CHALLENGES OF TEACHING BUSINESS STUDIES AS A SUBJECT IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background to the Study
The importance of any educational programme is to ensure that the products of the system are equipped with the relevant skills; basic scientific knowledge and a kind of attitude needed to enable students face the challenges in the world of work (Adeleye, 2008). For a nation to possess ability of bringing about behavioural changes in the individual and witness rapid development, such a nation must give the right value and education that is capable of developing the youths into a sound and effective citizens that would make them to be fit and responsible to themselves and the community at large (Obi, 2013). For quick realization of these laudable objectives, efforts of Nigerian government is directed towards building an individual for self-reliant and contributes in no small measure to the world economic challenges. That is the reason why a pre-vocational subject was incorporated into the curriculum of junior secondary schools in Nigeria.
The content of the business studies syllabus is such that it incorporates the acquisition of both academic and practical skills that might help the students to fit into post-school working environments. This is the major reason why business studies is classified as a practical subject (Adeleke, 2017). To make these objectives a reality, an appropriate method of teaching and supports for learners cannot be over-emphasized. There are many challenges attributed to the effective teaching and learning of business studies such as inadequate qualified teachers, poor funding, poor infrastructures, class overcrowding, poor students and teachers’ attitudes, inadequate instructional materials, among others (Ajisafe, Bolarin and Edeh, 2015) and all these challenges are evident in Paikoro Local Government Area.
Efforts should therefore be advanced to curtail its influence. Kudos to the new educational curriculum of Nigeria which now exposes junior secondary school students to vocational studies by making business studies no longer optional but a compulsory subject. It was hoped that this is aimed at creating an early hunger for some sort of drive to experiment in the market place for some of the indigenous creativity inherent in our nation.
One of the greatest challenges facing the Nigerian educational system relating to the subject matter of business studies is based on the need for teachers to keep up to date with developments in the business world. There are constant changes in the business world and it is not at all easy for teachers to stay up-to-date with new developments. The effect of this is obvious, as we would end up with unqualified teachers who are deficient even in their supposed areas of specialization and as such, business studies is a practical oriented subject which calls for competent teachers for a successful delivery and acquisition of knowledge (Iribe, 2014).
Ajisafe, Bolarin and Edeh (2015) observed that there is a great concern to give absolute attention to the quality and the numbers of teachers we have in the secondary schools to enable us achieve and attain the goals for which these secondary schools were established without any impediment or hampering this purpose. Hence, being properly trained as a professional teacher and having a sound knowledge of what to teach is the most vital prerequisite for a good qualified teacher. Unqualified teachers in our secondary schools today teaching business studies have acted persistently as canker-worm devouring the efforts of achieving the educational objectives for this subject. It is observed that a person can never give out what he does not have (Iribe, 2014).
It is glaring that no one can do a job satisfactorily, without the expected needed materials or equipment. Personal observation has shown that teachers seem to be more concerned with completing the business studies syllabus in time for examinations at the expense of imparting business skills and literacy through the use constructivist teaching method as recommended in the syllabus. In teaching business studies, methodology is a veritable tool for the conveyance of the principles or theories of business studies as well as the practical aspect to enhance students’ attitude and achievement (Akpan, Umoudo & Ukut, 2014).
Business studies is a practical subject, its teaching should obviously include both the theoretical and the practical with the help of instructional materials to enhance learning and ease lesson delivery. However, in Paikoro Local Government, there is inadequate of this material either the real one or an improvised ones such as typewritter, computers, among others to complement the teaching and learning and to support this claim, Akpan, Umoudo and Ukut (2014) noted that the use of instructional materials by business studies teacher is very limited and most times, business studies teachers teaches verbally which directly affect the effective teaching and learning of business studies.
The interest and attitude of students and teachers is another challenge that militates against the effective teaching of business studies. The interest and attitudes of teachers and students over teaching and learning of business studies in secondary schools are of great effects. Adeleke (2017) noted that the teachers’ poor attitude discourages and scares away students from studying the subject. This is so, if the students are not properly guided, they become scared of the teachers and the subject resulting in lack of interest and the student’s performance tend to be poor since effective teaching do not take place.
Challenges of Teaching Business Studies as a Subject in Secondary Schools
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Teaching and learning of business studies in junior secondary schools in Niger State have evolved over the years, with more emphasis on student-centered teaching methods. There is an increased expectation placed on the role that business studies could play to boost the economy. However, one could argue that there remains disconnection between what business studies was designed for and the realities of our practice (Joshua & Bibiana, 2015 cited in Tang, Gu, & Whinstone, 2012).
It has been observed that there are lots of factors militating against the effective teaching and learning of business studies in secondary schools which includes inadequate of qualified teachers, inadequate instructional materials, poor methodology of teaching, poor students and teachers’ attitudes and interest, among others.
Therefore, if these challenges are not addressed as expected, it would hinder the successful teaching and learning of business studies. It is against this background that this study intended to find out the challenges of teaching business studies as a subject in secondary schools in Paikoro Local Government area of Niger state with special reference to some selected secondary schools.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to ascertain the challenges of teaching business studies as a subject in secondary schools in Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger State. Specifically, the study sought to:
- Determine the effect of method of teaching on teaching and learning of business in secondary schools.
- Investigate the extent to which students and teachers’ attitudes affect the teaching and learning of business studies in secondary schools?
1.4 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following research questions.
- What are the effect of method of teaching on teaching and learning of business studies?
- What is the extent to which students and teachers’ attitudes affect the teaching and learning of business studies in secondary schools?
Challenges of Teaching Business Studies as a Subject in Secondary Schools
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
H01: There is no significant relationship in the mean response of respondents on how teaching methods affect the study of business studies.
H02: There is no significant relationship in the mean response of respondents the extent to which students and teachers’ attitude affect the teaching and learning of business studies.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The research work was strictly concerned with the Challenges of teaching business studies as a subject in secondary schools in Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger state with reference to some selected secondary schools. It also focused on the identification of the problems associated with the teaching of business studies from the teachers, students and government policy angle.
Certain constraints were encountered in the course of this research work which included limited time to carry out the research, fund, reluctance of some respondents and dearth of literature on challenges facing business studies in Paikoro, Niger State.
1.7 Significance of the Study
It was expected that successful completion of this study would be of immense value to teachers, students, scholars, government policy makers, and teacher training institutions with the challenges facing the teaching of business studies and solutions suggested would help improve the performance in the subject. The findings of the study would provide equipped teachers with the solution related to teacher inefficiency and managing students’ posed factor by implementing suggested recommendation for effective teaching and learning of business studies.
Furthermore, the study would benefit students by providing practical solutions to some of the reasons of poor attitudinal, low performance and study techniques to improve the understanding of the subject matter and improving students’ achievement scores. The study would serve as an additional literature to scholars studying about business studies and form a base to further studies on the subject and aiding research and contribute to the existing body of knowledge
Finally, the findings of the study would also provide policy makers with a basis for policing and implementing the suggested recommendation for improving the students’ achievement in business studies. The study would provide valuable information to teacher training institutions on what to include in teacher education curriculum for business studies teachers.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Achievement: This is a noteworthy accomplishment of studying business studies after much effort put in practice.
Attitude: a settled way of thinking or feeling about business studies
Business Studies: Business Studies is a broad subject allowing the in-depth study of a range of specialties such as economics, accountancy, finance, organization, human resources management and marketing.
Challenges: This are issues, problems facing the effective teaching and learning of business studies.
Learning: This is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences in business
Student: This is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution who attends business studies classes
Teacher: This is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue on business studies.
Teaching: This is a process impacting knowledge, competence or virtue to business students by a trained business teacher.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.