ADVERSE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN YENAGOA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BAYELSA STATE
This research work titled adverse impact of climate change and environmental degradation on secondary school students academic achievement in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The researcher examined the impact of climate change and degradation on the academic performance of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Data for the study was sourced from two main sources which include Primary and Secondary sources of data Collection. Primary data: questionnaires and oral interviews were used to collect information from the respondents. Secondary data: journals, and other relevant materials relating to the area of my investigation will be review. Extensive literature review was carried out on the direct literature and indirect literature on books, journals and past works. The research instrument used in this study includes oral interview and questionnaire. The questionnaire is structural as to contain both close and open ended question. Simple tables and percentages were used in treatment of data. The hypotheses were tested by the use of chi-square formular. At the end of the study the researcher fund out that The impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on the academic performance of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State are; poor result of the students and sickness. It was also observed that environmental degradation has significant effect on the academic achievement of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The researcher discovered that climate change and environmental degradation affects the development of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State to a large extent. The researcher equally found out that the causes of environmental degradation in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State are; oil spillage, poor disposal of refuse in the area and lack of awareness of environmental sanitation in the area. Based on the findings the researcher recommends that Bayelsa State government should be actively involved in raising awareness on climate change. Government should developed a comprehensive and co-ordinated education and outreach programmes for schools teachers. The state government should establish appropriate funding mechanisms for raising teachers' awareness. Such funds should be included in budgetary provisions annually.
1.1 Background of the study
Environmental influence before now have not been considered as one of the factors that affect academic performance in secondary schools hence it has little or no attention in educational discourse and consideration. But over the past decade remarkable studies have indicated a correlation between the environment and academic performance of students. Environment plays major role in the life of every individual whether a students, teachers, employer or employee. Though some people are yet to believe that environment brings about better performance. Udoh (1980) in his article "The Environmental Health Problems in Nigeria Schools", Identified some unhealthy practices in our schools. These include sitting of schools, inadequate facilities, poor ventilation etc.
Most of our schools have no light, insufficient facilities, sick buildings and no ventilation. Under these conditions the health of students and teachers according to Udoh (1980) may be adversely affected, which will in turn reflect on students performance.
Therefore, for the students to carry his learning effectively and efficiently, it is necessary that learning takes place in conducive environment.
Hence it is pertinent to critically look at the environmental factors that influences academic performance of students, measures that can help improve them and make some recommendation because at the very heart of our educational mission is the goal of improving academic performance. Studies have shown that environmental factors to a large extent affect both the physical and psychological potentials of an individuals. This has led to the contention that many students fail to develop their potentials due to inadequate environmental stimulation. However, there are some environmental factors which have contributed to this poor performance of students which are home background, inadequate school facilities, misuse of technology such as internet and school climate such as teacher-student relationship etc. Given this situation, the problem of the study therefore is to find out really if these are the main environmental factors that affect the academic performance of secondary schools students in Port Harcourt city.
There is enough evidence that climate change is taking place at the local level of Nigeria. Assessment report of the governmental panel on climate change by Building Nigeria's Response to Climate Change (BNRCC) Project (2011) shows that Nigeria and all the countries within Sub-Saharan Africa are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. Climate change is s significant and lasting change in statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods (Wikipedia, 2012). It includes patterns of temperature, humidity, wind and seasons. Climate change is a global phenomenon which is evident in Nigeria. It is an international issue which requires both national and international approach and indigenous knowledge. The impact of climate change has no border and it directly affects global sustainable development, livelihood and man's ability to coexist on earth (Sambo, 2010).
The impact of climate change on the environment and the syllabus of Financial Accounting taught require attention for sustainability. It will be proper to plan financial accounting curriculum in such a way that it will suit the changing climate, the teachers and learners as well so that the aims and objectives of such curriculum will be achieved. Thus the objective of this paper is to examine how climate change might have affected the content, scope, facts and figures in the school Financial Accounting that may require adjustment and caution to teach and learn about.
Developing curriculum on climate change at secondary education looking at financial accounting curriculum as one of the indispensable subjects is a timely decision that needs to be encouraged by the government and other stakeholders. Therefore development of curriculum for such a valuable subject during this climatic change era should be considered a priority because accountability is the base of success in every business endeavour and also it is required in every sector of the economy to enhance growth and development. Developing curriculum on climate change with financial accounting as one of the indispensables subjects is highly recommended following the climate changes which have resulted to global warming.
Climate change is one of the most important environmental issues facing the world today. This is evidenced by the spate of conferences, campaigns, reports and researches on climate change in the last 20 years (Agenda 21 of Rio declaration, 1992, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2001, Copenhagen, 2009) to mention a few. Presently, there is widespread consensus in the scientific community and even among politicians that climate change is happening and that the impacts are already with us. Climate change is often used to describe any kind of change in climate that may be natural or human- induced (Union of Concerned Scientist UCS, 2002). Climate change according to Ekpoh (2009) is any long-term change in the patterns of average weather of a specific region or the earth as a whole. It is an abnormal variation in the earth's climate that usually occurs over durations ranging from decades to millions of years. Evidence shows that global mean temperature increased by 0.60C during the 20th century, with the 6 hottest years occurring between 1997 and 2007 (IPCC, 2007). This warming of the world's climate has been linked to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, which are dominantly of anthropogenic origin such as fossil fuel combustion, land use and deforestation. Climate change phenomenon has serious deleterious consequences for the earth in the form of significant variations in regional climates, recurrent droughts, excessive heat waves, windstorms, killer floods, and so on.
There are noticeable consequences of climate change in Nigeria such as intense thunderstorms, widespread floods and incessant droughts. Odey (2009) has pointed out that climate change impacts pose great dangers with consequences such as desertification, sea level rise, flooding, water salination, among others. These impacts could manifest in food security challenges, damage to infrastructure and social dislocation. Additional impacts include threat to health as rising temperature could bring about diseases such as chronic heat rashes, Cerebra-Spinal Meningitis (CSM), stroke, malaria and other related diseases. Climate change will affect every citizen, every part of our environment and our natural resources, and thus practically every aspect of our lives, our economy, our urban and sub-urban development patterns (Ekpoh 2009). Global concern regarding the devastating impact of climate change has emphasized the need for creating awareness and building community capacity for adaptation strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change. As pointed out by Naclimuthu and Vijayakumari (1993), the need of the hour is to make people sensitive towards nature through a strong programme of climate change awareness. This is imperative in the sense that, there are some misconception and misunderstanding of climate change issues. Many researches have been conducted concerning the understanding of climate change and global environmental problems.
These studies highlighted the misconception and misunderstanding that people hold about climate change issues in terms of causality, consequences and cures (Boyes and Stanisstreet, 1992, 1998; Dove, 1996; and Rye, Rubba and Wiesenmajer, 1997). Studies have also shown that misconceptions about climate change issues are not only held by students but by teachers as well (Papadimitriou, 2001). These misconceptions according to Aladag and Ugurlu (2009) are probably due to, among other things, the complexity of the science involved, the uncertainties and controversies surrounding them. Climate change awareness involves creating knowledge, understanding and values, attitude, skills and abilities among individuals and social groups towards the issues of climate change for attaining a better quality environment. Climate change specialists have repeatedly pointed out that a solution to climate change problem will require climate change awareness and its proper understanding. The role of teachers will go a long way in achieving this purpose. As succinctly pointed out by Mosothware (1991) teachers can provide a vital link in the delivery of environmental knowledge, its associated problems and solution. In order to fasten their awareness towards climate change it is necessary to know what level of awareness they posses.
1.2 Statement of problem
The ecosystem is man‟s home which needs to be guarded jealously. Therefore, his livelihood and survival is dependent on the environment where he lives. The earth environment provides man with his sustenance, medicines and also protects him from the sun‟s harmful rays. Man needs to explore the environment for agricultural, industrial, commercial and technological reasons which lead to man‟s interaction with the environment hence degradation and system imbalance may occur. Sarkar (2011) observed that the world is perturbed by several environmental problems caused by man‟s irresponsible environmental behaviour, such as deforestation, burning fossil fuel, bush burning, and use of pesticides in agriculture, emission of gases into the atmosphere, felling of trees, improper sanitation use of non-biodegradable polythene and solid waste disposal and so on. Climate change has been responsible for intense heat on the biosphere causing heat in the classrooms thereby hindering students‟ concentration as they study in the classroom. It also causes flooding of the compounds and classrooms during the rainy season. In some cases, roads to the schools and houses of the students were flooded thereby causing academic breakdown and relocation of students. Serhat (2012) opines that gender, socio-economic status and school type have an average critical thinking skills level in environmental education. Pooley and O‟Connor (2014) suggested that for environmental educators interested in changing environmental attitudes, emotions and believes, rather than knowledge; need to be targeted as sources of information on which to base their environmental programs. Similarly, Aminrad, Zakaria and Hadi (2011) concluded that increasing age and levels of education have effect on increasing of environmental awareness and attitude. Sarkar (2011) discovered that generally students from both the urban and rural areas showed favourable environmental attitudes where girls have appreciably higher levels of environmental attitudes than the boys. This research also showed that rural girls had the highest level of environmental attitudes comparing among others. Environmental attitude has been observed to be of big concern in environmental education research (DiEnno & Hilton, 2005; Lee, 2008; Ridener, 1997; Eagles & Demare, 1999). According to Bradley, Waliczek & Zajicek (1999), studies showed that young people have more environmentally sensitive attitudes as they are affected easily and need to make provisions to environmental problems resulting from present day actions. According to the Bangladish ministry of environment and forest (2001), the country is confronted with environmental issues such as pollution, deforestation, salinity, urbanization, global warming and climate change. These problems require the younger generation having requisite knowledge, skill and attitude of the environment (Sarkar & Ara, 2007).
1.3 Objective of the study
The aim of this research work is to evaluate adverse impact of climate change and environmental degradation on secondary school students academic achievement in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The specific objectives of this research work includes the following;
1. To examine the impact of climate change and degradation on the academic performance of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
2. To evaluate the effect of environmental degradation on the academic achievement of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
3. To impact of climate change and environmental degradation on the development of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
4. To identify the causes of environmental degradation in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
1.4 Research Question
Based on the objectives above, the researcher asked the following questions;
1. What are the impacts of climate change and degradation on the academic performance of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State?
2. Does environmental degradation have any effect on the academic achievement of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State?
3. To what extent does climate change and environmental degradation affect the development of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State?
4. What are the causes of environmental degradation in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State?
1.4 Statement of Hypotheses
Ho: Climate change and environmental degradation does not have any effect on the academic performance of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
H1: Climate change and environmental degradation has significant effect on the academic performance of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Ho: Environmental degradation does not influence on the academic achievement of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
H1: Environmental degradation influences the academic achievement of secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Ho: Climate change and environmental degradation does not have any effect on the development of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
H1: Climate change and environmental degradation has significant effect on the development of Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
1.6 Significance Of The Study
This research work will be of immense help to:
¨ The researcher: It will help the researcher to know more on adverse impact of climate change and environmental degradation on secondary school students academic achievement in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
¨ Secondary School students: It will also be of great importance to secondary school students in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State as it will enrich their knowledge on the adverse effect of climate change and environmental degradation on the on academic achievement.
¨ Residence: This research work will equally be of immense help to the residence in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State as it will educate them on the adverse effect of climate change and environmental degradation.
This study will be of great importance to the country Nigeria as it will help the policy makers to politicize laws that will control environmental degradation and climate change in the area.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on adverse impact of climate change and environmental degradation on secondary school students academic achievement in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
The study covers the period of 2010-2016.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The researcher in carrying out this study encountered numerous problems, which includes:
¨ FUND – This included lack of enough fund to move around and visit the secondary schools in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the researcher has to visit the area more than two times, the researcher equally needed enough money to source material which constitutes an impediment. High cost of transportation in the city due to long distance also imposed its own limitation on the researcher.
¨ LACK OF RESEARCH MATERIALS: lack of research materials was also one of the problems faced by the researcher in the cause of this research work.
¨ RESPONDS OF THE RESPONDENTS: Another constraint to the researcher is that some of the respondents found it difficult to express their view with regards to the subject matter.
From the above points the researcher tried his best to carry out a detailed study on adverse impact of climate change and environmental degradation on secondary school students academic achievement but the above constraints have limited the researcher to Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.