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This study is an attempt to investigate the effect of teacher-student ratio on student’s academic performance in public school of Ojo Local Government Area. The population of the study consists of all the students in two public secondary schools in Ojo. A sample of one hundred forty two (142) students were selected for study through the simple random sampling technique from two Public Senior Secondary Schools.  Three research questions were raised and three hypotheses tested. The data were collected analyzed using the Chi-square method. The overall findings revealed that the teacher-student ratio and academic performance has inverse relationship.  From the finding, it is recommended that efforts should be made to reduce teacher-student ratio in public schools.



1.1 Background to the Study

The benefit of education to the nation’s development is indispensable.  This education can either be formal or informal education.  The formal education which is the main focus of this study takes place in the school.  It involves the transition of knowledge by the teacher to the student(s).  In this regard, the proper ratio of teacher to student cannot be overemphasized.  According to the National Policy of Education, the teacher student ratio should be one teacher to forty students (1:40) in a classroom (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004).

Teacher-student ratio is the number of teachers in school with respect to the number of students who attend the school.

It has been observed that the average number of students per classroom in public secondary schools is about one hundred and twenty (120).  One of the causes of higher number of students in class is the rise in student enrolment due to increase in student’s population of the society.

Also, the government policy of free education for all and the fact that education is one of the millennium development goal increases the population of students in schools without corresponding increase in education facilities.  By so doing, pressure is mounted on available space and educational facilities.

In this 21st century, every citizen in Nigeria sees education as a tool for social welfare.  This is because that through education, one can be recognized in a society, get profitable job and create prestige for both recipient of education and his family.

Proper teacher-student ratio is important to enhance effective class control, evaluation of student with ease and qualitative education.

It is worthy to mention that education is a deliberate and conscious act and not just by sitting down in a classroom. Having so many people in class would make the class congested and will be very difficult for the teacher to pass instructions to students and to check whether the students are following his/her teaching.

Carolyn et al (2006) on their research result on classroom management show that most students in secondary school do not want to learn unless they are closely monitored by the teacher even though there are differences in degree of learning ability of each student in the classroom.

According et al (2001) smaller teacher student ratio has a positive effect on students’ academic performance.  Well endowed schools will have more facilities as well improve the learning abilities of its students.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Teacher-student ratio in public schools is affected with the difficulty of achieving qualitative education alongside with the increase in population of students.  Increase teacher-student ratio causes congestion in classroom and gives room for a lot of social vices.

Consequently, students are not properly taught.  This made them to perform very badly in their examinations.  Before, there are complain of high rate of failure in senior secondary certificate examination of public schools students. But now, most of the students engage in examinational malpractice in order to be able to meet the minimum require five credit for tertiary institution.  Also, the teachers involve in examination malpractice in order to meet their financial needs at the expense of their professional ethics and the image of their school. As a result, most students are not able to defend the grades on their certificate and do below expectation of the society from them.

It is against this background that this study seeks to find out the effect of teacher-students ratio on the academic performance of students in public senior secondary school.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to:

  1. i)  Examine the relationship between populated classes and student’s poor academic performance in public senior secondary schools in Ojo Local Government Area.
  2. ii)  Find out the current teacher-student ratio in public senior secondary schools in Ojo Local Government Area.
  3. iii)  Determine the relationship between teacher-student ratio and students academic performance.

1.4 Research Question

  1. i) What is the relationship between populated classes and student’s poor academic performance in public senior secondary schools in Ojo Local Government Area?
  2. ii) What is the current teacher-student ratio in public senior secondary schools in Ojo Local Government Area?

iii) Is there any relationship between teacher-student ratio and student academic performance?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. There is no significant differences between populated classes and students’ poor academic performance.
  2. There is no significant relationship between current teacher-student ratio and required or stipulated teacher-student ratio.
  3. There is no significant differences between teacher-student ratio and student academic performance.


1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be of great importance to help education policy makers to know the causes of high teacher-student ratio and how to make provision for it

It will also enlighten the government on the importance of getting adequate statistical data at regular interval of students’ population in schools in order to provide adequate facilities for them.

Furthermore to the student, it will help in making learning activities easier and improve their general academic performance.

Above all, this study will enhance economic development of the Nigeria society.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is limited to the effect of teacher-student ratio on academic performance with emphasis on teachers and students in senior secondary schools in Ojo Local Government Area, Lagos State.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

The limitation of the study are financial limitation, access to the principals of the schools, ability to get appropriate data from the schools.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Teacher-Student Ratio:  It is the total number of students handled by a teacher in a classroom.

Teacher: This is a person who passes knowledge, skill, attitude, value, etc to learner(s)/student(s).

Student: This is a person who is being taught by the teacher.

Academic Performance: This is the students’ achievement- score in tests and examination they are given.

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