The study investigated the school population and students academic performance of universal basic schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area, Kwara State.

The study adopted descriptive research design, the population for this study consisted teachers of all basic schools selected. Ten junior secondary school teachers were selected in sampled school using proportional sampling techniques. Research instrument used were two set of questionnaire, the first questionnaire tagged school population and second question was profoma which indicated the performance of student in English language and Mathematics of  basic schools between year 2014 t0 2016 academic years.

Two research questions were raised in this study and analysed with percentage while hypotheses generated were tested with Pearson Product Moment Correlation at 0.05 level of significance.

Findings revealed that there was significant relationship between school population and students academic performance in Ilorin South Local Government Area, Kwara State.

On the basis of findings, it was recommended that government should  establish a policy which would control number of student in the class in order to improve teacher’s job performance and population of the school should be manageable and commensurate with available resources while existing vacancy should be determinant factors of the numbers of children to be adminitted and placed on school enrollment  in each school. 










Background to the Study 1

Statement of Problem 8

Purpose of the Study 9

Research Questions 10

Research Hypotheses 10

Main Hypotheses 11

Operational Hypothesis    11

Scope of the Study 11

Significance of the Study 12

Operational Definition of Terms 14


Literature Review 15

Concept of Universal Education 15

Concept of School Population 18

Factors Affecting School Population 22

Effects of school Population 25

Concept of students’ Academic Performance 28

Appraisal of Literature Reviewed 31


Research Design 33

Population Sample and Sampling Techniques 34

Instrumentation 34

Procedure for Data Collection 36

Method of Data Analysis 36


Hypotheses Testing 42

Operational Hypotheses 43


Conclusion 48

Recommendations 49





Background to the Study

Basic education is the bedrock of any meaningful and result oriented educational system. Hence, the priority and attention it draws from successive governments in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized. In the missionary and colonial era, education was effectively utilized as an instrument of evangelism and administration which was attained through the 3- R curriculum i.e (Arithmetic, writing and religion). According to Fafunwa (1998), the curriculum was reviewed and implemented through ordinances in line with the prevailing change and uniformity. Nigeria at independence inherited education handed down by the colonial masters as well as the Christian missionaries (Babarinde, 2005 and Adaralegbe 2002).

According to Babarinde (2005) and Adaralegbe (2002), the school curriculum (primary to tertiary) needed reform in order to build a more realistic, virile and united country after the devastating civil war, prior to Nigeria independence, education during missionaries, was received with conditionality which included conversion to christianity among others and this singularly deprived children or other faithful of western education. In summary, only children and wards of the christian converted for the low enrolment in the schools for fear of Christianization and westernization. Although, the involvement of colonial administration in the establishment and funding of schools brought succor to the needy children as they head access to western education, teaming number of parent still expressed mixed feeding and fears about their faith being marginalized and suppressed by the european religion.

This scenario of low enrolment in schools in both cities and rural areas of country continued unabated with the eventual exist of the colonial masters and indigenization of political administration in educational system. According to Fafunwa (2006), the successive military government (1966-1979), intensified effort through several sensitization programmes and policies to improve enrolment in school. Fafunwa (2006) reported that free primary education programmes established in the defunct western region was replicated in some states in northern Nigeria by providing school uniforms, textbooks and exercise books, powder milk and some other school essentials in order to attract school age children to school. Similarly, (Ijaiya 2013) in educational lecture class observed that the strategy of free education in primary and post primary schools increased enrolment in the schools dramatically.

School population is a dynamic phenomenon in education hence empirical evidence would go doing way to minimize the menace of educational development in Nigeria. Studies in school population abound, therefore the present study would be additional information that could promote enviable standard in universal basic school.

In furtherance of the United Nations declaration on literacy, Nigerian government pursued vigorously and funded primary education through the introduction of Universal Primary Education (U.P.E) in 1976 under the leadership of General Olusegun Obasanjo of primary schools in nearly all communities in the country and supported with coordinated campaigns, jingles and consultation, the enrolment in primary schools increased geometrically. Adeshina (1986) reported that the enrolment in primary schools in Nigeria rose from over a million to over twelve million pupils in 1976 when Universal Primary Education program brought all school age children to school. He also concluded that the period was the beginning of a new era in school enrolment in Nigeria.

Although, Universal Primary Education and its flows was one of the gigantic educational program of the century, and remains as a remarkable and giant stride that overturned the fortune of the industry. Bolajoko (2001) remarked that inadequate planning, over bloated data and corruption are some of the factors that contributed to the short comings of the program and concluded that its contributions to educational development remain memorable.

Annually, millions of Nigeria children enrolled in schools and school patronage yearly in line with the annual increase in the country population. Nigeria with a population of over 150 million and annual projection of 2.2% , the country’s infrastructures including schools will continue to over stretched today, the demand for education (primary tertiary) is increasing and grossly inadequate to meet the yearning of Nigeria. Although, the involvement of private organization and administration and individual in the establishment, funding and administration of school have immense impacts on provision of education for needy children but private schools exorbitant fees and charges deprive sizeable number of children from patronizing them. Therefore, the exiting government owned primary schools where minimal fees are paid, record high patronage and subsequent over-stretching of the facilities.

Adeshina (2004) emphasizes that the issue of over population dates back to 1980s and early 1990 and several attempts were made to check the escalating enrolment to the public school in Nigeria, and these strategies varied form states. In some metropolitan cities and towns like Lagos, Ibadan, Ilorin etc. more schools were established and sited in a strategic areas in order to de – congest the existing one (Adegunduro, 1998 and Salami, 2001). According to them critics opined that although the infrastructures like classrooms were far below standard, the over populated schools were decongested which was the primary objectives of establishing the schools.

Similarly, Fashiku (2006) reported that some states in the country introduced shifting system to minimize the menace of overpopulation and this policy allowed school to operate morning and afternoon section. According to him, the number of hours spent in school was reduce order to accommodate the afternoon classes designed to cater for other arms and classes stated for the section. Also the critics and opinions it did not spare the policy and conducted that attention span of children is low in the afternoon which may result in poor academic performance.

Successive government in the affected states including Kwara abolished shifting system, and established more schools built new classrooms and rehabilitated dilapidated one and also employ more teachers as an alternative to minimize over population in schools (Abdullah, 2004). The government’s strides according to him reduce congestions in schools and learning condition improved considerably. This has also led to the creation of school A and B that we have in our primary school today.

However, there are still schools with high population while some have manageable size depending on the location of the schools. The school in the towns may still record high enrolment in the towns may still record high enrolment in view of rural-urban drift while those in rural area contend with low enrolment. The school enrolment, no doubt have immense impacts on the school lone including teachers productivity, pupils academic performance, class management etc. hence the government annual budget committed to upgrading the infrastructures in school is desirable, it is on this not therefore that this study attempts to examine school population on primary school pupils academic performance vis a vis Basic school pupils in Ilorin South Local Government Area.

Statement of Problem

It is observed that academic performance of students of basic schools is decreasing as a result of unqualified and incompent teachers, in appropriate classroom management the size of class enrolment also contributed to the decreasing performance of pupils/students and these can be curs when competent teachers are introduced, when manageable class size are available in the context studies such as Salami  (2001) and Ijaiya (2007) have carried out teacher productivity and class population which concluded  that manageable class size are more effective in their professional duties than those with large class size but none of them have carried a study on the school population and students academic performance of basic schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area, Kwara state.

Purpose of the Study 

The major purpose of the study is to examine the relationship between school population and students academic performance of universal basic schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area, Kwara State.

 Specifically the purposes are;                          

1. To investigate the relationship between large class size and students academic performances in the selected universal basic schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State 

2. To investigate the relationship between the students population and their academic performance in Ilorin South Local Government Area of Kwara State.

3.   To find out the influence of teachers qualifications and studies          academic performance of universal basic schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area Kwara State.

Research Questions

1 What is the relationship between large class size and the students’ academic performance in Ilorin South

2 What is the level of pupils enrolment in schools in Ilorin south local government Area, kwara state.

Research Hypotheses 

The following research hypotheses are formulated to guide the study 

Main Hypotheses

Ho: There is no significant relationship between school population and students’ academic performance in Ilorin south Local Government Area Kwara State.

Operational Hypothesis   

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between large class size and students academic performance of in Ilorin South Local Government Area Kwara State   

Ho2: There is no significant relationship between small class size and students’ academic performance in Ilorin South local Government Area Kwara State  

Scope of the Study 

The study focuses on school population and students’ academic performance of universal basic schools in Ilorin South Local Government Area Kwara State. However, it will be limited to only 10 basic schools out of basic schools in Ilorin South. 

The main instruments to be used will be researcher’s designed questionnaire tagged. 

Significance of the Study

The significance of the study include but not limited to the following:

It will serve as an eye opener for the curriculum planner on how a befitting basic school curriculum can be formed to cater for the size and population of the students to enhance students academic in Ilorin South

It will also sensitize the government as well as private schools proprietors on the number of students expected in a class so that learning can take place

Not only that they will also be enlightened more on the normal size of class to be erected in schools to cater for the students population in Ilorin South Local Government

This study no doubt will serve as a guide and as an embodied body of knowledge to the upcoming researchers in schools and universities. To cap it all, students of educational department will derive an immeasurable benefit from the findings.

Similarly the findings would assist the government in allocation of fund during the annual budget to required department and agencies. Also school administrators would be quick in their decision on provision of learning and teaching materials, allocation of teachers to classes and other prevailing issues.

In addition the finding would guide the class and subject teachers in the choice of appropriate teaching approaches depending on the number of students in the class because selection of the effective (pedagogical) steps in prerequisite for effective teaching learning process. Also the learners’ world is informed on the merit and demerits of class population with a view to adapting appropriately to the prevailing situation.

Furthermore, the findings would be an effective tool required by school proprietors to operate a viable and result oriented school system in view of the role of population in achievement drive of institution of learning.

Operational Definition of Terms 

School Population: this refers to the number of students in the school. It will be measured by large class size and level of student enrolment.

Large classroom: An average of 50 and above pupils in a class.

Enrolment:- This refers to the actual number of students admitted in a particular year 

Students Academic Performance: This is student’s learning outcome in both English and mathematics in public examination.



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