A Survey Of The Factors Responsible For Student Poor Performance In Shorthand Writing

Project and Seminar Material for Secretarial Administration

A Survey Of The Factors Responsible For Student Poor Performance In Shorthand Writing


The study is aimed at finding a survey of the factors responsible for students poor performance in shorthand in polytechnics in Enugu. In search of the required information, the researcher administered questionnaires to 133 respondents that made up the population for this study. The information gathered were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentage. A number of factors were identified to be responsible for mass failure of students in shorthand. They include, Inadequate preparation on the part of students before examinations, lack of interest in shorthand on the parts of students, poor background of students in English language among others. Based on the findings, the study recommended among other that the government should provide the institutions with necessary equipment, introduce motivational incentives to lecturers and students, encourage authors to publish adequate textbooks on shorthand and make sure that all the necessary shorthand textbooks are available in all the libraries in the country.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

In Nigerian, 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 courses. Shorthand is a course in secretarial studies that leads to the acquisition of 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 has been a difficult task to both students and lecturers.

The lecturers 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 problems encountered by the students of shorthand include poor knowledge of English, bad typewriters 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 prompted the researcher to carry out thus study with a view of finding solutions to these problems. Students treat shorthand like every other subject, they only study it during examination periods and as such perform badly. The reason for choosing shorthand among 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 profession upon which the researcher, will want to base this research, it has been discovered that many people choose the secretarial profession for one reason or 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 courses like shorthand, typewriting, audio typing, transcription, computer operation and word processor manipulation.

Whatever be the motivate of the people for doing the course, they should bear in mind that it is very important that the basic shorthand and typewriting that qualifies 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 while this may be some what exaggerated, lecturers are well aware that the performance of many students fall short of their potentials example the result of Institute of management and Technology, Enugu declined seriously in the year 2001 academic session, due to students inability to synthesize and retain what they had learnt in shorthand subject thus 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 and materials for study.

Despite the fact that shorthand plays a vital role in today’s business transaction, students in secretarial department have beem finding it difficult to put more interest in the course of shorthand which has lead to poor 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 progress is to be expected.

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

Considering the above listed factors, shorthand is made up of the following contents

  • Vowels
  • Consonants
  • Diphthongs
  • Trip hones

This research work aims at finding out the causes of 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. Its difficult nature is better imagined than described.

This 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 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. Lack of qualified teachers to teach the course
  3. Teacher’s inability to use the appropriate methods in teaching the course
  4. The teachers attitude towards the student
  5. Inability of the student to identify shorthand outlines among others.

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 whetherlecturer’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

It is hoped that the research findings will help to know how the students, lecturers, boss, society and institute will benefit if the problem of students poor performance in shorthand is rectified.It would be significant to students as they will be able to take down minutes or letters in a very shorthand time in their office instead of using longhand in writing. This can make their work easier and more accurate. Lecturers can also benefit because they will have little work to do when marking student scripts after examination believing that their students are good in the course.Also, the boss will benefit 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.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the survey of the factors responsible for student poor 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


Examine and record the area and features of (an area of land) so as to construct a map, plan, or description.


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. But people in organizations do not always feel their organization tackles poor performance appropriately a hard nut to crack.


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. The process of writing inshorthand is called stenography, from the Greek stenos (narrow) and graphein (to write)

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 ofEnugu 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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