EXAMINATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS PERCEPTION ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION
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1.1 Background to the Study.
The high rate of unemployed graduates in Nigeria is alarming and disturbing. Over 90 University in the country produces thousands of graduates yearly of which just little of them can be absorbed in the labour market. The introduction of entrepreneurship education in primary secondary and tertiary institutions should serve as an instrument to curb this problem “unemployment”. This is because entrepreneurship education is a long life process, starting as early as elementary school and progressing through all levels of education including adult education. Looking at this scenario, students are exposed to trade subject at the elementary stage which helps them widen their knowledge on entrepreneurship till tertiary institution. After graduation, it is believed that at least a reasonable number of graduates should be able to develop some skills which will enable them survive as being self-employed.
The Nigerian education system had recently been restructured to meet pertinent national aspirations and global goals, such as the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS) and Millennium Development Goals. The ideals of NEEDS and MDGs form the bedrocks upon which the new school curriculum was built. Indeed, the curriculum is regarded as the instrument for delivery of educational goals and aspirations; and national educational goals and aspirations determine the structure and content of the curriculum (Gbamanja, 1997; Orji, 2006). In 2005,the Nigerian government highlighted the need for a new curriculum for a new invigorated functional curriculum for all school levels; thus, the National Council of Education (NCE), the highest policy body in Nigerian education sector, mandated the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to restructure and enrich the instant primary, junior and senior secondary school curricula. Therefore, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) with curriculum development as one of its core mandates developed the 9year Basic Education curriculum, the senior secondary education curriculum and 35trade/entrepreneur curriculum for the use at both the Basic and Senior Secondary Education levels in the country. Entrepreneurship Education/Trade is now a core subject in secondary schools in Nigeria. Entrepreneurship education in a school curriculum ensures that each learner has a change to become an entrepreneur and each student is an architect of his/her fortunes or destiny. According to Nwosu and Ohia (2009), entrepreneurship education is that aspect of education which equips an individual and creates in the person the mind-set to undertake the risk of venturing into something new by applying the knowledge and skills acquired in school. This means that entrepreneurship education helps tom provide students with knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurship in variety of settings. Entrepreneurship education creates the willingness and ability in a person to seek out investment opportunities in the society and be able to establish and run an enterprise successfully based on identifiable opportunities (Fashusa, 2006).
An entrepreneur is someone who exercise initiatives by organising a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and as the decision maker decides what, how and how much of a good or service will be produced. According to an Economist Joseph A. Louis Schumpeter (1883-1950) entrepreneur are not necessarily motivated by profit but regard it as a standard for measuring achievement or success. Researchers and educators have been concerned with conceptualising and defining trade and entrepreneurship education (Omolayo 2006; Orji 2011; Watson 2010). Omolayo (2006) defined entrepreneurship as the act of starting a company, arranging business deals and taking risks in order to make profit through the education skills acquired, while Watson (2010) defined it as “a process through which individuals identify opportunities, allocate resources and create value “ Orji (2011) referred to entrepreneurship as “the training in any of the 35 trade/entrepreneurship curricula; and this includes the ability and skill to put together all the factors of production to start and sustain a business”(pg 213). He also referred to entrepreneurship as a specific mind set (e.g. self-reliance) resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives. Entrepreneurship education is in fact the fundamental aim of education. It is the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitude to enable the learner apprehend life challenges in whatever form and steps to realize new trends and opportunities for meeting those challenges in all aspects of human life. Entrepreneurship education is indeed a critical resource for whole life education. Entrepreneurship education according to Akinseinde (2001) “is the process of providing individuals with the ability to recognize business opportunities and the insight, self-esteem knowledge and skills to act on them”. It involves the transformation of an idea into reality. This implies that initiatives drive and ability to become an entrepreneur is dormant in all human but awaits reactivation.
Hisrich(2002) defined entrepreneurship as a process of creating something new with value by devoting the necessary time and effort assuming the accompanying financial psychic social risks, receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence. What distinguishes entrepreneurship education from other forms of education is its emphasis on realisation of opportunities. These opportunities can be realised through starting a business introducing new products or ideas or through doing something in a different way with the aim of achieving goals. It’s in this regard that the European Commission 2007 presents entrepreneurship as an individual’s ability to turn ideas into action.
In entrepreneurship education the teaching methods should be directed towards entrepreneurship, student activation, emphasis on social interaction and student oriented. New pedagogical methods, problem oriented learning, experiences and different co-operation with business life are important in entrepreneurship education. Connecting the entrepreneurship education with practical company functions increases the subject’s interest. Success in life is based on own work attitude and the active creation of your own opportunity strategy. The important task of entrepreneurship education is to guide students so that they can achieve this opportunity strategy. Success in this leads often to the creation of new enterprises or many new good employers. With the help of an entrepreneurship spirited educator and the educational institution, the responsibility for learning transfers to the students and activity will take a more important role instead of passive receiving. Several studies show that the quality of teacher training, education should be improved at the different school stages. The quality and viewpoint of entrepreneurship education depends a lot on the teacher’s own starting point and way of looking life. When considering what kind of entrepreneurs or good employers are needed in society it should also be considered how entrepreneurship educators should be trained. Since teachers have great influence on students attitudes towards the subjects they(i.e. the students) offer, the researcher is interested on the teacher’s perception of Entrepreneurship education and the strategy of implementation. It is believed that the result of this study will help to improve the implementation strategy of Entrepreneurship education in secondary school and also bring possible suggestions.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Against this background, this research project set to examine secondary school teachers perception on entrepreneurship education and the various strategies used in implementing the subjects at various schools in Ijebu-ode local government area, Ogun state.
1.3 Research Questions
The main focus of this research is to provide valuable response to the questions below
1. What are the perceptions of secondary school teachers on Entrepreneurship education?
2. Will educational qualification affect the strategies used in implementing entrepreneurship education?
3. Is there any significant difference between the male and female teacher understanding and perception of implementing entrepreneurship?
4. Will working experience significantly determine the challenges faced by teachers with reference to implementation strategies?
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study is aimed at having a consensual perception of secondary school teachers with regard to the different strategies and their implementation focusing on entrepreneur education and proffering possible and suitable solution or way out.
It is observed that due to the recent introduction into the Nigerian Educational Curriculum for secondary schools some or most teachers are having various challenges ranging from the strategic point of views to the methods for proper dissemination to the students.
It is however hoped that after thorough and deep research this study would help in easier implementation of different strategies also giving them a positive perception of entrepreneurial education as well as enabling neutral readers, students and parents to understand this concepts for proper understanding of this subject.
Since teachers are seen as the vital grass root implementers of the curriculum. It is essential to know their perception or how they perceive the new subjects included in the curriculum. Positive view from the teachers will be of great help because they (the teachers) really have great influence on students. If the subject is well taught and made look interesting to the students it will help in the development of our country at a whole. And if the teacher’s views are otherwise, then necessary action and correction will have to be taken.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is limited to Ijebu-ode local Government area. The perception of teachers on entrepreneurship education and strategies of implementation will be looked upon in ten different secondary schools with a population of 100 teachers in Ijebu-ode.