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ASSESSMENT OF TEACHERS’ COMPETENCIES IN THE TEACHING OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ENUGU EDUCATION ZONE.
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Background of the study
Education is indispensable for all nations aspiring towards basic knowledge to achieve greatness. It is based on this premise that Ogbonnaya (2003) asserted that a nation that considers compulsory education for citizens sees it as an agent of sustainable growth and development. In recognition of the above, education in Nigeria is an instrument “par excellence for effecting national development” (Federal Republic of Nigeria, FRA, 2004: 49). Education represents the totality of the institutional structures and processes that determine both learning and teaching as the means for the transmission and improvement of a society’s repertoire of knowledge, ideas, abilities, beliefs, culture and morality from one generation to another (Ibrahim, 2004).
Okeke (2009) observed that the functionality of Nigeria’s education is in doubt from his research findings on the high rate of unemployment among educational output form primary to university levels in Nigeria. According to Nnamani (2007) statistics shows that up to 40% of graduates of tertiary institutions in Nigeria remain unemployed after the National Youth Services Corps. This ugly trend in educational output in Nigeria continues to grow unabated with severe consequences to the educations rector. The nation’s educational system has not provided enough job opportunities for its outputs or graduates (Haris, 2010). In recognition of the inability of the economy to absorb the teeming unemployed youths, the Federal Government of Nigeria though the National Education Research Development Council (NERDC) proposed the introduction of entrepreneurship education in the entire school curriculum in the country.
An entrepreneur is a person who takes risks, has initiative and creativity and makes things happen through the skills bestowed on the person (Obosode, 2009). An entrepreneur, therefore, applies creative and innovative talents to start their own business or project or expand one that already exists. The skills that will enable individuals operate their jobs or businesses have to be taught in schools by the teachers so as to realize the self-reliant bid of the government. The necessary skills needed to be impacted on the students are contained in the curriculum. The entrepreneurship education curriculum offers subjects like basic technology education and basic business education to enable individual students acquire the entrepreneurial skills which will enhance self-employment opportunity. Specifically the module of the entrepreneurship education curriculum incorporates the following goals.
- The development of learners awareness of professional and entrepreneurial opportunities
- The development of pupils’ awareness of socially-responsible entrepreneurial behaviour.
- Concept of business and business organization
- Entrepreneurial thought and action
- Creativity and idea generation
- Design thinking opportunity
- Evaluation and business planning
- Entrepreneurial marketing, public policy and economic development
- New venture creation
- Human relation management
- Technology entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneurial finance
The above goals are to be attained with the teaching of entrepreneurship education in the school. This will enable the products of the school to acquire necessary skills to be successful entrepreneurs of their business outfits.
Entrepreneurship education generates innovative opportunities for students to be successful to themselves and of great value to their communities (Peter, 2007). The attainment of this objective is critical and requires teachers that are knowledgeable and competent to implement the entrepreneurship education curriculum in secondary schools. This is realized through the acquisition of certain levels of skills by the teacher.
Skills as used here refer to the competencies required of the teachers for the implementation process of the entrepreneurship education in the classroom situation. The skills may be managerial, accounting and financial skills, marketing and sale skills and general business competencies. The managerial skills deal with communicative skills of the teacher which may be oral or written. The financial skill requires knowledge of accounts in business outfits. The marketing and general business skill competencies comprise the skill in the sale of goods and the running of different types of business which one is exposed to. The teachers are expected to be armed with the above competencies in an effort to impart the skills on the students so as to be functional members of the society.
According to UNESCO (2010) entrepreneurship education emerged as a response to international call and the need to curb the high rate of unemployment globally and to reduce the reliance on government paid jobs which has manifested greatly in developing countries like Nigeria. Hicks (2007) asserts that a combination of lack of labour market opportunities and lack of skills result in many young people being unable to secure a job in the formal economy. Most of the schools in Nigeria do not promote any entrepreneurship education that youth would need to either start a business, join and increase the productivity of an existing business, or more generally develop a more proactive and entrepreneurial attitude in their professional career.
Entrepreneurship education has a spiral effect of ensuring sustainable development and growth in a country like Nigeria. Similarly, entrepreneurship education enables secondary schools students to acquire life long entrepreneurship skills. Through entrepreneurship education, students including those with disabilities, learn organizational skills including time management, leadership development and entrepreneurial skills, all of which are highly transferable skills sought by employers (Derio, 2008). Specially, the curriculum content of entrepreneurship education meant for secondary schools comprise concept of business and business organizations, management of business organizations, human and capital formation and organization, job location opportunities, vocational training procedures. Other aspects of the curriculum include human relations management, international trade, business capital and profit maximization and business cycle. The basic objective articulated from the content of the entrepreneurship education is the organization of the skills to enhance the business potentials of the person concern.
All these objectives of studying entrepreneurship education in secondary schools hinge on the potentialities of the teacher to impact the desired knowledge to the learners. The potentialities of the teacher otherwise known as the competences of the teacher are an essential variable to consider in assessing the implementation of entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. The centre of all the implementation processes is the teacher who is in very close contact with the students or learners in the classroom settings. On a general note, the disposition of teacher is very essential in the implementation of any curriculum. Ogbonnaya (2003) asserted that:
The need to involve teachers in all phases of curriculum planning can hardly be over emphasized. To begin with, that a curriculum has been designed to guarantee that corresponding educational experiences which may result in the end will depend on teachers. It is on the efforts of teachers that a curriculum which has been designed by planners in society depends, to a large extent for its success in terms of ending to appropriate ends of education in the society. Teachers are key factors in the operation and for the success of curriculum, they are indispensable in the educative process (P.40).
Behind every successful implementation of any curriculum project or policy are highly trained, motivated and efficient classroom teachers (Ibrahim, 2007). The National Policy on Education, (FRN, 2004) state that no educational system or policy can rise above the quality of its teachers (2004). The role of teachers in achieving sustainable improvement in the implementation of entrepreneurship education in secondary schools is a cardinal one. Mgbodile (2004) had noted that the importance of the teacher in determining the tempo of curricular and methodology cannot be underestimated. He noted that plans and policies can be well laid on paper, the implementation strategies well outlined, and the organizational structure well set, but it is the teacher factor that stands as the deciding factor in terms of whether or not the desired goals and objectives which have informed all the efforts can be achieved.
Many researchers have reiterated the fact that teachers disposition and characteristics, what teachers think, believe and do, their experience, qualifications, sex and location of teaching ultimately determine their level of performance and the quality of education (Friedman, 2005; Kpolow, 2004). It has also been revealed that teachers tend to perceive distinct needs according to their personal factors such as qualification, teaching experience, and knowledge of the subject matter, gender, school location and their area of specialization Ola (2006). Studies have revealed that qualification of teachers affect school achievement to the extent that academically qualified teachers tend to succeed more than their non-qualified counterparts. Okeke (2008) affirmed that adequately qualified teachers have the confidence and courage to use their initiative to impact experiences positively on the student for improved performance.
The teacher is seen by Idris (2008) as a significant component of the classroom, positing that male and female teachers differ significantly in several ways. Such differences they observed have relative effects on the classroom environment such that students perceived classes taught by male and female teachers differently. The instructional behaviour of teachers during classroom interactions appears to exert the most pervading influence on gender issues. Gender inequality in achievement attitude and interest in many fields of studies has remained a contentions issue (Hobson, 2009). Gender is a range of characteristic used to distinguish between male and female, particularly in the cases of men and women, masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Gender is a social construct, it is not biologically determined but a concept equivalent to race or class (Offorma, 2004). This definition suggests that gender is socially or culturally constructed characteristics and role, which are associated with males and females in society. It is different from sex which is a biological distinction in appearance (morphology) and function (physiology) as well as reproductive contributions of men and women. According to Lee (2001) gender is ascribed attribute that differentiates feminine from masculine. The difference in competence of male and female teachers in implementing secondary school curriculum has been reported by researchers. Udeinya (2008) and Okafor (2006) reported that male teachers are more competent than their female counterparts in implementing geography and mathematics curriculum in secondary while Omoogun (2009) reveals that gender significantly affects teachers competency needs of environmental education concepts. Therefore, this study will investigated gender differences in the teacher competence possess for the implementation of entrepreneurship education in secondary school.
Similarly, there is age long controversy on whether the school location has an impact on student’s achievement. Location of school connotes an area where a school is suited. It could be urban, rural or semi-urban. As schools play an important role in the intellectual development of children, adequate programme of learning facilities or lack of item may facilitate or hinder learning. The location of schools comes into play here because it may determine some vital learning ingredients such as learning facilities infrastructure, number of teachers and the class size. However researcher reports on the achievement and competencies of students and teachers have been associated with location. Omoogun (2009) reported that location significantly affect teachers competency needs of environmental education concept. This present study will examine whether location will influence the methodology competence of teachers in implementing entrepreneurship education in secondary school.
Competency needs involve the identification of relevant knowledge and skills required in order to carry out a particular operation. According to Hobson (2008), competency involves having a sound knowledge of the subject matter and of the methods of effectively imparting the facts and skills relating to the subject. Adeniran (2007) observed that in relation to classroom instruction a competent teacher is one who carries out effective teaching. He emphasized that competency involves knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgment which are required for the successful performance of a task rather than all the components comprising the tasks. As Peter (209) affirmed that the objective of teaching would still not be achieved if the teacher does not understand the subject matter he or she is teaching. In recognition of the importance attached to competency skills in teaching. Ogbonaya (2003) affirms that the steps to identify competency needs of teachers are the capacity to:
- Identify all tasks/job to be learnt;
- Determine what one would need to know and do in order to perform the identified jobs/tasks,
- Arrangement of tasks and jobs into appropriate courses,
- Organize knowledge and skill for each task
- Determine what one needs to know for mastery of each knowledge and skills.
Basically, entrepreneurship education has been developed by NERDC and the council has appropriately identified the content area to include small enterprises, methods, and materials for teaching entrepreneurship education, evaluation of entrepreneurship education programs, design and content of entrepreneurship development programs, entrepreneurship education for adults, small enterprises development and seminar in entrepreneurship development. Each course contained classroom instruction as well as practical activities that are related to entrepreneurship development and implementation in secondary schools. Teachers are therefore expected to posses the ability to articulate the contents of entrepreneurship education to enable them implement it.
It is based on this premise that the present study is designed to assess teachers’ competencies in the teaching of entrepreneurship education in secondary schools in Enugu education zone.
Statement of the Problem
Entrepreneurship education curricula had been developed in Nigeria by the Nigeria Education Research Development Council (NERDC, 2004) for the secondary schools. The reason is to ensure the realization of the self-reliant bid of the Federal government. This is articulated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) as the programme was designed to enhance job creation by the graduates with less realized as the unemployment rate remains high. In this regard, the parents’ teachers, the government and the general public are worried over this trend. The teachers are expected to reverse this worrying ugly situation. Teachers play a key role in the realization of self-reliance aspiration of the government through teaching and learning of entrepreneurship education curriculum. The problem may therefore, lie in the level of teacher’s competencies in the implementation of the programme in secondary schools. Therefore, the problem of the study posed as a question is; what are the competencies of teachers in the teaching of entrepreneurship education in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone.
Purpose of the study
The specific purpose of this study is based on the assessment of teacher’s competencies in the teaching of entrepreneurship education in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone. Specifically, the study seeks to:
- Determine the entrepreneurial skills possessed by teachers in the teaching of the entrepreneurship education in secondary school.
- Find out the teaching methods used by the teachers in teaching the content of entrepreneurship education in secondary school.
- Determine the teacher’s qualification in the teaching of the entrepreneurship education in secondary schools.
- Ascertain the influence of teacher gender on the skills possessed by teachers in the teaching of entrepreneurship education in secondary school
- Find out the influence of location on the method used by the teachers in teaching the content of entrepreneurship education in secondary school
- Determine the problems encountered in the teaching of the entrepreneurship education in secondary schools.
Significance of the study
The findings of this study would be beneficial to the curriculum planners, Ministry of Education and supervisors, teachers and the students. The findings of the study identified the competency needs which the teachers possessed and the ones needed for the implementation of the entrepreneurship education curriculum in secondary schools.
The findings of this study would benefit the curriculum planners as it will draw their attention to the need to actualize the implementation of entrepreneurship education to curb the high unemployment rate in Nigeria. this awareness will enhance the designing of pre-service and in-service programme that will include appropriate knowledge and skills needed for implementation of entrepreneurship education. Furthermore, the findings would provide information that will stimulate the organization of workshops, conferences and seminars for entrepreneurship educators in curriculum planning and implementation as well as the review of curriculum at the various subject levels of reflects some key areas of entrepreneurship education especially as it relates to the competency needs of teachers.
The findings of the study would be of immense benefit to the Ministry of Education and supervisors as they appreciate the importance of promoting entrepreneurship education in schools with the necessary competency needed for implementation.
Teachers would also benefit from the results of this study. Teachers would become aware of the competencies needed for their effective participation in the implementation of entrepreneurship education curriculum.