Strategies for enhancing of teaching of business studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ebonyi state
Background of the Study
History of education in Nigeria has it that the late introduction of Business education subjects into the Nigeria secondary schools was the architect of the colonial masters of that era. Before independence, there was no serious attempt by the colonial masters to educate the citizens in specialized areas of knowledge, thus, people went to school to major in Arts because the curriculum studies offered in secondary schools then include only subjects, such as English, Religious Studies, History, Latin, Geography’, philosophy and Science, mathematics and vocational subjects were not offered because colonial office in London feared the Nigeria might become more economically and technologically advanced if given the opportunity (Esene, 2012).
However, the advent of the Nigeria Policy on Education which recommended 6-3-3-4 the present educational system brought a sigh of relief to business education scholars and practitioner in the sense that the junior secondary school programme is prevocational, pre-technical and academic. The 6-3-3-4 system of education introduced in 1982 gave birth to introduction of Business Studies in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) curriculum. Business Studies is integrated in nature which means that the subject is taught as a single subject which has five major components of Bookkeeping, Commerce, Office Practice, Shorthand and Typewriting.
Business Studies is expository and discovery in nature which enable students to discover those skills and potentials that help individuals in future for life long education. The curriculum is broad and rich in skills acquisition subjects and students are expected to cover all the various subjects to enable them possess the prevocational skills therein. It helps in training the students on those skills that are relevant to develop skills, aptitudes, potentials and competences to be useful citizens and contribute economically to the society.
Business studies is synonymous with Business education at higher institution Business Education is education for and about business or training in business skills and competencies required for use in business offices. Esene (2012) described Business studies at JSS level were the subjected is taught as a single subject but these subjects can stand alone at senior secondary school level – Bookkeeping, Commerce, Typewriting1 and Shorthand.
To translate these laudable objectives of Business Studies into concrete reality, federal government has also introduced another programme, Universal Basic Education. It is a programme which is aimed at addressing problems of access, quality and equity in primary and junior secondary schools. It is a 9-years educational programme of six years duration for the primary segment and three years of junior secondary. These two levels of basic education are universal, free and compulsory for all Nigerian children aged 6-15. The Universal Basic Education programme stimulates learning from the early years of 3-5+ which is called Early Child Care Development and Education (ECCDE) Universal Basic Education (2008).
The inadequate attention paid to the basic education sub-sector over the years had resulted in the near total collapse of the education system which led to limited access to, poor retention in, and poor quality of basic education. The rate of illiteracy was unacceptably high, the condition of the school infrastructure was appalling. Teachers were poorly trained and poorly motivated and school drop-out 8rate had not abated, while funding of basic education continued to decline. Consequently, Nigeria was nowhere close to achieving full access to primary education. Reports and studies have consistently pointed to this fact. As a result of the failure of other initiatives to register any sustainable impact on access to primary education, due principally, to lack of sustained political will and poor implementation plans, the Federal Government re-launched the Universal Basic Education programme in September, 1999, as a radical intervention strategy for ensuring access to quality basic education. It should also be noted that the need to broaden educational opportunities, especially in developing countries has been highlighted since the Jomtien conference on Education for all in 1990. The international commitment to that effect stems from an understanding that education holds the key to individual and national development. This is to be realized through improvement of the attitudes, beliefs and practices that are inimical to human and national progress and the enthronement of democratic values among citizens. Thus, the National Policy on Education (FRN,2009) states that “the Government recognizes education as an instrument par excellence for effecting national development’. Apart from these plausible reasons for equitable access to education, another fundamental reason for such equity is the fact the education is a right in itself as enshrined in the Child Right Act,2003. (UBEC Manual, 2008).It should be noted also that Universal Basic Education programme is not altogether a brand new initiative, but rather a reform measure, which is aimed at addressing problems of access and quality in primary and junior secondary schools. Thus, the Universal Basic Education is a nine-year educational intervention programme, whose overall objective is to eradicate illiteracy, ignorance and poverty with the aim of stimulating and accelerating national development, political consciousness and national integration, Specifically, the programme was introduced in order to remove distortions an inconsistencies in basic education delivery and to reinforce the implementation of the National Policy on Education and ensure that the child rights are well catered for. Government resorted to the Universal Basic Education because of its (FG) concern that states and local governments, which have the constitutional responsibility for basic education delivery, were unable to effectively deliver, and ensure unhindered access to quality basic education for all children and youths aged 6-15years. Relying on a constitutional provision, which empowered it to set and maintain standards in education, the Federal Government enacted the Compulsory, Free, Universal basic education Act in April 2004. Part (1) of the Universal Basic Education Act states that: “Without prejudice to the provisions of item 30 of part II of the Second Schedule and item 2(9) of the Fourth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution dealing with primary school education, the Federal Government’s intervention under this Act shall only be an assistance to the States and Local Governments in Nigeria for the purposes of uniform and qualitative basic education throughout Nigeria”.
The act also formally established the (Universal Basic Education Commission) as the agency through which the Federal Government intervention in basic education would be effected and also provided for State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEB).
Hence, business studies as a subject is yet to receive the needed attention to maintain the best standard or take its toll in national development. Based on the forgoing, this study tends to ascertain the strategies for enhancing of teaching of business studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ebonyi state.
Statement of the Problem
Business Studies has become an integral part of Junior Secondary School (JSS) curriculum in the provision of prevocational skills needed in the world of work. Despite its immense importance, since the introduction of the subject, in Nigeria secondary school in 1982, it has been faces with some setbacks inhibiting its effective teaching and learning. Makeri (2006) found out that teachers identified lack of instructional facilities, inadequate teachers, inadequate administrative support and students. Lukewarn attitude as of a reason of unattractiveness of Business studies. The inadequacy of instructional facilities and teachers seems to have resulted to poor method of instructions. Most secondary schools do not offer Business Studies rather they prefer Arts and Science subjects. The subjects seems to have been neglected; unfortunately, the subject has also been made elective in Junior Secondary School at the Universal Basic Education programme (2008) Most states have not access funds lodged by the Federal Government since the last quarter of 2005. Federal Government continues to lodge in funds quarterly since 2005 hence Business Studies is yet to get to the needed standard. It is based on this fact that the researcher seeks to find out the strategies for enhancing of teaching of business studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ebonyi state.
Purpose of the Study
This study is set to ascertain the strategies for enhancing of teaching of business studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ebonyi state. Specifically, it seeks to:
- Determine State governments’ role in funding business studies as stated in Universal Basic Education programme.
- Ascertain effective ways of arousing student’s interest in learning Business studies.
- Determine the most effective methods of teaching to be adopted by Business studies teachers.
- Recommend strategies to enhance teaching and learning of business studies
Significance of the Study
It is expected that every research study find solution to a given problem. Hence, the findings from this study on the strategies for enhancing of teaching of business studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ebonyi state, will be of benefit to educational administrator, business studies teachers, principals, the federal government, the Secondary Education Board, students, as well as other users of information.
To the school administrators, it will help in effective planning, budgeting and forecasting of possible ways of standardizing the teaching and learning of business Studies and effective utilization of available educational resources in teaching and learning of business studies. To the business studies teachers, this study will help them in making use of the most effective teaching methodology in driving home their lessons as well as enhance their handling of instructional aids in the classrooms.
To the principals, it will help them in maximizing available funds approved by the government as approved in the Universal Basic Education programme. It will also enhance maximum utilization of manpower as the teachers are being trained and retrained from time to time.
The study will help the government to understand their role in enhancing the standardization of the teaching and learning of business studies in junior secondary schools. To the students, it will help them to know what to expect from their business studies lessons and how to follow up with the instructional aids provided by either the government or the school.
Finally, this study will be of immense help to other researchers as it may form basis for literature in their studies and also the needed information in achieving their research goals.
The following research questions guided the study:
- What role does the state government play in funding of business studies as stated in Universal Basic Education programme?
- What are the effective ways of arousing student’s interest in learning Business studies?
- What are the effective methods to be adopted by teachers in teaching Business studies?
- What strategies do you recommend to enhance teaching of business studies?
Scope of the Study
This study is geared towards finding out the strategies for enhancing of teaching of business studies in Junior Secondary Schools in Ebonyi state. However, this study is limited to Junior Secondary Schools in the three educational zones in Ebonyi State namely: Ebonyi North Zone, Ebonyi South Zone and Ebonyi central zone.