QUALITY ASSURANCE IN ENTREPRENEURIAL STUDIES IN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, EKIADOLOR, BENIN CITY

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1 European Journal of Educational Studies 5(2), Ozean Publication QUALITY ASSURANCE IN ENTREPRENEURIAL STUDIES IN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, EKIADOLOR, BENIN CITY IMEOKPARIA, P.O*& EDIAGBONYA, KENNEDY** *Department of Vocational and Technical Education, Faculty of Education, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State **Department of Vocational and Technical Education, Faculty of Education, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State * address for correspondence: Abstract: This research work has empirically investigated Quality Assurance (QA) in Entrepreneurial Studies in College of Education, Ekiadolor. Entrepreneurial Studies was seen as a timely intervention in our educational sector and as such it was introduced in 2006 in our tertiary institution in order to reduce the level of unemployment in the country. A conceptual framework was developed by the authors to illustrate QA in Entrepreneurial Studies. Three (3) research questions were raised to guide the study and two (2) corresponding hypotheses were formulated. The case study research design was adopted in the study. A sample of one hundred (100) students offering Entrepreneurial Studies (year two) from the five schools in the college were used for the study. The multi-stage sampling technique was adopted in drawing up the sample. Questionnaire was used in eliciting information from the respondents and it was titled Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial Studies Questionnaire (QUASESQ). It was designed in a 4-point rating and it was in two (2) sections. Section A was on the demographic variables while Section B contained ten (10) opinion statements. The instrument was validated by experts and the test re-test method of reliability was used in obtaining a coefficient of The data collated was analyzed using Mean, Standard Deviation, t-test and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). One of the findings is that there is a significant difference between the perceptions of male and female students as regards factors affecting QA in Entrepreneurial Studies in College of Education, Ekiadolor. A major recommendation advanced was that there should be proper and regular accreditation exercise void of sharp practices. Keywords: Entrepreneurial Studies, Quality Assurance, Benin City 293

2 INTRODUCTION The recent call for the inclusion of entrepreneurship education/studies in tertiary Educational institutions in Nigeria is an indication of its importance to employment creation, as Nigeria continues to churn out graduates that are hardly self reliant but solely dependent on white collar jobs for sustenance (Fayolle, 2005 and Hindle, 2007). The 2010 Global Monitoring Report (GMR) of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), revealed that about 92 per cent of Nigerian population survive on less than 2 dollar daily, while about 71 per cent survive on less than 1 dollar daily a condition many have described as inexcusable, judging from the abundant natural deposits and high human population estimated at about 167 million people (2011). Imeokparia and Ediagbonya (2010) stated that the high level of poverty vis a vis the resources available in Nigeria is highly unacceptable, thus the urgent need for government and individuals to create more job opportunities for the teaming youths. The essence of entrepreneurship studies is to build in the students entrepreneurship spirit and culture (Akpomi, 2009; Dickson, Solomon, and Weaver, 2008; Vincentt and Farlow, 2008; Urbano, Aponte and Toledano, 2008; Poikkijoki and Heinonen, 2006; Solomon, 2007). Entrepreneurship studies have emphasis on education for selfemployment rather than education for paid employment. This kind of education has become so important in Nigeria owing to the high level of unemployment coupled with its accompanying social vices and unrest. It is believed that this kind of education is capable of meaningfully engaging the individuals and making them more productive and useful to themselves and the country at large. The Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP) gave adequate recognition to the link between education and entrepreneurship. In the FEAP blueprint issued in January 1997, emphasis was given to entrepreneurship training and it made its recommendation on page 16, item 32 as: Entrepreneurship development will also be included in the curricula of primary, secondary, technical schools and universities to ensure that the entrepreneurship culture is inculcated in graduates who will ultimately be job creators and not job seekers. According to Ojukwu (as cited in Onifade, 2002), Commonwealth Minister of Education in August 1988 and Commonwealth Association of Polytechnic in Africa (CAPA) in 1991 opined that students in tertiary institutions should be taught entrepreneurship education in their final sessions. The Federal Government in 2006 set up entrepreneurship studies and made it compulsory for students of higher education institutions irrespective of area of specialization and in most universities, polytechnics, and colleges, entrepreneurship studies have been adopted as a compulsory general studies course for students. 'The overall objective is to continuously foster entrepreneurship culture amongst students and faculty with a view to educating them as well as supporting graduates of the system towards establishing and also maintaining sustainable business ventures. The Minister of education stressed that the NUC was given presidential directives by the Ministry of Education to supervise and coordinate the programme of introducing entrepreneurship education/studies in Nigerian institutions of higher learning in collaboration with all regulatory bodies of higher institutions - the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to be handled by the committee set up by the Federal Government ( entrepreneurship-studies-in-varsities.html). The goals of this programme are no doubt a laudable one but for it to be achieved; there is need for all the relevant authorities to ensure that acceptable standard is maintained (Agu, 2006). The concept of Quality Assurance is relatively new in this field owing to the fact that the programme is still very new in our Colleges of Education. Quality Assurance (QA) is defined as the systematic review of the educational programme to ensure that acceptable standards of education, scholarship and infrastructure are being maintained ( Kis (2005) identified three approaches to Quality Assurance and they are: accreditation, assessment and audit. The author stressed further that accreditation involves the evaluation of whether an institution or programme meets a threshold standard and qualifies for a certain status. Assessment involves the evaluation that makes graded judgments about quality, in this respect it goes beyond accreditation that makes a binary judgment while a quality audit checks the extent to which the institution is achieving its own explicit or implicit objectives. 294

3 Conceptual Framework Accreditation Auditi Assessment Teachers ng Qualification Experience Monitoring/ Supervision Teaching Aids Quality Assurance (QA) in Entrepreneuria l Studies Individual Growth Institutional Growth National Growth Figure 1: Conceptual Framework on Quality Assurance (QA) in Entrepreneurial Studies Source: Author s Fieldwork The above model explicitly shows the relationship among various variables associated with Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial Studies in Colleges of Education. In the model above, three (3) facets are of importance to us. That is, the factors affecting Quality Assurance (QA), three (3) outcomes illustrated by individual growth, institutional and national growth. Some factors have been identified as influencing the quality of Entrepreneurial Studies and it is believed that once these factors/standards are properly maintained, there will be an overall growth both in the institutions (that is, Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education) and individuals (students and teachers/lecturers/instructors) and of course there will equally be national growth because of the high national standard that will be in place. The institutional growth can take the form of greater recognition of the institution both within and outside the shores of the country. As for the case of individual growth, it can take the form of churning out graduates capable of exercising high level of productivity and able to compete favourably with their counterparts of similar status or academic level both within and outside the country. With sound Quality Assurance in place, instructors, teachers and lecturers are able to upgrade and become more effective and efficient in the discharge of their duties. The overall outcome of QA is National growth there by leading to national recognition and greater reputation of the country as regards the educational sector. Statement of the Problem Entrepreneurial Studies as an intervention programme which was introduced in tertiary institutions in Nigeria as compulsory course (that is, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics and Universities) in 2006 was met to meet the Socio-Economic needs of the country. With the introduction of this programme in Colleges of Education, the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) was given the mandate to ensure quality and standard of the programme. For the programme to achieve its goals and objectives, all stakeholders must be abreast with the 295

4 factors that are capable of affecting the quality of the delivery of the programme and its implementation. Since the implementation of the programme is relatively new in most of the Colleges of Education, complying with Quality Assurance as regards the programme may be a major challenge. Are there adequate facilities, Entrepreneurship centres and quality teachers/lecturers on ground to guarantee Quality Assurance in these colleges? Are the stakeholders aware of the factors that are capable of affecting Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial Studies and are they conscious of maintaining the standard and quality of delivery as stipulated in the Benchmarks? It is on the basis of the above, that the researchers intend to empirically investigate QA in Entrepreneurial studies in Colleges of Education in Edo State. Purpose of the Study The main purpose of this study is to ascertain the place of QA in Entrepreneurial studies in Colleges of Education while the specific purposes include: i. To find out the factors affecting Quality Assurance (QA) in Entrepreneurial studies in Colleges of Education; ii. To find out if there is a significant difference between the perceptions of male and female students as regards factors affecting QA in Entrepreneurial studies iii. To find out if there is a significant difference among the perceptions of students in School of Vocational Education, School of Languages, School of Sciences and School of Arts and Social Sciences. Research Questions The following questions were raised by the researchers to guide the study: i. What are the factors affecting Quality Assurance (QA) in Entrepreneurial studies in Colleges of Education? ii. Is there a significant difference between the perceptions of male and female students as regards factors affecting QA in Entrepreneurial studies? iii. Is there a significant difference among the perceptions of students in School of Vocational Education, School of Languages, School of Sciences and School of Arts and Social Sciences? Hypotheses The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study: H o1 : There is no significant difference between the perceptions of male and female students as regards factors affecting Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial studies. H o2 : There is no significant difference among the perceptions of students in School of Vocational Education, School of Languages, School of Sciences and School of Arts and Social Sciences. Significance of the Study The findings of this research work are of great importance to all stakeholders in the field of Entrepreneurial studies. The findings will help the Government in obtaining firsthand information as regards QA in Entrepreneurial studies in Colleges of Education. This will go a long way in assisting the Government in the formulation of necessary policies to improve and maintain the standard of the programme. Teachers/lecturers especially Entrepreneurial Educators will also find this study useful as it will furnish them with up to date information as regards QA in Entrepreneurial Studies. Students, Entrepreneurs and members of the general public will equally find this study useful in bringing about enlightenment. 296

5 Scope of the Study The geographical scope of the study covers the college of Education, Ekiadolor in Edo State while the content scope covers the following variables: Quality Assurance, Entrepreneurial Educators/Lecturers, Students and Sex. METHODOLOGY This section deals with the modalities, ways and media explored by the researchers in the course of the investigation and they are discussed below: Design of the Study: The survey research design was adopted for this study. This design was adopted because the researchers were interested in the accurate assessment of the characteristics of the whole population through the selection of sample considered to be representative of the population Population: The population for this study is2100 year two students currently offering Entrepreneurial Studies as compulsory course in College of Education, Ekiadolor. Sample and Sampling Technique: The sample size for this study is 100. The multi-stage sampling technique was used in drawing up the sample from the five schools in College of Education, Ekiadolor. That is, School of Language, School of Art and Social Sciences,School of Sciences, School of Education and School of Vocational Education. In adopting the multi-stage sampling, the simple random sampling was first adopted in selecting two schools (school of vocational education and school of sciences) from the college thereby giving each schools equal opportunity of being selected for the study.the systematic sampling was thereafter used in obtaining a sample size of (50) from the twoschools each. Research Instrument: The questionnaire was designed in eliciting data from the respondents. It was titled Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial Studies Questionnaire (QUASESQ). It was divided into two sections (A and B). Section A comprises of demographic variables while section B comprises of opinion statements structured in 4-point rating. That is, Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D) and Strongly Disagree (SD) Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument: The instrument was given to two (2) experts in Entrepreneurial Studies and one expert in measurement and evaluation and they made necessary inputs to the instrument. The test retest method of reliability was adopted. The instrument was initially administered to 20 students of Entrepreneurial Studies which was not actually part of the sample. It was later re-administered to them after an interval of two (2) weeks. Their responses were correlated using Pearson (r) and the reliability coefficient obtained was Data Analyses: The Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16.0 was used in analyzing the data. The descriptive statistics used include mean and standard deviation. The mean value of 2.50 was used in taking decision. A mean value of 2.50 and above was considered as Agree while a mean value of less than 2.50 was 297

6 considered as Disagree. The inferential statistics used was the student t - test of independent samples and the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). DATA ANALYSES AND RESULT This section is designed to present the data collated for ease of analysis and interpretation. Research Question 1: What are the factors affecting Quality Assurance (QA) in Entrepreneurial studies in Colleges of Education? Table 1: Mean and Standard Deviation of Factors Affecting QA in Entrepreneurial Studies S/N Factors Affecting Quality Assurance Mean S.D Decision 6. The absence of regular and proper Accreditation exercise affects Quality 7. The absence of regular and proper Assessment exercise affects Quality 8. The absence of regular and proper Auditing exercise affects Quality 9. The absence of regular and proper Supervision of institutions affects Quality 10. The absence of regular and proper Supervision of academic programmes affects Quality 11. The absence of regular and proper monitoring activities affects Quality Accepted Accepted Accepted Accepted Accepted Accepted 12. The absence of required teaching qualifications affects Quality Accepted 13. The absence of required teaching experiences affects Quality Accepted 14. The absence of required professional qualifications affects Quality Accepted 15. The absence of teaching aids and infrastructure affects Quality Accepted Aggregate Source: Author s Fieldwork The above table shows that the highest mean score was recorded in item six (6) while the least mean score was recorded in item eleven (11). The mean score for all the items are above 2.50 and as such, all the factors are accepted. The aggregate mean score is 3.39 which mean that all the factors affect Quality 298

7 Hypotheses Testing Hypothesis One Ho 1: There is no significant difference between the perceptions of male and female students as regards factors affecting Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial studies. Table 2: Examination of the perceptions of male and female students as regards factors affecting QA in Entrepreneurial studies Variable N Mean Standard Deviation Df Sig. (2- tailed) Decision E significant E Source: author s fieldwork P < 0.01 The above table reveals that the calculated probability is Since the calculated probability is less than 0.01, the null hypotheses (H o ) is therefore rejected which means that there is a significant difference between the perceptions of male and female students as regards factors affecting QA in Entrepreneurial studies. Hypothesis Two Ho 2: There is no significant difference among the perceptions of students in School of Vocational Education, School of Languages, School of Sciences and School of Arts and Social Sciences Between Groups Within Groups Sum Squares Table 3: Examination of the Perceptions of students from various schools of Df Mean Square F Sig (P) Decision Significant Total Source: Author s Fieldwork P < 0.01 The above table reveals that the calculated probability is Since the Calculated probability is less than 0.01 levels of significant, the null hypothesis (H o2 ) is therefore rejected which means that there is significant difference among the perceptions of students in School of Vocational Education, School of Languages, School of Sciences and School of Arts and Social Sciences 299

8 DISCUSSION The analysis of research question one reveals that there are ten (10) factors that are capable of affecting Quality Assurance in the field of Entrepreneurial Studies. This finding to a large extent is in support of Amoor (2010) where the author stressed that the following factors affect quality in Business education which is having positive correlation with Entrepreneurial Studies: shortage of teachers, teachers qualification and experience and lack of supervision of teachers. The analysis of the hypothesis one reveals that there is a significant difference in the perceptions of males and females as regards factors affecting Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial Studies. The variation in their perceptions is emphasizing the importance of gender (sex) in educational research and in Entrepreneurial Studies in particular. The analysis of the hypothesis two reveals that there is a significant difference among the perceptions of students in School of Vocational Education, School of Languages, School of Sciences and School of Arts and Social Science as regards factors affecting Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial Studies. CONCLUSION This research work has been able to critically examine the place of Quality Assurance in Entrepreneurial Studies which is relatively new in our educational landscape. Based on the analyses of the research question and hypotheses, it can be concluded that there are so many factors affecting QA in Entrepreneurial Studies. Since these factors are known now, it is therefore imperative for all stakeholders not to relent in their efforts. RECOMMENDATIONS Based on the above mentioned findings, the following recommendations are therefore advanced in order to ensure quality in the field of Entrepreneurial Studies: i. There should be proper and efficient accreditation exercises void of sharp practices by the various bodies concerned. ii. Government should make the proper provision for teaching aids and infrastructures in order to ensure high quality in Entrepreneurial Studies. iii. Entrepreneurial Educators should learn to improvise when teaching aids are not available in order for there to be smooth transmission of knowledge or skills needed for self reliance. iv. Institutional, faculty and departmental heads should ensure that academic programmes within their areas of jurisdiction are properly supervised. v. There should be conscious efforts geared at training and retraining teachers in order for them to be more productive. 300

9 REFERENCES Agu, C.N. (2006). Pedagogy of Entrepreneurship in a Contemporary Society.Enterprise Int. Res. J. Devel., 8 (1), Akpomi, M.E. (2009). Achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through Teaching Entrepreneurship Education in Nigeria Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Eur. J. Soc. Sci. 8 (1), Dickson, P.H, Solomon, G.T & Weaver, K.M. (2008). Entrepreneurial Selection and Success: Does Education Matter?Journal of Small Business Enterprise Development, 15(2), Fayolle, A. (2005). Evaluation of Entrepreneurship Education: Behaviour Performing or Intention International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2(1), Increasing. Hindle, K. (2007). Teaching Entrepreneurship at the University: From the Wrong building to the Right philosophy. Handbooks of Research on Entrepreneurship Education (1) Cheltenham (UK): Edward Edgar. Imeokparia, P.O. & Ediagbonya, K. (2010). Empirical Analysis of Secondary Schools Perception about a Good Teacher in Egor Local Government Area, Edo State.Journal of Curriculum Studies and Instruction, 4, Kis, V. (2005). Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education: Current practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review on Potential Effects. Retrieved from and adultlearning/ pdf Poikkijoki, S. &Heinonen, J. (2006). An Entrepreneurial-Directed Approach to Entrepreneurship Education: Mission Impossible. Journal of Management Development, 25(1), Solomon, G, Duffy, S &Tarabisky.(2002). The State of Entrepreneurship Education in the United States: A Nationwide Survey and Analysis. International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education, 1(1), Solomon, G. (2007). An Examination of Entrepreneurship in United States.Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 14(2), Urbano, D, Aponte, M & Toledano, N. (2008). Doctoral Education in entrepreneurship: European Case Study. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 15(2), Vincett, P.S &Farlow, S. (2008). Start-a-Business : An Experiment in Education through Entrepreneurship. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 15(2),

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