A SURVEY OF RELEVANCE OF BUSINESS EDUCATION PROGRAM TO ECOCOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Education is obviously the basic instrument of economic growth and technological advancement of any society. It is in recognition of this fact that governments commit immense resources to ensure the provision of education for their citizens and also tailored their policies towards ensuring that it is made accessible to the generality of their citizenry (Oyebade et al., 2008). However, business education is an essential element of this general education. It is concerned with the impartation of business orientation and knowledge for personal and national development.
Business education involves teaching students the fundamentals, concepts, theories and processes of business. To Okoli (2010), business education is an important part of the general education which emphasizes on skills and competencies acquisition for use in offices and business related occupations.
Similarly, Nwanewezi (2010) describes business education as encompassing education for office occupations, business teaching, business administration and economic understanding. In all, Abdulkadir (2011) noted that one remarkable important characteristic of business education program is that, its products can function independently as self-employed and employers of labor. To this end, the tenet of business education embraces basic education for teaching career, entrepreneurship, business understanding, office environment and vocational practices.
Education in this field occurs at several levels, including primary, secondary and higher education, with the greatest activity in the later. However, Igboke (2005) enumerated the following as the objectives of business education at all levels of education:
- To develop basic skills for personal use in the future
- To acquire the basic knowledge and skills of business education
- To relate the knowledge and skills acquired to national development
- To develop basic skills in office occupation
- To provide the needed background for teaching in business subjects
- To prepare students for further training in business studies
- To provide orientation and basic skills with which to start a life of work for those who may not undergo further training
For education to really serve as a veritable vehicle for socioeconomic growth and development as well as for the actualization of these lofty objectives of business education in tandem, educational institutions and its systems must function optimally in relation to its set standards.
Historically, business education did not come about in Nigeria through government, but through the individual initiative of a few Nigerian entrepreneurs. Such individuals were quick to realize the importance of business education not only to their personal, but also to national economic growth and development. As a matter of fact, prior to Nigeria’s independence and 10 years after, business teacher education, like other vocational and technical education disciplines, was not given any thought in Nigerian teacher education curricula. This is not to say that the Colonial educationaladministrators did not recognize the importance of this form of teacher education. As reported by Ekpenyong (1992), some form of business and technical teacher education programme was introduced in the curricula of Higher College, Yaba (1932-47), and of Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology (1954-61).
Business education exposes students to different ways of being innovative, It also facilitates Job Competence, as well as development of understanding for vocational opportunities available in the field of business. Entrepreneurship without adequate education, knowledge and skills, usually leads to failure. Judging by the figures that are coming out of the Education Ministry. In the last few years, at least 60% of graduates are not able to get employment immediately which does not encourage economic growth (Lawal 2005). Because of that, people go into one entrepreneurial venture or another, but unfortunately, they have not been adequately prepared to face the attendant challenges in business. Now it has become necessary to incorporate Business education into the curriculum in order to prepare our graduates for self-employment.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Business Education is a type of training which, while playing its part in the achievement of the general aims of education on any given level, has its primary objective as the preparation of people to enter into a career, to render efficient service and to advance from their present level of employment to higher levels which always have significance effect on the economic development (Osuala 2003). Basic Business Education affords to every individual an opportunity to develop the skills, abilities and understanding that will enable him to handle competently his personal business affairs; to develop an understanding of the vocational opportunity available in the broad field of business and to assume his citizenship responsibilities through enlightened participation in, as well as an understanding and appreciation of the business system (Osuala 2003). Furthermore, Basic Business Education is the broad area of knowledge that deals with the economy. It identifies and explains the role of business as an economic institution and provides content and experience that prepare the individual for effective participation as a citizen and consumer. The researcher is examining the relevance of business education on the economic development of Nigeria.