Key words: Business studies, Business/office management.  

INTRODUCTION 

The technological innovations and dynamism that characterise business organizations today has left institutions of higher learning with an ever increasing need to produce man-power that would adequately fit into business offices today and perform optimally.  The test of the success of an academic programme in business/office management is the excellent performance of the ‘products’ of such programmes expressed in their ability to effectively use modern technological facilities to process and manage information and records, manage and control people and business activities in the office.  This may not be the case with our Office Technology and Management programmes, as there has been a constant expression of worry and complain among stakeholders over the poor performance of students in business/office management programmes in Nigeria (Oyedele, 2000; Ibogbami, 2000).  This is evident in the deteriorating quality of graduates rolled out of these departments yearly, as majority of students going through the courses of study and/programmes do not come out with required competence and skill, flooding the ‘labour market’ with unemployable graduates. (Bustan 2012).   This is no longer a period just for ‘pen pushers’ but a time when people who possess the necessary skills and knowledge in business and office careers are required in business offices.

Various Researchers have identified the causes of poor performance among graduates and undergraduates in business and office management programmes,  some of these causes include, poor learning environment, over flooded classes, attitude of teachers, poor funding, lack of necessary facilities and equipment, poor power supply, poor attitude to learning exhibited by students, sorting and examination malpractice, lack of interest shown by government and management of schools in these career areas and lots more, (much as the researcher agrees with these numerous factors as possible causes of poor performance of students in business and office careers,  there remains a salient factor, ‘the state of pre-tertiary business studies in Nigeria’,  which is hardly discussed but may be a  major cause of poor performance in this field of study. 

The Basic business studies programme is one programme at the upper basic level of education in Nigeria (junior secondary school), that is very vital and key to so many professional courses in business/office management courses at the tertiary level.  Business studies is taught as an academic subject at the secondary school level in a lot of other countries, such as: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Sweden, Tanzania, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. (Bustan 2012).

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