1.1 Background to the Study
Accounting is one of the vocational subjects offered at the senior secondary education level in Nigeria. Asaolu (2002) defined financial accounting as the process of recording, classifying, selecting, measuring, interpreting, summarizing and reporting financial data of an organization to the users for objective assessment and decision making. In addition, Udoh (2004) defined financial accounting as a discipline concerned with the recording, analyzing, interpreting and forecasting of incomes and wealth of a business and entity. Financial accounting according to Udoh (2003) is required to attain the goal of integrating an individual into a sound and effective citizenship and also to achieve other stated objectives for the moulding of individuals in the society. Financial accounting is of immense importance to the economy of Nigeria, as it provides a solid foundation for future accountants, managers, entrepreneurs and educators. Financial accounting in this study, therefore, is a discipline which equips students with the knowledge of recording, analyzing, classifying and interpreting financial information to users of financial statement. According to the National Examination Council NECO (2004), the objective of studying Financial accounting in secondary schools include: to enable senior secondary school students appreciate the business rules, functions and principles of accounting, to lay proper foundation for the study of accounting and allied courses at higher level and to enable students to understand basic accounting principles, practice and their applications to modern business activities. The successful and effective implementation of financial accounting curriculum is therefore, an essential activity of education in Nigeria.
The financial accounting curriculum is based on the National policy on education (2004). This policy made provision for the promotion of accounting education from pre-primary to university level. This can be achieved through effective teaching and learning of accounting as part of vocational and technical education. In this study financial accounting curriculum is viewed as a document that shows the comprehensive list of topics, performances, objectives, contents, teacher and student activities, teaching and learning materials and evaluation guide which learners are expected to cover before enrolling in the senior secondary school certificate examination. The Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC (2007) noted that financial accounting curriculum has experienced constant reviews and amendments from time to time. The amendment is to suit the economic and financial needs of the country and to enable students to understand the financial and economic system of Nigeria sector.
The curriculum content of financial accounting is grouped into fifteen themes ranging from introduction and historical development of bookkeeping and accounting, principles and concepts of accounting to company accounts, government accounting and Nigeria capital market. The curriculum is grouped into three levels in senior secondary education which guides the teaching and learning of financial accounting in secondary schools. These three levels in senior secondary education in Nigeria is made up of senior secondary one, senior secondary two and senior secondary three which represent their first, second and third year in senior secondary school. The methods applied in the teaching of financial accounting would to a great extent determine the rate of success or failure in the subject. The degree of success or failure of students would show how effective a particular method is in teaching.
Methods, according to Obi (2005), is a procedure by which the teacher meets the learner starting with his interest and his problems, and then establishing conditions that will enable him to proceed to his set goals in the most possible and effective manner. This means that the teacher is able to effect learning through the application of certain principles of teaching. This ability is enhanced by the teachers knowledge of educational psychology and the adoption of philosophy of education. In this study, Teaching methods are the ways through which the teacher organises and presents contents and learning materials to the learners. They are the means by which the teacher attempts to impart the desired learning or experience in students which should be adequately employed by the financial accounting teacher.
Financial accounting teacher employ various methods in the instructional delivery. According to Cantrell (2004), teaching methods are in a continuum, ranging from exposition to inquiry. The exposition method of teaching is conventional and widely used in the classroom. Inquiry method is an approach where the learner generates his/her own form of information. It is characterized by the following features: learner-centered, leader-facilitated, learner-active and learning process emphasis. According to Nwokolo (1998), the teaching of accounting can be very exciting especially if the teacher is an authority, and if he has a reservoir of teaching methods to suit situational classroom circumstances. There are a number of teaching methods available for teachers of financial accounting to use which include: direct instruction, demonstration method, problem solving, team teaching, experiential method and individualized method of instruction.
According to Bainer (1999), direct instruction is a method for imparting basic knowledge or developing skills in a goal-directed, teacher-controlled environment. The teacher identifies clearly defined learning outcomes, transmits new information or demonstrates a skill, and provides guided practice. Direct instruction is designed to maximize academic learning time through a highly structured environment in which students are “on task” and experience high degrees of success.
Another teaching method that is available to financial accounting teachers is Demonstration method. Bainer (1999), defined demonstration method as a teaching method based predominantly on the modeling of knowledge and skills. Demonstration method is any planned performance by the presenter of any occupational skills, scientific principle or experiment. The purpose of demonstration method is to provide a means by which the teacher can explain or clarify certain parts of the context quickly and efficiently in the learning process. This method is best used in teaching learners how to perform manipulative operations. Demonstration is suitable in all school levels: in primary, secondary or higher level’s education.
Similarly, problem solving method can be used in the teaching of financial accounting. This is a teaching method that comprises of action steps taken by the learner to reach anticipated goal when faced with a problem situation with the guidance of a teacher (Jackson, 2005). In problem solving method, students are presented with authentic, meaningful problems as a basis for inquiry or investigation. It is sometimes called problem-based instruction. The teacher can also use team teaching to achieve his objectives. Team teaching is a teaching method by a group of teachers who are equally involved and responsible for students’ instruction, assessment and meeting the learning objectives.
In addition to the aforementioned methods, is the experiential or activity method. According to Rosselti and Vegas (2004), experiential method is a general teaching method based on planned purposeful involvement of students. It is a method where students learn by doing. This method includes simulation, role playing and fieldtrips. In this learning method, students are expected to apply the concepts, theories and practices discussed in the classes to real world situation. Incidentally, differences in learning rates present a special challenge in a course such as accounting, which calls for a need of individualized instruction.
Individualized instruction is a method of instruction in which content, instructional technology such as materials and pace of learning are based upon the abilities and interest of each individual learner. Mtsem (2011) reported that teaching methods affect the responses of students and determine whether they are interested, motivated and involved in the teaching and learning of process. The effectiveness can be achieved through effective method of teaching.
Effectiveness according to Harvey (2004) is the extent to which an activity fufils its intended purpose or function. Effective teaching methods are those that are powerful in bringing about expected results in a given situation. However, the possibility of achieving the goals of financial accounting depends largely on the attitudes of teachers who play vital role in the teaching and learning. Obi (2005) posits that teaching is more than prescribing information or idea. According to Onwuka (1985), teaching is defined as the various activities undertaken by a more experienced and more knowledgeable person in order to enable others learn. This person can be regarded as a teacher.
The teachers’ task is to create or influence desirable changes in behavior of his students. Dasko (2002) defined a teacher as a person that imparts knowledge to people, teach them how to read and write, and explains how problems are solved. It is well known that the quality and extent of the learners’ achievement are determined primarily by teacher competency, sensitivity and teacher motivation. The calibre of teachers of teachers who teach financial accounting in secondary schools are professional and unprofessional. (Adentwi, 2005). According to the author (2005), a subject specialist or professionally trained teacher is one who has pursued detailed formal and systematic study of a particular subject. The role of such a subject specialist is to act as storehouse of essential and well processed information leading his students to gain deep insights into the various subjects to be taught. According to Offorma (2010), the teacher is a vital factor in the teaching and learning process, and also the hub of any educational system. Since teachers are the key agents in the transformation of knowledge, their level of qualification, training, working conditions, perceptions among other variables have significant influence on the school curriculum and the entire education system, (Omoogun, 2009).
1.2 Statement of Problem
Financial accounting is one of the skill subjects taught at the senior secondary schools in Nigeria. However, the level of poor performance in financial accounting for many years has been alarming. The poor performance of students is evidenced in the overall results of students in both internal and external examinations (see Appendices B and C). The reported general failure of students in financial accounting includes the students in Egba education zone of Ogun state. The poor performance of students in financial accounting in both internal and external examinations in the education zone is attributed to many factors such as shortage of qualified financial accounting teachers and poor instructional methods that is, inappropriate teaching methods adopted by the teacher.
Available literature Agwu (2001), kiboss (2002) and Uwameiye (2005)) ascertained that the practices of financial accounting teachers do not conform to the expectations of curriculum planners, in that teacher-centred pedagogy appeared to be the dominant mode of instruction the school. Despite the emphasis on practical, problem-solving, experiential and individualized methods of teaching, financial accounting is taught predominantly by expository method, in which the teacher stands most of the time giving verbal explanation while the students writes notes from the chalkboard. The rate of failure of students who sit for financial accounting raises doubt to the effectiveness of methods as perceived by financial accounting teachers.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the study:
- What is the level of availability of educational resources in secondary schools in Nigeria?
- What is the level of adequacy of physical resources in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
- What is the level of adequacy of instructional material resources in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
- What is the state of teaching personnel in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
- What is the state of academic qualification of teaching personnel in Nigeria?
- What is the distribution pattern of teaching personnel in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
- What is the experience of teaching personnel in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
- What is the level of adequacy of teachers in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
- What is the level of utilization of physical resources in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
- What the level of utilization of teachers resources in Secondary Schools in Nigeria?
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to assess the state of material and human resources in Secondary Schools in Nigeria, Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to:
- ascertain the situation of education resources in Secondary Schools in Nigeria;
- ascertain the adequacy of physical facilities in Secondary Schools in Nigeria;
- ascertain the adequacy of material resources in Secondary Schools in Nigeria;
- ascertain the state of teacher resources (qualification, distribution and experience) in Secondary Schools in Nigeria;
- ascertain the rate of utilization of physical facilities in Junior Secondary Schools in Delta State;
- ascertain the level of utilization of teaching/learning material resources in Junior Secondary Schools in Delta State;
- determine the level of utilization of teacher resources in Junior Secondary Schools in Delta State; and
- find the difference in the situation of education resources between schools in rural areas and schools in urban areas in Delta State.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study in addition to contributing to the body of literature on education facilities availability and utilization, would benefit government, school management agencies, school heads and parents. Ultimately, the students would benefit from the research especially when the findings are implemented
The result of the findings would provide the government and school management agencies with information on resource availability,adequacy and utilization in schools, as well as internal efficiency and how these affect the academic achievement of students. This would help them to provide the needed resources for schools with dearth of infrastructure with a view to shore up students performance in such schools.
Also, the finding would be beneficial to parents of secondary school students in Delta State as the study would make parents understand the situation of educational facilities in secondary schools, and this can assists them in choice of school for their children. Apart from this, the wealthy parents could also assist some schools in some areas of needs
The findings of the study would provide relevant information to school heads on facilities availability and utilization so that they can make decisions on how best to put into use available education resources in their schools. It would also contribute to the existing body of theoretical knowledge on the availability, adequacy and utilization of material and human resources in the secondary schools and finally, the study would serve as a reservoir of information to future researchers in the area of educational resources availability and utilization in Secondary Schools in Nigeria, in particular, and Nigeria in general.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study covered an assessment of the availability of requisite resources for effective teaching and learning of accounting in senior secondary .The study was limited to the availability, adequacy and utilization of resources in teaching and learning in secondary schools because this particular level of education is jointly funded by the three tiers of government, that is, local government, State government and Federal government..
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms are operationally defined as used in the study: –
- Education Resources: These are the physical, material and human assets required to achieve education production function. In this study, education resources are limited to physical facilities such as school buildings, classrooms, library, playfields, toilets; material resources such as tables and chairs, students’ desks and chairs, laboratory equipment, other teaching and learning aids and teacher resource.
- Education Resources Situation: This refers to the state or position of the physical and human assets required to achieve education production function. In this study, education resources are limited to physical resources and teacher resources as these form the major determinant of the output in education
- Distribution: This refers to the posting of the teachers between the schools and between the rural and urban locations.
- Physical resources: These are the materials that actually exist or are present or seen in the school. They include classrooms, chairs, tables, library, laboratory/workshops etc.
- Teacher Resources: As used in this study, teacher resources include number of teachers, their academic and professional qualification, specialization, teaching experience and distribution in schools.
- Resource Availability: This refers to the differences between the expected and the available facilities
- Resource Adequacy: This refers to the provision of the required educational resources in the standard quantity and quality in relation to Federal Ministry of Education minimum standard
- Resources Utilization: This refers to the application of the resources provided for schools in teaching learning process.
- Material Resources Utilization: As used in this study, material resource utilization refers to the practical use of available instructional materials and equipment by students and teachers in the teaching learning process. Teachers’ tables and chairs, student desk and chairs, library equipment, etc
- Physical Resources Utilization: In this sense, physical resources utilization is the putting to use of available physical facilities in the teaching learning process. i.e, building, classrooms, library, etc, whether they are optimally utilized.
- Human Resources Utilization: This is the assignment of duties to teachers to execute the school programmes. It include teacher workload which is number of teaching periods per week, number of classes taught and number of subjects taught
- Experience: This implies the number of years the individual/teacher has spent in the teaching profession. Experienced (0-5) years, moderate experienced 6 – 10 years, Highly experienced 10 years an above
- Qualification: This is the academic attainment of the teacher. They include National Diploma, Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE), BA(Ed), B.Sc (Ed), B.Ed and Post Graduate Degrees without specialization in education, Degrees or Post graduate degrees with specialization in Education.