization in education as perceived by principals and teachers in secondary schools in Jos South.  

1.4     Objectives of the Study

This study was guided by the following objectives.

i.                 To assess the availability and utilization of school resources and their impact on educational outcomes in secondary schools in Jos South.

ii.               To assess the nature and adequacy of physical facilities and their impact on educational outcomes in secondary schools in Jos South.

iii.             To assess the level of qualification and preparation of teachers and their impact on educational outcomes in secondary schools in Jos South.

iv.             Assess the resource utilization and its impact on performance.

1.5     Research Questions

This study sought to answer the following research questions.

i.                 What is the availability and utilization of school resources and their impact on educational outcomes in secondary schools in Jos South?

ii.               What is the nature and adequacy of physical facilities and their impact on educational outcomes in secondary schools in Jos South?

iii.             What are the levels of qualification and preparation of teachers and their impact on educational outcomes in secondary schools in Jos South?

iv.             What are the level school resource utilization and its impact on performance?

1.6     Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will have significant implications for the future of secondary schools in Jos South and in the country as a whole. The findings will enlighten the Board of

Governors (B.O.G) on the existing resources in their schools and how they impact on education.  It will further enlighten the Board of Governors on the need to ensure adequate teaching/learning resources in secondary schools.  The study will enable the Teachers Association get a better understanding of the number of teaching staff available in secondary schools and how this affects education. The findings of the study can be used by curriculum developers to ensure that teaching-learning materials recommended for secondary schools are those that positively help to promote increasing students understanding of the curriculum leading to better performance.

1.7     Scope of the Study 

The study was conducted in Jos south local government of plateau state. The study looked at factors such as adequacy of teaching/learning resources, the extent of utilization of resources in teaching/learning and the factors that affect appropriate utilization of resources. 

1.8     Limitations of the Study

One of the limitations that the study encountered is inadequate funds and time. The study therefore only covered randomly selected secondary schools in Jos south local government. As a result of this, the findings of this study cannot be generalized to areas other than Jos south. The students whose achievement scores were used in this study would have left school. They were not part of the respondents.

1.9 Assumptions of the Study

The assumptions of the study were as follows

i.               All respondents gave honest responses so that correct conclusions and generalizations are made.

ii.             The respondents possessed the information sought in the questionnaires.

1.10   Operational Definition of Key Terms

The following terms are defined here below as they were used in the study;

Academic performance

:School mean scores in external examination  performance

Academic qualifications

:The highest level of schooling attained by a teacher

Enrolment           

: Total number of pupils registered in a given school.

Free primary Education

: Education provided to all children in the first cycle of a school

                                        System i.e primary level.  Pupils are not supposed to pay any levies. Uniform, food, transport and medical expenses are catered for by government

Free Secondary Education     : This is education provided by the government in the secondcycle of a school system i.e. secondary. The government caters for tuition expenses while the parent caters for boarding expenses.

Impact              :The powerful effect that something has on somebody or something

Professional qualification        :A pre-service or in-service training received by the teacher

Resources

:A supply of something that schools can use especially to improve their results      

Resource utilization

:Use of something by a school especially to improve their results    

Teaching materials

:Equipment and facilities that teachers  use in the course of their

Teaching e.g. textbooks, chalk, duster, charts, computer laboratory chemicals and equipment

1.11   Theoretical Framework

This study is guided by the constructivist theory. Formalization of the theory of constructivism is generally attributed to Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist who articulated mechanisms by which knowledge is internalized by learners. He suggested that through processes of accommodation and assimilation, individuals construct new knowledge from their experiences. When individuals assimilate, they incorporate the new experience into an already existing framework without changing that framework. This may occur when individuals' experiences are aligned with their internal representations of the world, but may also occur as a failure to change a faulty understanding; for example, they may not notice events, may misunderstand input from others, or may decide that an event is a fluke and is therefore unimportant as information about the world. In contrast, when individuals' experiences contradict their internal representations, they may change their perceptions of the experiences to fit their internal representations. According to the theory, accommodation is the process of reframing one's mental representation of the external world to fit new experiences. Accommodation can be understood as the mechanism by which failure leads to learning: when we act on the expectation that the world operates in one way and it violates our expectations, we often fail, but by accommodating this new experience and reframing our model of the way the world works, we learn from the experience of failure, or others' failure (Ernest, 1991).

According to Floden (1994), constructivism is based on observation and scientific study about how people learn. People construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences.  In the classroom, the constructivist view of learning can point towards a number of different teaching practices. In the most general sense, it usually means encouraging students to use active techniques (experiments, real-world problem solving) to create more knowledge and then to reflect on and talk about what they are doing and how their understanding is changing. The teacher makes sure she understands the students' preexisting conceptions, and guides the activity to address them and then build on them. Various approaches in teaching and learning derive from constructivist theory. They usually suggest that learning is accomplished best using a hands-on approach. Learners learn by experimentation, and not by being told what will happen, and are left to make their own    inferences, discoveries and conclusions.

According to Glasersfeld (1989), the responsibility of learning should reside increasingly with the learner thus emphasizes the importance of teaching learning resources in the learners environment becomes increasingly important.  Learners construct their own understanding and that they do not simply mirror and reflect what they read. Learners look for meaning and will try to find regularity and order in the events of the world even in the absence of full or complete information. The constructivist paradigm views the context in which the learning occurs as central to the learning itself (McMahon 1997). The learning environment should also be designed to support and challenge the learner's thinking (Vesta, 1987). While it is advocated to give the learner ownership of the problem and solution process, it is not the case that any activity or any solution is adequate. The critical goal is to support the learner in becoming an effective thinker.

Constructivists agree with this and emphasize that individuals make meanings through the interactions with each other and with the environment they live in. Knowledge is thus a product of humans‟ interaction with the environment (Ernest 1991; Prawat and Floden 1994). McMahon (1997) agrees that learning process is greatly enhanced by improving the environment; a poor deprived environment attenuates learning while a rich environment with varied resources stimulates learning

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