Challenges affecting business education and academic performance in private secondary schools
Before we look at challenges affecting business education, we must first understand what business education is.
It is a programme to provide students with information and competences which are needed by all in managing personal business affairs and in using the services of the business.
Business education prepares beneficiaries for gainful employment and sustainable livelihood. It is generally seen as education for and about business. It is an education that provides knowledge and understanding of the economic, financial, marketing, accounting, management system and other branches of business endeavour.
Challenges in business education
1. Inadequacies in the Curriculum Content of Business Education:
Most of the courses do not cover the scope of knowledge and skills required for the effective preparation of business education teachers today.
Highly needed courses are not available in the curriculum. Typewriting, Administrative office management and Transcription are not included in the curricula of some institutions. Such inadequacies in the curriculum could lead to the production of half-baked graduates. That is, they would not acquire the necessary skills for effective performance. Such teachers cannot compete with business education graduates elsewhere.
A probable reason for the above inadequacies may be that business education experts and relevant stakeholders are not often invited to participate during the development of the curriculum.
Today, some ministries handpick people to develop the curriculum for teachers at certain levels. This could generate lots of problems, not only for the institutions, but also for their products.
2. Non Relevance of the Course Content: a business education programme should include courses that would
prepare the student for saleable skills, help them have an understanding of the economic system and how a
It was also to be geared towards helping people to acquire knowledge, and attitude/value that
would enable them function in the world they live. To this end, subjects that would meet the objectives set or
goals must be in the content of the curriculum.
A good Curriculum should also be geared towards helping the
students to acquire knowledge, attitudes and values that would enable them function efficiently in the world of
work. To this end, subjects that would meet the objectives or set goals must be included in the curriculum. Again
the content of traditional business education curriculum is geared towards the choice of the person at the head. In
this regard therefore, should the curriculum include all the knowledge and skills needed for the programme or
should it include all those needed to be acquired while on the job?
3. Poor Implementation of the Curriculum:
Today the training of business educators tends to deviate from
what is contained in the curriculum:
Industrial training is no longer carried out the way it was originally done.
Should the ITF allow students to look for places to do their industrial attachment or should the college provide
them with establishments for SIWES? This is a critical question for discussion. Should the institutions visit the
students to find out whether they are properly placed or should the students report back to the school on how they were placed.
Another aspect that shows inadequacies is the time allocated to the subjects on the school
In some schools, it is observed that inadequate number of hours allotted
to business education subjects at all levels was considered a major issue that needed proper attention.
Selection of Subjects: at the different levels of education, the selection of subjects to be offered was to a large
extent influenced by the person at the head, the time (space) available on the time-table and the competence of
the teachers available in some cases.
For instance, in most vocational schools, office practice; shorthand;
typewriting; commerce and book-keeping were offered, but a few others offered secretarial studies as a major
Although the state ministries of education approved the courses for them the schools were still selective
in what they teach. At the JSS level, business education subjects are put under Group B as Vocational electives.
This becomes a source of concern to all of us. Not all the schools studied, offered
most of business education subjects. This can show that the programme at this level is not uniformly taught by
Current issues and debates: a lot of discussions are currently going on as to why people in related areas of
business education should not be allowed to teach core business education subjects.
The following arguments
were put forward by some business educators: that business education is highly specialized hence should be
taught by experts who possess the required skills.
That no matter the residual skills acquired by non-experts in
core business education, they are not qualified to teach, since they are not professionally qualified in the business
The following were put forward by those in related areas: that those in related areas studied
courses like personnel management, office management, typewriting and others, hence, are competent to teach
the subjects; that having studied business education at the NCE and HND levels before branching off is enough
to qualify one to teach business education; that having studied economics or educational management at the
Bachelor’s degree level and then Business education at the master’s level is adequate to be admitted into the
The teacher should take a stand immediately on issues and debates of this nature in order not to block
critical thinking in students. It is a way of accommodating all the learning styles-theorists, pragmatists, activists
and reflectors as well as the different teaching methods.
Qualification and quality of teachers: A Business education teacher is a person who holds a degree in business
education from a recognized University or an NCE (National Certificate of Education). Holders of NCE from the
recognized colleges of education in business education are competent to teach the five components of the JSS
business studies programme.
He is a person who is constantly aware of the state of art in Business Education and
has a thorough knowledge of the requirements of a business education programme.
The business education
teacher has to have 3 qualifications.
Business qualities; personal qualities for him/her to do the job as a trained
business education teacher and professional qualities, i.e. a business education teacher should belong to a
But what do we have today? Uncertificated business teachers that are not professionally
trained and faking of non-existing professionals for the purpose of gaining accreditation status.
Facilities: facilities for teaching and learning in any programme are usually given a prominent position in the
field of instructional technology. Just as Nolan said, it is not possible to achieve the objectives of a well-designed
programme without adequate facilities. This means that facilities must be adequate and functional. Facilities in
Business Education are as important as the business education teachers. The facilities you will need for your
business education courses would depend on:
• the content of each course.
• the objective of the programme for each course
• in some cases the method of teaching.
• the level and number of students.
• adequacy - this means that facilities needed for instruction must be capable of taking care of all those
who need them. For instance, in a class of 30, 36 computers must be made available. So that the teacher
would have 1 for demonstration and the rest would be left as stand-by.
• relevant - how relevant are the facilities to the course content and objectives as well as societal needs?
Business education remains the foundation of human resource development which provides knowledge, skills,
attitudes and understanding needed to perform in the business world as a producer or consumer of economic
goods and services that business offers. To ensure national transformation as being emphasized as slogan on
daily basis, there is immediate need to tackle the challenges of business education programme headlong to pave
way for the fulfillment of its roles in national life.