MANAGING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

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1 European Journal of Educational Studies 3(1), 2011 ISSN Ozean Publication MANAGING ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES *CHIKA JOSEPHINE IFEDILI and FELICIA OFOEGBU Faculty of Education, University of Benin Ugbowo, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria * address for correspondence: Abstract : The study investigated the management and delivery of Entrepreneurship Education, following the education stakeholders dissatisfaction on the quality of compulsory Entrepreneurship Education given to the undergraduates in the federal universities in Nigeria. The population consisted of all federal universities in the six geo-political zones of the federation of Nigeria. Two geo-political zones were randomly selected to form the sample of the study. From each zone, a random sample of two federal universities was taken. From the four universities that participated in the study. Students from four randomly selected faculties participated in the study. Fifty 400-level students were selected by stratified random sampling from each of the faculty to participate in the study. A total of 800 students (400 males and 400 females) participated in the study. The data for the study was collected by the use of the questionnaire and recorded 300-level participating students results on Entrepreneurship Education from the four faculties that participated in the research study. The questionnaire is titled Entrepreneurship Management Inventory (EMI). It was made up of two parts. Part A was demographic while Part B contained fifteen questions bothering on management, content, materials, students attitude, infrastructural facilities etc. Participating students were also randomly sampled and interviewed. For the validity of the instruments, the questionnaire was discussed as well as sought expert s opinion in the field of Educational Management and Business Administration. The level of reliability of the questionnaire was established by administering the questionnaire to 80 respondents who were excluded from the main study before the selection of the respondents. The purpose of the questionnaire was not disclosed to the respondents. The split-half method was used. The correlation coefficient was corrected by the use of Spearman-Brown formula. The Pearson product moment correlation was 0.77, and the final Spearman-Brown formula yielded The common percentage was the statistical method used to analyze the data. The major finding was that students have positive attitude towards the course but the packaging and delivery of the knowledge was porous due to so many challenges faced by the lecturers. The major recommendations were better funding of the course by the government and upgrading of lecturers knowledge. Key words: Entrepreneurship, education 101

2 INTRODUCTION Economic empowerment of citizens is the primary goal of any nation. It is a key way to ensure that individuals are empowered so as to lower the unemployment level. When graduates set up small businesses in application of their knowledge of entrepreneurship, it ensures prosperity and competiveness. Gone are the days when graduates remain unemployed for several years with no knowledge of available alternatives. Today, graduates are well equipped to face the world of unemployment. This is in terms of having a compulsory course on Entrepreneurship Education while in the university. This Entrepreneurship Education cuts across all disciplines in the university. The Nigerian government in her effort to ensure job opportunities for students after graduating from the universities established a compulsory Entrepreneurship Education course. With this knowledge, students can set up small business enterprises rather than remain jobless for a long period after graduation. This however, does not mean that entrepreneurship is synonymous to small business enterprise. However the relationship between the two is such that one cannot study one without mentioning the other. According to Klatt (1988), Entrepreneurship Education was concerned with innovation and new ventures rather than as management of business once it was in operation. Klatt also found that 70% of Schools offered elective courses in entrepreneurship while 30% had entrepreneurship as a major requirement. An entrepreneur is a risk taker. He coordinates other factors of production - land, labor and capital for the production of goods and services. The whole idea for having this course on Entrepreneurship Education is the increasing interest in the development of education programs to encourage and enhance entrepreneurship. The explosion into Entrepreneurship Education came towards the end of 1970 s (Kent, 2006). Many researchers grew interest in this area of study due to students demand and donations given by the biggest donors who were entrepreneurs to the universities. Many people seem to worry about the nature of Entrepreneurship Education given to the undergraduates in Nigerian universities. One expects to see guest lectures, students consultation with the practicing entrepreneurs, and development of business plans, field trips, use of videos and films and special readings. These will create entrepreneurial consciousness. According to Nwoye k (2011), there is need for entrepreneurship students to know the things that government has put in place that will enhance entrepreneurial ventures. This is in terms of those things that will enable him or her to venture out and create wealth and accumulate capital in the market place. She also suggested the importance of Information, Communication and Technology to enterprises. The entrepreneurship education presently given seems to lack good management and acceptable content. Many students seem to have not grasped the importance of the course. There seems to be no seriousness among many students in the participation of the course. One can rightly say that many students see the course as one of those unnecessary courses imposed on them to fulfill graduation requirements. The content and delivery of the course lack proper knowledge, preparation and attainment of the aimed goals and objectives. There is a general feeling among education stake holders that students only use scanty handouts given to them by their lecturers. Some of these handouts have never been reviewed for many years despite the constant changes in knowledge and technology. Hess (1987) found that text books devoted too little coverage for Entrepreneurship Education. Even the sole required project for the course seems to be given in groups and not individually. It is not so worrisome that the students are paired up but very disappointing that about students are found in a group. In most cases, one or two interested people in the group opt to carry out the project while the names of others are just included for the award of marks. This is not good enough because those who did not participate in writng the project, lack the knowledge of how the project is conducted. An individual project will create more entrepreneurship awareness and more knowledge will be acquired by all students. According to Sexton and Bowman in 1987, entrepreneurship students prefer independent efforts, individual activities and individual analysis of situations. He suggested that individual may be more effective than the group activities. Most of the entrepreneurs work alone and working with the existing entrepreneurs would be beneficial for a novice in the area. Also there seems to be a feeling that Continuous Assessment which is very important in students performance evaluation is minimally or never used. Many students seem not to put in their best but aim at minimum pass mark of 40%. One gets the impression that the present day education does not support entrepreneurship education. Ifedili (2003) suggested constant assignment to students. It is believed that constant practice makes perfect. There seems to be little or no emphasis placed on the importance of the course. A developing country like Nigeria needs 102

3 entrepreneurship education and its application more than any other country. There is a great need to expose and emphasize the importance of entrepreneurship education at all three levels of education primary, secondary and tertiary. This calls for a reorientation of school system to emphasize and value Entrepreneurship Education so as to cultivate an enterprise culture. There is need for those delivering the knowledge to study and find out from their global neighbors especially developed countries the best way they can teach the course so that there will be effective and efficient teaching and learning. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Despite the compulsory Entrepreneurship Education in Nigerian universities, many graduates still remain unemployed for a long time after graduation. The Entrepreneurship Education delivered to undergraduates in their 300-level seems not to be meeting the aims and the objectives for the compulsory course. The content and management of the course seem to be porous. There seems to be high failure rate and many students struggle for the minimum pass mark of 40%. The purpose of establishing the Entrepreneurship course seems to be defeated. There is need to find out how the course is managed and delivered so as to meet the goals and objectives of the course. Research Questions Based on the above statement of the problem, the following research questions are raised to guide the study. 1. W hat is the students attitude towards the entrepreneurship education? 2. D o lecturers use adequate instructional materials to deliver the knowledge? 3. H ow is the general students performance in entrepreneurship education 4. D o the students major affect their performance in entrepreneurship education? 5. I s continuous Assessment properly administered in the course? 6. I s a project required for the course? 7. I f the answer to 6 is Yes is it a group project or individual project? 8. W hat are the factors affecting effective and efficient teaching of entrepreneurship education? 9. W hat are factors affecting effective and efficient learning of entrepreneurship education? HYPOTHESES H1 H2 The following hypotheses are raised from questions 3 and 4: -: The performance of students in entrepreneurship education is the same based on students major. The performance of students in entrepreneurship education is the same based on sex of the students. 103

4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY This study will benefit students, lecturers, organizations, government and the public at large in various ways. It will benefit the government by creating awareness on the effort being made by various Nigerian universities on the implementation and achievement of government policy on Entrepreneurship Education which the government has great interest. The lecturers will adjust to a better management and delivery of the course. This will bring about effective and efficient teaching and learning of Entrepreneurship Education. The students will develop interest in the Entrepreneurship Education. They will be more serious with the course and can apply themselves in establishing small business enterprise in absence of employment opportunities after graduating from the universities. The employers will be happy to have workers who are business conscious, who would help to increase the productivity of various companies. The public can benefit from being employed by those graduates who would set up small business enterprise and might decide to employ them. METHODOLOGY The research design used was a descriptive design. The population consisted of all primary schools in the six geopolitical zones of the federation of Nigeria: North-Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, South-south and Southwest. Two geo-political zones were randomly selected to form the sample of the study. From each zone, a random sample of two federal universities was taken. From the four federal universities that participated in the study, fifty 400-level students from each of the four randomly selected faculties were selected by stratified random sampling method to fill the questionnaire. A total of 800 students (400 males and 400 females) participated in the study. The data for the study was collected by the use of the questionnaire and recorded 300-level s participating students results on Entrepreneurship Education from the four faculties that participated in the research study. Participating students were also interviewed randomly. The questionnaire is titled Entrepreneurship Management Inventory (EMI). It was made up of two parts. Part A was demographic while Part B contained fifteen questions bothering on management, content, materials, students attitude etc. For the validity of the instruments, the questionnaire was discussed as well as sought expert s opinion in the field of Educational Management and Business Administration. The level of reliability of the questionnaire was established by administering the questionnaire to 80 respondents who were excluded from the main study before the selection of the respondents. The purpose of the questionnaire was not disclosed to the respondents. The split-half method was used. The correlation coefficient was corrected by the use of Spearman-Brown formula. The Pearson product moment correlation was 0.77, and the final Spearman-Brown formula yielded The common percentage was the statistical method used to analyze the data. The scores range for passing the course were letter Grade E, D, C, B and 70 and above A. For this study it is a score of C that is deemed ideal for good performance in the course. 104

5 RESULTS Table 1 Research Questions Ratings Positive Negative 1.What is the students attitude towards the Entrepreneurship Education? 81% 19% 2.Do lecturers use appropriate instructional materials to deliver the knowledge? 46% 54% 3. How is the students performance in Entrepreneurship Education? 76% 24% 4. Do the students major affect their performance in Entrepreneurship Education? 62% 38% 5. Is continuous assessment properly administered in the course? 07% 93% 6. Is a project required for the course? 100% 00% 7. If 6 is yes, is it group or individual project? Group 100% Individual 00% 8. What factors affect effective and efficient teaching of Entrepreneurship Education? Large class size, poor class control, over crowded class rooms, poor infrastructural facilities, inadequate researches, poor instructional facilities, inadequately furnished library,heavy work load of the lecturers etc. 9.What factors affect effective and efficient learning of Entrepreneurship Education? Poor feeding, poor accommodation books were expensive, poverty, television viewing, socializing, not being focused, inadequately furnished library. course was boring, poor lecturers attendance etc. 105

6 HYPOTHESES H01 The first hypothesis which states that The performance of students in entrepreneurship education is the same based on students major was analyzed using the students 300-level Entrepreneurship Education final results as in Table 2 Table 2: Analysis of Students Performance In Entrepreneurship Educ. Based on their Faculties No LG E % LG D Major % LG C % LG B % 70+ LG A TOTAL % From Table 2, out of 800 students that participated in the study, 209 (26.13%) had a letter grade of E, 88 (11%) students had D, 234 (29.25%) students had C, 206 (25.75%) students had B and 63 (7.87%) had A. According to faculties performance, faculty 1 had 52% scoring letter grade C and above, faculty 2 had 63%, Faculty 3 had 64.5% while faculty 4 had 72%. Obviously, students majoring in faculty 4 performed best, followed by faculty 3, then 2 and finally faculty 1. It is interesting that above 50% in each faculty, passed well. H2 The second hypothesis that states the performance of students in entrepreneurship education will be the same based on sex of the students was tested as in Table 3. Table 3: Analysis of the Performance of Male and Female Students in Entrepreneurship Education. SEX NO LG E % LG D % LG C % LG B % 70+ LG A MALES FEMALES TOTAL % From Table 3, all the 800 students that participated in the study, passed the course. Out of 400 male students that participated in the study, 86 (41.15%) students scored the letter grade of E while 123 (58.85%) of female students scored grade E. Thirty-three (37.5%) males scored a letter grade of D as opposed to fifty-five ( 62.5%) females. One hundred and forty-two (60.68%) males scored a letter grade C while 92 (39.32%) females students scored C. Ninety-eight (47.57%) males scored a letter grade of B as opposed to

7 (52.43%) female students. Forty-one (65.08%) male students scored a letter grade of A as opposed to only 22 (34.92%) female students. In summary, 119 (40.1%) of male students scored below a letter grade C while 178 (59.9%) females students scored below letter grade C. Out of 503 students that scored letter grade C and above, 281 (55.86%) were males while 222 (44.14%) were females. It can be said that males performed better than females. Students were randomly interviewed and the researcher learnt that many of the students repeated the course in year 4 since they had carryover at 300-level on the course. DISCUSSION From the analysis of data, students have positive attitude towards Entrepreneurship Education, but the management and delivery of the course was not challenging. The lecturers face a myriads of problems,some of which are : - large class size, overcrowded classrooms with inadequate chairs, poor instructional facilities, constant power failures, heavy workload, few available text books, high cost of available text books, inadequately furnished libraries etc. These challenges made it difficult for proper management, delivery and learning of the course. The students problem in learning bothers on not being focused, poor accommodation, poor feeding, inadequately furnished libraries, few available books were expensive, course was boring, poor lecturers attendance etc, The, continuous assessment which is very important in students performance evaluation was difficult to administer due to large class size. The Students rating which showed that no continuous assessment was ever administered is very implicating. One wonders if the students were properly evaluated or not or whether they can defend the scores given to them. The only project given as part of the examination score was a group project. Too many students were grouped together with the result that not all of them made input to the project. All the names of the group members were included for the award of marks. The implication of this is that those students who did not participate in wring the project have failed to learn the expected knowledge from project writing. Also, one can rightly say that the students performance evaluation did not show the true performance of students in the course. The major area of students affected the performance but not to a greater extent. This is because of few available of resource materials, poor management and delivery of the course. Male students performed better than the female students. However, there is room for better performance if the course is packaged and delivered well so that the aims and objectives of the course are met. CONCLUSION The Entrepreneurship Education delivered in Nigerian Federal universities is not challenging enough. The major students performance evaluation inform of continuous assessment is neglected. This is because of so many challenges faced by the lecturers. The study showed that students had positive attitude towards the course. This should be encouraged by managing and delivering the course in such a way that will provoke students inquisition, knowledge and greater performance. RECOMMENDATIONS The following recommendations are made to improve the packaging and delivery of Entrepreneurship 107

8 Education for better results: - - There should be seminars, workshops and conferences to strengthen and refocus on Entrepreneurship Education. - C lass size should be broken down into manageable size. - C ontinuous assessment should be properly administered to students without failure. - T here should be individual project writing. Even if the students had to be grouped, the group should not be more than three. - T here should be better provision of infrastructural facilities. - I nstructional materials should be adequate and in goo condition. - M ore lecturers should be employed to teach the course. - G overnment should increase the budget for the implementation of this government policy on mandatory Entrepreneurship Education and the budgeted sum should be released in order to actualize the purpose of the fund. - L ecturers should upgrade their knowledge through in-service training or use of the internet. REFERENCES Hess, D.W.(January,1987).Relevance of small business courses to management needs. Journal of Small Business Management, Ifedili, C.J. (2003). A study on how students in university of Benin plan their daily activities. Benin Journal of Educational Studies, Vol17.1&2, Kent, C.A. (2006).Entrepreneur ship at collegiate level a synopsis and evaluation. Internet, August 28. Klatt, L.A. (1988).A study of small business entrepreneurial education colleges and universities. Journal of Private Enterprise. Nwoye, M.I. (2011). Entrepreneurship development and investment opportunities in Nigeris. Benin: Highcliff Publishers. Sexton, D.L. & Bowman, N.E. (1984). Entrepreneurship education suggestion for increasing effectiveness. Journal of Small Business Management,

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