obstacles to quality vocational education in nigerian

Report
O. Nwanna-Nzewunwa
University of Port Harcourt (NIGERIA)
[email protected]
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Table 1: Showing Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education offering NCE
Programmes in Technical and Vocational Teacher Education in Nigeria.
Course Programmes
S/No.
Names of Polytechnic of College of Education
1.
2.
Total
Number
Agric
Bus. Ed.
Home
Econo
mics.
Tech.
Ed.
1
-
*
-
*
4
-
*
-
*
3
-
*
-
*
5.
Federal Polytechnic Mubi
State Polytechnics: Calabar, Ibadan, Maiduguri, Sokoto,
(B.K.)
State Polytechnics: Auchi, IMT (Enugu), Kaduna
Polytechnic
Federal College of Education: Adeyemi College of
Education, Ondo
FCE: Advanced Teachers’ College, Kano
1
1
-
*
*
-
*
*
6.
FCE: Advanced Teachers’ College, Zaria
1
-
*
-
*
7.
FCE: Abeokuta, Kontagora, Obudu, Pankshin
4
*
*
*
*
8.
9.
10
11.
FCE: Katsina, Yoa
FCE: Okene FCE (Technical) Gombe
FCE: Technical, Bichi
FCE: (Tech.) Akoka, Asaba, Omoku, Potiskum, Gusau
(for Females only), Umunze
2
2
1
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
6
-
*
-
*
FCE (Special). Oyo
1
27
(58.7)
*
11
(23.9)
21
(45.7)
*
10
(21.7)
*
22
(47.8)
3.
4.
12.
Total number of polytechnics and FCEs = 46
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
Table 2: Showing the Universities and affiliated Institutions offering 1st
Degree Programme in Technical and Vocational Teacher Education in
Nigeria
S/No.
University or University Study Affiliated
institution
Courses being offered & duration of programme
1.
Federal polytechnic Mubi
*2, 4
*2,3,4
*2, 3,4
-
2.
University of Benin
*2,3,4,4
*2,3,4,5
*2,3,4,5
*2,3,4,5
3.
University of Calabar
*2,3,4
*2,3,4
-
-
4.
University of llorin
-
-
-
*2,3,4
5.
Federal University of Technology, Yola
*3,4
-
-
*3,4
6.
Federal University of Technology, Minna
-
-
-
*5
7.
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
*2,3,4
*2,3,4
*2,3,4
*2,3,4
Source: Iwuoha, S.I. (2000:13).
Table 2: Showing the Universities and affiliated Institutions offering 1st
Degree Programme in Technical and Vocational Teacher Education in
Nigeria
8.
Anambra state University of Technology, Enugu
-
*3,4
-
*2,3,4
9.
10.
Delta state University, Abraka
University of Cross River State, Uyo
*3,4
*2,3,4
*3,4
*2,3,4
*3,4,
*2,3,4
*3,4
*2,3,4
11.
12.
Ogun State University, Ago-Iwoye
Rivers State University of Science & Technology, P.H.
*3,4
*3,4
*3,4
-
*3,4
*3,4
13.
Adeyemi COE, Ondo (O.A.U. affiliated)
*2,3,4
*2,3,4
*2,3,4
-
14.
Alvan Ikoku COE, Owerri (UNN affiliated)
*2,3,4
*2,3,4
*2,3,4
-
15.
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
-
10(29.4)
10(29.4)
9(26.5)
10(29.4)
Total number = 34
Source: Iwuoha, S.I. (2000:13).
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 = 3,000.00
 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.
METHODOLOGY
 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

A total 25000 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, 10-12 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.
FINDING
OF
THE
STUDY
The findings of this study revealed that the barriers to quality
vocational educational in Nigeria include:
S/No
Items
Mean x
Responses
1.
Social attitude towards vocational education
3.85
Agree
2.
Stratification of subjects
4.01
Agree
3.
Inadequate practical work
4.35
Agree
4.
Inadequate industrial experience
4.30
Agree
5.
Inadequate funding of vocational education
4.04
Agree
6.
Lack of qualified teachers
3.82
Agree
7.
Lack of equipped laboratories and instructional materials
4.01
Agree
8.
Shortage of instructional materials
3.20
Agree
9.
Inadequate learning environment
4.02
Agree
10.
Grades of students in terminal examination
4.00
Agree
11.
The rate of unemployment of graduate
3.35
Agree
12.
Scarcity and high cost of textbooks
3.49
Agree
13.
Curriculum of vocational institutions not relevant to the vocational and technological needs of 3.82
the nation
Agree
14.
Political instability
4.36
Agree
15.
Disregard of indigenous skills of apprenticeship system
3.56
Agree
16.
Lack of vocational guidance experts in vocational institutions
2.26
Disagree
17.
Poor organization and administration of vocational education
3.81
Agree
18.
Method of teaching
4.25
Agree
19.
Incessant strike by academic and non-academic staff
3.56
Agree
20.
Examination malpractice
2.19
Disagree
Nwanna – Nzewunwa, O. P. 2007.
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.
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).
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.
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
2004.61 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.
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 inservice 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:
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.
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.
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, productionorientated-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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
342-147.
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.
349-359.
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, 9-12.
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, 9-12.
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.
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.
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.
Daalu !!! (Thank You)

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