Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)

Research Article: 2017 Vol: 23 Issue: 2

The Role of Entrepreneurship Education in Secondary Schools at Further Education and Training Phase

 

Chinaza Uleanya, University of Zululand

Bongani Thulani Gamede, University of Zululand

Keywords

Curriculum, Entrepreneurship Education, Foundation Phase, Further Education and Training.

Introduction

Entrepreneurship education has become very important for people who want to pursue career in business fields. Technological advancement appears to be the direction pursued by main countries. South Africa as a country needs an economic science and entrepreneurship curriculum that is skills-based and career-orientated as the corporate industries needs workers who are in possession of appropriate entrepreneurship skills. Technical and vocational education is used as a comprehensive terms referring to those aspects of the educational process involving, in addition to general education, the study of technologies and related sciences; and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes; understanding and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economic and social life.

Further Education and Training (FET) phase in schools play an important role in developing a knowledgeable and skilled citizen who is able to contribute effectively to the social and economic development of a country. It is important to ensure that FET phase education relate to real world skills which are required by the public and private sectors. Social and economic growth of a country relies heavily on the development and maintenance of a viable, responsive and effective FET phase.

There are many challenges facing post-school education in South Africa. Despite many advances and gains made since 1994, the system continues to produce and reproduce gender, class, racial and other inequalities with regard to access to educational opportunities and success.

According to Kerry and Tollitt-Evans (1992), no-one can avoid gender issues when discussing the matter of equal opportunities. With multicultural issues the matter is more variable: some colleges will have a strong and varied racial mix, but in some there will be so few learners from ethnic minority groups that it will be possible to retreat into an unacceptable position. One of the greatest challenges facing the system is the large number of young people who face a very bleak future if major changes are not introduced, the researcher hope that these inequalities will be addressed if entrepreneurship is developed and well managed in Further Education and Training (FET) phase in secondary schools. Equally important, the post-school system is not meeting the needs of the economy and society as a whole. According to the Green Paper (2012) its aims is to align the post-school education and training system with South Africa?s overall development agenda. This will allow the post-school education and training to contribute more effectively to the goals of inclusive economic growth and development and to contribute towards reducing unemployment and poverty in the country.

In KwaZulu-Natal, some Further Education and Training (FET) phase schools offer entrepreneurship subjects to economic and management (commercial) learners only. There is a great belief that if entrepreneurship programmes are taught to all FET learners in any courses that they registered for that would be of great value to the country.

Entrepreneurship education has become very important for FET learners who are doing either woodwork, welding, motor mechanics, graphics, engineering design and others.

This study is driving to a point whereby the Department of Basic Education and Training allow all learners in FET phase to do entrepreneurship

The researcher feels that the education that does not empower learners to participate actively in the growth of the country?s economy fails to meet the country?s economic objectives which are:

1. Economic growth

2. Fair distribution of resources

3. Full employment

4. Favourable Balance of payment.

5. Price stability

The advances that have taken place in technology mean that human resources need also to be advanced, as Nieman and Nieuwenhuizen (2008) observed that many tasks that were done manually are now mechanised. The researcher strongly believes that the economic growth of the country depends on people who possess productive entrepreneurship knowledge.

Conceptualising Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship education can be defined as the purposeful intervention by an educator in the life of the learner to impact entrepreneurial qualities and skills to enable the learner to survive in the world of business. According to Erasmus, Loedoff, Mda and Nel (2006), entrepreneurship education is a structured formal conveyance of entrepreneurial competencies, which in turn refers to the concepts, skills and mental awareness used by individuals during the process starting and developing their growth orientated business ventures.

Entrepreneurship education is described as a form of education which aims at raising individuals who are capable of starting new business (Timmons, Eisenman & O?Conno, 2015). They further opine that it is increasingly advertised as the premise upon which economies of the world can experience development and sustainability. Rwigema and Venter (2004) view entrepreneurship as the process of conceptualising, organising and launching a business opportunity into a potentially high growth venture in a complex and either stable or unstable environment. Entrepreneurship is described to stabilise through innovation and adequate nurturing. From the above definition four key components can be deduced, they are: manageability, organisation, integration of resources and outcome of opportunity.

By manageability, it means that entrepreneurship involves a process which is expected to be manageable and managed by an individual. Organisation implies that the individual who is regarded as entrepreneur is expected to be able to strategically establish the market place where there was nothing before. Entrepreneurship also requires innovation by uniquely integrating the required resources together in order to provide the desired value(s) provision of the desired values is referred to as the outcome of an identified opportunity (Spady, 2006).

Luthje and Frank (2002), agree that positive relationship exists between education and business creation. According to Schramm (2006) entrepreneurship should be learnt in all FET phases. Kuratko (2003) earlier opined that the motion to inculcate entrepreneurship education at all FET phases was taken by many tertiary institutions in the United States of America, Europe, East Asia and Latin American in order to design and implement relevant entrepreneurship teaching programmes. On the contrary, Tomkins-Bergh and Miller (2015) aver that the inclusion of entrepreneurship education at FET phases has not yielded success as expected due to three (3) major reasons known as:

• Poor definitions of context and goals of entrepreneurship education programme

• Lack of competition, as entrepreneurship education programmes seem distinct in their nature

• Poor research which uses methodologies that truly ascertain the effects of an intervention

Yang (2016) in support of the points highlighted by Tomkins-Bergh and Miller (2015) states that entrepreneurship education fails to thrive due to students? lack of conviction as well as teachers? perception and orientation of the programme. He further explains that entrepreneurship programmes seem to be failing because students believe that there are many things to do, hence are convicted on the actual one to be done. Moreover, teachers seem to perceive and treat entrepreneurship education programmes as being knowledge based, whereas, it is expected to be action oriented.

In addition, European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2016) suggests that quality and well monitored strategy need to be put in place in order to achieve the set goals of entrepreneurship education at the FET phase. Moreover, adequate funding and well-structured curriculum have to be carefully considered before entrepreneurship education can be introduced in schools at FET phase. Meanwhile, the report also suggests that the place of the teachers cannot be overemphasised as teachers are the driving force that will aid the realization of the set goals. Thus, the report submits that teachers should undergo regular ?on the job? training and be provided with enabling environment with appropriate support materials. On the other hand, Timmons, Eisenman and O?Conno (2015) assert that entrepreneurship education should vary from nation to nation. In other words, different countries should design the curriculum of the entrepreneurship education programme obtainable in their society to suit the demands and needs of the host nation, because the programme is essential and influences the intentions, aspirations and attitudes of persons who strive to introduce and promote new endeavours.

For the purpose of this study and from the model of entrepreneurship education at school level as it stands now the researchers make the following proposition:

Entrepreneurship education and training should be accepted as an element of the Further Education and Training (FET) curriculum and should be taught across all FET learners in schools. There is a general agreement by researchers that more emphasis should be placed on entrepreneurship education as opposed to business education, business education has more limited coverage than entrepreneurship education and training, which include additional topics, such as innovation and risk-taking. The consortium for entrepreneurship education (2004) reveals that entrepreneurship education is a life-long learning process and it consists of five stages, namely basics, competency awareness, creative application, start-up and growth.

Motivation Of The Study

The key to success of establishing a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa is education, which depends on all the stakeholders? participation, including state, educators, parents and learners themselves. There is a shortage of entrepreneurship subjects in the FET phase. In South Africa most FET schools lack the economic and entrepreneurship subjects that are skill based and career-oriented. The researcher believes that many learners who have completed their FET Phase Colleges are without entrepreneurship skills.

The researcher believes that if entrepreneurship is also taught across to all FET learners, many people will be able to create jobs for other people. More people will be self-employed and they will contribute positively towards the gross domestic product of the country. Consequently, within this context, this study will seek to find answers to the following question:

•What is the role played by Department of Basic Education in the introduction of entrepreneurship education at Further Education and Training (FET) phase in South Africa?

• What is the perception of Further Education and Training (FET) phase educators regarding entrepreneurship education at FET phase in South Africa?

Methodology

Research Design and Instrumentation

The analysis of the current literature on the development and management of entrepreneurship education provided broad perspectives for theoretical and conceptual frameworks for the role and functions of the relevant stakeholders in entrepreneurship education. The literature study was used to gather facts about development and management of entrepreneurship education both nationally and internationally. Determination of trends was based upon a longitudinal consideration of recorded data indicating what has happed in the past and what the present situation reveals. Selected, relevant literature material (for example, literature on educational research) was used as basis for this study. The process involved the use of journals, bulletins, periodicals, theses, newspaper cuttings and every possible secondary source of information related to this study. The outcome of this research was used to facilitate the process of developing and managing entrepreneurship education.

The study adopted quantitative research design. Hence, questionnaire was used as a research instrument. Kumar (2014) and Creswell (2014) maintain that quantitative design which allows the use of questionnaires for data collection permits anonymity, preclude possible interviewer biases, permit a respondent sufficient time to consider answers before actually answering and encourage more participants to participate in the study. The use of many participants in a study allows generalization. In addition, Kumar (2014) avers that data provided by questionnaires are easy to analyse and interpret compared to data obtained from verbal responses (qualitative data). Also, because anonymity is ensured in the use of questionnaire, it tends to elicit information that cannot be obtained through other methods.

The target population for this study was the Further Education and Training (FET) phase educators in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province of South Africa. This province was selected for the study because it is a big Province which has several Technical and Vocation Education Training (TVET) colleges. The province also experiences diversity in terms of cultural background. Hence, the researchers believe that diverse opinion based on diverse cultural backgrounds will be collected. This enhances generalization.

Quantitative Approach

Quantitative methodology, which was used in this study, is traditionally associated with the positivist paradigm, which according to Terreblanche and Durrheim (1999), refers to the acceptance of a stable, unchanging, external reality which can be investigated objectively usually by using an experimental, quantitative methodology, including the testing of hypotheses.

This methodology was used, firstly, because the researcher believed that it leads to some knowable truths about entrepreneurship education in FET phase in KwaZulu-Natal. Secondly, it provided information on whether certain generalizations presented in the literature are also true for this population.

The researcher conducted the survey study in which questionnaires were used as the data-collection method. This descriptive type of research was used because of its appropriateness for the nature of the problem.

Instrumentation

The Questionnaire

The researcher made use of the questionnaires as the quantitative data-collection instrument (Table 1). Questionnaires were given to FET phase educators

Table 1: Survey Study On Questionnaires
Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree
4 3 2 1

The questionnaire was divided into two (2) sections, with each section focusing on the aims of the study. Section 1 consisted of questions, which focus on the biographic and general information. The information obtained from this section helped the researcher to get knowledge about the respondents and the demographic nature of their colleges.

Section 2 had closed questions focusing on introduction of Entrepreneurship education at FET phase and essence of entrepreneurship education at post-school level. Questions in this section were operationalized using the following four-point scale and the respondents were asked to rate their responses as follows:

The respondents were requested to cross (X) the appropriate response on the scale provided. Moreover, 4 point Likert scale was adopted for the questionnaire in order to give respondents opportunity to express the extent to which they support each statement. Kumar (2014) suggests that when using questionnaire for data collection, respondents should be allowed to express themselves freely. In doing this, respondents must be guided by a set of options. Thus, the reason for the adoption of the 4 point Likert scale which allows respondents to ?strongly agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree?

Population and Sampling

The 450 FET phase educators were requested to complete their questionnaires. 371 respondents returned the completed questionnaires (82%). That represented a satisfying response. The non-responses in the opinion of the researchers may have been caused by the fact that when questionnaires were collected some lecturers were no longer available in their campuses as they were engaged in marking the external examinations in outside centres.

Data Analysis

After all the questionnaires have been received, the important task is then to reduce the mass of data obtained to a format suitable for analysis. The respondents? responses were coded. Frequency distribution was utilised. Aarweg and Aarweg (1993) strongly supported the use of frequency tables, as they believed that frequency tables provide the answers to the following important questions:

? How many times does the response occur?

? What is the percentage of that response to total responses?

Results and Discussion

General and Biographical Profile of the Respondents

When the item of FET phase educator`s qualification was analysed, it was realised that all the respondents had fully completed the information regarding general and biographical data.

In Table 2, a total population of 371 (n=371) responded.

Table 2 revealed that a high proportion of FET phase educators (97%) had good academic qualifications. This shows that the education level of the FET phase is improving.

Table 2:
Educational Background Of Fet Phase Educator
Educational Qualification No %
Below Matric 00 00
Matric (Grade 12) 47 13
Matric+1 (M+1) 73 20
Matric+2 (M+2) 128 34
Matric+3 (M+3) and above 123 33
Total 371 100

FET Phase Educators? Perceptions of Introduction of Entrepreneurship Education

In this section, FET phase educators were required to indicate their perceptions of entrepreneurship education

Table 2 FET phase educations? importance of entrepreneurship education

In Table 2, a total of 371 respondents (n=371) indicated their perceptions of entrepreneurship education. The respondents were asked to rate their responses according to the following scale: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree.

The Entrepreneurship Curriculum Included Innovations in Services, Channels and Branding.

Table 2 revealed that the majority of respondents (59%) indicated that they agree that entrepreneurship curriculum should include innovations in services, channels and branding. This high percentage confirmed the importance of entrepreneurship curriculum in FET phase. It is the function of educational planners, through broad consultation in order to draw up aims, goals, objectives, policies and syllabuses. This was done by examining the problems and giving direction to those experiences that the learner?s encountered while in FET phase. Mohan and Elangovan (2006) pointed out that in Nigeria, as in many other countries throughout the world, there were many bodies that influenced the type of curriculum that was followed in institutions.

The Entrepreneurship Curriculum Included Aspects of Entrepreneurship, Communication Skills and Management

Table 3: The Importance Of Introducing Entrepreneurship Education At Fet Phase
? ? Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Total
The introduction of entrepreneurship as subjects can help learners who drop out from colleges to start their own businesses N 152 124 72 23 371
% 41% 33% 20% 6% 100%
The introduction of entrepreneurship as subjects can help learners who drop out from colleges to run businesses for other people. N 147 119 62 43 371
% 40% 32% 17% 11% 100%
The introduction of entrepreneurship helps young people to be more creative and self-confident in whatever they undertake. N 139 128 79 25 371
% 37% 35% 21% 7% 100%
Entrepreneurship education plays an important role in responding to the challenge of unemployment, youth unemployment in particular. N 149 114 67 41 371
% 40% 31% 18% 11% 100%
Entrepreneurship education should develop high levels of technical skills for global economic competitiveness. N 134 128 89 20 371
% 36% 35% 24% 5% 100%
Entrepreneurship education should empower citizens to successfully integrate into the global economy. N 157 103 77 34 371
% 42% 28% 21% 9% 100%
Entrepreneurship education should contribute to the idea of empowering as many people as possible in order to unleash the previously stifled human potential of all South Africans. N 135 121 64 51 371
% 36% 33% 17% 14% 100%
Parents should be actively involved in entrepreneurship education of their children. N 148 113 58 52 371
% 40% 30% 16% 14% 100%
The development of entrepreneurship education should give learners enough chance to choose the courses they like. N 139 109 63 60 371
% 37% 30% 17% 16% 100%
Entrepreneurship education should be mandatory for all learners at FET phase colleges. N 136 117 69 49 371
% 37% 31% 19% 13% 100%

Table 3 illustrated that more than half (63%) of respondents indicated that they agreed with the above statement. This high percentage of respondents confirmed that Entrepreneurship Curriculum included aspects of entrepreneurship, communication skills and management. This coincides with the report of Globalisation and Technical and Vocation Education Training (TVET) in Africa (2014) when they asserted that Curricula information and technology included aspects of entrepreneurship, communication skills and management.

Designers of FET Phase Curriculum Needed To Take Into Account the Different Social, Economic and Technical Backgrounds of Learners

Table 3 showed that the majority of respondents (77%) indicated that they agreed with the above statement. This high percentage of respondents confirmed that designers of FET phase curriculum needed to take into account the different social, economic and technical background of learners. This is confirmed by the report of Globalisation and Technical and Vocation Education Training (TVET) in Africa (2014) when they said that curriculum design should be flexible, Designers of school curriculum needed to bear in mind that trainees in FET phase had different backgrounds socially, economically, technologically and also had taken into consideration the knowledge and skills. This finding concurs with the work of McLeod (2012) who maintains that skilled learner leaders understand the final balance between responsiveness to political and community expectations and advocacy for current successful practice. Learner management programmes prepared learners who are political, economic and cultural contexts surrounding education and who are proficient communicators.

Companies Add Value in Curriculum Innovations to Fit Existing Business Functions and Activities

Table 2 revealed that the majority of respondents (68%) indicated that they are positive about the above statement. This high percentage of respondents confirmed that Companies added value in curriculum innovations to fit existing business functions and activities. This coincides with the work of Gatawa (1999) who avers that the content represented a selection of bodies of knowledge, attitudes, values, processes and skills cherished in the culture and the society concerned. One of the criticisms levelled against prescribed content or subject matter is that fixed content encouraged lecturers to concentrate only on what is prescribed and that appeared in the textbooks.

Companies Partially Have Ownership of School Curriculum

Table 3 revealed that more than half of the respondents (70%) indicated that they agreed with the above statement. This high percentage confirmed that Entrepreneurship Curriculum is very important even in the business world and that there had been a partnership between colleges and businesses.

Companies have a Dedicated ?Budget? Allocated to Entrepreneurship Education Curriculum

Table 3 illustrated that the majority of respondents (66%) indicated that they agreed that Companies had a dedicated ?budget? allocated for entrepreneurship education curriculum. This is confirmed by Dostal, Bennel and Swainos (2002), when stating that in South Africa the private sector was reluctant to train the large numbers of youth who are looking for jobs. The private sector waisted a great deal of money on people who study courses that are not relevant to the labour market.

NGOs with experience in delivering entrepreneurship programmes and activities play an important role in entrepreneurship education curriculum.

Table 3 revealed that the majority of respondents. (71%) indicated that they agreed that NGOs with experience in delivering entrepreneurship programmes and activities played an important role in entrepreneurship education curriculum. This high percentage of respondents confirmed that Entrepreneurship Curriculum was very important even for the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). A partnership between Government, schools, private sector and NGOs needed to be introduced so that people from various institutions became productive at the workplaces.

Stakeholders are Involved in the Design of FET Phase Curriculum

Table 3 showed that the majority of respondents (72%) indicated that they agreed that stakeholders were involved in the design of FET phase school curriculum. This high percentage of respondents confirmed that stakeholders were involved in the design of FET phase school curriculum. This is confirmed by Zungu (2001:19) when he said that lecturers are seen as the implementers of the curriculum. Their attitudes, quality of training and preparedness to implement a given curriculum are important variables. It is common knowledge that curricula that are planned without the involvement of stakeholders usually become ineffective.

Conclusion

This study explored the importance of introducing entrepreneurship education at FET phase. The study confirmed thatThe designers of FET phase school curriculum needed to take into account the different social, economic and technical background of learners.

The educational planners, through broad consultation, to draw up aims, goals, objectives, policies and syllabuses. This was done by examining the problems and giving direction to those experiences that the learners encounter while in FET phase.

? The empirical study, based on the findings of questionnaires furthermore confirmed that, Entrepreneurship Curriculum included innovations in services, channels and branding.

? Entrepreneurship Curriculum included aspects of entrepreneurship, communication skills and management so that FET schools as a result schools produced the skilled manpower needed for the production of goods and services.

Recommendations

From the findings of this study the following recommendations are made:

The curriculum of entrepreneurship education should include innovations in services, channels and branding. This will enable the learners to be innovative in their approach to entrepreneurial activities.

• Entrepreneurship Curriculum should include practical aspects of entrepreneurship, communication skills and management at FET phase. This will enable Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) colleges to produce skilled manpower needed for the production of goods and services in the society/nation and possibly world at large.

• The designers of FET phase school curriculum should be made to take into account the different social, economic and technical background of learners. By so doing, the abilities and limitations of the learners will be taken into cognisance. This will enhance the learning abilities of the learners.

• The educational planners, through broad consultation, should draw up aims, goals, objectives, policies and syllabuses. This can be done through examination of problems and giving of direction to those experiences that the learners encounter while in FET phase.

• The School Governing Body (SGB) which consists of educators, parents and those learners who are involved in governance and management of the College should be allowed to participate actively in entrepreneurship education curriculum development. This will help in the infusion of learners, educators and parents input.

• The needs of host communities should be considered during curriculum planning exercises.

• Schools and education stakeholders should create positive teaching and learning environment for educators and learners respectively.

• Learners should be made to conduct research/projects that are entrepreneurial in nature at the end of their career in the TVET College of their choice. This research/project will help in the production of true and worthy entrepreneurs in the country.

• Funds should be made available to learners who distinguish themselves in entrepreneurial projects.

References