Background to the study

Science education aims at producing scientist for national development as well as individuals who will be self reliant and competent in their specialization.According to Hornby (2010) to be competent means that a person has the ability or power to demonstrate knowledge , skills and attitudes that are sufficiently required to perform a given task. It is a functional ability to apply to practical situation the essential principles and techniques of a particular subject matter or field. Universities are regarded as principal institutions of learning in Nigeria. They give complete ability training intended to prepare students for various occupations. Assessment of programming skills means the ability of graduates of computer science education to secure, perform well in a computer job, establish it and manage it. If the individual is well trained in computer science education with the necessary skills needed,then the person can possess necessary skills for self-employment.

The National Policy on education (FME,2004) stated that the need for functional education which should be relevant,practical and tailored towards acquisition of appropriate skills and development of competencies and values which will enable an individual to live and contribute meaningfully to the development of his society.

Osuala (2002) stated that the employable skills are those skills that help someone keep a job.There are various areas of employable skills.Programming skills is one of the skills required in a computer science education student for paid jobs or self-employment upon graduation. With the proper acquisition of programming skills,graduates from computer science program can become self-employed for wealth creation. Programming has been one of the highest advancing technology in this era,which computer science education students must possess.

Dennis and Durojaiye (2000) pointed out that anyone connected with programming needs to keep up with technological development, competency and manipulative skills. Hence, in this

study,computer science education are being assessed to determine the level of programming skills they possess that will enable them become self-employed on graduation.

Statement of the Problem

The growing number of idle graduates or unemployed graduates from different disciplines and especially computer science education graduates is alarming.Buttressing this point, the president of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), lamented that unemployment rate has risen to a frightening level of 23.9%, youth unemployment is at 50%,the poverty situation has been worsening, currently estimated at 67%.

He also said that economic growth is not the only situation to curb unemployment in Nigeria, because official statistics have shown that unemployment did not always decline as economic growth.Rather other factors such as provision of right skills to the youth to enable them live a prosperous and fulfilled life.There is need therefore to assess the programming skills needed by a computer science education student so that they can make a useful living upon graduation.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to assess the programming skills needed by a computer science education student for self-employment. Specifically, the study intends to:

  1. Identify the essential programming skills needed by a computer science education students for self-employment.
  2. Outline the problems militating against the acquisition of the basic and essential programming skills.
  3. Identify strategies for enhancing competency in programming skills among the computer science education graduates.

Significance of  theStudy

The findings of this study will be beneficial to the graduates of computer science education, the curriculum planners, future researchers and government of the nation.

To graduates, the results of this study will serve as a guide to acquire the skills and competencies required by the employers of the industry so as to bridge the gap between the theoretical, laboratory and real life practical experience.

To the curriculum planners, the findings of this study will serve as a tool for curriculum evaluation showing what needs to be removed, rearranged , and inculcated to attain the stated educational goal of computer science education and the entire science education program.

To the future researchers, the result of this study will guide them on what is and what needs to be done in the future. It will point out areas to channel their future research using the recommendation of this study.

To the government, it will open their mind on how to reform our educational sector to solve the societal needs. It will also guide them on new policy and the amendment of existing ones for achievement of the national goal or education.

Scope of the Study

This study was delimited to assess programming skills needed by the graduates of computer science education. The programming skills were gotten from the opinion of the employers in the field of computer science education and experts in computer science industries. The new trends were gotten from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) magazine while the strategies for effective acquisition of these skills were gotten from workshop scientist of government owned universities,polytechnics and colleges of education.

Research Questions

In an effort to ensure a proper study, the following research questions were formulated.

i .To  what extent does computer science education students possess the following programming skills?

  1. What are the factors that are militating against the acquisition of essential programming skill by computer science education students?

iii. What are the strategies for enhancing or improving the competencies in essential programming skills in computer science education students for self-employments?