THE INFLUENCE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION ON STUDENTS ENTREPRENEURIAL PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Since the inception of human being, no human being come into existence fully developed with all the necessary faculties and systems that enhance adaptation. Rather, people come into existence and experience several phases of development. One of the phases of such development is the adolescent phase. According to Weiten (2012) adolescent is a transition phase between childhood and adulthood. It is one of the major critical and most delicate phases of the human development because it is at this phase that the socialization of the individual person takes place. According to Ebenebe (2007), it is the phase a girl child learns how to be daughters, sisters, friends, wives and mothers. In addition, she learns the occupational roles that the society has in stock for her. The same is applicable to the male child. Apart from the role play, it is also the phase when an adolescents imbibe the norms of the society where they find themselves. It is also the phase when attitudes, skills, values, norms and culture of the given society are learnt. According to Okudo (2013), it is a phase when business teacher can acculturate all socialization processes into a child which are basically achieved through education. According to Moorhead, Johnson & Swanson, (2008). Psychosocial adjustment is the adaptive response to a substantial life change by an individual either an adolescent or an adult stage.
Wikipedia encyclopaedia (2015) defines education in its general sense as a form of learning through which the knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through storytelling, discussion, teaching, training and or research. Scholars are in consensus that education through formal learning constitutes one of the foremost agents of socialization. This kind of socialization is practically achieved in schools which have educational systems that are known to be the scaffold or buffer on which the psychosocial developments of these adolescents are based. The term educational system generally according to Sabbout (2013) refers to public schooling not private schooling and more commonly from kindergarten through high school programmes. Through these systems the adolescents are influenced towards the acquisition of skills, competences and attitudes that help them in the future. One of these systems of education is entrepreneurship education.
Omolayo (2006) defined entrepreneurship as the act of starting a company, arranging business deals and taking risks in order to make a profit through the educational skills acquired. Watson (2006) defined it as a process through which individuals identify opportunities, allocate resources and create value. While Orji (2011) referred to entrepreneurship as a specific mind set (self-reliance) resulting in entrepreneurial initiatives. Therefore entrepreneurship education is that kind of education that will dispose the adolescents towards identifying opportunities, allocating resources or creating values (as described by Watson) or the type of education that engraves a self-reliant and entrepreneurial initiative in the adolescents.
It is important to underscore the fact that entrepreneurship education has gained much importance in Nigerian educational system, given the issues of finding solution to unemployment need for job creation, economic diversification and sustainable development. Nigerian government, in 2005 saw the need for a new functional curriculum for secondary school level of education. The old curriculum of secondary school education was found to be enamoured with some deficiencies and limitations. Orji (2012) observed that the existing secondary schools curriculum could not achieve the acquisition of functional literacy and numeracy, strategic commutation skills, and entrepreneurial skills. The old curriculum was also criticized for having no support for reducing poverty, creating jobs and wealth for graduates.
To improve the senior secondary school curriculum towards meeting the societal demand and finding solutions to the deficiencies in the old curriculum had made the National Council of Education (NCE), the highest policy making body in Nigerian education sector, to mandate the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to restructure and enrich the instant secondary school curriculum. The NERDC, therefore, developed a functional skill-oriented and values enriched curriculum for senior secondary education which was scheduled and started in September 2011 at a senior secondary level (SSS1). The introduction of 35 trade/entrepreneurship subjects was central part of the reform and restructuring of the old senior secondary education curriculum.
According to NERDC’s philosophy of the new senior secondary education curriculum (SSEC), every senior secondary education graduate should have been well prepared for higher education as well as acquire relevant functional entrepreneurship skills needed for poverty eradication, job creation, wealth generation and in the process, further strengthening the foundation of moral, ethnic, and civic values acquired at the basic education level.
Given the context above, entrepreneurship education for senior secondary school is considered as the training in any of the trade/entrepreneurship subjects which includes the ability and skill to put together all the factors of production to start and sustain a business. Based on the endorsement of NERDC (2008), all senior secondary students are to offer one of the compulsory core crossing- cutting subjects including English, Mathematics, computer/information communication technology and civic education. This implies that all students in Nigeria senior secondary schools, irrespective of their field of study, must compulsorily offer at least one trade entrepreneurship subject. The students should also register for (and be assessed in) at least one trade/entrepreneurship subject in public examinations (NECO, WAEC or NABTEB).
As a corollary to the above articulated situation, researchers and educators have started to raise questions and conducted studies regarding the effective implementation of the new curriculum. Although NERDC has embarked on sensitization programme to ensure effective implementation of the programmes, yet, the atmosphere is not yet cordial, relaxed and clement. Despite NERDC (2008) sensitization programmes, provision for strategic curriculum support and resources, people have continued to raise eye brows and to question the effectiveness of this curriculum. Significant among these, are the adolescents who apparently seem to share similar view concerning its implementation and its impact to their psychosocial life adjustments.
It is better to believe on what a person can do rather than personal judgments about one’s physical or personality attributes. It is also context-specific and varies across several dimensions, such as level, generality, and strength. The level of self-efficacy refers to its dependence on the difficultly level of a particular task, such as math addition problems of increasing difficulty; generality of self-efficacy beliefs refers to the transferability of one’s efficacy judgments across different tasks or activities, such as different academic subjects; strength of efficacy judgments pertains to the certainty with which one can perform a specific task (Zimmerman, 2012). Wikipedia the free encyclopaedia, (2015) also sees self-efficacy as the extent or strength of one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete task and reach goals. Hence, this study is set out to assess the influence of entrepreneurship education on senior secondary school students’ psychosocial entrepreneurial adjustment in Anambra State.
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