CLASS SIZE AS A CORRELATE OF EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF PRINCIPLE OF ACCOUNTS IN SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA.
This project analyzed the influence of class-size on the quality of output in secondary schools in Ekiti State, Nigeria. The population of the study comprised all the 62 secondary schools that presented students for the year 2003 SSCE examinations in the State. A sample of 5 schools was selected through stratified random sampling technique. Data were collected through an inventory and were analyzed with the use of chi square test, correlation analysis and t- test. Semi-structured interview was conducted with selected principals and education officers. Their responses were analyzed through the content analysis technique. The findings revealed that schools having an average class-size of 35 and below obtained better results in the Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) examinations than schools having more than 35 students per class. The mean scores were higher in schools having an average class-size of 35 and below. The interviewees’ responses supported the findings as they supported small class-sizes in schools. It was therefore recommended that Government should provide more classrooms in all secondary schools in the State to cater for small class-sizes. An ex-post-factor design has been employed to investigate the effects of class size on the academic achievement of Senior Secondary Schools students in Principle of Accounts using 150 SS II students selected from 5 secondary schools in Ikere-Ekiti local government area of Ekiti State. The study was guided by two research questions and the ensuing null hypotheses were tested at the 0.05 level of significance. The results showed that Principle of Accounts students in small sized classes perform better in relation to those in large sized classes.
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Background to the Study
As school population increases, class sizes also increase, the performances of students become an issue. According to Dror (2005), class size has become a phenomenon often mentioned in the educational literature as an influence on pupil’s feelings and achievement, on administration, quality and school budgets. In his words he noted, that class size is almost an administrative decision over which teachers have little or no control. Most researchers start from the assumption that size of the class would prove a significant determinant of the degree of success of students. In fact, with the exception of a few, many studies have reported that under ideal situation, class size in itself appears to be an important factor.
Class size refers to an educational tool that can be used to describe the average number of students per class in a school (Adeyemi, 2008). This varies from country to country. Kedney (2009) saw it as a tool that can be used to measure the performance of the education system.
The place of account in the life of any nation cannot be overemphasized for instance Franwood (2001) pointed out that it provides information that is vital in the process of taking decision in virtually all organization. in the same vein Walter B. Meigs (2000) believes that it enable us to know is going on relative to day-to-day activities indeed and it also believed that all organization (public and private) to evaluate the effectiveness of their policy.
It was that realization of the importance of account that necessitated its introduction into the secondary school curriculum in Nigeria under the present system of education (6-3-3-4). The subject is introduced to students up to secondary school level.
The few of attention in the teaching of principle of account has for long been it methodology for processing data and hence to most people book keeping. It means recording financial data in books of account and by accounting. It means the whole structure of ideas involved in giving expression to the activities in assumed to conduct in a mechanical kind of way without a theoretical by reference to which objective may be understood. Principle of account is a subject at any level of education in mentally demanding. It is analytical of any level because it involves mass transactions which have to be reduced to relatively small items to give status and assessment to the progress of any enterprises.
Principles of account therefore need through approach by professional teachers who are well abreast of innovations in teaching methods of principle of accounts. There are various methods by which principles of account teachers can impact knowledge on their students, which can be done by ways of giving information on advice on how to get something done.
In addition, principle of account serves as a source of information guide and organizer of opportunities for learning. Difference teachers have different ways by which they can impact knowledge. The term “teaching style” refers to a particular teacher’s way of going about the business of enabling students to learn.
In relation to class-size effect on Principle of Account, Stepaniuk (2000) reported that the rational utilization of classroom space depends upon class-size. This in turn would depend upon the area of the classroom. He argued that there are approved norms of class-size, 40 pupils per class for grades 1 to 8 and 35 pupils per class for the senior classes; while the standard allocation of class space per pupil is 1:25 square metres. In this regard, Dean (2004) compared class-size in some countries and found that Turkey, Norway and Netherlands had class-sizes of 20 more; the UK, USA, Japan, Canada and Ireland had class-sizes of between 15 and 20 while France, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Luxembourg and Belgium had sizes of below 15.
In Nigeria, however, Okoro (2005) reported that the class-size in secondary schools ranges between 35 or40 students. He argued that few pupils per class are uneconomical, as they do not make full use of space, teachers and teaching materials. Adeyemi (2008) too, reported that average class-size influences the cost of education while capital cost could be reduced by increasing the average class-size in schools while Nwadiani (2000) argued that the higher the class-size, the lower the cost of education. He contended however, that most classrooms are over-crowded spreading resources thinly and thereby affecting the quality of education. Ajayi (2000) supported the viewpoints and argued that in order to control rising capital cost of education, the average class-size could be increased. These points were also supported by Toth and Montagna (2002) who reported that the increase in enrollment in many institutions which has become major concerns of students could definitely lead to an increase in class size. Commeyras (2000) however, disagreed with these arguments and reported that effective teaching seems impracticable for teacher educators having large class sizes of 50, 75, 100 or more. In terms of outcomes, Schultz (2003) classified the outcomes of education into two categories from the economic point of view. These are consumption and investment. Cohn (2005) referred to the consumption aspect as that related to benefits derived by students. He regarded the investment component as including a variety of outputs related to the enhancement of an individual’s or society’s productive skills. Thus, Blaug (2003) argued that the extension of education tends to raise the earnings of those who benefited from it. In this regard, Simkins (2001) reported that output “represents the immediate results of the system’s activities.” According to him, “the main outputs in education are expressed in terms of learning, that is, changes in the knowledge, skills and attitudes of individuals as a result of their experiences within the educational system.” He argued that the educational system is a productive system in the very sense that it produces outputs especially various forms of learning. He expressed that the components of the system could be represented in a model viz:
Input Process Output. Explaining the model, he alleged that the various inputs are processed in the production of outputs. Examinations in Nigerian schools dated back to the advent of formal education. Since then examinations have occupied a central place in the Nigerian educational system .According to him, examination has been “the sole criterion of quality” in Nigeria and “once a higher percentage of the pupils pass their external examinations, the school is considered to be of a high quality.” The importance of examinations in Nigeria even extended beyond this point. This importance as entrenched in the Federal Government of Nigeria National Policy of Education was in the fact that all secondary schools should gear their programmes to meet the requirements of model, he alleged that the various inputs are processed examinations being conducted for the School Certificate. Toward this end, Fafunwa (2014) argued that “it is an educational truism that examinations control the curriculum and whoever controls a country’s examination system controls its education.”
The WAEC/JSSCE Ordinance emphasized the importance of standards in its examinations. According to the Ordinance, standards must be such that the certificates awarded on the basis of performance in the examinations shall not represent a lower standard of attainment when compared with equivalent certificates of other examining authorities. These examining authorities were the Cambridge and London Universities Examinations Boards for the WASC and GCE examinations respectively. Although the SSC examination has replaced the WASC and GCE examinations in Nigeria it still uses the GCE ‘O’ & ‘A’ level standards as its norms since it was pitched between the ‘O’ & ‘A’ level standards. The pattern of grading candidates’ score in the examinations was such that the distinctions grade was represented by A1 to B3. The credit grade was represented by C4 to C6. The ordinary pass grade was represented by D7 and E8 while the failure grade was represented by F9. It needs to be mentioned however, that the distinction and credit grades are the only requisite qualifications for admissions into universities in Nigeria and candidates must have at least five credits in five subjects including English Language in order to qualify for admission .The foregoing review has shown that class-size is a controversial educational tool that has varied from one country to another. Thus, this study was embarked upon to determine the effect of class-size on the quality of output of Principle of Accounts students from secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
It has been observed that secondary schools in Ekiti State appear to be densely populated while classrooms seem to be over-congested. It has shown the views of previous researchers on class-size in various countries. In view of the divergent opinions, the problem of this study was to determine what effect class-size had on the teaching and learning of Principle of Accounts in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. This situation seems to be impairing effective teaching and learning process in the secondary schools in the state and hence the reason for embarking on this project.
Purpose of the Study
The broad objective of the research project is to examine the relationship that exists between class size and academic achievement of Principle of Accounts students in secondary schools in Ekiti State.
The specific objectives are;
- To examine the effect of class size on the academic performance of Principle of Accounts students in secondary schools in Ekiti.
2 To examine how negative effects of class size on academic performance of Principle of Accounts students in secondary schools in Ekiti could be brought to minimal.
3 To examine how quality class size helps in improving the efficiency and Effectiveness of teaching and learning of Principle of Accounts in secondary schools in Ekiti.
The research seeks to answer the following questions that affect the effective teaching and learning of Principle of Accounts in Ekiti State to guide the study.
- “Is there any difference in the achievement in Principle of Accounts for secondary school students in small and large sized classes?
- Is there any interaction effect between location of school and class size in the achievement in Principle of Accounts for secondary school students in small and large sized classes? ”
- Is there any significant difference between the quality of output of students in schools having an average small class-sizes and the quality of output of students in schools having an average large class-sizes in the SSCE examinations in the State?
- What is the impact of class size on Principle of Accounts Teachers’ productivity in secondary schools in Ekiti State?
The following null hypothetical statements are made with respect to the objectives of the study.
- “There is no significant difference between the achievement of students in Principle of Accounts in small and large sized classes of secondary schools.
- There is no interaction effect of School location and class size in students’ achievement in secondary school Principle of Accounts.
- There is no significant difference between the quality of output of students in schools having an average class-size of 35 students and below and the quality of output of students in schools having an average class-size of above 35 students in SSCE examinations in Ekiti State, Nigeria.
- There is no significant relationship between class size and teachers’ productivity.
Delimitation of the Study
The study is specifically talking about the Correlation between the class size and the teaching and learning efficiency of Principle of Accounts Students in Ekiti State. The study will concentrate on the effects of class size on the teaching and learning of Principle of Accounts in (5) Senior Secondary Schools in Ikere Local Government area of Ekiti State.
Significance of the Study
The Nigerian education system is progressively becoming more and more complex. But the catalogue of sources shows that Nigerian secondary school class is over congested and thereby leads to a decline in the teaching and learning of Principle of Accounts. Experience has shown that class size is a major contributing factor to the assumed teachers’ Ineffectiveness in many secondary schools in the State. For instance, in the recent years, Nigeria has witnessed rapid educational expansion especially at the secondary school level without corresponding increase in the provision of essential facilities and this has resulted into large school size and eventually large class size; with its attendant problems of lack of facilities for teachers and also lack of good classroom management by the teachers. For instance, it has been observed that students may be too difficult to control by teachers in many of the large classes due to over congestion of students in these classes. Experience has also shown that teachers tend to lose the ability to attain or establish effective teaching in the overcrowded class than small class and this problem of large class size in secondary schools has been attributed to several factors, such as the introduction of too many subjects on junior secondary school time-table, which invariably has given birth to accommodation of all the subjects on the school time-table couple with the shortage of qualified teaching personnel to teach these subjects.
Based on this, the research work contains the researcher’s contributions that would be of help and useful to education policy planners, Educationist, Ministry of Education authorities, Stakeholders, school administrations and management in schools towards helping students to improve the quality of facilities in the education system.
Apart from the above, the research will provide valuable information on the influence of different interacting factors on the effects of class size on the teaching and learning of Principle of Accounts among secondary school students. The content of the study will also serve as resource materials for others who want to carry out further research.
Definition of Terms
The definitions used in the historical class size debate vary according to the researcher. The following definitions are ones that will be used in this research.
Class size: Class size is typically defined as the number of students for whom a teacher is primarily responsible during a school year. The teacher may teach in a self-contained classroom or provide instruction in one subject (Lewitt & Baker, 1999, p. 2).
Pupil-teacher ratio (also known as teacher-student ratio): Achilles (2003) defined pupil-teacher ratio as the number of student in a school or district compared to the number of teaching professionals.
Class size reduction: Class size reduction is the processes to achieve class sizes smaller than the ones currently in place (Achilles, 2003).