FACTORS THAT LEAD TO STUDENTS POOR PERFORMANCE IN PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTS IN POST PRIMARY INSTITUTION
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CHAPTER ONE
1.0    INTRODUCTION
The factors that leads to students poor performance in principle of accounts in post primary institutions in Enugu South local government area of Enugu State.   The principles of financial accounting is set up to propane students generally for the study of financial accounting in particular.  It is hoped that the selected definitions that follow will create the awareness needed for students and as well awaken their interest in the study of accounting.
The American institute of certified public accountants defines accounting “as the act of recording, classifying and summarising in a significant manner and in terms of money transactions and events which are part (at least) of a financial character, and interpreting the results thereof”.  Also, Accounting can been defined as the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgement and decision by users of the information   However, this definition by the American accounting association appears to dwell more on investment decisions made based on accounting information.  Investment decision, whether by investors buying shares in a company or a company investing the funds at its disposal, involves identifying investment opportunities assessing or analysing the various alternatives based on sound economic principles. 
The association of national accountants of Nigeria defines accounting. “as the analysis, classification and recording of financial transactions and ascertainment of how such transaction affect the performance and financial position of a business.  This involves knowing the day-to-day dealings with money and money.   Consequently, the practice of accounting stated since organised life evolved.  The early man lived in caves from where he developed into living in communities.  That is, each person went about doing those activities of life for which he was most gifted.  This gave rise to individuals producing certain goods in quantifies in excess of what they needed which there were other goods which they needed cout they did not produced themselves.  The result was exchange. The first system of exchange was by barter.  Later money evolved and replaced banter.  During the stage of barter, recordings exchange were recorded.  A stroke on the wall or a pebble thrown into a pot could represent a receipt of 10 cowries.  When a payment of a similar amount is made, then a pebble would be removed from the pot a stroke cleaned off from the wall.  At any point in time, the number of pebbles, sticks or strokes remaining would signify the amount of money or commodity left, owned or owed by the “recorder”  
In Nigeria, Accounting or book-keeping originate from the missionaries and private commercial schools in 1900. These missionaries came along with their cousines men and introduced book-keeping as apprenticeship programmes when the apprenticeship agencies failed to meet the needs of book-keepers and clerical workers, pre-service education programmes for training these workers were organized in academics and proprietary schools.  The rapid expansion of business in the early years of the 19th century and need for larger number of bookkeeping and stenographers, clerical worker brought about an increased interest in business courses. Educators became more concerned about commercial courses, early in the twentieth century and as a result of this interest, the Phelps-stokes fund of the U.S.A in co-operation with the international education board set up two commissions.
The Phelps-stroke fund is an American phiantropie organization interested in African.  The Commission was led by THOMAS JESSE JONES an American sociologist at the famous American Negro college Hampton Institute.  It is the commission that bought about the evolution of technical and commercial training. The commission recommendation that the programme should be given by Government department and also supervise by them. They stress the importance of bookkeeping and this led to the opening of the first school, Boys High School, Nonny in April 1900 and it is a comprehensive secondary school.  The courses they study involve both technical and commercial courses.
In 1900 – 1935, because of the changing society, need for these commercial schools became imperative.  Their products like stenographer, clerical workers, accountants are of such importance that no company or industry can do without them.  As the need for these product grew, the federal and state Governments started giving their for support to the courses.  It was because of this, that secondary schools started including this subject in their curriculum.  This was as a result of only the commercial school not being able to supply the adequate man-power needed in Accounting.  Much emphasis was also being laid on the subject account at secondary school levels to supplement for the private commercial school need. The issue of students performance in principles of Account in schoolks in Enugu South Local Government Area is one that has attracted a lot of divergent views. Many of these arguments are matters of opinion which still need to be substantiated with facts and figures before they can be dependable.  Substantiating his stand, Akpero (1981) says “The declining statistics of successful performance in accounts in WASC is very easily demonstrated between 1990-1993 the percentage of passes of candidates have stood as follows:
June 1990 – 53.18
June 1991 – 48.61                  
June 1992 – 46.02
In this hue and cry concerning our students educational attainment in the cost primary institutions, the question is, is principles of accounts a recluse?
Osisioma (1992) found that students performance in principles of accounts in secondary schools in Enugu South Local Government Area was rather decreasing progressively yearly as follows;                   
1986 – 58.18                  
1987 – 48.61                  
1988 – 46.02                  
1989 – 46.00
The steadly decreasing performance could serve as an indicator that principles of accounts is not the “odd man out” in the issue of student poor performance.  The burden is to find out the various factors that lead to student’s poor performance in post- primary institution and based on their findings suggest some remedies. The G.C.E and SSCE (internal and private) are some of the public examination used in Nigeria at present as yardsticks for measuring standard of performance.  Hence our focus for the purpose of this study, is on the performance in SSCE (internal and private).  It is almost a popular opinion that education is the bedrock of national development.  The extent we can go in our development as people depend on our level of educational development.  Knowing this, therefore, it will be fool hardy for us to be intensive to our students academic achievements and what quality of education they received.
It is against the back ground that in the relent times our government (the various levels) are taking time to recognize our educational system in a bid to pursue qualitative and functional education.  Again this lends credence (believe) to the need for the topic of this research.  We hope that it will be of immense contribution to effective teaching and hearing of principles of accounts in our secondary or post primary institutions.
1.1     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
A casual survey of the school system revealed that very few periods were allocated to principles of accounts as compared to periods given to other subjects.  It is difficult to find any subject that is not faced with one problem or the other.  It appears that the area of accounting records are worst performance in school certificate examination.  This situation is disheartening. These problems emanated from the fact that there are inadequate number of qualified amounting teacher.  Most of the accounting teacher are people who graduated from commercial school.  They do not have full knowledge of the course, thereby finding it difficult to teach students under them. Another problem is lack of vocational guidance counsellors; when you go to secondary school you will hardly see a guidance counsellor who will guide student and tell them the importance and great opportunity awaiting them of they do and take interest in accounting. Again the subject principle of accounts is always started at the ss1 when the student must have done three years in their secondary school career.  This subject is only done in the senior part of the secondary school.  More ground will not be covered in this remaining 3years since it is a vast subject.  Lack of financial support from government to private institutions lack of incentive for accounting teachers.
1.2     PURPOSE OF THE STUDY  
The purpose of study is to investigate into what can be done to improve the performance of students in principles of accounts. To investigate whether qualified teacher/people in account prefer working in the banks than going to the classrooms to teach. If remuneration for teachers in accounts will in any way improve the performance of students.  Also if the socio-economic of the students could be an obstacle in the study of accounts Before, any effective performance improvement scheme can be mounted for the subject, it has to be preceded by an investigation into factors that head to students poor performance in principles of account which is the purpose of this study.  The study will form a basis for further researchers.  Such as “the effect of insufficient professionally qualified teacher on student performance in principles of accounts” It will be a light to curriculum planners and developers as to what reasons are necessary to foster student achievement in the subject. 
1.3     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is important to the students, so that it will correct the negative impression, which they have developed against accounting.  The suggestion and recommendation of the study if properly implemented will enhance their study of the course, thereby creating employment opportunities at the end of their course. On the part of the teachers, the study and its recommendations will induce the government to spearhead action towards better performance of students in principles of accounts.  It will also disclose further research on poor performance of students on principles of accounts. Finally, on the part of the government and the community the study will entitle the government and educational planners to facilitate action in the implementation and recommendations.  It will also give principle of accounts the position it deserves in educational curriculum.  
1.4     STATEMENT OF THE HYPOTHESIS
Hypothesis 1
Ho:  There are no rocks of basic computational abilities for principles of accounts.
Hi:   There are lack of basic computational abilities for principles of accounts.
Hypothesis 2
Ho:  Students performance in principle of accounts is light in relation to other subjects.
Hi:   Students performance in principles of accounts is light in relation to other subjects.
Hypothesis 3
Ho: Teachers have not been adequate in given take-home assignments despite their work load.
Hi:  Teachers have been adequate in given take-home assignment despite their work load.
Hypothesis 4
Ho:    Enough periods are not given to principles of accounts.
Hi:     Enough periods are given to principles accounts.
Hypothesis 5
Ho:  Most of the secondary schools are not lacking sufficient qualified/professional teachers in principles of accounts.
Hi:   Most of the secondary schools are lacking sufficient qualified/professional teachers in principles of accounts.      
1.5     THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The researcher is using the Enugu South Local Government Area as a case of study. However, some school in Enugu South Local Government Area will be randomly selected for this exercise.

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