EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING BACKGROUND AND GENDER ON STUDENTS‟ PERFORMANCE IN PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTS IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-CENTRAL STATE, NIGERIA

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EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING BACKGROUND AND GENDER ON STUDENTS‟ PERFORMANCE   IN PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTS IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-CENTRAL STATE, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the effect of accounting background and gender on students‟ performance in principles of accounts in colleges of education in North –Central State of Nigeria. To carry out the research, five research questions were raised to guide the study while, five hypotheses were postulated and tested at 0.05 level of significant.Quasi experimental design was used for the study. Six hundred and sixty-two (662) NCE 1 Business Education Students of Federal College of Education in North-Central State were used as population of the study and two hundred and sixty one (261) students of Federal College of Education Kontogora were purposively selected as the sample size for the study. Pre-test and post- tests were used as primary data for the study. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the answers to research questions while, z -test was used to test all the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The results of the study showed that accounting background had significant effect on performance of students in Principles of Accounts. This is because P-value is lower than 0.05 level of significance. Thus, null hypothesis 1, 3 and 4 were rejected. The study further showed that female students with good accounting background out-performed their male counterparts in principles of accounts. This is because the z-calvalue of 2.686 was higher than z-critical value of 1.96 thus, Null hypothesis 5 was rejected. Based on these findings it was concluded that students with good accounting back ground perform better in accounting courses at tertiary level. It was therefore recommended, among others, that National Commission for Colleges of Education should make a credit in O‟level accounting as minimum entry grade for admission into Business

Education programme and guidance and counseling programmes should be organized by secondary schools authorities for students on the need to develop interest in financial account, because it will provide them with insight and skills that will enable them perform better in future accounting courses.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

      1.1       Background to the Study

Educationplays a significant role in shaping the character of individuals and contributes immensely to the transformation of every society. Education has been identified as the key to sustainable development, peace and stability of any economic system. It is for this reason that education is viewed as the fundamental right of all the members of a society, irrespective of their culture, gender, and social status. Engin- Demir (2009) believes that education represents a major form of human resources development. He further states that human resource development is determined by the availability and quality of education. Thus, this constitutes an underlying basis upon which material development is built.

Business education is one of the programs usuallyoffer in the school or faculties of Vocational and Technical Educationand are intended to prepare students in different areas of vocational teacher education. Accounting, which is an integral aspect of business education, is the process of systematic recording and managing financial transaction.. According to Cronbach (2003), accounting was developed in response to the development of trade and commerce during the medieval times. The first accounting recordings were made in Italy, and accounting practice has changed very little over many hundred years of its usage. For example, it is noted by Olayiwola (2007) that the concepts of liabilities, assets, income, expenses and the need to reconcile these areas are still the basis for all accounting functions today. Learning to effectively understand and maintain all accounting information is today taught to prospective individuals through accounting and book-keeping.

Accounting and Book keeping are the process of identifying, measuring, classifying, recording, and communicating economic information about an organization or other entities in order to permit informed judgments by users of the information. In the business world, accounting is seen as one of the disciplines of study that all persons should have regardless of the job position they hold because it concepts can be applied to all job specializations. Accounting involves the recording of money in terms of cash flows (inflow and outflow) between or within economic entities. Accounting is something that affects people in their personal lives, just as much as it affects small and large businesses. People use accounting informations when planning what to do with their money, how much to spend and how much to save.

The importance of accounting lies in the fact that it is applied in all field‟s of job specialties. Secretaries use accounting skills to manage the company‟s cheque books and petty cash books. Auditors have to study financial statements to evaluate the accuracy and integrity of the business. Executives also need to judge the success of their businesses. Companies also require some basic knowledge of accounting to avoid financial Mis-management. People use accounting information and principles to make investment decisions, assess interest rates to pay off their house mortgages, and calculate rates for payments in the business world. Accounting is utilized in much greater depth because each individual encounters some activities in his/her everyday life that requires knowledge of accounting principles. Based on this, Ibrahim (2011) opined that all business students should have some background knowledge of accounting since in recent years, in the business world, people are held more accountable for their financial

practices.

Accounting principles are important to guide individual in processing accounting data. Omolehinwa (2007) observed that these principles form the basic fundamentals which guide accountants in recording, appreciating and assessing accounting information as well as the preparation and interpretation of financial statements. He further stressed that it is because the accounting information system is based on principles that are widely and globally used, proven, time-honored, and universally understood that accountants in one part of the world are easily understood by their counterparts in other part of the world.

Teaching and learning of accounting at the colleges of education is done under the business education programme. The Accounting education students start learning accounting with principles of accounting course. The Principles of accounts is a core course for Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) I business education students. The course is basically designed to introduce newly admitted students of business education to double entry principles, books of original entry (cash book and the journal) and the accounting equation. In addition, the course introduces students to the books of the sole trader up to his final account (the trading, profit and loss account and the balance sheet). The course generally ends with introduction of students to simple adjustments in the books of the sole trader.

The success or otherwise of teaching principles of accounts, and all other accounting courses in business education, is normally determined through students‟ academic performance. Students‟ academic performance according to Ibrahim (2011) can be referred to as what students achieve in their studies and how they cope with or accomplish different learning experiences given to them by their teachers. He also reported that educational institutions‟ success is measured by students‟ academic performance or how well students‟ meets the standard set by

institutions.

Historically, the accounting profession has been a male-dominated one. Recent changes in women career pursuit have seen the feminist perspective to accounting increasing. Many researchers have studied the effect of gender on performance of students. However, the study showed mixed results. For instance, Asaolu, (2002)reported that gender significantly affect students‟ overall performance. On the other hand, Malgwi (2006) reported that gender was not a significant factor in determining students‟ performance. The variation may be as a result of the difference in time of need to continue to investigate the effect of gender on students‟ academic performance in accounting from time to time since variation in time may give different result.

Blake and Gowthorpe(2008) found out that students‟ prior knowledge in economics was a significant factor in their improved performance in economics at higher level of study.Studies have also linked students‟ academic performance to solid prior knowledge of the subject matter or good educational background (Cheesman,  Simpson, Wint ,2006). The implication here is that students who have studied accounting during their secondary school may perform better than those that are not exposed to such background knowledge. However, how true this assertion is depends on investigations, and that is what informedthe reseacher to carry out thisstudy.

      1.2       Statement of the Problem

Admission into business education course in colleges of education in Nigeria is guaranteed when a student has successfully completed his/her secondary school sat and passed the senior secondary school certificate exams conducted by both either National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) with five (5) credits in English, Mathematics, and anythree relevant courses such as Accounting, Commerce, Office Practice, Marketing, Economics areas of others.(Engin-Demir, 2009). The assumption is that a student who has credit pass and above in accounting will perform well especially in principles of accounts which is the basis of the accounting courses.  

Despite the fact that many students pass with credit and above, which qualifies them to be admitted intobusiness educationprogramme, the researcher‟s preliminary investigation  had revealedthat performances of businesseducation students in accounting has not been impressive in the last ten years especially in the area of accounting subjects.For example records from

Federal College of Education, Zaria show that the average students‟ performance in Principles of Accounts was 46% in the years 2005/2006 session, 44% in the 2006/2007 session, 43% in the 2007/2008 session, 42% in the 2008/2009 session, 40% in 2009/2010, 42% in 2010/2011, 43% in 2011/2012, 45% in 2012/2013 and 48% in 2013/2014 session. Also in Federal College of

Education ,Okene, Kogi State. The performance of students in the principles of accounting was

47% in 2005/2006 session, 48% in the 2006/2007 session,46% in 2007/2008 session, 45% in

2008/2009, 44% in year 2009/2010 session, 47% in  year 2010/2011 , 45% in year 2011/2012, 46% in the year 2012/2013 and 49% in year 2013/2014 session. These results are below average.

When the reseacher interacted with the lecturers  on the possible causes of poor performance in Principles of Accounts, majority of the lecturers were of the opinion that it was due to poor or  lack of accounting background while others said studentsappeared not to have found bookkeeping and basics accounting easy to study.

The researcher indicated that some of the students she interacted with were of the opinion that lack of prior knowledge in accounting was why they found it very difficult to learn accounting while others felt it was lack of interest, age, and gender differencesamong others.Based on the views obtained by both staff and students about the factors which may be regarded as authentic in relation to these views, the researcher in knowing the disposition of  towardsaccounting. It seems from all the points stated so far that there is no agreement among scholars on this issues which aroused the problem.

      1.3       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to investigate the effects of Accounting backgroundand their gender onstudents‟ performance in Principles of Accounts in Federal Colleges of Education in North-CentralState, Nigeria. The Specific objectives are to;

  • determinethe effect of passin „O‟levelaccounting on students performance in principles of account in Federal College of Education in North-Central State, Nigeria.
  • assessthe effect of fail in „O‟level accounting on students performance in principles of

accounts in Federal College of Education inNorth-Central, State Nigeria.

  • determinethe effect of pass in„O‟level accounting on female students ‟ performance in principles of account inFederal College of Education in North-Central State, Nigeria.
  • establishthe effect of pass in „O‟level accounting on male students‟ performance in

principles of accounts inFederal College of Education in North-Central State, Nigeria.

  • determinethe differences between the performance of female and male students who passed „O‟level accounting, in principles of accounts in Federal College of Education in North-Central State, Nigeria.

                   1.4 Research Questions

The study sought answers to the following research questions formulated from the specific objectives of the study and with specific focus on North-Central State of Nigeria.

  1. What the effect is of pass in „O‟level accounting on students‟ performance in principles of accounts in Federal College of Education in North-Central State, Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of fail in„O‟level accounting on students‟ performance in principles of accounts in Federal College of Education in North-Central state, Nigeria?
  3. What is the effect of „O‟level accounting on female students‟ performance in principles

of accounts in Federal College of Education in North-central state, Nigeria?

  1. What is the effect of „O‟level accounting on male students‟ performance in principles of

accounts in Federal College of Education in   North-central state, Nigeria?

  1. What is the difference between the performance of male and female students who passed

O‟level accounting, in principles of accounts in Federal College of Education in North-

Central State,Nigeria?

      1.5       Research Hypotheses

The researcher tested the following null hypotheses in the course of this study.

  • There is no significant effect of pass in O‟level accounting on students‟

performance in Principles of Accounts in Federal College of Education inNorthCentral State, Nigeria.  

  • There is no significant effect of fail in O‟level accounting on students

performance in Principles of Accounts inFederal College of Education in  NorthCentral State, Nigeria.

  • There is no significant effect of „O‟level accounting on female students‟

performance in Principles of Accounts inFederal College of Education in  NorthCentral State, Nigeria.

  • There is no significant effect of „O‟level accounting onfemale students

performance in Principles of Accounts in Federal College of Education in  NorthCentral State, Nigeria.

  • Significant difference does not exist between performance of male and female

students who passed O‟level accounting, in Principles of Accounts in Federal

College of Education in North-Central State, Nigeria.

1.4Significance of the Study

It is expected that the findings of the studies should be relevant to the following:

accounting education students, teachers, school administrators, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders in education research. Through publications and seminar these people will benefit from the study.

Firstly, it is hoped that the accounting educationstudents will use the findings of the study to understand the effect of their prior accounting knowledge on their future performance in accounting courses. This will to a greater extent stimulate their interest in developing a solid background knowledge relating to their future studies.

Secondly, teachers will also utilize the findings of this study to understand the implication of students‟ prior knowledge in accounting on their future performance in accounting courses. Also the teachers will use the findings of the study to appreciate the need to adopt teaching strategies that would help students with or without prior accounting knowledge to perform better in accounting courses.

Thirdly, both school administrators and regulatory agencies such as National University Commission (NUC), National Board of Technical Education (NABTE), National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), will find the results of this study useful in re-emphasis the need for an accounting entry qualification for students seeking admission to study accounting or accounting relating courses at out tertiary institutions. The school administrators and the above stated agencies especially NCCE which is the regulatory body of the Federal College of Education (FCE) will find the results of the study useful in taking decision relating to maintaining the current accounting entry qualification or improving on it for admission into NCE Business Education (Accounting).

Finally the findings of the study will add to the existing body of knowledge and research work on the effect of student‟s prior knowledge on the future performance in accounting. Therefore, it is hopeful that the research work will serve as reference material for further scholastic enquires or investigation.

      1.7       Basic Assumptions of the Study

The following basic assumptions are made for the purpose of the study:

  • All students who passed their O‟level accounting will not differ in their performance in Principles of Accounts.
  • Female and Male students who passedtheirO‟level Accounting will not differ in their performance in Principles of Accounts.
  • Female students who passed their O‟level Accounting will perform better than male students who passed their O‟level Accounting in Principles of Accounts.

      1.8       Delimitation of the Study

This study was delimited to one out of three Federal Colleges of Education offering Business Education programme in North-Central State, Nigeria. This is because the  researcher  does not have the chance to carry out the whole target population as far as experimental study is concern and also because the institutions have the same curriculum, funding, system of operating and situated in the same zone.  The study was further delimited to NCE 1 students in the selected institutions. The choice of this is because it is at this level that students study Principles of Accounts, In addition, this will enable the researcher to have students of the same year of entry, similar classroom management and different background in accounting. Also the work will be delimited to final accounts of a sole trader with minor adjustment such as arrears, prepaid, provisions and depreciation. This is because the topic is part of syllabus of first accounting course of N.C.E 1 in Federal Colleges of Education. The researcher also compared the performance of female and male students who passed O‟level accounting and their performance in Principles of Accounts.

EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING BACKGROUND AND GENDER ON STUDENTS‟ PERFORMANCE   IN PRINCIPLES OF ACCOUNTS IN COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN NORTH-CENTRAL STATE, NIGERIA

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