Skip to content

Implementing Entrepreneurship Education in South-South Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria through Secondary Schools Curriculum Reforms  

By

Emmanuel C. Ibara, PhD

Department of Educational Management, 

Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, 

P.M.B. 5047, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Abstract

The curriculum is a dynamic educational instrument that changes to reflect the needs in the society. As new needs are experienced, the curriculum can be modified to reflect societal demands. This paper, therefore, examined ways of reforming the curriculum of secondary schools in South-South geopolitical zone to enhance entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. The survey research design was adopted in the study. The sample for the study comprised 30 principals drawn from each of the six states in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria, who participated in a conference organized by All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The three research questions were raised to guide the study and two hypotheses tested using t-test statistical analysis. A reliability coefficient of r = 0.80 was established for the instrument. The results of the study revealed that curriculum of secondary schools were inadequate in appropriate competences for self-reliance and basic skills to enhance entrepreneurial success. The study concluded by highlighting the need to synchronize secondary schools curriculum with societal needs and recommended among other things that curriculum conference be organised to fine-tune the modalities for curriculum reforms in secondary schools. 

Keywords; Reforms; Curriculum; Secondary schools; Entrepreneurshp Education; Implementation

 

Introduction 

The objectives of education vary in society based on the problems and needs of a particular society. Thus, the curriculum reflects societal characteristics and trends and is therefore the bedrock of any educational system. There is no doubt that the role of education is to produce a nation that will be both modern and free, and the production of skilled manpower and great knowledge leading to productivity. These roles of education are so complex that the strategies to make the changes possible in the learner and in the society are embedded in the curriculum (Gbamanja, 1991). Education is considered valuable if the curriculum is aimed at making the recipient productive and provides for integrating the recipient frame of reference or ingenuity with whatever new experiences are taught. Thus, curriculum reforms must aim at accelerating the process of self-sustained economic growth that will help to minimize unemployment and related vice in the society (Gbamanja, 1991). Reforming the curriculum of secondary schools in south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria entails redesigning it to address the social and economic imperatives of the people.

Also, entrepreneurial education seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and motivation to encourage entrepreneurial success in a variety of settings. According to the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (2005) entrepreneurship education seeks to prepare people especially youths to be responsible and enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs. Nwangwu (2007) observed that entrepreneurship is the acquisition of skills, creativity, drive and courage in order to create employment for self and others. This means that entrepreneurship education is an employment creation strategy.

There is a great need for effective entrepreneurship education in Nigeria. According to Seikkula (2008) the core concerns created in teaching entrepreneurship education to students is for them to take more responsibility for themselves and their learning. There is equally the need for entrepreneurship education, because it offers students an incentive for thinking creatively about industry, and broadens their understanding of career opportunities afforded in that industry. Moreover, with the prevalence of unemployment, youth restiveness and ailing economic situation in Nigeria, the skills, training and knowledge acquired in entrepreneurship education will be very useful.

UNESCO (2008) states the possible definitions of entrepreneurship education as thus:

  • Entrepreneurship education is made up of all kinds of experiences that give students the ability and vision of how to access and transform opportunities of different types. It is more than business creation, it is about increasing students’ ability to anticipate and respond to societal changes and values.
  • Entrepreneurship education is education and training which allows students to develop and use their creativity take initiatives and risk.

Arising from the above, entrepreneurship education connotes developing an individual specific skills and abilities. Entrepreneurship education is not merely about pursuing economic ends, but helps the student to develop problem-solving skills that could be applied in solving personal and societal issues.

 

Statement of the Problem

There has been growing concern that entrepreneurship education is the panacea to increasing youth’s employment and restiveness in Nigeria, especially in the south-south geopolitical zone known as the core Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The observation has gained ground because the present education in Nigeria has been described as consumption instead of productive (Ogar & Okenjom 2015). However, inspite of the importance of entrepreneurship education in preparing students for self-employment on graduation, it is yet to be seen how the present secondary school curriculum can engender self-employment and practical skills. This paper, therefore, intends to investigate how curricular reforms at secondary school level can promote entrepreneurship education. In order to achieve this objective, the following research questions were raised.

  1. What is the present state of secondary schools curriculum?
  2. What are the inadequacies in the curriculum of secondary schools?
  3. How can entrepreneurial education be implemented in the curriculum of secondary schools?

 

Hypotheses 

The following research hypotheses were formulated for the study.

HO1:     There is no significant difference between male and female principals’ assessment on the current state of curriculum in secondary schools.

HO2:    There is no significant difference between experienced and less experienced principals’ assessment of inadequacies in secondary school curriculum.

 

Scope of the Study

The study covered principals in secondary schools who have held teaching and administrative positions not less than five years in the south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The states include: Rivers State, Bayelsa State, Akwa Ibom State, Cross Rivers State, Delta state and Edo State. Only principals with a minimum of five years experience were chosen for the study.

 

Methodology 

The sample for the study comprised 30 principals purposively drawn from each of the six states in south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The principals participated in the annual All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS0 held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. The total sample for the study was therefore 180 principals, out of which 152 were male principals and 28 female principals respectively. An instrument known as Secondary School Curriculum Reforms Questionnaire (SSCRQ) was designed and used by the researcher to gather data. The parameters covered by the instrument included, the present state of secondary school curriculum, inadequacies and ways of improvement to enhance entrepreneurial education. A test of validity was conducted to ascertain the capability of the items in the instrument to elicit the required data. This was carried out through the assessment and evaluation of the questionnaire items by experts in measurement and evaluation. A test of reliability was conducted to ascertain the consistency of the instrument. The test-retest method was used to determine the reliability of the instrument. The calculations yielded a correlation coefficient of r = 0.80 which is acceptable for the study. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics of frequency count and percentages. The t-test statistic was used to test hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.

 

Results 

Research Question 1 (RO1): What is the present state of secondary schools curriculum in south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria?

Table 1: Current State of Secondary School Curriculum

S/N Variables Agree N (%) Disagree N (%) Undecided N (%) Total (N)
Curriculum content emphasize creativity 22 (12.2) 150 (83.3) 8(4.4) 180
Curriculum provides for self-reliance 20(11.1) 158(87.8) 2(1.1) 180
Curriculum content do not emphasize practical skills 150(83.3) 25(13.9) 5(2.8) 180
Curriculum emphasize ability to recognise opportunities in life 16(8.87) 155(86.1) 9(5.0) 180

 

Table 1 indicates that 83.3 percent of the respondents disagreed that secondary school curriculum emphasized creativity, while 12.2 percent agreed. 87.8 percent of the respondents disagreed that secondary school curriculum inculcates abilities for self-reliance, while 11.1 percent agreed. 83.3 percent of the respondents agreed that curriculum content do not emphasize practical skills. Also, 86.1 percent of the respondents disagreed that curriculum emphasize ability to recognise opportunities in life, while 8.89 percent of the respondents agreed. Thus, the current secondary schools curriculum does not engender appropriate competences for self-reliance and creativity.

 

Research Question Two: What are the inadequacies in the curriculum of secondary schools?

Table 2: Inadequacies of Secondary School Curriculum

S/N Variables Agree N (%) Disagree N (%) Undecided N (%) Total (N)
Curriculum content emphasize skill acquisition in principle 162(90) 14(7.8) 4(2.2) 180
There is a mismatch between the curriculum and the world of work. 170(94.4) 14(7.8) 4(2.2) 180
Curriculum do not encourage creation of job opportunity. 145(80.6) 25(13.9) 10(5.5) 180

 

Table 2 shows that 90% of the respondents agreed that the curriculum content places more emphasis on skill acquisition only in principles, while 7.8 percent disagreed. 94.4 percent of the respondents agreed that there is a mismatch between what is taught in school and societal needs, while 5% disagreed. Also, 80.6 percent of the respondents agreed that the curriculum do not emphasize creation of job opportunities, while 13.9 percent disagreed. Thus, the present curriculum of secondary schools is inadequate in the areas of creation of job opportunities and skill acquisition.

 

Research Question Three: How can entrepreneurial education be implemented in secondary school curriculum?

Table 3: Implementation of Entrepreneurial Education in Secondary Schools

S/N Variables Agree N (%) Disagree N (%) Undecided N (%) Total (N)
Curriculum should include tools and methods for teaching skills such as woodwork, carpentry, metal work and sewing. 142(78.9) 28(15.6) 10(5.5) 180
Curriculum should encourage occupational choices 148(82.2) 24(13.3) 8(4.4) 180
Curriculum should make provision for facilities such as computer system, typewriter, etc. 134(74.4) 33(18.3) 13(7.2) 180

 

Table 3 reveals that 78.9 percent of the respondents agreed that the curriculum should include tools and methods for teaching basic skills in wood work, metal work, carpentry and sewing, while 15.6 percent disagreed. 74.4 percent of the respondents agreed that the curriculum emphasize the provision of facilities and equipment such as computer system and typewriters, while 18.3 percent disagreed. From the analysis, entrepreneurial education can be implemented  through the introduction of basic skills in wood work, sewing and computers.

 

Research Hypothesis

HO1: There is no significant difference between male and female principals’ assessment on the current state of curriculum in secondary schools.

Table 4: T-test on the assessment of male and female principals on the current state of secondary school curriculum

Groups N X SD d.f Cal t-value Critical t-value Level of sig.
Male 152 14.50 3.78 178    0.656         1.96 0.05
Female 28 12.06 3.07

 

Table 4 closely shows that the calculated t-value of 0.656 is less than the critical t-value of 1.96 at 178 degree of freedom and 0.05 level of significance. Therefore, the null hypothesis which states that there is no significance difference between the assessment of male and female principals on the current state of secondary school curriculum is accepted. The result of the hypothesis indicates that both male and female principals’ assessment of the present state of secondary school curriculum does not differ.

 

HO2: There is no significant difference between experienced and less experienced principals’ assessment on the inadequacies of secondary school curriculum.

Table 5: T-test on the assessment of experienced principals on the inadequacies of secondary school curriculum 

Groups N X SD d.f Cal t-value Critical t-value Level of sig.
Experienced 102 13.65 3.16 178    0.850       1.96 0.05
Less experienced 78 11.08 3.01

 

Legend: Experienced principals 10 years and above, less experienced principals less than 10 years.

Table 5 indicates that the calculated t-value of 0.850 is less than the critical value of 1.96 at 178 degree of freedom and 0.05 level of significance. Therefore, the null hypothesis which states that there is no significant difference between the assessment of experienced and less experienced on the inadequacies of secondary school curriculum is accepted. The implication of the test is that both experienced and less experienced principals have the same view on the inadequacies of secondary school curriculum.

 

Discussions of Results 

The study has shown that secondary schools hardly emphasize creativity and practical skills that would enable participant to be self-reliant. Ogar and Okenjom (2015) have also observed that the curriculum should be designed to make participants acquire the relevant entrepreneurial skills. A key value of entrepreneurial education is in the area of poverty alleviation through job and wealth creation by secondary school graduates. In the same vein, Azi (2015) emphasized that the present process of education, enables our products to acquire knowledge and facts without useful skills that can lead them to self-actualization. Entrepreneurial education therefore seeks to inculcate in the recipients the basic skills that are necessary for self-reliance.

The study showed that there is wide gap or mismatch between the curriculum of secondary schools and the world of work. As Nwangwu (2007) rightly notes redesigning the curriculum at all levels of education is to assure empowerment and self-reliance on the school curriculum. Egboh (2009) agreed that incompatible school curricula that do not take into cognizance available potentials in the society can impede poverty alleviation programmes as well as economic growth. The implication is that what is taught in school should reflect the needs of the society.

The study revealed that entrepreneurial education can be implemented at the secondary level through the introduction of subjects that will enhance requisite skills. Udu and Udu (2015) recognized the importance of entrepreneurship education in providing students with skills and knowledge that enables them to launch and operate their own business venture successfully. Thus, the inclusion of entrepreneurship education in secondary schools curriculum will help the students in having the experience and proper understanding of what it takes to generate business ideas and setting up business.

 

Conclusion and Recommendations 

The study has established that the curriculum in secondary schools is inadequate in the areas of the ability of students to recognise opportunities, and produce such opportunities by generating new ideas. It is also deficient in the ability of students think in a creative and critical manner. Hence, the present curriculum in secondary schools does not meet the need for entrepreneurial education. Based on the findings, it is recommended that:

  1. That curriculum conference be organized in the south-south geopolitical zone of Nigeria to fine-tune the modalities for curriculum reform in the region.
  2. Entrepreneurship education should be given adequate attention in the curricula content of secondary schools.
  3. The imminent benefits of entrepreneurial education in contemporary society should be publicized in the media.

 

References 

Azi, A. S. (2015). The economic perspective of entrepreneurship education as a panacea to high unemployment rate in Nigeria. In V. V. Apagu, J. C. Obundike & Ekpo, T. U. (Eds). Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects (pp. 107 – 109). Onitsha: Global Academic Group.

Consortium of Entrepreneurship Education (2007). Entrepreneurship Everywhere: The Case for Entrepreneurship Education. Retrieved from www.entire.ed.org

Egboh, S. H. O. (2009). Entrepreneurship development for employment and wealth creation. Port Harcourt: Ethics Print.

Gbamanja, S. P. T. (1991). Essentials of Curriculum and Instruction: Theory and Practice. Port Harcourt: Pam Unique Publishing Coy Ltd.

Nwangwu, I. O. (2007). Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria. Port Harcourt: David Stones Publishers.

Ogar, C. E. & Okenjom, G. P. (2015). Entrepreneurship Education for Self-Employment Initiative for University Graduate in Nigeria. In V. V. Apagu, J. C. Obunadike & T. U. Ekpo (Eds). Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects (pp. 212 – 226). Onitsha: Global Academic Group.

Seikkula-Leino, J. (2008). Implementing entrepreneurship education through curriculum reform. A paper presented at International Council for Small Business World Conference, Halifax Nora, Canada.

Udu, A. & Udu, G. O. C. (2015). Entrepreneurship. Enugu: Rhyce Kerex Publishers.

UNESCO (2008). Inter-Regional on promoting Entrepreneurship Education in Secondary Schools. Thailand: Bangko.

 

Published inNumber 2Volume 5