Background to the Study
Shorthand is the representation of spoken sounds by written signs and symbols. It is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to a method of writing a language.
Isaac Pitman spent more than Fifty (50) years studying and improving on shorthand system. Other scholars and expert made their own contributions to improve shorthand. To many people throughout the world, shorthand system serves as a means of live hood. It is used during meetings in the courts of justice and other offices where fast recording is required.
Today, the performances of students in shorthand continue to become poorer because of the lack of interest in the course. Poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been the concern of all and sundry. The problem is so much that it has led to the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Nigeria at large. The quality of education depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties. Over time pupils’ academic performance in both internal and external examination had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching (Ajao 2001).
Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on students’ academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational ultimately responsible for translating policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with students (Afe 2001). When teachers know the content of their subject (shorthand) and what their students need to learn, they use this knowledge to design lesson for mastery and this will result to good academic performance.
Also Vikoo (2003) sees instructional materials as anything that can be profitably employed to facilitate teaching and learning process. Therefore, schools without the necessary infrastructural materials which will enhance learning can discourage the students from having interest and this will lead to poor academic performance.
The home backgrounds in which students find themselves influence their interest academically. A child first educational experience are centered in the homes, his ideas, attitude and general pattern of behavior are as a result of his childhood rearing. The variation in the academic attainment of students could be related directly to differences in the home and its influence. For the purpose of the research, the home is categorized into monogamous and polygamous type and both have effects in different ways on the academic progress or achievement of the child.
Peer group is an important influence throughout one’s life which affects academic performance of students in shorthand either positively or negatively depending on whether the group is favorable or unfavorable. Peer group is the most important socializing agent for the development of children. During interaction with peers, the child’s life is transformed.
From the work of Ohiwerei and Nwosu (2009) external factors were considered as having a kind of role to play in one’s vocational choice. Vocational Guidance given to students helps them to make the best choice out of the available vocational areas. As a result of this, academic performance will be influenced since students are placed in the best area of their choice