Problems of teaching and learning of shorthand subject in some selected secondary school


This study examined the problems and prospects of shorthand in some selected secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. The purpose of generating data that will help the teachers and students to examine the problems militating against the effective teaching and learning of shorthand subject and also the advantages derived from it. For the purpose of this study, descriptive research designed were employed and data were generated through the use of questionnaire which was administered to the respondents. A samples of 120 students were selected from students in SS2 in 8 selected secondary schools in the study area.

The instrument used for the study was a questionnaire on problems and prospects of teaching and learning of shorthand in secondary schools. Data collected were analyzed using simple percentage. The result of the findings shows that the interest has influence on the problems of the teaching and learning of shorthand subject.

However, the result gathered from the teachers and students shows that lack of equipment hinders them from teaching the subject effectively.

Recommendations were made that the government should provide modern equipment for schools to teach the subject. Also, government should employ more professionals for the teaching of the subject. People should desist from making negative remarks  about shorthand subject and those in the  career so as to encourage more students.



Background to the Study

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of the Study Research Questions Research Hypothesis Significance of the study


Definition of Terms


School Authority or Government Attitude

Students Attitude

Parents Attitude

Teachers Attitude

Classroom Environment

Advantages or prospects of Learning

Shorthand Subject


Research Design


Research Instrument

Validity of Instrument

Reliability of Instrument

Administration of Instrument

Data Analysis








Limitation of the Study

Suggestion for Further Study





Background to the Study

According to Drummond [200sO]. The historical background of shorthand was traced back through a remarkable Roman slave who earns his own freedom by inventing a system of shorthand in the last century before Christian era. His name was Tiro, who was born in Rome in the year 103 BC

In 96BC, Tiro was sent to brome to study with is master whose two sons were about the same age with Tiro, and treated him like a friend rather than a slave. As the boys advance in their studies, their friendship grew stronger and when the master died, Markus, one of the sons became Tiro’s legal owner and made Tiro his secretary.

It was not quite long when Tiro invented his system that some people went to say that he had stolen a system already in use in Greece. Other said that the invention was merely perfected abbreviating device use by the Greeks. Many people now agreed that Tiro’s notes which were written on clay tablet were the first organized system that enables a writer to take down the days. Tiro wrote books on the Latin but his greatest contribution to the advancement of civilization

lies in the widespread use made of the Tirotian shorthand. Because of his achievement, he was made a freeman

Another shorthand style known as Gregg’s shorthand was first propounded by a European, named sir Gregg. This type of shorthand did not last long especially in Africa because there was a controversy that the style was too long and vague for writing.

There came another shorthand written known as Isaac pitman, his styles is quite different from others. The style was simple, shorter and analytical. Accordingly to pitman[1837], in pitman, shorthand instructor textbooks, shorthand was invented by Isaac pitman 1837 and publish his first treatise on the art. in 1840,y the second edition of his work was appeared under the title “phonograph” or “writing by sound” being also a new and natural system of shorthand’s. No other system of shorthand designed for the English has been subjected to tests so prolonged, so diverse and severe as those of pitman shorthand, as the system is now generally styled, as undergo series of changes since its introduction with the result that it has been most successfully adapted to the practical requirement of all classes of shorthand writers and has been generally accepted.

Shorthand subject has it initial growth in private business schools in Nigeria, Later on, the apprenticeship system of education on this started growing. For example, there were commercial institutions where teaching of commercial subjects like Typewriting, shorthand, Book keeping, Secretarial courses were taught and after the successful completion of the course, certificates of apprenticeship were given to the successful candidates.

Since the review of the curriculum of education in 1989, secondary commercial – schools have been offering subject like Typewriting, Shorthand, Economics, Commercial, Account, English language, history , mathematics on the successful completion of the course, the business studies students seek employment as Typist stenographers, Account clerk, Receptionists and clerical workers. Those who want to further their education proceed to polytechnics or university where such courses are offered.

In Nigeria at the early stage, according to Fafunwa [1999], there was only one fully developed Government comprehensive school that was located at Ayetoro in the Western state. Another was later establishing in port-Harchourt. Those schools were developed mainly for commercial and technical subjects.

Nowadays, the number of commercial schools that offer shorthand has increased greatly in almost every part of the country because the importance cannot be over-emphasized.

Statement of the Problem

It is a thing of joy if students are performing well in a subject especially in shorthand instead of failing woefully in tests and examination.

The problems constituting to the failure in shorthand will be analyzed so that teachers of the subject will know the students to know the areas where they are not performing excellently and to adjust accordingly.

Thirdly, the instructional materials like visual and tape recorder, stopwatch, charts, picture, filmstrips and the teaching of shorthand; where this are lacking, the study becomes uninteresting and abstract.

Fourthly, the learning ability of the student is low. Therefore, it is difficult for them to assimilate the principles effectively.

Fifthly, some students still assume that the subject is difficult to learn whereas it is not, while some believe that shorthand learners are harlots and husband snatchers which I is not true.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to enable the teachers to know the problems they are facing in teaching the subject and to adjust where possible,. Also, it will enable the students to know the area where they are having problems and be able to solve the problems. Moreover, the study will blot out the fear that shorthand writers are husband snatchers or harlots. This statement is not true. The learning of the subject will enable the learners to enjoy many benefits that will elevate them to a higher position either academic pursuit or in a company or in government offices. It is also a p opportunity for the writer to earn additional prestige in the outside world as a bilingual secretary and they are always rated high in the carrier.

Research Questions

1) Does lack of interest constitute to problems of shorthand subject?

2) Do methods of teaching influence the problems of shorthand?

3) Do instructional materials constitute to the poor performance of students of shorthand?

4) Does intellectual ability of student constitute to the poor performance in shorthand subject?

5) To what extent is the difficulty in writing shorthand outline affects y the students?

Research Hypothesis

1   There is no significant relationship between students interest and learning of shorthand

2   There is no significant relationship between the student performance in shorthand and lack of instructional materials.

3   There is no significant relationship between the parents interest and student ability in learning shorthand.

4   There is no significant relationship between the learner’s performance and the lack of constant practice.

5    There is no d significant relationship between the teaching of shorthand and other subjects in secondary schools.

Significance of the Study

The significance of the study of shorthand cannot be overemphasized.

It provides insight into the problems of teaching and learning of writing shorthand outline and transcribing it.

Also, it will enable the reader to know the problem and prospects of teaching and learning shorthand. It will enable the teacher to locate that has been the cause

of’the problem encountered during the process of teaching the students and to be

able to adjust accordingly in order to achieve the set objective of the course


This study was restricted to some selected secondary schools in ikere Local F Government. The project was carried out among students and teachers in SSI and SS11

Definition of terms

For clarification purposes, attempt has been made to define terms as used often in

the study.

Commercial school: they are schools that teach typing, shorthand, Booking-keeping, commerce, Business studies, Economics and Accounts.

Drilling: The act of writing award in shorthand several times. Shorthand: Act of representing spoken sounds by writing signs

Doubling Principle : is the principle of writing shorthand outlines in double. For
example         baby. The “b” consonant is doubled.
Intersection: it is a principle by which a stroke representing a whole word is
written through another, for example “political party” UDD,, “Research
manager” “D’,,

Vocation:   Strong feelings of suitability for a particular profession, for example, Tailoring, steno graphing, Typing etc

Diphthongs: joining of two vocalization signs together e.g ” Boys” ,,\,

“Joy” „/=”.

Vocalization signs:  They are signs in conjunction with the consonant in order to be pronounceable e.g the, to, “F’.

Triphone: It is the joining of three vocalization signs in conjunction with the consonants e.g Bouyance “Z”.

Short forms: They are words that are represented by signs e.g “with us”D”. •

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