1.1 Background to the Study
Business education is an area of study that exposes its recipients to a diversified curriculum. Ibrahim (2008) viewed business education as that type of education that inculcates in its recipients’ attitudes, knowledge, skills, and values that are required in the business world. It produces literate and self-reliant citizens that would create wealth for human and national development, ultimately resulting in sustainable national development. Njoku (2006) defined business education as an educational programme that equips an individual with functional and suitable skills, knowledge, attitude and value that enables him/her operate in the environment he/she finds himself/herself. According to Adesina (2007), business education is a primary education for vocation. It is an integral part of vocational and technical education. It is a training system that encourages the beneficiary to acquire skills that makes him fit into the world of work. Business education encompasses attitude, knowledge, and skills needed for any level of employment and advancement in a broad range of business careers. Business education curriculum provides training in shorthand skills. Shorthand is one of the fundamental subjects in business education. The National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) recognised shorthand as an important business education subject, particularly with regards to the achievement of objective five of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) business education, which is “to equip NCE graduates with the right skills that will enable them to engage in a life of work in the office as well as for self-employment” (NCCE, 2012 revised). Shorthand is any system of representing spoken sound with written signs. Shorthand system is used to write as quickly as people 2 speak using special symbols to represent words and phrases. Redmond (2008) considered shorthand as any system of writing that is rapid and concise enough to enable the writer to keep pace with normal speech. Usually, strokes, abbreviations and special characters are used to represent letters, words, and phrases. NCE graduates having effective shorthand skills are able to listen, focus, organize and attend to details. Some factors affect the learning process which makes mastering of shorthand difficult for students. These factors include learning styles, self-esteem, teaching methods, mood, environment, and background.
Statement of the Problem
Shorthand is one of the core business education subjects offered for the attainment of Nigeria Certificate in Education. The performances of students in shorthand continued to decline yearly in colleges of education. It was noted by the researcher that only few business education students performed well in shorthand. This poor performance was a major concern of teachers, researchers, and curriculum planners, because if the trend continued unchecked and untreated, students may lose interest in shorthand. Amoor (2014) reported that shorthand and typewriting that involve manipulation, construction and demonstration were losing their values compared to other business subjects like economics, accounting, and marketing to extend that students were no longer speaking favorably about them. The recurrent poor performance of students in shorthand was disturbing.
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