BUSINESS EDUCATION STUDENTS’ ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS ACQUISITION AND THE ATTAINMENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria, like any other developing country is highly sensitive to the need of providing vocational and technical education to her teaming population in order to equip them with saleable skills. The complexities of modern societies demand a type of education that can equip the individuals with knowledge that can make them highly functional. The National Policy on Education (2004) highlighted Nigeria’s desire to achieve her national goals through education; hence, the need for acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competence both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live and also contribute to development of the society. Business education is by nature almost totally economic-oriented, and its contribution is significant to the realization of the transformation agenda. One of the two aspects of business education, “basic business”, contributes to economic literacy and therefore to the general education of everyone. Basic business education is that broad area of knowledge that with a country’s enterprise system identifies and explains the roles of business a nation’s economic institution and provides content and experiences that prepare individuals for effective participation as citizens, workers and consumers in nation’s society (Osuala, 2009). Quality Business education is vital in the programme of services delivery in the economic vision of transformation agenda of Nigeria. While entrepreneurship education can turn around the economic fortunes of the country and reduce the poverty level (Olorunmolu & Olufunwa, 2008). Etonyeaku (2009) affirmed that business education has a formidable force that will equip individuals with appropriate skills, knowledge, abilities and competencies that will enable them to be self-employed and self-reliant which will lead to sustainable economic development. Business education is an aspect of vocational and technical education which is used as a term to refer to those educational processes involving the study of techniques, related sciences, acquisition of practical skills attitudes and knowledge relating to occupation in vocational sectors of economic and social life (Etonyeaku, 2009). While entrepreneurship education according to Olufunwa (2009) is a specialized training given to students of vocational and technical education to acquire the skills, ideas and managerial abilities and capabilities for self-employment rather than being employed for pay. In the same vein, Olurunmolu & Olufunwa in Ezemoyih, (2011) opined that entrepreneurship education is the type of education that involves the acquisition of skills, ideas and management abilities necessary for self-reliant, and can turn around the economic fortunes of the country and reduce poverty level.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
For many developing countries, development of entrepreneurial skills has been a powerful engine of economic growth and wealth creation, and is crucial for improving the quality, number and variety of employment opportunities for the poor. It has several multiplier effects on the economy, spurs innovation, and fosters investment in people, which is a better source of competitive advantage than other natural resources, which can be depleted. Acquiring entrepreneurial skills by business education students will enable them to create new enterprises, new commercial activities, and new economic sectors. They generate jobs for others; they produce goods and services for society; they introduce new technologies and improve or lower cost outputs; and they earn foreign exchange through export expansion or substitution of imports. According to (Abdullahi, 2008) for countries to accelerate their economic growth and development, it is necessary for them to build up critical mass of first generation entrepreneurs because development is now being linked more and more to entrepreneurs. It stands as a vehicle to improve the quality of life for individuals, families and to sustain a healthy economy and environment. This can lead to economic development and the advancement private enterprises.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine the entrepreneurship skills required by business education students in attaining a sustainable development.
2. To identify the factor limiting the development of entrepreneurial skills in business education.
3. To examine the role of entrepreneurship skill acquisition in sustainable development of Port Harcourt.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the entrepreneurial skills required by business education students in attaining a sustainable development?
2. What are the factors limiting the development of entrepreneurial skills in business education?
3. What are the roles of entrepreneurship skills acquisition in sustainable development of Port Harcourt?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
HO: Entrepreneurial skill acquisition plays no significant role in the sustainable development of Port Harcourt.
H1: Entrepreneurial skill acquisition plays significant role in the sustainable development of Port Harcourt.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Business education is a skill-based course which inculcates entrepreneurial skills in the recipient. Entrepreneurship on the other hand, deals with creative identification and utilization of business opportunities. This paper establishes that Business education has the potentials of promoting entrepreneurship in Nigeria since it could lead to the acquisition of skills for identifying viable investment opportunities, proper marketing, financial management, proper management and avoidance of business failure. The implication of this work is that, for Nigeria to encourage entrepreneurship, reduce unemployment and help the practicing entrepreneurs to be successful and achieve the aim of making their ventures to be going-concerns, Business education should be taken serious and highly encouraged; otherwise, the desire of Nigeria to encourage self-employment through entrepreneurship may end up as a mirage.
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study covers business education students’ entrepreneurship skill acquisition and the attainment of sustainable development.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Business Education: Is an aspect of Vocational and Technical Education, a specialized programme of instruction designed to provide individuals with knowledge, skills and attitudes leading to employability and advancement in office occupations as well as teaching business subjects
Entrepreneurship: The capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.
Skill Acquisition: Is the ability to be trained on a particular task or function and become expert in it.
Sustainable Development: Is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.