Background to the Study
Secretarial education is a vocational programme that is offered mostly in tertiary institutions, primarily to educate and train students to become secretarial teachers and administrators with the appropriate skills and competencies to take up careers in teaching, office occupation and business. According to Usman (2010) it is a vital tool in the hand of government to combat unemployment crisis, and also according to Ilo (2012) is a tool to alleviate poverty. Secretarial education is also very useful to private organizations and individuals in terms of employability, job creation and self-reliance.
As important and indispensable as this educational programme is, its existence in Nigerian institutions today is fizzling out gradually. It is keenly observed that many students nowadays do not opt for secretarial education programmes neither are they encouraged by their parents or guardians to make a career in secretarial education( Emeka,2013).
Secretarial education provides knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes needed for would-be secretaries to function well in office occupation and also be self-reliant. In support of this,Chukumezie (2011) said that secretarial education revolves around job skills, employability and self-dependency.
The history of secretarial education in Nigeria date back to the19th century when some Nigerian nationals in business partnerships with overseas exporters had to learn simple commercial subjects for the purpose of facilitating business transactions. Aliyu (2016), said that between 1940 and 1960, the missionaries, particularly the Roman Catholic mission, established commercial schools for training girls as secretaries. Aliyusaid that in 1955, the modern secondary schools were introduced to give pre-vocational business training and some leading commercial schools such as the Abett Institute, Sapele Christian Secondary Commercial College, Warri and subjects such as typewriting, shorthand, Office practice, Accounts/Bookkeeping, were offered. Today, this programme is being offered in Nigeria Tertiary institution and thereis needto employ strategies which will improve and enhance the programme the more and improve enrolment for this vocational education programme. It is against this background that this study isaimed at investigating the strategies for improving secretarial education programme in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.
Statement of the Problem
The objectives, theoretical and practical contents of the new educationalcurriculum(2013) are geared towards integrating students of secretarial education into the evolution of technology.The whole idea about educational reforms in Nigeria, is the desire to produce all round educated graduates that will be economically useful, and conscientious members of thesociety(Ike,2013). Thus, in secretarial programme is aimed at providing for the system, the type of teaching/learning situations that focus not on artifacts, but on public knowledge, skills, competencies and in reproducible ways. Omeje(2014) corroborated this when he maintained that secretarial studies curriculum contents should be so reformed (redesigned) in such a way that its graduates should be well equipped to beemployed and handle office secretarial duties efficiently thereby not only reducing unemployment but also creating employment.Unfortunately, the problem of using old strategiesfor improving secretarial education programme in tertiary institutions has failed to achieve the purpose of the new education curriculum due to the introduction of new technology in secretarial duties. This has created a gap in knowledge which this study is intended to bridge the gap.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to ascertain the strategies for improving secretarial education programme in Anambra State. Specifically, the study sought todetermine
- howoffice automation as a strategy can improve secretarial education programme.
- theways electronic technology as a strategy can improve secretarial Education programme.
- howorganized secretarial practical work as a strategy can improve secretarial education programme.
- howindividualized instruction technique as a strategy will improve secretarial education programme.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will benefit business educators(lecturers), secretarial students, curriculum planners, government/school administrators and future researchers.
Business educators(lecturers) in tertiary institutions will benefit from the findings of the study as the findingswill highlight the various strategies that can be used to teach secretarial programme in order to improve the teaching and learning of the programmes.
Secretarial students will benefit from the findings as the study findings will also enable them see the need of them to learn how to use modern office automation devices, electronic technology andother modern gadgets in order to help them become proficient in their field of study.
For curriculum planners, the findings of the study will enable them see the need for integrating these new strategies into the learning process of students in tertiary institutions.Government/ school administrator will benefit from the findings study of the as it study will make them see the need for providing the needed modern secretarial gadgets for the teaching and learning secretarialeducation programme. Future researchers, willbenefit from the findings of the study as it will serve as reference material for other related studies.
Scope of the Study
The study is delimited to the ascertainment of strategies for improving secretarial education programme in tertiary institutions in Anambra State. The study focused ontertiaryinstitutions and touched on such issues as office automation electronics technology practical work and individualizes instruction as strategies.
The following research questions guided the study
- In what wayscan office automation as a strategy improve secretarial education programme?
- What are the ways electronic technology as a strategy can improve secretarial education programme?
- In what ways canorganized secretarial practical work as a strategy improve secretarial education programme?
- In what ways can individualized instruction technique as a strategy improve secretarial education programme?