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The study focused on the Place of Distance Learning and Distance Education to the Business Educators in the secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Three research questions provided guide for the study. The study adopted descriptive survey research design. The population of the study comprised of 2,702 teachers and students in secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area. Sample of the study consisted of 200respondents. Structured questionnaire was formulated for data collection and it was validated by three experts, two from Business Education Department and one from Science Education all in Ebonyi State University. An overall reliability co-efficient of 0.82 was obtained. The data was analyzed using simple statistical mean. Results from the data analyzed showed that: Business educators possess a pedagogical skills through distance learning,distance Learning play a vital roles in the Development of Business Educators in the Secondary Schools and to a high extent do Distance Education Exposes Business Educators. Based on the findings, the study recommended that: School management should implement and effectively adopt in-services training of ICT learning for teachers, teachers should undergo effective training in the utilization of different teaching method to educate students, government should adequately finance the school system in order to ascertain effective teaching and learning among secondary school students and teachers and school management should absolutely maintenance the available equipment for teaching and learning purposes.Finally, conclusion and suggestions for further studies were made.



Background to the Study

The importance of education as a potent instrument for the socio-economic and political development of any nation is never in doubts. Peters in Odo, Ede and Ben (2000) Education is the transmission of what is worthwhile to individuals to make them knowledgeable and contributing members of the society. Omebe and Mgboro (2001), refers education as the acquisition of certain behavioural characteristics such as skill, attitudes, beliefs, tastes, ability to reason, knowledge and any other trait which enable one adjust and interact effectively with other individuals.

Fafunwa in Sarah (2008) rightly points out that education involves a combination of physical training with character building and manual activities with intellectual training. Education is also embracing all experiences through which an individual acquires knowledge or ideas, develops his intellect and strengthens his will. Agi (2005) puts it that modern nations of the world have proved that for economic advancement, political democracy, industrial, technological and scientific breakthrough as well as character development to take place, the highest premium must be placed on education.

From the above definition of education, it points out that the scholars emphasize on what education is all about and its importance in the national development. Through education, an individual will develop the capacity to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of his country. For education to play its important roles, it must be functional and effective. Functionality and effectiveness in the sense that it brings desirable changes in what people think, the way people feel and interact with their physical, social, economic, cultural and political environment.

Ocho (2005).Ocho further maintains that functionality in education will equip the citizens of a nation who are found worthy in character and in learning to participate and contribute maximally to the development of the country. Education has been recognized as a tool par excellent and the spring board for effecting desired national economic growth and development. Formal education, takes place in a school setting, (Jegede, 2005).

This is teaching and learning process and it is only quality teachers that can beget quality students.Distance learning, specifically focused on business education, is in response to the growing level of participation ofbusiness schools around the world in distance modes of education. Whilebusiness education shares a great deal with education in other fields, thereare distinct characteristics of this discipline which warrant a focused examination of the pedagogical approaches used. The field of business, asan educational domain is one of the richest disciplines in the degree of diversity by which it draws from other disciplines.

Business students are exposed to a wide range of tools, from sophisticated statistical modeling and accounting tools to the qualitative methods used in understanding human behavior and organizational leadership. In gaining such exposure business students learn from a variety of fields such as statistics,economics, psychology, sociology, and arguably even philosophy.While business education draws from a wide spectrum of scientific and liberal arts disciplines for which distance education methods may have been long established, the focus of business training is considerably different from these fields.

For one thing, the criteria by which ‘success’ is defined are more clearly stated in business settings. For many, business success is measured by objective indicators such as profits and market share, and in some cases, subject to other important objectives such as meeting social responsibility mandates and maximizing customer satisfaction. The very fact that these objectives can be clearly stated and often accurately measured requires business professionals to be focused on the end goals by which organizational success is assessed.

As a result, in preparing business professionals of the future, business schools have to develop very tight curricula addressing the pressing needs of businesses for graduates capable of achieving the end goals being sought. Business education is therefore considerably more focused and often leaner than educational approaches in other fields, especially those in non-professional domains where learning may occur through introspection and reflection.

Business education focuses on teaching students the application of specific tools which make organizations more efficient and competitive.This need for a focused approach to learning clearly differentiates business education from education in many other disciplines.The pressure on business educators to adopt distance forms of course delivery is increasing due to the challenges that environmental forces have brought onto the business world.

Many of these challenges relate to technological forces which have made the workforce more efficient and mandate increased technology use by business professionals. Electronic means of information exchange and the ability for global organizations to operate continuously without interruption through their multiple offices around the world spanning the time zones has made the work environment far more agile than a decade ago.

Elements of this technology have directly affected corporate training programs allowing organizations to synchronously train their geographically dispersed pool of employees using tools such as webinars and podcasts, (Charle, 2009). The need for change has however become even more pressing in lightof the financial crisis of the last decade which resulted in massive workforce reductions.

This made it necessary for organizations to demand more output from the remaining employees. The training of theseemployees has therefore transitioned from costly seminar-based in-persondelivery to distance modes whereby less travel and logistical challengesexist and a larger number of employees can be trained. As the economyrecovers and as the rate of employment improves, the need to deploy suchmodes of training for newly hired or rehired employees becomes evengreater. The net effect is the expansion of the workforce receiving theirtraining through distance learning modes.

For the same reasons that the world of business has transitioned intodistance learning modes of employee training, distance learning methodsoffer many opportunities in formal business education in preparing thefuture business professional. Business schools have the ability toefficiently deliver their curriculum to a large number of students. Giventhat research across many fields indicates that distance learning outcomesare generally equivalent, and in some cases superior, to traditional face-tofaceteaching significant economies of scale can be recognized by businessschools that proactively adopt distance learning methods.

Furthermore,the reliance on distance learning methods requires students and instructorsto focus on applicable content and skill development and enhances thedirect practical applications of the disseminated knowledge. This focus on The Role of Distance Learning in Business Education application rather than theory has been shown to be an effective form ofteaching in other professional fields such as engineering and medicinewhere distance learning methods are heavily utilized today.

Distance education has to do with approaches and strategies to learning that focus on freeing learners from constraints of time and place while making available flexible learning opportunities. It permits people to learn with no barriers in respect of time and space, age and previous educational qualification-no entry qualification, no age limit, no regards to sex, race, tribe, state of origin, and so on.

For many learners, open and distance education enables the combination of work, family responsibilities with educational opportunities. Jegede (2005) saw open and distance education as developing from an inconsequential beginning through correspondence courses to a full-fledged modem day technology facilitated, flexible and learner driven, self-directed learning which involves learners who are often in locations remote from the institutions and \or the instructional or tutorial facilitators.

Distance education lays emphasis on the physical distance which does not permit interaction between the teacher and the learner (Holmberg, 1999). Open learning has the flexibility of and access to instruction in order to ensure broad availability of educational opportunities to all. As earlier on noted openness, according to Jegede (2005) disregards age, previous level of academic achievement and other factors such as sex, rigid evaluation system, social and cultural barriers to education as a life-long pursuit in a democratic environment.

A noble feature of distance education provisionin the university system is that individualprovider tend predominantly still to operate inisolation from oneanother. In some respects, thisis not surprising. After all, they are competitions. However, there are some areas where individuallyproviders are clearly struggling to establisheffective distance education delivery infrastructure,most notably in the areas of materialproduction distribution of resources and establishment and maintenance of decentralized tutorial networks (Charle 2009).

One believes distanceeducation would benefit from greater co-ordinationand sharing of resources amongst providersand that this could be managed in such a way as not to remove competition where it makes sense.It is pleasing to note that discussion about suchco-operation have already begun between theuniversity of Abuja and NTI. It makes education more learner-centered, using a wide range of teaching strategies and media. It is not conventionally restrictive in nature in areas of admission, attendance, subject combinations and such other restrictions.

Distance Education lays emphasis on the physical distance which does not permit direct interaction between the teacher and the learner. The apartness of the teacher and the learner makes the striking difference between it and the face to face or contact education. This may justify Otto-Peter’s (1993) definition of Distance Education as a method of imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes rationalized by the application of division of labour and organizational principles as well as by the extensive use of technological media, especially for the purpose of reducing the physical distance between the learner and the teacher or the distance learning institution. Distance Education makes use of high quality self-learning materials which make it possible to teach a large number of students at the same time and wherever they live.


Statement of Problem

Training students andstaff, particularly in troubleshooting problems, is imperative to success in technical distancelearning (Galusha 2009).Perhaps the biggest problem for distanceprograms is the lack of support by the faculty.The endorsement by department faculty is viewedas a critical instructional element in any distanceeducation program. More than any otherparticipant, faculty roles must change the mostin administering distance learning programs. Thiscan be difficult adjustment for some teachers.

They must change teaching styles to that of a mentor, tutor, and facilitator. They must meet the needs of distance students without face-to-face contact. Since the majority of distance learners are adults, teachers may need to change their teaching style. This may be challenging for teachers who are used to teaching with 18 to 22-year-olds. Faculty is responsible for changing their course content to accommodate diverse student needs and expectations (Meacham 1989). So long as college faculty feels there is a burden associated the distance education program currently in place; there will be little support forexpanding distance education opportunities.

The advent of computers, telecommunications, and the World Wide Web provides an unprecedented opportunity for faculty and students to learn in a cooperative environment. It is interesting to note,however, that students respond to this changing environment more adeptly than teachers do. Finally, lack of practical involment of students in the practical exercise are also problems associate with distance learning in relation to Business Education. This study sought to the investigation of a place of distance learning and distance education to Business Educators in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study focus on thePlace of Distance Learning and Distance Education to the Business Educators in the secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The Study Specifically sought to:

  1. Ascertain the pedagogical skills possessed by business educator in Ohaukwu Local Government Area.

2.Examine the relevance of distance learning in the development of Business Educators in the secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area

  1. Determine the extent to which Distance education exposes business educators in the secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area

Significance of the Study

The study will be of immense significance to students and teachers and researchers. This study will significant to students as distance Education is extremely advantageous for students who wish to pursue their higher studies, but do not get the enough time to do this. These management programmes may be taken up by people who stay at remote places, workers, housewives and even the working professionals, who because of one or the another reason are not able to take up a regular programme. The biggest advantage of the findings toward distance education in the modern era is that these learning programmes provide flexibility to the learner to continue with their studies without compromising on quality of education and course content. People, who are constrained by one or the other reason do not have to leave their dreams and can go ahead as far as they want.

The research work will also be beneficiary to other researcher who through the knowledge acquired can effectively make used of the ideas.

Scope of the Study

The study focuses on a place of distance learning and distance education to the Business Educator. The study will be carry out in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Research Questions

          These research questions have been formulated to guide the study:

  1. What are the pedagogical skills possessed by business educator in Ohaukwu Local Government Area?

2.What are the relevance of distance learning in the development of Business Educators in the secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area?

3. To what extent do Distance education exposes business educators in the secondary schools in Ohaukwu Local Government Area


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