CHALLENGES OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ACCOUNTING IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN RIVERS STATE

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CHALLENGES OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ACCOUNTING IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN RIVERS STATE

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is fast gaining prominence and becoming one of the most important elements defining the basic competencies in education system. Howell and Lundall (2000) described ICTs as all forms of technology used to create, store, process and use information in its various forms (data, voice, image and multi-media presentations to facilitate and support communication. In the view of Chinien (2001) ICT deals with digital data and ways of storing, retrieval, transmission and receipt information. According to World Bank (2006), ICT consists of the hardware, software, networks, and media for the collection, storage, processing, transmission, and presentation of information.

The use of ICT falls into four major categories: constructing knowledge and problem solving (through the Internet, email, CD-ROMs, databases, video conferencing); using process skills; aiding explanation of concepts; and communicating ideas (powerpoint, desktop publishing) (Aladejana, 2007). ICT facilitates communication, increase access to learning for students, stimulate a wide range of scientific phenomenon and generally motivate both teachers and students, develop problem solving capabilities and aid deeper understanding (Selinger, 2002). In the context of this study therefore, ICT refers to the diverse set of information and technological facilities that can be provided in the schools to communicate, create, disseminate, store and manage information towards enhancing teaching and learning of financial accounting.

Financial accounting is the art of recording, interpreting, verifying and reporting financial transactions of a business in accordance to the lay down accounting principles (Ukpai, Kiabel and Obara, 1998). In addition, Yusuf (2009), described financial accounting as a generic term covering both the book-keeping and accounts aspects of any economic entity. It deals with the process of capturing, processing and communicating financial information (Osuala, 2000). Financial accounting is not an end in itself, rather an information system that measures, processes, and communicates financial information of an identifiable economic entity. This is because, it constitutes a process by which data relating to economic activities are recorded and communicated to interested parties for analysis and interpretation (Yusuf, 2009).

Financial accounting is one of the vocational courses taught to business students in tertiary institutions. Tertiary institutions are schools for advanced education following the completion of secondary education. The duration of the study may be from four to seven years or more, depending upon the nature and complexity of the programs pursued (Brickman, 2009). The institution providing higher education may be either a college or university or a type of professional school such as polytechnics. Financial accounting at this level is designed to equip students with the necessary accounting skills and knowledge for self or paid employment on graduation. The objectives of financial accounting according to Osuala (2004) include:

  1. to give business students additional vocational skills that will enhance their opportunities for future occupational success.
  2. to enable all business students become proficient in the financial transactions of the average business office.
  3. to equip business students with better understand of business practices and procedures.
  4. to provide vocational training to every business student in the practical knowledge of daily book-keeping activities.
  5. to help students understand the cycles and steps involved in financial accounting so that the relations of each step to all other steps are properly understood.

The achievement of the above objectives of financial accounting can be enhanced through the use of modern instructional materials and facilities such as ICTs for effective teaching and learning of the course.

Teaching is an organised method of giving information to somebody so as to change his/her believe and idea about something or events.  Ryan (2009) defined teaching as a systematic presentation of facts ideas, skills and techniques to students or learners.  In the view of Awotua – Efebo (2005) teaching is the interaction between a teacher and learners in order to bring about the expected change in the learners’ behaviour. Teaching as an attempt to help someone acquire a change in attitude, knowledge, skill and idea or appreciation. The purpose of teaching according to Newsam (2009) is to ensure that thoughts are acquired through a prescribed body of knowledge and set of values for practice by the learners through learning process.

Learning, on the other hand is the process of acquiring knowledge or developing the ability to perform new behaviour (Mazur, 2009 and Agbafor 2009). Learning is a change in human disposition or capability which persists over a period of time and which is not simply ascribable to processes of growth (Odili, Oniyama and Dittimiya, 1995). It is a progressive and orderly change which comes as a result of experience and exercise. In affirmation, Oniyama and Amroma-Asite (1995) stated that learning in a school system occurs whenever the activity of the school brings about a relatively permanent change in behaviour of the learners as a result of experience. It is imperative to state that there are still some constraints in the use of ICT facilities for teaching and learning in Nigerian schools.

Challenges are limiting factors. In the context of this study, challenges are restrictions or constraints of ICTs affecting the teaching and learning of financial accounting in tertiary institutions in Rivers states. Among the challenges facing teaching and learning in Nigerian education system are inadequacy of basic school infrastructure, teachers’ incompetence in subject matter, incompetence of teachers in the use of modern teaching facilities, lack of knowledge on and inability to apply modern technologies particularly information and communication technology (ICT) and the internet in teaching and inadequacy of instructional materials among others. Obi (2002) defined instructional materials as aids used by lecturers to facilitate the engagement of learners in a planned opportunity for learning.

Unfortunately, these instructional materials and other modern facilities/infrastructure such as ICTs are major challenges because they are not adequately provided and the few that are made available are not well utilised in Nigerian schools due to the challenges. To buttress this point, Jegede (2005) stated that most federal universities in Nigeria lack adequate human and material resources for optimal utilization of ICTs. The case of the constraints in the use of ICTs in tertiary institutions in Rivers states is not an exemption.

It is globally recognised that the use of ICT in teaching and learning is a relevant and functional way of providing education to learners that will assist in imbibing in them the required capacity for the world of work (Aladejana, 2007). It is only very few jobs today that do not require the use of skills in ICTs. In fact, World Bank (2006) stated that effective use of information and communication facilities in schools will definitely contribute to the realisation of Millennium Development Goals. Recognising the significance of the use of ICTs in school, it is imperative to identify constraints in the use of ICTs for teaching Financial accounting in Rivers state.

 

Statement of the Problem

Effectiveness in teaching and learning has long been a subject of controversy and concern (Newsam, 2009). This is because, learning is the outcome of teaching and so, the learners must be able to acquire new knowledge when taught and use the knowledge to further their personal and societal development. Therefore, the performance of graduates of financial accounting for instance is dependent on the quality of teaching being given to them by their lecturers. Financial accounting deals with recording, interpreting, verifying and reporting financial transactions of a business following accounting principles. It is one of the vocational courses taught to business students in tertiary institutions. It is designed to equip students with the necessary accounting skills and knowledge for self or paid employment in financial institutions on graduation. Unfortunately, these objectives have not been effectively achieved due to some constraints facing the Nigerian education systems.

For instance, there has been call for problem – solving skills and lifelong learning with effective application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) that will enable graduates grow and change with technology in their learning endeavours. Due to the present advancement and sophistication in technologies, the way the financial accounting is being taught using the old conventional facilities without taking proper advantage of the use of ICT as an aid to instructional delivery is a major constraint.  This has consequently resulted to poor quality graduates of financial accounting majority of who are not well at home with effective application of ICTs. The number of graduates in the labour market is on the increases due to lack of basic saleable skills for work. It is believed that if the advantage of the effectiveness of ICTs in teaching and learning has been utilised, the story of the quality of graduates of Nigerian tertiary institution must have been a positive one. It is the wish of the researcher therefore to investigate the constraints in the use of ICTs for teaching and learning financial accounting in tertiary institutions in Rivers states bearing in mind the possibilities of general inadequacy of ICT facilities in Nigerian schools, epileptic power supply, high cost of ICT facilities, incompetence of personnel in effective use of ICTs and poor maintenance culture of the ICTs in Nigerian system. It is therefore believed that answers to these pertinent questions will help to bridge these information gaps in knowledge.

 

Purpose of Study

The main purpose of this study is to identify challenges in using ICT for teaching and learning Financial accounting in tertiary institutions in Rivers state. Specifically, the study sought to identify:

  1. Challenges of supply of ICT facilities in the teaching and learning of Financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the study area.
  2. Challenges of power supply for ICT facilities in teaching and learning financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the area.
  3. Challenges associated with high cost of ICT facilities for teaching and learning financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the study area.
  4. Challenges of personnel in effective use of ICT facilities for instructional delivery in tertiary institutions in Rivers states.
  5. Challenges associated with maintenance of available ICT facilities in tertiary institutions in the study area.

Significance of the Study       

The findings of this study will be of great benefit to Business students and graduates, Business lecturers, Rivers states ministries of education, Council of tertiary institutions, curriculum planners and fellow researchers with research interest in application of information and communication technologies for teaching in Nigerian schools.

The findings of this study would be of immense benefit to financial accounting students in tertiary institutions in the study area. This is because the findings would make the students to appreciate the importance of using ICT facilities for teaching. Effective use of the ICTs therefore will enhance learning among the students for better performance in financial accounting. Also, Business lecturers will benefit from the findings that will emanate from this study in that the study will help them have a better understanding of the constraints facing teaching and learning in schools for adequate solutions. The findings will instigate them for skill update in effective use of ICTs for instructional delivery in the school.

The findings will be highly beneficial to ministries of education of both States. This is because, the study would provide useful information and serve as eye openers to the Rivers states governments for adequate provision of ICT facilities for quality teaching and learning in the area. Also, cases of epileptic power supply to schools in the two states will be handled properly. The findings of this study would also be of immense benefit to the Council of tertiary institutions. Based on the information gained, the Councils will be more informed of the need to recruit personnel that are ICTs compliance for effective use of ICT facilities in the schools in the area.

Curriculum planners will benefit from the findings of this study through its provision of relevant information for curriculum review and update to meet societal needs for improved knowledge of ICTs. Finally, the findings will help to provide useful research information to fellow researchers with keen research interest constraints in application and utilization of ICTs for effective teaching and learning in Nigerian school system.

 

Research Questions

Based on the specific purposes of the study, the following research questions will be answered by the study:

  1. What are the challenges of supply of ICT facilities in the teaching and learning of financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the study area?
  2. What are the challenges of power supply for ICT facilities in teaching and learning of financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the area?
  3. What are the challenges associated with cost of ICT facilities for teaching and learning financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the study area?
  4. What are the challenges of providing competent personnel in effective use of ICT facilities for instructional delivery in tertiary institutions in Rivers states?
  5. What are the challenges associated with maintenance of available ICT facilities for teaching and learning financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the study area?

 

Research Hypotheses

Based on the research questions to be answered by this study, the following null hypotheses are formulated to guide the study and will be tested at 0.05 level of significance:

Ho1: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of University, Polytechnics and Colleges of education Business lecturers in Rivers states on the challenges of supply of ICT facilities in the teaching and learning of financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the study area.

Ho2: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of University, Polytechnics and Colleges of education Business lecturers in Rivers states on the challenges of power supply for ICT facilities in teaching and learning of financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the area.

Ho3: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of University, Polytechnics and Colleges of education Business lecturers in Rivers states on the challenges associated with cost of ICT facilities for teaching and learning financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the study area.

Ho4: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of male and female Business education lecturers in Rivers states on the challenges of providing competent of personnel in effective use of ICT facilities for instructional delivery in tertiary institutions in Rivers states.

Ho5: There is no significant difference in the mean responses of University, Polytechnics and Colleges of education Business lecturers in Rivers states on the challenges associated with maintenance of available ICT facilities for teaching and learning financial accounting in tertiary institutions in the area.

Delimitation of the Study

This study is delimited to the identification of challenges in using ICTs for teaching and learning financial accounting in tertiary institutions in Rivers states. The identification will be made to cover the constraints of inadequate supply of ICT facilities, epileptic power supply in schools, high cost of ICT facilities, incompetency of personnel in the use of ICTs and poor maintenance of ICT facilities in tertiary institutions in the area.

The respondents of the study will be restricted to Business lecturers in Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Educations in the two States. Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State was excluded from the study; this is because, the University has not finally taken off as at the time of this study.

 

CHALLENGES OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ACCOUNTING IN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN RIVERS STATE

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