The findings of this study showed that school environment has significant influence on academic performance of students at the University of Zambia
The findings of this study showed that school environment has significant influence on academic performance of students at the University of Zambia. This finding agrees with the understanding of Megan (2002:78), whose “research on school climate in high-risk urban environments indicates that a positive, supportive, and culturally conscious school climate can significantly shape the degree of academic success experienced by urban students”.
According to Hallak (1990) states that “facilities form one of the potent factors that contribute to academic achievement of students in the school system. They include the school buildings, classroom, accommodation, libraries, laboratories, furniture, recreational equipment, apparatus and other instructional materials.” In a similar way, this study found out that the availability and adequate of school facilities contribute to academic attainment of students. He however, added that “unattractive school buildings and overcrowded classrooms among others contribute to poor academic achievement of the students in primary and other levels of education.”
However, studies show that “temperature above 80F degrees tend to produce harmful physiological effects that decrease work efficiency and output” (Jones, 2002). This is also in line with the findings. Most of participants indicated that poor ventilation at the University of Zambia contributes to academic failure because when there is too much heat, students tend not to pay attention to the lecturer as he or she lectures and some just decide to sit back home or their rooms when the lecture is going on.
The study findings indicate that school physical facilities such as classrooms, overcrowding, inadequate ICT materials or equipment, poor ventilation, outdated school library books has negative influence on students’ academic performance on students. From this finding, the study concludes that adequacy of physical facilities has a significant positive relationship with levels of students’ performance. This means that universities with adequate physical facilities are likely to have a healthy school climate which is likely to bring the better performance among students. Those with inadequate physical facilities like the University of Zambia, on the other hand, are likely to create a negative school environment which is likely to lead to low levels of students’ performance. The findings of this last objective support and uphold conclusions found in existing research. Marks (2000) also found out that “the physical environment of the school contributed significantly to students’ academic performance.” However, being the highest learning institution in the country, the University of Zambia needs to improve on the physical facilities as some of the participants indicated. All the students interviewed showed that they are really affected and this will likely reduce the performance of the assessment at the end of the academic year.