1.1 Background of the Study
Education has been described as the bedrock of every society and tool for nation building, it is the key to national development (Nwawuzie, 2014). On a similar note, Education is viewed as the acquisition of the art of the utilisation of knowledge (Akiyaode & Ohenhen, 2011) it is not an exercise carried for mere enjoyment – it is undertaken by nation, whether developed or developing, to help solve the problems that affect that nation. In the case of Nigeria, National Policy on Education (NPC) (FRN; 2004:4) clearly stated that educational goals are to meet the needs of the individual and those of the society, in consonance with the realities of the environment and the modern world. Williams (1970), in Omede (2004) stated that one of the first things a nation does after independence is to ensure that its educational structures are firmly in place and tailored towards delivery of the future goals of the nation as it is an indispensable tool for developing the skills needed by the individuals that would manage the various institutions needed for the country to be a stable, secure and respectable one in the comity of nations. Accounting is listed as a vocational skill. Vocational and technical education existed in Nigeria before the arrival of the colonial masters – in fact, it was the entrenched mode of passing knowledge as African educational system was then more of practical than theoretical learning, (Fafunwa, 1991).
The laws governing the preparation of accounting have changed from the local Statement of Accounting Standards (SAS) to the internationally applied International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). However, Nigerian curriculum is yet to reflect this change and students are still being taught the outdated method. The result is that when they graduate, these students will not be able to compete effectively in today’s global marketplace. Such students have been programmed for failure and frustration and would be easy prey to all activities that threaten national security Velentzaso-Georgia Bron (2010) asserts that technology is man’s efforts to satisfy his material wants by working on physical objects or the application of scientific knowledge to create things and solve environmental problems. I t is important because it unites the universe of doing and that of knowing, connects both the intellectual and the natural histories of man (Drucker, 1970; Ray, 1971). The word technology according to Lux and Ray (1971) are Greek words meaning kill and science. Ugot (1998) asserts that one does not make sense without the other. It has been variously defined overtime. Hornby (2005) defines it as the scientific knowledge used in practical ways to create new things. It is the special skill and ability in the making or creation of objects. The definition by Lubunga (1985) is apt to accounting as he sees it as a human activity consisting of procedures, processes, methods being developed and adapted by society in order to solve specific problems and satisfy social needs.
Several studies have been conducted in the past on strategies for ensuring sustainable development. For instance, Boritz (1999:4) noted that ‘some academic institutions are addressing this problem by revising their curricula to focus on skills, such as information technology skills, which would make their students more attractive to other firms.’ Oviawe (2010) in his study on repositioning Nigerian youths for economic empowerment through entrepreneurship education found that well planned entrepreneurial education when implemented will among other things, equip the students with skills on decision making, and establishing business relationships. He further noted that through entrepreneurship education, qualitative ability that facilitates computation and record keeping are further learnt. These he asserted will enable Nigerian youths to be productive and committed as employees and employers of labour. In a similar study Moore (2007:56) found that ‘repositioning University MBA through revised programs, involving partner companies and workshops will help universities refine its products – the graduates so that they can effectively implement initiatives’. Martin and Tang (2007), posit that Universities can develop networks and stimulate social interaction, enhance problem-solving capacity and create new firms as a way of contributing to sustainable development.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Professionalism in accounting education is increasingly been demanded by companies who are constantly dreaming up ways of cutting cost and hence continuing to be competitive. Therefore accounting training given to students must be able to produce the kind of professionals in demand today.
Lack of workforce with the required skills and capacity is caused partly by redundancies and gaps in the accountancy curriculum and inadequate resources, either human or financial, to make significant improvements. ‘In the minds of some, the current curriculum model has come to be perceived as an impediment’ rather than a facilitator of change. (Boritz, 1999:15; Anyaeze, 1997; Ovuawe, 2010; Uriah and Wosu 2012; Evans and Lovewell 2012:1) No wonder current accounting curricula have been criticized as being rule-based and demanding rote memorization; with students being ‘trained’ rather than ‘educated’ (Adams et al., 1994). The Current NUC curriculum of is stale and obsolete because the world has witnessed new changes and innovations which have almost completely altered the nature, environment, content and competencies of accountancy profession and functions all over the world.
These problems have hindered economic development and contributed to the myriad of problems and harse realities which include poverty, unemployment, crime, hunger, conflicts and diseases (Okoye, 2007). The latter, perhaps more than the other criticisms, formed the basis for the clarion call for sustainable development.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study sought to examine functional accounting education curriculum for sustainable youth empowerment. Specifically, the study sought to;
i. examine the role of functioning accounting education curriculum for sustainable youth empowerment in Nigeria.
ii. evaluate the functionality of accounting education curriculum towards sustainable youth empowerment.
iii. examine the challenges facing functioning accounting education curriculum in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
i. What is the role of functioning accounting education curriculum for sustainable youth empowerment in Nigeria?
ii. What is the functionality of accounting education curriculum towards sustainable youth empowerment?
iii. What are the challenges facing functioning accounting education curriculum in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho1: Functioning accounting education curriculum has no role for sustainable youth empowerment in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the Study
This study is on functional accounting education curriculum for sustainable youth empowerment.
Limitations of study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Accounting: The process or work of keeping financial accounts.
Education: The process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.
Curriculum: A curriculum is the combination of instructional practices, learning experiences, and students' performance assessment that are designed to bring out and evaluate the target learning outcomes of a particular course. Curriculum is a group of courses offered in a particular field of study.
Youth Empowerment: The term youth empowerment is broadly employed to explain efforts aimed at providing coping skills and an enabling environment for youths to lead decent lives and contribute meaningfully to national development.
Adams, S.J., Pryor, L.J. and Adams, S.L. (1994) Attraction and retention of high-aptitude students in accounting: an exploratory longitudinal study. Issues in Accounting Education 9 (1), 45–58.
Boritz, J. E. (1999) The accounting curriculum and IT. University of Waterloo, Canada. Available from http://www.icjce.es/images/pdfs/TECNICA/C01%20-%20IFAC/C.01.052%20- %20Education%20-%20IEG/EDC-IEG11-Update.pdf
Evans and Lovewell (2012) Curriculum renewal at ryerson university: White paper Available from http://www.ryerson.ca/senate/documents/CRC_White_Paper_May_3_2012.pdf
Fafunwa, B (1974). History of Education in Nigeria. London: George Allen and Union Ltd.
Martin, B. and Tang, P. (2007), The benefits from publicly funded research, SPRU Electronic Work ng Paper Series 41.
Moore, T. E. (2001) Repositioning the MBA, BiZEd, 50–56
Nwawuzie, N. J. (2014). Evaluation of Students‟ Teachers Perception of Teaching Practice Programme in Benson Idahosa University. An Unpublished Project Submitted To The Department Of Business Education.
Okoye, C. M. (2007) The impact of science and technology on poverty alleviation. Contemporary Issues in Nigerian Education Available from http://www.academia.edu/6110457/ICT_Integration_in_Nigeria_and_the_Quest_for_ Indigenous_Contents_Prospects_of_the_i-CLAP_Model_Design_Initiative
Omede, J. (2012). Reformatting Nigerian Secondary and Post-Secondary Education to Meet Unemployent and Security Challenges of the 21st Century.
Oviawe, J. I. (2010) Repositioning Nigerian youths for economic empowerment through entrepreneurship education. European Journal of Educational Studies, 2, 113-118.
Uriah, O. A. & Wosu J. I. (2012) Formal education as a panacea for sustainable national development: A Theoretical discussion, International Journal of Scientific Research in Education, 5, 130-137.
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