Background to the Study
From the introduction of Western education in Nigeria by the colonial masters, science and technical education have been treated as relatively insignificant aspects of the country’s educational system. This has created a situation whereby the majority of Nigerians student especially before the decade trained for clerical or white collar jobs without developing practical skills. According to Fafunwa (2005) neglect off effective practical vocational technical education contributed in social problem Nigeria continue to contend with. It is of utmost importance that school Consequently, It is increasingly important that schools not only develop the mental, moral and physical capabilities of students, but also enable them to acquire skills in technology, so that the graduate will be around to participate effectively in the contemporary economic activities (Ololube & Egbezor, 2012). In other words, it is the role of the vocational technical education system to ensure that the students, imbibe the values and acquired skill they need to function as responsible.
Vocational and technical education, according to Yusuf (2006), is a form of education that seeks to prepare persons for employment in recognized occupations. This type of education provides the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for effective employment. Odogwu (2005) defined vocational technical education as a type of education that emphasises preparation and participation in an occupation of social value. Contrasted with general education, vocational technical education is skill-oriented and trains both the head and the hands. (Oranu, 2009) The Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) further described vocational technical education as that aspect of education that leads to the acquisition of practical skills as well as applied scientific knowledge.
The origin of vocational and technical education in Nigeria could be traced to traditional education practice. This practice ensured that a child is trained in the family trade by direct apprenticeship from either the parents or relations. According to Ogunmila (2006), in traditional vocational education of the various ethnic nationalities, arts and crafts of various types existed as their expression of vocational training.
In the early part of the colonial period, technical vocational training was not encouraged. Schools were built primarily for the purpose of evangelism by the early missionaries which was characterized by literacy and geared towards winning converts and producing clerks and interpreters (Ajayi and Ayodele, 2002). It was not until 1908 that government department started to organize some form of technical vocational training schools resulting to the establishment of the marine training school in 1928 and the public works, the post and telegraph and railway training school in 1931(Adegbile, 2000).
Government’s active participation in the provision of technical education became obvious between 1930 and 1960. During this period, Yaba Higher College was officially opened on January 19, 1934. Technical colleges were established by various regional governments in Enugu (1950), Ilorin (1951), Kano (1953), Bukuru (1953), Sapele (1955), Ijebu-ode (1959), Osogbo, Oyo (1961), Owo (1963), Aba (1964) and Abakaliki (1966). These colleges were not fee paying and they were adequately funded by the government. In 1959, Federal Ministry of Education appointed a commission to conduct an investigation into Nigeria’s needs in the field of Post-Secondary Education (Ogunmila,2006). The reports recommended that adequate attention should be given to technical vocational education and that students should be encouraged to study technical courses and craft subjects. This led to the creation of vocational technical education in post-secondary schools in Nigeria (FGN,2004).
consequently, the FGN (2004) conceptualized vocational Technical Education as education given in institution which provide both scientific knowledge and practical skills required for specific trade, employment or profession as craftsman, technicians/technologists and scientist of similar levels in business field of engineering and applied science. On the other hand, it refers to that aspect of education, which leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge.
Contrary to expectations, vocational and technical education programmes have not been effectively and efficiently carried out over the years, despite a number of good vocational and technical education policies. It seem that these policies were either poorly implemented or not implemented at all.
According to Onwuchekwa (2002), the vocational teacher education workshop at in most Universities of Nigeria, for instance in Nsukka (UNN) resembled the junkyard of the Nigeria Railway Co-operation. The machines in this workshop were supplied by the Ford Foundation in 1960 and have not been supplemented with more modern machines despite the fact that the workshop turns out hundreds of vocational-technical educators every year. As with other disciplines, developing nations like Nigeria often exert great effort to fashion out relevant education systems, the greatest barrier is determining effective strategies or mechanism required for improving this vocational technical skills and the retention of students in the field of study. Some of the current challenges faced by vocational and technical education are derived from the fact that administrators and chief executive officers of educational institutions tend to be general educators not specialists in vocational or technical education (Oranu, 2009). These general educators often direct funds meant for vocational technical education equipment and facilities to other sectors more in line with their interests thus students and the society in general start having poor perception of the profitability of vocational technical education skills.
Given all of the above, there is a need to investigate and determine the mechanism considered effective for improving enrolment and retention of students in vocational technical education institution.
It has been shown in various research that for improving the enrolment and retention of students in vocational technical Education; motivation of students, advices and guidance is a key factor. Student decision and effective teaching skills of vocational education technical courses by lecturer in vocational institution, is another factor which is very vital for helping to improve and retain student in the field of vocational education.
Initial motivations of students’ as expressed by their reasons for enrolling in vocational technical education can also have strong influence on students and make them to continue in the course of studying vocational technical courses. This is because such aspirations and expectations of students are essential factors for student retention in vocational technical Education (Lea 2000 and Martinez, 2000).
Statement of the Problem
The general low regard to vocational technical education by Nigerians has had a negative impact on students enrolment and retention in the programme in the nation’s institution. At the secondary school level, national Board for Technical Education (2015) reported an enrolment of 1,346 and 4,741 in 2012 and 2013 respectively in Anambra state. At the tertiary level education level, records at the registry of NAU, Awka in 2015 revealed 10%,15%, 25% and 39% students enrolment into the programme for 2011,2012,2013, and 2014 academic years respectively.
Furthermore, data obtained from Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Uli in 2015 revealed the percentage enrolment of into the programmes as 8%,13% ,25% and 25% for 2011, 2012 2013 and 2014 respectively. When the above figures and percentage are compared with the total figures and percentage in other field of study at both levels of education for the periods, there is a clear indication of low enrolment in Anambra state.
The above situation is affecting negatively the level of skill acquisition, employment, self-reliance for the citizens as well as economic growth of the state. It is therefore a problem affecting individual and government of the state; hence this calls for urgent remedy. Researchers have suggested that vocational student orientation and motivation, guidance and counselling, orientation of lecturers and their use of suitable instructional methods will attract more student enrolment and their retention in vocational technical education. The extent vocational technical teachers/ lecturers considered these mechanisms as effective need to be empirically determined before they can be adopted hence, this study will focus on the these mechanisms considered effective for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education institution in Anambra state.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to determine the mechanisms considered effective by vocational technical educators in Anambra state for improving students enrolment and retention.
Specifically, the study will determine the extent vocational technical educators consider:
- Motivation as an effective mechanism for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education programme in Anambra State.
- Guidance and counselling, as effective mechanism for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education programme in Anambra State.
- Academic orientation of a student as effective mechanism for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education in Anambra state.
- Effective teaching skills as mechanism for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education in Anambra state
- Orientation of Students’ aspirations and expectation as effective mechanism for improving enrolment of students into vocational technical education.
Significance of the Study
This study will be benefit to vocational education teachers in secondary level and lecturers in tertiary education level. It will also be of benefit to students and to the government.
For school teacher in vocational secondary schools level and lectures in tertiary institution level, the study will enable them adopted effective machismos which can be effectively used for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education institution in Anambra state. The study will also help these educators to see the effectiveness of these mechanisms and the benefit of adopting these mechanism in vocational technical education
For the students, the study will address various job opportunity which available for a graduate vocational technical education student and how effective these education can be in helping them to be self-employed and reliance. It will also enable students see reasons why they have to enrol in vocation technical education
For the government, the study will enable them see the need of supporting vocation technical studies in both secondary and tertiary level and look for more avenue of providing the necessary equipment for school teaching vocational technical courses.
The study will be adding to existing knowledge on vocational technical education and serve as a source of references for fellow researchers.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is to determine mechanisms considered effective by vocational technical educators for improving students enrolment and retention in the programme. The mechanisms to be covered are delimited to motivation, guidance and counselling, academic orientation, teaching method of lecturers, Aspiration student and expectation of students. Variables in the respondents that will be covered are only gender, academic qualification, years of experience and type of institution.
The following research questions will guild the study:-
- To what extent do vocational technical educators in Anambra state consider motivation as an effective mechanism for improving student enrolment and their retention in vocational technical education in Anambra state?
- To what extent do vocational technical educators in Anambra state considers Guidance and counselling, as an effective mechanism for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education programme in Anambra State?
- To what extent do vocational technical educators in Anambra state considers academic orientation of a student as effective mechanism for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education in Anambra state?
- To what extent do vocational technical educators in Anambra state considers effective teaching skills as effective mechanism for improving enrolment and retention of students into vocational technical education in Anambra state?
- To what extent do vocational technical educators in Anambra state considers students’ aspiration and expectation as an effective mechanism for improving enrolment of students into vocational technical education?