Effects of overcrowded classrooms on teaching and learning in primary schools: the case of Tarime District

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examined the effects of overcrowded classrooms on teaching and learning processes in primary schools. Specific objectives of the study were to analyze the extent to which primary school classrooms are overcrowded, to examine the effect of overcrowding on pupils’ academic achievement in the classrooms, to investigate the various ways in which over crowdedness affects the interaction between teacher and pupils, pupil-pupil and pupils-teaching material in the teaching and learning , to examine the strategies teachers use cope with pupils in the overcrowded classrooms. It involved a total of 80 pupils, 20 teachers and 20 parents in Tarime district. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were employed in data collection and analysis. Data collection instruments included: Questionnaire; interviews; focus group discussion; documentary review and classroom observation. The study confirmed that classrooms were overcrowded in all schools investigated. Schools were lacking enough classrooms and teachers. Pupils were completing standard seven without knowing studying and writing; teachers were not assigning enough exercises or marking and making correction to reduce heavy work load. The interaction between teachers and pupils; pupils among themselves; and pupils with teaching materials was minimal. To overcome overcrowded classrooms, it was revealed that teachers were using teaching methods that involved all pupils at the same time; schools were using double shift system and parents incurred a small cost to overcome the overcrowding. The study recommends that community around the schools and the government should cooperate to overcome the problem by constructing new classrooms, train teachers to use interactive teaching methods which allow pupils to think and become creative and new teachers have to be trained. Also there is need for assisting schools through sending more funds for buying teaching and learning materials. The study recommends that it is imperative to conduct a study to explore how Information Communication Technology (ICT) can be used to alleviate pedagogical limitations of overcrowded classrooms.
Available in print form, EAF Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, (THS EAF LB3013.2.T34R853)
class size, Primary schools, Tarime district, Tanzania
Rwegoshora L (2011), Effects of overcrowded classrooms on teaching and learning in primary schools: the case of Tarime District, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.