Shorthand as a subject is a problem to many office technology students widely known. Many candidates do fall shorthand examination at various levels is also indisputable. But still it is realized that shorthand is an indispensable course in the area of Office Technology. To become an efficient secretary and not a typist, one must pass through the learning stages of shorthand as a course. This project work will be carried out on Causes  of failure in Shorthand on Office Technology Students. Various methods of gathering data will be used to arrive at acceptable findings that will present a fair representation of opinion.The population based on two hundred and sixty four (264) National; Diplomal (ND),Office Technology andmanagement student, Federal polytechnic Ede. For the purpose of collecting information.Variouse literatufres review were use consulted, also a well structured quetionnnaire was designed and administrated on the subject. Three research questionswere used and they are as follow Are the relevant book available for learning shorthand sufficient? (b)What are the natura problem of shorthand? (c) Are the teachers, student contributing in any way to this high rate of failure? The use of sample means method of analyze the three research questions provided the empirical basis n the discussion and presentation of the data  


Title page                                    i

Certification                                    ii

Dedication                                    iii

Acknowledgement                                iv

Abstract                                    vi

Table of Content                                vi


1.0    Introduction                                 1

1.1    Background of study                            1

1.2    Statement of the Problem                                       2   

1.3    Purpose of the study                         3

1.4    Significance of the Study                        3

1.5    Scope of the Study                            3

1.6    Research Questions                        3

1.7    Limitations of study                            3


2.0    Review of related literature                     4

2.1    What is Shorthand                                   4

2.2    Historical perspective of shorthand                4

2.3    Cause of failure in shorthand                    5

2.4    Important of secretary in modern day office            10


3.0    Research Methodology                        11

3.1    Introduction                                11

3.2    Population of study                            11

3.3    Sample and sampling techniques                    11

3.4     The research instrument used                    11

3.5     Administration of the research instrument            11

3.6    Method of data analysis                        11


4.0    Presentation and analysis of data                    12

4.1    Introduction                                12

4.2    Research questions                            13


5.0    Summary of findings, Conclusion, and Recommendations    18

5.1    Summary of findings                        18

5.2    Summary                                19

5.3    Summary of interview had with some students            19

5.4    Conclusion                                20

5.5    Recommendation                            20

    Reference                                 23

    Appendix                                24



1.1    Introduction

In any organization, be it private or public, there is usually need for a secretary that is competent. A secretary is an assistant to executive who possess a mastery of office  skills and ability to assume responsibility without being directly supervised.

There are many responsibility expected of a good secretary but all there can not be effectively carried out without undergoing a very good and sound training in an higher institution of learning.

Some of the courses secretarial students usually undergo are: shorthand (100 WPM for ND and 120 WPM for HND), Typewriting (50 WPM for ND 60 WPM for HND) secretarial studies, office practice, word processing, English language, Economics, Citizenship Education etc of all these subjects, secretarial studies students always for shorthand and find the subject very difficult. They see it as a dog in the wheel of their progress.

Shorthand is a system of fast writing and recording information using a set of well-known abbreviation. It is an organized system of writing outlines as short as possible for the intention of achieving fast, accurate and vibration recording of information such as correspondence, reprint, transcribing and such things into readable language (usually English language).

According to Canning (1981), shorthand is “wholly symbolic and very largely phonetic form writing”

Shorthand, it seems safe to assumes, must have existed in one form or the other since the first learnt to write in any case, there is evidence to show that shorthand existed in the days of socratis.

According to Russon (1968), most historians date the beginning of shorthand to zenophon who used and ancient Greek system to write the memoirs of scrates. It was discovered that Marcus Tullus (born 103 BC) who was Cicero’s secretary invested the first Latin shorthand system, know as Tiro Tironance. Two put together the first shorthand dictionary. That age produced many shorthand writers. Among these were Julius Caesour, who used shorthand to write an account of his military complexness, emperor Augustus Caesar and Emperor Titus.

After that, many systems of shorthand arose all over the world. Some of them are Gregg system of shorthand, which was in 1887 by Mr. John Robert and Pitman system (otherwise known as phonograph), it was published in 1887 by sir Isaac Pitman. Gregg system has been out dated and even in many institutions, only Pitman shorthand New Era is being taught in many institution of learning.   

Pitman shorthand was developed after the most excruciating study of English phonetics. Thus, the pitman system is a rapid way of writing the English language by other means. The system has been tested for so long and by so many expert writers and teachers of wide diversity of natural attitude and has won so high a reputation on the testing of time. Not only that, it remains the source of live hood for a source of inspiration to others in various sphere of life.

Through Isaac Pitman died in 1897 but his system of shorthand has gained world wide recognition because of the sound principles of the system and the spread of English language as a result of vast colonial empire of the British Government.

1.2    Statement of Problem

The essence for this study came to being principally to work out the effect of failure in shorthand on student. Therefore, the problems to be investigated are the degree of students attitude towards learning shorthand and systems the shorthand lecturers should adopt for lecturing.

1.    Lack of good command of English language make students fail shorthand.

2.    Students do not practice shorthand on their own, lack of encouragement.

3.    Shorthand student see shorthand as a difficult subject and uninterested.

4.    Students dislike the idea of giving the highest credit unit to shorthand because failing of it makes them dullards.

5.    The material used for shorthand in classroom is not enough such as space, chair and table.

1.3    Purpose of Study

The main is purpose of this study is to find out.

1.    To suggests possible solution or remedies to the problem

2.    The effects of mass failure in shorthand on students.

3.    To discover the contributing factor to large number of this failure.

1.4    Significance of Study

In essence, the investigation will definitely help the students in secretarial studies department to improve in shorthand. The consequence of this study will also make the subject easier and interesting among those students who is at opinion that subject is very tough.

This study will guide the student to acquire the skills in learning shorthand.

1.5    Delimitation or Scope of Study

This study is de-limited to the effect of mass failure in shorthand in secretarial studies student with a case study of students of the Federal Polytechnic Ede, Osun State.


a.    Are the relevant books available for the learning of shorthand and sufficient?

b.    What are the natural problems of shorthand.

c.    Are the teachers, students contributing in any way to this high rate of failure?                                                    


The limited area of this study was that it is very difficult to visit all the students involved in learning of shorthand due to lack of time.

Other difficulties include of few available students and inability to see any previous study on effect of failure in shorthand on Office Technology and Management students.             

5.0     Introduction

This research was undertaken in order to know the effects of failure in shorthand. This chapter is divided into three parts: summary of findings,, conclusion and recommendations. The summary gives a general view of the findings based on the research conclusions were drawn from all the points raised and recommendation were finally made on the study.

5.1    Summary of Findings

Research Question one: are the books available for the learning of shorthand relevant and sufficient to enhance good performance in shorthand? The following facts were deduced based on the highest percentage of respondents.

a. that good performance in shorthand depends on availability of various textbooks that are relevant to the subject

Research Question two: what are the inherent problems of shorthand?

The data collected on the above question in previous tables indicated that.

a.    Poor knowledge of English language is one of the inherent problem of shorthand since shorthand as a subject is reproduced in English language and many students do not  posses adequate skills spelling, punctuation, and grammar. This has great impact in the process of speed writing and transcription of shorthand notes.

b.    Most students perceived shorthand as very tough and difficult subject. This indicated that do not have interest in the subject.

c.    Some students indicated that they do not have any knowledge of shorthand before they registered for the course.

Research Question Four : Are the teachers, student  contribute in any way to this high rate of failure in shorthand?

Questionnaire were also mapped out to show if there is anyone among these people that contribute to this failure. It was discovered that:

a.    Some respondents agreed that the students are the ones that cause their failure in shorthand and in one way or the other, by ,not completing given assignments, failure to driller practice at home.

b.    Some students said that their lecturers contribute to their failure in shorthand by telling them that they will not pass. And some said that their failure is due to lack of encouragement.

5.2    Summary

It is clear from this study that shorthand is an organize system consisting of geometric structures which represents the English consonants and vowels of writing of reports, speeches, proceedings and general correspondents commerce and industry.

Thus, shorthand is a means of communication in English since the result of the system has to be transcribed into typed written or printed English this study reveals that most students have interest in the subject but that it is too tough and difficult which suggest that they will need some orientation about the subject

5.3    Summary of Interview had with Some Students

The following summary of the reactions of some students on their problems in shorthand and its effects.

a.    When the lecturer dictates they are sometimes fast, so I try to keep words behind him and before I could write everything, the lecturer has gone far ahead. As result I will start providing and so omit several word.

b.    I am not able to recollect outlines quickly even though I had drilled such outlines several times.

c.    Although I am fairly good in shorthand, I feel nervous whenever I heard the word exam

d.    My own problems are learning and forgetting

e.    I don’t just like shorthand but I like other subjects in the department

f.    I feel discourage to continue doing the course at times I will feel stepping out of the department

g.    It affect my GP badly and future progress is not likely to came by

5.4    Conclusions

    From the analysis carried out in chapter four as well as the various findings deduced it could be concluded that some of the people that contributed to shorthand failure are students, parents and lecturers

Most students have interest in subject but they find cannot cope because it is through. The students do not give most of their time for practicing shorthand. They would rather go to parties than drill shorthand we all know that shorthand is like a jealous husband if you leave it for just a day, it will leave you of a week. This is to say that shorthand us not for the fait hearted and the lazy ones.

Most students panic during shorthand dictation, they feel highly depressed and discouraged to continue the subject once more.

Students hope that future progress is not too certain since they do not have good grade in their results. But if attention is given to minimize the problems of shorthand, there would be reduction in the rate of failure in shorthand and there would be more students who will apply for office techno logy students.

5.5    Recommendations

The effects of mass failure in shorthand for office technology students in Nigerian polytechnics are numerous and the blame should be borne by all p[arties in the process of learning and teaching of the subject i.e the students, parent, management of various polytechnics, government and society in general. For the purpose of this study, the following recommendation are hereby made

1.    student admitted to study shorthand as a matter of fact, accept the admission as a challenge and develop interest and positive habit in the course right from the beginning students of shorthand should get up with strong belief that they can be successful and with dint of hard work they can be successful mass failure in shorthand will be a thing of the past.

2.    the secret of success in shorthand is practice shorthand students in our polytechnic are advised that’s the various explanations, rules and exercise should be written, rewritten and mastered until they c an be done with perfect case and accuracy. A certain portion of time should be regularly devoted to the study of shorthand every day and not at irregular intervals of time, which is of little value, shorthand lectures must discourage their students from late coming to classroom, chewing gum, sweets, biscuits or listening to music while learning or studying the subject. The habit does not promote concentration or retention of facts.

3.    shorthand students should endeavour to be good in English language and master the rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling. Develop awareness of words that are often confusing as a result of similarities, checking and correcting and ability to write simple clearly, concisely and correctly very well.

4.    management of polytechnic in Nigeria should provide enough and adequate infrastructural facilities like typewriter, typewriting pool, shorthand laboratories, desks, note books, tape recorders fro successful learning of the course. Typewriters should be permanently allocated to students till the ends of their programme to enable them have unrestricted access to practice and development of adequate typewriting skill.

5.    shorthand lecturers should be encouraged to attend and participate in workshops, seminars and conference in order to sharpen their knowledge, skill and to share experience with their other colleague and arrive and acceptable ways on how to improve learning/teaching of the subject.

6.    shorthand lecturer should employ variety of teaching methodologies and maintaining cordial human relations in order to reduce students anxiety arouse and sustain their interest and encourage better performance shorthand teachers to learn and master, spelling punctuation and omission of words.

7.    students should hope for good future progress by putting more efforts in their shorthand drillings, listening to shorthand cassettes and reading shorthand magazines.

8.    students should try as much as possible to put more efforts and concentration to the study of English language

9.     as much as possible all shorthand lecturers should be see to the best of their ability that every student can write shorthand outlines accurately when taking dictation at a very high speed.

10.    lessons in shorthand should began by given the students on the historical background of the course it self and other essentials of the system and also give the students a clear view of what they are about to begin.

11.    Deliberate efforts should also be made to all the fears of students about examination through adequate practice using past question papers under strict recommendation.         



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