1.1 Background to the Study
Science has always been vital to the proper and socioeconomic growth of countries, as well as their technological progress. As a result of the multiple issues that they face, knowledge of scientific education is essential in all nations throughout the world. The focus on science teaching and learning is on ensuring that instructors can not only explain the scientific method but also subject scientific notions to the learners' sensory experience. Learners' "hands" and "minds" must be on scientific tasks in order for them to be able to learn actively and therefore engage in knowledge production. The emphasis is on activity-based scientific lessons that include both optimal classroom and laboratory methods. This approach to science teaching and learning in schools is intended to help students develop the necessary science process skills, life skills, and competence as outlined in the revised edition of the (National Policy on Education (NPE) (FRN, 2013) National core curricular for Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics, among other subjects. However, fulfilling the targets of NPE 2013, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), EFA, Science Education for All, NEEDS, and Vision 20:2020 would be difficult. The employment of teacher-centered methods to teaching, a lack of suitable and relevant instructional materials, and inadequate classroom and laboratory and laboratory equipment are among the issues confronting scientific teaching and learning. So long as science is both a product and a process, the laboratory is at the center of scientific investigations and/or sciencing. The extent of optimal laboratory practices that will enable learners' learning of scientific process skills and proficiency in science ideas is determined by the availability of laboratory equipment, facilities, and materials. One key area of concern in scientific education, according to Abimbola (2001), is the availability and efficacy of specialized and appropriate science equipment, facilities, and instructional materials. Active practical exercises are ensured by well-designed, well-stocked, and safe school labs for scientific teaching and learning (Katcha, 2005).
Students may engage directly with the data collected using science laboratory equipment. School science laboratory equipment and supplies are also proven to make teaching and learning easier for both instructors and students. Several scientific ideas and notions are difficult to describe straight from the books. Anatomy models, physics science kits, and chemistry science kits, for example, make otherwise complicated scientific topics understandable. Different scales are used to evaluate the teaching environment. Moos' (1974) approach for identifying human situations was used to categorize each scale. Relationships, personal growth, and system maintenance/change are all elements of human settings (Moos, 1987). Fraser (1998) improved on Moos' (1974) work, first to characterize classroom learning settings and eventually to describe scientific learning environments.
Laboratory education implies that direct observation and manipulation of scientific materials is preferable to other approaches of increasing comprehension and appreciation. Laboratory training is also often utilized to build abilities for further study or research. The character of the classroom differs significantly between elementary and middle or high schools. Most primary school classrooms are "self-contained," which means that a single teacher is in charge of teaching all or most academic topics to a single group of kids. As a result, science is often taught in ordinary classrooms rather than specialist scientific labs, as is the case in middle and high schools; although, it is not uncommon for elementary schools to have distinct science laboratory facilities (Beihle, Motz, & West, 1999; Fehlig, 1996; Fox, 1994; Harbeck, 1985; Vorsino, 1992). Forty percent of schools throughout the country said their lab science facilities couldn't fulfill the functional standards. According to more current statistics from the 2000 National Survey of Scientific and Mathematics Education, insufficient facilities and equipment, as well as a lack of money to acquire consumable supplies, are all impediments to effective and equitable science education (Weiss et al., 2002).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
All stakeholders, including parents, teachers, students, scientific education experts, the government, and the general public, are concerned about pupils' declining science achievement. Despite the efforts of scientific instructors, many pupils' performance in science is still terrible. In essence, there are still gaps in the efforts and outcomes that are now accessible. This condition may be linked to a variety of reasons, including laboratory equipment provided, gender characteristics, and student attitudes toward scientific teaching and learning, to name a few (Abimbola, 2001). If students are to study Science as a process and product, and satisfy the needs of the vision 20:2020, NEEDS, EFA, and MDGS, among other things, the present tendency stresses laboratory practicals as an integrated element of classroom education in science with pre-and post-laboratory discussion (Abimbola,2001). Due to inconsistencies in research reports and their insufficiency, there is need to look into the impact of laboratory in senior secondary schools on students academic attainment in science subjects.