In its general conception, business education began in the form of apprenticeship. Going by the ethics of apprenticeship, an individual is required to learn a craft, trade, or other occupation under someone who has acquired the basics of that craft. During its infancy, business education required undertaking apprenticeship in crafts or other economic activities such as trade, farming, and bookkeeping. Meanwhile, there were variations in the length of training depending on the trade-in question. In some other cases, the length of training was determined by the apprentice’s tendency to acquire the skill early enough.
This meant the apprentice might not graduate from apprenticeship until he had mastered the rudiments of the skill, trade, or craft. After mastering the skill, the apprentice would earn the freedom to establish his own business based on what he had achieved during years of training. If it pleased him, he too might engage others to serve under him as apprentices.
BRIEF HISTORY OF BUSINESS EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Business education in Nigeria has its roots in the development of entrepreneurship. In its evolution, business education was not initiated by the Nigerian government. It rather came into being through the significant contributions of several Nigerian entrepreneurs. Notably, the key advocacy roles played by these entrepreneurs stimulated the Nigerian government to include business education in the academic curricula of Nigerian schools.
Business education can never be undermined in any business field. As a facet of education, business education provides individuals with the knowledge, skills, and competence they need to carry on their businesses –both small, medium, and large scale businesses. It is by far an indispensable aspect of education that inculcates in individuals, the knowledge of understanding business problems, and how to overcome them in the long run. Basically, business education may be subdivided into formal and informal aspects. Only little has been said about the informal aspect but the formal aspect is said to have emerged at the time a good deal of entrepreneurs influenced the Nigerian government to add it to the academic system.
In general, business education is an essential part of education as it encompasses the expertise, skills, and training people require to execute official tasks, especially in business-related activities. Owing to this, business education offers education in diverse fields such as business management, business administration, and office (occupation). By and large, business education paves the way for great benefits –one of these being its varied employment opportunities. As a professional in business education, you can be engaged in the labour market or simply work as a self-employed individual.
Business education covers primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education but special emphasis is laid on the tertiary level as it educates students in the professional skills they need to survive in any business environment. On a comprehensive note, business education entails entrepreneurship, vocational practices, teaching career, business understanding, office environment, etc.
Business Education in Nigerian Schools
Today, business education has become one of the core aspects of education students enroll in at Nigerian schools particularly in higher institutions. The reason for this is not far-fetched as business education comprises important courses including but not limited to Business Management, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and Business Administration.
In its modern definition, business education has been described as the academic field that provides students with the methods, strategies, fundamentals, and essentials required to do any business effectively. In Nigerian secondary schools, many students are taught subjects like commerce, marketing, accounting, and bookkeeping in order to prepare them for the advanced study of business-related courses at the tertiary level. Meanwhile, the expertise of these subjects prepares students for future endeavours in the business field.
Aims of Business Education In Nigeria
- To orient students on how to handle business challenges: Business education trains students in the best way they can handle business challenges whenever they set in. Every business comes with challenges which, at times, seem inevitable. With an expert understanding of business education, anyone can take business challenges in his/her stride. Moreover, it becomes easy to overcome these challenges and protect a business from the avoidable ones.
- To provide students with essential information about business start-up: Before any business is started, there are specific rudiments, guidelines or instructions that should be in place to avoid eventual business downfall or ineffective business management. In that case, business education offers the necessities that should guide anyone on how to start up a business and steer it towards lofty standards. Irrespective of the business type, the expertise of business education can provide the start-up basics and the strategies needed to place a business in the appropriate direction.
- To stimulate the growth of entrepreneurship: Business education offers the basic skills and adequate expertise required for the effective practice of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship tends to yield success only when its rudiments have been acquired and applied. To acquire these rudiments, aspiring entrepreneurs need to enroll in business education. In this regard, business education stimulates the growth of entrepreneurship as it teaches students the essentials, fundamentals, and strategies required to become successful entrepreneurs. In addition, business education will facilitate the growth of entrepreneurship by;
- Providing entrepreneurs with the skills required for financial management
- Helping entrepreneurs determine potential business opportunities
- Teaching entrepreneurs how to adopt proper marketing strategies
- Providing entrepreneurs with effective skills for business management
- To help students acquire the skills needed for office occupation: Office occupation is a vital component of formal business education. Therefore, business education offers the rudimentary skills required to handle office occupation effectively.
- To inculcate the basic skills for teaching business studies in students: Business education can be utilized as an effective tool for training students who are willing to further their teaching careers in business training. The knowledge of business education is very important as it will help students acquire the fundamentals they are required to have known before advancing in business teaching.
Problems of Business Education in Nigeria
- Lack of sufficient funding
- The poor conception of business education by society
- Insufficiency of instructional materials
- The inadequacy of curriculum content
That’s all about the brief history of business education in Nigeria.