Curriculum is the backbone of all learning institutions that are anchored on all learning experiences provided in the curriculum which sustain learning programmes run in schools. These learning experiences are the knowledge, ideas and skills that reflect the society’s aspirations, values, beliefs and norms. It is the sum totals of activities which are planned and directed by the school for the attainment of educational goals (Offorma & Ofoefuna, 2009) . Every well planned curriculum is characterised by its ability to achieve objectives, flexibility to accommodate changes and its relevance to the needs of the learners and the society. It is also characterised by its ability to be evaluated. Strickland and Aitchison (2012) conceptualized curriculum as a vehicle that aids institutions in delivering their agendas and priorities. That is, curriculum is seen in terms of process and product and as the driving force supporting such a successful delivery. Many worthwhile curriculum plans have failed at the implementation level not because they were not well planned but how they were executed.
Curriculum implementation is a key stage in curriculum process that takes place at the classroom level. Asebiomo (2009) , Ogar and Awhen (2015) described this stage as crucial because it is the interactive stage of curriculum process which takes place in the classroom through the combined efforts of the teachers, learners, school administrators and parents. It is the stage that the effectiveness of the designed curriculum is also determined. The way the curriculum is implemented influences its degree of success or failure (Ben-Yunusa, 2008; Chaudhary & Kalia, 2015) . A curriculum that is well-planned ought to succeed at the implementation stage but most often failures arise at this stage because certain factors override the implementation process. Osam (2013) , Emah (2014) and Offorma (2014) outlined these factors as the roles of the learners, teachers, society and philosophy of education among others. Alan and Cheung (2012) further identified other factors to include: lack of learners’ interest, shortage of materials and facilities, use of wrong teaching methods, inadequate government support, teachers’ qualification and experiences. In another view, Oviawe (2017) faulted the failure of any curriculum implementation on the planners as the teacher is exempted from the planning stage while the curriculum is being imposed on him to implement and that usually causes problems. Curriculum implementation cannot succeed without referring to the roles of teachers, government, school administrators, parents and learners as the sole stakeholders. Ben-Yunusa (2008) observed that, if the teachers are untrained or unwilling to implement the curriculum plans, the desired success cannot be attained. Hence, a successful curriculum implementation process requires personnel, facilities, instructional materials, good administration and teaching methods (Saidu & Saidu, 2016) . This is also a requirement for the implementation of GST entrepreneurship education in the universities.
Entrepreneurship came to lime-line in Nigeria because of the need to redirect the educational system for relevance and for national growth and development from what used to be known as colonial system of education. The Nigeria school curricula since independence has been until in recent times was criticised of void of entrepreneurship education hence the dire need to include entrepreneurship education in the schools curricula across the three tiers of education; the primary, secondary and higher institution. Entrepreneurship education was then introduced in the Nigerian schools including the universities education. Ossai and Nwalado (2012) observed that the curriculum of tertiary education has not properly included philosophy of self-reliance that is, the value of dignity in work and self-discipline have not been encouraged in the learners that would promote new sets of attitudes and culture for the attainment of future goals especially in entrepreneurship.
In view therefore, the introduction of General Studies (GST) entrepreneurship education in the Nigerian universities was to redirect education for relevance and quality. The university curriculum is not different as its curriculum in the past was faulted to be oriented towards making graduates suitable only for white collar-jobs (Jimah & Unuighbokhai, 2011) . General Studies are core courses which are compulsory for all undergraduate students irrespective of their areas of specialization. The inclusion of entrepreneurship education in GST programme was to enable students to acquire entrepreneurship skills in order to explore business opportunities in their different fields of specialization to create jobs for themselves.
Hence, GST entrepreneurship education was to develop in undergraduate students entrepreneurship skills by equipping them to start and run enterprises successfully. It is designed to be a re-orientation from take-a-job mentality to make-a-job mentality. The undergraduate students are to gain the skills to become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute significantly to economic development of the country through job creation. To this end, GST entrepreneurship education has been implemented in all federal, states and private universities in Nigeria for close to a decade from its inception under two major phases. The phase one was to be taught in 200 levels which was to provide the theoretical knowledge while the phase two was to be taught in 300 levels which was to provide the practical skills by the universities.
Entrepreneurship is seen as a vehicle that fast-tract economic development in nations. Many developed nations have acquired economic development through investing in entrepreneurship. This is to say that, a lot of benefits has been attached to entrepreneurship education which worth investing in it. Ojeifo (2012) Echu, Goyit and Dakung (2010) , Arthur, Hisrich, and Cabrera (2012) , Akpan, Effiong and Ele (2012) , Abegunde (2013) and Durowoju (2014) outlined such benefits as: reduces rural-urban migration, reduces poverty and generates employment opportunities. It also increases productivity through innovation and facilitates transfer and adaption of technology. To a great extent, encourages economic dynamism in line with rapid changing in global scene as well as encouraging individuals to use their potentials and talents to create wealth for themselves and the society.
Consequently, most of the graduates of Nigerian universities are still roaming the streets seeking for job opportunities even when they had undergone training in entrepreneurship education. Students who had gone through these courses are expected to demonstrate their interest in becoming entrepreneurs by maintaining even small trades while they are still on campuses. In addition, students are to exhibit their entrepreneurial thinking capacity by designing their future business plans to be actualized after graduation. These evidences would convince anyone that the programme is achieving its objectives. It is surprising that most of these students after graduation are unable to be self-employed. Studies have shown that the implementation of entrepreneurship education has been constrained by challenges. Akarue and Eyovwunu (2014) and Imeokparia and Ediagbonya (2013) outlined these challenges as: teachers heavy workload, ineffective use of teaching methods, untrained and incompetent teachers, inadequate understanding of the curriculum by teachers, inadequate instructional materials and infrastructural facilities, poor funding, and lack of students interest. Also, Essien (2014) posited that poor business environment in Nigeria has generated entry barriers to new firms and has discouraged young entrepreneurs who are proactive and innovative.
Therefore, these challenges may be responsible for the failure in the implementation process thereby underscoring most of the universities graduates of aimlessly roaming the streets of the major cities. To this effect, many have become victims of social vices such as drug addiction, prostitution, arm robbery, terrorisms and all its likes as unemployment remained hiked up. Hence, the study evaluates the implementation of undergraduate GST entrepreneurship curriculum in federal universities in north central geo-political zone, Nigeria.
The purpose of the study was to determine the extent of compliance of federal universities in implementing GST entrepreneurship curriculum and ascertain the level of the undergraduate students’ achievement of the objectives of GST entrepreneurship curriculum. It was also to find out the methods of implementing GST entrepreneurship education and assess the professional qualification of the GST entrepreneurship lecturers in implementing GST entrepreneurship curriculum.
The study was guided by the following research questions:
1) To what extent have the federal universities complied with the implementation of GST entrepreneurship curriculum of undergraduate students?
2) What is the level of the students’ achievement of the GST entrepreneurship objectives?
3) What are the methods used in implementing GST entrepreneurship education for undergraduate students?
4) To what extent are the lecturers professionally qualified for the implementation of GST entrepreneurship education?
The following null hypotheses were tested at alpha 0.05 level of significance.
1) There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of directors on federal universities’ compliance in the implementation of undergraduate GST entrepreneurship education among the federal universities in North-Central Geo-Political Zone, Nigeria.
2) There is no significant difference in the mean ratings of lecturers on methods of implementing undergraduate GST entrepreneurship education among the federal universities in the study area.
This study used survey research design specifically the cross-sectional survey research design. Choosing this design allows the researchers to use a portion of the population to describe the characteristics of the population. The population of the study consisted of all the all 400 level undergraduate students who had undergone GST entrepreneurship education, all the seven GST directors and GST entrepreneurship directors and all the 59 GST entrepreneurship lecturers in the seven federal universities in North Central Geo-political zone in Nigeria. The population of the students was obtained at 25,085 distributed across the different faculties in the five federal universities. The sample for the study comprised of five GST directors, five GST entrepreneurship directors, 29 entrepreneurship lecturers and 1826 final year (400 levels) undergraduate students. A multistage sampling technique was used to determine the sample of the study. The sample size of the students was drawn from the population using the Yamane (1967) formula. Thus, the universities were grouped into clusters and the sample size of the students was obtained from the five universities as; A, B, C, D and E with their population 4500, 4861, 3500, 2763 and 9463 students respectively. Their sample sizes were: 367, 369, 358, 349 and 383 undergraduate students respectively in that order. The sample size for the directors was purposively sampled as each university has one director each for General Studies and GST entrepreneurship education. Accidental sampling technique was used to sample the lecturers as that allows the researchers to obtain data on only those respondents the researchers come in contact with during the period of the study. The instruments for data collection were Undergraduate General Studies Entrepreneurship Curriculum Implementation Questionnaire (UGSECIQ) items.
The questionnaire was divided into: Undergraduate General Studies Entrepreneurship Curriculum Implementation Questionnaire for Directors UGSECIQD, Undergraduate General Studies Entrepreneurship Curriculum Implementation Questionnaire for Lecturers (UGSECIQL) and Undergraduate General Studies Entrepreneurship Curriculum Implementation Questionnaire for Students UGSECIQS. The UGSECIQD gathered data on universities’ compliances in implementing GST entrepreneurship education while UGSECIQL gathered data on methods used by lecturers for implementing GST entrepreneurship curriculum and UGSECIQS gathered data on students’ achievement of GST entrepreneurship education. Each of the questionnaires was sub-divided into sections and raised statements against five options which were ticked by the respondents. The instruments were subjected to three experts’ judgment on content validity. The experts checked the appropriateness of each instrument in measuring the content coverage. The experts were senior lecturers from curriculum, test and measurement and management science. The experts’ report commended the instruments to have good quality to generate data for the study.
Internal consistency was established for the entire questionnaire using Cronbach Alpha. A pilot study was conducted on two federal universities that were not among the sampled universities. The strength of the relationship was tested using correlation coefficient and a result of 0.890, 0.901 and 0.957 for directors, lecturers and students questionnaires respectively was obtained. The study used descriptive statistics which employed the use of frequency tables, mean scores, standard deviation, and simple percentages to answer the research questions. In answering the research questions, all the means scores from each statement were compared with a criterion mean of 3.0 computed from the aggregate of 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 15/5 = 3.0.
The hypotheses were tested using data obtained on the mean ratings of directors on compliances of universities and lecturers’ mean ratings on methods of implementing GST entrepreneurship education were used to test the two hypotheses using ANOVA. The analysis was done through statistical application SPSS version 21.0. Decisions were taken based on the p-value at alpha 0.05 level of significance.
Table 1 presents the results of federal universities’ compliance with the implementation of GST entrepreneurship education. The table shows that the universities complied with the directives of National Universities Commission (NUC) for the implementation of the GST entrepreneurship education as shown whereby, most of the means scores were highly above the criterion mean of 3.0 except for items 15 and 16 responses show that the directors refuted the statements that the universities were yet to be provided with competent staff and equipment for the implementation of the GST entrepreneurship education as shown for the means of 2.50 and 1.90 respectively. This means that the universities have competent staff and equipment for the implementation of the GST entrepreneurship education.
Table 1. Means of directors’ responses on universities’ compliances in implementing GST entrepreneurship education.
The table further shows that the universities did not comply with the NUC directives on allowing students to go on internship and the payment of their stipends as shown on items 19 and 20 with the means scores of 2.60 and 2.90 which were below the criterion mean of 3.0. This implies that the students did not enjoy the opportunities to participate in internship to perfect the skills they had acquired to enable them practice after graduation. Since students did not go on internship, the universities did not also pay their stipend as that was supposed to take care of their transport fares among others.
Table 2 shows the responses of students’ achievement of the objectives of GST entrepreneurship education. The Table reveals that the students’ responses showed that most of the objectives of the programme were achieved. On the teaching of courses one and two were achieved whereby in items 1-12 were achieved as indicated with their means scores above the criterion mean of 3.0. This means that the students showed mastery of courses one and two of the GST entrepreneurship education. Table 2 also shows that the students’ means on items 12-18 were less than the criterion mean of 3.0 indicating that students were not given opportunities to participate in internship, paid stipends to augment their transport fares nor had a friendly and a well-equipped entrepreneurship centres among others.
The responses on the table further show that students did not meet face-to-face with guest speakers and successful entrepreneurs. This is an indication that the skills taught were not perfected as students did not go for internship. The entrepreneurship centres are not conducive to enhance learning as they are not equipped with facilities. Also students are not entrepreneurially inspired as the teaching did not allow them the opportunities to meet face-to-face with successful entrepreneurs and guest speakers to hear of their business experiences.
Table 3 shows the responses of lecturers on the methods used in teaching the GST entrepreneurship education. In interpreting this table, items 1-15 showed that the methods raised were always used by the lecturers in teaching GST entrepreneurship education with their means scored highly above the criterion mean of 3.0. This means that the methods were maximally used in teaching GST entrepreneurship. Also the table reveals that, items 15 and 27 had their means scores at 3.00 and 3.10 which are slightly above the criterion mean of 3.0. This showed a slight difference in the means scores of the directors and students responses on items 19 and 13 with means scores of 2.60 and 2.81 respectively as shown on Table 1 and Table 2. Since the differences are not significant, it then means that the students did go for internship and were also not paid their stipend which was to support their transport fares during internship among others. Table 3 further reveals that the universities’ entrepreneurship centres are yet to be provided with other competent staff to maintain the workshops as shown on item. The finding further reveals that, the entrepreneurship centres are underfunded and there was no equipment to teach the practical aspect that would help the students acquire the necessary skills that will enable them practice after graduation.
Table 4 presented the percentages of lecturers’ qualifications. The responses of the lecturers revealed that, 28% of the lecturers had master’s degree and 24% had doctorate degree in business administration. The table also shows that 14% of the lecturers had master degrees in economics as well as 14% in accounting. The remaining percentages of the lecturers’ qualification spread across other entrepreneurship related fields. This implies that most of the lecturers have the knowledge of the content and qualifications to teach the GST entrepreneurship education in the universities.
Table 2. Means of students’ responses on level of achievements of GST entrepreneurship education objectives.
Table 3. Means of lectures’ responses on methods of implementing GST entrepreneurship education.
Table 4. Percentages of lecturers’ responses on professional qualifications.
Table 5 shows a one way between-group analysis of variance conducted to explore the difference in the mean rating responses of administrators in implementing the undergraduate students GST entrepreneurship education in the federal universities. The respondents were divided into five groups (University A, B, C, D & E). The result showed that F (4, 24) = 5.49, P < 0.05. Since the P value of 0.003 was less than 0.05 level of significance the null hypothesis was rejected and conclude that a significant difference exists in the rating of administrators in implementing the undergraduate students GST entrepreneurship education in the federal universities. The post-hoc comparison using Scheffe test revealed that the mean scored for FUT Minna (mean = 79.60, SD = 4.22) was significantly different from Uni. Ilorin (mean = 78.50, SD = 5.32), FUA Makurdi (mean = 68.25, SD = 7.34), Uni. Jos (mean = 68.00, SD = 6.83) and Uni. Abuja (mean = 63.38, SD = 9.02.
Table 6 reveals a one way between group analysis of variance conducted to explore the difference in the mean rating responses of lecturers on the methods of implementing undergraduate GST entrepreneurship education in the feral universities. The respondents were divided into five groups (University A, B, C, D & E). The result revealed that F (4, 24) = 1.56, P > 0.05. Since the P value of 0.218 is greater than 0.05 level of significance the null hypothesis is retained, and concludes that no significant difference exists in the rating on the methods of implementing undergraduate GST entrepreneurship education in the feral universities.
Table 5. One-way analysis of variance of universities’ compliance in implementing GST entrepreneurship education.
Table 6. One way analysis of variance of methods used by lecturers for implementing GST entrepreneurship education in federal universities.
The results of findings on directors responses on the federal universities’ compliance with the implementation of the GST entrepreneurship education showed that the universities had highly complied with most of the implementation processes as spelt out in the curriculum. This was evidenced in almost all the items, their means were highly above the criterion mean of 3.0. Thus, the result concurs with the finding of Mugimu and Mugisha (2013) that, curriculum educators had complied in implementing the curriculum antecedent in terms of the process. The findings also showed that, the federal universities had not complied with some implementation processes especially, that of not allowing the students to participate in internships and payment of students’ stipends as shown in the responses on items 19 and 20 with means scores of 2.60 and 2.90 which were below the criterion mean of 3.0. This implies that the students did not perfect their chosen entrepreneurship skills through internship. This result was not expected because these universities had implemented the programme for close to a decade. One would have expected that all these universities would have had all the needed human and material resources for the implementation of this programme and would have had one accreditation or more before now. However, it may be concluded that the universities do not have sufficient funds to pay the students’ stipend hence denied them the opportunity to participate in internship. Consequently, this is in line with the finding of Ugwoke, Basake, Diara and Chukwuma (2013) who stated that the major constraint of the implementation of entrepreneurship education is inadequate funds for the procurements of facilities and materials among others.
Furthermore, the finding on students’ achievement of the GST entrepreneurship objectives revealed that both the theoretical and practical aspects of the GST entrepreneurship education curriculum taught to 200 and 300 levels students respectively were mostly achieved. This is shown in the means scores which were mostly above the criterion mean of 3.0. It then means that the students were taught both the theoretical and the practical skills of the GST entrepreneurship education. This result is surprising because most of these graduates are roaming the streets from one organization to another seeking for employment opportunities. This agrees with Offorma (2014) and Ivowi (2014) who posited that, the behaviour of the learners must show the evidence of the achievement of the objectives. That is, students who had acquired entrepreneurship skills should be active in managing their own enterprise and not still seeking for employment as they themselves are supposed to be employers.
In addition, the finding further revealed that, students did not achieve the objectives raised on items 13-18. This implies that the students did not to go for internship nor were they paid their stipend which was to assist them during the internship period. This result was expected because there is a general outcry of poor funding of many programmes in the university system. This result buttresses what Bashir (2015) stated that poor funding are some of the challenges faced in the implementation of entrepreneurship education. It is a well-known fact that it would be difficult for universities to function well without being well funded. Without the adequate funds it is obvious that the compliance of universities with the implementation procedures of the GST entrepreneurship education would not be effective. Hence, lecturers should not be blamed for assessing students only through written tests and exams. This agrees with the finding of Jimmy (2010) that, teachers never had time to field lessons but relied on test
The finding on lecturers’ methods of implementing GST entrepreneurship education revealed that, the methods raised as recommended in the curriculum were always used by the lecturers to teach GST entrepreneurship education. These methods were, theoretical teaching, practical teaching, writing business plans, narration by guest speakers, visit to a nearby established enterprise, using documentary of established entrepreneurs/ enterprises, written exams, presentation of group projects and students going on internship among others. All these methods used had their means scored above the criterion mean of 3.0. Notwithstanding, if the lecturers always used these methods, there is no doubt that the students would graduate with the necessary entrepreneurship skills to practice. This finding agrees with Ogar and Awhen (2015) that, a successful implementation of entrepreneurship education involves the adoption of appropriate pedagogical strategies and methods. It is not surprising that some methods used in the teaching GST entrepreneurship education by the lecturers are faulty and can hardly achieve objectives though their responses did not show that. This agrees with the findings of Akarue and Enyovwunu (2014) , Ifedili and Ofoegbu (2011) , Mkala and Wanjau (2013) who said that the methods used by teachers influence the implementation of entrepreneurship as some of the methods are ineffective and porous as a result of some challenges faced by the lecturers. This may be the reason why most students could not practice the skills acquired after graduation.
Also, the finding further agrees with those of the directors and students’ responses that stipends were not paid to the students. This is so because the universities are underfunded as discussed earlier in relation to directors and students responses. Hence, this has continuously contributed to why most students are not able to practice any skill after graduation. This finding concurs with the opinions of Arthur, Robert, and Carbirera (2012) , Ugwoke, Basake, Diara, and Chukwuma (2013) , Akarue and Eyovwunu (2014) and Bashir (2015) who said that poor funding and inadequate equipment are major challenges faced in the implementation of entrepreneurship education.
The finding on lecturers’ professional qualification for implementing GST entrepreneurship education as observed in their responses from bio-data. The finding revealed that the lecturers were qualified to teach as most of them possessed higher qualifications in the related fields. Their higher qualifications are the expectations of good knowledge of content and methods of delivery. This finding conforms to that of Thomas and Olugbenga (2012) , Fakeye (2012) , Omotayo (2014) , Musau and Abere (2015) and Yusuf and Dada (2016) who confirmed that teachers qualifications has significant contribution to students’ academic achievement. This view disagrees with the finding of Park (2008) and Jimmy (2010) who explained that, teachers did not have the training and understanding to teach entrepreneurship education.
More so, the finding on the differences in the mean rating of directors in compliance with the implementation of the undergraduate GST entrepreneurship education showed that F(4, 24) = 5.49, P < 0.05. Since the P value of 0.003 is less than 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected and concludes that a significant difference existed in the mean rating of directors in compliance with the implementation of undergraduate GST entrepreneurship education in the federal universities. This means that the compliances of the universities were not the same as some complied while some did not. Thus, the finding contradicted Mugimu and Mugisha (2013) result which revealed that, curriculum educators complied with curriculum antecedents in its implementation process.
Similarly, the result obtained on the differences in the mean rating of lecturers on the methods of implementing the undergraduate GST entrepreneurship curriculum among federal universities revealed that there is no significant difference existing in the mean rating of the methods used lecturers for implementing undergraduate GST entrepreneurship education in the five groups (University A, B, C, D & E). The result revealed that F(4, 24) = 1.56, P > 0.05. Since the P value of 0.218 is greater than 0.05 level of significant, the null hypothesis is retained. This means that the lecturers followed the methods as spelt out in the curriculum that would lead to the achievement of the objectives of the programme. The finding of Mkala and Wanjau (2013) supported this finding that the methods used by teachers in teaching influenced the implementation of entrepreneurship education.
Based on the results of the findings of the study, it was concluded that the federal universities are underfunded and thereby are faced with the challenges of procuring adequate learning materials and facilities that would enhance the implementation of the GST entrepreneurship education. Also, due to the shortage of funds, the universities could not afford the cost of paying students’ stipends and hence denied them the opportunity to go for an internship. As a result of these challenges, the implementation has not been effective to equip students with the necessary skills to practice after graduation.
1) It was recommended based on the finding that the universities management through the National Universities Commission (NUC) to collaborate with Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Petroleum Trust Funds (PTF) and Tertiary Educational Trust Fund (TET-Funds) to access funds to sponsor entrepreneurship education programme of the universities.
2) Also, universities management should collaborate with successful private entrepreneurs within its vicinity and outside for sponsorship of entrepreneurship activities in the universities by so doing will reduce underfunding of the programme in the universities.
Suggestions for Further Studies
1) Studies should be conducted in the same area of study to evaluate the level of the availability of facilities for the implementation of GST entrepreneurship education in the federal universities.
2) Similar studies should also be conducted on the state and private universities in the same geopolitical zone, Nigeria to find out the level of compliances of the universities with the implementation procedures as recommended in the entrepreneurship curriculum.