This study examines the impact of students-teachers ratio on effective teaching of Economics in Ekiti State. A descriptive survey design was used. The sample consists of one hundred and eighty respondents drawn from five (5) randomly selected secondary schools in Ekiti South West Local Government. Instrument used was questionnaire and data were analysed using simple percentage. The result revealed that teachers did not enjoy teaching densely populated classes. Large classes causes frustration and that their students found it very difficult to learn in large classes. Based on the findings and the conclusion drawn in this study, the researcher recommended that government should accord education a pride of place by providing the volume of financial and manpower resources, instructional materials, and school administrators to enforce discipline on teachers and students for the smooth running of the educational sector. Also more school facilities should be expanded to accommodate increasing population of students.
Background of the Study
The school as miniature of the society is charged with statutory responsibilities of equipping the learners with rudimentary knowledge and skill needed for the self reliant existence according to Aderalage to translate the socio-political, religious and economics aspiration of a nation into reliant, where parents and guardians, teachers and student curriculum planners etc. rest there hopes of building and planning a better future.
Indeed, all stakeholder in education put resources together to promote the availability of these goals and aspiration.
In view of the unique role of the school in the economic and socio political viability of a nation, military and civilian administrations, channeled substantial parts of the nation earning and resources to the development of the educational system.
These commitments manifested through educational policies and programmes intended to provide equal opportunities and accept ability to qualitative and quantitative education such programmes include the universal free primary education (UPE) launched in1976 by the military head of state in Nigeria (General Olusegun Obasanjo) and the revised and more elaborate version tagged universal basic education (UBE 1978).
The need to make education free and universal was stated by Awokoya in 1952 who believe that education should be treated as a matter of national emergency second only to war in effect and the national development plan (1975-1980) ushered in the universal free primary education (UPE) scheme in Nigeria from September 1976 and to be compulsory from 1976.. This emergency of a national policy on education in 1977 is a land mark in Nigeria education development.
The establishment of primary school in Nigeria has witnesses tremendous growth. Since independence, likewise enrolment has been on the increase due to national population growth and the increase demand for education which has an implication of overcrowding of human resources and physical facility.
As a result of common and individual participation in education, today the number of secondary schools have increased geometrically in view of the desire for secondary school education. It would be recalled that the national policy on education prescribes 60% transition from junior secondary schools to senior adhered to as most students and parent prefers senior secondary school to technical colleges or vocational schools, technical and vocational schools, were perceived as a dumping ground for students who are not educationally sound or qualified for admission in to the senior secondary schools in reference to some selected school in Ekiti south west local government.
The enrolment increased in primary school culminated in congestions of secondary schools in many cities and towns across the country. Bamidele (1994) and Babalola (1992) reported that admission into secondary schools gallops annually in spite of decay and inadequate infrastructures.
This situation according to their result in class congestion and subsequent introduction of shifting system.
According to Ayodele (1991) this allows the schools to operate two shifts i.e. morning and afternoon. He observed that this system becomes inevitable in view of the government neglect of the infrastructure and subsequent introduction of shifting system.
However attempts were made by subsequent administrations to abolish shifting system because of its adverse effects on teaching- learning process.
The abolishment of shifting system mentioned above led to the establishment of more schools and to the establishment of more schools both primary and secondary schools and construction of more classrooms. The congestion in schools is yet to be resolved in view of the increase in the number of entries into secondary schools which has impaired the effective teaching and learning process most especially the teaching of Economics. Students take economics to be a very simple subject which they can pass with just little effort but as observed through senior secondary school certificate examination result, majority of them performed below expectation.
The teaching of Economics in Nigeria secondary schools when compared to other age long subjects like Government, History, Mathematics, English language etc is a new phenomenon.
The number of candidates that enrolled and sat for Economics on the West African School Certificate examination increased as they went by. In the year 1968 the number of candidates increase to 43 and rose to 52,000 by 1975 in 1986 the number rose further to 511, 377 candidates enrolled for Economics.
As a result of increase in population of Economics students in secondary schools Led to over crowding and class congestion which impaired effective teaching and learning of Economics in the classroom.
The large class has negative effect on the performance of students, more students in a class make the teacher lose the ability to establish and foster personal and individual attention necessary for meaningful instruction.
Commenting on the effect of schools size, the students in large class create unnecessary noise during the teaching – learning process which leads to diversion of learning in the classroom.
Also the connection between the class size and method of teaching is also important, the class size will determine the methodology to use or to be adopted by the teachers during the teaching and learning process in the classroom.
The teaching aids used during each lesson and the qualification of teachers, the experience of the teachers are some of the cogent factors for effective teaching and learning process.
The teacher loses the ability to attain or establish effective teaching in the large or overcrowded class.
The problem of large class has been attributed to several factors for instance from Erom (1995) identified as the basic factor, the introduction of two many subject on post primary school time table.
According to Erom, this type of situation made division of student division population into smaller classes.
The inadequacy of available classroom facilities which made it difficult to divide large classes into smaller and more manageable ones.
This could have enable several teachers teaching the same subject to handle each class effectively.
The financial implication attached to it makes it possible.
Even though teachers vary in their attitudes to large classes, most of them discovered that it is difficult to teach and control a large class when it comes to marking of examination due to large number of students scripts make teachers to develop negative attitude to the large classes.
Despite the entire problems discus above, the effect of large classes still continue and cannot be eradicated immediately due to the financial implications of employing more teachers providing adequate supply of instruction materials to the schools.
The rate of increase in enrolment in the Nigeria secondary schools at national, state and local levels has worsened the school population which hinders the government from meeting the needs of the students which affects their educational performance.
The implication of students poor performance in Economics can be felt in the declining rate of interest and number of student offering the subject in secondary schools.
The present recognition of Economics and its existences in hinged or its effects on the past records of good performance of students at all levels because of the erroneous belief which the student in the lower classes may conceive.
This urgent remedy is necessary to restore the past glory of Economics in the secondary schools.
These are necessary in order to enable everyone to be able to follows discussion of numerous Economics problem of the society.
There is a general fall in educational standard and their reasons can be traced to the poor presentation in the process of transmitting knowledge from the teachers to the learners. This has reflected in the poor performance of the students in their examinations. Other factors could be attributed to congestion in schools which is yet to be resolved in view of the increase in the number of students enrolled for economics.
Therefore, this study attempts to look at the impact of student’s population on effective teaching of Economics in secondary schools in Ekiti South West Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
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