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INVESTIGATING THE IMPACT OF OVERCROWDED CLASSROOM ON THE PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN OGBARU L.G.A.
1.1 Background to the study
School is a place where the teacher and the learners (pupils) are in close proximity. The teacher and the pupils are under the umbrella of teaching and learning process. It is a place where an individual gets formal education. The more this umbrella provides facilities, the more genuine learning will be taken place.
In this regard, school building is of the prime importance. School is a place where we can expect to produce good citizens, where students can have the idea about their culture, tradition, values and ideas.Some scholars have proposed various factors responsible for the poor performance of the public primary schools pupils. For example some said the physical environment, class size, overcrowding of classroom, teaching methods, and lack of instructional materials.
According to Emile Durkhein (1972), “education is a systematic transmission of the shared values of society and simultaneously teaching the specialized skills for an economy based on a specialized division of labour.”Omokhodun ( 2009), sees education as the transfer of past knowledge, skills and values of the entire human society from generation to generation in order to prepare the individuals for their positive contributions to themselves and their society, and to help the individuals attain the development of his potentialities. It is the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of the society. Bolarin(2012),considers education as process by which the individuals develop the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour which are acceptable in a given society.
The importance of education made the establishment of the school mandatory, the school is an institution devoted to learning, and it serves as a formal centre where formal education is provided. It is a factory where educated men and women are produced. Considering the importance of the school environment, the condition of school environments in Nigeria especially public schools calls for a concern. Geometric increase in population in Nigeria has resulted to geometric increase in the population of school children and adolescents while the infrastructure is at arithmetic progression. This rate of increase in students’ enrolment into public schools has led to over-crowding of classrooms, over usage of facilities equipment and materials and the over use of the school environment. Most public schools are overcrowded and thereby exist with environmental and classrooms problems like truancy, noise making, medical/health problems, fighting among others. As a result of these problems, this research emerged to study the impact of over-crowding of classrooms on academic performance of students. It is hoped that this study will afford the opportunity to executive the Qualitative education remains the fulcrum for global development and freedom. Hence, all hands must be on deck globally to formulate policies that will enhance qualitative education right from primary school to tertiary institution, and continuous, effective monitoring must be well established to check all factors that may frustrate this global pursuit. Hence, most societies require children to attend school for a specified number of years or until they reach a certain age. Many of the benefits of schooling occur in part because students learn some new knowledge or skills that enhance their ability to communicate, solve problems, and make decisions.
Academic achievement of pupils especially at the primary school level is not only an indicator to the effectiveness or otherwise of schools but a major determinant of the future of youths in particular and the nation at large. The channel through which the attainment of individuals and the nation’s educational goals can be achieved is learning. Learning outcomes have become a phenomenon of interest to all and this account for the reason why scholars have been working hard to unravel factors that militate against good academic performance (Aremu&Sokan, 2002). This phenomenon has been variedly referred to in literature as academic achievement, or scholastic functioning. Academic achievement of learners has attracted attention of scholars, parents, policy –makers, administrators and planners.
In an attempt to put sound education on ground worldwide, many factors have been incriminated as being responsible for falling standard of education where it is perceived and established. Among such factors are the issues of overcrowding.
The word overcrowding means the presence of more people or things in a space than it is comfortable, safe or permissible. The synonym is congestion.
The problems of shortage of classrooms with large pupils’ enrollment results to overcrowded classroom. This is the sad truth in many Nigerian classes especially in the major towns and cities with many classes registering over fifty (50) to one hundred (100) pupils and above which is clearly the internationally recommended standard.Considering the importance of school environment the condition of school environments in Nigeria especially public schools calls for a concern (Olaleye et al 2017).
Overcrowding of classroom is an important factor with respect to academic performance of students. There is a consensus among researchers and educational scholars that, student’s achievement decreases as class size increases. The effect of class size on cognitive achievement has been debated and researched for many years, this has been inconclusive. Class size is the number of students in a class for whom the teacher is responsible and accountable for.
1.2 Statement of problem
Schooling has multiple purposes, for instance, basic (primary) or lower levels of education are associated with broad based development of pupils. This means that all pupils are able to develop their cognitive, social, emotional, cultural and physical skills to the best of their abilities, preparing them for their further school career. In an attempt to put sound education on ground worldwide, many factors have been incriminated as being responsible for falling standard of education where it is perceived and established. Among such factors is the issue of overcrowded classroom.
According to the recommendations of the United Nation Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) a classroom is a designated place for educational activities. In the
formal school community the teacher and pupils ratio of 1:25 is expected. In spite of this recommendation, public schools in Nigeria operate on between 1:50, to 1:70 Teacher-students ratio. This phenomenon has resulted to shortage of infrastructures, books, instructional materials and other useful items needed for effective teaching and learning. On this note, academic standard has been on the decline in the country and certificates issued by Nigerian institutions are as a result being subjected to serious scrutiny in other countries of theworld especially in Europe and America.
It is in the light of the above that this research assesses by investigation the impact of overcrowded (poor) situation on academic performance having believed that teaching and learning can only take place under a conducive environment.
1.3 Purpose of study
The main aim of the study is to investigate the impact of overcrowded classroom on primary school pupils’ academic performance in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state.
Specifically, the study sought to:
- To investigate into the effect of classroom size on the educational performance of primary school pupils.
- To determine the extent to which classroom seating arrangement affect educational performance of primary school pupils
- To examine the factors responsible for the overcrowded classroom in primary schools.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the effect of classroom size on the educational performance of primary school pupils?
- What is the effect to which classroom seating arrangement affect educational performance of primary school pupils
- What are the factors responsible for the overcrowded classroom in primary schools?
- Classroom size does not significant influence of educational performance of primary school pupils
- Classroom seating arrangement does not significant influence educational performance of primary school pupils
- Factors responsible for the overcrowded classroom does not significant influence primary schools performance.
1.6 Significance of the study
The findings of this study would benefit the following stakeholders, rangingfrom Anambra State Ministry of Education, Primary Schools Headmasters, teachers, students,parents, educational administrators and planners, and researchers. Findings of this study would be of importance to Anambra State Ministry of Education as it would reveal or exposed the need to ensure a conducive learning environment. Since education isdynamic both in content and methods, educational facilities need to be constantlyevaluated and modified, not only to remove absolute and unattractive structure but alsoto ensure that such facilities continue to meet the modern and ever changing educationalneeds, changing technology and the dynamic socio-political and economic environment.
The need to add aesthetic value to educational facilities not only to enhance theirutilization value but also to make them more healthy, safe and convenient to use andmaintain.
Apparently the result of this research will encourage the Primary Schools
Headmasters and teachers in playing a sensitive role aimed at improving the standard ofeducation through the provision of a conducive learning environment. Teachers as amajor stakeholders in the school system, who play an intermediate role seek to workharmoniously with the school in encouraging the students to use the facilities. Thiscould be to solve assignments, observe practical knowledge and in the acquisition ofessential skills. And hence, ensure that the right type of facilities are made available atthe right time and place for the right type of teaching – learning activities. Since thesehave been known to have significant bearing on teaching – learning effectiveness, theright educational specification must be brought to bear on the provision of thesefacilities to meet the desired objectives. Similarly, teachers will also benefit from thefindings of the study since the teachers are the major implementers of curriculum in theschools and thus qualitative learning materials and a conducive learning atmospherewill help them on their job performance.
Hence, students could also benefit from the study because a conducivelearningatmosphere and adequate learning materials are geared towards the improvement ofquality of students learning process. The findings of the study will provide usefulinformation to the state policy makers and school administrators on the importance of acaptivating learning environment in Primary Schools in Anambra State. The finding of thestudy will be useful to the school administrators and how they can employ it to enhanceeffective maintenance of facilities in Primary Schools in Anambra State. It will affordother researchers to look into grey areas not covered in the present study and seek waysof improving over it.
Scope of the study
This research work focuses on the impact of overcrowded classroom on primary school pupils’ academic performance in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
- Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- Time constraint- The researcher was simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
According to Black and William (1998:219) achievement is past oriented. It is based on a specific body of knowledge and it reveals areas of weakness, which can result in remedial action. Achievement can also reveal competence and such results can be used to predict future performance.
This refers to the students’ achievement, scores within the class and his position relative to all those subjected