Comparative Programmes of Business Education In Nigerian Universities

Abstract: This paper is aimed to critically x-ray the business education curriculum of Nigerian Universities a case study of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and Delta State U niversity, Ab raka. It w as observed that in Amb rose Alli University business education is housed in the department of Vocational and Technical Education with two options namely Accounting Education and Secretarial Education while it runs a specialized system right from 1 00 to 4 00 lev els. On the other hand the Delta State University runs a 100 to 200 levels broad based system. Specialization is done in 300 and 400 levels.
Here business education is a unit of its own; housing accounting option, secretarial option, management option, but unfortunately computer education options is not functional. It was observed that the objectives, philosophy and ad mission requ irements of bo th universities are the same. While courses offered are different in nature. Conclusion and recommendations were made.
Key words: Business educ ation, curriculu m, effectiveness, pro gram me, teachin g, univ ersity

INTRODUCTION
Education is the totality of life experience that man acquires and which enables him to cope with and derive satisfaction from living in the word.
This is because it enables him to achieve social competence and optimum individual development. Broken down, business education which is a subset of the general education can be seen as the development of person’s h ead, heart and han ds for his self fulfillment and optimum service s to human ity. To achieve this according to the National Policy on Education (2004), compu ter education was integra ted into the primary school curriculum, a welcome development but sad to note that sub jects like shorthand, typewriting, commerce, and book-keeping are integrated together to form business studies thereby losing their original identity.
Experience has shown that most people are not interested in business education as a profession with the mind set that it is education meant for the less privilege or a programme, which up on graduation, there is no opportunity for securing a job. This is so because Bu siness educ ation curriculum planners who are not profe ssional membe rs in the field could not design a uniform curriculum that will ho use all the universities offering business educ ation courses in Nigeria. The incompetence on the part of business education graduates also lays on the curriculum not properly designed to reflect the psychomotor nature of our noble profession.
Pitman (1974) defin ed curriculum as a prescribed courses of studies. While Hornby (2006) says curriculum are the subjects that are included in a course of study or taugh t in a school, college, etc. According to Okoye (1991), the process of curricu lum developm ent and plan ning is continuo us. It does not end once and for all time. Acco rding to Uwaifo (2006) a close look at the current Vocational and Technical Education curriculum g enera lly reveals some problems that border on inadequate course content.
Uhumuavbi and Ebhomhen (20 06) in their ow n vain stated that irrespective of the level of education and training given during the pre-colonial days in Africa, it was functional because the curriculum was relevant to the needs of the society. Unemployment if it existed at all was minimal and very few young men roamed the villages and towns with nothing to do. According to Snyder (2008), a flexible curriculum is important because there is no single cu rricular path to career success. We are giving students more flexibility; this is not a radical departure from our curriculum.
Robert and Booth (2008) stated that the curriculum changes allow students to increase the intensity o f their studies. The present Nigerian Universities business education curriculum has overstayed, therefore, it is important that they be modified to meet today’s needs. This is very essential from the standpoint of academic integrity. One will be tempted to ask at this juncture, is there anything wrong with the present Nigerian Universities business Corresponding Author: F. O. Ohiwerei, Department of Vocational and Technical Education, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State, Nigeria 58 Curr. Res. J. Soc. Sci. , 2(2): 58-64, 2010 education curriculum? The researchers answer is “YES’ but that does not mean that the p resent curriculum on ground can not be improved upon. The reasons for the reform ation of the business education curriculum is aimed to he lp create tomorrow’s competitive workforce by inspiring and engaging businesses to work in partnership with schools to raise the levels of achievement of young people, especially those in disadvantaged circumstances. Business education has advanced the level of “garbage in, garbage out words system” but a leadership role.
The importance of the business edu cators is increasing as the business world becomes more complex. Through this programm e, individuals are educated to become skilled employees who can contribute mea ningfully to the overall effectiveness of an office, teaching and learning in schools. It is on the basis of this therefore; the researchers attempt to examine, compa re and contrast the cu rriculum of business education programmes of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and Delta State University, Abraka with a view to scientifically reform it to meet the ever increasing techn ology deve lopm ent.
This study will be of benefit to the teachers, students, parents and governmen t. Through this study, students’ competency for work placem ent w ill be ach ieved . The teachers will be properly informed on what should be included or excluded from the curriculum for effective teaching and learning. The parents will have a sign of relief that upon gradu ation from the unive rsity their children will be gainfully employed or self-reliance. The government will appreciate the programm e, as it will help to reduce unemployment and crime rate in the society.
LITERATURE REVIEW BUSINESS EDUCATION PROGRAMM ES OFFERED BY AMBROSE ALLI UNIVERSITY, EKPOMA AND DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, ABRAKA
Business education program mes offered by A mbro se Alli University, Ekpoma are: C C Accounting education option Secretarial education option C W hile the business education programmes offered by the Delta State University, Abraka are: C C C C C Accounting Option Secretarial Technology Option Management Option. Computer Education Option.
Programm e title: Secretarial Studies/O ffice Ma nagem ent: Both universities have the same philosophy, specific objectives and admission requirements as described below: Philosophy: The introduction of the office automation, by the use of electronic equipment has not only brought changes on office procedures and competencies, but also has created new functions in the business offices. In order to met the chan ging o ffice skills, educational have also changed their business education programmes to cater for the new requiremen ts by introducing office management programme.
In Nigeria, office automation has become a reality and all levels of government are requesting educational institutions to include co mpu ter literacy in their curriculum. This programme is designed to meet the requirements of the changing office environment and the call by the governments in Nigeria. Specific Objectives: This programme is designed to give the students the liability to work in modern business offices and to teach modern office skills in seconda ry schools.
Specifically, the programme will give the students the skills to perform the follow ing functions in the office: C C C C C Planning and organizing office operations, W ritten communications and telecom mun ications in the office, Information and records management in the office, Leadership and Human Relations in the office, Controlling office operations. Adm ission requirements: (Four-year programmeUM E): W est African School Certificate (W ASC) or General Certificate of Education (GCE O/L or NECO with at least credit passes in five relevant subjects which must include English Language.
Direct entry: C Passes at merit level in relevant Diploma programme of a University or any other institution recognized by Senate in addition to fou r O/L credit passes which must include English Language. Passes in two relevant subjects at A /L in ad dition to three C/L credit passes or its equivalent which must include English Language, Passes at merit level in least tw o sub jects in NC E in addition to three credit passes in G CE O/L or its equivalent, in not more than two sittings.
In the actual sense, Accounting, Secretarial and man agem ent op tions are opera tional. 59 No student shall qua lify for the award of an hono urs degree of the University if he/she spends more than two sessions (four semesters) beyond the normal period allowed for the degree programme.
DISCUSSION
The objectives, philosophy and admission requirements of both universities are the same. The course description of Compu ter education option of Delta State University was not stated in their handbook an indication that the p rogramm e is yet to take of. It was also observed that the present curriculum being operated by the Business Education of Delta State University became operational in 2006/2007 academic session to date. Differences in course units were observed. For example, according to Ambrose Alli University, F aculty of Education hand book (2000), shorthand, which is 3 units in Ambrose A lli University, is 2 units in Delta State University. Title differences were observed e. g. n Amb rose Alli University BED 205 and BED 215 is Business Comm unica tion, w hile in De lta State University Business Communication is coded BUS 114. BED 400, which is research pro ject in D elta State University, is EDU 400 in Am brose Alli Un iversity. There are some courses that are offered in Ambrose Alli University that are not offered in D elta State University. A lso there are some courses that are offered in Delta State University that are not offered in Ambrose Alli University, such as BED 113 Principles of Business Education, GST 114 Communication in French, BED 203 Marketing Management Education, BED 214 Leadership b ehaviou r, BED 410 Small Business Development, BED 413 Business Education and Industrial Relations BED 414 Manpower Training and D evelo pme nt.
RECOMMENDATIONS
Other recommendations are; C National University Commission should regularize the curriculum of business education in all Nigerian Universities. Curriculum planners should be careful while planning in order not to remove some essential recipes from the existing content. Such as the issue of shorthand to be or not to be. All business education students should be allowed to offer all courses in 100-200 levels and specialized in 300 levels. National University Commission should take it upon her self to redeploy those lecturers who are not business educators specialist to their specialized departments. Regular review of the curriculum of our educational system is urgently required.
This view is supported by that of Snyder (2008) which stated tha t flexible curriculum is important because there is no single curricular path to career success. While Kaplan (2008) says g iving studen ts more flexibility, is not a radical departure from their curriculum . Government shou ld provide fun ds and equ ipment to assist holistic regular curriculum designers for the smooth running of business education programmes as this will encourage parents, teachers and students. This is in line with Omo-Ojugo and Ohiwerei (2008) that stated that local, state and federal gove rnments shou ld assist by providing funds and equipment for teaching and learning of business education.

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