FACTORS AFFECTING THE LOW ENROLMENT OF STUDENTS IN VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
This project work was to determine the factors that contribute to low enrolment of students in vocational/Technical education in secondary schools. This was initiated as a result of the student’s apathy to the study of vocational subjects in secondary schools. In carrying out the research, the focus was to identify the variables or interest, gender, socio-economic status of the parents as it influences the students choice of the study of Vocational/Technical subjects were raised top guide the researcher designing the instrument to be used for the study. Structured questionnaires were used for the data collection. A sample of hundred respondents offering vocational/Technical subjects in senior secondary schools were used. The mean frequency distribution and grand mean were used in analyzing the data collected. Major findings were made on the factors that influence the students attitude such as interest, gender, and socio-economic status, the qualification of teachers and instructors and guidance councellors motivated influence. Based on these findings, a recommendation for its improvement was proffered. This study was carried out to find out the factors that affect students low enrolment in vocational education in Edo State. Chapter one gave the insight into the background of vocational education courses, which are geared towards self-reliance or self-employment while related literature was review in chapter two. The chapter three described the design and methodology. It treated the significance, purpose and problems of this study including the research question, which were administered, and the result analyzed in chapter four. The study was then summarized in chapter five and from the results in chapter four, conclusion and recommendations were made. It is observed that students generally lack the zeal, interest and aptitude in learning vocational and technical education courses. To accomplish this, three departments were randomly selected in School of Education, Ekiadolor Benin and they numbered one hundred. The instrument used in collecting data was the questionnaire for the students alone without the teachers. Simple percentage was used to analyze data collected from this respondent.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Background of study
Statement of the problem
Objective of study
Significance of study
Scope and Limitations of the study
Definition of terms
Review of literature
Design of the study
Population and sample
Validity of the instrument
Method of data collection
Method of data analysis
Data analysis and interpretation
Summary, Conclusion, Recommendations and
Suggestions for further research
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Vocational/ technical education are among the vital tools an individual can use to be developed. It is a training for useful employment in trade, industries, agriculture, business and home making etc. the emphasis on vocation/technical; education is to prepare one for self reliance. American vocational association (1971) sees vocational subjects as those designed to develop skills, abilities, understanding, attitude, work habit and appreciation encompassing knowledge and information needed any workers to enter and make progress in employment on a useful and productive basis. It contributes to the production of good citizens by developing their physical, social, civic, cultural and economic competencies.
The advent of formal education in Nigeria neglect vocational and technical education entirely. Despite all efforts made to recognize it, yet little or no attention was given to it. No meaningful development was made in the area of vocational education until 1981, when the National policy on Education was published. Due to total neglect, vocational education suffered a major decline in quality, number, policy and directive in Nigeria due to the total neglect. It was after the oil boom era 1970s that it dawned on the nation that there was acute scarcity of skilled manpower.
Osuala (1999) emphasized that the term either technical or vocational education has no single universally accepted definition but what is common is the various definitions is its goals and objectives that remain the same. Technical education has been defined as that phase of education which seeks to help the
people, students and the populace acquire specific mechanical or manipulative skills required in industrial arts or applied science.
The national policy on education (2004), stated the goals and objectives of vocational and technical education as follows:
(1) to provide trained manpower in applied science, technology and commerce particular at sub-professional grades.
(2) to provide technical knowledge and vocational skill necessary for agriculture, industries, commercial and economic development.
(3) to give training and impact the necessary skills leading to the production for craft-man, technicians and other skilled personnel who will be enterprising and self-reliant.
(4) enable our young men and women to have intelligent understanding of the increasing complexity of technology.
(5) to give an introduction to professional studies in engineering and other technologies.
Yole (1986) reported that occupational areas within which vocational and technical educational education subjects fall largely into are: Agriculture, Home economics, Business and mechanics, capacity, countering, Arts etc. However, Agriculture and carpentry remain improper choices because they do not attract much interest amongst the students.
Anyakoha (2000) emphasized that Home economics is a unique and dynamic field of study. Its central theme is the improvement of lives of individuals, field of study1 that draws knowledge from many disciplines including science and humanities in order to fulfill its objectives. Bing a vocational subject that focuses on the welfare of individuals, families and societies, Home economics contributes meaningfully to the solutions of the problems of the society such as unemployment, poverty, malnutrition (Olcitan 2000).
Osuala (1992) also stressed that Home economics as a vocational subject is required to equip the learner with the knowledge of skill and attitude necessary for threw effective management of the home, it requires skills, wisdom, dedication, care, intelligence, unusual patience and very strong power of observation and
imagination. Therefore, a student that has these qualities should study vocational/ technical subjects especially Home economics rather the reverse is the case. Federal Government wants vocational/technical education to occupy a prominent position in our secondary schools, Nigerian schools pay little or no attention to vocational/technical subjects. Teachers and students seem not to understand what it is all about and consequently, develop some contempt and aversion for the subjects. As such of vocational/technical subjects remain unhealthy. Many of the occupations and trades are regarded as ignoble and unbecoming. An average Nigerian parents does not want his son to earn a living as a full time farmer, a watch-repairer, a plumber, a house painter, for many Nigerians, these jobs are
for the poor and underprivileged. Padunny (1994) stressed that typically the higher the occupational status of the students parents, the positive their attitude towards science. This is to say that higher occupational parents would want their child to be doctors, engineering etc. without considering if the child would actually read science subject to achieve that. The influence of parents in the development of students interest in vocational/technical subjects cannot be over emphasized this is because parent seem to have much influence on children’s choice of educational career. The socio-economic status of parent of a child determines the type of career one choose to do, some parents have biased and rigid thoughts regarding the occupational choices of a child/children. Parents forgot that every type of work, once it is beneficial to the individual and society, is worthy and noble. (Nwankwo 1996).
The result of this is a quasi calculated attempt to frustrate the good intention of the federal and state government about vocation/technical education. The quality sign of potential success in students vocational pursuits require the identification of the students interest, aptitudes, abilities, values and judgments, if these will be discovered, it requires a guidance counselor who will give the appropriate occupational information to the student with proper exposition to various opportunities available in the would of work. It is not surprising that students are not interested in vocational/technical subjects. Osuala (1992) opined that, at the heart of our society and economic problem is a national attitude that implies that
vocational/technical subjects are designed for somebody else’s children and is meant primarily for the children of the poor. This same attitude is shared by students. Thus, it makes the students lack interest in the study of vocational subjects particularly Home economics.
The skill that teachers exhibit in teaching influences the student enrolment in vocational/technical subjects. Onwuka, (1981) postulated that the method of approach is very vital in any teaching/learning situation. The way the teacher presents the subject matter to the learner may make a student like or dislike a subject. Nwogwugwu (1989) pointed out the need for blending theoretical and practical work in teaching of subjects as to stimulate students interest more especially on vocation technical subjects. The greatest single factor in teaching learning id the teacher. No technique, no method, no device, no gadget can guarantee success, but only an effective qualified teacher can adequately execute these. (Okafor, 1987). Thus the greatest motivating device yet discovered is the highly motivated teacher of students are to be involved actively in teaching and learning process in a way of projects, field trips, directed field activities etc, note
learning and subject centered orientation should be changed to a more practical and child centered out-look.
The increase in qualities and quantities of outputs should be primarily due to improvement in the quality of the teacher. It is therefore the trust of this study to explore the influential factors that affects the students on the study of vocational subjects in Nigerian secondary schools.
According to Akenbi (2000) vocational education is the acquisition of basic skills, which enable an individual to be gainfully employed in any sectors of the economy. For any country to obtain any level of development, vocational education must be put into consideration. Western education started in Nigeria when the Christian Missionaries came. During this period, they were mostly interested in teaching the word of God, converting souls and preaching the gospel. Some people were not able to fellowship, some could not walk, see or hear, therefore, they were taught how to make basket and this occupied them, aids were given to them, active/alive and to make them feel at home.
Before the arrival of the missionary, vocational training had started at home, children helping their mothers to cook, boys helping their father at farm. The colonial administration participated in vocational/technical education given as a separate plan outside that vocational education involves such field as agricultural education, business education, marketing or distributive education, trade and industrial education. Vocational education comprises of vocational and technical training, which is given in schools a class under public supervision and control. The development of skills is perhaps the foundation on which vocation education is laid the assertion has been authorize to the unanimous agreement of the three groups sample to the fact that vocational education is designed to develop skills abilities understanding and attitude of individuals. This agrees with the definition of committee on research and publication of American vocation association (1954). The primary purpose of embarking on skill development is to enable someone to do some work.
Olatain (1984) says vocational education refers to systematic learning experience, which are designed to enable individuals for gainful employment in recognized occupation as semi skilled workers or technical or professionals. It equally included guidance and counselling in connecting with training and other instruction directly related through an occupation. The benefits derives from various vocational education cannot be over emphasized. It is the pride of the nation to develop more vocational education in order to activate maximum technologically.
Thorp et al (1930) in their reports they expressed the view that the aim and objective of vocational education are as follows;
a. The aim of technical education must be to provide or the requirements of industry, commerce and society and to adjust itself to the changing needs of the territory. The curriculum and organization must be adopted to meet national and local demands and must not adhere to firm and immutable forms.
b. Large number of men and women engaged in industry and commerce and in professional and auxiliary, occupation lack the specialized knowledge and training which would allow them to be efficient in their vocation and fit to accept greater resp0onsibility, the course must be arranged so they can improve their knowledge and efficiency while continuing employment.
c. Special attention must be given to the training of teachers and personnel and for institutions engaged into training of teachers particularly for secondary schools and technical institutions and for institutions engaged in the training of primary school teachers also for person engaged in social activities such as youth and community center work or in community development generally.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Vocational education has been known as a veritable discipline for the attainment of self-reliance and can be seen in different dimensions. The various skills acquisition centres in the state are expected to produce man power at craftsmanship and apprenticeship levels. And it has been ascertained that facilities, staff, finance etc are either lacking or not sufficiently provided to achieve the expected desires. Although many technical schools and other skill acquisition centre like college of education, polytechnics are available in Edo state for the above purposes what is not clear now is that to what extent is “vocational education helping in peace development of Edo State”.
Vocational/Technical education subjects ought to attract many students because of its laudable importance but reverse has been the case. the reasons for this probably is due to people’s perception that it does not require specialized kind of training. The students have the feeling that even if one is at home at the requite
skills needs to learn have to cook, farm, etc can be acquired without formal training.
People are ignorant of the importance of the vocational subjects which could help males and female students receive formation and be able to work solution to problems. Also, it enables the students to acquire skills, abilities essential for independent life met up with personal and family needs more especially in this economic difficulties.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The objective of study is to investigate the problems facing vocational education in Egor Local Government Area. it is also to investigate the following specific objectives;
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
This study will be of great importance to this development of new and old vocational and technical education schools in Egor Local Government Area. The study will also contribute immensely to the exploration of the vocation education in Egor Local Government Area and suggest possible solution to the problems identified.
Also, it will be significant to heads and director of the existing vocation and technical education schools because it will expose other unnecessary roles and problems that led to the total collapse of subsequent vocational and technical schools in order to avoid them and ensure efficiency and maximum prosperity.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were asked for the purpose for the attainment of the above.
1. Is non-availability of finance affecting the development of vocational education in Egor Local Government Area?
2. Is vocational education really helping individual to be self-reliance?
3. Are inadequate infrastructural facilities affecting the development of vocational education?
4. Is Local Government really helping teachers and students of vocational education?
5. Is non-availability of staff or teachers affecting the development of vocational education?
6. What are the level of students interest in the study of vocational/technical education/subjects.
7. What are the influence of teacher qualification on the attitude of vocational/technical subjects.
8. What are parents socio-economic status influence on the attitude of students on the study of vocational/technical education/subjects.
9. What are the influence of gender/sex on the students choice of vocational/technical education/subjects.
10. What are the influence of guidance counselor on the students attitude towards the study of vocational/technical education/subjects.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study will be narrowed to school of Vocational and Technical Education, or College of Vocational and technical Studies which offer vocational courses which are; Agricultural Education, Business Education and Home Economics Education.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Vocational education: This is the education or sort of formal training programme that trains students for work in a particular trade. It is also the education that prepares people for specific trades, crafts, and careers at various levels.
Agricultural Education: This is an instruction about crop production, livestock, management, soil and water conservation and various other aspect of agriculture.
Vocational and Technical Education: Is an organized educational activities that offer a sequence of courses that provides individuals with the academic and technical knowledge.
Apprenticeship: Apprenticeship is an agreement between a person (an apprentice) who wants to learn a skill and an employer who needs a skilled worker. Apprenticeship combines on the job experience with technical classroom training.
Trade and Industrial Education: This education prepares people for careers in a variety of trades including carpentry, masonry, electrical and construction management.