Causes Of Students Poor Performance In Typewriting And Shorthand

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Causes Of Students Poor Performance In Typewriting And Shorthand


This study – student’s poor performance in shorthand and typewriting – causes and suggested remedies – A comparative study of three selected educational tertiary institutions in Enugu College of Education Metropolis was undertaken with a prime objectives on how to improve student’s poor performances in shorthand and typewriting. This focus is in the areas of taking down notes speedily as well as transcribing and producing accurate neat work in both academic and office works. It is also meant to create awareness on the usefulness of shorthand and typewriting in day-to-day activities in all aspect of the economy. In order to get genuine facts and information, related literature were reviewed, eliciting views and opinions of different specialists and experts. In addition, some selected institutions were sampled and a total of 100 copies of the questionnaires were administered to both students and lecturers. During the course of research, some problems were identified which range from students attitude towards the subjects, inadequate knowledge of the use of English Language, lack of concentration, inadequate equipment and improper representation of shorthand outlines insufficient guidance and counseling. The researchers are therefore of the view that all the recommendations outlined in chapter five of this study such as the authorities of every institutions making effort to provide the students with adequate shorthand and typewriting facilities, if accepted and implemented will help to reduce and or solve the students poor performance in shorthand and typewriting subjects generally.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

According to American Encyclopedia International (1956:356), “shorthand has come a long way from the days when dictation was taken by making signs on clay tablets or stones. Greeks and Egyptians used shorthand in speed writing contents, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries John Robert Cregy Published shorthand boot light Inc phonograph (1888) and sir Isaac Pitman (1837) together with other inventors of shorthand books, brought about the recognition of shorthand all over the world. As human beings tend towards civilization, the need for effective communication cannot be over emphasized, communicating with one another has been found to make the world move round communication as Herbert (1976 :53) said is the act of transferring meaning or knowledge from one persons to another, (the link, 1992). All human organizations live by communication. Without communication no organization can exist or survive for it, it is the tool of management and co-ordination. It is almost a general consensus that the various changes in technological advancement in form of recording, writing and processing can only complement the duty of a confidential secretary in matters of urgency and acute necessity. It does not follow that these media per se can fully substitute the work of confidential secretaries hence the drive for shorthand writers, typists and secretaries in all aspects of business world.

Shorthand is the art of writing rapidly and legibly by means of characters or signs in place of the conventional letters or worlds. The oxford English Mini Dictionary (1995) defines shorthand as “a method of writing rapidly with quickly made symbols”. It is said that shorthand is one of the cornerstone subjects of business education system of shorthand, were based on the alphabetical spelling of words, in contemporary shorthand, which are generally phonetic and based on speech, sounds, dateline circles, dashes and other easy way to write characters for recording sounds, syllabus and phrases frequently used. There are many inventors of shorthand namely Sir Isaac Pitman, Thomas Allen, Emily D. Smith (B. Sc) to mention but few.

Sir Isaac Pitman invented the art of representing spoken sound phonographic in 1837. Isaac Pitman found out that letters could be written faster in shorthand than in longhand, the purpose of pitman shorthand is the most widely used international system today because the pitman’s involves a lot of memory load in its mastery, a modified system known as the pitman 2000 shorthand is gradually being adopted by most colleges of education and other tertiary institutions at present to make shorthand much easier and enjoyable to master and apply. Thus Emily D. Smith (B Sc) Economics and holder of the unparalleled speed of 250 words per minute also contributed her quote to the development of shorthand writing.


Typewriting is a mechanical (both manually and electrically) ways of transcribing shorthand and other manuscripts into readable and neater form, making use of the keyboard devices. The first known functional manual typewriter was invented by Christopher Sholes 1920. Even though it was the deficiency of typing only in capital letters yet the credit of first typewritten document went to him. The manual typewriter as the name implies, is the type of typewriter that is manually operated without the use of electricity. It has keyboard, which contains letters, A – Z, figures 0 – 9 and other functional keys which causes resultant effect as other keys when depressed.

Electric Typewriter:

The International Business machine (IBM) was the first producer of electric typewriter in 1934. Three different types of electric typewriters are:

  1. Standard type: Bar Electric typewriter.
  2. Single Element typewriter. It was first introduced into the market by IBM electric in 1961. Both alphabets, figures and special symbols are embossed on the face of the sphere.
  3. Proportional: Spacing typewriter. The machine produces copy that closely resembles print of materials

In essence, both shorthand and typewriting are subject in secretarial studies or administration. Shorthand is a subject of its own that is meant to take down spoken words as fast as possible. It deals with sound rather than the actual longhand English spelling of words. Typewriting deals with speed and accuracy in operating the keyboards, efficiency in using the machine for the production of neat and properly arranged words for effective communication. It also deals with mastering of a mass of related technical information and improvement of the learner’s language skills. The skill attainable by a given student depends on his innate learning ability motor coordination, aggressiveness, and many other personal characteristics.

The functions of shorthand and typewriting have become inevitable to business organization, law courts, legislative proceedings, public office and conferences some experts, court reporters have been known to exceed 150 words per a minutes and this enhances the speed of proceedings in the law courts. In our legislative houses, shorthand reporters have now replaced the services of electronic recording equipment previously thought to be used. The knowledge and grasp of the theory and practice of shorthand writing argument a journalists reportorial competence. The federal government of Nigeria recognized this need and in order to encourage confidential secretaries made provision for payment of allowances respectively to typists and confidential secretaries as far as they perform their duties effectively and efficiently.

Shorthand and typewriting have rendered themselves useful for both vocational and private purposes and they play important roles in the duty of many professionals both within and outside business education. Shorthand and typewriting are used by many writes and individuals in the execution of their work. Shorthand and typewriting have become to Nigerians and universal business world what yeast is to flour to make it rise.

1.2 Statement of Problems

The researchers are worried that if the students do not acquire the basic skills in learning typing and shorthand; it will definitely affect their performance.

Secondly they cannot perform effectively in an office with modern technological equipment like computer.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of the study is to investigate the causes of student’s poor performance in typewriting and shorthand specifically the study tends to:

  1. State the origin of typewriting and shorthand.
  2. Highlights to importance of typewriting and shorthand
  3. Investigate the cause of student’s poor performance in typewriting and shorthand.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The finding of this study will be of much benefit to secretarial students in the colleges of education in Enugu metropolis, to business education and other researches. Basically the significant of the study includes

  1. The study shall help to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the business education in teaching typing and shorthand.
  2. The study will help the secretarial students to know the various methods of learning ways of improving their performance
  3. The study will also help to enlighten the general public to know the importance of typing writing and shorthand in the world of business.

The data collected form the three selected colleges of education such as:

  1. Federal College of Education Eha-Amufu.
  2. Enugu State College of Education (Technical)
  3. National College of Education Nsukka

Shall be used to asses the extent of student’s poor performance in shorthand and typewriting subjects.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. What are the causes of students poor performance in shorthand and typewriting
  2. To what extent are shorthand and typewriting relevant in vocational education?
  3. To what extent are relevant of shorthand and typewriting in modern technology.

1.6 Definition of Terms

In shorthand and typewriting, there are certain terms which have special meanings and which if not defined may be misinterpreted by the readers such concepts as those listed below are used.


It means the act of using a typewriter to produce documents such as letters, memo. It can also be referred to as a mechanical way of writing which results to extra copies of a manuscripts being produced.


This is manual or electrical machine used by the typist or secretary to facilitate the job in a clear and neat appearance.


It means any speech (combination) of sound vowel and consonant should writer several times to represent a word or phrases to be mastered and in order to facilitate fast writing.


This is the art of joining two or more word together without lifting the pen/pencil.

Words Per Minutes:

This means the number of words shorthand writer or typist can write or type correctly in one minute.


It means reading out passages for the shorthand writer to fit down as quickly as possible.


It means writing out shorthand note into English language.


This means handwritten passage which the typist is expected to produce in a neater copy with the aid of typewriter.

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