The effect of large class size on quality education in primary schools: the case of Ilala Municipality

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study examined the effect of large class size on quality education in Primary Schools in Ilala District - Dar es Salaam Region. The study had the following objectives:- First, to examine the trend of large class size and pupils’ performance among the selected primary schools in the years 2005 to 2010. Second, to analyze the process of interaction in large class size in relation to quality education. Third, to analyze the process of teacher evaluation of pupils’ work in large class size as related to quality education; and lastly, to examine the effect of large class size on classroom management in relation to quality education. The study adopted a case study design in which four primary schools of Ilala Municipal Council were surveyed. Data were collected through interviews, questionnaires, documentary reviews and classroom observations. A total of 93 respondents were included in the study. These included the municipal education officer, head teachers, teachers and pupils of Ilala District. Data were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. The study revealed that large class size in Primary Schools had some effects on the quality of education. It was also learnt that other factors such as lack of teaching materials, lack of classroom management skills, unqualified teachers, poor classroom interactions, poor methods of teaching and poor classroom environment contributed to poor quality of education. Also the findings revealed that the large class size had negative impact on enhancing quality education; it did not match with availability of teaching and learning facilities, resources like toilets, classrooms, teachers’ houses and teacher-pupil ratio. Therefore it was imperative that the government ought to improve teaching and learning environment so as to go hand in hand with large class size in primary schools. In this regard some recommendations have been suggested for further action in order to address the issues. These include:-(i) The community should be sensitized to work together in close cooperation with the government and all education stakeholders to raise funds for the construction of classrooms, teachers’ houses, toilets/latrines for teachers and pupils and for better performance of teachers and pupils; (ii) MOET in collaboration with all education stakeholders, particularly policy makers, education officers and administrators, parents and NGOs should work together in solving the challenges of poor performance of teachers and Std. VII pupils caused by large class size in Tanzanian schools; (iii) Curricula developers, education planners and reformers should find out innovative interventions that will give solutions on the effect of large class size on quality education in Tanzania Primary Schools. (iv) MOET should recruit more competent teachers and ensure an equitable deployment and distribution of teachers in the schools in order to reduce the problem of teacher-pupil ratio.
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Class size, Education quality, Primary schools, Ilala municipality, Tanzania
Mapunda, A. S (2011) The effect of large class size on quality education in primary schools: the case of Ilala Municipality. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at