Factors That Lead To Students Poor Performanle In Principles Of Accounts In Post Primary Institution (a Case Study In Enugu South Local Government

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This study aims at investigating the factors that head to students poor performance in principles of account in post primary institution in Enugu South Local Government.  It is not intended to contradict all papers or disapprove any already on this particular topic or similar topic but will serve as a supple monetary work to those one.

In spite of the obvious need for this subject (Account) in such a growing economy like ours, students seem to be shying ways from it opinions have widely varied as to the causes.

In view of the above, the investigator saw the need to fund out if there had been relative poor performance in the subject, and the factors that actually head to poor performance in this subject area.


The major instrument of date collection was as administration on the sample students and teachers from ten school.

1.     Union Secondary school, Awkunanaw

2.     Girls Grammar school, Uwani

3.     Uwani Secondary scholl, Uwani

4.     Idraw River Girls secondary school, Idraw

5.     Army Day secondary school, Awkunanaw

6.     Mary Land Secondary school, Mary Land

7.     College of immaculate conception C.I.C, Uwani

8.     Queens secondary school, New Lay-out

9.     Urban Girls secondary school, Ogui

10.            Metropolitan secondary school Ogui New Lay-Out


The questionnaire was also administered on the accounts teachers.

The study revealed among other things that:

1)    Students performance in Accounts have been relatively low

2)    Students tend to find Account difficult and more so, when they lack good background

3)    There seems not to be adequate number of teachers teaching Accounts in Enugu South Local government area.

4)    Lack of appropriate instructional materials lack of constant practice by student perhaps, because not adequately maturated by thee teacher, text book and irregularity in the supply of teachers, are some of the other factors by the study.

5)    Some teachers do not know how to inculcate, how to teach, how to impact knowledge they have been trained for into the students

To off-set these proven bottleneck and thereby facilitate student’s performance in the subject, the researcher recommends among others that:

a.           Efforts should be stepped up in going students god background in mathematics.

b.           Government should view with seriousness the issue of training teachers.

c.            Institution of higher learning should be encourage to mount business courses.

d.           Government should forestall the exodus of these accountry  teacher by providing them with rewards commensurate with what their counterparts in private sectors receive.

e.            Nigerian and up-to-date textbooks should be provided, while teacher are advised to give the students adequate motivation for constant practice




Cover page

Title page                                                                               

Approval page                                                                       




List of tables                                                                           

Table of contents                                                                   



1.0            INTRODUCTION

1.1            Statement of the problem       

1.2            Purpose of the study

1.3            Significance of the study

1.4            Statement of the hypothesis

1.5            Scope of the study

1.6            Limitation of the study

1.7            Definition of terms and Abbreviation



2.1     Meaning of principles of accounts

2.2            Objective of teaching principles of accounts in the post primary


2.3            Problem facing students in principles of accounts

2.4            Ways of improving students poor performance in principles of account

2.5            The roles of accounting in economic development

2.6            Basic accounting equation and double entry



3.1     Sources of data

3.2            Population and sample used

3.3            Instrument used

3.4            Method of data collected

3.5            Technique of data analysis



4.1     Data presentation and analysis

4.2            Test of hypothesis




5.1     Findings

5.2            Conclusion

5.3            Recommendation









1.0            INTRODUCTION

The factors that leads to students poor performance in principle of accounts in post primary institutions in Enugu South local government area of Enugu State.


The principles of financial accounting is set up to propane students generally for the study of financial accounting in particular.  It is hoped that the selected definitions that follow will create the awareness needed for students and as well awaken their interest in the study of accounting.

The American institute of certified public accountants defines accounting “as the act of recording, classifying and summarising in a significant manner and in terms of money transactions and events which are part (at least) of a financial character, and interpreting the results thereof”.


Also, Accounting can been defined as the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed judgement and decision by users of the information


However, this definition by the American accounting association appears to dwell more on investment decisions made based on accounting information.  Investment decision, whether by investors buying shares in a company or a company investing the funds at its disposal, involves identifying investment opportunities assessing or analysing the various alternatives based on sound economic principles.  The association of national accountants of Nigeria defines accounting. “as the analysis, classification and recording of financial transactions and ascertainment of how such transaction affect the performance and financial position of a business.  This involves knowing the day-to-day dealings with money and money.


Consequently, the practice of accounting stated since organised life evolved.  The early man lived in caves from where he developed into living in communities.  That is, each person went about doing those activities of life for which he was most gifted.  This gave rise to individuals producing certain goods in quantifies in excess of what they needed which there were other goods which they needed cout they did not produced themselves.  The result was exchange. The first system of exchange was by barter.  Later money evolved and replaced banter.  During the stage of barter, recordings exchange were recorded.  A stroke on the wall or a pebble thrown into a pot could represent a receipt of 10 cowries.  When a payment of a similar amount is made, then a pebble would be removed from the pot a stroke cleaned off from the wall.  At any point in time, the number of pebbles, sticks or strokes remaining would signify the amount of money or commodity left, owned or owed by the “recorder”


In Nigeria, Accounting or book-keeping originate from the missionaries and private commercial schools in 1900. These missionaries came along with their cousines men and introduced book-keeping as apprenticeship programmes when the apprenticeship agencies failed to meet the needs of book-keepers and clerical workers, pre-service education programmes for training these workers were organized in academics and proprietary schools.  The rapid expansion of business in the early years of the 19th century and need for larger number of bookkeeping and stenographers, clerical worker brought about an increased interest in business courses.

Educators became more concerned about commercial courses, early in the twentieth century and as a result of this interest, the Phelps-stokes fund of the U.S.A in co-operation with the international education board set up two commissions.

The Phelps-stroke fund is an American phiantropie organization interested in African.  The Commission was led by THOMAS JESSE JONES an American sociologist at the famous American Negro college Hampton Institute.  It is the commission that bought about the evolution of technical and commercial training.

The commission recommendation that the programme should be given by Government department and also supervise by them. They stress the importance of bookkeeping and this led to the opening of the first school, Boys High School, Nonny in April 1900 and it is a comprehensive secondary school.  The courses they study involve both technical and commercial courses.

In 1900 – 1935, because of the changing society, need for these commercial schools became imperative.  Their products like stenographer, clerical workers, accountants are of such importance that no company or industry can do without them.  As the need for these product grew, the federal and state Governments started giving their for support to the courses.  It was because of this, that secondary schools started including this subject in their curriculum.  This was as a result of only the commercial school not being able to supply the adequate man-power needed in Accounting.  Much emphasis was also being laid on the subject account at secondary school levels to supplement for the private commercial school need.

The issue of students performance in principles of Account in schoolks in Enugu South Local Government Area is one that has attracted a lot of divergent views.

Many of these arguments are matters of opinion which still need to be substantiated with facts and figures before they can be dependable.  Substantiating his stand, Akpero (1981) says “The declining statistics of successful performance in accounts in WASC is very easily demonstrated between 1990-1993 the percentage of passes of candidates have stood as follows:

                   June 1990 – 53.18

                   June 1991 – 48.61

                   June 1992 – 46.02

In this hue and cry concerning our students educational attainment in the cost primary institutions, the question is, is principles of accounts a recluse?


Osisioma (1992) found that students performance in principles of accounts in secondary schools in Enugu South Local Government Area was rather decreasing progressively yearly as follows

                   1986 – 58.18

                   1987 – 48.61

                   1988 – 46.02

                   1989 – 46.00

The steadly decreasing performance could serve as an indicator that principles of accounts is not the “odd man out” in the issue of student poor performance.  The burden is to find out the various factors that lead to student’s poor performance in post- primary institution and based on their findings suggest some remedies.

The G.C.E and SSCE (internal and private) are some of the public examination used in Nigeria at present as yardsticks for measuring standard of performance.  Hence our focus for the purpose of this study, is on the performance in SSCE (internal and private).  It is almost a popular opinion that education is the bedrock of national development.  The extent we can go in our development as people depend on our level of educational development.  Knowing this, therefore, it will be fool hardy for us to be intensive to our students academic achievements and what quality of education they received.

It is against the back ground that in the relent times our government (the various levels) are taking time to recognize our educational system in a bid to pursue qualitative and functional education.  Again this lends credence (believe) to the need for the topic of this research.  We hope that it will be of immense contribution to effective teaching and hearing of principles of accounts in our secondary or post primary institutions.



A casual survey of the school system revealed that very few periods were allocated to principles of accounts as compared to periods given to other subjects.  It is difficult to find any subject that is not faced with one problem or the other.  It appears that the area of accounting records are worst performance in school certificate examination.  This situation is disheartening.


These problems emanated from the fact that there are inadequate number of qualified amounting teacher.  Most of the accounting teacher are people who graduated from commercial school.  They do not have full knowledge of the course, thereby finding it difficult to teach students under them.  


Another problem is lack of vocational guidance counsellors; when you go to secondary school you will hardly see a guidance counsellor who will guide student and tell them the importance and great opportunity awaiting them of they do and take interest in accounting.

Again the subject principle of accounts is always started at the ss1 when the student must have done three years in their secondary school career.  This subject is only done in the senior part of the secondary school.  More ground will not be covered in this remaining 3years since it is a vast subject.  Lack of financial support from government to private institutions lack of incentive for accounting teachers



The purpose of study is to investigate into what can be done to improve the performance of students in principles of accounts.

To investigate whether qualified teacher/people in account prefer working in the banks than going to the classrooms to teach.

If remuneration for teachers in accounts will in any way improve the performance of students.  Also if the socio-economic of the students could be an obstacle in the study of accounts

Before, any effective performance improvement scheme can be mounted for the subject, it has to be preceded by an investigation into factors that head to students poor performance in principles of account which is the purpose of this study.  The study will form a basis for further researchers.  Such as “the effect of insufficient professionally qualified teacher on student performance in principles of accounts” It will be a light to curriculum planners and developers as to what reasons are necessary to foster student achievement in the subject. 


The study is important to the students, so that it will correct the negative impression, which they have developed against accounting.  The suggestion and recommendation of the study if properly implemented will enhance their study of the course, thereby creating employment opportunities at the end of their course.

On the part of the teachers, the study and its recommendations will induce the government to spearhead action towards better performance of students in principles of accounts.  It will also disclose further research on poor performance of students on principles of accounts.

Finally, on the part of the government and the community the study will entitle the government and educational planners to facilitate action in the implementation and recommendations.  It will also give principle of accounts the position it deserves in educational curriculum.



1.       Ho:    There are no rocks of basic computational abilities for principles

of accounts.

Hi:     There are lack of basic computational abilities for principles of


2.       Ho:    Students performance in principle of accounts is light in relation

to other subjects.  

Hi:     Students performance in principles of accounts is light in relation

to other subjects.

3.       Ho:    Teachers have not been adequate in given take-home assignments

despite their work hoad.

Hi:     Teachers have been adequate in given take-home assignment

despite their work hoad.

4.       Ho:    Enough periods are not given to principles of accounts.

Hi:     Enough periods are given to principles accounts.

5.       Ho:    Most of the secondary schools are not lacking sufficient

qualified/professional teachers in principles of accounts. 

Hi:     Most of the secondary schools are lacking sufficient qualified/professional teachers in principles of accounts.





The researcher is using the Enugu South Local Government Area as a case of study.

However, some school in Enugu South Local Government Area will be randomly selected for this exercise.

The schools are:

1.       Union Secondary School, Awkunanaw

2.       Girls Grammar School, Awkunanw

3.       Uwani Secondary School, Uwani

4.       Idaw River Secondary School, Idaw River

5.       Arm Day Secondary School. Awkunanaw

6.       Maryland Secondary School, Maryland

7.       College Immaculate Conception, (C.I.C) Uwani

8.       Queens Secondary School Ogui New-layout

9.       Urban Girls Secondary School, Ogui 

10.     Metropolitans Girls Secondary School, Ogui New Layout




The researcher faced a number of limitations in the course of the study.  The most identifiable constraints are time, finance and inability of many respondents to complete the questionnaire on time.

Time factors is one of the major constraints against this study.  As the research was carried out at student’s level, the researcher has to apportion his time so as to meet the requirements of other courses.  The researcher also missed most of his lecturers in an attempt to collect data.

Financial factors also affected this research in various ways.  In the first place, the question of financial constraint compelled the researcher to limit the scope of the study in terms of sample size and geographical coverage.

In the case of respondents, some of them failed to return their questionnaires on schedule.  Even some left their questionnaires uncompleted.   In spite of all these odds, the researcher tried as much as she could and obtained a reasonable size that is considered to be a representative of the population size.  








L.G.A- Local Government Area.

F.S.L.C – First School Leaving Certificate

S.S.C.E (Internal) – Senior School Certificate Examination (WAEC)

S.S.C.E (Private) – Senior School Certificate Examination (G.C.E)

W.A.E.C- West African Examination Council


Odd Man Out               Standing alone and not included in the trend of


Qualitative Education            High Standard of Education, whereby the

beneficiaries perform up to or & above the expectation place on them by the society.

Functional Education             Education that emphasizes on what the educated will be doing when he comes out

Performance Improvement Scheme           A plan of what to add, remove or

new policies and principles to adopt in order that the student will perform better.

Professional Qualified Accounts Teachers          For teaching of principles of accounts in post primary schools, they are teachers who posses NCE, HND or B.Sc in accounting.

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Factors That Lead To Students Poor Performanle In Principles Of Accounts In Post Primary Institution