Education is an important aspect of economic development. The social, economic and political needs of the citizens in a country may be met through the curriculum, however curriculum face challenges in its implementation. The study was carried out to identify the challenges facing the implementation of Business studies curriculum in public day secondary schools in Ekiti . The purpose and objectives of the study was to investigate the administrative challenges faced by head teachers, challenges faced by teachers and students in the implementation of Business studies. The study employed the Havelock‟s (1969), Research Development and Diffusion Model. This is an approach where a curriculum innovation is based on research findings and recommendations. The study adopted a descriptive survey design utilizing both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Target Population comprised of 22 principals, 22 Business studies teachers, 440 form three Business studies students and 22 heads of department in technical subjects. The total population for the study was 506.The schools were stratified according to education zones, and then stratified random sampling using the lottery technique was used to get the 6 schools that were studied, representing 27% of the target population. The sample comprised of 6 principals, 6 H.O.Ds, 6 teachers and 30 Business Studies students making a sample of 48 participants. Data was collected using interviews for head teachers and questionnaires for the H.O.Ds, teachers and students. Reliability and validity of the research instruments were determined through a pilot study. Qualitative data was analyzed using content analysis technique, while quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics which include mean, median and mode and presented in frequency distribution tables and percentages. The study found out that there is inadequate teaching and learning resources such as business studies textbooks, absence by Business Studies teachers is wanting, there isn‟t specific classrooms designated for business studies, the schemes of work and lesson plans are not adequately prepared, syllabus are not in harmony, large form ones and form two business studies classes, time allocated to teach business studies is not adequate, abstract and wide business studies content and difficult language in the business studies text books. The study concluded that implementation business studies is facing many challenges which include the following :time allocated for teaching business studies is not enough and should be increased with one lesson to enable the completion of the syllabus on time, there is inadequate teaching/learning resources, inadequate physical facilities, schemes of work are not prepared on time and most teachers do not prepare lesson plans, KNEC and EKITIN INSTITUTE OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT syllabuses are not in harmony, large form ones and two classes, business studies is wide and abstract. Business Studies syllabus is not completed on time. Business Studies should be reviewed especially the accounting part. The government should employ more Business Studies teachers. The Business Studies book publishers should simplify the language in textbooks for easy understanding by the students.
This chapter presents what the study is about. It outlines the background to the study, statement of the problem, purpose and objectives, research questions, research assumptions, limitations and delimitations of the study ,significance of the study, theoretical frame work, conceptual frame work and the operational definitions of central terms.
1.2 Background to the Study
Education is an important aspect of economic development. When citizens of a country are educated that is a key to social, economic and political stability (Ojiambo, 2009). The Ekiti government has considerably invested in education which is evidenced by the free primary education and the free day secondary education (Ojiambo, 2009). The main purpose of education is to transmit wisdom and knowledge from one generation to another, this prepares young people to be members of the society, maintain it and develop it. Education also has positive influence on population, health nutrition and also increases value and efficiency for labour (Kising‟u, 2012).The unemployment problems facing the country can best be addressed through equipping the young people with skills that can lead to self employment, the curriculum therefore should equip the learners with skills and more so enterprenuaral skills and this therefore indicates the importance of business education in the school curriculum.
(Popham et al, 1975). In Ekiti Business studies in Junior Secondary School curriculum, came about as a means of laying the foundation for national technological and economic advancement, as articulated in the National Policy on Education (Federal Ministry of Education, 1981).The designers of the Business studies curriculum apparently considered that, in line with the current Ekitin vocational curriculum philosophy (National Board for Technical Education, 1984), the obvious way to develop a curriculum that would give a broad introduction to the field of business was to do away with the traditionally compartmentalized single subjects. Consequently, five such subjects (book-keeping, commerce, office practice, shorthand and typewriting) were brought together as units of a new subject to be called „Business studies‟ (Ekpenyong 2006).The curriculum aimed at giving students knowledge and skills that should enable them to adapt to changes in office technology and develop a broad understanding of business activities, the structure and functions of business institutions and their inter-relationships. In Ekiti a numbers of education commissions and education committees have been put in place to review the education system in Ekiti. The commissions have seen the Business studies evolve to its current status in the Ekitin education system. The commissions and committee reports include Fraser Commission 1909, Phelps-Stokes Commission of 1924, the Beecher report of 1949, and the Binns Commission of 1952. The Ominde Commission 1964, the Gacathi Report 1976, the Mackay Report 1981, Kamunge Report 1988 and Koech Commission 1999. Fraser Report (1909) on Education recommended introduction of industrial education in schools as a means of providing skills to native labourers and artisans in large numbers for various purposes. During the colonial period, the colonial government opened a number of industrial schools in areas not effectively served by missionaries, some of the courses offered included carpentry, agriculture typing and blacksmithing (Kising‟u, 2012), typing and office practice is a constituent of Business studies currently. After second world war there was general believe among Ekitins that vocational education relegated natives to manual workers for colonialists and therefore academic education was gaining predominance over Industrial Education (Bagonko, 1992). The curriculum was oriented towards white-collar jobs in the new independent state, neglecting practical skills. Eventually many school leavers lacked enough skills to serve the society (Kising‟u, 2012).The lack of skills called for the incorporation of practical oriented subjects into formal education, this was seen as a way of equipping learners with basic knowledge and skills for self employment (Republic of Ekiti, 1976).The introduction of secondary Business Education programme was based on the results of the 1965 manpower survey and its aim was to produce highly skilled manpower required for the growing commercial enterprises in the country (Onywoki 2011). Specifically, the project was aimed at introducing business education subjects in selected general secondary schools in Ekiti, for example accounting, shorthand and typing with office practice and commerce. Because of the success of the project, there were about 120 secondary schools teaching business education in Ekiti by 1980s (Oluoch, 1982). The MacKay report of 1981 laid the foundation for the 8-4-4 system of education. The aim for this system of education was to replace the academic form of education system with an education system that could equip learners with technical skills that could make them gain self employment after school (Kising‟u 2012). Implementation of the Mackay commission report led to the introduction of business education at the secondary school level. The secondary school business education comprised of Accounting, commerce, Economics and office practice. Each of these subjects was taught and examined separately at the secondary schools, it therefore meant that each of the subjects was taught by different teachers and also allocated its own time on the school time table, this therefore called for more teachers and more teaching and learning resources for effective implementation. The curriculum faced challenges due to constraints of resources which led to its reorganization.
The report on the inquiry into the education system in Ekiti (Republic of Ekiti, 1999) led to the reorganization of the Ekiti education curriculum. Individual business subject areas were fused into a broad field called Business studies. Business Studies consists of concepts from accounting, commerce, economics, office practice and entrepreneurship education . The rationale was to reduce the overloaded 8-4-4 curriculum, reduce cost of implementation, and make the curriculum more relevant to the needs of the society. The key issues behind the integration of the business subjects i.e. Accounting, Commerce, Economics and office practice was mainly to allow for a broader coverage of subject matter and the elimination of excessive and factual details, to save time on the school time table because instead of allocating four lessons, with BUSINESS STUDIES it would be only one lesson. Integration was also considered to enable learners see the relationship among the subject clearly Shiundu and Omulando (1992). Through integration the number of teachers required to teach the subject also reduced and this was a relief to the side of government as it had to employ few teachers to implement the integrated curriculum.
According to Shiundu and Omulando (1992), integration of subjects emphasizes the relationship between various curriculum areas in an attempt to interrelate content or learning experiences in order to enable students perceive a unity of knowledge. Anuda (2000) asserts that by integrating the aspects of these disciplines, overlaps and costs have greatly been reduced. Business studies aims to provide the learner with opportunities to acquire basic business knowledge, skills and positive attitude for development of self and nation, being a dynamic subject it takes into account the need to address contemporary issues, trends in business and current economic issues in society (K.I.E, 2007).The content in the Business studies syllabus incorporates the acquisition of both academic and practical skills that may help the students to become self employed after completing form four. Accounting, Commerce, Economics, Entrepreneurship and office practice are distinct subjects of study and have intrinsic values for the learners and teachers. Therefore, the distinctiveness of each discipline of study has to be preserved (Onywoki 2011).Integration of these subjects thus waters down the distinct nature of each. With the move toward integration, the number of teaching hours was affected. The drastic reduction in the number of lessons for the new syllabus and directive that Accounting, Commerce, Economics, Entrepreneurship education and office practice be taught as one subject had certain implications in the teaching and learning of the integrated curriculum, to begin with when business studies was introduced due to inadequate planning, most schools found that they could not introduce the new curriculum as they lacked basic resources including teachers qualified to teach this integrated curriculum (Kilemi 2002), some of the content was also abstract, teaching and learning resources were also inadequate. Due to the abstract nature of the content it was reviewed in 2007 (K.I.E, 2007). The revision was prompted by the findings of curriculum monitoring in 2004 and 2005, the syllabus was found to be overloaded and the content from the constituent disciplines had not been well integrated (K.I.E, 2007), this was posing challenges to the teachers in the implementation process. Despite the importance of this subject, less efforts has been made to ensure success in its delivery to student in secondary schools and consequently use it in real life after school for self employment. The curriculum also suffers setbacks for being an elective subject whereby students prefer doing other subjects. This study aimed at identifying the challenges facing the implementation of integrated Business studies curriculum in Ekiti west district with a view of making recommendations on how to overcome those challenges.
1.3 Statement of the Problem
Business Studies is an important subject as far as national development is concerned, through business knowledge and skills learners can start own businesses after schooling given the unemployment challenges facing the country. However since the introduction of Business education in 1981 by the Mackay commission with component subjects of Accounting, Commerce, Economics and Office Practice in secondary schools, which were taught and examined separately, the curriculum faced challenges in its implementation due to the large number of human resources required in its implementation, being a new curriculum there was also inadequate teaching and learning resources, as a result a lot of challenges were experienced in its implementation and therefore it was not effectively implemented, this led to its review by the Koech education commission, with a view to eliminating excessive factual details, thus making the subject manageable by integrating the component subjects which became the Integrated Business studies Curriculum (Republic of Ekiti, 1999). As a new curriculum retraining of teachers should have taken place, and adequate business studies teaching and learning resources provided, to enable them implement the curriculum effectively, unfortunately this was not done and teachers started implementing the business studies curriculum without any training, research has shown that teachers encounter problems in implementing a new curriculum innovation. Hawes (1972), says that one of the main reasons for the failure of so many curriculum innovations is that teachers have been unable to implement the new syllabuses and materials either by reason of their insufficient basic education, or because their training had not fitted them for the new approaches and because no significant retraining had taken place. Since the teachers were not retrained to teach the Business Studies and the resources provided may not have been sufficient,the curriculum has been facing challenges in its implementation, the study was therefore carried out to identify the challenges facing the implementation of business studies in public secondary schools in Ekiti .
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to assess the challenges facing the implementation of business studies in public secondary schools in Ekiti, A case study of Ikere Local Government .
1.5 Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of the study were:
- i) To identify the administrative challenges faced by headteachers in the implementation of integrated Business studies curriculum.
- ii) To indentify challenges faced by teachers during implementation of integrated Business studies curriculum.
iii) To indentify challenges faced by students in the implementation of integrated Business studies Curriculum.
1.6 Research Questions
The study was guided by the following research questions:
- i) What are the administrative challenges faced by headteachers in the implementation of integrated Business studies?
- ii) What are the challenges faced by teachers in the implementation of integrated Business studies?
iii) What are the challenges faced by students in the implementation of integrated Business studies?
1.7 Research Assumptions
The following assumptions were made for the study:
- i) All respondents would respond to the questions asked genuinely, truthfully and honestly.
- ii) Implementation of integrated Business studies curriculum was experiencing challenges in all public secondary schools in Ekiti, Ikere local govt.
iii) All the headteachers, teachers and students in public secondary schools in Ekiti, ikere local govt. were experiencing challenges in implementing business studies.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The following were the limitations of the study. The study was limited by inadequate funds and time. The study was also limited by uncooperative respondents in the field and long distances between schools.
1.9 Delimitations of the Study
The study delimited itself to public secondary schools in Ekiti, ikere local govt. of Ekiti state. The study further delimited itself to the challenges facing implementation of business studies in public secondary schools in ikere.
1.10 Significance of the Study
- i) The findings of the study will provide the Nigeria Institute Of Curriculum Development, quality assurance officers and the field officers with the challenges facing implementation of integrated Business studies and solutions suggested in the study, the solutions will help them to improve performance in the subject.
- ii) The study will serve as an additional literature to scholars studying about Business studies and form a base to further studies on the subject.
iii) The study will provide valuable information to teacher training institutions on what to include in teacher education curriculum for integrated Business studies teachers.
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