FACTORS INFLUENCING STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN
SHORTHAND. (A CASE STUDY OF MODERN IDEAL COLLEGE CMIC)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the study
Statement of problem
Purpose of the study
Significance of the study
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Historical background of shorthand
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
CHAPTER FOUR: ANALYSIS OF DATA
Finding, conclusion, recommendation, areas for further research and summary
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
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
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
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
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
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
PURPOSE OF THE 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.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
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
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?
DEFINITION OF TERMS
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
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
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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