A survey for the relevance of business education on secondary school students in Bauchi

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A SURVEY FOR THE RELEVANCE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN BAUCHI

ABSTRACT

Business education is considered as a potent tool for influencing students‘ learning orientation and expression of Business implementation intentions. This study carried out a survey on the relevance of business education on Secondary school students in Bauchi State. Sequential explanatory mixed method was employed using survey and semistructured interviews as data collection methods. A total of 600 copies of questionnaire were administered. Semi structured interviews were also conducted on twenty (20) Business educators in the selected Secondary schools. Descriptive and inferential research methods: mean and hierarchical multiple regression were used for analysis of the returned and valid copies of questionnaire completed by the respondents. Thematic analysis was also used to analyse the semi structured interviews. The results from the test of hypotheses showed that; Business curriculum contents significantly impact on students‘ critical thinking and generation of business ideas (R2 = .063, F (2, 563) = 37.587, p ˂ .05 ; R2 = .0143, F (1, 562) = 52.706, p ˂ 0.05); Business pedagogy significantly affect students‘ shared vision and identification of business opportunities (R2 = .177, F (2, 563) = 121.108, p ˂ .05 ; R2 = .220, F (1, 562) = 30.696, p ˂ .05). ; teaching methods in Business significantly stimulate students‘ interest and business startups (R2 = .188, F (2, 563) = 131.580, p ˂ 0.05 : R2 = .385, F (1, 562) = 181.753, p ˂ 0.05); educator‘s competence significantly impact on students‘ commitment to learning and business Business Education( R2 = .033, F (2, 563) = 18.962, p ˂ .05 ; R2 = .122, F (1, 562) = 56.959, p ˂ .05); and Secondary schools support systems significantly enhance knowledge sharing and innovations among students (R2 = .052, F (2, 563) = 30.966, p ˂ 0.05 ; R2 = .097, F (1, 562) = 27.668, p ˂ 0.05). Results from the thematic analysis validated the findings from the test of hypotheses. However, the findings of the thematic analysis also revealed that practical activities are mainly based on vocational skill acquisition and Secondary schools support systems do not involve students across all levels. Based on the results from the quantitative and qualitative approach, it was recommended that apart from vocational skill activities, the curriculum should contain an extensive coverage of critical thinking and idea generation activities as graded components of the programme. It was also recommended that engagement of students with Business development initiatives provided by institutions should involve students across all levels. Therefore to increase the likelihood of engagement in Business activities after graduation the implications for the expression of Business implementation intentions are that students should generate viable business ideas, identifying market gaps, engage in business startups, write viable business plans and engage in product innovations. These actions should be considered as the major teaching and learning outcomes of an Business Education and development of viable business ideas by students of Nigerian Secondary schools.

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Across the globe, it has been observed that countries that thrive in all sectors of their economy did embrace education as their bedrock (Mesingerand Wagner (2006). It is therefore not farfetched to understand that a nation is as good as the kind of education system it operates. For quality of education to be guaranteed, emphasis should be placed on the quality of teaching, in order to ensure impressiveness, efficiency and productivity of education. When focusing on quality, the possibility of national and international level comparability should remain and improve. It is also necessary to control the quality of education by using the relevant agencies such as National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) as well as National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) etc. These agencies were established in order to ensure the quality of education in Nigeria. The concern here is quality assurance in Business Education.

Business Education is an integral part of vocational and Technical Education. It is a form of vocational education according to Idialu (2007) that is directed towards developing the learner to become productive in teaching, paid employment and self-employment. Amoor and Udoh (2008) noted that business education plays a significant role in the economic development by providing knowledge and skills to the learners thereby enabling them to adequately impart knowledge into others, and handle sophisticated office technologies and information systems. The goal of business education is primarily to produce competent, skilful and dynamic business teachers, office administrators and businessmen and women that will effectively compete in the world of work (Odunaike and Amoda 2008).

Quality assurance refers to the planned and systematic activities implemented in a quality system so that quality requirements for a product or services will be fulfilled. Idialu (2007) described quality as standards of something as compared to other things. That is the degree of goodness or excellence. Quality assurance generally means all the procedures, processes and systems that support and develop the education (Kontio 2007). Lending credence to the aforementioned facts, Ijaduola (2010) submitted that the inadequate funding that has attended education generally has taken toll on vocational education of which business education is part and parcel. Adequate funding would determine moving forward to a large extent and the progress of this aspect of training in skills acquisition must be prioritized.

In another vein, Ijaduola (2010, 2011), among other things, suggested that professionals must be employed as tutors; and learning at 95% determination must be practical and 5% theoretical in the curriculum of training. The instructors must be qualified professional trainers with vast experience and motivation traits in human resources development. This would enhance the rate of which learning and skills acquisition would take place by the learners.

At present, the caliber of students that graduate from Business Education, especially office education, according to Amoor (2008), have the problem of inadequate exposure to modern office technology, information systems and the rudiments of office administration. It is on this basis that this paper proposes to augment understanding about initiatives in Business Education in addition to its roles in quality assurance in Secondary schools of learning.

1.2 Statement of the Problems

The Business Education programmes in Secondary schools of learning has always been looked down upon. People prefer their children and wards to become lawyers, doctors, accountants etc. In spite of this problem, the government is not helping the situation by not funding the programme adequately. The researcher therefore became interested in assessing the quality of Business Education in selected Secondary schools in Oyo State, Nigeria.

Business education in Secondary schools is aimed at inculcating Business skills and attitudes in students to motivate Business intentions or considerations of Business as a career by undergraduates (Middleton, 2010). Despite the introduction of Business education as a compulsory course in NgerianSecondary schools, the aspirations for white collar jobs and graduate unemployment has persistently been on the increase. However, studies such as Aja-Okorie and Adali (2013) as well as Adebayo and Kolawole (2013) have established that Business education has a positive effect on Business intentions of Secondary schools students in Nigeria. Therefore the development of Business intentions by Nigerian Secondary schools students may not be in doubt.

It therefore suggests that Secondary schools students in Nigeria are not able to translate their intentions into the achievement of Business goals and aspirations at graduation. It is important to state that the success of any knowledge or skill development initiative is largely determined by the participant‘s learning orientation. Hence, considering that students in Nigerian Secondary schools are hardly able to translate Business intentions into the achievement of Business goals and pursuit, it implies that the exposure to Business education may not favourably motivate students‘ learning orientation. Furthermore, the expression of actions in pursuit of a goal substantiates intentions and increases the likelihood for the achievement of a desired end (Gollwitzer, 1993). This implies that the rising rates of graduate unemployment in Nigeria may be a pointer to the fact that BusinessEducations in Nigerian Secondary schools do not motivate students to initiate actions and behavioural responses in service of their Business goals and aspirations at graduation. Therefore in proffering solutions to these challenges identified, there is a need to highlight what areas have been covered by existing literature as regards the interplay between the components of an BusinessEducation, the dimensions of students‘ learning orientation, and expression of actions in pursuit of Business goals (Business implementation intentions), in order to identify the lacuna that exist.

Specifically, Business education is a purposeful action which should stimulate critical thinking in participants for generating innovative and creative business ideas (Sadeghi, Mohammadi, Nosrati, &Malekian 2013). It is important to state that researchers such as Adebayo and Kolawole (2013), Dirk, Benson, and Bruce (2013) and Papadimitriou (2015) have advocated a revision of Business curriculum content in Secondary schools to bridge the gap between theory and practice with particular emphasis on development of Business intentions. However, there is a need to ascertain whether Business curriculum contents stimulate students‘ critical thinking and generation of business ideas in Nigerian Secondary schools.

In the same vein, the pedagogical approaches adopted in Business education should create a shared vision in students to see socio-economic problems as challenges that could be translated into viable and feasible business opportunities (Sahlberg, 2010). Consequently, studies such as Middleton (2010), Aja-Okorie and Adali (2013), and more recently Nasiru, Keat, and Bhatti (2015) on Business pedagogical issues in Secondary schools education have recommended the design of experiential learning activities to motivate the development of creative problem solving abilities in order to enhance students‘ Business intentions. Nevertheless, considering the link between pedagogical approaches and identification of business opportunities, one aspect of keen interest particularly in the Nigerian Secondary schools context that many studies have ignored is the extent to which the pedagogical approach adopted affect students‘ shared vision and identification of business opportunities.

Furthermore, a major aim of Business education is to stimulate an individual‘s interest to perform as an entrepreneur; hence teaching methods in Business education should enable tryouts through business startups in an organised environment within Secondary schools (Ahmad, Baharun, & Rahman, 2004). Studies such as Arasti, Falavarjani, and Imanipour (2012) Rae and Carswell (2001) supported by Shepherd and Douglas (1997), have studied teaching methods in Business and their appropriateness for Business needs of graduate students. However, there is a paucity of research on teaching methods in Business education and the effects on students‘ interest and business startups in the Nigerian Secondary schools context.

An educator‘s competence is a decisive factor regarding the development of Business skills (Hytti& O’Gorman, 2004). This suggests that the competence of an educator cannot be overemphasised particularly because practical business skills and experience are required to inculcate Business skills in students. Business planning as an Business activity that involves the totality of the Business process, hence it is still considered as an important aspect of Business education and training. Consequently, the study of Fiet (2000) looked at the role of the educator in Business education generally; similarly Shulman and Shulman (2004) stressed the role of practical business experience and training of Business educators in motivating considerations of Business as a career by Secondary schools students. However, considering the role of business planning activities in inculcating Business skills in learners, another implication for this research is to examine the role of an educator‘s competence on students‘ commitment to learning and business Business Education.

Secondary schools support systems can be a major determinant of student‘s consideration of Business as a career. Secondary schools initiatives and support systems may largely affect the expression of innovativeness (Morris, Kuratko, & Cornwall, 2013). These initiatives motivate knowledge sharing among students culminating in innovations (Morris, Kuratko, & Cornwall, 2013). The study of Reznik (2010) examined the Secondary schools environment and student Business aspirations. Other studies such as Linan, Urbano, and Guerrero (2011) and the study of Shirokova, Bogatyreva, and Galkina (2014) have looked into Secondary schools environment and formation of student‘s Business intentions. Nevertheless, a critical task to explore in the Nigerian context is to examine the role of Secondary schools support systems in motivating knowledge sharing and innovations among students. Based on the areas of concern identified, the next section highlights the general and specific objectives of this study.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general objective of this study determined the effects of Business education and learning orientation on Business intentions of undergraduate students of Secondary schools in Nigeria. More specifically, the study attempted to:

  1. ascertain the effects of Business curriculum contents on students‘ critical thinking and business idea generation.
  2. examine the extent to which Business pedagogy affects students‘ shared-vision and identification of business opportunities.
  • evaluate the role of teaching methods in Business on students‘ interest and business start-ups.
  1. determine how an educator‘s competence impacts on students‘ commitment to learning and business Business Education.
  2. assess the role of Secondary schools policy environment on students‘ knowledge sharing and innovation.

1.4 Research Questions

Based on the research objectives, the following research questions were addressed in the study:

  1. To what extent do BusinessEducation curriculum contents impact on students‘ critical thinking and business idea generation?
  2. In what way does BusinessEducation affect students‘ shared-vision and identification of business opportunities?
  • In what way do teaching methods in BusinessEducation stimulate students‘ interest and business start-ups?
  1. To what extent does an educator‘s competence impact on students‘ commitment to learning and business Education?
  2. To what degree do the Secondary schools support systems enhance students‘ knowledge sharing and innovation?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following Hypotheses stated in null form were tested in this study;

H01)Business curriculum contents do not significant impact on students‘ critical thinking and business idea generation

H02)Business pedagogy does not significantly affect students‘ shared-vision and identification of business opportunities

H03) Teaching methods in business education do not significantly stimulate students‘ interest and business start-ups

H04) Educator‘s competence does not significantly impact on students‘ commitment to learning and business plan writing.

H05) School support systems do not significantly enhance students‘ knowledge sharing and innovation.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is significant to the following stakeholders:

  1. a) Policy Makers

This study is important to policy makers and stakeholders in Nigeria regarding the design of an Business curriculum that can enhance the development of viable business ideas by students of Nigerian Secondary schools.

  1. b) Secondary schools Management

The result of this study will provide a guide for Secondary schools managements on the formulation and implementation of policies, consistent with engagement in innovative activities and Business development of undergraduates in Nigerian Secondary schools.

c) Students

The findings of this study will facilitate the development of Business skills and aptitudes in Nigerian Secondary schools students, which in turn will motivate the propensity for job creation and reduction in graduate unemployment.

d) Researchers

This research will contribute to existing knowledge in Business education literature, by developing an intention model that will be useful for researchers in undertaking further research on related areas of study.

1.7 Scope of the Study 

Business education  in Nigerian Secondary schools was the focus of this study.

Specifically, the study examined the effects of Business education on students‘ expression of Business implementation intentions and the mediating influence of learning orientation. However, emphasis was laid on the first four Secondary schools in Nigeria to offer a Bachelors degree programme in Business. The BusinessEducations in these Secondary schools were considered relevant to the context of this study because there are indications that best practices in Business education are obtainable in these Secondary schools, and also because the main aim of the BusinessEducations in these institutions is to motivate students to initiate Business actions during the course of the programmes. Attention was given the perceptions of students in the selected Secondary schools. This provided a basis to understand how students interpret the teaching and learning processes in Business education and how these affects their behavioural responses and actions. Consequently, this study involved students of Federal Secondary schools of Technology Akure, Ondo State; Federal Secondary schools of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ogun State; Joseph Ayo BabalolaSecondary schools, Osun State; and Lead City Secondary schools, Ibadan, Oyo State.

1.7 Limitations of the Study 

  1. The quantitative aspect of this research adopted survey method of data collection hence respondents may not be encouraged to provide accurate answers to the questions posed.
  2. Semi structured interview was used to collect qualitative data, this may affect the adequacy of the data collection process.
  • iii) This study was based n the relevance of business education on Secondary school students in Baluchi State.
  1. Five components each of Business education, learning orientation and Business implementation intentions were identified in this thesis. This may limit the adequacy of the components of the constructs.

A SURVEY FOR THE RELEVANCE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN BAUCHI

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