ASSESSMENT OF PRACTICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KEBBI STATE, NIGERIA
The study entitled Evaluation of Technical and Vocational Education Programme in Secondary Schools in Kebbi StateNigeria, has five objectives, some of which are to ascertain the rate of enrolment into technical and vocational subjects, enquire into the availability of teachers teaching technical and vocational subjects and examine the qualifications of teachers teaching technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State. Five research questions were asked in accordance with the objectives and five null hypotheses were postulated. The target population for the study comprised 275 principals, 1,518 teachers, and 140 officials of Ministry of Education totaling 1,933. The sample size was 46 principals, 251 teachers, and 23 officials of Ministry of Education totaling 320. The study adopted quantitative research design and the data-collecting instrument for the study was a researcher-designed questionnaire. The data collected from the study were analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency counts, and simple percentages with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The study employed the use of One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) to analyse the data in determining level of significance. The five null hypotheses for the study were tested at 0.05 level of significance. All five of the hypotheses were retained.
Findings of the study revealed low rate of students’ enrolment, non-availability of adequate facilities and low level of staff development programmes for teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State, Nigeria. It was recommended that the people of Kebbi state and all relevant stakeholders should; sensitize the public on the relevance of technical and vocational education by organizing campaigns and school exhibitions of technical and vocational inventions and products, the state government should sustain the present development of hiring teachers with high qualification and ensure staff development programs for teachers to keep them equipped with up-to-date knowledge and skills required for accomplishment of instructional goals as well as personal and professional growth.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is concerned with growth and development of human beings, so great importance is attached to it all over the world. Its essence is teaching and learning the knowledge, skills and habits of a group of people. Teaching and learning are two major aspects of the educational process. While teaching requires imparting knowledge and skills from a teacher to a learner, learning requires the learner to acquire knowledge and skills from the teacher, and as a result of this adjust to the changing world. This teaching-learning connection works best when there are effective teachers working with students who are ready and motivated to carry on learning every day and both activities are demanding and challenging.
Evaluation is an integral part of any teaching and learning programme. Whenever a question is asked and answered, evaluation takes place. Maheshwari (2017) defined evaluation as a concept that has emerged as a prominent process of assessing, testing and measuring. Its main objective is qualitative improvement. Evaluation is an applied inquiry process for collecting and synthesizing evidence that culminates in conclusions about the state of affairs, value, merit, worth, significance, or quality of a program, product, person, policy, proposal or plan (Merten, 2014).
In a world that is constantly changing due to tremendous contributions of science and technology, every society that desires advancement pays particular attention to Technical and Vocational education, that is, tremendous efforts are put in by educational institutions to keep up with the recent advances in technology in order to effectively achieve teaching and learning objectives. It is the immense importance accorded to and the investments made on Technical and Vocational education that has made the developed nations a force to be reckoned with.
Encyclopedia Britannica (2014) defined Technical education as the academic and vocational preparation of students for jobs involving applied science and modern technology, while Vocational education is instruction intended to equip persons for industrial or commercial occupations. Technical and vocational subjects taught in Nigerian schools include; Agricultural science, Computer Studies, Metal-work, Food and Nutrition, Basic Technology, Wood-work, Technical Drawing and Fine Art.
Technical education facilitates the acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge, it is therefore a planned program of courses and learning experiences that begins with exploration of career options, supports basic academic and life skills, and enables achievement of high academic standards, leadership, preparation for industry-defined work, and advanced and continuing education (CTE, 2009). Technical and vocational education is often used
interchangeably to refer to the same type of Education (Okoro, 1999).
According to the 2004 Nigerian National Policy on Education (in Okafor, 2011), technical and vocational education is concerned with qualitative technological human resources development directed towards a national pool of skilled and self-reliant craftsmen. Haq and Haq as cited by Okafor (2011, p.6) observed that, unemployment rates in the East Asian economies remained low essentially because the population possessed employable vocational and technical skills.
Okwelle and Okeke, (2013), discussed that Technical and Vocational education is a part of the formal education system in Nigeria incorporated in the three levels of education (primary, secondary and tertiary) with a view to meet the nation‟s need for skilled manpower and support the economic state of individual and the nation in general. Vocational and technical education has been an integral part of national development strategies in many societies because of the impact on human resource development, productivity and economic growth.
The goals of technical and vocational education according to the Federal
Republic of Nigeria in her 2004 National Policy on Education are to:
- Provide trained manpower in the applied sciences, technology and business
particularly at craft, advanced craft and technical levels;
- Provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, commercial and economic development;
- Give training and impart the necessary skills to individual who shall be selfreliant economically.
Some of the pre-vocational subjects taught at the junior secondary level in Nigeria include Basic Science and Technology, Business Studies, Home Economics, Computer Science and Agricultural Science, Iboikwe (2015). And at secondary level, the vocational subjects include Auto-Mechanics, Wood work, Catering,Home management,and Welding. A good rate of student enrolment into technical and vocational subjects is necessary for the above goals to be achieved. There can obviously be no teaching and learning without learners. Blaugin Chiokwu and Asogwa (2012, p. 90 – 91) stated categorically that, unemployment is increasing because many more students study academic rather than vocational subjects.
Also, there has to be enough and qualified teachers. „Teachers who teach core academic courses in vocational technical schools are required to meet the definition of a Highly Qualified teacher. A teacher who teaches a core academic course in a vocational technical school must hold a Bachelor’s degree, possess a valid and active MA teaching license, and demonstrate subject matter competence in order to be considered Highly
Qualified” Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (2011). Bereday (1980) stressed that the strength of the education system must largely depend on the quality of its teachers. It is also important that facilities should be available, up to date, properly utilized and maintained so as to ensure that teaching and learning of technical subjects can be carried out effectively and efficiently. There should also be continuous staff development programs for the teachers to enable them grow personally and professionally. This will help boost their potentials, confidence and promote readiness for delivery of high quality instruction.
It is clear that Nigeria is still not adequately preparing youth and adults who are skilled enough to take up successful roles in occupations in various sectors of economic and social life. Most Nigerian graduates (including graduates of Vocational and Technical disciplines) lack the skilled proficiency required for handling equipment as opposed to their counterparts/colleagues in other parts of the world, and are incompetent in various aspects in their work life.
Hence it can be said that not much impact is being made in the improvement of teaching and learning of technical and vocational subjects. The focus of this research will be to investigate how teaching and learning takes place with reference to technical and vocational education programme in secondary schools in Kebbi state with the aim of identifying and suggesting appropriate solutions to the problems.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is alarming considering that an impressively large population of the citizenry is educated. Most Nigerian youths fall short of skilled proficiency and competency necessary for facing the challenges of work.
Afemikhe (2007) lamented that products of the Nigerian secondary education system are unemployable as they are not fit for purpose. This statement sparks serious concern and it therefore becomes necessary to look into the secondary education with focus on vocational and technical subjects so as to unravel the factors responsible for this problem with the aim of proffering effective solutions.
Enrolment into technical and vocational subjects in schools is challenged by many factors, such as students‟ negative attitude towards vocational and technical subjects, gender imbalance due to socio-cultural and religious practices, poor image of technical and vocational education in our society (Afemike, 2007).
Most schools in Nigeria do not have enough teachers in vocational and technical education. There are many cases where a teacher of one technical/vocational subject is used by the school to teach three other technical subjects he or she did not specialize in because trained teachers are not available. Thus, students are denied access to the teacher who is seen as an initiator, facilitator, planner, implementer, power broker, adjudicator, bargainer and mediator of educational programs Ukeje in Ani (pp 240, 2010). And in cases where teachers are available, most are not qualified enough to effectively teach technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi state. Most of them are Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) holders from polytechnics.
It is disturbing that facilities for teaching and learning of technical and vocational subjects in many secondary schools are not adequate and where available are poorly maintained or even left laying fallow without being put to effective use, which is a serious waste of resources (Mungani, 2011).
Also, Ntukidem and Etudor (2003) discovered that there are usually no provisions for staff development programs for teachers of technical and vocational subjects, therefore, teachers are not conversant with current information which is necessary for advancement, are not motivated, lack the necessary skills/ competencies required for accomplishment of goals and purposes, as well as personal and professional growth. Boyle (2004), Anderson and Dyke (2002)in Ani (pp 240, 2010) stated that many teachers do not have a detailed up-to-date knowledge of the subject they teach. Most of the teachers of technical and vocational subjects in Nigerian secondary schools need frequent training and retraining in order to become more efficient and effective. Educators need to change with the times.
These problems aroused the interest of the researcher to embark on a formal inquiry into student enrolment, availability and qualification of teachers, facilities and staff development programs with hope to establish the truth about why technical and vocational education in Nigeria has not succeeded in addressing the key issues of development, unemployment and the inability of school leavers to create jobs and be self-reliant, and resultantly suggest solutions to problems realized.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study was set to:
- ascertain the rate of students‟ enrolment into technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State;
- enquire into the availability of teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State;
- examine the qualifications of teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State;
- assess the facilities available for teaching and learning of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State;
- identify staff development programmes for teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were asked to guide the study
- What is the rate of students‟ enrolment into technical and vocational subjects in
secondary schools in Kebbi State?
- Are there enough teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State?
- Are there qualified teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State?
- Are there facilities available for the teaching and learning of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State?
- What staff development programs are in place for teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State?
The following null hypotheses were postulated:
- Ho1: There is no significant difference in the opinions of principals, teachers and officials of Ministry of Education (respondents) on students‟ enrolment into vocational and technical subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi state.
- Ho2: There is no significant difference in the opinions of principals, teachers and officials of Ministry of Education (respondents) on the availability of teachers of technical and vocational subjects in Kebbi State.
- Ho3: There is no significant difference in the opinions of principals, teachers and officials of Ministry of Education (respondents) on the qualification of teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State.
- Ho4: There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on the availability of facilities for technical and vocational education programme in secondary schools in Kebbi State.
- Ho5: There is no significant difference in the opinions of principals, teachers and officials of Ministry of Education (respondents) on staff development programmes for teachers of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
The study is based on the assumptions that:
- a large number of students enroll into technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State;
- there are enough teachers teaching technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State;
- the teachers are qualified and competent to teach technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State;
- the facilities for teaching and learning of technical and vocational subjects are adequate, and in good shape in secondary schools in Kebbi State; and
- there are staff development programmes arranged for teachers teaching technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi State.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study examined the current condition of teaching and learning of technical and vocational subjects in secondary schools with a view to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the program towards improving effectiveness. Findings from this study will help parents understand the importance and need for technical vocational education and this will boost enrolment into the subjects in secondary schools in Kebbi. It is also hoped that the findings of the study will cause curriculum planners, policy makers, principals as well as teachers to plan, develop and implement more inclusive content and programs aimed at meeting vocational and technical instructional objectives. The study will hopefully help students become better acquainted with their individual as well as collective responsibilities so as to maximize the quality of learning experiences, and guide teachers to improve personally and professionally, and also to prepare themselves for advancement through staff development programs.
This study would enable researchers to have a framework for subsequent studies in this area and also serve as reference work for researchers who intend to do similar study. Also, this study intends to better inform the people on how to intervene in the teaching and learning of technical vocational subjects in secondary schools which will no doubt effectively address the issue of unemployable youth and unemployment in Nigeria, to plan for, and to equally put the necessary machinery in place geared at repositioning and transforming the educational system to be more responsive to the needs of the society.
1.8 Scope of the Study
The study involved principals and teachers of public secondary schools and Ministry of Education officials. The study was conducted in some selected secondary schools in the educational zones of Argungu, Birnin Kebbi, Bunza, Gwandu, Yauri and Zuru in Kebbi State due to limited time and resources.
ASSESSMENT OF PRACTICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KEBBI STATE, NIGERIA