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1.1 Background of the Study
In most countries of the world, the pride of institutions of
learning depends not just on the quantity but more importantly on the
quality of the product at all levels. However, policy makers in some
developing countries are to target the quality of education
performance as an immediate priority. In particular, cognizance is
being taken of the argument that the provision of student and teacher
of high quality should be given top priority and that ultimately, the
success of any educational system depends largely on the quality of
the teacher (Dave, 2008).
Most of the governments of the world spend a significant
amount of their budget on resource inputs in the education sector.
They make decisions about providing resource inputs to enhance
student achievement and performance. Moreover, not all these
decisions are easy to take, especially in the third world countries
where mismanagement makes the problem more adverse. Kemerer
(2009) remarked that resources are scarce, especially in low -income
countries; policy makers cannot afford errors in the choice of
allocations. To reduce the scope for mistakes, the true picture of the
determinants of education outcome is desirable. Resource inputs
have a vital role in the education process. Student achievement at
any point is a cumulative function of the current and the prior resource
inputs such as family, peers’ effect and institutional resource inputs.
However, all these factors are outside the direct control of an
educationist. Therefore, an educationist directly deals with and
controls the school specific resource inputs.
The poor funding of education in most third world countries
does not enable the school system to have manageable class sizes,
adequate student classroom space and appropriate class utilization
rates. In spite of the fact that these factors determine the productivity
of teachers and students’ academic performance, governments do
not show adequate concern about the deterioration in the standard of
education in the countries (Flanders, 2007).
Many things affect the quality of education. Such things as
teacher educational quality, the pupil intellectual quotient, pupil
health condition, quality teaching in the school, location of school,
social and environmental factors, curriculum, the type of instruction
i.e. teacher-centered (e.g. pupils listen, answer questions, practice,
etc.) or pupil-centered, (e.g. Problem solving, creative projects, etc.)
as well as students-teacher ratio among other things (Withal,
2009). Every formal education setting involves students-teacher
relationship. The nomenclature of the teacher depends on the
model of interaction. According to Davis (2002), teacher can be
described as a tutor if he gives private lessons to one student or a
small group and he is directly paid by them. He is called a director
(rector) if he gives instruction to the learners on how to go about the
learning process. He is described as a monitor if he observes how the
student is learning, and he is called a supervisor if he oversees the
students’ learning activity. The nature of the subject also has a part to
play in determining the effect of the teacher- student ratio. If the
subject is basically theoretical; or basically practical or both; the
ratio will not be the same in all the cases.
Over the years, perennial problem of classroom congestion,
poverty level and low classroom utilization rates in Nigeria worsen the
situation of education. Education in the country is poorly funded,
hence most of the public schools experience classroom congestion,
low students-classroom-space and low classroom utilization rates;
hence these situations may likely affect students’ academic
performance adversely. The large number of students passing
through the system in Nigeria is a serious problem, particularly with
the state government’s inability to provide adequate furnished
equipments. For instance, it was recorded that 1,644,110 candidates
sat for the 2013 Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Examination
and of which only 10 candidates scored 300 marks and above and
127,017 scored less than 159 marks (JAMB, 2013). This implies that
the state of education in Nigeria is very poor which demand urgent
attention of all the stakeholders in the educational sector so as to
avert the anomaly. The National policy on Education prescribed a
maximum of 30 students in a class, but in most schools in the country,
average class size exceeds 50. The situation has negative impact on
the average classroom space per student. Yet, these students need
to learn in comfort. In most of the public schools in the country, the
classroom utilization rate is perpetually high; this is because most of
the schools have exceeded the number of students they can cater for.
The few schools that have enough teaching staff, at times have low
classroom utilization rates, perhaps because of poor supervision. This
situation does not favour academic learning (Dave, 2008). Students’
achievement in any teaching and learning situation is very important.
Unfortunately, students’ performance in secondary schools in Nigeria
has not been very encouraging as consistently highlighted by the
moderators and chief Examiners reports and WAEC and NECO
results for past decade.
Academic achievement is one of the leading goals and big
challenge for an educational system. According to Cuban (2004),
class-size and student-teacher ratio has a great impact on the quality
of education and academic success of students. There is no doubt
that pupil-teacher ratio and per-student outgoings are some of the
important resource inputs for any academic institution. Lesser the
ratio of student and teacher in the class better is the probability of
improving the quality of education and accomplishing the academic
goals of institutions. Quality of education is very crucial for strategic
planning of academic goals and tag along with the pace of developed
world. However, the problem at stake is whether student-teacher
ratio has any implication for the quality of education. Based on t he
foregoing, this study is aimed at examining the effect of studentteacher ratio on students’ academic performance in secondary
schools in Ado-Odo-Ota local government area of Ogun state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of poor performance is apparently assuming a
dimension that could affect the entire situation in the country
(Onasanya, 2002). Nevertheless, there are many factors that affect
student achievement, but the purpose of this study is to explore
and analyze the effects of student-teacher ratio as well as
student-teacher interaction dynamics at the secondary school level
as a determinant of students’ academic achievement.
1.3 Research Question
This research will provide answers to the following questions:
(i) What is the students’ enrolment and numbers of teachers in
the selected secondary schools in Ado-Odo-Ota local
(ii) Is there any relationship (association) between the
independent variables i.e. student teacher ratio and class
size, and the dependent variable academic achievement?
(iii) To what extent does students-teacher ratio and class size
influence secondary school students’ academic performance
in Ado-Odo-Ota local government area of Ogun State?
(iv) What is the influence of conducive learning environment on
secondary school students’ academic performance in AdoOdo-Ota local government area of Ogun State?
(v) What are the alleviating measures for combating the
problems identified in this study?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
In order to identify the variables and to accomplish the purpose of this
study, the following hypotheses were postulated in null form for the
purpose of this study:
1 – There is no significant difference in performance of students in
schools with low students-teacher ratio and students in schools
with high students’ teacher ratio.
2 – There is no significant difference between the performance of
male and female students of low student-teacher ratio school.
3 – There is no significant difference between the performance of
male and female students of high student-teacher ratio school.
1.5 Purpose of the Study
The aim of this study is to invest igate the effect of students-teacher
ratio on students’ academic performance with special reference to
secondary schools in Ado-Odo-Ota local government area of Ogun
Specific Objectives of the Study
The study will be meant:- To identify student enrolment and numbers of teachers for
calculating student teacher ratios and class sizes.
To identify the relationship (association) between the
independent variables i.e. student teacher ratio and class size,
and the dependent variable academic achievement
To find out whether student-teacher ratio influence secondary
school students’ performance in Ado-Odo-Ota local government
area of Ogun State.
To identify some guiding principles towar ds optimal learning
outcome in Ado-Odo-Ota local government area of Ogun State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Since the central focus of this study is to assess the effect of
students-teacher ratio on students’ academic performance with
special reference to Ado-Odo-Ota local government area of Ogun
state. It will be of great benefit to teachers, students, government and
all other stakeholders in education.
It was assumed that grasping the impact of the identified variables
on the students’ academic achievement could lead to a deeper insight
into how such variables can be explored to improve the academic
achievement in schools. However, the findings of the study would be
useful to teachers as they work toward providing learning experiences
that are motivating to students. The findings would be of immense
value to the schools as they aim at giving better and sound education
to the students. It is believed that the findings of this study and
recommendations would bring to the fore the need for government to
invest more on education. Moreso, this study would be of immense
benefit to the future researchers who intend to work in the area of
students-teacher ratio and academic performance.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study covers the influence of students-teacher ratio
on students’ academic performance of both junior and senior
secondary school in Ado-Odo-Ota local government area of Ogun
1.8 Limitations of the Study
This study is subjected to limitation and challenges that accompany
any research work that make use of questionnaire like; non compliance of some respondents and inadequate information
regarding the problem under investigation. Finally, financial and time
constraints were also some of the challenges that pose a lot of
limitations on the scope of this study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Student-Teacher Ratio: This refers to the number of students
enrolled per teacher in an institution of learning. It is obtained by
dividing total number of student enrolment by the number of teachers
Student Academic Performance: This can be described as the
display of knowledge and skills attained by the students as shown by
scores or grade gotten at the end of the degree course.
Teaching: This is an act of imparting knowledge /skill to a person
/learner about a subject.
Learning: This is a relatively permanent change in behaviour as a
result of past experiences. It could also be described as an act of
acquiring knowledge or skills. It is synonymously called ‘inclination’.
Teacher: This is the person that impact knowledge to a learner for
the purpose of skills acquisition.
Schools: These are institutions for educating children /learners or
giving instruction. It can also be described as a place where formal
education is being given to the learner.