New York, July 23 (IANS) Leaking toilets, smelly cafeterias, broken furniture and run-down classrooms make students feel negatively about their schools, according to a study.
The study revealed that these factors lead to high absenteeism, thus contributing to student’s low test scores and poor academic achievements.
“School buildings that are in good condition and attractive may signal to students that someone cares and there’s a positive social climate, which in turn may encourage better attendance. Students cannot learn if they do not come to school,” said Lorraine Maxwell, Associate Professor Cornell University.
For the study, the researcher analysed data from 236 New York City middle schools with a combined enrollment of 143,788 students and studied their socio-economic status, ethnic background and found that as far as these attributes are related to test scores, they do not tell the whole story.
School building condition is also a major contributing factor, the study revealed which was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.
Buildings also have symbolic value as they give us an impression about what goes on inside and how much society values those activities.
“Those other factors are contributing to poor academic performance but building condition is also significantly contributing. It’s worth it for society to make sure that school buildings are up to par,” added Maxwell.
The data included assessment of academic performance measures and physical environment created by professionals.
The researcher also analysed surveys on how parents, teachers and students felt about their school’s social climate.