EFFECT OF STUDENT-TEACHER RATIO ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

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.

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.

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Updated: 21st July 2017 — 12:07 pm

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