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PROJECT TOPIC- STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BUSINESS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UMUAHIA EDUCATION ZONE, ABIA STATE

PROJECT TOPIC- STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BUSINESS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UMUAHIA EDUCATION ZONE, ABIA STATE

Abstract

This research study aimed at validating the strategies for improving teaching and learning of Business Studies in Secondary Schools in Umuahia Education Zone of Abia State. The study was undertaken to address the problem of poor performance by students in business studies. Hence, there is need to identify and validate the strategies for improving the teaching and learning of business studies. The instrument used was the questionnaire and the population comprised 240 teachers and 4,500 students in junior secondary schools. Forty-eight (48) business studies
teachers and nine hundred (900) students were randomly selected from 30 secondary schools out of 60 secondary schools. Data collected were analysed using mean, standard deviation and t-test. The major findings include: use of appropriate teaching aids; showing concern for students’ ability; use of demonstration; and individualizing instruction. Problems encountered by business studies teachers include: inadequate provision of equipment and facilities; the absence of special incentives such as insewice training, study leaves allowance; allocation of insufficient periods. Learning difficulties encountered by students include: inadequate equipment for participation; not acquiring appropriate study materials. The following recommendations are made based on the findings: The government, schools and ministries should provide facilities, equipment and machines to aid in teaching and learning of business studies. Business studies teachers should be motivated through enhanced salaries and
allowances.

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The Federal Government of Nigeria since independence has been coming up with laudable educational policies, for instance, the 6-5-4 system of education, the Universal Primary Education (UPE), the Universal Basic Education (URE), the 6-3-3- 4 system of Education and others. Educational Policies were formulated to ensure that what is taught in schools relatcs to the national manpower needs of society. However, it was not until 1981 in the National Policy on Education (NPE) that pre-vocational subjects were included in the secondary school curriculum.

The National Policy on Education (NPE) which established the 6-3-3-4 system of education states that after the first tier of secondary education which has two tiers – 3 years of junior and 3 years of senior secondary (3-3) that school leavers should acquire enough skills to make motlier easily employable after the first tier. According to Obi (1995), Business Studies is an integrated Pre-Vocational course taught at the Junior Secondary School (JSS) level. It is made up of Commerce, Rook-keeping, Office Practice, Shorthand and Typewriting. Obi pointed out that these flvc sub-jects arc naturally dynamic and their contents respond to the changes in the b~~sinesws orld.

For example, methods of communication before now included telegrams and excluded e-mails, fax, and others but today, telegranls are presented only to show the trend in the development of information technology. Also, methods of typing before now, included manual and electric typewriter excluded computer, but today almost everything is cornputeri~ed. As a result of this dynamic nature of Business Studies, thc subject teachers need to review their knowledge and skills r-gularly if they must rcinain relevant and also produce school leavers who would meet the needs of the business world.
These five subjects of Business Stdies relate specifically to business and distributive operations and they are compulsory in junior secondary schools. Together tl~eqa’ re part of vocational education which encourages the use of the head and hands in acquiring specific practical training required in business and industry. Thcy providc ons such as I ne normal reinforcement lot good performance in these subjects is a good foundation involving clcar ideas on their users’ interest and a good grounding in English language and Mathematics. With these and keenness in the technical aspects of education.

the sky is the limit when the g econdary schools who learnt Business Studies enter employment from the oorroln or the ladder (Majasan, 1995). Ma-jasan stated tha the junior seconda~yX I ~ V U I ~LI KY WI I I i l ~ ; q ua~ grv~v u LVUILUBLIVIVI II WI I ICIL LIK xwv r
secondary education will be built. Majasan further explained that for any developing nation like Nigeria to curb unempluymcnt among school leavers, she must operate an effective and efficient Business Studies.

Odoh (1991) also reported that a nation desirous of economic growth and development need to emphasize Business Studies as one of the educational strategies. Odoh observes Business Studies is the type of education that helps the learner acquire skills and competence required for the basic jobs in both public and private sector.
One of the objectives of the Business Studies is the provision of orientation and basic skill with which to start a life of work training. In spite of this laudable obiective. present aav stuclenrs s c r ~P errorrn nclow cxpcctation in the JLI Business Studies. In / of 2000 to 2003 sessiorls, L IK perrunrlarlce VL sruuenm wrlu hilt lur Duslrless a~uulcsIn the JSSCE was gcnerally poor. In Umuahia E 1,258 of the 3,376 candidates were successful 3.350 candidates were successfi~l, and for 221 candidates were successful.
A study carried out by students in Business Studics is i non-busincss education teachers. u b o~bs erved that many scnooh were unable to
teach I3usi1 f the schools which offered Business Studies did not t w h all the rive suyects or me integrated Busincss Studies due to inadequate number mior Seconda~y School Certificate ILkaminatinn (JSSCE) of ibia State for instance, according to the Chief Examiners Rcport
3ducation Zonc, for 2001 session only . For 2002 session only 145 17 of the 003 session only 1,427 of thc 3,574 ~ c s sS tudics and most o ‘- * . . r .

PROJECT TOPIC- STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BUSINESS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UMUAHIA EDUCATION ZONE, ABIA STATE

Obi (1989) revealed that thc poor performance of 3s a result of the fact that the students are taught by -. . . _ I . . . . . of business education teachers, and equipments. The poor performance of students in Rusiness Studies especially in the JSSCE has caused concern to many well infhrrned Nigerians (Odoh. 1991; Obi, 1989 and Ulinfun, 1990). @doh (1 991) observcd that these observed deterioration in students’ achievement in Business Studies must have been contributed by the methods of teaching students Business Studies.

Odoh also stated that inany classroom teachers still use teaching methods which do not arouse the interest of the students. Such teaching methods include the lecture method (chalk-talk method), which is not activity oriented and is mainly teacher centred. This method does not motivate the students and do not contribute to the child acquiring the required skills of Business Studies.
Douglas, Blanford, Anderson (1972), the teaching of business studies requires application of diffcrent strategies or techniques to make it interesting and meaningful. Strategies in this study refer to the teachers’ techniques used in the classroom, his activities, behaviour and/or actions taken to improve students’ interest, participation a,ld performance in his subject. Strategies are unique to sub-ject matter and vary from teacher to teacher. It could be an expertise, talent or trait. Akuezuilo (1989) said that teaching strategies include not only the manner of presentation thal the teacher employs but everything that he does in the way of arranging conditions, grouping students, guiding activities, making assignments and providing information to aid learning.
Akpan (199 1) defined teaching (strategies) techniques as the practice and rrfinement of presentation which a teacher uses to make his teaching more (effective) interesting when r~singa specific method or teaching aid. According to Ukoha and Eneogwe (1996), strategies are processes adopted by veteran teachers to inject variety in their teaching, stimulate it and maintain the students’ interest in it. Therefore in order to avoid student’s lack of interest in business studies, they need to be well taught and motivated by using different strategies.

Mornby (1998) defined strategy as a plan designed for particular purposes or the process of planning something or carrying out a plan in a skillful way. Nwachulwu (200 1)’ described teaching strategies as decisions about organizing stt~dents, ~naterials and ideas to provide learning. That is, nays of approaching the students to get them interested and understand the subject. Therefore every business studies teacher must devise a means or develop strategies. which he can reach out to students to learn and be interested in business studies. This also means that inany techniques should be employed for effectiveness of the lesson. Nwachukwu further states that teachers need to vary their teaching strategies in different classroom situations. Etuk (2000) asserted that use of a single approach causes boredom and discipline problems in the classroom.
Offorlna (1994) maintained that teachers have to use different resources and teaching strategies to teach students of different abilities and interests. The teachers of business studies should try to make cIass activities interestincg to the students. lhis can be done by identifying the needs and interests of the students and thereby incorporates thcm into the class activities. Making use of a variety of strategies to teach a particular s,ibject matter can help to attract and maintain the interest of the students to takc active part in the subject. This will make mastery of the subject easy and successful in examinations. Thc iinplication of the use of different strategies in teaching business studies is that it will affect the attitudes and behaviour of students positively.
Narasimhan ( I 997). has observed that what facilitates students’ understanding and acquisition of knowledge have been found to be dependent on such [earning environment. the teacher’s ltnowledge level and the instructional approaches used. Warasirnhan went further to stress that the teacher cl~aracteristicst, reaching approaches among others, are aspects of the teacher that are considered very important in influencing students’ learning and understanding. 

Supporting this, F ) is of the opinion that the teaching approach of a teacher is the most crucial lauw 111 acquisition of knowledge and in addition to the knowledge of the sub-jcct matter and objectives of the topic, the teacher must also use a oood teaching approach that will facilitate understanding among his students. It is for  this same reason that Ukanwoke (1991) is of the view that a teacher who uses real life experiences and si~nulationo f life situations facilitates students’ understanding of the subject matter being taught.
Teaching has remained a noble profession in the world over, and all over history. Teaching has also been seen as an attempt geared towards assisting the learner .ional to the quality c effective teachers for the 6-3-3-4 system   11 not only teach, to change his behaviour in a specific context. In this sense, it could be a change of attitude. knowledge. idea. skill or appreciation (Pauk, 1997). Therefore. the dcsirc to find effective qualil : in finding effective and qr~aIiFied teachers is Lrle remimuon inai me qualrly or ieacners in proportional to the quality of their pupils and students.

The quality of students in any particular country, according to Aina (1990) is proportion tf her citizenry. These are among other I fears about availability of adcquate and of education, if it would succeed. Nigeria has realized t h ~ sta ct, hence the Pederal Republic of Nigeria (1981)
reported that all teachers in our educational institutions from pre-primary to the Ihiversity will be professionally trained.
The production of Iinowledg;e, progressive and effective teachers noted Uwameiye (19 93) wi but also inspire studen~sto learn. Professionally
trained and effective reacners possess the capability to inspire and to develop positive attitudes in their subjects which is conducive to good performance. There is no educational system that can succeed without adequate supply of qualified teachers. Teachers are the foundation of an:
t ~ ~ c h c rasre poorly prepared, the educat structured, would collapse.

According to persistent educational problem in Africa is the training of a competent teacher. Re observed that in all socia!, pofitica! and ctivities there is always the complaint of inadequate or need fol u a l l l c c r L I I L ~ I I ~ U W C II .a unwary. also noted that adequate tr programmes For t taught practically, the Lolnparatlve hducatlon Study and Adaptation Lentre (Lk3AL) committee on Rustiness Studies gave a very serious consideration to thc issue or materials and equipment. Some of the equipment and materials that CESAC considered as basic for enhancing teaching and learning of Business Studics include:
Typewriters, stapling Alarm-Clock, Perforates, Stop-watches, Tape Recorders. File jackets, Ruled Chalkboard and others.
y good educational programme. If the ional programme no matter how well- Fafilnwa (1976) thr most comnellinp 2nd economic spheres of’ a
– machines, , I I C l L C I L 1 U L 3 U l l C l b ~ W L ~ I l I b l lULL 1 I I U U b L U Cl L L i t 3 3 \I1 – fW 3 L U U L l l L J . UllU visits be undertaken by students to relevant places during thc 992), sugges The Wisconsinite also recommended. among other things, that: I. a minimum of 5 periods for teaching Business Studies; . .

11. special consideration be given to shorthand and typewriting – to be taught at least two periods a week; iii. adequate p ~ t ~ ~- n A; ~~ n ~I ~ ~; n s – nL~ n mt q A o I n 0 , – loor . n f An r t m r l l n m t c – nnrl iv. industrial wa course of training.
Frender (1990), defines learning as changes in perception, knowledge of an individual. Learning, the acquisition of new knowledge and skills, is generally regarded as a constructive activity such as working-memory capacity and senera! knowledge. Gibbs (1 ts that “le ionary, sense-making, perspire~t-IILp~rIu ~ess of ~ C V G I ~ ~ I I I C I IL ILM I I 51111plC a~c~inquisition. Therefore learning is a process which causes a changc in behaviour of an individual. According to Ziinmennan (1990), the acquisition, integration, organization and storage of new knowledge are all facilitated by the use of effective and efficient learning strategies and study skills.

In his own opinion, Okorie (1999) outlined some study habits that will enhance learning: development of power of concentration; regular class attendance; selection of a comfortable environment; discovery of a relative learning speed; and others. Teachers should endeavour to teach their students how to learn.

Statement of the Problem

The importance of Business Studies for the nation’s economic developinent cannot be overemphasized. In the same vein: the present poor performance of students in Business Studies as reflected in the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) report by the Chief Examiner on students performance cited in Ulnuahia Education Zone from 2001 to 2003 sessions is of utmost concern. According to Okonlcwo (1995). inadequate qualified Busincss Studies teachers results to poor performance of students in Business Studies. ‘This poor academic achievement in Rusiness Studies programme in Nigeria is unsatisfactory. This state of affairs is very disturbing.
Many factors. include sing strategies adopted by Nigeria Business Studies tedui~i su u W L WUI L I I LNY b ~ g h t . According to Ekunno
(1994), poor teaching methods used ii ss Studies gives rise to inadequacy of learning of the requilLLt 31\L113 V1 I , U ~ ~ ~S,tu~dSieSs. Students
performance in Business Studies cannot be improved unless teachers adopt suitable methods and approaches of teaching Business Studies.
Commenting on students’ attitude toward study, Pauk (19971 found that it is a common feature presently in school attitude towards learning. This is p~.,., ,., ., .,,,. ,, …. ,.,,, vJ uruuv.lrv, yl,,vu”l J owing to the poor teaching strategies adopted by teachers while teaching. Obi (20011, also stated that illost schools are not equir dents with learning experience necessary for the development of Dasic srcir~s neeueu in Business Studies.
While hoping Th dived someday. it is necessary to ensure that the tedci~l~digl lU ICdllllllg UI T) l I~l l l t ; b 5 dies be improved on. ‘Therefore. based on the above. the lna-jor concern of this study is to establish strategies for improving teaching and learning of Business Studies in junior secondary
schools in lJmuahia Edrlcation Zone of Abia State. . , t system to see students exhibiting non-nonchalant  wtlv AIIP tn lark nf i n t ~ r ~ hr ttl c f i ~ r l ~ntncr nhnhlw ~ped to provide stu 1- –! – . a . : * r – – – J – 3 Purpose of the StuA-, 

The major 1 Education Zone, Abia State.
Specifically the study s 

1. establish track effectiveness in teaching Business Studies;

 2. establish learning strategies that could enhance the students’ ability for learning Business Studies; 

3. determine problems militating against the teaching of Business Studies; and 

4. ascertain learning difficulties encountered by students in Business Studies.

PROJECT TOPIC- STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BUSINESS STUDIES IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN UMUAHIA EDUCATION ZONE, ABIA STATE

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