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ATTITUDE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS TOWARDS TYPING AND SHORTHAND COURSES
1.1 Background to the Study
According to Adeyemi and Adu (2010), it is widely accepted that education is one of the leading tools for promoting economic development as it covers some processes individuals go through to help them develop and use their potentials. Furthermore, Okeke (2007) said that, through education, individuals acquire knowledge, skills and attitude that are necessary for effective living.
In an attempt to have sound education worldwide, many factors have been identified as being responsible for falling standard of education where it is perceived and established. Among such factors is the issues of ‘’student attitude’’. According to Adebayo (cited in Kassim, Abisola and Adeyanju, 2011), among the personality factors that contributes to academic performance is learners’ attitude. A learner’s attitude relates to all the factors of his education. According to Odufuye (in Kassim et al., 2011), the attitude of a learner towards Typing and Shorthand will determine the measure of the learner’s attractiveness or repulsiveness to Typing and Shorthand. This invariably will influence the learner’s choice and even, achievement in that subject.
Business Education programme encompasses courses like Business Administration, marketing, purchasing and supply, accountancy, Business Studies, Secretarial Studies and others. At the teacher education level, the programme is grouped into three: Accounting Education, Distributive Marketing Education and Office/Secretarial Education (Aliyu, 1995).
Typing and Shorthand are business education subjects in the area of office education. It is defined by Pitman (1974) as the art of representing spoken sounds with written signs. Shorthand has plenty utility in the business world; Secretaries in both public and private organizations use it to record minutes of meetings, telephone messages and spell checking which leads to the increase of their vocabularies. The twenty four (24) consonants are equally known as strokes which students must first learn before proceeding to any aspect of shorthand. These consonants are written in two ways, heavy strokes and light strokes. These strokes sound differently when they are to be written down on the paper. The heavy sounds are known through the way a teacher pronounces a word(s) such as “D” and “T”. The letter “D” sound heavy while the letter “T” sounds light. The vowels sounds are what will make students to know where dots or dashes should be placed, whether above, middle and through the line. These dots and dashes go along with the corresponding heavy and light strokes for easy identification.
Typing and Shorthand are taught right from junior secondary schools in Nigeria under business studies to tertiary institutions such as Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and some universities. The acquisition of typing and shorthand skills by a trained secretary makes him/her relevant in the Business world. A trained secretary is an indispensable figure in every aspect of an organization which performs secretarial duties most effectively (Arukwe, 1999). A successful shorthand student has brighter future ahead because shorthand is useful in almost all professions. For example, shorthand notes are legal documents that can be used in a court case. Shorthand is a vital skill for court reporters because in most jurisdictions cameras and recorders are not allowed in court during proceedings. Further transcripts are hard to get from court officials and they take time to be released to the media.
However, as valuable as the usage of typing and shorthand and the need for a trained secretary is, typing and shorthand at NCE and university levels are faced with problems. These problems have also made a lot of students to run away from the course and thus formed wrong attitude towards the courses. These problems may include: awkward outlines, misinterpretation of words, lack of punctuation, low societal value for typing and shorthand, lack of qualified shorthand teachers, and invention of new technologies (Adeboye, 2002).
In some secondary schools, colleges of education, polytechnics and universities, lessons/lectures of typing and shorthand are taught like those of other subjects or courses. Despite concerted efforts of teachers/lecturers, school administrators, parents and all other education stakeholders to enhance learning of typing and shorthand among students, performance and success in learning typing and shorthand is still not satisfactory in Nigeria. According to Udo (2014), the reasons for poor performance in typing and shorthand examination are as a result of poor learning of the subjects and are likely to be due to formed attitudes towards the subjects by the students; teaching methods which are not appropriate and lack of resources among others.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Attitudes formed by a student when learning typing and shorthand tend to remain for a long time and these attitudes may help him/her to learn typing and shorthand better. This is so if the attitudes were favourable. But this may not always be the case. Students also form unfavourable attitudes as they learn typing and shorthand in secondary schools. Findings of Eddy and Akpan (2007) indicate that students of secretarial studies who have very positive attitudes towards learningtyping and shorthand have interest to do more typing and shorthand later.
Most students join the university with positive attitudes, only to change their attitudes towards learning typing and shorthand later. KNEC Report (2007) indicated that the most glaring weakness in students’ typing and shorthand attainment is the students’ lack of knowledge of elementary techniques and their ignorance of simple algorithms and processes. This could have resulted from students’ failure to learn these techniques, algorithms and processes while being taught in class.
Failure to learn typing and shorthand courses is an indication that there could be other factors such as inappropriate teaching methods, lack of resources and students’ negative attitudes among others hindering effective learning of typing and shorthand courses. It is against this backdrop that this research seeks to present a critical appraisal of the attitude of business education students towards typing and shorthand courses in Lagos State University.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The general objective of this study is to explore the attitude of business education students towards learning typing and shorthand courses. Other specific objectives are:
i. To examine the effect of attitudes of business education students on learning oftyping and shorthand.
ii. Find out whether attitudes form by business education students contribute to inappropriate learning of typing and shorthand and consequently poor performance in the subjects.
iii. To identify factors which influence formation of attitudes towards learning of typing and shorthand courses among Lagos State university’s students.
1.4 Research Questions
This study was guided by the following research questions:
1. Is there any relationship between the attitudes of business education students and learning of typing and shorthand?
2. What is the effect of the attitude towards the learning of typing and shorthand on performance in the subjects?
3. What are the factors which influence formation of attitudes towards learning of typing and shorthand courses among Lagos State university Business Education students?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research was intended to test the following hypotheses:
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between attitudes of Lagos State university business education students and learning of typing and shorthand courses.
Ho2: The attitude of Lagos State university students towards learning of typing and shorthand does not have any effect on students’ performance in the subjects.
Ho3: There are no factors that significantly influence formation of negative attitudes towards learning of typing and shorthand courses among Lagos State UniversityBusiness Education students.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will assist in determining attitudes formed by university students towards learning and performance in typing and shorthand. The findings will enlighten teachers, parents and students on the effect of attitudes formed towards learning and performance in typing and shorthand by students. Teachers particularly will be informed on the effect of attitudes formed by students on their achievement in typing and shorthand examinations.
On conclusion of the study and findings and recommendation made, teachers in secondary schools and tertiary educational institutions should be enlightened on the need to foster favorable attitudes towards learning and performance of typing and shorthand amongst students. Parents and all other education stakeholders such as Board of Governors (BOG), Parent Teacher Association (PTA) among others will be enlightened on the need to provide an enabling environment for learning of typing and shorthand.
The outcome of the study would also be useful to university students like students of Lagos State University especially researchers in the field of educational management when doing a likely study. The study would be significant to policy makers and implementers at large, as they would make use of the findings and recommendations.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study encompasses the attitude of business education students towards typing and shorthand courses in Lagos State University. Hence, the study is limited to Lagos State University where the sample was drawn from.
1.8 Limitations on the Study
The study is faced with various shortcomings that may affect effective research undertaking. The researcher faces series of challenges including; lack of adequate fund for carrying out this research work, time frame to go to the field, libraries and write the report and submit at the required time.
1.9 Operational Definitions of Terms
Some terms that are used in the context of this study are hereby operationally defined as used:
Attitude: Is used in the study to meanthe tendency to think, feelings or preferences that students have about typing and shorthand courses, based on their belief about the courses, which can be positive or negative.
Business Studies: Business Studies is taught in the junior secondary school level as one of the basic subjects that will enable students acquire skills and knowledge which are common and fundamental to commercial activities.
Typing: Is a course that is being taught to aid students in acquiring skills and information on typewriter or computer keyboards.
Shorthand Courses: Is any system of rapid writing using symbols or shortcuts that can be made quickly to represent letters of the alphabet, words or phrases.
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