CAUSES OF STUDENT’S FAILURE IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AT SSCE LEVEL IN GOVERNMENT SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Background of the Study
Education is a means through which young and old members of the society are taught about their 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, 2014). Education also according to Nwaose (2016) is a process of teaching and learning in which students acquire practical knowledge, values, and skills for effective participation in the society.The growing stage of youngsters is that particular period of time that provides them with the opportunity to develop the principles of life, make career decisions and begin the pursuit of one’s goals, thus education is an important aspect for the youths. Education should include that kind of training that should be the extension the fields of interest of these youths. The main motto of education is to provide knowledge, make every one aware about proper conduct and gain technical competency. 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.
Longe (2011) defined accounting as the recording, classifying, creating, summarizing and communicating of financial information to interested parties and interpreting to help in making specific business decisions. Accounting records are kept to evaluate the performance and profitability of the business organization, prevention of fraud, monitoring of the enterprise progress and for making economic comparison. The accounting curriculum in the secondary schools is carefully designed to suit the needs of the students and other interested learners. If it is properly inculcated into the students, many of them would be properly grounded and prepared to become professionally qualified accountants.
Accounting is a generic term covering both the bookkeeping and accounts aspect of an economic entity, According to American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) accounting is the art of recording, classifying, and summarizing in terms of money, transactions and events which are in part or at least, of financial character, and interpreting the result thereof (Agbo, 2007). Similarly, Asaolu cited in Okoli (2013) saw accounting as the process of recording, classifying, measuring, interpreting, summarizing and reporting financial data of an organization to the users for objective assessment and decision making: accounting provides quantitative financial information about economic entities for internal and external users to use in making decisions such as weather to invest further or not.
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 secondary schools are in three groups: core subjects, vocational and non-vocational subjects. One of the vocational subjects is book keeping and accounts. Book keeping and accounting 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. Apart from the core subjects, the students are expected to offer a minimum of one and maximum of three from the list of elective subjects in group B and C to give a maximum eight or nine subjects. According to WAEC (2004), Book keeping and Accounting is the most popular subject that students offer among the vocational elective subjects. Other subjects in this category include Agriculture, Commerce, Computer Education, Clothing and Textiles, Food and Nutrition, Home Management, Technical Drawing, Fine Art, Music According to Asaolu (2002), book keeping and Accounting is the process of recording, classifying, selecting, measuring, interpreting, summarizing and reporting financial data of an organization to the users for objective assessment and decision making.” Accounting data are processed into accounting information through the use of accounting principles and conventions. The accounting principles are known as “generally accepted accounting principles. They are the basic fundamentals which guide accountants in recording, appreciating and assessing accounting information as well as the preparation and interpretation of financial statements. The accounting information system is proven, time honoured, and its format is universally understood.
Factors causing students poor academic performance include shortage of well-trained teachers, inadequacy of teaching facilities, lack of funds to purchase necessary equipment, poor quality textbooks, large classes, poorly motivated teachers, lack of laboratories and libraries, poorly coordinated supervisory activities, interference of the school system by the civil service, incessant transfers of teachers and principals and automatic promotion of pupils (Vundla, 2012). Mbugua, Kibet, Muthaa and Nkonke (2012) listed factors as under staffing, inadequate teaching/learning materials, lack of, motivation and poor attitude by both teachers and students as factors influencing academic performance of students.
However, despite the efforts made, the European Union member states present a high school drop-out rate, according to the European Commission (2011). The impact of the educational level of a country’s population on its economic development and growth has encouraged studies analysing the factors determining the academic success of students in different areas of knowledge, with the aim of promoting measures’or changes in educational policy that reduce the high university drop-out rate revealed by the European Commission (2011) and provide a well-trained active population.
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 the subject.
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