Shorthand Problems As Perceived By Secretarial Students In Institution Of Higher Learning (A Case Study Of Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri, Imo State)

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Shorthand Problems As Perceived By Secretarial Students In Institution Of Higher Learning (A Case Study Of Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri, Imo State)


This research studied” is aimed at finding a survey of the factors responsible for students poor performance in shorthand in Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri, Imo State.

In search of the required information, the researcher administered questionnaires to 100 respondents that made up the population for this study.

The information gathered were presented in tables and analysed using simple percentage.

A number of factors were identified to be responsible for mass failure of students in shorthand.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

In Nigeria, there are many system of education that will be beneficial to citizens and the society in terms of job opportunities and self reliance. This system of education laid more emphasis on vocational course. Shorthand is a course in secretarial studies that leads to the acquisition off a particular skill and offer workers adequate self- expression, more opportunities for creative thinking and physical manipulation of modern equipments.

Shorthand is one of the main subject offered by secretarial studies department in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Unfortunately, many students of secretarial studies or business education (secretarial option) find the mastery of shorthand an obstacle to the realization of their educational ambition. In schools, the study of shorthand had been a difficult task to both students and lecturers.

The lecturer find it uneasy to impact the knowledge to the students while on the other hand the students find it difficult to master the art as to produce accurate transcription or get to the standard as many required of them.

Some of the shorthand problems as perceived by secretarial students institutions of Higher learning includes poor knowledge of English, bad type writers for transcription, bad cassette recorders lack of interest, poor ventilation, uncomfortable sitting arrangement and poor accommodation etc which should facilitate shorthand writing.

Lack of adequate teaching equipment and fear on the part of the students has promoted the researcher to carryout thus study with a view of finding solutions to these problems. Students treat short hand like every other object they only study it during examination periods and as such perform body. That reason for choosing shorthand maong other subject for this work is because of its importance to the business world and the society at large without adequate alternative.

In the secretarial professional upon which the researcher, will want to base this research, it has been discovered that many people choose the secretarial profession for one reason on the other.

Normally, people are enthusiastic and motivated to perform better in a course of study when they are aware of the benefit they will get from the study of such coruses like shorthand, typewriting, audio typing, transcription, computer operation and word processor manipulation.

Whatever be the motivated of the people for doing the course, they should bear in mind that it is very important that the basic shorthand and type writing that qualities anybody to be called a secretary must not be tossed to the wind.

Much has been said in recent years about the declining standard and disappointing examination results in shorthand whirl this may be some what exaggerated, lecturers are well aware that the performance of many students fall short of their potential example the result of federal polytechnic Nekede Owerri declined seriously in the year 2001 academic session, due to students inability to synthesize and retain what they had learnt in shorthand subject this being unable to deliver positive result and students negative attitude to the learning of shorthand or is it inadequate teaching of the course and lack of equipment material for study.

Despite the fact that shorthand plays a vital role in today’s business transaction, students in secretarial department have been finding it difficult to put performance of the students in the course subject shorthand.

Inability of the students to comprehend and concentrate when shorthand dictation is going on are all reason why difference in programem is to be expected.

Another factor that lead to poor performance in shorthand is the students poor background in English language because it implies to the students knowledge in the transaction from shorthand dictation.

Considering the above using listed factors shorthand is made up of the following contents:-

  • Vowels
  • Consents
  • Diphthongs
  • Trephines

This research work aims at finding out the causes poor performance of students in shorthand examination.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem:

Over the years, the general notion has been that shorthand is a difficult subject. It’s difficult nature is better imagined than described.

The general notion is a driving force which has led the researcher into the topic factors responsible for student’s poor performance in shorthand.

Some of the shorthand problems student encounter may include but not limited to:

  1. The negative or lack of interest of students towards shorthand subject has effect on the students performance.
  2. Teacher’s inability to use the appropriate methods in teaching the course.
  3. The teachers attitude towards the students outlines among others.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study:

The major purpose of this study is to find out the factors responsible mass failure in shorthand specifically, the study will find out:-

  1. Why students fall shorthand massively
  2. Whether students off today have interest in studding shorthand.
  3. Whether lecturers are qualified shorthand teachers.
  4. The suitability of the teaching methods used by the lecturers.
  5. What is responsible for the students inability to identify their outline.
  6. Whether lecturer attitudes encourages or discourage the students in studying and learning shorthand.

1.4 Significance Of The Study:

It hoped that the research findings will help to know how the students, lecturer, boss, society and institute will benefit if the problem of students poor performance in shorthand is rectified.

It would be significant t students as they will be able to take down minutes of letters in a very shorthand time in their office instead of using longhand in writing. This can make their work more easy and more accurate.

Lecturers can also benefit because they will have little work to do when making students scripts after examination believing that their students are good in the course.

Also, the boss will benefits if his/her secretary knows her job in the office and can take down notes within a short time and accurately or transcribe shorthand dictation after a meeting.

Secretaries need shorthand skills so as to be competent in performing his/her duties without constant supervision. A secretary that fails to perform well in his/her duties will not succeed.

1.5 Research Questions:

The following research questions will guide to study.

  1. What are the causes of student’s massive failure in shorthand
  2. How do students demonstrate interest in studing shorthand
  3. What are the qualifications of shorthand teachers? Shorthand
  4. What are the teaching methods used on teaching shorthand
  5. To what extend to students find it difficult to recognize their shorthand outline?
  6. What are the lecturers attitudes to shorthand students.

Chapter Five

Discussion Of Finding, Recommendation And Conclusion

5.1 Discussion Of Findings

From the analysis of the data collected for this study, the following finding have been made.

  1. Students perform poorly in shorthand because of lack of practice on their own.
  2. Negative or lack of interest of student towards shorthand subject is also having its effect on the students.
  3. The time allocated to the skill subject is not sufficient for effective teaching and learning of the subject.
  4. The inability of teachers to use the appropriate methods in teaching also pose a problem to the teaching and learning of shorthand.
  5. Teacher’s inability to use teaching aids makes the teaching and learning of shorthand uninteresting.
  6. Inability of teachers to give test and assignment also poses lack of motivation in learning of shorthand.
  7. Lack of qualified teachers to teach the course also poses a problem to students poor performance in shorthand.

5.2 Recommendations.

This research work will be in complete whiteouts appropriate recommendations, which will help to overcome the problems of teaching an learning of shorthand in our higher institutions.

Therefore the following recommendations are hereby made as a solution to some of the problems already highlighted in this discussion.

  1. Student should be given assignments and tests regularly and also assignments should always be marked with dispatch as the students would know where their errors lies. This make the students to be committed to regular practice.
  2. Efforts should be made by school authorities to recruit and retain the right caliber of staff that can teach the course effectively.
  3. Class attendance should be taken during shorthand class to monitor the performance of the teachers because some of them are using the school period for other business instead of the teaching for which they paid. The government should train enough specialists in this period so as to meet up with the teaching standard of this course.
  4. The institution authorities should provide teaching aids for effective teaching and learning of this course.
  5. The National Board for technical Education where necessary should restructure the institutions timetable and cause more periods to be allocated to shorthand.
  6. They should also encourage and motivate the students by taking them for field trips, to see secretaries at work and if possible show them films relating to them what they look like in future if they study this course successfully.
  7. The skill teachers should be awarded scholarship in order to motivate them.

The researchers is sure that if the above-mentioned recommendations are implemented, they will help to improve the higher institutions.

5.3 Conclusions

Observation shows that unless something is done immediately to the attitude of students towards the writing of examinations on shorthand in the institute, it will continue to dwindle and may finally lead to their non-existence.
The importance of shorthand was identified to include, among others, providing the youths with skills, knowledge and attitude necessary for the production of the nations wealth and inculcating in them desirable social and cultural behaviors.

Training of skill occupation should start at the institutions. Problems confronting the teaching and learning of shorthand include lack of instructional materials and facilities, staffing timetable constraints, bad environment and students negative attitude to the learning of shorthand.

Suggestions for improvement include the provision of qualified teacher adequate instructional materials and facilities, re-exanimation of the business studies syllabus in our institutions and the administration of aptitude as well as attitude tests on prospective students for skill occupations.

The recommendations given should be carefully looked into and necessary adjustments made to boots future performance of students in secretarial studies or administration.

5.4 limitations

Due to time factor ad also financial constraints, the researcher decided to limit the study to concentrate on the secretarial studies Department of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri .

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