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Challenges affecting business education and academic performance in private secondary schools

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.

Business education is a course that prepares students for entry  into and advancement in jobs within business and it is equally important because it prepares students to handle  their own business affairs and to function intelligently as consumers and citizens in a business economy.  
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

business operates.

 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.

Time allocation:

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

teacher education.

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

professional association.

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.


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