Adequacy of Material Resources Required for Implementation of Upper Basic Education Business Studies Curriculum in Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Okoli B. Ekwutosi
Ebonyi State University, Nigeria

Okorie O. Ogbonnaya
Ebonyi State College of Education, Nigeria

Abstract

This work is a descriptive survey of the adequacy of the material resources required for effective implementation of upper basic education business studies curriculum in Ebonyi State. Two research questions and two hypotheses guided this study. Two hundred and forty-one (241) business studies teachers participated in this study. A four point structured questionnaire, with reliability coefficient of 0.81 was administered to the 241 respondents. The research question responses were sorted to find the mean and standard deviation with a t-test run to test the hypotheses. The two null hypotheses were accepted at 0.05 significance. The results showed that business studies facilities are of low adequacy and business studies curriculum textbook provisions are of low adequacy. There was no significant difference between the adequacy of business studies facilities in public and private junior secondary schools; and there is no significant difference between the adequacy of business studies curriculum textbook provision in urban and rural junior secondary schools. The study recommended that government and other stakeholders pool their resources to ensure that business studies facilities and textbooks are adequately provided since education for all is the responsibility of all. 

Keywords: Basic Education, Business Studies Education, Upper Basic School Nigeria.

Introduction

Universal Basic Education (UBE) is an educational reform program of the Nigerian government that provides free, compulsory, and continuous 9 years education in two levels: 6 years of primary and 3 years of junior secondary education for all school aged children. According to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC, 2006), the legal framework of UBE was signed into law in May, 2004 in order to address section 18(1) and (3) of the 1999 Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution that stimulates:

  1. Government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels.
  2. Government shall eradicate illiteracy; and to this end, government shall as and when practicable provide:
    1. Free, compulsory and universal primary education;
    2. Free secondary education;
    3. Free university education; and
    4. Free adult literacy programme.

The UBE program constitutes: Early Child Care Development Education (ECCDE) for children aged 3-5 years; Primary Education for children for 6 years, aged 6-11 years; and Junior Secondary School (JSS) Education for children for 3 years, aged 12-14+. The ECCDE is not compulsory, but the 6 years of primary and 3 years of JSS education are compulsory. The 9 year continuous basic education became necessary because, according to UBEC (2006), completion of primary school does not equip a child with the necessary life skills to become self reliant.

From the introduction of the UBE, it became imperative that the existing curricula for primary school and JSS be reviewed, restructured, and realigned to fit into a 9 year education program. Then the National Council on Education (NCE) approved a new curriculum structure that included: Lower Basic Education Curriculum (Primary 1-3), Middle Basic Education Curriculum (Primary 4-6) and Upper Basic Education Curriculum (JSS 1-3). The National Planning Commission (2007) established the upper basic education business studies curriculum on which this study is based as adapted from by the Comparative Education and Adaptation Centre’s (CESA) study which was presented to the Joint Consultative Committee on Education in 1982. The design and content of this curriculum is focused on providing students with the skills to be gainfully employed upon completion of their program as it prepares them for setting up small businesses as entrepreneurs.

Nweze (2008) applauds this curriculum when he points out that one of the national education goals is the acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competencies as equipment to live in and contribute to the development of one’s society. He believes that acquisition of appropriate business skills is necessary at this level because, after junior secondary education, one may continue full-time studies, combine work with study, or embark on full time employment.

The business studies curriculum could not be implemented in a vacuum, hence, the National Planning Commission (2007) explained that it is crucial that adequate provision of human and material resources be made for the implementation of upper basic education business studies curriculum in order to promote saleable skills acquisition and employment generation possibilities. In line with this mandate, Saba (2007) sees school facilities and equipment as a pillar in support for effective teaching and learning to take place in an ideal environment. Okpanku and Uchechi (2008) believe that facilities and equipment help to stimulate interest and also enhance retention of ideas.

Hamza (2000) and Nwagwu (2007) regret that the short supply of instructional materials in Nigerian secondary schools hinder effective teaching and learning. Igu (2007) notes that school libraries, where available, are filled with old and obsolete books that are irrelevant. Mustapha (2011) complains that majority of the teachers in the south-east zone are still battling to catch a glimpse of the new curriculum. Okoroma (2006) affirms that inadequate laboratories, libraries and other teaching and learning materials, among others, constitute the major constraints to effective implementation of the UBE program.

Nwakpa (2007) affirms that material resources are not evenly distributed. He asserts that these resources are more adequate in private secondary schools than in public secondary schools. Similarly, Egwu (2009) asserts that there are significant differences in the management of schools in urban and rural areas. Ani (2005) and Strong (2006) note that these differences exist in the provision of educational materials, adequacy of staff, and conducive learning environment. Starr and White (2008) specifically affirm that rural areas get little support and inadequate personnel in contrast with their urban counterparts.

Ulifun (1986) describes availability, maintenance and adequacy of teaching facilities as sine qua non for the attainment of educational goals. Odigbo (2005) agrees that adequate facilities ensure meaningful teaching and learning. Against this backdrop, it is crucial that adequate provision of material resources be made in order to effectively implement the upper basic education business studies curriculum in Ebonyi State.

Policy implementation and curriculum implementation is not accomplished in a vacuum. Adequacy of material resources is a condition par excellence for the implementation of the curriculum under study. Inadequate teaching and learning facilities which Osadolor (2007) identifies as a major cause of the failure of all free education programs attempted in Edo State, has been identified by Okoroma (2006) as a major constraint of UBE in Rivers State as well. The upper basic education business studies curriculum is deep, appropriate and interrelated in content. It is expected to produce the best learning outcome if supported by adequate provision of human and material resources. For Ebonyi State which Okike (2006) described as the least literate south eastern state and an educational disadvantaged state, needs to grow its education system to develop appropriate business skills in its students. This is possible if adequate teaching and learning resources are provided. This work, therefore, tries to establish the adequacy of material resources required for effective implementation of this curriculum in Ebonyi State.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to determine the adequacy of material resources required for effective implementation of upper basic education business studies curriculum in Ebonyi State. Specifically, the study intends to:

  1. determine the adequacy of business studies facilities at the upper basic education (JSS) level in Ebonyi State;
  2. determine the level of business studies curriculum textbook provision at the upper basic education level in Ebonyi State.

Research Questions

These following research questions guided the study:

  1. What is the level of adequacy of business studies’ facilities in junior secondary schools (JSS) in Ebonyi State?
  2. What is the level of adequacy of the provision of business studies curriculum textbooks in JSS in Ebonyi State?

Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance:

Ho1:
There is no significant difference between the adequacy of business studies facilities in public and private JSS.
Ho2:
There is no significant difference between the level of adequacy of business studies curriculum textbook provision in urban and rural JSS.

Methodology

The population of this study was comprised of two hundred and forty-one (241) business studies teachers in Ebonyi State. The researchers considered the population accessible and decided to use the entire 241 business studies teachers for the study. The researchers distributed 241 copies of the questionnaire, but only 228 were correctly completed and returned for use in this study.

A structured questionnaire developed by the researcher and validated by three (3) experts was used for data collection. The reliability of the instrument was tested using cronbach alpha and it yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.81 and was assessed as reliable for the study.

Data collected were analyzed using mean (x), standard deviation, and t-test. While mean and standard deviation were used to assess the research question responses, t-test was used to test the null hypotheses. Any item that had a mean score between 0.1 and 1.0 was interpreted as very low adequacy, 1.1 to 2.0 was interpreted as low adequacy, 2.1 to 3.0 was highly adequate while 3.1 to 4.0 was very highly adequate. The decision rule of benchmark was to interpret any grand mean greater than or equal to 2.1 (x>2.1) as adequate and any grand mean less than or equal to 2.0(x < 2.0) as inadequate. The study was carried out in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Data Analysis

The findings of this study are presented in tables 1 to 4 below.

Table 1. Mean and standard deviation results level of adequacy of school facilities

S/N Item VHA HA LA VLA X S.D Interpret
1 Typing room 14 45 72 97 1.89 0.93 LA
2 Dom well desk 8 16 28 176 1.37 0.77 LA
3 Swivel typing chair 4 23 33 168 1.39 0.74 LA
4 Electric typewriter 11 33 54 130 1.67 0.89 LA
5 Manual typewriter 10 76 82 60 2.16 0.87 HA
6 Ink duplicating machine 4 50 86 88 1.87 0.81 LA
7 Carbon paper 15 65 99 49 2.20 0.85 HA
8 A4 typing sheet 12 73 84 59 2.17 0.88 HA
9 A5 typing sheet 9 53 89 77 1.97 0.86 LA
10 A4 headed typing sheet 10 61 85 72 2.04 0.87 LA
11 A5 headed typing sheet 7 45 77 99 1.83 0.85 LA
12 Headed memo pad 8 33 77 110 1.73 0.84 LA
13 A4 duplicating paper 14 68 67 79 2.08 0.94 LA
14 Stencil 7 42 110 69 1.94 0.78 LA
15 Typewriter eraser 8 35 103 82 1.86 0.79 LA
16 Tipex 16 55 98 59 2.12 0.88 HA
17 Tape recorder 6 28 52 142 1.58 1.01 LA
18 Sound tapes/ cassette 5 22 53 148 1.49 0.76 LA
19 Shorthand pen 10 18 60 140 1.55 0.82 LA
20 Unrulled chalkboard 65 96 26 41 2.81 1.04 HA
21 Ruled chalkboard 17 20 37 154 1.56 0.93 LA
22 Shorthand note book 13 67 65 83 2.04 0.92 LA
23 Photocopier 17 36 65 110 1.83 0.96 LA
24 Filing cabinet 15 39 58 116 1.79 0.95 LA
25 Perforator 16 55 103 54  2.15 0.86 HA
26 Stapling machine 17 73 92 46 2.27 0.87 HA
27 Guillotine 8 14 58 148 1.48 0.77 LA
28 Stop watch 12 21 90 105 1.74 0.84 LA
29 Alarm clock 14 39 82 93 1.89 0.90 LA
30 Single hole punch 7 66 92 63 2.07 0.83 LA
31 Double hole punch 7 27 100 94 1.77 0.78 LA
32 Incoming register 24 60 96 48 2.26 0.91 HA
33 Dispatch book 24 62 88 54 2.25 0.94 HA
34 Visitor’s book 36 63 92 37 2.43 0.94 HA
35 File jacket 47 73 68 40 2.56 1.01 HA
36 File tags 54 69 64 41 2.59 1.04 HA
37 Bulletin board 11 22 47 148 1.54 0.86 LA
38 Telephone Message pad 8 27 39 154 1.51 0.84 LA
39 Request form booklet 10 35 57 126 1.69 0.89 LA
40 Business documents specimen 13 34 57 124 1.72 0.92 LA
41 Postage book 16 29 61 122 1.73 0.94 LA
42 Adding/listing machine 9 29 56 134 1.62 0.86 LA
43 Ruled ledger sheet 5 44 92 87 1.86 0.80 LA
44 Analysis sheet for trial balance 7 39 79 103 1.78 0.84 LA
45 Store record book 15 38 74 101 1.86 0.93 LA
  Grand Mean         1.90 0.88 Inadequate

VHA= Very Highly Adequate, HA =  Highly Adequate, LA= Low Adequacy, VLA  =  Very Low Adequacy.

Table 1 shows that thirty-three (33) out of the forty five facilities required for the implementation of upper basic education curriculum on business studies were of low adequacy. The low adequacy facilities are those with serial numbers 1-4, 6, 9-15, 17-19, 21-24, 27-31 and 37-45 whose mean scores fell between 1.1 and 2.0. Twelve facilities with serial number 5, 7, 8, 16, 20, 25, 26, and 32-36, whose mean scores fell between 2.1 and 3.0, were highly adequate. None of the faculties was either very highly adequate or of very low adequacy. The grand mean is 1.90 which implies that the facilities are inadequate. The standard deviations show that the individual mean scores do not vary widely from the grand mean.

Table 2. Mean and standard deviation results level of adequacy of business studies curriculum textbooks provision

S/N

Item

VHA

HA

LA

VLA

X

SD

Interpret

46 Provision of the basic education curriculum on business studies 8 37 98 85 1.86 0.81 LA
47 Level of compliance of existing business studies textbook with the new curriculum  11 57 112 48 2.14 0.79 HA
48 Revision of business textbooks in compliance with the new curriculum 15 45 121 47 2.12 0.81 HA
49 New business studies textbooks written in line with the new curriculum 19 68 89 52 2.24 0.89 HA
50 Availability of business studies textbooks in the school library 15 21 68 124 1.68 0.89 LA
51 Accessibility of library copies to business studies teachers 16 24 67 121 1.72 0.92 LA
52 Accessibility of library copies to business studies students 11 23 54 140 1.58 0.86 LA
53 Possession / ownership of business studies textbook by students 10 46 59 113 1.79 0.91 LA
Grand mean 1.89 0.86 Inadequate

Table 2 shows that five of the eight items meant to determine the adequacy of the provision of business studies curriculum textbooks (serial numbers 46, 50-53) had mean scores between 1.1 and 2.0 and were interpreted as of low adequacy. Three of the items (serial numbers 47-49) obtained mean scores between 2.1 and 3.0 and were interpreted as highly adequate. No item was either very highly adequate or of very low adequacy. The grand mean of 1.89 implies that the provision of business studies curriculum textbooks is inadequate. The standard deviations show that the individual mean scores do not vary significantly from the grand mean.

Table 3: t-Test results on adequacy of business studies facilities

S/N Variable No X S.D DF t. Cal t Crit Decision
1 Private Public 121 107 1.78 2.01 0.91 0.94 226 1.91 1.960 Accept H0
2 Private Public 121 107 1.32 1.42 0.71 0.82 226 0.97 1.960 Accept H0
3 Private Public 121 107 1.39 1.40 0.76 0.71 226 0.05 1.960 Accept H0
4 Private Public 121 107 1.63 1.71 0.87 0.92 226 0.62 1.960 Accept H0
5 Private Public 121 107 2.15 2.15 0.88 0.84 226 0.02 1.960 Accept H0
6 Private Public 121 107 1.80 1.93 0.75 0.87 226 1.16 1.960 Accept H0
7 Private Public 121 107 2.09 2.31 0.81 0.88 226 1.95 1.960 Accept H0
8 Private Public 121 107 2.09 2.25 0.86 0.88 226 1.39 1.960 Accept H0
9 Private Public 121 107 1.93 2.01 0.78 0.93 226 0.75 1.960 Accept H0
10 Private Public 121 107 1.95 2.14 0.78 0.95 226 1.65 1.960 Accept H0
11 Private Public 121 107 1.78 1.86 0.78 0.92 226 0.74 1.960 Accept H0
12 Private Public 121 107 1.75 1.71 0.78 0.89 226 0.38 1.960 Accept H0
13 Private Public 121 107 2.01 2.14 0.91 0.97 226 0.99 1.960 Accept H0
14 Private Public 121 107 1.91 1.97 0.80 0.75 226 0.53 1.960 Accept H0
15 Private Public 121 107 1.85 1.87 0.80 0.79 226 0.26 1.960 Accept H0
16 Private Public 121 107 2.04 2.20 0.85 0.89 226 1.34 1.960 Accept H0
17 Private Public 121 107 1.53 1.63 0.78 1.21 226 0.73 1.960 Accept H0
18 Private Public 121 107 1.49 1.48 0.75 0.76 226 0.10 1.960 Accept H0
19 Private Public 121 107 1.53 1.57 0.82 0.81 226 0.30 1.960 Accept H0
20 Private Public 121 107 2.71 2.91 1.06 1.01 226 1.43 1.960 Accept H0
21 Private Public 121 107 1.56 1.56 0.96 0.90 226 0.01 1.960 Accept H0
22 Private Public 121 107 1.95 2.14 0.90 0.97 226 1.46 1.960 Accept H0
23 Private Public 121 107 1.68 1.98 0.91 0.98 226 2.35 1.960 Reject  H0
24 Private Public 121 107 1.74 1.85 0.93 0.96 226 0.84 1.960 Accept H0
25 Private Public 121 107 2.01 2.28 0.88 0.81 226 2.42 1.960 Reject  H0
26 Private Public 121 107 2.20 2.33 0.86 0.86 226 1.13 1.960 Accept H0
27 Private Public 121 107 1.41 1.56 0.69 0.83 226 1.46 1.960 Accept H0
28 Private Public 121 107 1.71 1.76 0.81 0.86 226 0.50 1.960 Accept H0
29 Private Public 121 107 1.88 1.88 0.85 0.95 226 0.03 1.960 Accept H0
30 Private Public 121 107 1.95 2.20 0.82 0.82 226 2.27 1.960 Reject  H0  
31 Private Public 121 107 1.71 1.83 0.73 0.81 226 1.18 1.960 Accept H0
32 Private Public 121 107 2.16 2.37 0.87 0.93 226 1.73 1.960 Accept H0
33 Private Public 121 107 2.13 2.37 0.90 0.95 226 1.95 1.960 Accept H0
34 Private Public 121 107 2.29 2.57 0.88 0.99 226 2.27 1.960 Reject H0
35 Private Public 121 107 2.42 2.70 1.05 0.93 226 2.04 1.960 Reject H0
36 Private Public 121 107 2.44 2.76 1.05 0.99 226 2.35 1.960 Reject H0
37 Private Public 121 107 1.46 1.63 0.74 0.96 226 1.52 1.960 Accept H0
38 Private Public 121 107 1.42 1.60 0.72 0.93 226 1.61 1.960 Accept H0
39 Private Public 121 107 1.62 1.75 0.83 0.94 226 1.09 1.960 Accept H0
40 Private Public 121 107 1.59 1.85 0.82 1.00 226 2.19 1.960 Reject H0
41 Private Public 121 107 1.64 1.83 0.85 1.01 226 1.51 1.960 Accept H0
42 Private Public 121 107 1.54 1.70 0.80 0.90 226 1.37 1.960 Accept H0
43 Private Public 121 107 1.76 1.95 0.79 0.80 226 1.74 1.960 Accept H0
44 Private Public 121 107 1.68 1.88 0.80 0.86 226 1.83 1.960 Accept H0
45 Private Public 121 107 1.77 1.94 0.89 0.96 226 1.36 1.960 Accept H0
  t-test Value         1.23 1.960 Accept H01

Table 3 shows that thirty eight of the forty five items were accepted because their t-calculated values were less than the t-critical value of 1.960. The seven remaining items were rejected because their t-calculated values were greater than the t-critical value. The t-test value shows that t-calculated value is 1.23 which is lees than the t-critical value. This implies that there is no significant difference between the level of adequacy of business studies facilities in public and private junior secondary schools in Ebonyi State. The null hypothesis 1(H01) is therefore accepted.

Table 4. t-Test result on adequacy of provision business curriculum textbooks

S/N Variable No X S.D DF t. Cal t Crit Decision
46 Urban Rural 85 143 1.82 1.88 0.78 0.82 226 0.52 1.960 Accept H0
47 Urban Rural 85 143 2.17 2.11 0.80 0.79 226 0.59 1.960 Accept H0
48 Urban Rural 85 143 2.15 2.10 0.76 0.83 226 0.43 1.960 Accept H0
49 Urban Rural 85 143 2.34 2.17 0.95 0.85 226 1.35 1.960 Accept H0
50 Urban Rural 85 143 1.68 1.67 0.90 0.89 226 0.03 1.960 Accept H0
51 Urban Rural 85 143 1.72 1.70 0.95 0.89 226 0.18 1.960 Accept H0
52 Urban Rural 85 143 1.57 1.58 0.83 0.87 226 0.09 1.960 Accept H0
53 Urban Rural 85 143 1.74 1.82 0.88 0.92 226 0.67 1.960 Accept H0
  t-test Value         0.48 1.960 Accept H02

Table 4 shows that all the items (46-53) on the provision of business studies curriculum compliant textbooks were accepted because their t- calculated values were less than the t-critical. Similarly, the t-test value shows that the t-calculated value of 0.48 is less than the t-critical. Hence, the null hypothesis 2 (H02) is accepted; implying that there is no significant difference between the level of adequacy of the provision of business studies curriculum complaint textbooks in urban and rural junior secondary schools in Ebonyi State.

Discussion of Findings

This study finds that business studies facilities are inadequate in JSS in Ebonyi State. This finding agrees with the findings of Okoroma (2006) and Nwagwu (2007) that instructional materials are in short supply in Nigerian junior secondary schools. The study finds that the provision of business studies textbooks is inadequate in JSS in Ebonyi State. This finding agrees with that of lgu (2007) that school libraries are filled with old and obsolete books that are irrelevant and therefore inadequate. The study reveals that there is no significant difference in the adequacy of business studies facilities in public and private JSS. This finding disagrees with the finding of Nwakpa (2007) that instructional materials are more adequate in private junior secondary schools than in public junior secondary schools. The study shows that there is no significant difference in the adequacy of the provision of business studies curriculum textbooks in urban and rural JSS in Ebonyi State. This finding disagrees with the findings of Ani (2005) and Strong (2008) that rural areas receive inadequate educational materials in comparison to their urban counterparts.

Conclusion

Material resources required for the implementation of upper basic education (JSS) business studies curriculum are inadequate in Ebonyi State. Both facilities and the provision of business curriculum textbooks are inadequate. This trend may not only incapacitate the teachers but also serve to miseducate them and their students. Therefore measures should be taken to improve the facilities and provide business curriculum textbooks for all JSS students.

Recommendations

The following recommendations are made based on the findings of this study:

  1. Government and other proprietors of schools should equip schools with adequate facilities required for the implementation of the upper basic education business studies curriculum.
  2. Functional and qualified librarians should be employed to handle textbook and allied matters in junior secondary schools.
  3. Business studies programs, at this level, should be subjected to accreditation and reaccredidation based on the adequacy of facilities, textbooks and other curricula elements.
  4. Government and other stakeholders should pool their resources to ensure that business studies materials are adequately provided, since education for all is the responsibility of all.

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