BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Business education is one of the occupational areas that are richly provided by vocational and technical education in Nigeria. Business education refers to a programme of instruction that offers various skills in accounting, marketing and Office Technology and Management (OTM). Major topics include: office practice, book keeping, business mathematics, business communication, secretarial duties, word processing, advertising (Ajisafe, Bolarinwa & Edeh 2015). Edokpolor and Egbri (2017) had stipulated that the actual goals of business education shall be to:
Prepare students for specific career in office occupations; 2. Equip students with the requisite skills for job creation and entrepreneurship; and 3. Expose students with knowledge about business, including a good blend of computer technology, which incorporates Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
They further explained that the first two goals involve education ‘for’ business, which is aimed at equipping recipients with the requisite attributes (knowledge, skills, competencies, and attitudes) to become gainfully employed in the world of work, whereas the later addresses education ‘about’ business, which is aimed at providing a sound basis for further studies at the graduate and post-graduate levels.
Some contemporary thinkers in education and training conceive of business education as a major contributor to human resource, entrepreneurial and national development. Despite these laudable roles, available indications have shown that Nigeria have been handling business education with levity (Ekpenyong, 1992; Ekpenyong & Nwabuisi, 2003; Oladunjoye, 2016; Edokpolor & Egbri, 2017). Edokpolor and Egbri (2017) added that this situation has consequently deprived business education from adequate provision of funds, qualified manpower, modern facilities, quality curriculum, and proper attention. Although, business education have attracted bulk of research within these areas (Nwodoh, n.d; Ohiwerei, 2006; Nino, 2010; khan, Shah, & Azam, 2011; Shalini & Ullash, 2012; Ojimba, 2012; Ugwuogo, 2013) leaving a gap in literature pertaining to empirical support. Also, it remain unclear how the possibilities of overcoming the issues and challenges of business education would help in promoting national development. However, adequate optimization of resources for the effective delivery of business education in Nigeria is receiving a growing attention (Agbo, 2012; Ekpenyong & Edokpolor, 2015a; Edokpolor, Edokpolor & Olupajimo, 2016; Edokpolor & Imafidon, 2017; Edokpolor & Oduma, 2017). This is because vocational education in general has been considered as a viable programme that helps to promote sustainable economic growth and development (Cantor, 1985; Ul-Haq & Haq, 1998; Tilak, 2002; Asian Development Bank, 2004; Agrawal, 2013). It is believed that for any nation to help in promoting sustainable economic growth or development, effort shall be made to invest sufficient amount of financial resources on business education programme.
One of the recent trends in Nigerian educational development is the increasing awareness of and interest in business education programmes in federal college of education. The fact is evidenced from the recognition by the Federal and State Governments of business education at the various levels of the school systems in Nigeria (National Policy on Education, 2004). Business education in the business world is the parent and foundation of business administration both in the classroom and outside world. As a parent and a foundation, unless business education is solid its offspring and superstructure, that is, business administration in both theory and practice will at best not achieve its potentials, and at worst will crumble.
This is more so in the light of the contextual issue facing the discipline in the present day Nigeria. Business represents a broad and diverse discipline that is included in all types of educational delivery systems. It can begin at any level. It can be interrupted for varying periods of time and can be continued throughout the life span of an individual. Business education includes education for office occupations, distribution and marketing occupations, business teaching, business administration and economic understandings. Its objective is to prepare entrepreneurs, managers, and employees for effective work relationship with the institutions of business and to give extension and rehabilitation education to those already employed in business occupations. This vocational objective is the distinctive feature of business education and its basic justification as a separate division of school discipline (Erickson, 2002).
Unemployment and poverty have become a national crisis, which has to be addressed if Nigeria is to enjoy sustainable development, with relatively peace and security. Ekpo (2011) argued that the insecurity in Nigeria, such as the spate of terrorist attacks, kidnappings, suicide bombing, crime, break down of law and order, is not unconnected with the high rates of unemployment and poverty. The high rates of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria has necessitated the need for all stakeholders to collaboratively invest sufficient amount of resources on business education. This strategic approach according to Edokpolor, Edokpolor and Olupayimo (2016) can help to serve various purposes, which include financial management, staff development, curriculum renewal, service delivery, students mentoring, equipment donation, raising course awareness, facilities management, and lots more. Edokpolor and Egbri (2017) stated that the effective optimization of resources would further help in promoting the development of Nigerian economy.
The practicum should be an important part of the academic curriculum in higher education degrees. It is an opportunity for undergraduate students to incorporate work experience, apply the knowledge acquired in the university and develop professional skills under the supervision of a tutor related to their professional future. The practice also gives students the opportunity to set the elements for their future professional career; in this sense, Atkins emphasizes that the practice allows students “to group a combination of subject-specific skills and knowledge, generic intellectual skills, generic process skills, competencies and personal attributes”. Simultaneously, the practice allows employers the opportunity to assess the knowledge and skills provided by the university. Therefore, it is important to set the Practicum as a key period in the training of students, in order to determine which the relevant competences and which are developed during this period.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Business education is a programme of instruction that equips recipients with the requisite attributes for job creation and further education. Despite these dual missions, available evidence has shown that Nigeria is handling this sector with levity (Ekpenyong & Nwabuisi, 2003; Obunadike, 2015; Oladunjoye, 2016). This situation has consequently starved business education of proper funding, qualified staff, modern facilities, and quality curriculum, coupled with proper attention. This situation has devalued the image and reputation of business education both in the education and labour market, and has contributed to the high rate of unemployment and poverty among business education graduates.
No researcher has carried a research on the contribution of business education practicum in fostering expertise among business education student
The issue of unemployment and poverty is unconnected to the over dependency of the citizens on white collar jobs and the government in Nigeria, apart from the agricultural sector where most Nigerian engaged in through the use of subsistence and traditional methods of production, most other sectors – government, foreign trade, and commercial/industrial (executive and manufacturing) depend on the use of modern technology. Despite all these, the wholesale adoption of modern management systems and the hiring of foreign expertise have become a culture in Nigeria. Nigerians seems to have failed so far, to manage properly both the human and material resources of this country.
Most students who read business education or management end up not practicing what they studied after school thereby leaving them at the mercy of the society and increasing the number of unemployment. Another problem for lack of practicum of business education is lack of resources to these undergraduates.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The main aim of this research is the contribution of business education practicum in fostering expertise among business education student in federal college of education umunze Anambra state. Other specific objectives include:
1. to determine the relationship between the contribution of business education practicum and fostering expertise among business education student in federal college of education umunze Anambra state.
2. to examine the challenges facing business education programme in colleges of education.
3. to identify factors affecting business education practicum among business education in colleges of education.
4. to proffer solution to the factors affecting business education practicum among business education in colleges of education.
1. what is the relationship between the contribution of business education practicum and fostering expertise among business education student in federal college of education umunze Anambra state?
2. what are the challenges facing business education programme in colleges of education?
3. what are the factors affecting business education practicum among business education in colleges of education?
4. what is the solution to the factors affecting business education practicum among business education in colleges of education?
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
1. H0: the contribution of business education practicum has no significant effect in fostering expertise among business education student in federal college of education umunze Anambra state.
2. H1: the contribution of business education practicum has a significant effect in fostering expertise among business education student in federal college of education umunze Anambra state
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The embedded practicum design is intended to bring a realistic insight and a revolutionary vigor to what practicum experiences really need to be. The findings of this study revealed the extent of effectiveness of the embedded approach to practicum activities by examining the goals, the implementation, and the outcomes of the business education program.
It is worthy of note that Business Education is important to the nation because more people would have skills that can make them ready employers of labour, more of it importance is in the practicum as it will increase professionalism and increased skills in the business world.
From this study dependence on the nation would be minimized as people become job creators and employers of labour thereby minimizing the rate of unemployment. As people develop proper values towards work and practice what they are taught, they tend to contribute more economically to the nation and will go a long way in curbing social vices in the society and nation at large.
The findings of this study will put more light on the goals of Business Education as the production of manpower who possesses the requisite knowledge, skill and attitude for harnessing other resources and bringing them into a cooperative relationship yielding the goods and services demand by society for the satisfaction of their wants and needs as well as the practicum of business education.
This study will bring to the knowledge of the government of Nigeria that a country which is unable to develop the skill and the knowledge of its people and to utilize them effectively in the national economy will be unable to develop anything else. This will make them understand the importance of business education and it practicum.
This study will enlighten people in understanding that Business Education needs to be seen as a solution to the problem of unemployment. Osuala (2009) noted that there is a growing need for business knowledge. People in all works of life today attach much importance to business education. Many Nigerians have come to realize that they need training skills that can make them employable.
The study will help management of institution especially college of education to employ the right staffs that are highly skilled in the area of business education. It guides management on providing the needed facilities and organize programs relating to business such as workshop, conferences and acquisition of skills, to increase their abilities and competencies both mental and physical, as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society.
To Students the study will serve as a guide for undergraduates on how to become an effective business person. It helps young individuals to develop the mindset and abilities of a business man/woman. It shows the importance of business education on the behavior of postgraduates.
Finally, the study will serve as a research tool for further study by other researchers on the contribution of business education practicum in fostering expertise among business education students.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The study will cover the contribution of business education practicum in fostering expertise among business education student in federal college of education umunze Anambra state.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Contribution: the part played by a person or thing in bringing about a result or helping something to advance.
Business education practicum: When students engage in a practicum, they undertake a business related project with a client company. A practicum is intended to give masters students the opportunity to exercise their creative, questioning, analytic, problem solving, and communication skills in a practical way.
Fostering: encourage the development of (something, especially something desirable).
Expertise: expert skill or knowledge in a particular field.
Business education students: Business education is a term that encompasses a number of methods used to teach students the fundamentals of business practices. These methods range from formal educational degree programs, such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA), to school-to-work opportunity systems or cooperative education. Business education students are students who study business education.