Background to the Study

The relationship between education and development is well established such that education is a key index to development and that the development of nations in the 21st century depends on the quality and quantum of their educated citizens (World Bank, 2008). It has been documented that schooling improves productivity, health and reduce negative features of life such as child labour as well as bringing about empowerment. From a global perspective, economic and social developments are increasingly driven by the advancement and application of knowledge. Education in general and higher education in particular, are fundamental to the construction of a knowledge-based economy and society in all nations (World Bank, 2008). Besides acting as an important vehicle of achieving equitable income distribution, human resource development is also a potent means of addressing the problem of poverty. Thus, education is very vital to the pace of social, political and economic development of any nation. Corroborating this increased global awareness regarding the significance of education, the United Nations (UN) dedicated a goal (Goal 2) in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to achieving Universal Primary Education (UPE) among the member nations by 2015. Specifically, the most obvious direct benefit of education is that educated workers will receive higher income apparently due to increased productivity than those who are less educated. Thus, the direct benefit of education to any individual is higher lifetime earnings (Glick and Sahn, 2000: Lincove, 2009).

Education in Nigeria is majorly a shared responsibility of the Federal, State and Local governments. The Federal government is more directly involved with tertiary education than it is with pre-tertiary school education that is largely the responsibility of State (secondary) and Local (primary) governments. Education (Abdulraheem, 2013) in Nigeria has evolved over a long period of time, and with series of policy changes.

Enrolment rates and years of schooling have risen in most countries of the world and this can be attributed to successive generations of parental investment in children’s education within the confine of a stable household structure. Overtime, these investments have narrowed the differences in schooling across and within countries, and between and within genders. In 1960, the average schooling of men aged 25 and over in advanced countries were 5.8 times that of men in developing countries. In 2000, this ratio fell to 2.4. During the same period, women’s average schooling level as a ratio of men’s increased from 0.5 to 0.7 in developing countries. While increasing incomes, shifts in demand for more skilled labour, and government investment of considerable resources on building and equipping schools (through various policy interventions), have all contributed to this global convergence in enrollment rates and completed years of schooling, nevertheless, substantial education gaps persist between the rich and the poor countries, and between males and females in many developing countries (Orazem and King, 2008)

Economics contributes to the nation’s economic development, therefore, it has to be taught thoroughly in order to ensure the educational and economic development. Besides, that, Economics is one of the core subjects in Government Secondary Schools and as a vocational subject, it cannot be taught effectively without a professional behaviour by teachers. Marshal as cited in Ande (2012), defined economics as “ A study of mankind in the ordinary business of life”. These definition simply emphaes that economics has something to do with study of human beings in relation to their daily economic activities. Mill as cited in Ande (2012), viewed economics as “ The practical science of production and distribution of wealth”. To this man, economics is concerned with how people produce and distribute various good and services that are required for the maintenance of human existence. According to Smith in Anyanwuocha (2013), saw it as “ An enquiry into the nature and causes of wealth of Nations” To him, economics is all about the making of wealth. He was the first person to put a word together in economics by writing a treatise “wealth of Nation”. He is popularly regarded as the Father of economics.

It has been established that the career choice of an individual is very important. It affects every aspect of life including the social, economic, mental and physical lives. Choosing a career has become so difficult in this particular time of advancement in information technology and post-industrial revolution (Kochung & Migunde, 2011). Today, anyone who wishes to make a good career choice and be able to adjust to the ever-changing social economic situation and technological advancement is bound to carry out proper career research and planning (Wallace, 2009). Every individual in this world desires to be stable, happy and recognized, for these reasons, one must choose a career which will meet these needs; career that may last a lifetime. Career should be chosen according to one’s interests and demand of time (Mirza, Zahra & Ahmed, 2014). A stage comes in a student’s life when decision about future career has to be taken. This important decision gives the foundation for course of study in the institution of higher learning and influences life. Durosaro & Nuhu (2012) noted that in our present society, education is the best ground to prepare the younger generation. However, in Nigeria, due to cultural influences, parents have great influence on their children and this often manifest in career choice.

However, to maintain high education quality, some countries introduce restrictions on the number of state-subsidized student slots in the universities (Impact of the Economic Crisis on European Universities, 2011). In some universities, budget constraints cause the closure of certain educational programmes. Many universities are changing as a result of the mergers of institutions or departments and chairs inside institutions. These studies show trends of the changes in public demand for higher education that at the initial stages are accompanied by an increase in student enrolment. However, the imminent increase of tuition fees then results in a decrease of financial solvency of a population and, subsequently, a decreased influx of students and finances. These changes conflict with the interests of educational institutions. As early as the initial stage, state authority intervention is aimed either at adjusting the legislative base to maintain a sensible balance of education levels or at taking measures to cut expenses.

Education is the primary agent of transformation towards sustainable development. It increases people’s capacities to transform their visions for society into reality. All countries strive for quality education for their sustainable development. The federal government of Nigeria had adopted education as an instrument per excellence for effecting national development. If education has been adopted as the only tool that can solve the socio-economic problems of Nigeria, then the adequate supply of effective teaching becomes the core of the educational and the quality of lecturers.

Across the world, education is a vital process in human development and environmental management. Education is a process of refining and preserving the collective values embedded in the culture of the society (Oyekan, 2010). By education, a network of worthwhile knowledge, skills and habits are passed on from one generation to the other for effective citizenship and collective benefits of the society. Education is a cooperative teaching-learning process of preparing an individual from birth and all through his/her life for happy useful living in the society within the culture and resources (Oyekan, 2010). It then follows that education is a social service which ensures refinement of human behaviour in terms of his/her processes of reasoning, feeling and doing things in a happy expectancy.

Of central importance in a social work, practicum is the ongoing evaluation of the student's performance. The term evaluation means to examine, judge, appraise, and assign value or worth. The word enrollment refers to the actions of carrying out or completing some function, role, or obligation. Thus, the social work practicum evaluation focuses on the student's behaviors and actions related to the role and obligations of a professional social worker. The primary question addressed is whether the students' performance is meeting the specified standards expected of the social work practitioner at their level of practice.

Every programme of social work education uses some type of rating scale or evaluation tool to monitor and evaluate students progress. The evaluation process compares the student's performance to established standards and criteria and also to the learning objectives, and strategies outlined in the student's learning contract.

Evaluations of student performance in tertiary institution are of two types: formal and informal. An informal evaluation consists of the ongoing feedback and suggestions offered by the practicum instructor. This type of evaluation takes place on a weekly or even a daily basis. A formal evaluation is a detailed review and comparison of the student's performance with evaluation criteria, standards, and learning objectives for the practicum. It occurs at the end of each academic term or more often, depending on school policy or special circumstances.

The findings of the formal evaluation are placed in a written report. This report typically consists of the ratings assigned to the various items on the school's evaluation tool and a few paragraphs of narrative that describe special strengths and abilities and/or special problems and deficiencies in performance. The report may also describe how needed learning experiences will be secured or deficiencies corrected prior to the next formal evaluation.

The areas addressed in the practicum evaluation are similar to those addressed in the performance evaluation of the social workers employed by an agency. In order to ensure high-quality performance and reduce their exposure to lawsuits and employee grievances, agencies strive to make their expectations of employees as clear as possible and to use personnel evaluation tools (i.e., rating scales) that are as objective as possible. These same forces have prompted programs of social work education to develop evaluation tools that are as valid and reliable as possible.

However, it must be recognized that it is difficult to develop an evaluation tool that is both clear and specific in its descriptions of standards and criteria, and also flexible enough to accurately and fairly evaluate the practice of social work, which is complex and difficult to observe directly. An evaluation should be objective to the degree possible, but even a well-designed procedure will require judgments by the practicum instructor, and some of these may be open to charges of subjectivity.

Enrolment in Economics  probably also be linked to gender in Economics  examinations and school timetabling. Gender refers to the male or female sex (Semela, 2010). Semela (2010) observed that gender difference in interest seems to be sufficiently explained by gender stereotypic beliefs among boys and girls which have a direct influence on enrolment in Economics . There is a very close relationship between enrolment in Economics  subject. Improvement in Economics  is likely to attract higher enrolment and for this to happen, teachers and administrators need to provide a conducive environment which includes providing for resources and innovative teachers.

Atkinson et al. (2007) opined that enrolment in economics  should help the economic entity to understand and assess the value received from suppliers and employees, the value provided by the stakeholders and the effectiveness of processes implemented in the economic entity and its Strategic properties. Therefore, we can say that enrolment in economics  plays the role of Coordination, monitoring and diagnosis of economic entity's activities.

Sometimes, the school also has the role to go through the students evaluation records, judge lecturers, effectiveness, assess the curriculum in general and supply the ministry of Education with findings to enable necessary adjustments be made in the curriculum.  Students cumulative record when gone through can be analyzed and interpreted to the areas of needs of the students.

Connely (2007) stated that a lecturer who encourages his students with such remarks as “I expect better work from you, Daniel, “and “This is what I would expect from you Susan” is unconsciously encouraging them, which allow the students to develop favourable attitude towards the lecturer’s subjects.

Tenebaum (2008), discovered that a learner’s attitude, as expressed in the way he feels and thinks, he likes and dislikes are a matter of concern to educators. Such learner’s attitudes are perhaps more important than the actual amount of mastery of subject matter. However, Tenebaum expresses his regret by saying that school systems have paid minor attention to the attitudes and emotions which inevitably arise as simultaneous products of the teaching process.

Burnham (2000), the condition which makes learning positive is largely a mental attitude of the learner. Horgan (2001), accepts this view as it stresses that desirable attitude of students’ quickens learning, while undesirable ones have a reverse effect.

Bills (2002), asserts that tertiary institution students with negative attitude towards economics  do not learn with the same degree as with pupils with more positive attitudes. He is of the view that the importance a pupil attaches to a subject will determine the amount of efforts he/she will put into studying the subjects.

Bills (2002)stated that positive attitudes towards instructor has effect of giving the students opportunity to take further course with the same teacher. Conversely, the students with negative attitudes are likely to avoid studying with the lecturerin the future.

Puzzled about the student’s attitude towards economics  education, Terry (2006), wrote Favourable efforts which are normally obtained by treating employees as human beings, encouraging their growth desire to excel, recognizing work well-done and ensuring fair play. He assumes that the lecturer should show positive attitude through creation of activities of interest in the classroom, encouraging the students, varying their methods and motivating the m generally.

It has been observed by some researchers that both enrolment and students’ performance in economics  in schools is not encouraging Aiyelabegan, (2003). The reasons for this are many; one of such could be students’ performance inpractical aspectof the course as observed by Olabanji (2006).Some researchers are of the opinion that there are no gender differences in students’ performance in sciences while some have contrary opinion.

Aweriale (2008) in his own opinion said, gender has no influence on performance in economics  when the male and female are taught under the same conditions. Lincoln (2010)argued that girls excel consistently in arithmetic computation and are better in reading while boys are fairly better in Arithmetic reasoning. Awoniyi (2009) believed that male  performed better than female in any subject requiring quantitative ability like science. Practical is very important to the learning of economics , learning of economics  will not be completed if practical economics  is not part of what the students learnt. A suggested essential feature of economics  curriculum in Nigeria according to Adeyemo (2002) was that emphasis should be placed on theoretical aspect as well as practical aspect of the subject. Awoniyi (2009) is equally supported by Moor, Combs and Slate (2002) that, boys score significantly higher than girls in Advance Placement (AP) exams. These contrary opinions make this study necessary and equally important.

Babiyi and Halilu (2009) in his own opinion said that, some communities do not encourage women into science and technical courses such as engineering. It is important to compare the performance of the few students in degree that are in the course with their counterparts in Nce programme. Garba and Balogun (2011) agreed that socialization patterns in  Nigerian and most African setting, placed enormous restriction on the female gender and this may affect their  performance in any science subject that require practical ability. Egwuchukwu (2007) in the recent times, some parents choose career for their children to satisfy  their selfish ego, fill a space they left in their own time, as a result of gender stereotype without considering the  children’s interests and abilities, as well as the consequences of such choice on children and the society at  large.  Adeyemo (2010)in her own opinion said female students tend to drift into or are guided towards areas of study  regarded as female field like Teaching, Nursing, Library, Art and Secretarial studies which were considered as  female occupations and shy away or discouraged from areas like Engineering, Medicine etc. She said this  result in low participation in Sciences, Technology and Vocational education because these areas are exclusively meant  for men. 

Ajao and Aina (2005) said there is a wide gap between the degree students going to school and this also bring disparity in the courses they offered in school. Females’ minds are tailored toward less economically  viable courses leaving such courses like Engineering, Medicine, Mathematics etc. to men.  Olarewaju (2008) believed that there is different in achievement of boys and girls in economics, Most university students have been found to underestimate their academic ability and believe the university students to be more capable of  handling difficult topics in economics  .

Amusat and Awoyemi (2007) believed that gender  difference has influence on students’ level of achievement in school.  Laboratory experience promote manipulative skills, cognitive abilities like critical  thinking, problem solving etc. It enhances positive attitude toward science such as curiosity, interest, risk  taking etc. It is for better understanding of the nature of science. According to Millar (2002)practical work is  essential for giving students a ‘feel’ for the problematic of measurement, and an appreciation of the ever- presence of uncertainty (or measurement error).It is also an important tool for teaching about experimental  design. in Millar (2002) said the role of practical work in the teaching and learning of science  content is to help students make links between two ‘domains’ of knowledge: the domain of objects and  observable properties and events on the one hand, and the domain of ideas on the other.  Practical work is an integral part of the study of economics; it will initially be assessed through the medium of the  written examination paper. An element of practical assessment may be included as part of the overall  assessment at a later stage (2005).  Kallats (2000) sees practical works as a means to verify  a science principle, or theory already known to the students, a means of determining the relationship between  cause and effect and a means of obtaining and learning scientific information.

Awoderu (2014) laboratory experiments offer students the opportunity to study along with their classmates, abstract concepts and generalizations through using real chemicals and other laboratory equipment  under the guidance of their lecturers.  Omosewo(2008) affirmed that a deeper understanding of the science and technology process can be achieved  through laboratory activities, which encourage active participation and serve to develop critical thinking; they  provide concrete experiences to substantiate the theoretical aspect that has been taught.

Interest of students enrolment in economics  has increased considerably in the last 20 years (Taticchi, 2008). Furthermore,  students enrolment in economics  is not a subject easily addressed. It is clear the need to study and rethink the concept and, in this context, to rethink how performance measurement it is done.

The effect of this abandonment of economics is more than expressible because it triggers a chain of consequences on our national outlook as a whole. It stalls our technological advancement, leads to inadequate number of economics  teachers for the present and future generations, leads to a proliferation of the arts subjects and excessive demand for admission and jobs in those areas, while such demands in the area of economics  remains low and sometimes totally lacking. The repercussion of the neglect remains prominent, as people who avoided economics  often, later in life, operate or supervise the use of gadgets that require basic knowledge of economics . Such people eventually get frustrated or muddle up things, and this in turn leads to inefficiency, low output, or even disaster. Thus the low enrolment of students in economics is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good. The root causes of the problem are investigated in this study, so that proper solutions can be proffered for its remedy.

Statement of the Problem

          The importance of Economics  Education as the basics to other social science subjects cannot be overstated. It lays the foundation to other social science subjects.

There is a range of factors that determines students enrolment in Economics in tertiary institutions. In identifying the factors affecting poor enrolment of students in economics, a series of variables are to be considered such as economic system of the state and country, family background, school environment and employment system of the country (Waters and Marzano, 2006).

Igwe (2003) also opined that one of the factors that influence students enrolment in Economics is psychological in nature. These factors include intellectual ability self-concept interest and counselling services. A student who lacks intellectual ability cannot achieve academic excellence hence poor career choice. If parent should know the cause of this problem early they will be able to clue them. However, a look at University students’ enrolment in economics is dwindling away. There is urgent need to carry out research on current trend in enrolment of students in Economics  in University of Nigeria Nsukka, Ikere Campus

Purpose of the Study

          The main objective of the study is to examine the current trend in students enrolment in Economics Education in University of Nigeria Nsukka, Ikere Ekiti Campus.

Specifically, the study sought to:

i.                   examine the trend whether upward or downward in students enrolment in  Economics  in University of Nigeria, Nsukka

ii.                 identify the reasons attributed to students enrolment in Economics  education

iii.              examine the implications of the change in Economics curriculum on students enrolment in Economics  Education

iv.              prescribe possible solutions to arrest the ugly situation of low enrollments in Economics .

Research Question

          Based on the purpose of the study, the following research questions are formed:

i.                   Is there significant improvement on students’ enrollment in Economics  in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere Campus?

ii.                 Is there significant difference between male and female students enrollment in Economics University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere Campus?

iii.              Does the change in Economics Curriculum affects students Curriculum affects students enrolment in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere Campus?

iv.              Does economic system of the country affects students enrolment in economics in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere Campus?

v.                 Does students performance affects students enrolment in Economics in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere Campus?

vi.              To what extent do students choose economics as their choice of career in University of Nigeria Nsukka, Ikere Campus?

Research Hypotheses

i.                   There is no significant improvement on students’ enrollment in economics  in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere Campus

ii.                 There is no significant difference between male and female students enrollment in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere Campus

iii.              Economic system of the country does not have significant effect on students enrolment in Economics in University of Nigeria Nsukka, Ikere Campus

Significance of the Study

The outcome of the research exposes students to the importance of Economics  in the technology usage and which makes every single student value and learn about technology.

The potential student in economics  will also be expose to their other classes and how interesting they find it relevant, it will help learner to expose to computer usage, cell phones in teaching economics  practical’s.

        The study is beneficial to Economics  lecturers in tertiary institutions who may wish to utilize the findings of this study to improve their teaching method.

The study is also be beneficial to policy makers in education sector especially as they enroll students in Economics  education.

The study can also be used as a springboard to carryout similar research as incoming students can use it as a reference material.

Scope of the Study

          The study on the current trend of students enrolment in Economics Education will be carried out among degree Students in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ikere Campus.



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