PERCEIVED STRATEGIES FOR IMPROVING MAINTENANCE OF LABORATORIES AND EQUIPMENT IN VOCATIONAL AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS IN ANAMBRA STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Vocational technical education is an educational training which comprises knowledge, skills competencies, structural, activities, abilities, capabilities and all other experiences acquired through formal education on the job or off the job which are capable of enhancing recipients and equally creates opportunity for securing job (Okolocha, 2006).

The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) outlined the goals of Vocational Technical Education (VTE) in the National Policy on Education document as follows:

  1. Provide trained manpower in the applied sciences, technology and business particularly at craft, and technical levels.
  2. Provide the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agriculture, commerce and economic development.
  3. Give training and impart the necessary skills to individuals who shall be self-reliant economically while at the post-secondary (tertiary) technical institute such as Polytechnics or colleges of education (technical) and universities.

To be able to achieve these goals of vocational technical education, there must be adequate instructional facilities such as laboratories and equipment for the teachings and learning of vocational technical education skills, knowledge and competencies at the tertiary level. Vocational and technical education include training in engineering such as Electrical/Electronics,Mechanical, Welding/Fabrication, Agricultural, science laboratory, computer science, other courses include office technology, food technology hospitality, business administration, accountancy etc. These courses are taught at colleges of education, polytechnic and the universities.

Since these courses require high level of practical skills acquisition, there is need for functional workshops or laboratories.  Laboratories and workshop in VTE may not be properly financed or funded, but there is need for appropriate maintenance culture to be observed in the laboratory or workshop for sustainable acquisition of practical skills.  This study therefore intends to identify the strategies for improving maintenance of laboratories and equipment of vocational and technical education for effective service delivery in tertiary institutions.

 

Over the years Nigeria as a nation has been making effort to be advanced and industrialized like other nations in the world, in terms of robust economy, education, science and technology as well as high standard of living. In countries   like United States of America, Great Britain, China and Germany, there are massive industrialization, advanced science and technology, massive employment and high income per capital as well as reduction in poverty rate among the populace. Against this background, Nigeria in 1987 decided to introduce vocational and technical education into the National Policy on education as a road map to socio economic greatness.

 

Statement of the problem

One of the principal roles of vocational technical education institutions is to promote skill acquisition among the youths through training.  This is a sure step towards achieving the goals of vocational technical education.  Skill acquisition leads to self-reliance among graduates of vocational technical education.

Uzoagulu (1993) opined that manipulative skills cannot be effectively impacted theoretically and that laboratories, equipment and tools are very much required in the training for practical skill acquisition.

Ogbuanya (2004) observed that government in realization of the importance of tools, equipment and laboratories in skill training and scientific knowledge has provided funds for tools, equipment and laboratories at the secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

Anyakoha (1992) stated that in spite of the huge financial commitment of government in the provision of laboratories, tools and equipment, this equipment, tools and laboratories lack maintenance.  The unfortunate and regrettable state of these equipment, tools and laboratories has been attributed to inability of the operators to apply maintenance culture as at when due, on the equipment tools and laboratories. This work intends to address the problem of poor maintenance culture in vocational technical education institutions at the tertiary level.

The problem of this study is therefore to identify the required strategies that will enhance and promote high maintenance culture of laboratories, workshops and equipment in vocational technical education at tertiary level to ensure the safety of student, teaching personnel and equipment and improved teaching and learning of skills in the schools/colleges.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to determine the strategies for improving maintenance culture for workshop and equipment in VTE in tertiary institutions in Anambra State.  Specifically, the study intends to:

  1. Determine the purpose of workshop and equipment maintenance in VTE in tertiary institutions.
  2. Identify the strategies for improving maintenance practices of workshop laboratory and equipment in VTE in tertiary institutions.
  3. To determine factors affecting maintenance of laboratories and equipment in tertiary institutions.

Significance of the Study

This study is of great importance in ensuring good maintenance culture of laboratories and equipment in vocational technical education in tertiary institution.

It will ensure that the investment on laboratories and equipment are optimally used for teaching and learning of vocational technical education.

The findings will also expose the student, teachers and administrators strategies of maintaining laboratories and equipment in vocational technical education programme in tertiary institution.The study will equally improve the performance of students in terms of access to functional laboratories and equipment for teaching and learning of vocational and technical education.

Finally, this study will also assist managerial and teachers in minimizing cost of maintenance.

Research Questions

The following research questions were raised for this study:

  1. What is the purpose of maintenance of laboratory/ workshop and equipment ofvocational and technical education tertiary institutions?
  2. . What ways can the maintenance of laboratory and workshop equipmentimproved in vocational and technical education tertiary institutions?
  3. What are the problems affecting maintenance of laboratory and workshop equipment in tertiary institutions?

 

Scope of the Study

This study is delimited to finding the strategies for improving maintenance of laboratories and equipment in Vocational technical education for effective service delivery in tertiary institutions.