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This study was on the factors associated with mass failure of students in the Accounting education in secondary schools in Nsukka L.G.A of Enugu State. Using simple random sampling procedures, the researchers drew 128 students and 50 teachers from nine state owned secondary school of Enugu State.

Questionnaires were used to elicit information from the respondents- Teachers and students on the problems associated with mass failure of secondary school student in Accounting education in WAEC Examinations. The questionnaire items included qualification and experience of the Accounting teachers, the methods they adopt in teaching the subject, the materials available to them for use in teaching the subject, the influence of the vernacular language in student learning of the subject and home environment. In analysing the data collected, means scores were used to answer the research questions. The results showed among other things, that the teachers knowledge of teaching the subject is not updated often times and that there is absence of teaching facilities in most of the schools while vernacular language and home environment have negative impacts, towards the students’ the findings, recommendations were made and implications were highlighted. This was followed by suggestion for further studies, summary of the study and conclusion.



1.1     Background of Study

Osokoya (2003) defines Education as a continuous process which the society establishes to assist its members to understand the heritage of the past and to participate productively in the future. It is the leading out of the in-born powers and potentialities of the individuals in the society and the acquisition of skills, aptitudes, and competencies necessary for self-realisation and for coping with life’s problem. For Afe (2000), Education is considered as a tool to be used for the integration of the individual into the society to achieve self-realisation, develop national consciousness, promote unity, and strive for social, economic, political, scientific, cultural and technological progress. Education in science and mathematics therefore becomes bedrock and indispensable tools for scientific, technological and economic advancement in any nation. It gives the nation the capacity to apply technology for the exploitation of the resources of nature. Such exploitation will depend greatly on mathematics for laying the foundation for political, governmental, military, civil, scientific, technological advancement, economic development, socio-cultural and environmental peace.

There are number of questions which need to be answered at this stage. What then is accounting? Why should students learn Accounting? What is the importance of this subject in life and in school curriculum? What shall be the advantage of devoting so much effort, time, and money to the teaching of Accounting? The importance of accounting transcends all the definitions and the prosperity of any country depends on the volume and quality of accounting offered in its school system. Obe (1996) conceptualises accounting as the master and servant of most disciplines and thus, a source of enlightenment and understanding of the universe. He further opines that without it, the management of national problems would be superficial.

Greaber and Weisman (1995) agree that accounting helps the individual to understand the environment and to give accurate account of the physical phenomena around every person. To this end, Setidisho (2001) submits that no other subject forms a strong binding force among various branches of science as mathematics, and without it, knowledge of the sciences often remains superficial.

Ogunbanjo (1998) opines that all over the world, sciences has been accepted as a vehicle of technology, social and economic development. These and many more reasons are why the Nigerian government believes that the subject should be taken seriously in our school system. Shapiro (2000) defines Accounting as the study of qualitative relations; put simply, it is the science of structure, order, numbers, space and relationships about counting, measuring and describing of shapes and objects. It qualifies in its own right as a science but it is often regarded as a language of and a link between all the sciences. Soyemi (1999) Accounting like Mathematics is a body of knowledge that opens up the mind to logical reasoning, analytical thinking and the ability for creative thinking, deep focusing and clarity of thought and precision. It is the hub on which all scientific and technological studies find their bearings. In pure sciences it is the basis and language of study, in applied sciences and technology it is an indispensable tool of analysis, with the social sciences it is a scaffold and for the Arts the light that gives consistently and completeness to its study. Osafehinti (1990) observes that the learning of mathematics in schools represent first, a basic preparation for adult life and secondly a gateway to a vast array of career choices. And from the societal perspective, competence in accounting is essential for the preparation of an informed citizenry and for continuous production of highly skilled personnel required for industry, technology and science. The progress of any nation depends upon her scientific and technological advancement which can only be built on a sound mathematical and accounting education capable of making the citizens effectively functional in the natural and applied sciences. The study of Accounting therefore will go a long way to “equip students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology” (NPE 2004).

Fakuade (1977) sums up this assertion; for the purposes of economic survival, the ordinary citizen needs to be able to compare and estimate values of articles, determine prices of foodstuffs, reckon distances and time, weigh evidence and be able to sift substances from chaffs. Thus in the complexity of the modern society everyman requires a certain amount of competence in basic accounting for purposes of handling money, prosecuting daily businesses, interpreting mathematical graphs and charts and thinking logically.

In concluding this section therefore, Accounting Education must contribute towards the acquirement of these values: knowledge and skills, intellectual habits and power, desirable attitudes and ideals that are indispensable tools for a successful and balanced human existence.

1.2     Statement of Problem

Across the world, education is a vital process in human development and environmental management. Education is a process of refining and preserving the collective values embedded in the culture of the society (Oyekan, 2000). By education, a network of worthwhile knowledge, skills and habits is passed on from one generation to the other for effective citizenship and collective benefits of the society. Education is a cooperative teaching-learning process of preparing an individual from birth and all through his/her life for happy useful living in the society within the culture and resources (Oyekan, 2000). It then follows that education is a social service which ensures refinement of human behaviour in terms of his/her processes of reasoning, feeling and doing things in a happy expectancy. While education is a cooperative teaching learning for effective citizenship and collective benefit of society, secondary school is a link between primary and tertiary institution where adequate knowledge for effective citizenship and collective benefits of society is achieved. A teacher is the bridge that makes teaching and learning effective. The teacher is thus the builder whose performance depends on adequate qualification, experience and preparation. This adequate knowledge and experience could be attained or achieved by acquiring additional knowledge that will stimulate his/her communication in teaching for efficiency (Oyedeji, 2000). That is, the qualification and experience of a teacher enhance or determine his/her performance. It could also be noted that the level and quality of education attained by the teacher determines the characteristics exhibited vis-à-vis the performance of the students

Education is often conceived as a systematic action of imparting relevant knowledge, skills and habits to the learners in their preparation for meaningful life and contribution to better society (Oloyede, 2006). This action is however, usually delivered through skillful exposure to a number of academic disciplines. Teaching according to Oyekan (2000) is a continuous human activity by which the teacher connects the learners and the subject matter drawn from school curriculum. It is the cardinal duty of the teacher to help the students to learn, understand and achieve beyond their current educational status and to effectively discharge the required responsibility. It is therefore imperative for the teacher to also develop beyond their current educational status for job efficiency and proficiency. It should be appreciated that teachers are the light of the world that brightens and nurtures the vibrant lives of individuals with useful knowledge, practical skill, and proper value orientation. In a modern society, educational institutions exercise considerable influence on the socialization of the child, a process in which the teacher plays crucial part (Agbatogun, 2010). Teachers’ educational development is therefore essential in playing the crucial part.

Studies have revealed that poor quality of teachers is a strong factor responsible for the dwindling standard of education in Nigeria. Research also indicates that the achievement gap widens each year between students with most effective teachers and those with least effective teachers. This implies that the most significant gains in student achievement will likely be realized


Journal of Empirical Studies, 2014, 1(2): 48-53

when students receive instruction from well qualified and experienced teachers over consecutive years. Although teachers’ academic degrees and their average years of experience have been traditional indicators of the qualification of the teacher work force, research has not found the highest degree attained by teachers to be a good predictor of gains in students’ academic achievement (Hanushek, 1997).

Number of years of teaching experience has also proven to be problematic in predicting such gains. Generally beginning teachers (three or less years of teaching experience) are not as effective as teachers with more years of teaching experience, with brand-new teachers typically being the least effective teachers (Rivkin and Kain, 2003). Research has consistently found out that brand-new teachers make important gains in teaching quality in the first year and smaller gains over the next few career years. However, there is no consistent linear relationship between years of experience and students achievement after the initial three years of teaching, making it difficult to say whether there are any discernible difference among more veteran teachers for example between teachers with 7-10 years of experience (Rivkin and Kain, 2003).

Researchers agree that teaching experience is positively correlated with higher students’ achievement even though finding about its meaning varies. For instance, some studies found that years of teaching experience are a consistent predictors of higher test scores, other documents revealed a negative effect, when a high proportion of non-experienced teachers are present in a school in terms of higher dropout rates and lower students achievement score (Agbatogun, 2010). Some research studies suggest that effect of teacher experience is small relative to the effect of other desirable teachers’ characteristics such as teachers’ content knowledge, and overall academic ability (Agbatogun, 2010).

In view of the foregoing, this study therefore was set out to investigate the factors responsible for students’ mass failure and poor performance level in Accounting in Nsukka LGA of Enugu State.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The following formed the purpose of this study. They include.

·        To examine the students’ performance in accounting.

·        To examine whether teaching methods apply in accounting affect student’s performance in the subject.

·        To investigate the extent to which classroom environment affect student’s performance in accounting.

·        To examine the extent to which the instructional materials used in teaching accounting affect student performance in the subject.

1.4     Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

1.     What is the relationship between teacher communication skills and students’ achievement in financial accounting?

2.     What is the relationship between teacher classroom management skills and students’ achievement in financial accounting?

3.     How does teacher-students relationship relate with students’ achievement in financial accounting?

4.     How does teacher-students relationship help reduce mass failure in financial accounting?

1.5     Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at .05 alpha level.

Ho1: There is no significant relationship between teacher communication skills and students’ perfoemance in financial accounting.

Ho2: There is no significant relationship between classroom management skills and students’ performance in financial accounting.

Ho3: There is no significant relationship between teacher-student relationship and students’ performance in financial accounting.

Ho4: There is no significant relationship between teacher knowledge of subject matter and students’ performance in financial accounting.

1.6     Significance of the Study

This study will be of great significance to the students, teachers, parents, educational planners, language planners as well as the government. It will instil in the learners/students the quest and zeal to study and master Accounting. To the teachers, it will enable them to be committed by making adequate preparations of their lesson note and lesson plan. On the part of the parents, the feedback they get through their children’s results will motivate them to encourage their children in the requisition of the subject. To the educational planners, they would be most privileged because the study will take the form of evaluation on what they have earlier planned, thereby putting into consideration the implementation of this policy. The curriculum planners will discover from this study problems faced by their schools within this language community and design appropriate instructional materials for effective teaching and learning of the Accounting.

Finally, this work will be useful tool to the government. It will enable them to make available trained personnel both for Accounting and material resources for the efficient implementation of policy.

In summary, this study will be an invaluable asset to parents in shaping the Accounting performance of their children because children are affected by the quantitative and qualitative limitations of parental language model.

1.7     Delimitation

This study is specifically concerned with the factors associated with mass failure of students in Accounting in secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State. The environment in this sense comprises; the physical school environment, the community environment, home background (socio-economic status), facilities for teaching and learning and teaching professional background-teaching skills and commitment.

1.8     Limitation

This study is restricted to the secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State. The research work was constrained by inadequate time, finance and lack of cooperation from few persons questioned. The time allotted to this study was relatively limited. However, the researcher was able to visit all the places he intends to visit for collection of data.

In addition to having limited time, there was financial handicap as regards transportation to and from the town the researcher needs to gather information necessary for the completion of this work.

1.9     Definition of Terms

Some terms used in this study have been defined in their operation terms to suit the purpose of this study for instance:

Accounting: It is a systematic process of identifying, recording, measuring, classifying, verifying, summarizing, interpreting and communicating financial information. It reveals profit or loss for a given period, and the value and nature of a firm's assets, liabilities and owners' equity.

Teaching Aids/Learning Activities: These are materials which enhance teaching and learning, assist or promote the process of teaching and learning; such as textbooks, audio-visual equipment, chalk, chalkboard, biro, flashcards and charts.

Home Background: there are factors influencing a child from his or her family environment.

Performance: Accomplishing or achievement of specific goals, objectives or set mark in any academic endeavour. It is one of the most common criteria of evaluating effectiveness of schools.

Factor: In this study, a factor is taken to mean any element, force, condition or circumstances that has a causal influence or can contribute to the students’ performance in mathematics.


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