Background of the Study
Education helps in the development of an individual, physically, mentally and socially. The importance of education particularly secondary school education to youths is that it helps prepare them for greater responsibility. Thus secondary school education should help the youngsters to define their career objectives, make them capable of deciding as to what they want from life, and enable them make progress in their fields of interest.
Education is a means through which young and old members of the society are taught about the expected behaviour of the society and the rules of polity, the values, skills attitudes and knowledge that equip the individual to achieve personal and society development and progress. Ozigi (1998). According to Danladi (2006), education is a process of teaching and learning in which students acquire practical knowledge, value and skills for effective participation in the society. He further asserted that, the process of acquiring the relevant knowledge, attitude, values and skills must be made as concrete as possible for easy learning.
Secondary schools are mostly state or federally owned, although in 2001 the federal government began encouraging the return of former church mission schools. The federal government promised to continue paying teacher salaries.
Generally, the federal government funds and manages two federal government colleges (secondary schools) in each state. In addition, each state owns and operates secondary schools. In 1996, there were 7,104 secondary schools with 4,448,981 students. The teacher-pupil ratio was approximately 32:1. The government pays most of the fees for students, but students must pay incidental costs and sometimes part of their board or other expenses that can amount to $200 a year, a considerable amount in a nation where the average annual income was only about $300 in 2000.
The language of instruction for all secondary school grades is English, except for special courses that require another language. Students study 9 to 12 subjects, including a core group that consists of mathematics, English language, a major Nigeria language (Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba), social studies, creative arts, integrated science, practical agriculture, religious studies (Christianity or Islam), and physical education.
Depending on the school, students may select electives courses such as introduction to technology, home economics, business studies, local crafts, and foreign languages (often Arabic or French).
The SSCE is prepared and administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC), an organization that has operated school examinations in several West African countries since 1954. In 1989, the SSCE replaced the West African General Certificate of Education O and A levels. The Senior Secondary School Curriculum is based on the National Policy on Education, with the quality of instruction oriented towards inculcating certain values. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) stated the broad goal of the secondary school education is to prepare individuals for useful living within the society and higher education. To achieve this objective, secondary school education in Nigeria has six years duration given in two stages three years of junior secondary school followed by three years of senior secondary school, the curriculum designed for senior secondary school is comprehensive and broad based, aimed at broadening students’ knowledge and outlook. Subjects offered in senior school are in three group’s core subjects, vocational and non-vocational subjects. One of the vocational subjects is book keeping and accounts. Book keeping and accounts is one of the vocational electives that students are expected to offer from the list of elective subjects in group B to give a maximum eight or nine subject.
Statement of the Problem
The primary objective of financial accounting in the secondary school curriculum is to prepare the students for Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) which will enable the holders pursue further education or to go into lower clerical work in the office. It is as a result that the government, teachers and parents have been given support to ensure that student’s performance in both internal and external examination was improved upon.
However, the researcher through discussion with some of the financial accounting teachers in secondary schools and through interaction with some of the students offering financial accounting at secondary school level realized that financial accounting has not recorded a remarkable success. Many of the students that offered the subject in SSCE have failed woefully. Some of them that secured clerical job have not been able to adjust to the practical working of financial accounting and finally some of those that gained admission for further studies have not been able to cope due to their poor foundation in financial accounting.
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