EMERGING CHALLENGES FACING OFFICE TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT STUDENTS IN THE 21ST CENTURY
1.1 Background of the study
In the recent times, The National Board for Technical Education enhanced the objectives of the secretarial training. Hence the nomenclature changed to office Technology manager. This affected both the curriculum of Colleges of Education and Polytechnics. The Polytechnic curriculum composes of four main components for both National Diploma and Higher National Diploma hence, General Studies/Education Foundation courses, Professional courses, SIWES. The professional courses are courses which give the student the theory and practical skills he needs to practice as a secretary. This may account for between 60percent to 70percent of the contact hours of study.
According to Agboola (2014) greater prominence is given to ICT courses than shorthand and keyboarding; which had credit hours drastically reduced. The purpose is to actualize the demand for supply of manpower who have appropriate office skills and competences to manage office view technologies to profit the organization given the current wave of information communication technology.
The OTM career encourages employment creation given multifaceted skills embedded in it including: reprographics, word processing, micrographics, telecommunication, data processing and others.
Merraim Webster Dictionary (2013) explains skill as ability coming from one’s knowledge practice or aptitude to do something well. Etonyeaku (2008) added that it involves practical knowledge in combination with cleverness, expertise, dexterity and ability to perform a function which could be acquired or learnt in school.
There are areas which require immediate attention as standing on the perception of Aina (2002) that business education inculcating OTM is concerned with development of individuals, person skills and attitudes, communication and occupational skills, technological literacy, employability skills, broad specific occupational skills and knowledge, Oladunjoye 2015 asserts that the products of a deficient curriculum cannot function effectively and efficiently in today’s consistent change in the work environment.
Computer studies was first examined at SSCE level – WAEC in 2014 and has become optional in SSCE. The basic Education at JSS level is exclusive of shorthand but optional in Secondary School. The revised edition of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2014) outlined that the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competencies both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society. The objective of each level of education is to give the individual a climbing stone to a higher level. Where the secondary school curriculum is inadequate, it cannot prepare students for useful living and solid higher education.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Office Technology and Management is embedded with a conglomerate of courses inclined to development of skills and competencies. It has been observed that there certain criteria which must be met by teachers, students and policy makers in order to achieve the overall objectives of the programme in the polytechnic.
With the unprecedented rate of change in technology as requiring knowledgeable workers and creating entrepreneur opportunities, students need to be adequately prepared to make choices and acquire basic skills to enhance learning. Other critical issues requiring immediate attention include as follows: inadequate number of trained teachers, poor societal perceptions, retraining of teachers on e-teaching platform, poor industry/institutional collaboration, incessant strike actions and proper utilization of modern ICT.
1.3 Objectives of the study
1. Ascertain the extent basic skills in acquisition of OTM skills.
2. Determine the critical issues in the learning of OTM in the 21st century.
3. Identify measures that can ameliorate these challenges.
1.4 Research Questions
1. What are the basic skills in that affect the acquisition of OTM skills in the polytechnic.
2. What are the challenges faced in OTM skills acquisition?
3. What are the measures which can be adopted to improve OTM skills acquisition
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