Dr. Rashid A. Adedokun,
Department of Education & Counseling Psychology,
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University,
Niger State, Nigeria
Paper presented at the 27th Annual Congress of the Nigerian Academy of Education held at Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Opposite Government House, Minna, Niger State on November 5-8, 2012.
SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PERCEPTION OF ENTERPRENEURIAL EDUCATION.
Dr. Rashid A.Adedokun,
Department of Education & Counselling Psychology,
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University,
Niger State, Nigeria.
The concept of Entrepreneurial Education is relatively unknown until the Federal Government made a pronouncement on the need to introduce it into the School Curriculum. From primary to secondary and tertiary levels of Education, students are ignorant of what the concept is all about. This study therefore seeks the views of secondary School students on what the concept is all about. A questionnaire designed by the researcher, tagged: ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION PERCEPTION QUESTIONNAIRE was administered on two hundred (200) students of four (4) secondary schools in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State to elicit responses. The results were analysed using frequency count and Rank Ordering Techniques. Findings indicate that students are ignorant of, and do not have adequate information on what the concept of Entrepreneurial Education is all about. The paper therefore recommends adequate enlightenment programme for students in secondary schools.
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Entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur or one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity. The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new businesses. However, in recent years, the term has been extended to include social and political forms of entrepreneurial activity. When entrepreneurship is describing activities within a firm or large organization, it is referred to as intra-preneurship and may include corporate venturing, when large entities spin-off organizations (Shane, 2003). Entrepreneurship may be defined as the pursuit of opportunity without regards to resources currently controlled (Hart and others 1997).
Entrepreneurship activities are substantially different, depending on the type of organization and creativity involved. Entrepreneurship ranges in scale from solo projects to major undertakings, creating many job opportunities. Many high value entrepreneurial ventures seek Venture capital or angel funding (seed money) in order to raise capital to build the business (Osnabrugge & Robinson, 2012). Many kinds of organizations now exist to support would-be entrepreneurs including specialized government agencies, business incubators, science parks, and some NGOS. In more recent times, the term entrepreneurship has been extended to include elements not related necessarily to business formation activity, such as conceptualizations of entrepreneurship as a specific mindset, resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives e.g. in the form of social entrepreneurship, political entrepreneurship, or knowledge entrepreneurship.
Review of Related Literature
Entrepreneurial Education seeks to provide students with knowledge, skills, and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings. Variations of entrepreneurship education are offered at all levels of schooling, from primary or secondary schools through graduate University programmes (Reynolds, 2007). Entrepreneurship can provide new economics divisions and make good students. Entrepreneurship education is distinctive due to its focus on realization of opportunity, where management education is focused on the best way to operate existing hierarchies.
The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI), an autonomous and non-profit Institute, set up in 1988, is sponsored by financial institutions- the IDBI Bank Ltd IFCI Ltd, ICIC Bank Ltd and State Bank of India (SBI). To pursue its mission, EDI has set up twelve state-level exclusive entrepreneurship development centers and institutes. One of the most satisfying achievements, however, is taking entrepreneurship to a large number of schools, colleges, science and technology institutions, and management schools in water performance sector for the poverty basis enterprises several states, by including entrepreneurship inputs in their curricular. The University Grants Commission appoints EDI as an expert agency to develop curriculum on entrepreneurship.
Student for the advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) is a global, non-profit organization that connects secondary school students organizations from local Universities and businesses. Its mission is to advance youth entrepreneurship and community service around the world, emphasizing ethical business practices, social responsibilities, civic engagement and environmental awareness. SAGE Global creates better future through business entrepreneurship, social enterprises, and community service. High school students use their school learning to become self-reliant, create wealth, and help others. These SAGE students are linked with college mentors and business advisory board members to provide guidance and/or experience in the completion of business and social ventures to improve their communities. Each year, regional and national competitions are held around the world for these students to showcase their efforts of a world stage, to the business civic and academic community. It’s a free, non-membership service organization available to all advocates of education in private and social entrepreneurship. SAGE Global is currently active on five (5) continents in 18 countries, and reaches thousands of students who are not talking about changing the world, they are doing it. (Wikipedia, 2012).
Student Businesses.com is a website that provides networking resources to University entrepreneurs. Student Business.com was founded at Harvard College in 2007 by the undergraduate: Travis May and Vivek Rasmaswany under the holding company campus Venture Network Inc. (http/www. Techcrunch.com/2009/10/19/Kauffman-foundation acquires-student businesses.com/.Given entrepreneurship’s potential to support economic growth, it is the policy goal of many governments to develop a culture of entrepreneurial thinking. This can be done in a number of ways: by integrating entrepreneurship into education systems, legislating to encourage risk-taking, and national campaigns. An example of the latter is the United Kingdoms Enterprise Week. Many of these initiatives have been brought together under the umbrella of Global Entrepreneurship week, a worldwide celebration and promotion of youth entrepreneurship (Johansson, 2004).
The rate of unemployment in Nigeria calls for concerted efforts in equipping our youths for the future. For instance, unemployment rate increased to 29.9 percent in 2011, compared with 21.1 percent in 2010 and 19.7 percent in 2009 (National Bureau of Statistics). The Nigeria Unemployment report (2011) prepared by the NBS shows that the rate is higher in the rural areas (25.6 percent). The result of the survey shows that persons aged o to 14 years constituted 39.6 percent, those aged between 15 and 64 (the economically active population) constituted 56.3 percent, while those aged 65 years and above constituted 4.2 percent.
Amid this high rate of unemployment, the economic watchers have noticed that there is an increasing trend of disinterest by the emerging younger generation in highly labour-intensive works such as agriculture and factory work in preference for white collar jobs, resulting in many preferring to remain in the labour market rather than take up such jobs.
Joda (2012) says entrepreneurship and skill Acquisition Tanning should be a culture right from home through secondary school years so that children can generate their pocket money while they are still in secondary school, adding that parents must take the bull by the horn and ensure that their children have alternative jobs before they pass out of secondary school. His view is complemented by Fatogum (2012) who says that skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development should be utmost priority in the Nation’s education sector.
Nkwocha (2012) says the unemployment situation is so serious and poses grave danger. Governments, both at federal and states, should make use of available institutions such as NDE and put incentives to agriculture to lure younger ones into taking employment in agriculture.
Statement of the Problem
The rate of unemployment in Nigeria calls for concerted efforts in equipping our youth for the future. It therefore becomes imperative to enlighten our youth especially secondary school students on the need to acquire entrepreneurship and skill acquisition training before they leave school.
The sample population consists of two hundred (200) students of four (4) secondary schools in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State Nigeria. They were randomly selected into fifty (50) per secondary school. They were made up of students in the terminal classes of Junior Secondary Three and the Senior Secondary Three.
It is a descriptive survey research, designed to elicit responses on how secondary school students perceive entrepreneurial education and its benefits.
A questionnaire designed by the researcher titled ENTREPRENEURIAL EDUCATION PERCEPTION QUESTIONIARE containing eleven (11) items were administered on the respondents. The instrument contains two (2) sections. Section A contains personal data of the respondent like name, age, sex, socio-economic class, home address, while section B contains the variables being measured. The face validity was established through criticisms, suggestions and comments of colleagues. A test-retest reliability was established which yielded 0.72 while the internal consistency reliability of the two administrations yielded reliability estimate of 0.70 and 0.73 respectively. With the validity and reliability established, the instrument was considered adequate for testing.
Procedure for Data Collection
They were administered personally by the researcher and collected immediately they were filled.
Procedure for Data Analysis
The data collected from the research were analysed, using frequency count and Rank Ordering Techniques.
Table 1: Perception of Secondary School Students on Entrepreneurial Education.
|1||I consider entrepreneurial Education necessary.||29||14.5||1st|
|2||Entrepreneurial Education is skills acquisition.||25||12.5||4th|
|3.||Entrepreneurial Education leads to self-employment||27||13.5||2nd|
|4||Entrepreneurial education encourages job- creation||19||9.5||10th|
|5||Knowledge of Entrepreneurial Education contributes to Nation’s economic growth.||29||14.5||1st|
|6||Entrepreneurial Education encourages good networking among youths.||22||11||7th|
|7||Entrepreneurial Education could lead to creation of wealth||24||12||5th|
|8||Success in Entrepreneurial Education could lead to good mentorship||20||10||9th|
|9||Knowledge of Entrepreneurial Education could curb criminal tendencies among youth||26||13||3rd|
|10||Knowledge of Entrepreneurial Education promotes integrity among youth||21||10.5||8th|
|11||Entrepreneurial Education enhances positive thoughts and ideas||23||11.5||6th|
Table 1 reveals that generally, the perception of respondents are negative as it clearly indicates that they have inadequate knowledge of Entrepreneurial Education. For instance, only 29 out of 200 respondents (14.5%) consider Entrepreneurial Education necessary; 25 (12.5%) consider Entrepreneurial Education as skills acquisition; 27 (13.5%) of the total respondents agree that Entrepreneurial Education leads to self-employment; 19 (9.5%) agree that Entrepreneurial Education encourages job creation; 29 (14.5%) agree that knowledge of Entrepreneurial Education contributes to the Nation’s economic growth; 22(11%) agree that Entrepreneurial Education encourages good networking among youth; 24 or 12% of the respondents agree that Entrepreneurial Education could lead to creation of wealth; 20 or 10% of the respondents agree that success in Entrepreneurial Education could lead to good mentorship; 26 or 13% of the respondents agree that knowledge of Entrepreneurial Education could curb criminal tendencies among youth; 21 0r 10.5% of the respondents agree that knowledge of Entrepreneurial Education promotes integrity among youth; 23 or 11.5% of the respondents agree that Entrepreneurial Education enhances positive thoughts and ideas.
The findings of this study clearly reveal that secondary school students have negative perception of what Entrepreneurial Education is all about. Since government has just built it into the school curriculum, and is even yet to be implemented, students are completely ignorant of what the concept is all about, as revealed in this study. The location of the schools involved in the study also contributes to the negative perception students have about the concept of Entrepreneurial Education. The schools are located in purely rural setting which does not expose the students to the concept, as compared with those located in urban cities like Abuja, Minna, Lagos, etc. where industrial settings are located and rate of unemployment low, where the rate of unemployment is high, especially in rural areas, students are not likely to have knowledge of what Entrepreneurial Education is all about. For instance, according to the National Bureau of Statistics report on unemployment (2011) the rate of unemployment in rural areas is higher (25.6%) than urban areas (17.1%). Students from high socio-economic class are aware of what the concept is about due to the status of their parents/guardians. Their parent/guardians are elites or they are entrepreneurs themselves. Such students have positive perception of the concept unlike those who come from low socio-economic class. The 6-3-3-4 system of Education as conceived by the Government was very good. Student in junior Secondary School were to be exposed to some vocational Training. Alas, the implementation was very defective. There were no provision for workshops and equipment to implement such. Students had to make do with conventional subjects of Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Economics, Religious Studies, Geography, Accounting, etc. The objective for which the system was introduced was defeated. This actually lends credence to the findings of this study, which clearly shows ignorance of Entrepreneurship Education on the part of Secondary School Students.
The objective of this study is to know how the students in the selected Secondary Schools perceive the concept of Entrepreneurial Education. As shown in the results of the study, those who are aware of what the concept is all about are less than fifteen (15) percent of the entire sample involved in the study. This clearly indicates that there is a missing-gap that has to be filled. Even if the Government is incorporating the concept into the School Curriculum, there is the need for proper enlightenment of students to prepare their minds for the task ahead.
This enlightenment programme should be multi-packaged.
- Counseling practitioners in our various schools should take up this challenge of orientation of students towards the concept; this could be through individual or group counseling where the significance of the concept would be highlighted. Adequate time should be allocated on the school timetable to provide the information to the students. During the school orientation-programme at the beginning of school-session, it should feature prominently on the progrmme.
- During career conventions and career exhibitions, the concept should be adequately highlighted.
- Bulletin boards conspicuously located in strategic points within the school premises could serve as avenue for providing the much needed information on the concept of entrepreneurial Education.
- The use of films, Television and DSTV and DVD to educate the students cannot be over-emphasized.
- The Counseling Association of Nigeria (CASSON) could take it as a challenge to organize series of enlightenment programmes through its conferences and workshops on the significance of the concept.
- Government could through its information apparatuses embark on series of enlightenment programmes to educate the citizenry, including the students, on the significance of the concept of Entrepreneurial Education. Such apparatuses include the Radio, Television, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Ministry of Information and Communication.
- The Nigerian Union of Journalists could also complement the effort of the Government through features in electronic and Print Media.
- Parents/Guardians should be properly enlightened through the meetings of the Parents/ Teachers’ Association to ensure that they motivate and encourage their wards to embrace the concept of Entrepreneurial Education.
- Adequate human and material resources should be provided to sustain the programme when being implemented.
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