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1.1     Background to the Study

As school population increases class sizes also increase, the performances of students become an issue. According to Dror (1995), class size has become a phenomenon often mentioned in the educational literature as an influence on pupil’s feelings and achievement, on administration, quality and school budgets. In his words he noted, that class size is almost an administrative decision over which teachers have little or no control. Most researchers start from the assumption that size of the class would prove a significant determinant of the degree of success of students. In fact, with the exception of a few, many studies have reported that under ideal situation, class size in itself appears to be an important factor. The first issue that calls for immediate clarification is what number of students should constitute a large group and what should be described as a small group? In describing a small group, Bray (1990) observed that they have few teachers with small pools of talent; offer limited range of subjects and characteristically finding it hard to justify costly investment on libraries… their pupils lack competition and interest with relatively few peers as they get stocked with same teacher for an entire school career. The description appears to be an anti-type of what obtains in large group. Large school/class size on the other hand are often impersonal, having broader curricula with teachers being given wider support, while students may suffer discipline problems as teachers cannot get to know their students very easily. They find it easy to stream students according to ability while commitment to work may stand a test of time. In terms of numerical strength, the National Policy on Education (1977 revised in 1981) specified 20 in pre-primary, 30 in primary and maximum of 40 in secondary schools. These directives appear unrealistic in urban areas as a result of high population. From studies conducted, the size of large classes range from 30-336 and small from 8-45 (Kolo, 1991). The empirical literature on class size and its relationship to academic achievement has been unwieldy and confusing. According to Jordan (1964), in his analysis of the inter-relationship of intelligence, achievement and socio-economic status of high schools, concluded that School Location among other variables was directly related to mean achievement level of students in all the sampled subjects. However, the report by some researchers on elementary school pupils revealed that the size of school and length of attendance have little or no effect upon pupils’ achievement when educational opportunities are comparable. In his conclusion, he asserted that teachers generally, have definite preference for the size of schools in which they wish to teach and that the larger the size, the lower the level of students’ achievement will tend to be. The observation which agrees with the findings of Sitkei (1968) and Walberg (1969) that a significant and consistent relationship exist in the achievement of students in small classes of about 1-20 pupils that obtained higher scores in science tests than their counterparts in large classes are necessary for student achievement.

Only a handful of studies have focused on the role that class size may play in outcomes in secondary school. Clearly, the educational environment is dramatically different from the classroom and learning environment of the elementary school setting. Even so the conventional wisdom of the benefits of small class size persists in postsecondary education, as well. This intractable perception is so prevalent that class size represents two of the fifteen inputs into the U.S. News and World Report college rankings formula, despite the lack of convincing evidence that class size has a significant impact on student outcomes.

Overpopulation refers to a situation where the total number of people in an area exceeds the available resources. Overpopulation can also be defined as deficiency in resources development in relation to the available people Osuji (2008). This means existing resources cannot march the immediate population number.

Evidence has shown that the population of students in urban schools is on the increase. The steady areas to enjoy recreational facilities, which keeps them busy after studying is one of the factors that contributes to overpopulation of secondary schools in urban areas. Under population of secondary school in Nigeria has had a negative impact in the Nigeria educational sector, and the output is devastating in terms of loss of standard and its attendant results.

This situation of over population could be speculated to be speculated to be responsible for the untold hardship, corruption, social disorder, poor standard of living, crime etcetera. In this, there will be lower standard of education, inadequate

This research will however examine the influence and effect of class size on student   academic achievement in secondary schools.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

According to the Federal Ministry of Education, as at 2004, the population of Nigeria secondary schools stood at one hundred and eighteen thousand, two hundred (118200) secondary schools This figure when compared with that of 1999 which was inclusive according to Federal Ministry of Education was very high because during that period, it was so in order to attract Federal Government attention. The present Nigerian population of secondary schools going by the above number is almost twenty one thousand, eight hundred and twenty eight (21828) secondary schools. Over the 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 Ayedade LGA, Osun state and what could be done to remedy the situation.

1.3     Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the effects of class size on academic achievement of secondary school students in Ayedade LGA, specifically the study intends to:

1.     To analyze out the effects of overpopulation on student’s academic achievement

2.     To find out the effects of under population on students’ academic achievement

3.     To Identify the causes of increase in students’ population in government secondary schools in Ayadade LGA

1.4     Research Question

1.     Is there any effects of overpopulation on student’s academic achievement

2.     What is the effects of under population on students’ academic achievement

2.     To Identify the causes of increase in students’ population in government secondary schools in Ayadade LGA

1.5     Research Hypothesis

Ho: there is no effects of overpopulation on student’s academic achievement

Hi: there is effects of overpopulation on student’s academic achievement

1.6     Significance of the Study

This study will be of great benefit to the students, teachers, educational planners, government and society at large. For the students, it will motivate and increase their willingness to attend school and help improve their performance in school. To the teachers, it will help improve abilities of the teacher to manage the classroom efficiently because reduction in the number of students encourages teacher – students’ relationship and leads to effective and efficient academic performance. To the education planners, it will be a guiding material to enable them check the population of students in relation to the available schools to accommodate them. To the government, it will serve as a guide to identify the need to improve the infrastructure available for teaching and learning. The study will be of great significance to the society at large as it will help produce qualified citizens that will contribute positively to the growth of the society and it will also serve as a resource and reference material to future students.

1.7     Scope of the Study

This research will vividly examine the effect of class size (overpopulation and under population) on the academic performance of students in Aiyedaade LGA, osun state. Since it will be difficult to use all the secondary school in Aiyedaade LGA, Community High School Akiriboto, Gbongan will be used as a case study.

1.8     Delimitation of the Study

Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.

However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.

1.9     Definition of Terms

Class Size:  refers to the number of students in a given course or classroom

Academic Achievement: Academic achievement or performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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