Effectiveness of Skill Acquisition Programmes Among Technical Education in University in Rivers State
Objective of the study
The main objective of the study is to examine the Effectiveness of skill acquisition programmes among technical education students in university in Rivers State.specifically, the study aims to;
- investigate the level of resource availability for technical skills acquisition among technical education students in university in Rivers State.
- determine the resource adequacy for technical skills acquisition among technical education students in university in Rivers State.
- ascertain the frequency of resource utilization for technical skills acquisition among technical education students in university in Rivers State.
- examine the curriculum contents’ adequacy for technical skills acquisition among technical education students in university in Rivers State.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literature that would assist in explaining the research problem and furthermore recognize the efforts of scholars who had previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.
Precisely, the chapter will be considered in three sub-headings:
- Conceptual Framework
- Theoretical Framework
- Empirical framework
Concept of Skills
The development of personal talents including originality, self-reliance, creativity, and action orientation is referred to as skill. For an economy to foster and maintain an entrepreneurial culture, a skills development program is essential (Umeji 2016). According to Umeji (2016), skills are the personal aptitudes one develops in order to succeed as a businessperson and be autonomous. The skills include the effective application of concepts, knowledge, and facts to help students develop their skills, render services, or join the workforce of an organization (Mbanefo & Eboka, 2017). The cornerstone for building skills in business education for sustainability is the ability for students to put their ideas into action, which calls for the development of entrepreneurial abilities. Every entrepreneur, whether established or aspiring, needs to be able to reduce risk, look for new sources of innovation, use creative tools, and learn from the market (Mbanefo & Eboka, 2017).
Concept of Technical Skills Acquisition
According to Awhinana (2008) skill is the expertise, practiced ability, dexterity and tact for the performance of certain works or operations. It can be seen as a sequence of organized actions, proficiency executed and usually displaying a flexible but systematic temporal patterning. It involves the acquisition of performance capability. Awhinana asserts that skills development is the ability to do or to perform an activity that is related to some meaningful exercise, work or job. Skills development is important for harnessing a nation’s natural resources and for promoting economic stability. Technical skills are the knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related duties, as well as other specific tasks relating to technology. Those with technical skills are often referred to as technicians, such as audio technicians, electronics technicians or engineering technicians. Technical skills can also refer to the ability to perform tasks that require the use of certain tools and technology that is practical in nature as to complete a designated task.
The acquisition of technical skills requires specific education or training, often with a hands- on learning component. Technical skills acquisition in this study refers to the possession of the knowledge and abilities for analytical applications, statistical analysis, repairing, database design, assembling, configuration, adjusting, computing, calculation, coding, statistical compilation, quantitative reports, proficiency, quality control and assurance, word processing, electronic presentation, web navigation, website design, video conferencing, IT optimization, networking, etc. To acquire skills is to demonstrate the habit of acting, thinking and behaving in a specific activity in such a way that the process becomes natural to the individual through repetition or practice. The acquisition of skills varies with the nature, complexity and the type of activity. Individuals who opt for skills acquisition should, among other things possess qualities such as interest, ability, aptitude, patience, personality characteristics and other human and physical qualities that would enable such industries to succeed in it.
Technical skills acquisition is the master key to national development through which the goals of Education for All (EFA), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Nigerian Vision 20:2020 can be achieved through the emergence of competent and adaptive workforce by technical education. It is through a sound and well articulated technical skills acquisition programme that appropriate technical skills can be developed for the Nigerian economy. In line with the above, technical skills acquisition provided at the tertiary level in polytechnics and colleges of technology is central to the training and production of competent and skilled technicians and technologists needed for industrial development.
According to the report of Ashby Commission on Post-secondary School Certificate and Higher Education in September (Ashby, 1960), the major defect in the Nigerian education was its strong bias towards the traditional literary and academic subjects which led to lack of respect for manual and technical achievement. Subsequently, the technical institutes were expanded and upgraded. Thus Yaba Technical Institute (established 1948) became Yaba College of Technology in 1963; Technical Institute Kaduna (established 1956) became Kaduna Polytechnic in 1968. The Technical Institute, Enugu (established 1958) became College of Technology (and later Institute of Management and Technology) in 1965; and Mid-West Technical College (established 1964) became Auchi Polytechnic in 1972. The Commission, however, made no recommendations for the provision and training of teachers of technical education.
Yakubu (2002) observes that the level of development of any society depends on the level of technical skills acquisition its citizens acquired and applied to society. Nwangwu (2000) argues that industrialization breakthrough is solely accomplished through the ardent pursuit of technical skills acquisition. Odumosu (2005) avers that the sustainable development depends on a well articulated, functional science and technical skills acquisition programme that helps to create a better informed citizenry. Consequently, the role of technical education as a tool for national development should be conceived within the context of sustainable development.
There is hardly any economic activity that is not propelled by science and technology (Njoku, 2001), hence Esiobu (2005) notes that science and technology have long been recognized as the engine that drives economic development. Therefore, investment in technical skills acquisition, with its consequent application to socio-economic development, will certainly cause rapid transformation and advancement. This will facilitate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and drive the goals of the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS).
The significance of technical skills acquisition to national development cannot be overemphasized. Anya (2008) believes that better technical skills acquisition is essential for the economic development of any country. What is needed for any evolving nation is how the production of skilled manpower can be improved upon to make for rapid industrial and technological development. Edem (2005) predicts that in time to come, only people with appropriate and appreciable knowledge and skills in science and technology would be required in the labour market.
Within the context of overall national development, technical skills acquisition helps to produce technically-oriented and other related manpower for effective utilization, exploitation and conservation of a nation’s natural, economic and human resources. In this way, technical skills acquisition assists in industrial and other developmental programmes of a country. Nigerian economy is severely challenged by a dearth of employable hands.
Nwangwu (2000) is of the opinion that a country with an ineffective batch of technicians and technologists is as poor in manpower as a country which lacks natural resources. Knowledge that is not put into practice becomes dormant and useless. Rodney (1973) argues that for a society to develop, it must possess the ability to tap its natural resources in order to cater for the material and socio-economic well being of its people.
Technical skills acquisition is one of the aspects of Nigerian education in which its curriculum was designed to enable the beneficiaries use both the hands and the brain while learning. However, this aspect did not develop quickly in Nigeria and that invariably affected the Nigerian industrial and technological development. According to Ejiogu (2000), the prevalent manpower situation in Nigeria today is generally characterized by large-scale unemployment for those without special skills or relevant training. Ejiogu further asserts that Every facet of the economy has been affected by lack of skilled technicians. The neglect of technical skills acquisition is socially and economically injurious because it robs the nation of the contributions the graduates would have made to national development.
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e. mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
Population Sampling Size
The population for the study will consist of executives and their subordinates in the organization which is charged with the application of management by objectives to attain organizational goals in the organization.
This study was carried out to examine the Effectiveness of skill acquisition programmes among technical education in university in Rivers State. Hence, the population of this study comprises of all the technical education students in Rivers State university .
PRESENTATION OF DATA AND ANALYSIS
The chapter presents the demographic characteristics of the participants, answers to research questions, results of tested research hypotheses, summary of findings and the discussion of the findings.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
This chapter summarizes the findings on the Effectiveness of skill acquisition programmes among technical education students in university in Rivers State using River state university as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was on the Effectiveness of skill acquisition programmes among technical education students in university in Rivers State using River state university as case study. The study is was specifically focused on investigating the level of resource availability for technical skills acquisition among technical education students in university in Rivers State, determining the resource adequacy for technical skills acquisition among technical education students in university in Rivers State, ascertaining the frequency of resource utilization for technical skills acquisition among technical education students in university in Rivers State and examining the curriculum contents’ adequacy for technical skills acquisition among technical education students in university in Rivers State.
The study considered three relevant theories; Human Capital Development theory, Signaling Theory and Systems theory; however, the study was anchored on Systems theory.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 596 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff and students of technical education in River state university in Rivers State.
The study findings shows that the resource availability for library, lecture rooms, workshop and instructional materials were high, while that of machinery, equipment, electricity and gas were low. There should be more provision of resources with low availability in order to enhance technical skills acquisition in the school.
With respect to the analysis and the findings of this study, the following conclusions emerged;
The study found some relationships between institutional factors (Resource availability, adequacy and utilization; curriculum contents’ adequacy) and technical skills acquisition in River state University. There is, therefore, the need for appropriate policy on effective skills acquisition. River state University should emphasize synergy between practical work and theory, and review of curricula. In addition, efforts should be intensified on the provision and utilization of physical, material and human resources that are required for technical skills acquisition so that the required skills will be adequately imparted in polytechnic graduates to meet labour market demands, to promote self-employment and job creation, and to achieve industrial development in Nigeria
Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.
- Technical innovation should be emphasis as technology is imperative. This requires a holistic linking of technology to industry through an overhaul of curricula and investment prioritization. The output from various tiers of education should reflect human capital development needs.
- The University curriculum should seek to produce graduates that are critical and creative thinkers, with real skills, those who are ready to challenge the status quo, ready to make mistakes and learn from them. Graduates, who are not afraid to put forward novel ideas, listen to others and be ready to compromise where necessary.
- Technical education should be introduced as a compulsory credit load course for all the new entrants; overhaul the tertiary institutions in terms of provision of modern infrastructure, equipment, materials and maintenance; review the present curricula to be meet the modern globalization and technological dynamics; there should be concerted effort and policy towards the adequate funding and massive investment in entrepreneurship education; the gap between the employers of labour and the managers/administrators of tertiary institutions must be bridged through collaboration of efforts.
- The private sectors could provide students with exchange programmes in form of industrial attachment, induction and overseas programme training sponsorship for the indigent and potential entrepreneurs and professionals in entrepreneurial field.
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