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O. Nwanna-Nzewunwa University of Port Harcourt (NIGERIA)

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1 O. Nwanna-Nzewunwa University of Port Harcourt (NIGERIA)

2 INTRODUCTION This paper starts with the clarification of important concepts; thereafter the constraints to the teaching and learning of vocational education in Nigerian were reviewed. Vocational education has been defined by the National Policy on Education (2004:29) section 7 (40) as: Technical and Vocational Education used as a comprehensive term referring to 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 occupations in various sectors of economic and social life. Technical and vocation education is further understood to be:

3 INTRODUCTION Technical and vocation education is further understood to be: 1. an integral part of general education; 2. a means of preparing for occupational fields and for effective preparation in the world of work; 3. aspects of lifelong learning and a preparation for responsible citizenship; 4. an instrument for promoting environmentally sound sustainable development; 5. A method for alleviating poverty.

4 INTRODUCTION The Policy (Section 7) also gave the goals of education as follows: To provide trained manpower in applied science, technology and commerce particularly at sub-professional grades. To provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, industrial, commercial and economic development. To prove people who can apply scientific knowledge to the improvement and solution of environmental problems for the use and convenience of man.

5 INTRODUCTION To give an introduction to professional studies in engineering and other technologies. To give training and impart the necessary skills leading to the production of the craftsman, technicians and other skilled personnel who will be enterprising and self-reliant. To enable our young men and women to have an intelligent understanding of the increasing complexity of technology.

6 QUALITY VOCATIONAL EDUCATION Eze (2005:1) notes that quality connotes a continuum of worth ranging from the least to the highest levels of excellence or superiority. At one end the continuum is the least excellent implying lowest quality. At the other end, is the highest excellence reflecting the highest quality. This implies that, determining the quality of an object, even programme or any other thing requires programme determination of the benchmark along the continuum for the establishment of exact quality of object being determined. Eze further stated that most of the discourses on quality of education were too restrictive and suppressed. Focus, then, was on the identification of a single index of quality upon which the judgment of quality was based. In some cases, such judgment was based on even no standard at all or, at best, chosen arbitrarily.

7 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Olewepo in Dawodu (2000:70) records that Nigerians know that the nation’s level of technological acquisition and development is an enduring basis of social, economic and industrial development. It is for this reason that the Nigerian government, since independence, has emphasized and supported technical education as the precursor to technological and economic development. In line with the latter, Nwanna-Nzewunwa (2005:1) posits that: the benefits of technological development are achieved at the cost of heavy investments in education and training in research and development. The transfer of technology from a developed to a less developed country is achieved through education. A wide range of technological knowledge and manufacturing know-how are often required to transfer the technology of industrial products. The transmission of technical knowledge related to industrial techniques requires a high caliber of engineering and technical personnel.

8 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Another importance of vocational, technical and technological studies has been observed by Dawodu (2000:72). He notes that: Technical education is a most reliable vehicle to economic prosperity and political or diplomatic supremacy of a nation over others. Therefore, Nigeria, as a nation, can rely on technical education to catalyze technological, industrial and economic in achieving national development. For the philosophy to be in harmony with Nigeria’s national objectives, it has to be geared towards self realization; better human relationship, individual and national efficiency, effective citizenship national consciousness, national unity as well as towards social, cultural, economic political, scientific and technological progress.

9 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE So far, the topic has been introduced and the purpose of the study, research questions and the related literature has been presented. The remaining part of the review will be done with tables that show some of the barriers to vocational education in Nigeria.

10 Table 1:Showing Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education offering NCE Programmes in Technical and Vocational Teacher Education in Nigeria. S/No.Names of Polytechnic of College of Education Course Programmes Total Number AgricBus. Ed.Home Econo mics. Tech. Ed. 1.Federal Polytechnic Mubi1-*-* 2.State Polytechnics: Calabar, Ibadan, Maiduguri, Sokoto, (B.K.)4-*-* 3.State Polytechnics: Auchi, IMT (Enugu), Kaduna Polytechnic3-*-* 4.Federal College of Education: Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo1-*-* 5.FCE: Advanced Teachers’ College, Kano1-*-* 6.FCE: Advanced Teachers’ College, Zaria1-*-* 7.FCE: Abeokuta, Kontagora, Obudu, Pankshin4**** 8.FCE: Katsina, Yoa2**** 9.FCE: Okene FCE (Technical) Gombe2**-* 10FCE: Technical, Bichi1**** 11.FCE: (Tech.) Akoka, Asaba, Omoku, Potiskum, Gusau (for Females only), Umunze6-*-* 12.FCE (Special). Oyo1*-** Total number of polytechnics and FCEs = (58.7) 11 (23.9) 21 (45.7) 10 (21.7) 22 (47.8) Source: Iwuoha, S.I. (2000:14). The table above shows one of the serious problems of vocational education in Nigeria which is the limited number of institutions

11 Table 2: Showing the Universities and affiliated Institutions offering 1 st Degree Programme in Technical and Vocational Teacher Education in Nigeria Source: Iwuoha, S.I. (2000:13). S/No.University or University Study Affiliated institution Courses being offered & duration of programme 1.Federal polytechnic Mubi*2, 4*2,3,4 - 2.University of Benin*2,3,4,4*2,3,4,5 3.University of Calabar*2,3, University of llorin---*2,3,4 5.Federal University of Technology, Yola*3,4-- 6.Federal University of Technology, Minna---*5 7.University of Nigeria, Nsukka*2,3,4

12 Table 2: Showing the Universities and affiliated Institutions offering 1 st Degree Programme in Technical and Vocational Teacher Education in Nigeria Source: Iwuoha, S.I. (2000:13). 8.Anambra state University of Technology, Enugu-*3,4-*2,3,4 9.Delta state University, Abraka*3,4 *3,4,*3,4 10.University of Cross River State, Uyo*2,3,4 11.Ogun State University, Ago-Iwoye-*3,4- 12.Rivers State University of Science & Technology, P.H.*3, Adeyemi COE, Ondo (O.A.U. affiliated)*2,3, Alvan Ikoku COE, Owerri (UNN affiliated)*2,3, Rivers State COE, Port Harcourt (U.I Affiliated)--*2,3,4- 16.Advanced Trs. College, Zaria (A.B.U. affiliated)--*2,3,4- 17.Kaduna Polytechnic (A.B.U. affiliated)--*2,3,4- Total number = 3410(29.4) 9(26.5)10(29.4)

13 METHODOLOGY POPULATION The population of this study consists of all vocational institutions (tertiary level) in the six geo-political zones in Nigeria. SAMPLE Samples of six from each zone were randomly selected. 500 x 6 = 3, INSTRUCTION FOR DATA COLLECTION Questionnaires were used for data collection. The respondents were requested to identify the barriers to quality vocational education in Nigeria on a five point scale of strongly agree, agree undecided, disagree, and strongly disagree. A means score of three (3) was regarded as the minimum score for any item to be acceptable as a barrier.

14 METHODOLOGY PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA A total questionnaires were distributed to the respondents through my post-graduate Diploma in Education Student who served as research assistants. A total of two thousand one hundred and twenty five (89%) were well complete and retuned. The number of the questionnaires retuned is 89% out of the 100%. Table 3: shows the responses of them the subject in respect of barriers to quality vocational education in Nigeria. 90% of them agreed with eighteen out of the twenty questionnaire items (i.e. items 1-8, and 14-20) while 10% disagreed with the questionnaire (items 16 and 20). The latter has items 16 and 20 means of 2.26 and 2.19 respectively. Since these figures are below 3 point on the scale, it is concluded that the subjects disagree that those items constitute barriers to quality vocational education in Niger.

15 FINDING OF THE STUDY The findings of this study revealed that the barriers to quality vocational educational in Nigeria include: S/NoItemsMean xResponses 1.Social attitude towards vocational education3.85Agree 2.Stratification of subjects4.01Agree 3.Inadequate practical work4.35Agree 4.Inadequate industrial experience4.30Agree 5.Inadequate funding of vocational education4.04Agree 6.Lack of qualified teachers3.82Agree 7.Lack of equipped laboratories and instructional materials4.01Agree 8.Shortage of instructional materials3.20Agree 9.Inadequate learning environment4.02Agree 10.Grades of students in terminal examination4.00Agree 11.The rate of unemployment of graduate3.35Agree 12.Scarcity and high cost of textbooks3.49Agree 13.Curriculum of vocational institutions not relevant to the vocational and technological needs of the nation 3.82Agree 14.Political instability4.36Agree 15.Disregard of indigenous skills of apprenticeship system3.56Agree 16.Lack of vocational guidance experts in vocational institutions2.26Disagree 17.Poor organization and administration of vocational education3.81Agree 18. Method of teaching4.25Agree 19.Incessant strike by academic and non-academic staff3.56Agree 20.Examination malpractice2.19Disagree Nwanna – Nzewunwa, O. P

16 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS This study has established through the responses of the subjects that eighteens items on the barriers list undermine of quality vocational education in Nigeria. The major findings of this study is that social attitude towards the subjects, stratification of subjects, inadequate practical work, inadequate industrial experience, inadequate funding, lack of qualified teachers and poorly-equipped laboratories/ workshops are serious barriers to quality vocational education in Nigeria.

17 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS When the missionaries introduced vocational education in Port Harcourt and Bonny, they taught both the normal and handicapped people. In some handicraft and domestic science centers in the state, they collected the handicapped and were taught basket making, knitting, sewing and weaving. In the society, this created very negative attitudes towards vocational education. This resulted in serious misconceptions, in difference and bias against vocational education from the local people. They saw this vocational training as intended only for the handicapped, drop-outs, delinquents and the less privileged. Many, if not all, therefore, regarded it as inferior to literary education. Since no one in society wanted to be identified with inferiority, they naturally turned away from vocational education, (Nzewunwa 1983).

18 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS In Nigeria, some subjects like medicine, engineering and the sciences are regarded as “Kings” while law, political science, economics, finance and banking are regarded as “Queens” of subjects (Nwanna-Nzewunwa 2000). Consequently, parents encourage their children to go for the Kings and Queens subjects at the expose of vocational courses. Inadequate practice work, laboratories/workshop and industrial experience, also constitute major barriers to quality vocational education for, in most schools, vocational educational which is identified that the acquisition of skills, are only theoretically.

19 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS The result is that the graduates are half-baked, situation which leaves most of them unemployed due to poor performance at job interviews. Besides section 13 (123) (2004:61) of the national Policy on Education the importance of relating technical training programmes to the requirements of commerce and industry. But vocational education has not achieved this due to lack of practical work, laboratories, workshop and industrial experience.

20 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS On inadequate funding, section 13 (120) of the National Policy on Education, states that, education is an expensive social service, and requires adequate financial provision from all the three tiers of government for successful implementation. Vocational education is not an exception. The effect of inadequate funding is reflected in almost all the items on the questionnaires such as lack of qualified teachers (caused by poor training, lack of in- service training, workshops and seminars), shortage of instructional materials, inadequate learning environment, method of teaching (mainly theory), incessant teachers’ strikes (due to non-payment of salaries, examination) and malpractice (cause by poor quality of teaching). On the relevance curriculum to the nation’s vocational and technological needs, let us look at the provision of section 7; sub-section 43(b) of technical and vocational education:

21 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS The curriculum for each trade shall consist of four components; general education; theory and practice of technological and vocational education. It states that the curriculum for each trade shall consist of four components: (i) General education (ii) Theory and related courses (iii) Workshop practice (iv) Industrial training/production work (v) Small business management and entrepreneurial trainers. Although the above areas are ideal for quality vocational education, the actual practice leaves mush to be desired as, in practice today, more emphasis is laid on the first component than the other three that are the main focus of vocational and technical educational in Nigeria.

22 RESPOSITIONING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The progress of vocational education depends to an extent, on the attitude of its workers, it is therefore suggested that the way towards for vocational education to contribute meaning to national development, is for the government to make vocational workers/teachers interested in their work by giving them moral and financial encouragement. This can be done by the provision of adequate teaching and learning resources and regular payment of salaries and allowances. When teachers’ salaries are regular, truancy and absenteeism will be reduced and hone teacher will be more dedicated to their jobs. Adequate funding is a pre-condition for successful quality education.

23 RESPOSITIONING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Vocational education is cost-intensive. The Federal and state government should, therefore endeavor to provide enough funds for serious implementation of plans. This can be done in the following ways: 1.Appeal to parents/teacher associations, 2.Appeal to public-spirited individuals, voluntary, national and international organization; 3.Making the colleges to an extent, production- orientated-students practical products can be sold and the money realized used for new practical lessons; 4.The provision of separate funds or budget for vocational education. Right now, funds of vocational and general education in some states are not separated.

24 RESPOSITIONING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Poor training, poor job performance and unemployment seem to have similar causes. It is therefore, suggested that the Federal and sate governments should provide adequate workshop, laboratory, funds and opportunities for industrial training. This will help in repositioning the quality of vocational education to a considerable extent. Practice is essential for the acquisition of skill’ laboratory and workshop facilities are needed in order to achieve the aim of nation building through quality teaching and teachers’ for practice with the provision of these examination malpractice will be reduced or checked as students will be well prepared for their internal and external examinations. When they perform very well, they will get employed and other unskilled persons will be attracted to vocational education.

25 RESPOSITIONING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Finally, before the establishment of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in Nigeria, the organization and administration of vocational education was, a considerable extent, left in the hands of people who had general education. Organizer and Administrators of vocational education must possess adequate knowledge and skills. Administrative training, educational and professional skills are required for successful organization or administration of vocational colleges and programmes. The result of leaving the organization and administrations of vocational education in the hands of laymen was more emphasis placed on general education..

26 RESPOSITIONING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A separate division was later created for the organization and administration of vocational education and a Minster and commissioners were appointed to take care of science and technology in the country. This is step in the right direction, but still, some of the organizers and administrators of some of the institutions do not possess adequate knowledge of vocational education, as they are scientist who gives more attention to science than technology. Technologists or vocational educators should be made in charge of the organization and administration of vocation education so that the subject can contribute to national development.

27 References Aghenta, J.A. (1982). Strategies for the Reform of Vocational Education in Nigeria: In Education and Development, a journal of the Nigerian Education Research Council, Vol. 2, No. Jan pp Aina, O. & Bee Croft A. (1982). Towards Adequate Supply of quality technical manpower: In Education and Development. A journal of the Nigerian Research Council, Vol.2 No. 1, Jan pp Alele –Williams, G. (1989). A Keynote Address delivered at the National Workshop on promoting Science, Technology and Mathematics, among girls and Women, organized by Federal Ministry of Education, Aminu, Jibril. (1989). An address delivered at the National workshop on promoting science, technology and Mathematics, among girls and Women, organized by Federal Ministry of Education, Babangida, M. (1989). An address delivered at the National Workshop on promoting Science, Technology and Mathematics, among girls and Women, organized by Federal Ministry of Education, 9-12.

28 References Dawodu, R.A. (2000). Relevance of Technical Education as an agent in Achieving National Development: In Nigeria Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, Vol. 9, No. 1, November. Eze, D.N. (2005). Improving the Quality of Education in Nigeria, Journal of Qualitative Education, Vol. 1, No. 1, May. Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004). National Policy on Education, Lagos, NERDC Press. Iroegbu, P.A.N. (2000). Improving the Quality of Engineering Education in Nigeria: Journal of Qualitative Education, Vol. 1, No. 1, May. Iwuoha, S.I. (2000). Technical Education and National Development: Restructuring the Engineering/Technical Education – The Role of Engineers, Educators and Administrators.

29 References Nwanna-Nzewunwa, O.P. (1983). Development of Vocational Education in River State: Problem and Prospects, Choba, Unpublished M.E.d. thesis, Faulty of Education, University of Port Harcourt. Nwanna-Nzewunwa, O.P. (2001). Vocational Educational: A Missing Link in Nigeria Educational Development, Journal of the Nigeria Association of Curriculum Theorists (NACT) July. Nwanna-Nzewunwa, O.P. (2001). Sociology of Education for Diploma and Certificate Students, Choba, Pam Unique Publishers. Nwanna-Nzewunwa, O.P. (2005). Minimum Standards and Quality Assurance in Polytechnic Education in Nigeria. Nsukka, Institute of Education, University of Nigeria Publications.

30 Daalu !!! (Thank You)


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