A SURVEY OF THE CAUSES OF POOR PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SHORTHAND IN DEPARTMENT OF SECRETARIAL STUDIES, I.M.T, ENUGU.
The aim of this study is to identify the causes of Mass Failure of students in shorthand in the Department of Secretarial studies. I.M.T, Enugu.
In souring for the required information, questionnaires were administered to the students of the Department of Secretarial Studies and Business Education in addition to lecturers in these Departments. Information gathered were analyzed in chapter four(4) of this project.
Most respondents including lecturers believe that shorthand is a difficult subject and that students fail the course massively in recent times. A number of factors were entified to be responsible for this mass failures.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Sir, Isaac Pitman (1937) defined shorthand as the art of writing by sound. According to him “Shorthand is the art of representing spoken sounds by character.” There is much difference between shorthand characters or outlines and English Language characters (Longhand). The shorthand outlines consists of 25 single consonants, 24 double consonants and 16 vowel sounds, Related Sounds are represented by similar outlines strokes, outlines are differentiated by light and thick similar outlines. The simplest outlines are used to represent single consonant outlines popularly known as short forms.
For students to make a headway in shorthand writing, they must observe the rules guiding shorthand writing known as linearly; facility and legibility outlines are written in three different positions: 1st place, 2nd place and 3rd place. Also the usersin those days are professionally addressed as “stenographers” because their course is related to art, hence the suffix, shorthand writing is the core subject of the secretarial course, among which are typewriting and other clerical duties. All these attribute to what is being referred to as oil in the hub that more the wheel. No wonder why typewriting and shorthand has been made compulsory for the secretarial course.
The English Language (Longhand) is the pivot upon which shorthand course rotated therefore, for any student or shorthand writer, ‘stenographer’ to be efficient in this course he/she must have a good command of English and the ability to spell and punctuate correctly. Mastering of outlines contributes a lot to the efficiency of the course. There is nothing so inappropriate as a piece of shorthand transcription with meaningless English words due to wrong spelling, punctuation and usage of English Language tenses like have has etc.
Students should understand that the motive for introducing shorthand writing by Sir, Isaac Pitman was to save time, stationary and to enhance accuracy in document production. For these aims to be achieved students should put more interest in shorthand rather than being frightened of it and thking negatively about the course. They should in line with acquiring shorthand knowledge also acquire speed accuracy, mastery of outlines and grammatical skills, because all these qualities go hand-in-hand with shorthand course. Attentive listening and concentration is the key word of practical shorthand writing.
If secretarial students in Polytechnic and schools of Technology with special reference to Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu are ignorant of all almost all the above mentioned points concerning the shorthand course, then the deplorable state of affairs of mass failure in shorthand should be blamed on the students, because of their low ambition Lukewarm attitude and negative thoughts about shorthand.
This motivated the researcher into investigating and ascertaining how true these statements are, with respect to students poor performance and failure in shorthand. Her findings will also enable her to make meaningful suggestions are to know how to rectify some of the problems contributing to students failure in shorthand.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM:
Shorthand is one of the major obstacles to the success of students in secretarial programs. The problem of high failure rate in shorthand is due to the fact that students treat shorthand like any other subject. Most students feel that shorthand is no more in practice in most offices, thereby, not taking it serious.
Majority of students fail shorthand due to lack of understanding of the rules of shorthand writing, shorthand which is a phonetic subject needs much attentive listening and concentration. Lack of mastery of shorthand outlines and poor command of English Language contribute to much failure in shorthand. Most students fail to appreciate shorthand as a subject hereby lacking interest. The student inability to use the shorthand dictionary for drilling and transcribing contribute to mass failure in shorthand.
Most students who choose to study shorthand come in with the notion that shorthand is difficulty and this notion of psychological damage to their understanding of shorthand. It had given rise to many real and imagined problems which hinder the much desired progress in shorthand, while there are experts and specialist in this subject. The failure rate has been attributed to different causes militating against the learning of shorthand.
Some students take delight in enumerating the difficulties they encounter with shorthand instead of making out time to study the subject. They become nervous and never get settled to do what is required of them in order to succeed. Infact schools admit more students than they can actually provide accommodation language laboratory which facilitates the learning of the course shorthand is hardly accessibly to students. Lack of sufficient period for the course in a week, and also unconducive atmosphere contribute to non-concentration.
It is on realization of these problems that the researcher decided to find out the problems militating against students success in shorthand.
1.2 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is:
(a) To investigate into some problems that causes students failure in shorthand.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work is specifically limited to institute of management and Technology, Enugu. In Enugu state where shorthand is being taught. It looks into the causes of poor performance of students from 2001 to 2004.
1.4 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research was hindered by many setbacks limiting her from carrying out her research extensively to other institutions.