Impediments to the Acquisition of Accounting Education by Secondary School Students
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of the study is to determine the perceived impediments to the acquisition of accounting education in Secondary Schools in Enugu North L.G.A. Specifically, the study aims at determining the:
- To identify the number of accounting teachers that are qualified to teach accounting in the secondary schools in Enugu North L.G.A.;
- To identify available accounting resource materials in the secondary schools;
- To identify Teaching methods utilized by accounting teachers in the classroom;
- Regularity of the accounting teachers in utilizing the available accounting resource materials in the classroom;
Concept and History of Accounting
The existence of accounting dates back as old as life itself, in the sense that man did one form of accounting or the order like taking records of his things or proceeds from farm and the sales thereof. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why accounting is referred to as one of the oldest professions in the world. It is equally referred to as one of the newest and most rapidly growing professions.
A look at various definitions of accounting will help us to chart our course well in this study. According to Online Business dictionary (2016), “It is a systematic process of identifying, recording, measuring, classifying, verifying, summarizing, interpreting and communicating financial information. It reveals profit or loss for a given period, and the value and nature of a firm’s assets, liabilities and owner’s equity”. Accounting is seen by Uchegbu (2001, p.2) as the “art of controlling a business by keeping accurate book-keeping records from the records certain statistics called ‘Accounting Ratios’ and using these ratios to conduct financial difficulties before they become serious, so that counter measures may be taken.”
Omuga (1980:72), observed that accounting is often regarded to be the “language of business. It used in the business world to describe the transactions entered into by all kinds of organization, because from the ancient times, man has need for system of record keeping of transactions”.
Ajaero (2006, p.18) is of the opinion that accounting is a body of knowledge and function concerned with the systematical, organization, recording and interpreting information. The committee of American Accounting Association (1996) in Richard (2000, p.13) defined financial accounting as “the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decision by users of information”. Agunanne (2005, p.5), views accounting as a process in which the transaction and events in operating an entity are recorded for the purpose of accumulating and providing financial information essential to the good conduct of the activities of such an entity. From the definitions above, we can infer that, accounting is that discipline that is concerned with identifying, recording and classification of the monetary impact of business transaction and events for the purpose of interpreting and communicating those results to a variety of interest parties.
The earlier attempt to record financial information dated back in Assyria 3500 B.C, when it was thought necessary to record the payment made in animals to the king. The records of thus early civilization are erratic in the observance of both an adequate and numerical system and money. In the same vein, Aliyu (2010, p.12) classified accounting into three segments such as accounting measures, accounting analysis and accounting system. In his definition, accounting measures is the financial progress and proportion of the organizational units of the business and the business as a whole, by breaking the complex business activities into identifiable measurable financial transaction. He defined accounting analysis as “recording, summarizing and reporting a multitude transaction in such a manner that those who are concerned with the affairs of entity.
According to Longe and Rachael Kazeem (2012, p.3), there is no accurate record as to when accounts started, but available information suggests that record keeping is as old as man. The starting point can be linked to the merchants in Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations, about 400 years B.C.
The modus operandi for keeping records then was writing marks on the wall or stone or papyrus or wax tablets. This form of record keeping was highly primitive which the level of standard of living was then. History of accounting cannot be complete without mentioning the name of an Italian mathematician Lucca Paciolo.
This is a descriptive survey type of design which involved collecting of data from sampled secondary schools. A descriptive survey is simply concerned with the collection of data for the purpose of describing existing conditions and process. On this premise, descriptive survey design was considered appropriate for this study.
Population of the study
The population for this research work was all students in SS I, SS II and SS III offering accounting in secondary schools in Enugu North L.G.A.. There are ten schools located in the Enugu North L.G.A. of Enugu State. From the data collected by the Secondary Education Management Board (SEMB), Ministry of Education, Enugu North, there is a total number of seven (7) accounting teachers and 115 senior secondary school students from four (4) secondary schools offering accounting.
This chapter deals on the presentation and analysis of data. The analysis was performed using the information gotten from the respondents and are presented in tables below:
Research Question One: What is the number of professionally qualified accounting teachers in Secondary Schools in Enugu North L.G.A.?
RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION
Following the findings of this research, the researcher wishes to make recommendations for timely eradication of these problems militating the effective teaching and learning of accounting. These recommendations if followed by students, teachers, parents, government, etc., are hoped to improve the academic performance of students offering accounting and also, improve the economy of our beloved nation.
- Professionally qualified teachers of accounting, should be employed and assigned to accounting classes to teach the subject.
- Accounting teachers that are not professionally qualified to teach the subject, but are employed and assigned to teach it, should be sent on teaching qualification programme like Professional Diploma in Education, to acquire the required knowledge and be equipped with the right skills to teach.
- Instructional materials required in the teaching of accounting should be provided to the teachers. They should also update themselves on the use of some accounting software program.
- Constant in-service training should be organized for the teachers, to expose them to current teaching practices and current accounting policies and keep them abreast of current happenings.
- Teachers’ remuneration should be commensurate to their job, to enable them stay focused on their job, and not to encourage them to display laissez-affair attitude to their job. Other incentives should also be given intermittently like salary advance, allowances, etc.
- Field trips to accounting firms should be organized regularly to enable students see the practical aspect of their lesson, how certain items are used like the cashbook, ledger, cheque book, financial reports, vouchers etc. This will help concretize the lessons they have learnt. Bringing them to the real world in their learning will have much positive impact in their learning.
This work has been able to establish the fact that there are perceived factors militating against effective teaching and learning of accounting in secondary schools in Enugu North L.G.A.
These factors could be attributed to recruitment of unqualified/unprofessional teachers who do not possess the skills to teach and do not know when and how to use the available resources to teach and the various methods to employ in the teaching of the subject. The effect of these on students’ academic performance is certainly not encouraging but rather devastating. It could therefore be said that these perceived factors militating against effective teaching and learning of accounting have damaging and discouraging effects on the academic performance of the students. It also affects their morale/interest and their ability to cope with academic work.
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