Contributions of part-time Business Education graduates towards achievement of organizational goals: A study of organizations in Ebonyi State
Background of the Study
Oduma (2006) defined business education as that education which prepares students for entry and or placement in jobs within business, and prepares them to handle their own business affairs and function intelligently as consumer and citizens in a business economy.
Business education is any profit oriented activity that is geared towards the production of goods and services for the satisfaction of human want. It can also be seen as business education for and about business. It is education for business when one is preparing for the vocation that is preparing for the real world of work after graduation while business education about business is that individual having the general knowledge about business, without working with it but to be a rational consumer. Business education is an oriented specialized aspect of vocational course, aimed at preparing youths for jobs in bookkeeping and accounting occupations, office occupations which includes word processing, secretarial occupations, general and clerical occupations and general marketing occupation. It is therefore a vocation designed to develop special competencies in marketable business skills and techniques.
The general objective of business education according to Osuala (1999) is to develop skills, knowledge and competencies in the student for the world of work by developing basic awareness of the contribution which business and office employees make to the nation’s economic system, improving personal qualification and building attitudes necessary for adjustment to personal and employment situations, developing the abilities of students to their maximum and by guiding individuals for suitable placement in business and office employment. It provide for good citizenship through preparation to become an intelligent and productive wage-earner, promote an understanding of our economic system through developing a better understanding of free enterprise and the world of business, it provides a broad and varied programme of general and specialized education which helps to meet the needs of all students.
Business education has been in existence in Nigeria educational policy frame work for more than two decades ahead entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. It was introduced as a precursor for graduates’ self-employment through small business development; to boost the industrialization base of Nigeria and poverty reduction.
Ironically, since its adoption only few tertiary education institutions offer the programme and graduates output that specialize in accounting option, management option and secretarial option, whereas these three options for ages have existed as pure disciplines in Nigeria educational system. Business Education is an integral part of vocational and technical education. It is a form of Business education according to Idialu (2007) that is directed towards developing the learner to become productive in teaching, paid employment and self-employment. Amoor and Udoh (2008) noted that business education plays a significant role in the economic development by providing knowledge and skills to the learners thereby enabling them to adequately impart knowledge into others, and handle sophisticated office technologies and information systems. The goal of business education is primarily to produce competent, skilful and dynamic business teachers, office administrators and businessmen and women that will effectively compete in the world of work (Odunaike and Amoda 2008).
Quality assurance refers to the planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or services will be fulfilled. Idialu (2007) described quality as standards of something as compared to other things. That is the degree of goodness or excellence. Quality assurance generally means all the procedures, processes and systems that support and develop the education (Kontio 2007). Lending credence to the aforementioned facts, Ijaduola (2010) submitted that the inadequate funding that has attended education generally has taken toll on Business education of which business education is part and parcel. Adequate funding would determine moving forward to a large extent and the progress of this aspect of training in skills acquisition must be prioritized.
In another vein, Ijaduola (2011), among other things, suggested that professionals must be employed as tutors; and learning at 95% determination must be practical and 5% theoretical in the curriculum of training. The instructors must be qualified professional trainers with vast experience and motivation traits in human resources development. This would enhance the rate of which learning and skills acquisition would take place by the learners.
The relevance of human capital in the development of any nation economically and politically cannot be over-emphasized, especially when such a nation aims to harness its resources for achievement of the required growth that can bring about improvement to living standard of the populace. In view of this fact, Udom (1999) stressed the importance and role of people at work in nation building by stating that the relevance of human being in any organization and indeed the nation is attested to by the fact that the first syllable in the concept of management is “man”. To him, “man” in this context, otherwise referred to as worker, human resource, or labour, remains the most relevant and therefore should be given utmost priority attention. Still on the importance of workers or labour and the need to give them a deserving empowerment to continue to function for the well-being of the national economy, Ogunlaye (1996) postulated that it is a universal affirmation that human brain is a high fidelity recorder and a high fidelity player, and therefore, for employees to remain effectively functional, they need necessary education and training which serves as lubricant for constant refinement and reinforcement for performance.
Education is believed to provide knowledge and resources that hold potentials for economic empowerment for better livelihood and social development. For this reason access to education has been the prime objective of everyone. This also explains why education is seen as a fundamental human right. According to Mbagwu and Ekwelum (2006), the increased need for higher education was first expressed during the oil boom era of the 1970s in Nigeria which led to the establishment of many universities in the country. Interest in continuing higher education or part time programme is accentuated by the desire to acquire knowledge, skills and values that would enable recipient cope with every day changes in the environment or social milieu in which the individual finds him or herself.
The goal of establishing continuing higher education according to Eldered and Johnson cited in Kazeem (1998), includes the provision of an alternative form of higher education. According to Egunyomi (2009), higher continuing education seeks to build highly individualized and flexible programmes of learning and makes use of largely untapped resources for teaching and learning. It moves towards a new faith in the student and his capacity for learning on his own, while at the same time, providing close and continuing contact between the students and teacher.
Thus, continuing higher education can be viewed as a means of acquiring knowledge that will enable the individual keep up with the rapid social, cultural, economic, political, industrial and technological changes taking place in the environment in which the individual finds himself (Kazeem, 1998; Olomukoro, 2005). This type of education, Anyanwu, Omole and Akintayo (1988), opine is aimed at remedying the deficiencies which are multiplied daily because of advancement in every aspect of human existence. In the same vein, Omoruyi and Omiunu (2006), observed that continuing education is geared towards ensuring the continued relevance of the individuals in the society, the provision or access to education for all citizens. It is geared towards meeting the need of individual who must seek to update his knowledge and feel he needs the education for his cultural and personal development.
Statement of the Problem
A competitive business sector needs excellent universities to produce the graduates, postgraduates, research and innovation that are required to drive economic growth and prosperity. The Business Education part-time programme in higher institutions of learning has always been looked down upon. People prefer their children and wards to become lawyers, doctors, accountants etc. In spite of this problem, the government is not helping the situation by not funding the programme adequately.
At present, the calibre of students that graduate from business education part-time progrmamme, especially office education, according to Amoor (2008), have the problem of inadequate exposure to modern office technology, information systems and the rudiments of office administration. It is on this basis that this study tends to find out the contribution of part-time Business education graduates towards achievement of organizational goals, using organizations in Ebonyi state as a study.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to find out the contributions of part-time Business education graduates towards achievement of organizational goals: A study of organizations in Ebonyi State. Specifically, it is meant to;
- Determine the competencies required by part-time Accountancy Education programmes in Ebonyi State University.
- Determine the employability of part-time business education graduates in Ebonyi State.
- Ascertain the relationship between Business education curriculum and job performance in organizations.
- Examine the effectiveness of part-time Secretarial option of Business Education in reaching organizational goals.
Significance of the Study
The study will be of great benefit to a number of government and private parastatals as discussed thus; the study will help in gaining all the necessary assistance that part-time business education recipient are expected to so as to understand better and have the expected competencies in the field. It therefore becomes imperative to those prospective graduands as well as those already in the field because it will expose them on how to create employment opportunities for oneself without depending on government job.
Similarly, the study will also benefit Business Education department to enrich their library and serves as a research document for students of the same department. The lecturers of the department may also benefit from the study by means of making reference to it in their future supervision of the researcher who uses it as a guide for a better presentation.
To the organizations, it will help them in making management decisions and consequent actions as regards to the employability skills of part-time business education students geared towards contributing positively to the organization. Hence provides adequate feedback on the individual’s performance appraisal.
The researcher will also be of significant to remove those already existing impressions that have been created in the mind of many others that part-time business education is for those who have become frustrated in life and in particular, that it is a course meant for women which invariably is a false positive.
The following research questions guided the study:
- What are the competencies needed by part-time Accountancy Education programmes in reaching organizational effectiveness in Ebonyi State?
- To what extent are the relevance of part-time business education graduates in Ebonyi State?
- What are the relationship between business education curriculum and job performance?
- What possible ways does the part-time secretarial option of business education effective in reaching organizational goals?
Scope of the Study
This study is set to find out the contributions of part-time Business education graduates towards achievement of organizational goals using selected higher institutions in Ebonyi State as a study. The selected institutions include Ebonyi state University, Akanu Ibiam Polytechnic, Uwanna and Ebonyi state College of Education, Ikwo.