This study investigated the Influence of parents, teachers and peer group on students‟ choice of Business subjects in Government Secondary Schools, Kaduna state, Nigeria. The study had four objectives. Four research questions were raised to guide the study while four null hypotheses were formulated and tested. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The total population of the study was 28,524 SS I students in senior secondary schools in Kaduna state. Six hundred (600) students were used as a sample for the study. Self-designed four rating scale structured questionnaire was used for data collection using face to face method. The instrument was validated by experts in Business education and the reliability of the instrument was determined through pilot study. The result of the study revealed reliability coefficient 0.77. Data collected were coded into Statistical Packages of Social Science. The package was used to run Table of frequencies and percentage to analyze the bio-data of the respondents. Weighted mean score and standard deviation was used to answer the research questions using an index score of 2.5 for agree. Simple regression was employed in testing null hypotheses one, two and three and multiple regression was employed in testing null hypothesis four. All the null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 levels of significance. The study revealed among others that, parents and teachers had significant influence on the choice of Business subjects among secondary school students in Kaduna state. Based on the outcome of the study, the researcher concluded among others that fewer numbers of students would be offering Business subjects at Senior Secondary School Category Examination (SSCE) at the secondary school schools level. One of the recommendations was that schools administrators should enlighten parents on the career day on the importance of Business subjects on the future of secondary schools students. In addition, teachers should stop discouraging secondary school students from offering Business subjects.
1.1. Background to the Study
secondary school is a transitional stage of education. This is an emerging period of youth ability (examining talents) to make their choice as science, social science, art or Business students depending on the students‟ abilities, the ability to do so may largely predicted on their scores or aptitude test conducted by schools or the choice made by their parents or peer groups influence or through teacher‟s advice as the case may be (Inuwa & Yusof, 2012). The primary objective of secondary school education is to prepare individual students to have strong educational background before proceeding to higher education (University, polytechnic, or college of education), with the simple focus of subject tracking for the purpose of having and producing experts or specialists in subject area. The hope of this is seen as the central duty of the teacher in the school (Fafunwa 2004). To achieve the producing future experts in Nigeria, students determine the area of their specialization at senior secondary school level.
Business subjects in schools are one of the structured curriculum areas geared toward achieving some specific goals of the secondary education. It is an integrated pre-vocational subject taught at the secondary level as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004). Business subjects are competence-based subject where each student needs to acquire and demonstrate specific competencies for example, typewriting, record-keeping, commerce economic and shorthand. Effective teaching-learning process in Business subjects‟ therefore depends a lot on the activities that both the teachers and students put up in the class. Hence business subjects are core for building a career among secondary school students.
level including mathematics, science, language and social studies. It helps students to recognize the relevance of these subjects as they are applied to the world of business; for example, in helping people with their needs, challenges, and problems and in creating products and services that help to improve the quality of life. The Business studies in junior secondary school level in Nigeria provide broad knowledge and skills that can help students make a successful through SS level transition to post-secondary education, training programmes and the workplace. It prepares students to apply their education to the real-world challenges and experiences. However, the choices of subject combination for study at the secondary school level are often influenced by several factors including teachers‟ attributes, peer groups and parental factors.
Teacher‟s attributes have received the greater attention in research, indeed the success of any teaching and learning process which invariably influences students‟ academic performance and choice of subject combination depends on how effective and efficient the teachers are. Teacher‟s knowledge therefore plays a significant role in student‟s choice of appropriate subjects during the teaching and learning process. A student may like a particular subject very well but because of the poor teaching method of the teacher such a student may lose interest for such subject. Therefore it is very important that secondary school teachers should be academically articulate in their areas of specialization. The way he/she relate to the students and passes across his instructions could go a long way to affect the students‟ response and attitude towards the subject. However, the task of a teacher, which includes sustaining educational system, does not rest on his or her professional competency but, also on the home background.
Parents generally would wish their children to achieve where they failed to achieve. To enable them achieve this, they ensure that they send their children to high-class school, which would expose them to good vocational choices. Entrepreneurial parents, who value Business as a future prospect for their own children, may influence learners in their subject choice. Parents who own businesses can be source of great inspiration for a young child. Entrepreneurial parents tend to provide a strong example and become a source of influence on children. Parents would always remain the primary educators of their children, and hence have an invested interest in their child‟s subject choice.
As children grow older say from the age of 12 years onwards, the importance of parents begin to decrease as a reference group and as a model for conformity and they begin to relate more with their age mates. Peer groups are usually made up of playmates, friends or people within the same age bracket. They serve as confidants to their members. In most cases they belong to same social clubs where they share the same values and ideals. Many educators considered peer groups to be an effective and powerful instructional and strategy group instructional that can be used to develop academic as well as social skills of peer groups.
Peer groups are an important influence throughout one‟s life, but they are more critical during their developmental years of adolescence. There is often a controversy about the influence of a peer group versus parental influence, particularly during adolescence. The power of the peer group becomes more important when the family relationships are not close or supportive. If the parents are largely unavailable, the children may turn to their peer group for emotional support. Most children in this situation are not discriminatory about the kind of group they join. They would often turn to a group that accepts them, even if the group is involved in illegal or negative activities. For some young people, the need for affiliation or closeness is often greater than the need to “do the right thing” (Alika, 2010). In all societies since the beginning of time, adolescents have learned to become adults by observing, imitating and interacting with the grown-ups around them. The adolescents today are socialized more within the confines of their peers than with adults, it is therefore necessary to give student guidance and counseling services.
The school guidance and counseling services occupies a central position in the education of students. It helps them to cope with their studies and interpersonal relationships and also prepare them for life after leaving school. This is to say that the importance of guidance and counseling programme in secondary schools, include bringing to the students an increased understanding on how to choose subject combination in order to achieve their future educational goal, vocational and career. Oye et al (2012) posits that the essence of incorporating guidance and counseling into school system was to eliminate overwhelming ignorance of many young people on their choice of subject combination for future career prospect and personality maladjustment.
The researcher is passionate about students and their subjects choice for Business subjects‟ and wanted to find a definitive answer to the question, “What factors influence students‟ choice of Business subjects at school”? In this way, further research or strategies could be implemented in order to promote an increase in the number of students taking the subject. Therefore the relevance of this study is to show what factors tend to influence students‟ choices of Business subjects‟ in secondary schools. There are a number of factors that determine learners‟ choice and this research is attempting to discover some of the significant factors in choosing. Teacher, parents and peer groups, when combind significantly predicted students‟ choice of school subjects at the senior secondary school level. Therefore, the study will like to address the effects of three very influential factors. The teachers‟ attributes, parents and peer group.
It is against this background that this study will find out the parental, teachers and peer groups influence on students‟ choice of Business subjects in government secondary schools in Kaduna state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Making choices from an array of alternatives is an integral part of life. At various stages of life, individuals have to make some important decisions. Some of such decisions tend to have everlasting impacts on the individual. One of such delicate and life- implicating decision is the choice of school subjects at the senior secondary school level. It is one decision that tends to determine students future educational and career progress. Business subjects are taught as one of the basic subjects that could enable students acquire further skills which tend to be common fundamental to all personal and occupational activities. The researcher intends to find out how factors such as parents, teachers and peer groups influence can merely alter their decisions for choice of interest in selecting subjects‟ combination.
Some researchers have identified a considerable number of factors influencing subjects selection by students in secondary school. Some literature reviewed identify many factors that are likely to influence students subject selection including school policy, parental will peer groups influence, academic ability, intelligence, age, sex, ignorance and accidental choice (Owoyele & Toyobo, 2008). The contribution of each of these factors is still obscure.
Parents that are very wealthy and rich tend to programme the kind of discipline or professions they want their children to offer. For instance, parents that are doctors, lawyers and artisans would want their children to take after them, so that the much money invested into the Business will not be inherited by someone which is outside the family or become useless. They tend to have influence in students choice of subject and this may be against the interest of the child. While parent from the rural areas with less income may not be privilege to advice their wards to make choice of subject base on their interest. Therefore, such children are easily influence by either their teachers attributes in class or peer groups influence.
Teachers personality is the contribution of his or her ability to teach effectively (academically quality) and make value fair judgment within the contents of what is being thought and beyond. But this is rather unfortunate as incompetent teacher are employed leading to poor teaching and sub-standard education that mislead student choice of subject combination. Thus, the study tend to find out how wrong impacted knowledge affected student choice of related Business studies subjects Many peers act as important role models, who are seen as powerful means of transmitting attitudes, value, norms and pattern of thought and behaviour. In many occasions students prefer to be among their colleagues. Eventually they end up pursuing their intention through peer influence or pressure. The influence of peer grouped may hinder the progress of guidance and counseling programme among students where the student has been misinformed by his/her friends to make choice of subjects based on interest of his peers not necessarily considering their interest and capabilities. Therefore it becomes necessary to identify how peer groups influence students‟ choice of Business subject in secondary school.
Literatures revealed that most parents, teachers and peers influence students on the choice of subjects without considering their aptitude, skills and performance which eventually affects their future career and ambitions. This study therefore tends to investigate the influence of parents, teachers, peer groups and guidance and counseling service on students‟ choice of Business -subjects which mis-match students‟ expectation and actual personal interest.
In education, appropriate choice would influence the future of the students while wrong choice would jeopardize the learners‟ future career.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objectives of this study was to determine the influence of parents, teachers and peer groups on students choice of Business subjects in government secondary schools in Kaduna state. The specific objectives are to:
1.5 Research Hypotheses
To achieve the objective of this study, the following hypo Business theses were formulated to be tested at 0.05 level of significant.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study would benefit teachers, parents, students, educational policy makers and researchers
The outcome of the study would provide useful information to teachers on what to consider before advising students on choice of subjects in secondary schools. This would go a long way in reducing wrong advice among teachers in secondary schools.
Publication of part of this work in a journal would help to create more awareness to the parents on the implication of influencing their children to make choice of subjects against their personal interest.
Through this research work, students will understand factors to be considered before making choice of subjects. This would help to reduce impetus among secondary schools students on choice of subjects.
Students would use the outcome of the study to address the influence of peers on their choice of subjects. Peers would also use this study to understand the implications of influencing their friends on wrong choice of subjects‟ secondary schools.
The result of the study would enable the educational policy makers to acknowledge the importance of conuselling services in secondary schools, this would motivate them to post specialist that will counsel students on the choice of subjects in schools. Finally, the findings of this study could serve as a point of reference for further research on similar topic1.7. Assumption of the Study
For the purpose of this study, the following assumptions are made that:
1.8 Delimitation of the study
This study is delimited to SS I students in public senior secondary schools in Kaduna state. The choice of this class is because it is at this stage that students determine which subject to choose and write during their final year of senior secondary certificate of education (NECO/WAEC/GCE) for their proposed career. The researcher decided to choose government secondary schools from each of the educational zone because they have similar characteristics and features but differ in locality. The study is delimited to choice of Business subjects commonly taught at senior secondary school level which includes Commerce, Bookkeeping, Economics, Shorthand and Typewriting/Computing, this is because they are approved subjects by the ministry of education for secondary schools. The study is also delimited to the influence of parents, teachers and peer groups on students‟ choice of Business subject in government secondary schools.
The researcher delimited this study to these areas so as to obtain a result that will establish whether the influence of parents, teachers and peer has positive or negative effects on students‟ interest in the choice of Business subjects.