Background of the Study
Student’s academic performance in accounting result has been an important issue for secondary school and investigation into the possibility of student achievement external examination is also important in many ways for secondary schools, their teachers and students and can be effective for making policy on student admission program and changes in teaching style. Measuring students’ academic performance in undergraduate accounting program based on internal and external factors, therefore, the present research tries to recognize and combine the most important factors as well as pointing out to the results important for choosing the most qualified candidates and consequently, avoid accounting students’ academic failure in West African Examination. Much of the previous research that seeks to examine factors that influence the results of accounting education students have suggested that factors such as gender, prior knowledge in accounting, scientific and mathematical intelligence can cause difference in students scores.
Since many previous researches have been conducted on students’ performance in Nigeria (Yilmaz Guney (2009); Cheung and Kan (2002); Koh and Koh (1999), the present research aims to identify and provide more evidence points to the factors influencing students’ academic performance in accounting in external examination such as WAEC in developing country.
Factors influencing student performance in Accounting education especially in West African Examination have attracted the attention of academic researchers from many areas. They have tried to determine which variables impact student performance in positive and negative direction. Research studies about this subject have been conducted by various academicians in various countries and areas (Mutchler, Turner, and Williams, 1987; Cheung and Kan, 2002; Kruck and Lending, 2003; Borde, 1998). Determining the factors that affect the student performance in Accounting is important. Because, primarily institutions and lecturers have to find out ways to increase student performance, and to motivate students for better performance. In order to do this, first they need to determine which factors play significant role in student performance. For example, if attendance increases student performance, lecturers can do something to increase students’ attendance rate such as integrating attendance rate into grading policy. Secondly, graduating from different high schools may also play a significant role in performance.
Furthermore, students’ performance in secondary school are also a concern of corporations which are often said to be the “end user” in the supply chain of graduates for the labor market (Alfan and Othman, 2005).
Initially, wasting the financial and human resources of a country is the result of achieving none of the educational plans. On the other hand, examining the factors influencing on the development and improvement of the society reveals that most of these countries have had capable and efficient education system. It must be noted that there are various factors cooperating in any education system that lead to the learning and educational improvement of the students. This system should be designed so that the satisfactory yields are obtained and the goals are achieved. Any deficiency or cease in the components of the system can cause the other parts to possess less quality and be damaged.
Student performance in accounting education have attracted the attention of academic researchers from many areas. They have tried to determine which variables impact student performance in positive and negative direction. Research studies about this subject have been conducted by various academicians in various countries and areas (Mutchler, Turner, and Williams, 1987; Cheung and Kan, 2002; Kruck and Lending, 2003; Borde, 1998). Determining the factors that affect the student performance is important. Because, primarily institutions and lecturers have to find out ways to increase student performance, and to motivate students for better performance. In order to do this, first they need to determine which factors play significant role in student performance. For example, if attendance increases student performance, lecturers can do something to increase students’ attendance rate such as integrating attendance rate into grading policy. Secondly, graduating from different high schools may also play a significant role in performance. For example, graduates of commercial high schools who have prior knowledge of accounting may outperform graduates of ordinary high schools. In that case, graduates of other high schools can be supported by extracurricular course activities to catch up with graduates of vocational high schools for commerce.
The significance of accounting in producing versatile and resourceful graduates that are needed for economic development cannot be over-emphasized. For this reason, the Nigeria Teachers Association (1992) referred to accounting as the central intellectual discipline of the technology societies. Setidisho (1996) also maintained that accounting is a fundamental subject that is necessary for understanding of most other fields in education. He further emphasized that it is glaring that no other subject forms such a strong force among the various branches. This implies that the place of accounting in secondary school curriculum in Nigeria is paramount for human development as it serves both as a tool for academic progress in a chosen career and as a tool for preparing the individual for useful living.
Some international studies have indicated that schooling, labour force quality and cognitive skills have effect on the economic development of nations. For example, to measure human capital more accurately, Hanushek and Kimko (2000) introduced measures of accounting and science skills from internal assessments into growth analysis. They found that quality of human capital was very significantly related to economic growth. This approach has been extended by a variety of authors, and the evidence indicates that economic growth is very closely related to the cognitive skills of the population. Building upon the data development of Barro and Jong-Wha (2001), it was also found that the most commonly used measure of human capital is the level of school attainment in a country. This may be why Federal Ministry of Education in the National Policy on Education (2013) maintained that education will continue to be priority of the nation. Historical evidences proved that advanced countries depended on education for their rapid economic growth. There were significant relationships between their economic growth and the quantum and kinds of education provided to their work-force (Miachi, 2006).
The objectives of teaching accounting education in secondary schools make it very important as a foundation subject for success in further academic endeavour and manpower development. In view of this, the learning of accounting in schools, as observed by Osafehinti in Odili (2006) represents first, a basic preparation for adult life and secondly a gateway to a vast array of career choices.
In this respect, Iji (2007) maintained that any country that aspires for national growth in science, industries, and technology must not neglect accounting.
This is in view of the multi-dimensional values of accounting in virtually all facets of human development and experience. Thomaskutty and George (2007) accentuated the versatile nature of accounting by identifying seven educational values of accounting which include: Practical or Utilitarian values, Disciplinary values, Cultural values, Social values, Moral values, Aesthetic values and Recreational values.
Hoskins, Newstead and Denis (1997) conducted study on students at secondary school and found out that variables; age, gender, prior qualifications and discipline studied have an effect on their performance as cited in Cheesman, Simpson and Wint (2006:10). This paper studies the role of individual characteristics age, gender, some family socio-economic background variables like available resources including residential space and pre-university aspects like type of school attended and whether Accounting was ever done at secondary school level and enrolment status on the student’s academic performance using West African Examination Council (WAEC).
A student’s age was established to be associated with degree performance by Barrow, Reilly and Woodfield (2009) where it is found that that mature students marginally achieve better degree outcomes. Win and Miller (2005) said that previous instructional quality received by student, the student’s house hold environment, and education of parents are factors that influence the academic performance of students hence the variables member in family with a degree and type of school attended. Jacobs (2002) made a study which established that finances affect university students’ performance.
Rufa’i also said that for vision 20:2020 of the federal government to be a reality, efforts must be vigorously pursued toward education, research and development which she described as the bedrock of national development. She added that the very existence of any area of human endeavour was based on accounting saying even ICT which is a product of accoounting has taken over on the global stage. She further expressed the need to motivate and encourage upcoming the coming account, saying “For the nation, Nigeria to keep abreast with global trends of technological advancement, and for our pupils and students to achieve international recognition; our secondary school students and upcoming accountant should be motivated to participate in the accounting improvement programme. She further added that for Nigeria to achieve her quest for sustainable economic growth and development there was the need for collective promotion of excellence because “investment in the field of study is vital for developing nations and a country that neglects science education for its citizens does so at its own peril” (Rufa’i, 2012).
Vision is the ability to foresee the future before it comes into existence. It represents a significant improvement on the current state of affairs supported by a clear and realistic path to its realization (Ayodele et al, 2013).Trends analyses and forecasting provide scientific approach for predicting future occurrences based on past and present state of affairs.
According to Rosenberg (1997), trend in observed rates provide invaluable information for needs assessment, program planning, program evaluation, and policy development activities.
Evans and Farley (1998) showed that grades in high school Accounting and Accounting are positively and significantly related to student performance; therefore in this study entry qualifications and exposure to accounting as a subject were taken as determinants of success. Dayioglu and Turut-Asik (2004) and Cheeseman et al (2006) found that for Caribbean students females outperformed their male counterparts. Gender was thus considered as a variable affecting students’ performance and success at university.
Cook and Evans (2000) studied students from disadvantaged groups and established that they have poor academic performance. In this study a big household is taken as a proxy for disadvantage. The bigger the household size the more strained the resources so owning texts books becomes restricted as indicated in the UNDP 2012 report Sub Saharan Africa has the highest proportion of people living on less than one American dollar a day (UNDP 2012). Bae (2006:112) found that in schools where majority of the parents had white collar jobs students had more motivation when compared to students from schools where the majority of parents had no white collar jobs. Having a member with a degree in immediate family implies a formal job if not white collar hence the variable was considered to be important.
Jeong, (2005) quoted in Bae (2006:112) found out that use of internet and the contents viewed have an effect on students’ academic performance hence access to internet was taken as an important variable. Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on students’ academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment (Afe 2001), therefore reference is made to access to lecturer outside class as a measure of a resources available to students. Enrolment status also matters for the part-time students need exert themselves more than full-time because most of them are employed and are family people and face challenges juggling academic and other responsibilities (Bourner & Race, 1990, Simmons, Ada, Musoba and Geun Chung 2005:14.
Statement of the Problem
It is disheartening that research and data from national examination bodies like West African Examination Council (WAEC) have shown a consistent poor performance in May/June WASSCE accounting in Nigeria. If this trend is allowed to continue, the fear is that the country may not achieve the vision 20:2020, which is basically anchored on education. This is consequent upon the fact that without a credit pass in accounting learners will not be able to proceed to higher educational institutions where highly skilled work force in Engineering needed for today’s global economy are produced. The study, therefore, investigate into factors influencing the results of accounting education in WASSCE in Eleyo Grammar School in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State from 2010 – 2014. It aimed at inferring the implication of the observed and predicted performance pattern on Nigeria vision 20:2020 with respect to human capital development in accounting Education.
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