PROBLEMS OF TEACHING BUSINESS EDUCATION IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
Background of the Study
Business studies is a unit of Vocational and Technical Education. According to Esene (2007) & Ohiwerei (2005), this programme started late in Nigerian Educational System. Vocational business studies started as commercial education about 1930 at Oshogbo in the then Western Region now Osun State with the establishment of clerical training centers that were needed in the office. By 1995 both government and privately owned day and evening business schools were established in various parts of the country. According to Esene & Ohiwerei (2005), business subjects have not been popular in Nigerian Secondary Schools because of the bias against vocational education. The public perception of business subjects, which form part of vocational education, is that it is education for the school dropouts. This is further reinforced by the attitude of Nigerian parents who prefer the conventional grammar schools to business schools whose curricular were directed towards the training of secretarial and clerical personnel. This erroneous impression was corrected by the release of the National Policy on Education.
Business studies are integral 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.
Business studies consist of aspects of Book-keeping, Shorthand, Typewriting, Commerce, Office practice and Computer, which are integrated by the National Board for Technical Education, while supporting the integration reported:
“The new concept of pre-vocational courses at the Junior Secondary school level is different from the traditional one. For example, the business studies components transcend the narrow commercial knowledge, which restricted pupils to take one of Typewriting, Shorthand, Business, Economics, etc. for five years. The new approach emphasizes the integrated nature of business studies and includes modules of secretarial skills(i.e. shorthand and typewriting), business, economics, business methods, commerce etc.”
The secondary school business education comprised of Business, 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.
The report on the inquiry into the Education System in Nigeria (Republic of Nigeria, 2009) led to the reorganization of the Nigeria Education Curriculum. Individual business subject areas were fused into a broad field called business studies. IBSC consists of concepts from business, commerce, economics, office practice and entrepreneurship education (KNEC, 2007). The rationale was to reduce the overloaded 6-4-4 curriculum, reduce cost of implementation, and make the curriculum more relevant to the needs of the society. The key issues behind the integration of the business subjects i.e. Business, Commerce, Economics and Office Practice was mainly to allow for a broader coverage of subject matter and the elimination of excessive and factual details, to save time on the school time table because instead of allocating four lessons, with IBSC it would be only one lesson. Integration was also considered to enable learners see the relationship among the subject clearly (Shiundu and Omulando (2012). Through integration the number of teachers required to teach the subjects also reduced and this was a relief on the side of government as it had to employ fewer number of teachers to implement the integrated curriculum.
According to Shiundu and Omulando (2012), integration of subjects emphasizes the relationship between various curriculum areas in an attempt to interrelate content or learning experiences in order to enable students perceive a unity of knowledge. Anuda (2000) asserts that by integrating the aspects of these disciplines, overlaps and costs have greatly been reduced. Business studies aims to provide the learner with opportunities to acquire basic business knowledge, skills and positive attitude for development of self and nation, being a dynamic subject it takes into account the need to address contemporary issues, trends in business and current economic issues in society (K.I.E, 2007).The content in the Business Studies syllabus incorporates the acquisition of both academic and practical skills that may help the students to become self-employed after completing form four.
Business, Commerce, Economics, Entrepreneurship and Office Practice are distinct subjects of study and have intrinsic values for the learners and teachers. Therefore, the distinctiveness of each discipline of study has to be preserved (Onywoki 2011).Integration of these subjects thus waters down the distinct nature of each. With the move toward integration, the number of teaching hours was affected. The drastic reduction in the number of lessons for the new syllabus and directive that Business, Commerce, Economics, Entrepreneurship Education and Office Practice be taught as one subject had certain implications in the teaching and learning of the integrated curriculum, to begin with when IBSC was introduced due to inadequate planning.
Teaching strategies are traditionally referred to as methods of teaching (Kisirikoi, Wachira and Malusu, 2008). Modern trends in teaching emphasize certain approaches which determine the strategy to be used. These approaches include; interaction approach, collaborative approach, transmission approach, experiential approach and facilitation approach. Interaction approach is where there is exchange of ideas between the teacher and the learner or among learners themselves as in group work. Collaborative approach is where learners share ideas in groups or projects. Transmission approach, the teacher dominates the lesson by use of lecture. In experiential approach learners life experiences are explored and used as a basis for development of new knowledge and passing judgment. Teaching is based on the learner’s experiences in the community. Facilitation approach teacher provides the stimulus for the learners’ interaction with new knowledge and also provides opportunities for the learners to learn. The teacher is merely a guide and director of learning. From the above approaches the business studies teacher determines the strategy to use depending on the content he is teaching the learners. The most used strategies in teaching business studies are, lectures, demonstrations, discussion, educational visits, projects, question and answers, assignments and practical (Vandenbosch, 2006).
The Credit for the re-emergence of business studies teacher education programmes in Nigeria, particularly at junior Secondary school. In the Eastern Nigeria economic report of 1995, which sought to establish the Secondary Business Education, it was recommended that:
It was keeping with the above tenet that Vocational Teacher Education was introduced in the university of Nigeria, Nsukka, in the 1965 session in the areas of agriculture, business, home economics and industrial technical education. The only other university that introduced degree programmes in Vocational Teacher Education was Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, that was in 1979, 15years after its inception. Other university did not see the need for Vocational Teacher Education.
The problem with our 6-3-3-4 system of education is that, it seems to lack proper focus guidance and direction for our youths (students) and is theatrical. In line with this, Toboho (2000) reveal that the growth of our education industry is mainly in size and not in quality hence, the education system of Nigeria is yet to meet the challenges of preparing students for the contemporary global world. The quality of our education with its emphasis is a theory more than practical has resulted in production of graduates with unemployment skills leading to unprecedented increase in different types of crimes in the country. According to Becker (2007), many business studies students in junior secondary school find it difficult to apply to what they are being taught to business concept. It is therefore, imperative now to find ways and means of making the teaching of the subject more effective.
Principals’ assessment will help to analysis the strength and weakness of teacher and performance of the junior students. Such assessment could initiate action that might lead to improvement especially now that there is public entry about the quality of junior secondary school teachers and their inability to teach students with employable skills.
Furthermore, with the arrival of western education, the uses of facilities became vague classrooms are very vital in schools, the classrooms are constructed to suit the purpose of teaching. Eagle Hardt 2014, emphasized that classrooms referred to as teaching laboratories should be attached more importance to enable an imagined educational programme to be achieved, school facilities are necessary in the school for effective teaching operations. The availability or unavailability of school facilities, insufficiency and bad conditions of the available ones influence the achievement of secondary school student’s performances in both internal and external examinations. It also influences teacher’s instructional effectiveness and their ability to implement continuous assessment. Available researchers have shown that the school heads or administrations on the other hand encounter some difficulties in the general administration of the school due to lack of facilities and bad condition of the available ones, most of the old and new schools are facing resources crisis there are insufficient, inefficient and unstable personnel. The teaching programme is being jeopardized by the phenomenon and this subsequently tends to yearly declining in the student’s performance in their final examinations.
Statement of the Problem
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 had not recorded a remarkable success. Many of the students that offered the subject in examinations 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 due to their poor foundation in business studies.
In every teaching 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, these factors will definitely affect the achievement or attainment of the set objectives which may not thereafter have negative effect on the skills to be imparted on the learners. This situation will no doubt, affect the management and administration of today’s business.
Thus, this study examine the problems of teaching business studies and seek for ways of solving such problem.
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