1.1 Background to the Study
Education occupies a large space in the global issues, growth and development as it creates awareness by informing the populace about their immediate environment. The importance of education is such that cannot be taken for granted in any nation. It is an essential and vital factor in human life and development. The vitality of education is virtually seen in all fields of human endeavor.
The climate has been seen as the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time. This implies that the climatic condition of one region may be different from the other.
The change in the climatic condition of the world is one of the most pressing issues facing human kind today. Observations made by scientists in the recent times reveal that the climatic change has profound impact on the planet.
However, a lack of access to education has long been a challenge to many due to adverse weather condition and is more pronounced in low- and middle-income countries (Heather and Clark, 2019)
Researchers have identified some of the factors causing this menace. Some of the factors identified by Dolapo (2013) are natural phenomenon and human influence. It is pertinent to note that the human and natural phenomenon causing an aberration in normal climatic system is a major factor of concern that can deteriorate the condition of the climate. This issue is most dreaded and poses a lot of threat to the very existence of human beings, and all efforts are being made to curb it (Hiremath, 2016). Naturally, the rate at which energy is received from the sun and the rate at which it is lost to space determine the equilibrium temperature and climate of Earth. This energy is then distributed around the globe by winds, ocean currents and other mechanisms to affect the climates of different regions. Factors that can shape climate are called climate forcings or forcing mechanisms (Henkel, 2015). Such mechanisms are variations in solar radiation, deviations in earth’s orbit, mountain-building and continental drift, and changes in greenhouse gas concentrations (Hedge, 2021). Human influences which are also known as anthropogenic factors are human activities that affect the climate. These anthropogenic factors are the increase in carbondioxide (CO2) levels due to emissions from fossil fuel combustion by man, followed by aerosols (particulate matter in the atmosphere) and cement manufacture ( Nirmal, 2016).Other factors including land use, ozone depletion, animal agriculture and deforestation are also of concern in the roles they play both separately and in conjunction with other factors – in affecting climate.
The problems created by climate change cannot be over emphasized. Climate change has posed a lot of problems such as; change in rainfall patterns, a rise in the incidence of pests and diseases of crops and livestock, reduction in crop yield, and destruction of lives and property caused by floods and droughts (Kunateh, 2013). All these have negative effect on different facet of life including education. Some of the human activities that contribute to the climate problems are deforestation caused by bush burning and the use of wood as fuel and charcoal making ( U.S Academy of science, 2014 ). These changes can be envisaged to have negative impact on the students learning and academic performance. Climate change may negatively impact education among children via exposure to extreme temperature and precipitation conditions (Heather and Clark, 2019).
However, census data from 29 countries across global tropics linked to high-resolution gridded climate data shows how climatic conditions experienced during early childhood affect educational attainment at ages 12 to 16 (Heather and Clark, 2019). This change in climate has been seen to have induced health and income shocks and this could in turn negatively affect educational attainment of students. For instance, children who experience poorer health and nutrition in early life, stand a high chance of impaired cognitive and physical development; if households are unable to pay school fees; or if children must participate in income generation activities during school ages. However, a lack of access to education has long been a challenge to many due to adverse weather condition and is more pronounced in low- and middle-income countries (Heather and Clark, 2019).If climate change undermines educational attainment, this may have a compounding effect on underdevelopment that over time magnifies the direct impacts of climate change.
However, research on the relationship between climatic conditions and schooling outcomes remains modest. Studies examined the relationship between climatic conditions experienced during early childhood and educational/cognitive outcomes in later childhood and adulthood. The studies, found that exposure to adverse climatic conditions such as adverse rainfall leads to long-term negative human capital outcomes (Heather and Clark, 2019). Also poorer cognitive ability, lower school enrollment, reduced grade completion, and increased child labor (Thai and Falaris, 2014). Another pathway between climate and education is through direct heat exposure. Extreme heat can impact fetal development, leading to adverse birth outcomes including low birth weight and preterm birth (Carolan-Olah and Frankowska, 2014), which are associated with impaired physical and cognitive development (Graff et al , 2016).
The problems created by climate change cannot be over emphasized. Damages caused by climate change have resulted to poverty in many homes and this has made it very difficult for parents to provide school fees, uniform, shoes and books for their children. Flooding and drought have made some parents to migrate to other places to look for work (Okolo, 2020). As they move, these displaced people withdraw their children from the school to their new places of safety (Nnajieto, 2021).The community in a situation like this will find it difficult to meet up with the school demands and this will invariably affect the school- community relationship. The staff-personnel relation is also affected by climate change. It has been observed that during excessive heat and heavy rainfall, the turn up of staff to their duties is always very poor. In a situation like this, the students will not be engaged properly which may affect their classroom performance.