FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENTS PERFORMANCE IN SHORTHAND
This study investigated the factors affecting students’ performance in shorthand, a case study of institute of management and technology (IMT) Enugu. To give direction to this work, the researcher chronicled this work into five chapters with each deliberating on a specific part of a work. Chapter one concentrated on the introduction involving background and need for the study: statement of the problem, objectives of the study etc. Chapter two dealt on the review of literature work of eminent scholars in the area of study. Chapter three concentrated on the design and methodology of the study involving population and sampling size of the study, method of data collection and data analysis. In chapter four, data collection through the use of questionnaire were analyzed. Chapter five highlight on the findings, five research questions were posited with twenty-five questionnaire items. The major findings include: (i) Students generally believe that shorthand is difficult. (ii) Poor background of students in English language affect their performance In shorthand students have no interest in the subject. Human and material resources required for the teaching of shorthand are grossly inadequate. While the major recommendations include (i) Provision of adequate equipment for the teaching of shorthand. (ii) Recruitment of qualified teachers for the teaching of the subject. (iii) Enough time should be created for the teaching of shorthand.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Prior to the emergence of industrial revolution, man’s choice of occupation was influential by such forces as heredity, culture and traditions. Then little consideration was giving to such factors as aptitude, interest and ability. Today, things have changed. One needs to choose an occupation, which will enable him to move forward for full development. This development was followed by the recognition of mechanical skill as being important role in business offices. Business executives and professionals were eager to use this devices in order to enhance business transaction. As such, shorthand had been invented in the past ages as a system of recording spoken language. Since it can be written rapidly, millions of people have used this system as a means of earning a livelihood, and today throughout the world, whenever accurate and immediate legible recording of spoken sound is required in particular and congresses, in business sector, court of justice and again in offices of every size and sort. This technical innovation later on led the invention of pitman’s shorthand by sir Isaac pitman in 1873and this has been the widely acceptable system of shorthand and happened to be his first edition followed by the second edition which appeared in 1840.also there was an invention of the viable typewriter in 1813 by Christopher Lethan soles and as these, this two skills were combined later and become useful in business world. In Nigeria, the uses of shorthand during the colonial period were run mainly by private schools. However, from 1960’s federal and state government began to establish staff training centers where among other business courses shorthand was thought.
According to pitman, shorthand is an act of represent spoken sound with written signs while chamber dictionaries defined it as a method of swift writing using strokes and dots to show sound. The essence of its study or learning is to be able to write at a faster rate far beyond the maximum speed at which longhand (English language) can be written. It is by this means that proceeding; address and other information are recorded. Due to the importance of shorthand, most teachers of shorthand spend more time in teaching their students. The students are taught to grasp the rudiments of shorthand, which the principles are stated simply and briefly completed in sequence similar to their presentation. The consonants, the vowel, diphthong, trip hones, etc. The practice gives the students better foundation in their study of shorthand.
On the other hand, the teachers in public commercial schools. Many times they rush the shorthand lesson without allowing the students to grasp the rudiment of it. This practice is not encouraging because it affected student’s performance in shorthand. The Nigeria society has a lot to gain and nothing to regret of by a full development of the knowledge in shorthand as course. A good system of education according to Sir Alex clergy (1963) “auris at admitting all children of an area and exposing them to a variety of practical, social intellectual experience and offering the greater possibility of adjusting educationally to meet the needs of individual.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The general notion has been that shorthand is a difficult subject. Its difficult nature can only be compared with that of mathematics according to students’ belief. A good number of students believed that shorthand is beyond human comprehension and as a result of this attitude; many of them have lost interest in the studying of the course. Some student due to the previous fear they have for shorthand even before the dictation start, begin to shiver thereby putting their outlines wrongly and find it difficult to be able to transcribe well Taking cognizance of this negative attitude developed by students in this topic as a solution to his problem of poor performance in shorthand.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
Many students who opt do either secretarial studies or business education (secretarial option) finds the mastery of shorthand an obstacle to the realization of their education ambition. This research will focus on identifying the factor that influence students’ performance in shorthand. It will also find out the factor responsible for student believe that shorthand is a very difficult course, highlight some of these factors and also suggest some possible solutions. This approach will remove some fear that shorthand is for the never-do –wells. To also cushion the ideas that shorthand is a very difficult Subject. To encourage the students of the values gained after the completion of the Course. And also to find solutions to some fault in the teaching methods etc.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.
This research work will be of a great advantage to the entire students of secretarial Studies to be aware of the factors that affect them in learning shorthand and produce adequate solution to these problems. It helps them to develop good attitude towards shorthand that help them in increasing their knowledge of the course in order to meet up. The result will be of benefit to business establishments especially those businesses that require the service of confidential secretaries. The researcher believes also that the study will help as an extra curriculum for planners, teachers and institutions of learning as well as examining bodies in future. Also teachers will benefit by adopting methods that will provide facilities to improve students’ performance. Furthermore, it will help shorthand writers mostly the beginners who are venturing into the unknown to get the basic principles and techniques behind this course. Finally, it is hoped that the society at large will enlightened the more of the importance of learning shorthand.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to one of the institutions of learning in Enugu metropolis- this institution of management and technology IMT Enugu and it emphasis on the negative factors affecting the student’s performance in shorthand.This investigation will also be limited to students of the department of Secretarial Administration IMT Enugu.
1.6 RESEARCH PROPOSITION
In order to conduct this study, the following research question are formulate
1. Why is shorthand a problem course offered by secretarial studies?
2. Does background knowledge of English language contribute any quota to the learning of shorthand?
3. Does student attitude, belief, interest orientation have any influence in the mastery of the subject.
4. Does the method of teaching influence the understanding of shorthand?
5. What measurers can be adopted to improve student mastery of shorthand?
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
SHORTHAND: This is the art of representing spoken words by character or signs.
VOWELS: These are sounds produced when the mouth passage is left so open as not to course audible friction. When the mouth is left so open as not to cause audible friction. We have twelve (12) simple vowels
DIPHTHONGS: These are two consecutive vowels pronounced in separate syllabus or separately pronounced.
TRIPTHONGS: This refers to a small tick attached to a diphthong representing any vowel immediately following the diphthong.
PERFORMANCE: This refers to the level of attainment of students in the art of learning shorthand.
RATE: It refers to a value measured by its relation to some other amount.
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