Factors Influencing Students’ Performance In Shorthand (A Case Study Of Modern Ideal College CMIC) Abakpa-Nike, Enugu)

Project and Seminar Material for Office Technology and Management OTM

Project and Seminar Material for Office Technology and Management OTM


The study identifies many factors affecting students’ performance in shorthand, such as language teaching method, lecturers impact, students’ interest, technical factors and lack of dexterity (the ability to do something well); nervousness, emotional instability on the part of students, the payment of teachers’ salaries regularly and improvement on their conditions of service.The study shows the level of the effect of the factors on the students’ performance by comparing lecturers’ and students’ response to the question asked.It may be understood that shorthand is not exceptionally difficult. It is just like other subjects as revealed by the study though the complaints from the students and public said it is difficult.

The study finally revealed the possible means and ways of helping the shorthand writers, mostly the beginners who are desirous of enrolling for shorthand either for vocational or personal use or both.

Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgment
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope and limitation of the study
  • 1.7 Definition of terms
  • 1.8 Organization of the study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 sources of data collection
  • 3.3 Population of the study
  • 3.4 Sampling and sampling distribution
  • 3.5 Validation of research instrument
  • 3.6 Method of data analysis

Chapter Four

Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation

  • 4.1 Introductions
  • 4.2 Data analysis

Chapter Five

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation
  • Appendix

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The 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 required.

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 skill. 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.

1.2 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.

  1. Personal factors
  2. 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

1.3 Objective of the Study

The major purpose of this study is to find out the factors responsible for student’s mass failure in shorthand

Specifically, the study will find out:

  1. To ascertain Why students fail shorthand massively
  2. To ascertain whether students of today have interest in studying shorthand.
  3. To ascertain if the lecturers are qualified shorthand teachers
  4. To ascertain the suitability of the teaching methods used by the lecturers
  5. To ascertain what is responsible for the students inability to identify their outlines
  6. To ascertain whether lecturer’s attitude encourages or discourages the students in studying and learning shorthand.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: students of today do not have interest in studying shorthand.
    H1: students of today have interest in studying shorthand.
  2. H02: lecturers are not qualified shorthand teachers
    H2: lecturers are qualified shorthand teachers

1.5 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 remedy it.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers factors influencing student performance in shorthand writing. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.

1.7 Definition of Terms


A circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result.


Having an obligation to do something or having control over or care for someone, as part of one’s job or role

Poor Performance:

Poor performance is an issue that worries managers and employees alike. It is of concern to senior managers because it is a measure of how effectively the organization is led.


Shorthand is an abbreviated symbolic writing method that increases speed and brevity of writing as compared to longhand, a more common method of writing a language.

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain survey of the factors responsible for student poor performance in shorthand writing

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the survey of the factors responsible for student poor performance in shorthand writing

5.2 Summary

This study was on survey of the factors responsible for student poor performance in shorthand writing. Six objectives were raised which included: To ascertain Why students fail shorthand massively, to ascertain whether students of today have interest in studying shorthand, to ascertain if the lecturers are qualified shorthand teachers, to ascertain the suitability of the teaching methods used by the lecturers, to ascertain what is responsible for the students inability to identify their outlines, to ascertain whether lecturer’s attitude encourages or discourages the students in studying and learning shorthand . In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Enugu State polytechnic. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up heads of departments, lecturers, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

5.3 Conclusion

Labeling the subject as difficult has influenced the students negatively towards the subject hence greatly contributing to continued poor performance in the subject. Teachers have immensely contributed to developing a positive attitude in the learners towards the subject by believing in their potential.

5.4 Recommendation

  1. The aims and objectives of teaching/learning shorthand should be re-assessed in view of technological advancements.
  2. A study of the secretaries’ actual performance in the job market is necessary. This would help to find out whether shorthand is truly useful in the day to day running of the organization or it is actually obsolete.

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