This seminar paper is on the important of business education for the national development in Nigeria. The term Business education is an aspect of educational programme offered at the higher institution of learning which prepares students for careers in business. It is a profession of itself. It is education designed with the primary skilled aim of elevating one’s skills as well as providing citizens with the required skilled to secure gainful employment as to earn a living and to succeed in life through further education. Business education is seen by laymen as those business subjects taught at the secondary school level as well as private institutes. For example, book keeping, shorthand, typewriting, business law, commences; etc. this paper will focus on the basic concept of business education, importance of business education to national development, the role of business education on Business education, also conclusion and recommendation will be drawn from the study
The term Business Education has been viewed differently by scholars. A generally acceptable definition has been difficult to arrive at because research and theoretical formulations have continued to grapple with the problem, providing as many definitions as there are experts. Some schools of thought believe that business education is a programme of study to produce teachers for secondary and post-secondary schools. Hence they view Business Education as education for business teachers – a specialized and professional arm of the technical and science education focused at preparing and equipping those to impact business skills and competences to students and other business trainees.
Another school of thought views the concept of Business Education as education for business. Supporting this view, Ubulom and Ukwuije (2000) assert that business education is an aspect of educational programme… which prepares students for careers in business. It is education needed to teach people business, education needed to handle personal affairs and education needed about business in order to be good citizens of society. Even Osuala (1981) supports this view when he opined that Business Education is a programme of Instruction which consists of two major parts: whereas one part consist of office and vocational education for office career through refresher and upgrading education; the other part consists of a programme to provide students with information and competencies which are needed by all in managing personal business affairs or using the services of the business world.
CONCEPT OF BUSINESS EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Certain trends of major reforms have usually been observed in some developing countries as attain their independence. One of such major reforms has been the emergence of new educational system aiming at meeting the aspirations and needs of such countries. Nigeria is not excluded. This paves way for the Federal Government of Nigeria (FRN. 2004) to place a great premium on vocational and technical education of which business education is a sub-set.
Business education is an educational programme offered in some universities and colleges of education as an undergraduate course of study. Whether conceptualized as broad-aimed or narrow in scope, business education programme requires adequate evaluation to enable to effectiveness of the programme or discrepancies in the programme be ascertained and decision made accordingly.
In most cases according to Ubulom (2007), business education is wrongly interchangeably used to mean the same thing with the terms like “business administration”, business management and business studies. It is entirely different from these concepts. It is a comparatively new development in the educational delivery system in most developing countries of the world of which Nigeria is inclusive. At the tertiary level of education in Nigeria, the philosophy of business education is to make the students understand the concept and philosophy of the national policy on education because of its importance in national development.
It is a sound educational practice that such evaluation should be built into the programme development processes from the start. Moreover, it is necessary that the evaluation be made simple conceived clearly designed flexibly and imaginative and scheduled realistically.
Definition of Business Education
Although the concept “business education” is frequently used, it is still in semantic flux. Research and theoretical formulations have continued to grapple with the problem of its definition. A generally acceptable definition has been difficult to arrive at because there are as many different meanings of the concept as there are many experts who have tried to define it. Business education is an aspect of educational programme offered at the higher institution of learning which prepares students for careers in business. It is education needed to teach people business in order to be a good citizen of a society, It is a profession of itself, It is education designed with the primary skilled aim of elevating one’s skills as well as providing citizens with the required skilled to secure gainful employment as to earn a living and to succeed in life through further education.
Business education is seen by laymen as those business subjects taught at the secondary school level as well as private institutes. For example, book keeping, shorthand, typewriting, business law, commences; etc., in another development when laymen and some literates were asked, what was business education?; their answers were identified under the following statements:
- Learning skills to enter into a business or job
- Education to produce goods and services
- Economic concepts necessary for living in a business economy and
- The avenue to enormous profits
Business education in the real sense means something above these notions. The Joint Committee of the National Business Office Education, Division of the American Vocational Association (1980) stated that Business Education is a broad comprehensive discipline whose instructional programme encompasses.
- The knowledge, attitudes and skills needed by all citizens in order to effectively manage their personal business and economic system and
- The vocational knowledge and skills needed for entry level of employment and advancement in a broad range of business careers.
Tonne (2007) as cited by Igwe (2006) viewed business education as a type of training with the primary objective of preparing people for entrance upon a business career or having entered upon such a career to render more efficient serve therein and to advance their present levels of employment to higher level. It is regarded as that
aspect of education, which leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills and basic scientific knowledge (FRN, 2004).
According to Osuala (1981), business education is a programme of instruction which consists of two major parts. One part is composed of office career through initial refresher and upgrading education leading to employ ability and advancement in office occupations. The second part according to him is the general business education, a programme to provide students with information and competencies, which are needed by all in managing personal business affairs and using the services of the business world.
Business education is education for business or training in business skills which are required for use in business offices, clerical occupations and business policy analysis (Ulinfun, 1985). It is that aspect of the educational process involving in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge.
OBJECTIVE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION
It is based on this premise that Ubulom (2009) listed the objectives of business education as follows:
- a) To make available to all students the opportunities to explore and learn about world of business and the possible interests and potential careers it has to offer.
- b) To help develop in all students the ability to choose discriminatory and to use wisely the goods and services that business has to offer
- c) To assist in developing an intelligent understanding on the art of all students of the various occupations to be found in the world of business
- d) To develop in practical ways an understanding and an appreciation of the need for his personal use.
- f) To prepare students to enter into and follow business as a career
- g) To prepare students to perform business activities common to many professional areas.
- h) To prepare students for more effective study in the field of business
- i) To prepare students to become business teachers.
IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
Business education plays a significant role in Nigeria’s economic growth and development. It improves personal qualities and builds the attitudes of individuals that are necessary for adjustment to personal and employment situations, and also provides knowledge, skills and competence for individuals to function well in office occupation and also create jobs for themselves and others (Amoor and Udoh 2008). In spite of federal government’s initiatives to eradicate unemployment and poverty in the society the nation’s economy is still characterized by high rate of unemployment and poverty. Therefore, the importance of a curriculum that will help to reform business education programme in Nigerian Universities by developing individuals that will contribute meaningfully to economic growth and development of the nation cannot be under estimated. The uncontrolled rate of unemployment and poverty has brought about the dire need to carry out some modifications in the curriculum of business education programme in Nigerian universities so that the students will not only be exposed to a particular skill but also to creative thinking sufficient enough to establish and run a business at least at the small scale level.
Now that the nation is experiencing economic melt down, which has now increase the rate of unemployment and poverty in the society, integrating Business courses into the curriculum of business education programme in Nigerian universities is a right call and at the right time since Business education will provide additional skills, resources, and methodologies to business education graduates to transform their ideas into visible and viable businesses after graduating from the university. If this is rightly done, the grandaunts do not need to queue up in the labour market for paid employment but rather create jobs for themselves and others. This will go a long way to reduce poverty in the society and unemployment in the labour market.
According to Anao (1986), business education is an educational process or context which has primary aim of the preparation of people for roles in enterprises; such roles could be as employee, entrepreneur/employer or simply as self-employed. A critical examination of the above definitions of business education shows that certain things in common are discovered, which are as follows:
- Business education is concerned with equipping the individuals with skills and competencies required for participation in the business world.
- These skills may be for personal use, such as enabling the individuals to be good consumers of the products of the business enterprises and
- The skills may be for entry into the business community as employer or employee.
Anyaduba (1986) saw business education as concerned with the education of the individual for business and about business: the former focusing on those who need career in business and the later for all students in the entire school system irrespective
of their career aspirations. This definition simply means that business education involved in:
- All learning activities that relate to business and its environment that are systematically undertaken with career focus on one related field or the other which is education for business.
- Education about business is one offered to all students in the school irrespective or their career aspirations. This may be regarded as functional business education in orientation. This implies that
business education aims at making people.
- Illiterate in business and economic affairs, especially in area of counting business management office education, marketing, data processing and business communication.
According to Oyedele (1985), business education is worthwhile as preparation for many professions, such as civil servants, accountants, administrators, lawyers, and business teachers. It could be looked at as an activity, which is carried out by all teachers of business subjects: all business administrators and executives (public and private) who further the principles and practice of business and trainers in business and industry. Business education can also be referred to as the pedagogical and business competencies necessary for teaching business attitudes, concepts, skills and knowledge. It could simply be defined as that aspects of educational or training process which an individual receives with the primary motive of enabling him acquire adequate attitudes, concepts, knowledge, understanding and skills in business activities for his personal or for vocational usage, for career as an administrator or manager or teacher, wherever he many find himself in the business world. This implies that business education is a component of general education, and where general education educates on about business; business education educates one for business. It is education for vocational preparation in business. It is an occupational banking and finance personnel, personnel and administrative officer and manager, secretarial and production personnel and general management. It also includes teacher education, which prepares students to be business educators, or business teacher.
Challenges of Business education programme in Nigerian tertiary institution
Below are some of the challenges facing business education in Nigeria
- Lack of lecturers that are business conscious. The teachers awareness of Business education, according to Elena and Markku (2003) has grown and attitudes towards the theme has become more positive but teachers may not know enough the aims, contents and work method of Business education and therefore, may not be able to effectively impart the desired knowledge and Business skills to the students.
- The task of drawing up course content to be included in the curriculum of business education programme in Nigerian universities, according to Blenker et al (2003) will require a very long educational process.
- Business education is capital intensive since both lecturers and students need money to practically the theory of initiating, establishing and running an enterprise. This may constitute a constraint and will subsequently frustrate the integration of the Business in business education programme in Nigerian universities.
Finally, the important of business education to national development could not be over emphasis in the sense that It will help to discover talented, competitive, creative and very skillful individuals that are the nation’s innovative assets. Also It prepare individuals to be responsible and Business ly conscious to contribute significantly to economic growth and development. Finally It helps to build a connecting link that creates productive and very thoughtful citizens that can contribute to local, regional and national competitiveness.
The following recommendation were drawn
– Teachers should be recruited, trained and re-trained in the area of business education. They should be sponsored to attend local and international conferences to acquire more knowledge so that they can effectively impart the business skills to the students. Blenker et al (2003)
– The university management should contact some NGOs or banks to give soft loans/grants to Business educators to establish and run their own businesses. This will enable them to acquire practical experience from their own initiatives for onward transmission to business education students.
– Business education students should be thoroughly taught how to troubleshoot, service, maintain computer and other related office equipment. They should also be provided with adequate information about starting a new business and about business trends in order to minimize future risks and maximize success rates. This will help them to establish consultancy firms to sell and service the computers and other office related equipment, and also run business centres.
– The department of business education should constantly organize workshops for the students and invite successful businessmen and women to give talk on how to initiate, source for funds, start and run a business successfully.
– The students should be made to go on attachment to successful Business ’s programmes for a period of three months. This will also help them to practically acquire Business skills that will enable them initiate, establish and run their businesses after graduation.
– In order to help the students to raise capital to run an enterprise, they should be grouped. Each group will contribute money to rent a shop, equip it and run it for their practical.
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