BUSINESS EDUCATION TEACHERS PERCEPTIONS REGARDING THE STRUCTURE OF JSC BUSINESS STUDIES EXAMINATION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education as defined by the National Policy on Education revised (2004) is a dynamic instrument per excellence for effecting National development and a potent means for ensuring the welfare of the people and the equalization of life chances. In the same vein a renowned Nigerian Educationalist, Fafunwa (2004) defined Education as “an aggregate of all the processes by means of which a person develops abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour of positive value in the society in which he lives. Business Education which is an integral part of general Education grew in Nigeria as a Private Business Schools. The earliest type of business Education was the apprenticeship training of book keepers. In later part of the 19th century, private business schools i.e. commercial schools as they are popularly called had a virtual monopoly, in training the skilled employee needed by all types of business organizations and government offices. Indeed, many of the successful business executives of the early 1900s were graduates of private business schools. When the government took over schools in 1971, most of the business schools were merged with secondary and grammar schools. There was an emergent shift in emphasis and orientation towards a more functional approach to secondary education that better fulfils the socio-economic needs of the nation1 (Igboke 2008). With the introduction of the 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria, greater emphasis has been placed on Business Education known as Business studies in the junior secondary and the vocational business subjects such as shorthand, typewriting, Accounting, Office Practice and Commerce, in Senior Secondary Schools. (Igboke, 2008). The new National Policy on education (6-3-3-4 system) requires a child to spend six years in primary, three years in Junior secondary school, another three years in Senior Secondary School before proceeding for a 4-year university education. At the end of the three years in junior secondary school, the students are examined on a number of subjects including Business studies for the award of Junior Secondary School Certificate. According to Everiet (2002), Business studies is an inter-disciplinary integrated subject which draws its contents from other five distinct subjects namely:- i. Office Practice ii. Commerce iii. Book Keeping iv. Type writing, and v. Shorthand. During Junior Secondary school certificate examination, Business studies questions are set from all the five subjects listed above. And to ensure that all the subject areas are done, the normal rubrics given the students in the examination, requires them to attempt all the questions in the five subject areas of the paper without any subject options. This has been the practice in some states like Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu where business studies is offered in J.S.S. Examination. However, it is observed that students do avoid answering questions in typing and shorthand which affect their cumulative result in Business studies JSS Examination. Osuala (2004) observed that this has contributed to a significant decrease in the production of secretaries and typists at this level to work in our private and public offices as their services are seriously needed in our growing economy. For instance, to support the case being made for typewriting and shorthand, investigations conducted by the researcher at the JSC Examination marking centres at Enugu, Nsukka, and Abakaliki education zones in 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealed student’s subject choice pattern in the JSS Business studies examination to be in favour of office practice, commerce and book-keeping. This choice of three subject areas in the examination, draws together all the problems arising from the examination structure might be that government either avoid obligation or does not see the justification to build workshops, provision of fund, instructional materials and equipment, qualified manpower and incentives to both teachers and students since students do not offer typewriting and shorthand. While Ministry of Education ironically gives certificate to students in Business studies in typewriting and shorthand for passing office practice, commerce, and Book –Keeping even when, in fact, the questions are not enough to cover the subject areas. If this situation is allowed to continue, the future of Business studies in general and typewriting and shorthand in particular, will continue to be bleak unless urgent remedial action is taken to reverse the trend.
It is against this backdrop that this study is strongly being pursued.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The present structure of JSSC Business studies examination in Enugu state secondary school system manifest some inadequacies. It does not allow all the integrated subject components of Business studies to be evaluated adequately as students always avoid some subjects mostly typewriting and shorthand in the JSC Examinations. In the words of Osuala (2004), almost all the schools usually attempt questions from office practice, commerce, and Book-keeping, leaving typewriting and shorthand which are the pre-vocational subjects. This is opposed to the objectives of the National Policy on Education with respect to Business Studies. Other problems are that most students lack the foundation knowledge of and are not prepared to pursue shorthand and typewriting at the senior secondary school level including university possibly, because the examination structure is too skeletal and does not cover Business studies syllabus. For example, typewriting theory is taken without the corresponding practical much the same way shorthand theory is taken without dictation. Above all, because these two areas of business studies are neglected which is mainly encouraged by the structure of JSC examination, construction of typing pool for the teaching of typewriting and shorthand, provision of employment, as well as employment and motivation of Business Education teacher in schools by government hitherto continued to be elusive. Since the structure of JSC Business studies examination affects the evaluation of the subject, and since typewriting and shorthand are very important field of study, there is need for us therefore to inquire through Business Education teachers to find out why the state government adopted the examination policy in which students tends to concentrate on doing office practice, commerce, and Book-keeping neglecting Typewriting and shorthand with regard to the present structure of JSS Business studies examination in Enugu State.
The central focus of the study therefore is to probe Business Education teachers perceptions regarding the structure of JSC Business studies examination in Enugu urban.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is:
A.)To ascertain how the current structure of JSC examination has help in attaining the objectives of Teaching Business studies at the Junior Secondary school in Enugu urban.
B.) To find out Business Education Teachers perceptions regarding the structure of JSC Business studies examination in Enugu Urban and whether it contributes to high level of enrollment in the area of study.
c. To determine whether the current structure of JSC examination has reduced attention to practical work.
d. To determine whether the present structure of JSC examination, affects the number of teachers employed in the area of study.
e. To find out whether Business Education teachers regards the construct structure of JSC examination as good.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is very significant to us in the following ways.
The study will help us to improve the structure of JSC Business studies examination and to ensure that Business studies curriculum is well implemented, as well as providing all the necessary resource facilities and motivational incentives by all concerned in the running of Enugu State Secondary School System.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions will be addressed: 1. How far does the current structure of JSC examination help in attaining the objective of teaching Business studies at the Junior School?
2. Do business education teachers perceive the present structure of JSC examination as having contributed to the high level of enrollment in this area of study?
3. Does the current structure of JSC examination reduce attention to practical work.
4. Do teachers think the present structure of JSC examination affect the number of teachers employed in this area of study?
5. Do business education teachers regard the construct structure of JSC examination as good?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypotheses guided the study:
Ho: There will be no significant difference between the result of students who took all the five courses in business studies and students who took only three courses in their JSC Business studies Examination.
H1: There will be significant difference between the result of students who took all the five courses in business studies and students who took only three courses in their JSC Business studies examination.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study has been confined to a particular geographical location in the state. The criteria for the choice of location of school to be sampled and the sample size were based on the time at the disposal of the researcher, the ease of accessibility of the school location and financial resources of the researcher at the time of the study.
Therefore the study was confined to Enugu Urban.
1.8 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will involve investigations of Business education teachers’ perceptions regarding the structure of JSC Business studies examination in Enugu Urban.
1.9 DEFINTION OF TERMS
EDUCATION: Education is a process of teaching, training and learning especially in schools or colleges, to improve and develop skills (Oxford Advanced Learners dictionary, 2000 6th Edition).
BUSINESS EDUCATION: That aspect of the total educational programme that provides the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes needed to perform in the Business world as a producer and/or consumer of goods and services that business offers.
NATIONAL POLICY ON EDUCATION: This is a National plan of action put up by the Federal Government to restructure the educational programme of the country for effective implementation.
PERCEPTION: Opinion of people regarding JSC Business Studies Examination.