Background of study
Qualitative education remains the fulcrum for global development and freedom. Therefore all hands must be on deal worldwide to formulate polices that will enhance qualitative education right from primary school to tertiary institution and continuous, effective monitoring must be well establish to check all factors that may frustrate this global pursuit. Hence, most societies require children to attend school for a specified number of years or until they reach certain age. Many of the benefits of schooling occur in part because students learn some new knowledge or skills that enhance their ability to communicate, solve problems, and make decisions.
Academic achievement of students especially at the secondary level is not a pointer to the effectiveness or otherwise of schools but a major determinant of the future of youths in particular and the nation in general. The medium through which the attainment of individuals and the nation’s educational goals can be achieved is learning. Learning outcomes have become phenomenon of interest to all and these account for the reason scholars have been working hard to unravel factors that militate against good academic performance (Aremu and Sokan, 2002). This phenomenon has been variedly referred to in literature as academic achievement, or scholastic functioning. Academic achievement of learners has attracted attention of scholars, parents, policy makers and planners. In an attempt to put sound education on ground worldwide, many factors have been involved as being responsible as for falling standard of education where it is perceived and established. Among such factors is the issue of “class size’’. Adeyemi, (2008) defined class size as an educational tool that can be described as an average number of students per class in a school. While Haffman, (2000) described it as the number of students per teacher in a class. Kidney (2009) described it as a tool that can be used to measure performance of the education system. All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) recommended a maximum of forty students per class for efficient and effective teaching. Dior, (2001), 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. Bray, (2000), observed that they have few teachers with small pools of talent, offer limited range of subject and characteristically finding it hard to justify costly investment on libraries, the pupils lack competition and interest with relatively few peers as they get stocked with same teacher for an entire school career. According to Jordan, (2003), in his analysis of inter-relationship of intelligence, achievement and socio-economic status of high schools concluded that school location among other variables was directly related to mean achievement level of students in all the sampled subjects. The observation which agrees with the findings of Sitkel, (2005) and Walber, (2006) that a significant and consistent relationship exist in the achievement of students in small classes of about 1-20 pupils that obtained higher scores in science tests than their counterparts in large classes are necessary for students achievement. Expressing a divergent view, Silver as cited by Bolton, (2008) found that there was no significant difference in the post test achievement scores between large classes and small classes control groups; he concluded that larger is sometimes better.
Statement of the Problem
In most of Nigeria secondary schools today, the teacher – student ratio has gone far beyond the stipulation in the national policy on education. There are where Students stay more than fifty in each of the classes. The seating arrangements are altered, thereby making teaching and learning difficult and also affect the performance of students. Ozochie, (2009) an education planner, attributed the over – bloated class – size to the explosion of the students’ of school age. Business Studies, like all other subjects is an activity based subject. The learner is exposed mainly to the practical learning process under the guide and supervision of a teacher. Ozochie, (2009) opines that the result of an effective classroom management is achieved when the teacher and students achieve the purpose of which they are together in a class. Under an overcrowded classroom environment, like what is obtains in most of the schools today, it becomes pertinent to ask, how effective is teaching and learning particularly in subject like Business Studies which requires close monitoring of the learner by the teacher.
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