THE EFFECTS OF OVERPOPULATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS
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This project work provides a general information and knowledge of the effect of overpopulation on the academic performance of students, Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns Uyo as a case study. Students’ academic performance is a matter of concern in any educational settings, educational psychologist opined that conducive environment is vital to learning, therefore the size of classes and the population therefore the thoroughly be considered. Overpopulation is a serious problem in classroom situation, it lead to congestion of classroom and this adversely affects learning and performances. Nevertheless, certain measure has to be taken as a panacea or to curb overpopulation. This study was carried out not only to find out how overpopulation affects students but also how it affects students interaction and the frequency used coping strategies adopted by the teachers. Findings showed that overpopulation diminishes the quality and quantities of teaching and learning with serious implications for attainment of educational goals. Only few people will deny that the quality of teaching and learning is on the decline at all levels of the educational systems. The poor result of the senior secondary school examination (SSCE) in almost all subjects in recent years is one potent indicator. The increase in examination malpractices cannot be divorced from poor sitting arrangement as a result of overpopulation and class structures. The quality and quality of interaction in the class are likely to be adversely affected due to lack of space for moving round the class and the over whelming number of students that the teacher has to deal with within a forty minutes lesson.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
With increasing population, the number of school going children is increasing much faster than the number of schools is increasing. The death of good schools and the greed of school authorities are filling up classrooms to the brim. Numbers of people complain about their children going to schools where children’s sit in classes where there is no place to keep chairs and tables.
Education plays a very important role in shaping the life of any citizen in his or her communities which he/she find him/herself. The school or learning to be environment must be conducive for learning to be effective, in other words, conducive environment assist students in their academics and pave way to learn. The classroom is the heart of any educational system. No curriculum planning is complete without implementation and evolution, both of which are mainly carried out in the classroom. Most of the class activities take place while students are seated. The sitting arrangement is therefore too important to suffer the kind of neglect being experienced by many secondary schools in the country. Overpopulation makes sitting arrangement in a classroom become so complex in the sense that the number of students will be greater than the seat available.
A place, community or society is said to be over populated, when the resources or facilities available cannot cater for the residence of that place or society. In educational settings or school systems overpopulation can be referred to as a situation whereby the number of student’s pupils available in the school system is greater than the resources available in that school. These include infrastructural facilities i.e. building etc ICT and so on. Performance in education means learning outcome, it is seen as the capacity of a student based on defined criteria. Simply put, students’ performance means the output or achievement after learning. Educational planning in Nigeria has always been thought of in terms of quantitative growth, which is usually above the financial capacity of the government (Adesina, 2000). A recent example is the implementation of the current 6-3-3-4 system of education, which is seriously affected by lack of adequate funding and poor preparation. Even though the federal and state governments have shown serious commitment to educational development through their annual budgetary allocation to education in recent years, the attention given to physical facilities is far from being adequate. Overpopulated classrooms present a problem not just to teachers, but also to students. Teachers face problems controlling a dozen students at times because of unruly behaviour and lots of talking.
These same teachers when presented with the homogenous task of controlling in excess of 30 students at once will get into a complete mess. It makes a simple task of taking attendance impossible. Especially teenagers who do not respond well to directions and rules. On the other hand, some students cannot concentrate because of other students. The number of failures increases in an overcrowded class because no students can concentrate on the subject at hand. This is leading to numerous problems in classrooms which are producing students with no interest in studies. Action by the government is necessary to reduce this problem and create an environment for education that pushes students to perform better. In Nigeria today, education is regarded as an instrument for excellence for affecting national development. Hence, a national policy on education has been adopted as the government’s own way of achieving some parts of its national objectives. It is aimed that the secondary education should emphasized on the preparation of useful living within society sand the preparation of students for higher education (NPE, 1981, pp. 16), unfortunately, these aims may not be achieved if the present poor performance of the secondary school students persists. Overpopulation in classroom reduces teaching effectiveness, it will put more burden on the teacher, due to the fact that the teacher cannot devote much time on a particular students when the teachers are able to devote more time to each students, they can figure out the best way to solve each students problems in order to make then understand the lesson better, thus teaching is more effective.
Effect of overpopulation on the academic performance is that education is the best legacy a nation can give her citizens, especially the youths. This is because the development of any nation or community depends largely on the quality of education of such a nation or community. It is generally believed that basis for any true development must commence with the development of human resources much than is said that formal education remains the vehicle for socio-economic development and social mobilization in any society. Many problems exist in the higher school of Nigeria, to which many factors are also the root because the problems to not affect the school environment alone but replicate itself into the larger society. The desire to be educated gave birth to population in school explosion and massive enrolment of students into the higher schools. Overpopulation on the academic performance of students in school is the situation whereby the facility in school are not enough to cater for the proper teaching and learning.
This invariably means that the number of students admitted is more than the available materials and teacher in the school. Teacher over population in higher school as a study the cause and effect would be highlighted and discussed in relatively few sentences. Also the researcher makes everything possible to proffer solution to deal with the ailment of overpopulation in student in Nigeria institution of learning. The study will use of interview and questionnaire from people to collect necessary data for the completion of this work. This project work is directed to find out effect of overpopulation on the academic performance of secondary school students in Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns Uyo. In spite of the interest of government and it effort to give quality education it is sad to know that students’ academic performance is not encouragement many reasons have been advanced to have be responsible for this, one of this reason is overpopulation.
According to Olowo-Onyanemi et al (2003) in his book titles an introduction to business economics, defined overpopulation as a situation when the people living in a given country is more than the resources or adequate resources such as land. Nwena (2000) definer’s overpopulation as when the people occupying a given geographical location is more than the available resources. Obi (2005) in his book philosophical foundation of education page 143, he said that urban schools are necessarily large in size there is usually a serious control problem with respect to overpopulation. It is really an established facts that overpopulation distorts effective learning and good management of any school. The rise in the population growth in secondary school has really affected the learning process of the students because of the inadequate facilities which include classroom, overpopulation has generated poor performance in academic work and has turned the school environment to a playing ground instead to learning environment.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the past years, there has been an increase in the population of students in urban secondary schools. This has been consistent, without the attendant increase in facilities, teachers and infrastructure, etcetera. With the decline in the quality of education and output, it therefore becomes imperative to find out whether the increase in population of students’ directly affect their academic performance and identify the causes of increase in population of students in government secondary schools in Akwa Ibom educational zone and what could be done to remedy the situation.
According to Nolasco and Arthu (2001) who identified five likely problems of overpopulation as;
- Coping with noise making
- Managing the introduction and setting up of activities
- Making limited resources go a long way
- Detecting individual differences and
- Monitoring the work of individuals within the class.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objectives of this study is to;
- Examine the effect of overpopulation on the academic performance of students in Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns Uyo.
- Identify and examine the psychological effect of overpopulation in the classroom
- The study also aims at explaining how overpopulation in the classroom also affect teacher in the teaching/learning process.
- It examines the role of government to curb overpopulation as a panacea to redress the issue.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- How does class size influence the teaching and learning activities in Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns Uyo?
- Does sitting arrangement affect learning in Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns uyo?
- Does the number of students in a class affect student’s concentration?
- Does overpopulation in school affect student academic performance in secondary schools in Nigeria?
- Does overpopulation affect the efficiency of teachers in the teaching/learning process?
- Does the atmosphere of learning affect student’s academic performance?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This project work is of great importance in the sense that, it will reveal the extent at which overpopulation has affected student’s academic performance. Also it reveals other factors affecting student’s performance as a result of overpopulation. Furthermore, this study will help the school authority and teacher to design some measures to curb the effect overpopulation has on the academic performance of students. And to the educationist, education curriculum as school structures will be carefully observed to help students learning. More so, serving as a project that would be discovered that overpopulation affect the academic performance of pupils.
Lastly, it will provide the relevant knowledge and serves as a research tool for those who need such materials.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research work focuses on the relationship between class size and student achievement, it will also cover the causes and effects of overpopulation using comprehensive secondary schools, four towns in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State as case study. This research work covers all public secondary schools students in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State too. However, only one public secondary schools will be used as case study.
The limitations of this study include the following:
Financial constraint: Financial constraints stemming from the cost of transportation and materials.
Time constraint: This project is meant to be submitted within a short period of time.
Inadequate cooperation: Uncooperative attitudes of some of the respondents who feel reluctant in giving out information about their schools and families for reasons best known to them
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Overpopulation: Can be defined as an increase in the number of people living in one geographical area and a place is said to be overpopulated when the resources available cannot cater for the amount of individual resident in a particular area.
Academic: Connected with education especially studying in schools and universities.
Performance: An action or achievement, considered in relation to how successful it is. The ability to operate capable of high effectiveness.
Classroom: A building or structure constructed for the purpose of organizing students for learning. It is referred to as the heart of any educational system.
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