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The purpose of this study was to investigate influence of school population on academic performance of secondary school student in Ilorin West metropolis.

90 students and 6 teachers were randomly selected from schools that were selected while questionnaire was administered to solicit for information.

Research hypotheses were formulated and tested using x2 value method.

The findings of the study indicated that there is significant relationship between school population and student academic performance as opined by performance of student in sparsely and densely populated classrooms.

This was conducted at 5% level of significance. Summary, conclusion and recommendation were made also.


The desire for mass education was recognized in the Nigeria constitution of 1999 chapter 2 paragraph 18 where it stated inter alias “Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy and to this end, the government shall as and when practicable provide free, compulsory and universal primary education.

” It is in the light of the above that the government of president Olusegun Obasanjo introduced the Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1976 and Universal Basic Education (UBE) in 1999 to improve educational opportunities and more functional education for all citizenry.

These schemes have led o expansion of primary school without due regard to adequate teachers’ strength over enrolment resulting in large class size, ineffective school management, inadequate instructional materials, poor physical facilities et cetera.
These schemes, according to Babalola (1992) have resulted into proliferation of schools in every community.

He said that the universal primary education provided opportunities for parent and guardian to sent their wards and children to schools at barest minimum cost.

Franck, (2000 explains that the combine evolution of universal primary education in 1976, 6 – 3 – 3 – 4 system in 1985 and the recent universal basic education have produced large number of enrolment of pupils and student both at the primary and secondary school levels.

He reiterated that secondary school levels.

He reiterated that since the inception of these program, the school size and specifically the number of students in a classroom has continued to increase greatly”.
The shifting system of education which became prominent in most urban primary schools attempts to minimize congestion and overcrowding in the classrooms, Johnson (1995) says this system gave rise to the “existing increasing number of student seeking admission into primary schools which in turn led to tremendous number of students entering post primary institutions”.

Today the shifting system of education has been abolished being established especially private schools which have absolved and reduced the increasing number of students in both government primary schools.
Secondary education witnessed tremendous growth in Kwara State between 1979 and 1986 especially in the establishment of secondary schools.

Bamidele (1983) Observes that during this period many communities harnessed resources together to establish secondary schools in their domain to compliment effects of the government.

He maintained “however, the increase in the number of secondary school during this period did not minimize the over crowding of classrooms most especially in the urban centers…. Among the reasons for increase population of students enrolment in schools include increase birth rate, increase awareness of relevance of secondary education by parents and guardians and government education policies geared towards increasing literacy level”.
The enrolment of secondary school students have increased considerably over the years and this had overstretched the infrastructural facilities in the school such as classroom, laboratories, library, and sporting facilities which were designed to accommodate specified number of students.

Besides, the school administrator often neglect the admission guidelines without giving prior recognition to the number of teaching personnel (Johnson, 1995).

The resultant effect is that the subject teachers are faced with strenuous work in dealing with large number of students in the classrooms on one hand and multitude of classroom on the other, hence class control becomes difficult and performance of student is therefore greatly affected negatively.
Nowadays, over population of students is one of the major problems in our secondary school because it has made infrastructure and learning materials in the school grossly inadequate.

Awotoye (1994) observes that school situation is “appalling and unconducive for effective teaching and learning due to increasing students’ population in our schools”.

Classroom furniture is inadequate and class space is no longer adequate to accommodate students, hence a substantial number of students sit on the floor.

In some cases, a seat which is designed for one students will have to be shared between two or more students, and the kind of discomfort for the affected students is enough factor that can mar effective learning.
As a point of departure, the number of students in a classroom is far greater than the normal population which a classroom must harbor in most of our secondary schools.

Laboratory facilities are now inadequate to meet the ever increasing number of students admitted every year.

This situation exposes students to study under agonizing and traumatic teaching and learning environment which greatly undermine their academic performance.

It is obvious that many factors interplay.

And affect the academic performance of secondary school students but the outstanding effects of over population of students cannot be overemphasized.

For quite a long time, successive Nigerian governments had introduced various educational policies in order to restore the past glory and ensure qualitative education in our schools.

Besides researchers in their own contributions have identify various factors militating against the achievement of qualitative education and subsequently low level of students performance in our secondary schools.

It is in view of this that the researcher wishes to find out the influence of population on academic performance of student in our secondary school.

Thus, the following question are pertinent.
(i) What are the causes of increase in student population in our secondary schools?
(ii) Is there any relationship between sparsely populated class and academic performance of students?.
(iii) Is there any relationship between densely populated class and academic performance of students?
The aims and objectives of the study are:
(i) Find out causes of increase population of students in our secondary schools
(ii) To know whether class size affect the academic performance of students.
(iii) To offer recommendation on how to achieve qualitative in our secondary schools.
For the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses are formulated:
i. A densely populated classroom lead to poor academic performance of students
ii. A sparsely populated classroom leads to high academic performance of students.

The government efforts toward ensuring qualitative education and in enhancing student academic performance in our institution of leaning have not yet successful as the substantial percentage of quality grandaunts become windily every year.

Thus, this research work is significant in the sense that finding and recommendation would reveal some of the causes of low academic performance in our secondary schools.

The study will also be useful to the school administrators take in to consideration the population of students to be admitted in relation to school infrastructure facilities available at a given period.

It will enhance their understanding about the great influence the school population size can exert on the academic performance of the students.

The study will also be another plus to the academic discipline as it will enrich the available literature and knowledge by guiding and providing information to other student and scholars who may be interested in study similar topic in nearest future.
This research work has been guided by the functionalist theory of social change.

This theory sees educational system as a subsystem of society operating within cultural, personality and physical environment. Education as a subsystem develop because all social system muse be solve problems of adaptation, goal attainment, integration and pattern maintenance.

In time the school subsystem sub- unite will further divide in to a highly complex unite in order to survive.

Strain in man occur between the difference sub unite of the school because information and energy are exchange between them for each to perform the primary function.

Thus, the school may be come deficient in performing it function and this bring about change. Another important source of change arise from the fact that the school as a social system must provide certain output. In its continual attempt to adopt better to the environment and so perform its functions more efficiently.

This strain to better performance result in structural differentiation which may generate new problem.

An institution should propose ability to sustain growth and continually adopt to change.

The school important energy from the environment that is, they admit student and transform them.
The school are expected to export in to the environment qualified students.

According to functionalist theory of change the school as an organization receives feed back based on their products.

The theory maintains that for the school to maintain balance state of functioning, all the unite that makes it up must grow pari pass – Besides, as they grow in size the various units have to be coordinated and integrated so that each unit will not proceed on doing things in its own way.

Thus the school must increase the infrastructural facilities for teaching and learning process as population of students increase in order to maintain steady state and normal state of functioning.

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