TREND OF STUDENTS ENROLMENT IN ECONOMICS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

TREND OF STUDENTS ENROLMENT IN ECONOMICS IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

From a global perspective, economic and social developments are increasingly driven by the advancement and application of knowledge. Education in general and higher education in particular, are fundamental to the construction of a knowledge-based economy and society in all nations (World Bank, 2008). Besides acting as an important vehicle of achieving equitable income distribution, human resource development is also a potent means of addressing the problem of poverty. Thus, education is very vital to the pace of social, political and economic development of any nation. Corroborating this increased global awareness regarding the significance of education, the United Nations (UN) dedicated a goal (Goal 2) in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to achieving Universal Primary Education (UPE) among the member nations by 2015. Specifically, the most obvious direct benefit of education is that educated workers will receive higher income apparently due to increased productivity than those who are less educated. Thus, the direct benefit of education to any individual is higher lifetime earnings (Glick and Sahn, 2000: Lincove, 2009).

Education in Nigeria is majorly a shared responsibility of the Federal, State and Local governments. The Federal government is more directly involved with tertiary education than it is with pre-tertiary school education that is largely the responsibility of State (secondary) and Local (primary) governments. Education (Abdulraheem, 2013) in Nigeria has evolved over a long period of time, and with series of policy changes.

Enrolment rates and years of schooling have risen in most countries of the world and this can be attributed to successive generations of parental investment in children’s education within the confine of a stable household structure. Overtime, these investments have narrowed the differences in schooling across and within countries, and between and within genders. In 1960, the average schooling of men aged 25 and over in advanced countries were 5.8 times that of men in developing countries. In 2000, this ratio fell to 2.4. During the same period, women’s average schooling level as a ratio of men’s increased from 0.5 to 0.7 in developing countries. While increasing incomes, shifts in demand for more skilled labour, and government investment of considerable resources on building and equipping schools (through various policy interventions), have all contributed to this global convergence in enrollment rates and completed years of schooling, nevertheless, substantial education gaps persist between the rich and the poor countries, and between males and females in many developing countries (Orazem and King, 2008)

Economics contributes to the nation’s economic development, therefore, it has to be taught thoroughly in order to ensure the educational and economic development. Besides, that, Economics is one of the core subjects in Government Secondary Schools and as a vocational subject, it cannot be taught effectively without a professional behaviour by teachers. Marshal as cited in Ande (2012), defined economics as “ A study of mankind in the ordinary business of life”. These definition simply emphaes that economics has something to do with study of human beings in relation to their daily economic activities. Mill as cited in Ande (2012), viewed economics as “ The practical science of production and distribution of wealth”. To this man, economics is concerned with how people produce and distribute various good and services that are required for the maintenance of human existence. According to Smith in Anyanwuocha (2013), saw it as “ An enquiry into the nature and causes of wealth of Nations” To him, economics is all about the making of wealth. He was the first person to put a word together in economics by writing a treatise “wealth of Nation”. He is popularly regarded as the Father of economics.

It has been established that the career choice of an individual is very important. It affects every aspect of life including the social, economic, mental and physical lives. Choosing a career has become so difficult in this particular time of advancement in information technology and post-industrial revolution (Kochung & Migunde, 2011). Today, anyone who wishes to make a good career choice and be able to adjust to the ever-changing social economic situation and technological advancement is bound to carry out proper career research and planning (Wallace, 2009). Every individual in this world desires to be stable, happy and recognized, for these reasons, one must choose a career which will meet these needs; career that may last a lifetime. Career should be chosen according to one’s interests and demand of time (Mirza, Zahra & Ahmed, 2014). A stage comes in a student’s life when decision about future career has to be taken. This important decision gives the foundation for course of study in the institution of higher learning and influences life. Durosaro & Nuhu (2012) noted that in our present society, education is the best ground to prepare the younger generation. However, in Nigeria, due to cultural influences, parents have great influence on their children and this often manifest in career choice.

However, to maintain high education quality, some countries introduce restrictions on the number of state-subsidized student slots in the universities (Impact of the Economic Crisis on European Universities, 2011). In some universities, budget constraints cause the closure of certain educational programmes. Many universities are changing as a result of the mergers of institutions or departments and chairs inside institutions. These studies show trends of the changes in public demand for higher education that at the initial stages are accompanied by an increase in student enrolment. However, the imminent increase of tuition fees then results in a decrease of financial solvency of a population and, subsequently, a decreased influx of students and finances. These changes conflict with the interests of educational institutions. As early as the initial stage, state authority intervention is aimed either at adjusting the legislative base to maintain a sensible balance of education levels or at taking measures to cut expenses.

Education is the primary agent of transformation towards sustainable development. It increases people’s capacities to transform their visions for society into reality. All countries strive for quality education for their sustainable development. The federal government of Nigeria had adopted education as an instrument per excellence for effecting national development. If education has been adopted as the only tool that can solve the socio-economic problems of Nigeria, then the adequate supply of effective teaching becomes the core of the educational and the quality of lecturers.

Across the world, education is a vital process in human development and environmental management. Education is a process of refining and preserving the collective values embedded in the culture of the society (Oyekan, 2010). By education, a network of worthwhile knowledge, skills and habits are passed on from one generation to the other for effective citizenship and collective benefits of the society. Education is a cooperative teaching-learning process of preparing an individual from birth and all through his/her life for happy useful living in the society within the culture and resources (Oyekan, 2010). It then follows that education is a social service which ensures refinement of human behaviour in terms of his/her processes of reasoning, feeling and doing things in a happy expectancy.

Of central importance in a social work, practicum is the ongoing evaluation of the student’s performance. The term evaluation means to examine, judge, appraise, and assign value or worth. The word enrollment refers to the actions of carrying out or completing some function, role, or obligation. Thus, the social work practicum evaluation focuses on the student’s behaviors and actions related to the role and obligations of a professional social worker. The primary question addressed is whether the students’ performance is meeting the specified standards expected of the social work practitioner at their level of practice.

Every programme of social work education uses some type of rating scale or evaluation tool to monitor and evaluate students progress. The evaluation process compares the student’s performance to established standards and criteria and also to the learning objectives, and strategies outlined in the student’s learning contract.

Evaluations of student performance in tertiary institution are of two types: formal and informal. An informal evaluation consists of the ongoing feedback and suggestions offered by the practicum instructor. This type of evaluation takes place on a weekly or even a daily basis. A formal evaluation is a detailed review and comparison of the student’s performance with evaluation criteria, standards, and learning objectives for the practicum. It occurs at the end of each academic term or more often, depending on school policy or special circumstances.

Statement of the Problem

          The importance of Economics   as the basics to other social science subjects cannot be overstated. It lays the foundation to other social science subjects.

There is a range of factors that determines students enrolment in Economics in tertiary institutions. In identifying the factors affecting poor enrolment of students in economics, a series of variables are to be considered such as economic system of the state and country, family background, school environment and employment system of the country

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Updated: 4th March 2021 — 4:24 pm