ENTRY QUALIFICATION AS A PREDICTOR OF STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN ACCOUNTING AMOMG TERTIARY INSTITUTION

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

In Nigeria, achievement at any level of education is crowned with certification for those who successfully complete the course of study with good academic records. Thus, at the end of secondary school education, students are expected to sit for public examinations such as the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO), and the National Technical and Business Certificate Examinations (NTCE/NBCE) also conducted by the National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB).

In order to qualify for admission into the Nigerian tertiary institution, a candidate must satisfy some minimum requirements. In the first place, he or she must obtain five relevant credits in the senior secondary school certificate examination including English and in some cases, mathematics. In addition such a candidate must sit for and obtain a minimum pass mark in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) as well as pass an additional post university matriculation examination screening test (post-UTME) conducted by the selected University.

Notwithstanding these stringent requirements for admission, the Nigerian students still perform badly in their semester examinations, indulging in a variety of examination malpractices which make the conduct of examinations a tedious chore that may degenerate into a life threatening ordeal at the worst. Malpractices committed by candidates to make up for their deficiency in knowledge include using prepared materials brought in by candidates as hard copies hidden in obscure parts of the body or as a soft copy stored in the memory of sophisticated handsets, sourcing answers from outside the hall through the medium of text messages, using of mercenaries to write examinations illegally and writing examinations for which they are not registered, just to mention a few. When they manage to graduate as they ultimately do through a variety of unacceptable practices, they are most often regarded as substandard and largely unsuitable for employment.

 

It is believed that these entry qualifications and entrance examinations will positively predict candidates’ performance in the tertiary institution. However, public examination bodies responsible for the award of certificates and placement of students in the universities and colleges of education have been facing a lot of criticisms due to the poor performance or poor quality of undergraduates. Several professionals and researchers in education have argued that the glorious days of high academic performance and enviable achievement among Nigerian undergraduates have reached a vanishing point and are called for an education summit to rectify the situation (Nwokocha, 1997).

It is also disturbing to note that graduates from Nigerian tertiary institutions who happen to go for further studies abroad are often made to face further examination before being admitted. The foregoing present a gloomy and worrisome picture considering the fact that Nigerian university had been adjudged to produce world-class graduates who have distinguished themselves in their areas of calling.

As a remedy, there have been persistent calls from different quarters for the reexamination of the present modes of selecting candidates for admission into the various programmes in Nigerian tertiary institutions with a view to determining the credibility of each of the admission criteria. Such calls which are borne out of the observed mismatch between candidates’ performance in public examinations and their subsequent achievement in university degree examinations has eventually resulted in the post UTME screening exercise. Therefore there is need to investigate entry qualification as a predictor of academic achievement of accounting among tertiary institution. A case study of University of Nigeria, Ikere campus.

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Updated: 21st June 2017 — 7:58 pm

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