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Accounting has been generically referred to as the language of business. It is an aid to trade and one of the foundations on which the whole structure of business rests. Accounting is a process of identifying, recording and interpreting economic events. "It is the determination, analysis, interpretation and communication of economic data" (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 1940) Accounting is an indispensable tool for entrepreneurship in any of the vocational skill. Hence, it is an element of business education and business education itself is a component of vocational education (V. E.) Osuala (1981) described vocational education as including such areas as Agricultural, Business, Health Occupations, Industrial/Technical and Home Economics.
A successful career in vocational education can only be guaranteed by a proper and accurate keeping of financial records. Whatever affects the effective development of vocational education affects the economic development of any such nation. Vocational education prepares people for occupations requiring manipulative skills. Indeed, it is designed to develop skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes and work habits needed for self-sufficiency (Azikiwe, 1995). It is basically occupation oriented because it is essentially intended to provide skills and manpower for commerce and industry in any nation. Hence
Arukwe (1992) noted that the solutions to Nigerian present economic problems couldn't exclude the intensification of vocational education for the citizenry. Olaferu-Olagbegi (1988), observed that combating unemployment in Nigeria through the creation of self-employment, emphasizes the establishment of small-scale enterprises in rural areas by skilled personnel who are products of vocational education. The possession of the necessary skill in financial record keeping is a priority and accounting process is a solution.
The problems facing accounting in Secondary Schools are two fold: the teaching on the one hand and learning on the other hand. The performance of students in the subject in the SSC Examination has not been encouraging. Students are generally deficient in numerate subjects like accounting and mathematics. Fakuade's (1980) report, that pupils had been deficient in simple knowledge, abilities, attitudes and work-habits needed for self-sufficiency (Azikiwe, 1995). It is basically occupation oriented because it is essentially intended to provide skills and manpower for commerce and industry in any nation. Hence Arukwe (1992) noted that the solutions to Nigerian present economic problems couldn't exclude the intensification of vocational education for the citizenry. Olateru-Olagbegi (1988), observed that combating unemployment in Nigeria through the creation of self-employment, emphasizes the establishment of small-scale enterprises in rural areas by skilled personnel who are products of vocational education. The possession of the necessary skill in financial record keeping is a priority and accounting process is a solution.
The problems facing accounting in Secondary Schools are twofold: the teaching on the one hand and learning on the - other hand. The performance of students in the subject in the SSC Examination has not been encouraging. Students are generally deficient in numerate subjects like accounting and mathematics. Fakuade's (1980) report, that pupils had been deficient in simple mathematics can also be applied to accounting. The ever-increasing poor performance of students in accounting in secondary and post secondary Schools is a serious concern and unpalatable signal to the development of accountancy (Oloidi 2003a). No doubt the poor performance in accounting can be traced, in part, to the poor methods of teaching the subject. As Agbenta (1981) has pointed out on the need for practical lessons in the physical sciences, it can also be stated that teaching of accounting in secondary school without the use of accounting laboratory for practical lesson, inhibits the study of the subject. Teachers should improve on their teaching methods and processes. While it is not the objective of this paper to be teaching methodologies, it is of utmost necessity that accounting teachers should note that the enduring solutions to these problems are from the teachers.Accounting teacher should be 'efficient, effective and qualitative. Marving, Kinder and Schunert (1977) argued that the effective teacher should have good understanding of the subject he teaches. Lack of good preparation was identified by Clark (1977) as causing poor teaching.
On the part of the students, the findings of Ajogbeje (1998) on mathematics can logically be applied. He stressed sex- stereotyping, transfer of poor attitude between peers and from older students, and poor self-concept towards the subject, the influence of the environment on the student, .as affecting learning. The government on its own part needs to provide adequate fund, materials and human resources and necessary motivation of student and teachers (Oloidi, 2003b).
Against the foregoing background, it would therefore be very necessary for accounting teachers, the secondary school administrators and the government to take a critical look at the ways of improving the status of accounting as a subject in secondary school. This paper shall identify the problems facing teaching and learning of accounting in secondary schools and proffer far reaching solutions to these problems.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The concern for accounting as an important aid to vocational education has led to studies identifying the problems of teaching and learning the subject. Much of the concern centers on the student, the teacher and the government and the effect on the performance of students in the subject. It is obvious that the performances of students in this subject at the SSC Examination are not encouraging (Oloidi 2003a).
The questions then arise; what are the problems facing teaching and learning of accounting as a vocational subject in the secondary schools in Nigeria?
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. Identify the problems facing the teaching and learning of Accounting in secondary schools.
2. Ascertain whether some of these problems are very serious, serious or not serious
3. Ascertain whether the same problems are facing both public and private schools.
4. Determine whether the identified problems are a function of the types of the schools (girls only, boys only, or mixed)
5. Ascertain whether some problems are functions of location of the schools based on local government areas.
6 Proffer solutions to the problems.
The following Ho were formulated by the researchers and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
There will be no significant difference in the perception/rating of the respondents on the problems of teaching and learning accounting in public and private schools
SCOPE OF STUDY
The study is restricted to finding out the problems of teaching and learning accounting in secondary in Nigeria. The study limits the collection of data to Enugu state, Nigeria. The findings of this study were gotten from observation and interaction with senior teachers in accounting.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Some variables need to be explained so as to ensure a good grasp and understanding of the paper:
1. Type of School - School in State can be classified into three types:
a. Mixed School - Such Schools are co-educational, allowing both sexes to study together. This is typical of those schools established by the government.
b. Boys Only - Only the male students are allowed in such schools.
c. Girls only -Only the female students are allowed in such schools. The school in band C and (b) are characteristics of mission schools before being taken over by the government.
2. Mode of School - This is simply the public school owned by the government or the private schools managed by business minded sole proprietorship.
3. Location - A local government is a location and all the schools in each of the local governments are a location unit.
4. Accounting laboratory - This is a special room equipped with materials and equipments like ledger cards, long span chalk board rules in ledger form, sample source documents used for financial transactions, sample currency notes in various denominations for buying and selling, adding and listing machines, electronic calculators, duplicating machines, over head projector, tape recorder with play back, flip chart board, magnetic board, TV and Video. These are used for practical lessons in accounting.
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