EFFECTS OF OVERPOPULATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN GOVERNMENT SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN OWERRI MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF IMO STATE
This project looks at the effects of overpopulation on the academic performance of students in government secondary schools in owerri municipal council of imo state Nigeria. It is designed to identify the factors that contribute to the increase in students’ population, find out the students – teacher ratio in government secondary schools and also the impact of the increase on the academic performance of students. A descriptive survey design was used, while the population of the study consists of government owned secondary schools in Owerri educational zone. A simple random sampling technique was used to select the four (4) schools out of the nine (9) schools in the zone. The four secondary schools selected have a total population of five thousand five hundred and thirty (5530) students and eighty (80) teachers. The sample size consists of five hundred and fifty four (554) students and eight (8) teachers. Data were represented in a tabular form. A closed format questionnaire with four points likert rating scale was used for data collection, and the mean score were used in analyzing the responses of the research questions. As a result of this research work it was found out that the students – teacher ratio in government secondary schools is between 55 – 60 students per teacher. Some recommendations were made, which include that the ministry of education should give quota on the students enrolment in government secondary schools in order to reduce the number of students per teacher, and infrastructural facilities should be provided to the schools in rural areas in order to avoid
students’ migration to the urban areas.
Background of the Study
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 while that of Imo state showed a total number of two hundred and five (205). Owerri Municipal council had about seven (7) secondary schools, with a population of Seven thousand, six hundred and fifteen (7615) students. 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, with Imo state having three hundred and twelve (312) secondary schools and Owerri Municipal 9 government secondary schools.
According to the statistics department, Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB), there has been a rapid increase in the population of students in Owerri Education zone from seven thousand, six hundred and fifteen (7615) students to ten thousand, five hundred and seventy (10570) students. There is a constant increase in the population of secondary schools which runs contrary to the new encyclopedia Britannica, volume (A) assertion. Unlike population of insects, population rarely has been subject to explosive or collapsing numbers.
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 can not 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 instructional materials, production of poor or a few quality text books, congested classrooms and attendant education in characters (dropout as a product of the so called schools).
Statement of the Problem
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 Owerri educational zone and what could be done to remedy the situation.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to ascertain the impact of overpopulation on academic performance of government secondary students specifically, the study intends to:
1. Identify the students – teacher ratio in government secondary schools.
2. Identify the causes of increase in students’ population in government secondary school.
3. Find out the impact of the increase in students population in government secondary schools on the academic performance of students.
4. Make recommendations on how to curtail increase in students’ population.
Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to 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.
For the purpose of carrying out this research, the researchers pose the following questions:
(1) What is the student – teacher ratios in government secondary schools?
(2) What are the causes of increased students’ population in government secondary schools?
(3) What are the impacts of the increase in population of students in government secondary schools on the academic performance of the students?
Scope of the Study
This research work is restricted to only government secondary schools in Owerri Municipal Council. The secondary schools are:
¥ Government secondary school Owerri
¥ Comprehensive Development secondary school Owerri
¥ Emmanuel college Owerri
¥ Government technical college Owerri
¥ Ikenegbu Girls’ secondary school Owerri
¥ Holy Ghost college Owerri
¥ Owerri girls’ secondary school
¥ Urban development secondary school Owerri
¥ Boys’ secondary school New Owerri
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
¥ Theory of over population
¥ The concept of over population
¥ The concept of academic performance
¥ The causes of over population
¥ Incidence of over population in government secondary schools
¥ The problems of over population in government secondary schools
¥ The impact of overpopulation of students in government secondary school on their academic performance
Theory of Overpopulation
Malthus(1934) reasoned that human population tends to grow at a geometrical rate, while our ability to produce subsistence increases at a merely arithmetical rate and so we find ourselves in an ever Deeping spiral of suffering caused by overpopulation. In Malthus view, this process could only be showed by the “preventive cheek” of decreased fertility, or the “positive check” of increase mortality.
The Malthusian theory was once thought to be quite sufficiently denounced, relegated to the status of a curious foot note in the history of economic thought.
George (1894) chapter on poverty and subsistence stand out as the definitive marshalling of the abundant logical ammunition against it. At the end of the 20th century A.D; however, an increasingly influential crew of neo-Malthusians is bringing the theory back, adding that subsistence can only keep ahead of population growth at the cost of unsustainable level of environmental harm.
Two factors consistently correlate with high birth rate: poverty and lack of education. Where women have had access to education and media’ birth showed significant declines – even when income levels had not increased. It has long been known that when living standards rise in a community, birth rate tends to decline, this widely – documented phenomenon is called “demographic – shift”.
The world is experiencing a democratic increase in population. This is causing problems not only for poor, undeveloped countries, but also for industrialized full developing nations.
Overpopulation causes a considerable number of problems. In addition, education to limit the number of children per family is not always successful. In this case, it is usually difficult to provide effective educational institution by private and government services in over crowded cities. More over, there is usually a great deal, more crime which is often due to high rate of unemployment. Government must educate the people to limit the size of the family.
The Concept of Overpopulation
Overpopulation refers to a situation where the total number of people in an area exceeds the available resources. A country is said to be overpopulated when there are more people in the country relative to the available resources Agu (2007). The people have to compete for the resources and their standard of living is very low generally, thus will in turn increase the cost of living. Overpopulation implies that there is deficiency in resources development in relation to the available people Zelingky (2001).
Overpopulation does not only tend to deficiency of appropriate technology, but presses hand upon the resources and is generally growing at 2% per annum or more (Brogue 1969, clerk 1965, Peterson 1969, Simmons 1978).
Overpopulation tends to point to the fact that the existing resources cannot match the immediate population number. Overpopulation has the potential to make human life petty miserable in no distance future.
The earth currently has a recorded population of just over six billion, which twelve years ago, it was just over five billion. The global population of growth is about seventy – six million per year and the total number of humans on earth has doubled in the past 40 years. To point a more visual picture of the situation, under our current rate of reproduction, there should be nearly eleven billion people in the world in the year 2050. According to the world overpopulation awareness organization, this means that global food supply would need to be tripled in order to meet the most basic needs.
Further more, they would require a 100% increase in the total energy expended in food production Bany (2004). Dr. Bebns Sagoe, Nigeria’s national program officer for the united nation population fund gave an illustration to show the adverse effect of overpopulation. He further explains; “suppose a farmer owns ten acres of land, if he has ten children and divided the land equally among them, each child will have an acre. If each of those children has ten children and divides the land similarly, each of their children will not be as well off as their grand father who had ten acres of land”. This illustration highlighted the relationship between a growing number of people and a finite earth with limited resources. As the populations grow, many developing countries are struggling to cope with present population level. The problems are lack of resources to satisfy the population. As the number of people increase, there are greater demands on forests, topsoil, cropland and fresh water. Another is lack of infrastructures such as inadequate housing, road, sanitation facilities, health services and even schools. Also, lack of employment is not to be left out (Awake 2003). Paul R. Ehrlich, a professor of population studies at Stanford university in the united states notes the enormity of this problem, saying “while overpopulation in the poor nation tends to keep them poverty – stricken, overpopulation in the rich nation tends to undermine the like – support capacity of the entire planet” Akuemmilo (1999).
Overpopulation retards general development of the education sector. It should be noted that education stands for all the knowledge and aptitudes which any population of a country should stand to acquire. The prospect of meeting the education requirement for growing population in terms of resources and environment is a long term mirage ( Unesco source book, 2003).
This assertion of the unesco source book is a clear indication that in Urban areas that has an increasing population of secondary schools such as in Owerri educational zone which is in for a long term reform mirage.
Educational policies are not tailored according to the need of Nigerians probably because of the ever-growing institution, consequently imply on their standard of education as many absent themselves or do not hear what a teacher says in the classroom when they try to attend classes. When we relate it to these schools that have teaming population of students in them, also in most others too, students are scared. The first schools mentioned above may be said to be overpopulation because they are harboring much students than the physical structure. These situations are mostly found in the urban areas as against the rural (Okonkwo 2004).
Overpopulation in Nigeria is such that the population density is so blatant that it has caused an impaired quality of life, serious environment degradation, and long-term shortages of essential goods and services. It is an imbalance between the numbers of individuals vis-a-vis the resources needed for survival, and the ratio of population over resources, and a fraction of the number of density of individuals compared to the resources food, employment, business opportunity and infrastructures. We are now in a state of meager or non – existent capability to sustain human life due to corruption, lack of credible leadership and of course uncontrolled child birth.
Let us now have a thorough look at the situation in Owerri education zone in respect to Government Secondary Schools. As a result of immigration from the rural areas in Imo State to the urban area (Owerri Municipal), it has led to over population of people in the areas. The students ought to be accommodated in the rural area schools are transferred to the urban area without a cores pending increase in the schools or classrooms to accommodate the students and more teacher to handle them. There is no doubt that this ugly trend must have its negative consequences on the academic achievement of the students in these affected schools in the urban area.
The Concept of Academic Performances
Academic achievement could be determined by several factors, Ojiako (2007) defined academic performance as the total outcomes of ones educational activities. It is seen as the end product of academic work load.
Most people know that academic performance generally refers to how well a student is accomplishing his or her tasks and studies but there are quite a number of factors that determine the level and quality of students’ academic performances.
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