Document Sample


                            ABAKPA-NIKE, ENUGU).

                               TABLE OF CONTENTS






Background of the study

Statement of problem

Purpose of the study

Significance of the study

Research questions


Historical background of shorthand


Research design


Questionnaire administration

Interview/discussion session



Finding, conclusion, recommendation, areas for further research and summary
                                 CHAPTER ONE



      Shorthand is a very old course of study. Isaac Pitman spent more than fifty

(50) years studying and improving on shorthand system. Other scholars and expert

writers made their own contributions to improve shorthand. To many people

throughout the world, shorthand system serves as a means of livelihood. It is used

during meetings in the courts of Justice and other offices where fast recording is


      Kanu (1993) shorthand is a system of writing which is based on the science

of phonetics that is related to articulated sounds2. It appears prominently in the

curriculum of secondary/commercial schools. It has been considered as an

important commercial subject on which business and management revolve in

recent time. It is unique because it is the act of writing symbols that represent

sounds. As a result of the importance of secretaries in the organization, the Federal

Government has created more secondary and commercial schools.

      For sometime the Modern Ideal College (M.I.C) Abakpa – Nike has

recorded a low rate of successful turnover of its students. Only very few of the
students who were admitted in the school could be able to finish in the school

because of shorthand. They saw the subject (shorthand) as a very, very hard

subject. Also most of the students and house helps whom their madam’s mission is

just to complete the agreement with the parents of their housemaids. Most of them

do not give them enough time to read because the subject needs time to need

constant study so that the person will learn it very well.

      Despite today’s technological development, shorthand is still being taught

for both personal and vocational use. The former as a means of keeping one’s

confidential matter in record form of security and safety from third party as well as

for the sake of knowing it while the later is to earn a living in a world of work.

Note that” in modern times, shorthand has been the tool of many men who rose to

prominence. Presently, shorthand has assumed prominent in realization of this,

             “Shorthand is till very much in and demand in the business world; and

             this is because most business executives and top government

      Officials in Nigeria as well as other parts of the world are well aware of the

need of a secretary with shorthand skill can save them time and money”.

      Skill subjects have peculiar characteristics that must be demonstrated by the

learner. It only not emphasizes the psychomotor, but cognitive and effective
domain since knowledge is a pre-requisite to acquiring skill. Talking about

shorthand skill, Oladunjoye says “these people (business executive and

government officials) are willing to pay high salaries for those with the skill3.

      From the above, undoubtedly, shorthand has become an important skill in

the modern business world and will continue to occupy a prominent position

getting information needed by management and clients recorded at a fast and

accurate speed.

      If shorthand is a skill subject, it must be learned as a skill subject. Skill

acquisition and autoimmunization is far more than intellectual exercise. Skills must

be over learned to the point that they can be exercised when something else is

uppermost in the situation of the learner – otherwise hen are not skill. Therefore,

      “The test of any skill is the ability to

       use it, not the knowledge a person

      may have about it. If a student knows how to form shorthand outlines

      correctly according to rule but cannot take dictation because he has not

      mastered shorthand”.

Though, intellectualization is a basic for autoimmunization, the later is the goal

skill course. Therefore, shorthand skill must skill be automatized and not
intellectualized. The extent or level to which this should be has been established by

various examination bodies and institutions of learning in consultation with the

business community. Since shorthand has been in the Nigerian secondary school

curriculum for sometimes the Royal Society of Arts (R.S.A) (now WAEC)

NABTEB/NECO) and pitman professional bodies have been responsible for

certification until some years back when polytechnics colleges of education and

some courses in their curriculum and has been turning out graduates – NCE, ND,

HND, B.SC, B.ED. etc. Despite the increase in number of schools now offering

secretarial course, and renewed interest of students in enrolling for the programme,

the performance rate has been encouraging. This was attested to by student taking

shorthand examination from professional bodies who have been recording a high

sounding failure rate.

      The same applies to full-time students in our institutions of learning. The

need thus arises to identify the various factors that influence students performance

in shorthand.

         From general observation, students perform poorly in shorthand.

         The reason for the poor performance could be classified into two factors

could be classified into two factors.

   -        Personal factors

   -        Instructional factors

   (1)      Personal factors: Some students are psychologically defeated right from

            day one in the department. This mostly occurs when students take to the

            course as a last resort. The general belief by such students is that they can

            never do well in the course. The major problem is not that the students

            have such psychological problems but how to cure them of such problem

            and this is one of the principal reasons for this study. Other problems that

            fall for this study. Other problems that fall under this category are the

            students’ inability to define their personal goals, lack of interest, lack of

            adequate writing materials, lack of concentration and poor hearing, and

            irregular attendance to shorthand lectures.
   (2)   Instructional factor:- In most schooling offering secretarial courses,

         dearth of shorthand instructors which is a strong factor affecting the

         teaching of shorthand stands out. This being the case, performance is

         bound to be poor because most of the course may not be well informed or

         equipped academically to impart the required knowledge. And this

         confirms the saying that ?No education system can rise above the quality

         of its lecturers”. Therefore, it becomes a problem to train the trainer that

         should fill the vacuum created by the dearth of instructors.

   In additional to this there is the problem created by lack of instructional

materials such as the recorded cassettes, and relevant textbooks. In most cases,

students don’t regard this as vital instruments for good performance in shorthand

where they are available.

   These and may other problems constitute the problems for this study


   (1)   To find out the causes of students’ inability to conquer shorthand.

   (2)   To find out students’ perception, that is the ability or factors affecting

         their performance in shorthand

   (3)   To make recommendations based on the findings.

   The importance of this study is to enable both students and the lecturers as well

as the general public to be aware that shorthand is not difficult to comprehend,

learn and teach. It is a skill that is easy to acquire if some adverse (unfavourable)

factors are identified and well handled and treated.

   Consequently, the project work will help the students to identify their areas of

weakness in the course and try to make immediate remediation, that is those

lacking behind to cheer up. It will be helpful to all those who aspire closing desire)

to attain high speed in the “wizard art” of pitman shorthand. This study will be

helpful for all those who wish to work in all areas of human endeavour like:

   -      Law offices, assembly offices, government offices and business offices

   The question here is to whom would the result of this study be useful?

       Of what value would the outcome (the result of an action) of the study be to

   the students, lecturers, institutions and the education system.

       It is hoped that the result of the study would enable the learner and those

   concerned with secretarial education, to know the various factor that flight

   against the good performance of students in shorthand. The result will also

   show the performance spread of model ideal college, Abakpa – Nike Enugu.
     The study will help the educational planners or educational administrators

and secretarial lecturers to identify those factors that cause the problems that are

falling shorthand students and as a result, equip them with the skills required to

remedy it.


For the purpose of this study, the following questions were used:-

1.      Could poor background knowledge of English have any effect in the

        learning of shorthand?

2.      Could lack of training materials contribute to the problem of learning of


3.      Why is shorthand the most problematic subject for these students?

4.      Do lecturers contribute to the problems of these students?

5.      are students performance being influenced by some factors

6.      Why are there mass failure in shorthand?

7.      What are the acceptable performance level expected of students of pre –

        ND, ND, HND, B.SC; and B.ED at the end of their course?

8.      Is shorthand really beyond human comprehension?
9.      How long does it take one to get mastery of shorthand?

10.     What are the most effective methods in the teaching of shorthand?

11.     What efforts have lecturers of shorthand in the institutions made to

        alleviate (to ease) students poor performance in shorthand?


Shorthand:- This is defined as the art of representing spoken sound with

written sign. It can be also defined as any method of writing that allows the

individual to increase the speed of visual record of language.

Personal: This refers to knowledge acquired for private and individual use


Vocational: This refers to knowledge acquired with the aim of using it in the

world of work in order to earn a living.

Performance:- This refers to level of attainment of student in the art of

learning shorthand.

Practicing secretaries:- This refers to those individuals who earn their living

through the application of skill they already acquired towards the economic

growth of the country.
   Skill:- This refers to all activities that acquire control, physical movements to

   be made under guidance of the mind.

   Limitation:- Due to the fact that the researchers are faced with serious time and

   financial constraints, the study could not be extended to secondary and

   commercial and comprehensive schools. Again, due to logistic problems, ex-

   students of secretarial profession could not be located within the period the

   study covers.

      This notwithstanding, the findings of the study will be generalized to all

   institutions offering shorthand and all students and all students of shorthand in


Delimitation:- The study is carried out among the students of modern ideal

college, Abakpa – Nike, Enugu.

      The purpose is to determine the factors that are consulting their problems in

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