impact of information and communication technology on students’ performance in Financial Accounting in public secondary schools
Background of the Study
Accounting as one of the subjects in business education that has functions of developing in individuals, skills, knowledge, attitudes and values towards solving problems and satisfaction of real needs in life. Accounting is a very important branch of business education in which much of our daily life is governed and attached, by the results and application of business.
The National Council of Education (NCE) in 2007 gave the approval to the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), the government agency saddled with the responsibility of developing curriculum for schools in Nigeria to review the existing senior secondary school education (SSSE) curriculum (Ahmed-Rufai, 2010). The author further affirmed that the new curriculum was set to meet up with both national and global challenges and issues. The NERDC has therefore fulfilled this task by the senior secondary school education (SSSE) in line with the globally acceptable best practices. The new senior secondary school education curriculum came with a structure different from the preceding curriculum. Thus, the new curriculum includes five compulsory areas, such as:
- English Language
- General Mathematics
- Civil Education
- Computer Studies /ICT
One of these subjects includes book-keeping and accounting. Book-keeping is offered at JSS level while financial accounting (Accounting) is offered at SSS level.
The role of technology in teaching and learning is rapidly becoming one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy (Rosen and Well, 2005; and Thierer, 2010). Most experts in the field of education agreed that, when properly used, information and communication technology hold great promise to improve teaching and learning in addition to shaping workforce opportunities. Poole (2006) has indicated that computer illiteracy is now regarded as the new illiteracy.
This has actually gingered a new and strong desire to equip schools with computer facilities and qualified personal necessary to produce technologically proficient and efficient students in developed countries of the world. There is no doubt that computer can aid the instructional process and facilitate students’ learning. Many studies have found positive effect associated with technology aided instruction (Burnett, 2004, and Fitzgerald and Warner, 2006).
The question of why Nigeria needs information and communication technology may appear too simplistic and unnecessary. However, the political conditions in Nigeria for the past thirty years leave no room for continuity. Over the years, political power in Nigeria has been used to entrench mediocrity, corruption in high places, misplace priority, and consumer culture. The direct effect of these is a battered economy and an educational system that is decaying by the day. In 1988, in an attempt to keep pace with development in computer education, Nigeria enacted a Policy on Computer Education.
The plan was to establish pilot schools and thereafter diffuse the innovation, first to all secondary schools and then to the Primary schools. Unfortunately, beyond the distribution and installation of computers in the Federal Government Colleges, the project did not really take off the ground.
Okebukola (2007) concluded that computer is not part of classroom technology in over 90% of public schools in Nigeria. Thus the chalkboard and textbooks continue to dominate classroom activities in most secondary schools in Nigeria. If a country such as Uganda which has less than a-fifth of Nigeria’s resources, is now using information and communication technology to help secondary schools students to become better information users, why is Nigeria lagging behind? Samuel, (2011), the answer is simply mismanagement of the huge resources of the country and inability of political leaders to prioritize Nigeria’s developmental needs. There is no doubt that in the current harsh economic competition, the private sector in Nigeria has embraced ICT to stay afloat. The banking sector, insurance, manufacturing industries and multinational companies in the oil sector have embraced multimedia technology to bring innovative solutions to their current challenges.
If Nigerian wants to be a major player in the global market place of ideas and prepare her citizens for the new environment of today and the future, the country should embrace ICT for the following reasons: ICT as aids to teaching and learning; ICT as a tool for management; ICT as instrument for economic development; ICT as instrument of high technological development, and ICT as a course of study.
The importance of ICT is quite evidence from the educational perspective. Though the chalkboard, textbooks, radio/television and film have been used for educational purpose over the years, none has quite impacted on the educational process like the computer. While television and film impact only on the audiovisual faculties of users, the computer is capable of activating the senses of sight, hearing and touch of the users. ICT has the capacity to provide higher interactive potential for users to develop their individual, intellectual and creative ability.
The collective and rigid nature of learning and the passive nature of the learning associated with the use of radio, television and film do not contribute any innovative changes to traditional methods in education system. Information and communication technologies are being used in the developed world for instructional functions. Today, computers perform a host of functions in teaching and learning as many nations are adding computer literacy, reading and writing literacy as skills students will need for succeeding in a technologically developed world.
At the instructional level, computers are used by pupils to learn reading, Financial Accounting, social studies, art, music, simulation and health practices.
In educational multimedia application Shavinina (2007) asserted that today’s learning contents are domain- specific products and that they dominate the world market. According to Shavinina (2007), domain-specific educational multimedia is directed to knowledge acquisition, skills development in the language arts, history, physics, literature, biology and so on.
There is no doubt that ICT provides productive teaching and learning in order to increase people’s creative and intellectual resources especially in today’s information society. Through the simultaneous use of audio, text, multi-colour images, graphics, motion, ICT gives ample and exceptional opportunities to the students to develop capacities for high quality learning and to increase their ability to innovate.
Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind in using multimedia to raise the intellectual and creative resources of her citizens. This is particularly important for children whose adulthood will blossom in a cyber-environment entirely different from that of the present (Shavinina, 2007). Nigerian children need to be taught by radically new educational programme and variety of educational contents with multimedia playing key role.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) includes all media employed in transmitting audio, video, data or multimedia information such as cable, satellite, fibre optics, wireless,(radio, infra-red, Bluetooth, wi-fi). Net-work technologies include personal Area network (LAN) Wide Area Network (WAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) and the internet. Computer technologies include all removable media such as optical discs, disks, flash memories, video books, multimedia projector, interactive electronic boards and continuously emerging state….of…the….art programme counters (PCS) Mobile technologies comprise of mobile phones, PDAs, Palmtops etc.
These technologies have information as their material object. Information is not reserved for use in isolation, but rather communicated among users. Information and communication technology (ICT) has spread in almost every facet of lives including Financial Accounting teaching.
Educational authorities in Ekiti state have taken concrete steps to encourage the use of computer to enhance teaching and learning. Implementation of this is done through two phases of master plan (MPI and MP2). Target of MPI is how students would have access to technology in learning. In the Financial Accounting classroom the goals of the MPI translate into a vision of integration of ICT to enhance the Accounting teaching experience. Moore (2015), summarized about the positive impact of ICT on students’ learning such as increased students’ motivation to stay on-task and drive them to behave better and produce high quality work. Besides, through ICT, students learnt more independently and did more works at a fast pace.
Since the importance of ICT and its contributions to all fields including education had been proved in previous studies. Hence, this study intends investigate the impact of information and communication technology on students’ performance in Financial Accounting in public secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Statement of Problem
Today’s students are expected to learn about and use digital technology in Financial Accounting to prepare them for their future, the work force and the challenges of everyday life. However, international studies shown that secondary Financial Accounting teachers are still not effectively integrating computer technology in their classroom. Despite the value and importance of Financial Accounting in secondary school, the subject still seems to be difficult for the students as evidenced in their low performance in the subject especially at the external examination (WAEC, NECO and NABTEB). Aremu (2003) stressed that academic failure is not only frustrating to the students and the parents, its effects are equally grave on the society in terms of dearth of manpower in all spheres of the economy. The question therefore is what is the cause of this fallen standard and poor academic performance of students in Financial Accounting? Is the fault fall on teachers or students or both? To this end, the study is planned to answer the following general questions.
- What is the general performance level of students in Financial Accounting before the use of ICT method and after the use of ICT method in senior secondary school?
- Which of the two methods is more effective in the teaching of Financial Accounting?
- Which of these two teaching methods can enhance students’ performance in Financial Accounting?
Objectives of the Study.
The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of information and communication technology on students’ performance in Financial Accounting in public secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. Specifically, the study intends to:
- determine the difference in the performance of secondary school students taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method?
- examine the difference in the performance of male and female students taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method?
- find out the difference in the performance of students in private and public secondary school taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method.
The following research questions were raised to guide this study.
- Would there be any difference in the performance of secondary school students taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method?
- Would there be any difference in the performance of male and female students taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method?
- Would there be any difference in the performance of students in private and public secondary school taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method?
From the research questions raised from the study, the following hypotheses were formulated.
- There is no difference in the performance of senior secondary students taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method.
- There is no difference in the performance of male and female students taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method.
- There is no difference in the performance of students in the performance of students in private and public secondary school taught Financial Accounting using ICT and those taught using conventional method.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is neither an understatement nor an over-statement to say that Financial Accounting is the pivot on which the wheel of commercial rotates. It is therefore believed that the outcome of this study might help in focusing on the need to introduce Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to secondary school students so as to get acquitted with the modern ethics of business knowledge and transaction. The study might also help in improving the performance and interest of students in the learning of Financial Accounting.
More so, the study would allow students to communicate more easily with researchers through e-mail and other online discussion group. In addition, the findings of the study could create more. Interest in Financial Accounting as a subject in the minds of the students and when this is done, the impact of Financial Accounting will be felt the more in our society. The study would enable parents to help in fostering the education of their wards right from homes when they introduce ICT to their wards through their computers.
Furthermore, the study hoped to provide educational policy makers, curriculum developers as well as text-books writers some information which are recent and which will update them on the subject. It would enhance the delivery and access to knowledge and improvement on the curriculum, providing richer learning out comes compared to education without ICT. The study could form the basis for the federal and state ministries of education to organize seminars, conferences and in service training for Financial Accounting teachers on how to teach students with the view of improving student’s performance in the subject.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is delimited to both public and private schools within Ikere Ekiti that is schools owned by the state government and schools owned by individuals. The study is delimited to conventional methods of teaching and learning of Financial Accounting such as the lecture method and modern method of teaching Financial Accounting called ICT (Information and communication technology).