Reasons for Low Pass Rates in Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and Tax Law Amd Practice at the Chitungwiza/Harare Region of the Zimbabwe Open University

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FACULTY OF COMMERCE AND LAW(DEPARTMENT OF BANKING AND FINANCE)

RESEARCH TOPIC: A STUDY TO DETERMINE THE REASONS For LOW PASS RATES IN MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING AND TAX LAW AND PRACTICE- BACHELOR OF COMMERCE IN

ACCOUNTING, BANKING AND FINANCE AT THE HARARE AND CHITUNGWIZA REGION OF THE ZIMBABWE OPEN UNIVERSITY.

ABSTRACT:

Background:

A study of the results of Management Accounting and Tax, Law and Practice for the past three semesters revealed average pass rates of 33 and 35% respectively.These low pass rates triggered the desire for the researcher to carry out a study to find out the reasons behind this state of affairs.

Literature Review:

In France and the U.K. it was generally agreed that students found the concepts of these subjects difficult to grasp. They also did not apply themselves seriously to the task of studying.

The AICPA Topline Report (2008) found out that 100% of Accounting Educators and 79% of Accounting Practitioners with accounting degrees would not study the same if they had to do it all over because there were other degrees that were more relevant to the business world. It was felt that the current syllabi were outdated and out of sync with the outside world.

Methodology:

We gave out 35 questionnares at random split 30 to students and 5 to lecturers out of a population of 117.This gave us a significant 33% sample size.

Findings and Analysis:

Students:

The research showed that students thought modules were inadequate and outdated, poor quality lecturers, lack of reading time, financial constraints and poor ZOU administration as some of the compelling reasons for this state of affairs.

Lecturers:

The lecturers thought students frequently missed tutorials, came for tutorials ill prepared ,did not study notes ,crammed for exams and did not use the library for extra reading as well as they should, as some of the obvious reasons for their demise

Conclusions and Recommendations: It is evident that these two groups could not be further apart in their reasons for the low pass rates.

To Students:

We therefore recommend that students read adequately, prepare for tutorials and not cram for exams.

To Lecturers:

For lecturers, good preparation, referencing and time keeping are essential elements for success.

To ZOU:

To ZOU it is basically tightening on administration and revisiting the fee structure that is needed in order to address these challenges.

Further Research:

There is also a need to undertake further research on the relationship(success or failure) between Financial Accounting3 , Management Accounting and Tax, Law and Practice since they belong to the same stable.

Last but not least we suggest that a study be carried out to find out the success or failure rate of ZOU graduates in industry.

BACKGROUND:

It has been noted, over the past three semesters with some concern, that the average pass rates for Management Accounting and Tax Law and Practice have been lower than 50%, infact hovering around 35% and on cross checking with CPA of Zimbabwe, they confirmed that for the past two years the pass rates were 33 and 35% respectively for the two subjects. A lot of explanations have been put forward like the pass rates are pre-determined or that the exams are just difficult. Consequently some students have spent a long time before finally acquiring their degrees.The reason why the researcher looked at the two disciplines simultaneously was one, the occurrence of both subjects in the same semester, two the fact that they are from the same stable, three their pass rates are similar.

The Zimbabwe Open University’s mode of open and distance learning dictates that contact hours are just enough,(6hours precisely) some students are adamant that they are inadequate, for the requirements of the courses. The rest of the...
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