THE IMPACT OF OVERPOPULATION ON STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
With increasing population, the number of school-aged children which is expanding far faster than the number of schools as the population grows. The demise of decent institutions, along with the avarice of school officials, has resulted in overcrowding in classrooms. Many parents are concerned about their children attending schools where they are forced to sit in classes with little space for seats or tables (Picta, 2019).
Education is crucial in moulding the lives of citizens in the communities in which they live. In order for learning to be successful, the school or learning environment must be conducive; in other words, a conducive atmosphere aids students in their academics and paves the path for learning. Any educational system's heart is the classroom. Implementation and evolution, both of which take place primarily in the classroom, are essential parts of any curriculum planning. The majority of class activities occur when pupils are sitting. The seating arrangement is obviously far too crucial to be neglected, as it is in many secondary schools across the country. Overcrowding complicates classroom seating arrangements to the point where the number of students exceeds the number of seats available (Ahmed, 2017).
When the resources or facilities available cannot accommodate the residents of an area, community, or society, it is said to be overcrowded. Overcrowding in educational settings or school systems is defined as a scenario in which the number of students enrolled in a school system exceeds the resources allocated to that school. Infrastructural facilities, such as buildings and ICT, are among them. In education, performance refers to a student's ability to achieve a certain goal based on a set of criteria. Simply defined, students' performance refers to what they produce or achieve as a result of their learning. In Nigeria, educational planning has traditionally been looked of in terms of quantitative expansion, which is generally greater than the government's financial capabilities (Adesina, 2000). The present 6-3-3-4 educational system, for example, has been severely hampered by a lack of proper resources and inadequate preparation. Despite the fact that the federal and state governments have demonstrated a genuine commitment to educational growth through their annual budgetary allocations to education in recent years, physical facilities have received considerably less attention. Overcrowding in the classroom is an issue for both instructors and pupils. Because of disorderly behavior and a lot of chatting, teachers sometimes have trouble supervising a dozen children.
When these same instructors are given the same responsibility of supervising more than 30 pupils at the same time, they will melt down. It makes taking attendance a basic task difficult. Especially for teens who have trouble following orders and following regulations. Some pupils, on the other hand, are unable to concentrate due to the presence of other students. In an overcrowded class, the frequency of failures rises because no one can focus on the subject at hand. This causes a slew of issues in classrooms, including children who are uninterested in learning. Government action is required to address this issue and establish an educational climate that encourages students to achieve higher levels of achievement. In today's Nigeria, education is seen as a tool for achieving excellence and influencing national development. As a result, the government has embraced a national education strategy as its own means of attaining some of its national goals. Secondary education should stress the training of productive life within society and the preparation of students for higher education (NPE, 1981, pp. 16); nevertheless, these goals may not be realized if secondary school students' current dismal performance continues. Overcrowding in the classroom reduces teaching effectiveness and increases teacher workload because the teacher cannot devote as much time to each student. When teachers have more time to devote to each student, they can figure out the best way to solve each student's problems and help them understand the lesson better, resulting in more effective teaching.
Education is the finest legacy a nation can leave its residents, especially the youths, and the effect of overcrowding on academic achievement is that education is the best legacy a nation can leave them. This is due to the fact that any nation's or community's development is heavily reliant on the quality of its education. Much like it is claimed that formal education remains the vehicle for socio-economic growth and social mobilization in any community, it is widely thought that the foundation for any meaningful progress must begin with the development of human resources. Various difficulties exist in Nigerian higher education, and many elements are at the base of them, because the issues do not influence only the school environment, but also the greater society. The desire to be educated resulted in a population expansion in schools and large enrolment of students in higher education. Overcrowding has a negative impact on kids' academic performance in school since school facilities are insufficient to accommodate appropriate teaching and learning.
This almost often signifies that the number of pupils accepted exceeds the school's available supplies and teachers. As a study, the cause and impact of a teacher over a population in higher school would be highlighted and explained in a few phrases. In addition, the researcher does everything necessary to provide a solution to the problem of overcrowding in Nigerian educational institutions. People will be interviewed and a questionnaire will be used to collect data for the study's completion. The goal of this experiment is to determine the impact of overcrowding on secondary school students' academic performance at Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns Uyo. Despite the government's best efforts to provide quality education, it is disappointing to see that pupils' academic performance is not encouraging. Many factors have been given to explain this, one of which being overpopulation.
Overpopulation is described by Olowo-Onyanemi et al. (2003) in their book entitled an introduction to business economics as a scenario in which the number of people living in a certain nation exceeds the available or appropriate resources, such as land. Overpopulation, according to Nwena (2000), occurs when the number of people occupying a certain geographic place exceeds the available resources. Obi (2005) stated on page 143 of his book Philosophical Foundations of Education that because metropolitan schools are required to be huge, there is frequently a severe control problem with regard to overcrowding. Overcrowding distorts effective learning and excellent school administration, and this is a well-known reality. The increase in secondary school population has had a significant impact on students' learning processes due to insufficient facilities, including classrooms. Overcrowding has resulted in poor academic performance and has turned the school environment into a playground rather than a learning environment.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent years, the number of pupils enrolled in urban secondary schools has increased. This has been steady, despite no expansion in facilities, teachers, or infrastructure, among other things. With the decline in the quality of education and output, it is necessary to determine whether the increase in student population has a direct impact on their academic performance, as well as to identify the causes of the increase in student population in government secondary schools in the Ebonyi state educational zone and what can be done to address the situation.
According to Nolasco and Arthu (2001) who identified five likely problems of overpopulation as;
i. Coping with noise making
ii. Managing the introduction and setting up of activities
iii. Making limited resources go a long way
iv. Detecting individual differences and
v. Monitoring the work of individuals within the class.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objectives of this study is to;
i) Examine the impact of overpopulation on the academic performance students in Abakaliki.
ii) Identify and examine the psychological effect of overpopulation in the classroom
iii) The study also aims at explaining how overpopulation in the classroom also affect teacher in the teaching/learning process.
iv) It examines the role of government to curb overpopulation as a panacea to redress the issue.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How does class size influence the teaching and learning activities in Abakaliki?
2. Does sitting arrangement affect learning in Abakaliki?
3. Does the number of students in a class affect student’s concentration?
4. Does overpopulation in school affect student academic performance in secondary schools in Nigeria?
5. Does overpopulation affect the efficiency of teachers in the teaching/learning process?
6. Does the atmosphere of learning affect student’s academic performance?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study effort is significant in that it will demonstrate the extent to which overcrowding has impacted student academic performance. It also indicates additional elements that have an impact on student performance as a result of overcrowding. Furthermore, this research will assist school officials and teachers in developing methods to mitigate the impact of overcrowding on student academic performance. And, according to educationists, education curricula as well as school architecture will be closely scrutinized in order to aid kids' learning. More specifically, serving as a project in which it would be determined that overcrowding has an impact on students' academic performance.
Finally, it will give useful information and function as a research tool for people who require such information..
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 EBSU Staff Secondary School in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State as case study. This research work covers all public secondary schools students in Abakaliki, Ebonyi 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.
1.8 Organization of the study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion and also recommendations made o
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