SCHOOL FACTORS AND PARENTAL FACTORS AS DETERMINANT OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING
Background of the study
Determining students’ performance has received substantial attention from the academics, especially in recent years. They have tried to determine which independent variable affect student performance in a positive or negative way and to what extent. This subject has been researched by various scholars in various countries and in various fields of study. Determining the factors that affect the student performance is very important for students, parents, scholars, university administration or ministry of education, quality assurance agencies, accreditation bodies’, and other stakeholders.
The growing recognition of accountancy as a profession and increase in number of students in business/commercial stream at schools increased the enrolments in accounting courses at universities across the globe which creates more pressure to the universities and scholars to produce good performing students, to cater for the needs of the industry. This pressure stems from the fact that these universities should take full advantage, in order to distinguish themselves from other universities.
Financial Accounting is a specialized area of instruction that deals directly with business skills and techniques, business knowledge and facts, others include business understanding, economic understanding, business attitudes and appreciation necessary to understand and adjust to the economic and social institution called ―business. Financial Accounting is a business subject offered by students in Nigeria secondary schools. Financial Accounting is a process involving gathering, sorting, recording, classifying, verifying, measuring and summarizing financial transactions and subsequently interpreting and communicating information to the owners and users of accounting information for decision making, Guney, (2009).
This is expected to reduce the mere paper work system associated with the former system of education and which led to the mass unemployment. This new policy on education emphasizes vocational and was formulated by any Nigerians to direct the nation towards technological and economic development and cultural renewal. The subject areas recommended for study and compulsory for every child in the post primary school system include science, vocational and social studies. Under the vocational area is accounting subject. Accounting is an indispensable field of study in education. It is a subject that is very essential for business. It helps both profit and non-profit making organizations. This is because it helps these organizations to make policies which helps for expansion. It also access the efficiency of management to make decisions relating to further investment. It aids proprietors in accessing the efficiency of management and provide information which assists parties outside organization to make objective judgment about the organization. In the secondary schools, the objective of teaching this important subject is to provide students with the basic method of processing data to develop manipulative skills and provide knowledge for career advancement in accounting to develop an economic understanding of business vocabulary to help students develop and understanding of basic accounting concept and principles, in summary to be self reliant. Unfortunately students nowadays perform poorly in this important subject, the poor performance of students in the subject has become a matter of concern to many people especially to business educators that a question arises, “what are the causes of student’s poor performance in this subject? Is it due to the ineffectiveness of the accounting teachers who teach the subject, students’ lack of interest, or inadequate teaching aids? How then can the poor performance be improved? To find solutions to the above questions is the objective of this research
Determinants of student performance have attracted the attention of academic researchers from many areas. They have tried to determine which variables impact student performance in a positive and negative direction especially in Financial Accounting. Research studies about this subject have been conducted by various scholars in various countries and areas (Mutchler, Turner, and Williams, 2007; Cheung and Kan, 2012; Kruck and Lending, 2013; Borde, 2008).
Determining the factors that affect the student performance is important. Because, primarily secondary school students and teachers have to find out ways to increase student performance, and to motivate students for better performance, in order to do this, first they need to determine which factors play significant role in student performance.
For example, if attendance increases student performance, lecturers can do something to increase students’ attendance rate such as integrating attendance rate into grading policy. Secondly, graduating from different high schools may also play a significant role in performance. For example, graduates of commercial high schools who have prior knowledge of accounting may perform better than graduates of ordinary high schools. In that case, graduates of other high schools can be supported by extracurricular course activities to catch up with graduates of vocational high schools. Furthermore, students’ performance in secondary schools are also a concern of corporations which are often said to be the “end user” in the supply chain of graduates for the labor market (Alfan and Othman, 2005).
The provision of quality education and subsequent high performance in school is inevitable for the realization of millennium development goals and the vision 2030. The value of performance was envisaged to lead to white collar jobs immediately after independence. This is the time when the contribution of education to individual development was increasingly recognized, especially in trained man power. Hence, priority was accorded to the higher academic performance, economic growth and development. It is worth noting that, over the years, many commissions and committees have been formed to review the education.
The government reviewed the curriculum in terms of content, teaching methods, education strategies and administrative structures in order to enhance schools performance in National Examination Council (NECO), Marklong, (2011). The government funding in secondary schools is also intended to improve infrastructure, teaching and learning and subsequently performance in national examinations. However, despite interventions by the government, international organizations and community, students’ performance at West African Examination Council (WAEC) still remains a problem. A lot of concern to teachers, parents, community, stakeholders, educationist and politicians which has led to the critical question and what are the school factors influencing students’ performance at various examinations; It is against this background that confirms the need for students’ performance in society especially at secondary school level.
It pertinent to examine the school and parental factors such as; physical facilities, teaching and learning resources, school administration, teachers’ attitudes students’ attitudes and parental socio-economic and educational background influence students’ academic performance in Financial Accounting. Therefore, this study aims to investigate school factors and parental factors as determinant of senior secondary school students’ academic performance in Financial Accounting in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti state.
Statement of the Problem
Taking overview of the students’ academic performances over the years in Financial Accounting, it is appalling. According to Report of WAEC (2013), 20% passed the financial Accounting at the secondary school level. This is a great challenge to the stakeholders in education. There are various challenges facing effective teaching and learning of financial accounting which one could infer that they are the root causes of students’ poor academic performance. Among the problems are; lack of qualified teachers, lack of motivation, lack of teaching aids and instructional materials. It is believed that the result of this study will provide lasting solution to these problems.
Several research studies have identified other factors such as students’ background, parental influence, school environment, instructional materials, discipline and physical facilities, teacher quality, type of location of school, class size and over population of students in classroom as being responsible for poor academic for poor academic achievement of students.
The researcher has observed with dismay that the school environment in the study area is nothing to write home about. The school climate is not interesting for teaching and learning, instructional material and inadequately provided, Infrastructural facilities are in dilapidated conditions, lack of trained teachers and other facilities that promote teaching and learning are also in short fall which may tend to influence students’ academic achievement in school.
Despite stringent measures and strategies employed by the Nigerian government to ensure that educational standards are maintained at least at primary and secondary level, students, whom after passing through all these vigorous teaching and learning strategies, still performs far below expectations. In an attempt to put sound education on ground worldwide, many factors have been attributed as being responsible for falling standard of education where it is perceived and established.
The survey was designed to examine certain critical aspects of teaching and learning of Financial Accounting in secondary schools. This was considered in the areas of teachers, support facilities and equipment, textbook, community resources and incentives available for accounting teachers.
Purpose of the Study
The broad objective of this research work is to find out investigate school factors and parental factors as determinant of senior secondary school students’ academic performance in Financial Accounting in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti state. Specifically, this study is to:
- find out the level of academic performance of students’ in Financial Accounting in Senior Secondary School.
- ascertain the influence of availability of textbooks, teaching methods, class size, students’ attitudes, and student-teacher interaction on academic performance of Financial Accounting students.
- investigate the influences of the identified factors on academic performance of Financial Accounting students.
The following research questions will be raised to guide this study:
- What is the level of academic performance of students in Financial Accounting in Senior Secondary School?
- What influence does availability of textbooks and teaching methods had on academic performance of Financial Accounting students?
- What influence does parent have on academic performance of Financial Accounting students?
The following research hypotheses will be formulated from the research questions and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
- The academic performance of students in Financial Accounting in Senior Secondary School is not significantly high.
- There is no significant influence of availability of textbooks and teaching methods on academic performance of Financial Accounting students.
- There is no significant influence of parents on academic performance of Financial Accounting students.
Significance of Study
The findings of the study will be of immense assistance to financial accounting administrators, especially the school principal, if the findings are thoroughly implemented. It will enhance students’ performance in financial accounting especially in Ekiti state.
The study will also be important to students themselves to know the ways out of different factors militating against learning of financial accounting in schools. This study will serve as an eye opener to the students in knowing the negative effects / consequences of various factors affecting financial accounting in secondary schools. This research work will serve as information to the teachers on existing forms of problems faced by students as well as ways of controlling them.
Some teachers are no longer dedicated to their school timetable. Some deliver half-baked lessons. They leave their notes for students to copy. This is because of challenges they are facing in teaching and learning of financial accounting in classroom. The teachers, the authorities will benefit immensely from this study, as it will help keep them informed on the adverse effects of various factors affecting the teaching and learning of financial accounting in secondary schools. Our government would not be left out in the list of the beneficiaries of this study.
The research work will help the government to see reasons why they should rise to solve various problems of teaching and learning of financial accounting in secondary schools. As a result government could employ trained and qualified teachers into our secondary schools and provide necessary learning resources in schools.
This study will in no small measure assist parents and the society at large in knowing problems their children and wards are facing in school and thus, see ways of assisting them to learn and concentrate more on their studies. Most parents and guardians do not provide the basic materials needed by their wards. Many students in our secondary schools do not have textbooks, writing materials etc. It is a well-known fact that lack of needed necessary educational materials, make learning difficult.
Definition of Terms
For the purpose of this study the following terms are defined.
Competent teacher: these are qualified teachers who possess a minimum of Nigeria Certificate in Education in Accounting (N.C.E).
Learning: it is the process of adjustment through constant practice or it is the modification of behaviour through experience.
Self-reliant: being self-employed for survival.
Strategies: plans or measures that can be used to solve problems.
Teaching aids: these are materials which may be in form of charts, a life specimen like money, cheque leaf and so on used in teaching to facilitate the learning and understanding of the lesson.
Teaching: it is the act of business or instruction or instructions or imparting knowledge, skills etc. to students.