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 2014 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 entrepreneurial 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 payers’ 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), and 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 2010s (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. During the colonial era education was mostly in the hand of the missionaries who introduced a type of education known as the Latin Grammar. The grammar schools offers very little subjects based on the types of curriculum specified by colonial masters and by the agent establishing them, which is the introduction of their educational system and also incorporate into their ideal and opinions.
Business education in Nigeria is at is developmental stage at the initial introduction of this course into our education system there was no interest nor motivation from the Governments Nsofor (1979), the Government was not all interested in including commercial subjects in the educational curriculum it made a deliberate and calculated attempts to frustrate the crumple down. The proprietors gave no attention to the training of business teachers. This may be due to professional complications and financial burden which within their reach. It is discouraging to note that despite all the problem business education face at the earlier stage and the opportunities at had offended to the Country much have not be done to improve the situation. Schools, students still today lack qualified business teachers which may be as a result of the period of former inadequate when compared with the complexities and dynamic nature of knowledge required. A major problems that face business education today is lack of equipment which are very necessary for proper mastery of the subject. As a result of these problems, there has been less interest and motivation on the part of the students’ who offer business subjects in school. The international dictionary of education (1979) refers to it as both commercial studies and business studies. The dictionary sees the commercial studies of education as the area that comprises such school subjects as typewriting, Shorthand, Book keeping and Elementary Accounting at defines business studies a study of commerce and management studies.
This definition however does not indicate the level of education at which the title should be used. The difference in title is a matter of sentiment which does not in any way determine the content of the courses at the various level of education. In the Secondary school in Nigeria the course is regarded as business studies but in the Higher Levels, in Colleges and Universities it is known as Business education or Management science which covers subjects as well as related courses like Business Law, Business Management, Accountancy, Marketing Data Processing and Computer. Under the new system in education, these are not studies in insolation in the Junior Secondary Schools. As a result of this problem, there has been less interest and motivation on the part of the students’ who offers business subjects in schools.
Statement of Problem
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, inadequate teaching equipment, inadequate well-equipped laboratory, well equipped library, etc. these factors will definitely affect the achievement or attainment of the set objectives which may thereafter have negative effect on the skills to be imparted on the learners. These situations will no doubt, affect the management and administration of today’s teaching and learning of business studies. 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.