PROBLEM FACING LEARNING AND TEACHING OF BUSINESS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOL A CASE STUDY OF AKURE SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ONDO STATE
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This study was undertaken to find out the problem militating against effective teaching of business studies in secondary school and to find out the factors responsible for these problems.
This population was drawn from secondary school teacher of ten selected secondary schools in Ado local government area, Ekiti State.
The main research instrument was the questionnaire; fifteen item of question was developed and administrated on S. S. S 1 to S. S. S 3 teachers in ten selected school. All items were distributed and administrated through supervision. A total of fifty questionnaires were duly completed and returned, the returned questionnaire were analyzed by using percentage.
Based on the findings, it was recommended that the government should encourage students and teacher of business studies through incentive. It was also recommended that the school authorities should endeavor to make adequate provision by supplying of textbooks on business studies and the commission for education should seek for new avenues of encouraging student to study business studies.
Background to the Study
Business studies are integrals part of general education that is concerned with education for business and education about business.
Business studies can be traced from the time when commercial secondary modern school were established in some part of the country and commercial subject such as typewriting shorthand commerce principle of account and the use of English were being offered at the moment in the secondary schools in the country.
Some years back, government policy on education was indebted to train more business personnel, so – that business subject can be introduced in the secondary school curriculum, with the aim of providing capable and competent hands to handle the finances and administration of the country. The national policy on education 2004 revised education stipulated that business studies should be taught at pre – vocational level in the secondary schools, like wise business education subject schools, like wise business education subject are being taught in tertiary institution such as college of education college of technology, polytechnics and in universities.
Education is an important aspect of economic development. When citizens of a country are educated that is a key to social, economic and political stability (Ojiambo, 2009). The Nigeria government has considerably invested in education which is evidenced by the free primary education and the free day secondary education (Ojiambo, 2009). The main purpose of education is to transmit wisdom and knowledge from one generation to another, this prepares young people to be members of the society, maintain it and develop it. Education also has positive influence on population, health nutrition and also increases value and efficiency for labour (Kising‟u, 2012).The unemployment problems facing the country can best be addressed through equipping the young people with skills that can lead to self-employment, the curriculum therefore should equip the learners with skills and more so enterprenuaral skills and this therefore indicates the importance of business education in the school curriculum.
The business study which was earlier referred to as Business education was introduced into public high Schools in the U.S.A by tax payer‟s demand during last part of nineteenth century. Parents insisted that public schools should provide Business education, otherwise they would take their children to private business colleges. Many district school introduced Business education courses, shorthand, typewriting and book keeping. Since then Business education has been undergoing scrutiny and transformation (Popham et al, 2005). In Nigeria Business Studies in Junior Secondary School curriculum, came about as a means of laying the foundation for national technological and economic advancement, as articulated in the National Policy on Education (Federal Ministry of Education, 2011).The designers of the Business Studies curriculum apparently considered that, in line with the current Nigerian vocational curriculum philosophy (National Board for Technical Education, 1984), the obvious way to develop a curriculum that would give a broad introduction to the field of business was to do away with the traditionally compartmentalized single subjects. Consequently, five such subjects (book-keeping, commerce, office practice, shorthand and typewriting) were brought together as units of a new subject to be called „Business Studies‟ (Ekpenyong 2006).The curriculum aimed at giving students knowledge and skills that should enable them to adapt to changes in office technology and develop a broad understanding of business activities, the structure and functions of business institutions and their inter-relationships.
In Nigeria a numbers of education commissions and education committees have been put in place to review the education system in Nigeria. The commissions have seen the business studies evolve to its current status in the Nigerian education system. Fraser Report (2009) on Education recommended introduction of industrial education in schools as a means of providing skills to native labourers and artisans in large numbers for various purposes. During the colonial period, the colonial government opened a number of industrial schools in areas not effectively served by missionaries, some of the courses offered included carpentry, agriculture typing and blacksmithing (Kising‟u, 2012), typing and office practice is a constituent of business studies currently. After second world war there was general believe among Nigerians that vocational education relegated natives to manual workers for colonialists and therefore academic education was gaining predominance over Industrial Education (Bagonko, 2012). The curriculum was oriented towards white-collar jobs in the new independent state, neglecting practical skills. Eventually many school leavers lacked enough skills to serve the society (Kising‟u, 2012).The lack of skills called for the incorporation of practical oriented subjects into formal education, this was seen as a way of equipping learners with basic knowledge and skills for self-employment (Republic of Nigeria, 2006).
The introduction of secondary Business Education programme was based on the results of the manpower survey and its aim was to produce highly skilled manpower required for the growing commercial enterprises in the country (Onywoki 2011). Specifically, the project was aimed at introducing business education subjects in selected general secondary schools in Nigeria, for example accounting, shorthand and typing with office practice and commerce. Because of the success of the project, there were about 1200 secondary schools teaching business education in Nigeria by 2000s (Oluoch, 2012). The MacKay report of 1981 laid the foundation for the 8-4-4 system of education. The aim for this system of education was to replace the academic form of education system with an education system that could equip learners with technical skills that could make them gain self-employment after school (Kising’u 2012). Implementation of the Mackay commission report led to the introduction of business education at the secondary school level. The secondary school business education comprised of Accounting, commerce, Economics and office practice. Each of these subjects was taught and examined separately at the secondary schools, it therefore meant that each of the subjects was taught by different teachers and also allocated its own time on the school time table, this therefore called for more teachers and more teaching and learning resources for effective implementation. The curriculum faced challenges due to constraints of resources which led to its reorganization.
The report on the inquiry into the education system in Nigeria (Republic of Nigeria, 2009) led to the reorganization of the Nigeria education curriculum. Individual business subject areas were fused into a broad field called business studies. IBSC consists of concepts from accounting, commerce, economics, office practice and entrepreneurship education (KNEC, 2007). The rationale was to reduce the overloaded 8-4-4 curriculum, reduce cost of implementation, and make the curriculum more relevant to the needs of the society. The key issues behind the integration of the business subjects i.e. Accounting, Commerce, Economics and office practice was mainly to allow for a broader coverage of subject matter and the elimination of excessive and factual details, to save time on the school time table because instead of allocating four lessons, with IBSC it would be only one lesson. Integration was also considered to enable learners see the relationship among the subject clearly Shiundu and Omulando (2012). Through integration the number of teachers required to teach the subject also reduced and this was a relief to the side of government as it had to employ few teachers to implement the integrated curriculum.
According to Shiundu and Omulando (2012), integration of subjects emphasizes the relationship between various curriculum areas in an attempt to interrelate content or learning experiences in order to enable students perceive a unity of knowledge. Anuda (2000) asserts that by integrating the aspects of these disciplines, overlaps and costs have greatly been reduced. Business studies aims to provide the learner with opportunities to acquire basic business knowledge, skills and positive attitude for development of self and nation, being a dynamic subject it takes into account the need to address contemporary issues, trends in business and current economic issues in society (K.I.E, 2007).The content in the Business Studies syllabus incorporates the acquisition of both academic and practical skills that may help the students to become self-employed after completing form four.
Accounting, Commerce, Economics, Entrepreneurship and office practice are distinct subjects of study and have intrinsic values for the learners and teachers. Therefore, the distinctiveness of each discipline of study has to be preserved (Onywoki 2011).Integration of these subjects thus waters down the distinct nature of each. With the move toward integration, the number of teaching hours was affected. The drastic reduction in the number of lessons for the new syllabus and directive that Accounting, Commerce, Economics, Entrepreneurship education and office practice be taught as one subject had certain implications in the teaching and learning of the integrated curriculum, to begin with when IBSC was introduced due to inadequate planning, most schools found that they could not introduce the new curriculum as they lacked basic resources including teachers qualified to teach this integrated curriculum (Kilemi 2012), some of the content was also abstract, teaching and learning resources were also inadequate. Due to the abstract nature of the content it was reviewed in 2007 (K.I.E, 2007). The revision was prompted by the findings of curriculum monitoring in 2004 and 2005, the syllabus was found to be overloaded and the content from the constituent disciplines had not been well integrated (K.I.E, 2007), this was posing challenges to the teachers in the implementation process. Despite the importance of this subject, less efforts has been made to ensure success in its delivery to student in secondary schools and consequently use it in real life after school for self-employment. The curriculum also suffers setbacks for being an elective subject whereby students prefer doing other subjects. This study aimed at identifying the challenges facing the implementation of business studies curriculum in Nigeria with a view of making recommendations on how to overcome those challenges.
Claxton and Murell (2007) describe a person’s learning as consisting of distinct behaviours which serve as indicators of how a person learns and adapts to learning environment. They also describe it as the educational conditions under which an individual is most likely to learn. Mark (2008) indicated that learning influences students’ preference for a particular teaching strategies and learning environments. Classroom learning environment includes elements of teacher’s interpersonal style of interaction communication (Deci and Ryan 2012).
Teaching and learning strategies are traditionally referred to as methods of teaching (Kisirikoi, Wachira and Malusu, 2008). Modern trends in teaching emphasize certain approaches which determine the strategy to be used. These approaches include; interaction approach, collaborative approach, transmission approach, experiential approach and facilitation approach. Interaction approach is where there is exchange of ideas between the teacher and the learner or among learners themselves as in group work. Collaborative approach is where learners share ideas in groups or projects. Transmission approach, the teacher dominates the lesson by use of lecture. In experiential approach learners life experiences are explored and used as a basis for development of new knowledge and passing judgment. Learning is based on the learner’s experiences in the community. Facilitation approach teacher provides the stimulus for the learners’ interaction with new knowledge and also provides opportunities for the learners to learn. The teacher is merely a guide and director of learning. From the above approaches the business studies teacher determines the strategy to use depending on the content he is teaching the learners. The most used strategies in teaching business studies are, lectures, demonstrations, discussion, educational visits, projects, question and answers, assignments and practical (Vandenbosch, 2006).
Teaching and learning resources are all materials and equipment used to enhance effective learning (Kisirikoi and Malusu, 2008). A teacher selects develops and reorganizes teaching – learning resources for effective teaching. A teacher is therefore the most important teaching – learning resource. According to Johnson (2008) having satisfactory facilities equipments and materials should not be minimized in establishing the curriculum because of their contribution to the effectiveness of the school. Their availability will enhance or inhibit the implementation of curriculum. It then follows that facilities, equipments and materials influence the implementation of secondary business studies curriculum. Because of the development in modern technology, teachers no longer have to rely solely on words to make their meanings clear. There is great variety of materials around that can be used to make meaning more vivid and more interesting. These materials are the teaching and learning resources.
Leaning styles of students have been found to influence the educational process and student’s opportunity to learn (Claxton and Murell, 2007). Researchers have suggested that learning style is influential in students‟ academic choices. Schroeder (2013) acknowledged that accommodating variations in learning styles cared improve curricular and the teaching- learning process in high school education.
Statement of Problem
However, the researcher through discussion with some of the business studies teachers in JSS and through interaction with some of the students offering business studies at JSS realized that business studies has not recorded a remarkable success. Many of the students that offered the subject in examination have failed woefully. Some of them that secured clerical job have not been able to adjust to the practical working of business studies and finally some of those that gained admission for further studies have not been able to cope up due to their poor foundation in business studies.
In every teaching and learning process, there is bound to be some factors which may not allow for smooth running of the process such as inadequate time table, inadequate instruction materials these factors will definitely affect the achievement or attainment of the set objectives which may not thereafter have negative effect on the skills to be imparted on the learners. This situation will no doubt, affect the management and administration of today’s business.
Thus, this study is to examine those problems which can face learning and teaching of business studies and seek for ways of solving such problem.
Purpose of the Study