STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN TEACHING AND LEARNING FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA
1.0. INTRODUCTION Financial Accounting is an indispensible field of study in education. It is a subject that is very essential for business, it helps both profit and non -profit organization. Financial Accounting is a subject that involves the process of recording, interpreting and communicating financial data of an organization to the end users in order to make useful economic decisions. The new policy on education (2004) is designed to be functional, practical and quantitative. This is expected to reduce the more paper work system associated with the former system of education and which led to the mass unemployment. This ne policy on education emphasized vocational education and was formulated by Nigerians to direct the nation towards technological and economic development and cultural renewal. An overview of financial accounting shows that it involves a lot of human cognitive domain i.e. an individual is expected to be intellectually sound and up to the task of performing calculation and must be able to translate word problems into calculable state i.e. figures. This is a fundamental characteristics of a related subject Mathematics. In other words, this is a saying that financial accounting has a linkage with mathematics but not all students are good in this particular aspect. Hence, financial accounting as it involve calculation with indeed is cumbersome also involves own theoretical aspect. This on the other hand, is the note aspect. Since most student s find it difficult to perform to expectation in the calculation aspect, then they can easily boost their performance in the note aspect because they believe it is easy to cram note unlike calculations, However, students who have outlined their counterparts in the calculation area, research has shown that it is as a result of the permanent format and process that is embedded in the subject that has really helped them, so they find it interesting in cramming both the note aspect and the mathematical aspect. But one question to be asked is this, how long will cramming help the students? What if the students are called upon to teach their colleagues, will they not fumble? This question has aroused the interest of the researcher to embark on a research on developing effective strategies to improve the student’s academic performance in financial accounting. Since this study i.e. discipline focuses on preparing the students on how to forge a head in their academic life at both the tertiary level and professional level, there is need to look at how their performance can be improved so as to make them relevant in their field and in other field of study. Due to the vital role that the knowledge and understanding of financial accounting is playing in the society, there is need to improve on its standard. Therefore, this project is carried out with the aim of developing strategies that would help students improve their academic performance in financial accounting as a subject or course of study. 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) stated that the broad goal of the secondary school education is to prepare individuals for useful living within the society and higher education. To achieve these objectives, secondary school education in Nigeria has six years duration given in two stages, three years of junior secondary school followed by three years of senior secondary school. The curriculum designed for senior secondary school is comprehensive and broad based, aims at bordering students knowledge and outlook. Subject offered in senior secondary school are in three groups core subject , vocational subject and non vocation subject acts, one of the vocational subject is financial accounting. Financial accounting falls under the vocational area and therefore a discipline that is very essential for business. It helps both profit and non -profit making organization. This is because it helps the organization to make policies which helps and enhance expansion. It also assesses the efficiency of management to making decision relating to further investment. It prospectors in assessing the efficiency of the management and provide information which assist parties outside organization to make objective judgment about the organization. However, at the secondary school level, the objective of teaching this subject is to provide students with the basic method of processing data to develop manipulation skills and provide knowledge for career advancement in accounting so as to develop an economic understanding of business vocabulary, to help students develop and understand basic accounting concepts and principles. In summary, to be self reliant. As a result of this, it has been noted by some educational scholars in this discipline that students needs to improve themselves in order to achieve the set goals as identified above. In the content of the academic performance of students in various subjects, it is seen that the performance of students in term of academic in a subjects demands improvement as a result of the relevance of the subject in other field of study. Although, students of nowadays put up poor performance in this important subject this is according to the result released by West African Examination Council(WAEC) in the last five years and even in Joint Admission and Matriculation Board(JAMB) examination and that of the National Examination Council(NECO). Therefore, if this problem continues to remain at the fundamental level of the course of study, it is pertinent to state assert that achieving the goals will be a little difficult if not checked now. Akinteru(1998) reported that financial accounting teachers effectiveness in instructional delivery depends on their consideration of the nature of the subject during instructional planning. According to her, Financial accounting is not a subject that can be mastered by mere memorization of the basic rules. It requires total involvement of the learner in the learning process, sound theoretical intensive practice in the application of basic principles. To what extent the financial accounting teachers involves this principles to teach financial accounting is yet to be determined. According to Ogunu(2000), poor academic performance has been identified as problem in Nigerian Secondary school. Public examination for example, WAEC(2000) Analysis of percentage performance of candidates in West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination for 1998,1999 and 2000 revealed 52.48%,58.38% and 51.21% percentage failure in financial Accounting. Akintelure(1998) blamed the problem on accounting teachers insensitively to the nature of financial accounting when planning instructional activities in the classroom. According to educational proponents, teaching methodologies has great influence in the outcome of the teaching learning process. The method that the teacher adopts will immeasurably determined how much he has achieved at the end of the day. The process of teaching financial accounting entails the use of both verbal and non verbal teaching aids, problem solving techniques which involves posing a problem in relation to the subject with the extent of the understanding of the students so as to enable them to take active participation in the teaching and learning process. The present study is an attempt to determine the efficiency of guided discovery method of instruction on the teaching of financial accounting in some selected secondary schools of Oyo East Local Government Area of Oyo State. 1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Accounting like every other business subject has an inestimable value which it had played and still playing definite and important roles in the world of business. However, the academic performance of students in the field of study in the selected schools has not being considered for major investigation but rather past researchers had limited their research on the overall academic performance of students which has made it impossible to determine how students perform in financial accounting. It has been observed that despite the time allocated to the teaching of financial accounting in secondary schools, students offering this subject tends to encounter some problems which leads to their poor performance and such problems among others are: 1. inadequate of teachers source
2. inadequate of teaching aids and instructional materials. 3. Lack of motivation. All these lapses prompted the researcher to undertake detail study on such retrogressive observation.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY Since Financial Accounting is a subject which helps in the socio-economic development of the masses, it becomes pertinent for all hands to be on desk. If improvement is to be made generally, financial accounting like ever y other field or discipline is associated with some problems. It is on this ground that study is carried out to develop the strategies for improving student’s academic performance I n financial accounting in some selected secondary school of Oyo East Local Government Area of Oyo State. The following are therefore objectives for which the study is carried out: 1. To determine the factors leading to poor performance of students in financial accounting. 2. To develop strategies that will help to bring improvement on the students poor academic performance in the subject. 3. To determine whether the factors identified in (1) above is teacher centered or student centered. 1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS/HYPOTHESIS 1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This research will highlight suggested ways for improving academic performance of students in financial accounting in some selected secondary school of Oyo East Local Government Area of Oyo State. The research will be relevant in the following areas:
1. The research work will try to find out ways of encouraging the present and future students of the selected secondary school of Oyo East Local Government Area of Oyo State so that they can have meaningful and personal relationship with their teachers. 2. This study will also assist teachers of financial accounting to design the appropriate methodology that fit into the curriculum of the subject. 3. The research work will be of immense assistance to financial accounting administrators especially the school principal, if the findings are thoroughly implemented. 4. The study will help students harness both the newly developed strategies and the existing ones so as to lead to improvement in their academic performance. 5. The findings of this study will also encourage parents/guardians of these students to know the importance of their roles in improving the students academic performance.
1.6 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY This study would however be limited to four (4) secondary schools of Oyo East Local Government Area of Oyo State. Also the scope of the study will include only the students offering the subject. A total number of thirty(30) students both male and female students are to be selected from each selected secondary schools. male and female students totaling one hundred and twenty students. 1.7 DEFINITION OF THE TERMS To enhance objectivity and effectiveness of this research, some important terms that are unavoidable are explicitly defined below: 1. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING: Can be defined as the process of collecting, recording, presenting and analyzing/interpreting financial information for the users of financial information. The beginning phase for financial accounting is the data collection which capture data and other relevant facts as they occur. The details are captured on source document. Examples of such source document include invoice, debit notes, credit notes, voucher etc. 2. TEACHING: Is a polymorphic process, it is an activities aimed at the achievement of learning and practicing in such a manner as to respect the students intellectual, integrity and capacity for independent judgment. It is also concern with the task of bringing about understanding and knowledge. Obanya(1980) pointed out that teaching is a series of interrelated activities engaged in the teacher to bring out changes in the learners behavior. 3. STRATEGIES: Mintzberg from Mc Gill University(2011) define strategy as a pattern in a stream of decision to contrast with a view of strategy as planning. Man McKeanon(2011) in his own definition argues that strategy is about shaping the future and is the human attempt to get desirable ends with available means. 4. CURRICULUM: Is the totality of the experience which the learners has acquired under the direction of the school for the purpose of effecting desirable patterns of behavior. Tyler(1963)defined curriculum as all the learning of students which is planned and directed by the school to attain its education goals. 5.TEACHING METHODS: This refers to the systematic orderly procedure in teaching and learning. Andery and Nicholas(1976) explained teaching methods as involving the relationship among pupils, teachers and materials. The organization of contents, its manner of presentation to the pupils and the activities pupils and teachers carryout.