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PERCEPTION OF TECHNICAL TEACHERS ON FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR LOW ENROLEMENT INTO TECHNICAL COLLEGES
This study was designed to determine the factors responsible for low enrolment into technical colleges in Lagos State. The study was a survey study which involved the technical colleges in Lagos State. The population of the study was 30 technical teachers of technical colleges in Lagos state. The study was guided by three research questions. The instrument for gathering the data was a structure questionnaire. The questionnaire was subjected to face validation by three experts. The reliability of the instrument was found to be .80 using test retest method. The data collected were analysed using mean to answer each research question. The study identified the societal attitude, economic and value system responsible for low enrolment into the technical colleges in Lagos State. Also, it identified intervention measures needed to improve enrolment into technical colleges in Lagos State. The study recommended that: 1) The Lagos state government through the Lagos State Ministry of Education should set up strategies that will create awareness so as to make parents and students know the needs and benefits of being craftsmen. 2) The government through the Lagos state ministry of education should make available sufficient technical teachers into technical colleges. 3) Industries and other Non-governmental Organization should try to show that craftsmen education is important to the country by participating in the funding of technical colleges and craftsmen training programmes. 4) The Lagos state government should try and create advocacy programmes such as seminars, workshop, conferences, T.V and radio advert, other media e.t.c. for Technical and Vocational Education in Lagos State.
Background of the Study
Vocational and technical education is the type of education which provides its recipients with skills, knowledge and attitude required in a chosen occupation.
Wenrich and Wenrich (1974) defined vocational education in terms of the range of occupations with which it is concerned. According to them, vocational education means a vocational or technical training or retraining which is given in schools or classes under public supervision and control, and is conducted as part of a programme designed to prepare individuals for gainful employment as semi-skilled or skilled workers or technicians or sub-professionals in emerging or recognized occupations. These occupations according to Wenrich and Wenrich include agriculture, home economics, trade and industrial education and business education, Olaitan (2006) defines vocational/technical education as that aspect of education which is a skill acquisition oriented form of training, based on application of mathematics and scientific knowledge in specific field for self actualization and development.
The Federal Republic of Nigeria(2004) provides a more comprehensive definition of vocational and technical education as ‘those aspects of the education 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 occupation in various sectors of economic and social life. According to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Technical and vocational education is understood to be: An integral part of general education; means of preparing for occupational fields and for effective participation in the world of work; an aspect of lifelong learning and preparation for responsible citizenship; an instrument for promoting environmentally sound, sustainable development and a method of alleviating poverty.
In Nigeria, Vocational and technical education is available at three levels:
(1) Pre-vocational education or general vocational education offered in Secondary schools
(2) Vocational (job specific) education offered in Technical colleges and vocational centers
(3) Post secondary education offered at the institutions such as Polytechnics and Monotechnics, Colleges of Education (technical)
The Federal Republic of Nigeria in her National Policy of Education (2004) defines the goals of Vocational and technical education as follows:
(1) Provide trained manpower in applied sciences, technology and business particularly at craft, advanced craft and technical levels;
(2) Provide for the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, commercial and economic development;
(3) Give training and impart the necessary skills to individual who shall be self-reliant economically.
VTE involves the acquisition of skills for employment. The individual who avails himself or herself of the opportunity for vocational and technical education is the primary beneficiary of the education because he/she will receive vocational and technical skills that will allow him/her to be engaged in productive work either for himself/herself or for an employer. Apart from enabling the individual to hold productive employment, vocational and technical skills developed in the course of training increases the productivity and earning capacity of the recipient (Uwadiae, 1992). Other benefits include increased employability and higher job mobility. People who have been trained for specific jobs in the world of work are highly employable and less likely to suffer severe unemployment than those who are bereft of specific occupational skills. As a result of the versatile uses to which vocationally and technically trained jobbers can put their skills, such workers can change jobs easily in search of greener pastures and better jobs. According to Uwaidae, vocational and technical education also enables a person to make intelligent use of products of technology, utilize new technologies, develop better entrepreneurial skills and become more innovative worker.
Although the individual is the primary beneficiary of VTE, the society or nation is the better of it. VTE reduces drop-out rate by providing training opportunities for persons who are not satisfied with the forms of education that are distant from the realities of the world of work. VTE also reduces the rate of unemployment in a society. In a country like Nigeria where unemployment is the order of the day, VTE is the best way of curbing the problem of unemployment. VTE could be employed to develop saleable skills in student so that they can become easily employable after school. VTE stimulates technological industrial development by providing competent workers who are capable of developing and utilizing technologies for industries and economic development. VTE is a mechanism for meeting the man power needs of a nation in agricultural, technical, industrial, business, paramedical, home economics and other clusters of occupations.
One of the technical colleges in Nigeria is the technical colleges. According to Okoro (1998), Technical colleges are regarded as the principal vocational institutions in Nigeria because they give full vocational education intended to prepare students for entry into various occupations. The courses offered in technical colleges include mechanical trades, computer craft practice, electrical engineering trades, building trades, wood trades, hospitality, and textile trade, printing trades, beauty culture trades, business trades and host of others. Technical colleges produce well trained technical manpower at various levels (operatives, craftsmen and master craftsmen) and as in various technical and vocational fields. Graduate from the technical colleges are award NABTEB certificates which are National technical certificate (NTC), the National business certificate (NBC) the Advanced National Technical Certificate and the Advance National Business Certificate (ANBC). The minimum entry requirement into technical colleges is the junior school certificate (JSC). Entry could also be based on evidence of aptitude shown in the technical courses and a reasonably good performance in mathematics and science. Technical colleges providing job-specific training institutions within formal secondary education, produce skilled labour (craftsmen). Vocational education programme in the technical colleges is designed to produce competent craftsmen for the nation’s industrial economic and technological development
Despite the importance of craftsmen, enrolment into the technical colleges has been very low. This low enrolment into technical colleges can be traced back to the economical factors and value system in Nigeria. In Nigeria, People prefer white collar jobs than manual jobs. This is due to the British-type liberal education being received by Nigerian as part of her colonial legacy. Courses such as medicine, accounting, commerce, are preferred by Nigerians at the expense of courses that are manually oriented. White collar jobs are preferable to manual jobs neglecting the fact that manual jobs is productive and increases the Gross National Profit (GNP) of the nation
Coupled with this economical and value system is the societal attitude to VTE programs. Vocational and technical education in Nigeria is generally perceived as the education for the ungifted and less privileged child. This problem could be traced to the National Policy on Education provision for technical colleges in Nigeria. Okoro (1999) stated that the National policy on Education (1981) gave lower status to vocational and technical education and places unnecessary obstacle in the way student who chose to pursue a vocational-technical programme at the secondary school level. According to him, the National Policy on Education states that trade centre, technical colleges and similar vocational centres would be established to absorb junior secondary school leavers who could not proceed to senior secondary school. This is usually interpreted to mean that after the junior secondary school, students would be separated into two groups- the privilege group who would go to senior secondary school (from where universities, polytechnics and colleges of education draw their students) and the underprivileged who would go to trade centres and technical colleges and who would have virtually no prospects of furthering their education beyond the technical college or trade centre level. It is therefore no doubt that the senior secondary school has higher prestige and would be preferred to the technical college or trade centre by parents and students even in cases where students would have fared better in technical colleges and trade centre
As intervention measures to the situation, the National Policy was reviewed in 2004 and it tries to reposition the technical colleges. It states that students who complete junior secondary school shall be streamed into senior secondary school; technical colleges; out-of-school vocational training centre; and apprenticeship scheme. According to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), the streaming shall be based on the result of tests to determine academic ability and vocational interest; and as much as possible to achieve a transition ratio of 50:20:20:10 respectively. This was a strategy to place technical colleges to a fairer position than how it has been viewed by the public, but the policy provision still regards technical colleges as education for the underprivileged and ungifted students. .
Moreover as part of intervention measures to improve technical college programmes. The Federal Government also converted technical college programmes to full secondary education with duration of six years offering senior school science and normal craft and advanced craft programmes at senior secondary level to attract entrants. Students from primary schools are now being admitted into the junior college component of technical colleges to enable the technical colleges stand a fair chance of having good quality entrants as well as provide an early orientation towards VTE. Complementing to this, the Federal Government renamed technical colleges to federal science and technical colleges. But low enrolment is still witnessed in technical colleges.
Lagos State government in this same bid has also made some concerned effort to improve student’s enrolment into technical colleges. This includes the establishment of the Ministry of Science and Technical College for proper monitoring of technical colleges programmes. The Lagos State government has commenced the implementation of policy aimed at strengthening its vocational and technical education in the state. As part of strategies to reposition the technical colleges, the Lagos State government has also renamed the state’s technical colleges to state science and technical college and therefore has renovated and equipped the five technical colleges in Lagos State.
The Lagos State government also realized that technical colleges can play a major role in the realization of the mega city project and also make school leavers self-reliant and employers of labour in terms of skills acquisition therefore presented 49 courses to NBTE for accreditation but 45 were accredited. All these efforts were made to make the technical colleges attractive.
Irrespective of the government intervention, low enrolment is still witnessed. The major consequence or implication of the low enrolment is the massive wastage of resources in terms of financial, material and human resources. Education is a huge investment in human capital. By spending huge resources in technical colleges, the society is forgoing present consumption in order to equip its citizens with knowledge and skills which would make them more productive in future. The investment in technical colleges implies that the same resources will not be available for investment in other sectors of the economy. As long as the enrolment into technical colleges remains low, the government resources being spent on the improvement of technical colleges will be wasted.
Besides the wastage of government investment and resources, the few students who get admitted into the technical colleges are without prerequisite qualification. They get into the technical college system with little or no interest in the courses they offer. As a result of this, some student might drop out of the system and end up as touts, okada riders and different kinds of miscreant while the certificate of the product may have little or no importance to them.
It is no news to anyone that the world is a global village, as time goes by there is advancement in technology in manufacturing and servicing occupations. Nigeria is also not left behind this technological advancement. People have to be trained for the new jobs that are becoming available in these areas of manufacturing and service occupations. Some of these occupations require not only manual skills but also a high level of technology knowledge coupled with broad education. Qualified persons trained in accordance with the principles of VTE are needed for Nigeria advancing technology. In a situation where there is low enrolment in technical schools, it will impossible to provide the necessary manpower needed to meet up with this technological advancement.
Another consequence of this low enrolment is increase in unemployment. There is high level of unemployment in Nigeria. This is due partly to the fact that people do not have the knowledge and skills that will enable take the available jobs or to be self employed. Technical colleges are capable of enabling persons to obtain the skills they need in order to fill the vacancies that exist and make them self employed and thereby reducing the level of unemployment and youthful unrest that characterized the Nigerian society. The low enrolment and the consequences in Lagos State have continued to be a source of concern to technical college teachers. This study therefore aims to determine the perception of technical college teachers on factors responsible for low enrolment in technical colleges in Lagos State.
Statement of the Problem
As the government is funding the technical colleges and ensuring that there is continuous improvement in technical college program, there is suppose to be improvement in enrolment into technical colleges so that the country can produce the needed craftsmen produce for the technological advancement. However, low enrolment has been witnessed in most of the technical colleges in Lagos. The consequence of this low enrolment is that the resources that are being invested into technical colleges will be wasted.
As technical colleges are being improved and facilitated, there is supposed to be increased interest in vocational courses and enrolment into technical colleges. The few students who get admitted into the technical colleges are without prerequisite qualification. According to Olaitan (1986), they get into the technical college system with little or no interest in the courses they offer. The continuous admission of student into technical colleges without interest in vocational courses will continue to produce drop out and unskilled youths. This will therefore lead to low production of craftsmen in Lagos State.
There is a high level of unemployment in Nigeria. This is partly due to the fact that people do not have the required knowledge and skills to secure and create jobs to be self employed. The Technical colleges can produce individuals who are capable of securing good jobs and getting self employed so as to overcome the problem of unemployment. But as long as there is low enrolment in the technical colleges, youths will continue to remain unemployed which will lead to unrest and increases in vices in Lagos State. Hence this study is to determine the perception of technical college teachers on identification of the factors responsible for low enrolment into technical colleges in Lagos State.
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study is to identify the factors responsible for low enrolment into technical colleges in Lagos State. This study sought to identify;
(1) Societal attitude responsible for low enrolment in technical colleges in Lagos State
(2) Economical factors and value system responsible for low enrolment in technical colleges in Lagos State
(3) Intervention measures needed for improving students’ enrolment into technical colleges in Lagos State.
Significance of the Study
The projected outcome, after the societal attitude has been identified, will be of benefit to the Lagos State Ministry of Education. It will enable the ministry to be aware of the responsible for running away from technical colleges. By doing this it will enable them set up strategies that will create awareness so as to make parents and students know the needs and benefits of being craftsmen.
The projected outcome of the economical factors and value system will be of benefit to the industry and the employers of labour. It will make them know they need to participate in funding of technical colleges and craftsmen training programmes. The benefit is that the society will realize that craftsmen are important to themselves and the society.
After the intervention measures needed for improving students enrolment, it will be of benefit to the individuals and the society. It will make them realize that being a craftsman will make them acquire skill to be highly employable and be self-employed. The benefit is that the unemployment rate and drop-out rate will reduce and there will also be low wastage of resources (material and human) of the government.
The following are the research question for this study
(1) What are the societal factors responsible for low enrolment in Technical colleges in Lagos State?
(2) What are the economical factors responsible for low enrolment in technical colleges in Lagos State?
(3) What Intervention measures can we suggest to improve students enrolment into technical colleges in Lagos State.
Assumption of Study
In carrying out this study, the following assumption was made;
1) The technical teachers in the technical colleges will provide reliable and unbiased responses to the items of the questionnaire
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