TITLE PAGE                                                                                                                       i

APPROVAL PAGE                                                                                                             ii

CERTIFICATION                                                                                                               iii

DEDICATION                                                                                                    iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT                                                                                                  v

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                                    vi

LIST OF FIGURE                                                                                                               ix

LIST OF TABLES                                                                                                               x

ABSTRACT                                                                                                             xi


Background of the Study                                                                                           1

Statement of the Problem                                                                                           9

Purpose of the Study                                                                                                  11

Significance of the Study                                                                                           11

Research Questions                                                                                                     13

Research Hypotheses                                                                                                  13

Delimitation of the Study                                                                                           14

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE                                      15

Conceptual Framework

  • Business Education Programme                                                                         15
  • Self-Employment Skills 18
  • Creative skills required for self employment 22
  • Information and Communication Technology

skills required for self employment                                                                     36

  • Marketing skills required for self employment 50
  • Accounting skills required for self employment 53

Theoretical Framework                                                                                                       

  • Theory of Skill Acquisition 64
  • Entrepreneurial Event Theory 66
  • The Psychological Theory of the Refugee and Schumpeter Effects 68

Related Empirical Studies                                                                        69

Summary of Literature Reviewed                                                   77


Design of the Study                                                                                                    79

Area of the Study                                                                                                       79

Population for the Study                                                                                            80

Sampling and Sampling Technique                                                                             80

Instrument for Data Collection                                                                                   80

Validation of Instrument                                                                                            81

Reliability of the Instrument                                                                                       81

Method of Data Collection                                                                                         82

Method of Data Analysis                                                                                           82


Research Question 1                                                                                                   83

Research Question 2                                                                                                   85

Research Question 3                                                                                                   87

Research Question 4                                                                                                   89

Hypothesis 1                                                                                                               91

Hypothesis 2                                                                                                               93

Hypothesis 3                                                                                                               95

Hypothesis 4                                                                                                               97

Findings of the Study                                                                                                 99

Discussion of Findings                                                                                               103


Restatement of the Problem                                                                                       109

Summary of Procedures Used                                                                                        111

Principal Findings of the Study                                                                                  112

Implications of the Study                                                                                           116

Conclusion                                                                                                                  118

Recommendations                                                                                                      118

Suggestions for Further Studies                                                                                 119

References                                                                                                       121

Appendices                                                                                                     136

Appendix A:   Calculation of Sample Size Using Yaro Yamene Formula                 136

Appendix B:   Letter of Introduction                                                                         137

Appendix C:   Determination of Reliability of the Instrument                                  140

Appendix D:    Analysis of Mean, Standard Deviation and T-test                           143




Figure 1         

Schematic representation of Self-employment skills possessed by NCE     business education students for sustainable development                                                 63




Table 1

 Mean ratings on creative skills possessed by Business Education students of                         Development                                                               84

Table 2

 Mean ratings on ICT skills possessed by Business Education students of                             Colleges of Education for sustainable development                                                               86

Table 3

Mean ratings on marketing skills possessed by Business Education students of       Colleges of Education for sustainable development                             88

Table 4

Mean ratings on accounting skills possessed by Business Education students of Colleges of Education for sustainable development                                                               90

Table 5

T-test analysis for comparing data obtained from students of Federal College of Education Obudu, and College of Education Akamkpa on the creative skills                       possessed for self employment.                                                        92

Table 6

T-test analysis for comparing data obtained from male and female   students of   Colleges of Education on the ICT skills possessed for self employment                         94

Table 7

T-test analysis for comparing data obtained from rural and urban students of  business education in Colleges of Education in Cross River State skills   possessed for self employment.                                                                                           96

Table 8

T-test analysis for comparing data obtained from students of Federal College of       Education Obudu, and College of Education Akamkpa on the accounting skills           possessed for self employment                                               98



One of the goals of NCE business education programme is the acquisition of both physical and intellectual skills which will enable individuals to be self- reliant and useful members of the society. In spite of available business opportunities, and conducive environment for businesses to thrive in Cross River state, Business Education graduates are yet to maximize these opportunities, by using their creative abilities in establishing jobs for themselves and others instead, the business graduates go about the streets in search of jobs which are either few in supply or not available leading to high rate of unemployment, which has led to frustration and low self-esteem, and other negative vices amongst NCE graduates. It was on this note the study was conducted to determine the self-employment skills possessed by business education students of Colleges of Education for sustainable development in Cross River State. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design and was conducted in Federal College of Education Obudu and College of Education Akamkpa, Cross River State. The population for the study was 745 made up of: 425 NCE final year students of Business Education from Federal College of Education Obudu, and 320 NCE final year students of Business Education from College of Education Akamkpa. The sample of the study was 384 made up of 206 and 178 respondents from the Federal College of Education Obudu and College of Education Akamkpa respectively. A structured questionnaire containing 63 items was used to elicit responses from respondents and generate data for the study. The instrument was face-validated by three experts in the Department of Vocational Education was used to collect data from the respondents. The study made use of Cronbach Alpha reliability method Sto determine the internal consistency of the instrument. The data collected for the study was analyzed using mean to answer the research questions and standard deviation to determine the closeness or otherwise of the responses from the mean, while t -test statistic was used to test the null hypothesis of no significant difference at the probability of 0.05 level of significance at relevant degree of freedom with the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Findings from the analysis showed that business education students of Colleges of Education in Cross River State slightly possess creative skills, information and communication skills, marketing skills and accounting skills for self employment and sustainable development. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended amongst others that Business education students should be mandated to develop a viable business plan before graduation as this would bring out their creative abilities in creating jobs for themselves in particular and the nation at large.





Background of the Study

Business Education is an educational programme that prepares students for entry and advancement in jobs within business and to handle their business affairs as well as to function intelligently as consumers and citizens in a business economy. Osuala (2004) defined business education as that aspect of vocational education, which emphasizes job competency, career preparation and work adjustments. It involves acquisition of special skills in business subject areas. Njoku (2006) defined business education as an educational programme that equips individuals with functional and sustainable skills, knowledge, attitude and value that would enable the individuals  operate in the environment such individuals find themselves. Business education programme is offered at various levels of tertiary education: Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education.

College of Education according to the Nigerian Academy of Management Administration (2014) is an educational programme created to prepare individuals to be leaders and practitioners in education and related human service fields by expanding and deepening understanding of education as a fundamental human endeavour in helping society define and respond to its educational responsibilities and challenges. At this level of education, the programme prepares the individual for a career in teaching, employment in industries, civil service and business establishment as well as self-employment (Ubong & Wokocha, 2009). There are two Colleges of Education in Cross River State: Federal College of Education Obudu, located at the urban area of the State, has a better and conducive environment and opportunities for entrepreneurship to thrive unlike the College of Education Akamkpa, which is located at the rural area of the State, which is characterized by lack of market and infrastructural facilities for businesses to flourish. However, both Colleges run a Business Education programme, which lead to the award of Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) after three years of full-time postsecondary study.

The Business Education programme is very relevant in Cross River State, which is tagged a “Civil Service State” due to few companies, industries and businesses that employ the youths, thus, the burden of employment in the State lies mainly on Government. The lack of employment generating agencies has led to high rate of unemployment in the State since the government alone cannot absorb all the graduates, including NCE graduates. Evidence of unemployment and under-employment in the State remain at high level. According to State Planning Commission (2012), the unemployment rate of the youths in 2009, 2010 and 2011 were 32.9%, 35.3% and 35.9% respectively. The records also show that over 40% of the unemployed persons in Cross River State had Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) inclusive of business education graduates. From the above report, it therefore, means that the business education NCE student, who in this study is referred as the final year business education students, go about in search of jobs that do not exist, thus, increasing the rate of unemployment in the State. The implication of the above statistics is that Business Education programme, which aimed at graduating knowledgeable, skilled, and competent individuals that can be self employed and also create jobs in the society, thereby reducing the unemployment situation in the State is not meeting up with her objectives.

The objectives of Business Education at NCE level are: to produce well qualified and competent NCE graduates in business subjects who will be able to teach business subjects in secondary schools and other related educational institutions; to produce NCE business teachers who will be able to inculcate the vocational aspects of Business Education into the society… and to equip graduates with the right skills that will enable them to engage in a life of work in the office as well as for self-employment (Njoku, 2006). Osuala (2004) noted that Business Education programme is robust enough to equip individuals with skills and knowledge for employment, thereby combating unemployment and poverty, and enhancing sustainable development.

Sustainable development according to Lemchi (2012) is that development which meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Anyakoha (2010) rightly stated that sustainable development is a holistic approach to improving the quality of human life. Meeting human needs for present and future generation stands out as the bedrock of sustainable development. Thus, Business Education programme certainly has a role to play in ensuring sustainable development. This role would require the Business Education graduate to possess divergent thinking and problem solving skills, and innovative strategies in creating and sustaining jobs. Lemchi (2006) identified certain tools that the Business Education graduate should possess for effective realization of sustainable development to include entrepreneurship education, creativity, Information and Communication Technologies amongst others.

To possess is to have as an attribute, knowledge or power to acquaint or inform at any point in time. The attitude or quality possessed by an individual is the key factor to the realization of the potentials within the individual. Knowledge possession only is not enough for individual to be self sufficient’ as is the case in Colleges of Education which emphasizes knowledge acquisition to practical dexterity of the individual. Therefore the individual has to possess skills in creativity, attitude as well as general knowledge.

Creativity according to Onu (2009) is a mental process undertaken by an individual or group to solve specific problems resulting in the production of statistically infrequent solutions which are useful to the society and the creator. Creativity obviously involves some form of display of ability to do something and most often in a new way. It involves developing problem solving skills, evolving new technologies and ways of solving problem. Lemchi (2012) asserted that possession of creative skill gives rise to self employment. Creativity and innovation are considered to be inseparable from entrepreneurship, which in turn, manifested in the act of starting up and running enterprise. (Pretorios, Millard & Kruger, 2005). The reverse of creativity, which is the hall mark of business students according to Omeke (2011), is poverty, bottle necks in bureaucracy, decrease in potentials for improved social norms, lack of reforms, poor mindset, lack of new ventures and poor organisation. When creativity is lacking, it is obvious that a coherent framework for the implementation of a strong entrepreneurial culture will equally be missing; thus, resulting in unemployment, lack of due process to encourage innovation, and growth of crime. Therefore, creative skill acquisition is advocated for business students.

Skill is the ability to do a task expertly. Bolt-Lee and Foster (2003) posited that skill is the art of possessing the ability, power, authority, or competency to do the task required of an individual on the job. Two fundamental issues are used when a skill is to be acquired According to Okoro and Ursula (2012), the first is the conditions which promote acquisition and the second is the change that will occur when the skill is acquired. Igwe (2008) says that when somebody acquires skills in any occupation, such a person can establish his own business and even employ others. The person becomes self-reliant, self-sufficient and self employed.

Self-employment refers to the situation where an individual creates and takes control of a business decisions.. Abdulkarim (2012) defined self-employment as working for oneself. The implication is that the person is his own boss and he takes every decision involving the business. Self-employment is an important driver of entrepreneurship and job creation and thus contributes to the development and growth in job creation. Self-employment could be in agricultural sectors, wholesale and retail trade, construction and in professional, scientific and technical activities. Self-employment is regarded very highly as people do not only provide themselves with work but employ others. It is seen as a way to reduce poverty and unemployment and contributes to the government’s goal of achieving higher growth and more jobs. According to European Employment Observatory Review (2010), job creation through self-employment is also a key feature of labour market policies in Bulgaria, France, Austria and Iceland. Thus, a man who is self employed is that person who owns, controls and takes responsibilities for the actions concerning the business. These responsibilities are included in the curriculum contents of NCE business education programme in order to equip the students with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude for either paid or self employment.

Curriculum refers to all students’ school experiences relating to the improvement of skills and strategies in thinking critically and creatively, solving problems, working collaboratively with others, communicating well, writing more effectively, reading more analytically, and conducting research to solve problems (Brown, 2006). According to Silva (2009) curriculum emphasises on what students can do with knowledge, rather than what units of knowledge they have, the essence of 21st-century skills. Curriculum refers to a group of courses or planned experiences in proper sequence of topics designed to prepare an individual for efficient service in a specific vocation, it is the offering of a socially valued knowledge, skills and attitudes that is made available to students through a variety of arrangements in schools, colleges or the universities or other arrangements (Adebayo & Lawal, 2011). Business Education curriculum therefore has to do with the goals, contents, learning experiences, implementation and evaluation of the outcome of a learning programme.

The curriculum content of business education programme consists of different courses with different objectives. These courses formed the curriculum contents of Business Education programme at the College of Education level with the aim of helping to bring about the desired behaviour in the learner (Inegbedion, Njoku & Ekpeyoung, 2009). Inegbedion, Njoku & Ekpeyoung (2009), enumerated the specific subjects to be learnt by students at the College of Education level as follow: Business Communication, Business Mathematics, Auditing & Taxation, Business Finance and Economics, Business Law, Business Statistics, Commerce, Computer Application, Cost Accounting, Financial accounting, Methodology, Office Practice, Principles of Marketing, Principles of Management, Research, Shorthand Theory, Typewriting (Keyboarding), Entrepreneurship, and SIWES. According to Ezeani (2012), business education is however, broadly divided into three areas, which provide many career opportunities in Business Education such as – Marketing/Distributive education: retailing, wholesaling, advertising and public relation; Accounting Education: record keeping, preparation of financial report, auditing, consultancy services, and Office/Technology education: word processing, data management, Cyber cafe among others. Business education is a vital tool for entrepreneurship. It is primarily concerned with assisting the individual to be useful as well as improving their knowledge in the business world which will in turn lead to the improvement of the society at large. Business Education curriculum at the College of Education level equips the students with skills in entrepreneurship, marketing, accounting, ICT and office management which will enable the students become self employed on graduation.

Entrepreneurship is a process of bringing together creative and innovative ideas, combining them with management and organization skills in order to meet an identified need and thereby create wealth (Agomuo, 2002). It is the willingness and ability of an individual to seek out investment opportunities, establish and run an enterprise successfully. Entrepreneurship is thus, the process of learning the skills needed to assume the risk of establishing a business. Akpotowoh and Amahi (2006) opined that the skills acquired in any of the functional areas of business related progamme promotes training in entrepreneurship as well as equip graduates with requisite potentials to establish and run small businesses on their own. According to Ademiluyi (2007), entrepreneurship skills are simply business skills which individuals acquire to enable them effectively function in the turbulent business environment as an entrepreneur or self-employed. Akinola (2001) pointed out that it takes special skills to succeed as an entrepreneur most especially the female folks. The future of the female entrepreneurs becomes worrisome due to gender-related discriminations prevalent in developing countries like Nigeria inclusive (Roomi & Parrot, 2008; May, 2007; Otero, 1999). The females are also mostly affected by poverty and unemployment than their male counterparts (Mohd & Hassan, 2008; Porter & Nagarajan, 2005; Maduagwu, 2000). Moreover, the females lack interest in discussing entrepreneurship issues with their family and friends, in addition to their lack of self confidence (Shane, 2003). Erhurum (2007) also noted that most entrepreneurial skills come by learning and practicing. Nevertheless, the various skills embedded in business related programmes need to be explored and learnt by prospective graduates for them to succeed as later entrepreneurs. it is important therefore that every entrepreneur possesses the basic or fundamental knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills for effective management of the business.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skill is defined as the ability to use digital technologies, communication tools, and/or networks to solve information problems in order to function well in an information society (Educational Testing Service (ETS), 2008). ICT skill is the ability to use technology as a tool to research, organise, evaluate, and communicate information and the possession of a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information. The ICT skills required by NCE students are those outlined by Oliver and Towers (2000), and Gnudi and Lorenzi, 2002) as the ability to: independently operate personal computer systems; use software for preparing and presenting work; use internet and its various features; access and use information from World Wide Web (WWW); use an e-learning platform and perform data analysis with computer packages like Excel, DBASE, and others. It is most unfortunate that business graduate lack the skills of ICT in facilitating the marketing of goods and services, and as such, limits the penetration and awareness of their products in the market.

Marketing skills on the other hand are important and essential skills which determine the extent of success or failure of a business. A business graduate should understand marketing not in the old sense of making a sale – ‘telling and selling’ – but in the modern sense of satisfying customer’s needs. Selling occurs only after a product is produced. By contrast, marketing starts long before a company has a product. Marketing is the homework that managers undertake to assess needs, measure their extent and intensity and determine whether a profitable opportunity exists (Kotler, Wong, Saunders & Armstrong, 2005). Farese, Kimbrell and Woloszyk (2006) defined marketing as the process of planning, pricing, promoting, selling, and distributing ideas, goods, or services to create exchanges that satisfy customers. This means that marketing is a dynamic process. A marketer needs to keep up with trends and consumer attitudes. The products, ideas, or services developed and the way the products are priced, promoted, and distributed should reflect these trends and attitudes. Business graduates require these marketing skills in order to enable them identify their potential customers; persuade them to buy their products or services, and by so doing  maintain good accounting practice and records to keep track of how much money they have, where it came from, and how it is spent.

Accounting is the systematic recording of financial transactions. It is a service activity, the function of which is identifying, measuring, recording and communicating quantitative information, primarily financial in nature, about economic entities. Ezeani (2008) sees accounting as the process of expressing the economic activities of everyday life in monetary terms, so as to estimate the costs of creating goods and services, make decisions about production on the basis of these estimates, compare the actual costs as they occur with the estimate originally made, and adjust the output and prices of goods and services accordingly. Business students should acquire knowledge and competencies of financial accounting as success can only come through such efforts. The entrepreneur should possess high level skills in preparing and interpreting financial statements, maintain records of receipts and payments (cash book), income and expenditure and a balance sheet for the business.

In spite of the fact that Business Education programme equips individual with necessary skills for self employment, Business Education graduates are yet to maximize these opportunities in creating jobs for themselves and others instead, they roam the streets in search of jobs, which are either few in supply or not available. Even the few ones who try to establish businesses, before now, the businesses have collapse as a result of poor location of business, creative thinking, communication, marketing and   keeping of accounting records abilities (Osuala, 2004). Therefore, the skills possessed by NCE business education students for self-employment in Cross River State is doubtful considering the rate of unemployment in the State.

Statement of the Problem



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