AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR LOW ENROLEMENT OF STUDENTS IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES: A PERCEPTION OF TEACHERS

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AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR LOW ENROLEMENT OF STUDENTS IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES: A PERCEPTION OF TEACHERS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The form of education known as vocational and technical education is the kind of schooling that gives students the knowledge, abilities, and mindsets necessary to succeed in a certain line of work. According to Wenrich & Wenrich (2017), the phrase “vocational education” refers to a broad spectrum of careers that are taken into consideration. According to them, the term “vocational education” refers to any form of vocational or technical training or retraining that is conducted as part of a program that is designed to prepare individuals for gainful employment as semi-skilled or skilled workers or technicians or sub-professionals in emerging or recognized occupations. This training or retraining can take place in schools or classes and is overseen and controlled by the public. Agriculture, home economics, trade and industrial education, and business education are some of the jobs that fall under this category, according to Wenrich & Wenrich. According to Olaitan (2016), vocational and technical education is that part of education that focuses on the acquisition of skills through a form of training that is founded on the application of mathematical and scientific knowledge to a particular field for the purpose of self-actualization and development.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria(2015) provides a more comprehensive definition of vocational and technical education as “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 occupation in various sectors of economic and social life.” This definition describes vocational and technical education as “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, and understanding It is the position of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that technical and vocational education is understood to be an essential component of general education; a means of preparing for occupational fields and for effective participation in the world of work; an element of learning that continues throughout one’s life and preparation for responsible citizenship; an instrument for promoting environmentally responsible and sustainable development; and a strategy for reducing the incidence of poverty.

There are three tiers of vocational and technical education offered in Nigeria, and they are as follows:

(1) Pre-vocational education, also known as general vocational education, which is provided in secondary schools; (2) vocational education, also known as job-specific education, which is provided at technical colleges and vocational centers.

(3) Education after secondary schooling that may be obtained in establishments such as polytechnics, monotechnics, and colleges of education (technical)

In her National Policy of Education (2015), the Federal Republic of Nigeria outlines the following as the purposes of vocational and technical education:

(1) Providing trained manpower in applied sciences, technology, and business, particularly at craft, advanced craft, and technical levels; (2) Providing the technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agricultural, commercial, and economic development; (3) Providing training and imparting the necessary skills to individuals who shall be economically self-sufficient.

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A necessary component of VTE is the development of employability skills. Because he or she will acquire the vocational and technical skills that will enable him or her to be engaged in productive work either for himself or for an employer, the individual who takes advantage of the opportunity to receive a vocational and technical education is the primary beneficiary of the education. This is due to the fact that he or she will become qualified to perform the work. In addition to making it possible for a person to maintain gainful work, the acquisition of vocational and technical skills during the course of training raises the recipient’s overall productivity as well as their earning potential (Uwadiae, 2019). Increasing one’s employability and having more work mobility are two other advantages. People who have received training for certain occupations in the world of work have a far higher chance of finding work and are also less likely to experience long-term unemployment as a result of their lack of specialized occupational skills. People who have received vocational and technical training have the ability to apply their abilities to a wide variety of applications, which enables them to quickly switch occupations in the pursuit of better opportunities. Such those have more job mobility than workers without such training. According to Uwaidae (2019), receiving a vocational and technical education also helps a person to make intelligent use of products of technology, use new technologies, acquire superior entrepreneurial abilities, and become a worker who is more inventive. Even if the main benefit of VTE is the person, the community or country as a whole is better off as a result of it. People who are dissatisfied with traditional modes of education because they are too far from the realities of the working world may take advantage of the training options made available via VTE, which helps to lower the overall dropout rate. A society with higher rates of VTE also has a lower overall unemployment rate. VTE is the most effective method for addressing the issue of unemployment in a nation like Nigeria, where joblessness is the norm in almost every sector of the economy. Students might be taught marketable skills via VTE, which would increase their chances of finding work once they graduate from high school. VTE encourages technical and industrial development by supplying competent individuals who are able to create and use technologies for the benefit of industry and economic growth. Agricultural, technical, industrial, commercial, paramedical, and home economics clusters of jobs are only some of the areas that might benefit from vocational and technical education (VTE). VTE is a method for satisfying the nation’s manpower demands. Nigeria is home to a number of different types of technical institutions, one of which is the technical colleges. According to Okoro (2018), technical colleges are considered to be the most important vocational institutions in Nigeria. This is due to the fact that technical colleges provide comprehensive vocational education with the goal of preparing students for admission into a variety of jobs. Courses in mechanical trades, computer craft practice, electrical engineering trades, electrical engineering trades, building trades, wood trades, hospitality, and textile trade, printing trades, beauty culture trades, business trades, and a host of other subjects can be found in the curriculum of technical colleges. Technical colleges educate individuals to work in a variety of technical and vocational disciplines at varying degrees (operatives, craftsmen, and master craftsmen), as well as generate well-trained technical workforce at these levels. NABTEB credentials, including the National technical certificate (NTC), the National business certificate (NBC), the Advanced National Technical Certificate, and the Advance National Business Certificate, are given to students who graduate from technical institutions (ANBC). The completion of one’s junior high school education is often required in order to enroll in technical institutions (JSC). A candidate’s ability to demonstrate aptitude in the technical courses they take, in addition to their performance in mathematics and science, could be another criterion for admission. Within the framework of conventional secondary education, institutions known as technical colleges that provide job-specific training develop skilled labor (craftsmen). The goal of the vocational education program of the nation’s technical institutions is to cultivate skilled tradespeople who can contribute to the nation’s continued economic, industrial, and technological growth. The number of students enrolling in technical institutions has been quite low, despite the need of skilled laborers. The economic circumstances and the value system in Nigeria are likely to blame for the relatively low number of students enrolling in technical institutes. White-collar employment are more desirable than manual labor jobs among Nigeria’s population. This is as a result of the liberal education of a British-style that is provided to Nigerians as a legacy of the country’s colonial past. Nigerians place a higher value on academic disciplines such as medicine, accounting, and business than they do on academic programs that emphasize physical labor. White-collar occupations are more desirable than manual ones, despite the fact that manual jobs contribute to the Gross National Product (GNP) of the country. White-collar jobs are preferred above manual jobs. The attitude that society has toward VTE programs goes hand in hand with the economic and value structure that is in place. In Nigeria, children who are not particularly brilliant or who come from disadvantaged backgrounds are often led to believe that their only option for school is a technical or vocational one. This issue may have its roots in Nigeria’s National Policy on Education provision for technical colleges, which may have been inadequate. According to Okoro (2019), the National policy on Education from 1981 accorded a lesser priority to vocational and technical education and placed unneeded obstacles in the path of students who opted to continue a vocational-technical program while they were in secondary school. According to him, the National Policy on Education specifies that trade centers, technical colleges, and other similar vocational centers would be constructed in order to absorb students who graduated from junior secondary school but were unable to continue their education at the senior secondary level. This is typically interpreted to mean that after junior secondary school, students would be separated into two groups: the privileged group, which would go on to senior secondary school (from which universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education draw their students), and the underprivileged group, which would go on to trade centers and technical colleges, and who would have virtually no prospects of furthering their education beyond the technical college or trade center level. This is the common interpretation of what this statement means. Even in circumstances in which students would have succeeded better at technical colleges and trade centers, parents and students would still choose senior secondary schools over technical colleges and trade centers due to the senior secondary school’s higher level of prestige.

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The National Policy was examined in 2004 with the intention of repositioning the technical colleges as part of the intervention actions that were taken in response to the situation. It stipulates that children who successfully finish junior secondary school must be sent into senior secondary school, technical colleges, out-of-school vocational training centers, and apprenticeship schemes. According to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), the streaming shall be based on the results of tests to determine academic ability and vocational interest; and as much as possible to achieve a transition ratio of 50:20:20:10 respectively. Streaming shall also be based on the results of tests to determine academic ability and vocational interest. This was a tactic to put technical colleges in a more equitable position than how it has been seen by the public; nonetheless, the policy provision still sees technical colleges as education for students who are disadvantaged and lacking in talent.

Moreover, as part of the intervention efforts that are being taken to strengthen programs at technical colleges. The Federal Government also converted the programs that were offered at technical colleges into full secondary education. The new programs have a duration of six years and offer senior school science as well as normal craft and advanced craft programs at the senior secondary level. This was done in an effort to attract new students. Students from elementary schools are now being allowed to enroll in the junior college portion of technical colleges. This is being done to increase the likelihood that technical colleges will receive applicants of a high quality and to give students an earlier start on their vocational and technical education. In conjunction with this development, the government of the United States changed the name of technical institutions to federal scientific and technology colleges. However, there is still a problem with a lack of students enrolling in technical institutes. Even with the involvement of the government, enrollment numbers remain disappointingly low. The low enrollment has led to a significant amount of resources—financial, material, and human—being wasted. This is the most significant implication or effect of the low enrollment. Investing in one’s education is a significant use of one’s human capital. By investing significant resources in technical institutions, the society is sacrificing some of its current consumption in order to provide its members with the information and training that will enable them to contribute more effectively in the future. Because of the investment made in technical institutions, the same amount of resources will not be accessible for investment in other areas of the economy. As long as there is a relatively low number of people enrolling in technical schools, the resources that the government invests in the development of technical institutions will be squandered. In addition to the squandering of government investments and resources, the few students who are able to gain admission into technical institutions do not meet the required academic standards. They enroll in the system of technical colleges despite having little to no interest in the subjects that are taught there. As a consequence of this, some students may choose not to continue their education and may wind up working as street vendors, okada riders, or engaging in other forms of criminal activity, despite the fact that the certificate of the goods may be of little or no relevance to them. It should come as no surprise to anybody that the globe has shrunk down to the size of a hamlet; at the same time, technological advances are being made in fields such as manufacturing and service work. This technical innovation has also reached Nigeria. Nigeria is not falling behind. People need to be educated in order for them to be qualified for the new opportunities that are opening up in the fields of manufacturing and service vocations. Some of these jobs need not just technical know-how but also a wide educational background and a high degree of expertise in certain areas of technology. In order for Nigeria to advance technologically, it is necessary to have qualified individuals educated in line with the concepts of VTE. If there is a low number of students enrolling in technical institutions, it will be unable to produce the required number of workers to keep pace with the rapid growth of technology. The rise in unemployment is another another effect that stems from this low enrollment rate. There is a significant amount of people looking for work in Nigeria. This is in part because individuals do not have the information and skills that will allow them to accept the employment that are available or to be self-employed. It is possible for individuals to acquire the skills they require in order to fill the vacancies that are currently available and make them self-employed through the use of technical colleges. This would result in a reduction in the amount of unemployment and youthful unrest that was characteristic of the Nigerian society. The low enrollment numbers and the repercussions they have had in Oyo State have continued to be a cause for worry for the educators working in technical colleges. As a result, the purpose of this research is to ascertain the  the factors responsible for low enrollment of students in technical colleges: a perception of teachers

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1.2 Statement of the Problem

Because the government is providing funding for technical colleges and working to ensure that there is continuous improvement in the program at technical colleges, there is supposed to be an increase in the number of students enrolling in technical colleges. This will allow the nation to produce the skilled laborers and artisans necessary for the continued development of technology. Despite this, it has been observed that most of Lagos’s technical institutions have a very low enrollment rate. Due to the low number of students attending technical schools, it is likely that the resources that are being put into these institutions will be squandered.

It is anticipated that there would be a rise in the number of students enrolling in vocational programs and attending technical institutions as a result of enhancements and improvements made to technical colleges. The few students who are fortunate enough to gain entry into technical institutes do not possess the essential qualifications. Olaitan (2018) asserts that individuals enroll in the technical college system despite having little to no interest in the programs that are available to them. Students who have no interest in the vocational programs offered at technical colleges will continue to be admitted to these schools, which will lead to an increase in the number of students who drop out of school. Consequently, the purpose of this research is to analyze the variables that are responsible for poor enrolment of students in technical institutions. One of these aspects is the perspective of professors.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of the study is to investigate the factors responsible for low enrolment of students in technical colleges: a perception of teachers . Specifically, the study will be guided by the following ;

  1. To find out if student’s interest influence their enrolment in technical college.
  2. To examineif non-availability of finance is affecting students enrolment in technical college.
  • To investigate if inadequate infrastructural facilities is affecting the enrolment of student into technical college.
  1. To assess if parental and socio-economic status influence on students enrolment into technical college.

1.4 Research Questions

The following are the research question for this study

  1. To find out if student’s interest influence their enrolment in technical college.
  2. To examineif non-availability of finance is affecting students enrolment in technical college.
  • To investigate if inadequate infrastructural facilities is affecting the enrolment of student into technical college.
  1. To assess if parental and socio-economic status influence on students enrolment into technical college.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The projected outcome, after the societal attitude has been identified, will be of benefit to the Lagos State Ministry of Education. It will enable the ministry to be aware of the responsible for running away from technical colleges. By doing this it will enable them set up strategies that will create awareness so as to make parents and students know the needs and benefits of being craftsmen.

The projected outcome of the economical factors and value system will be of benefit to the industry and the employers of labour. It will make them know they need to participate in funding of technical colleges and craftsmen training programmes. The benefit is that the society will realize that craftsmen are important to themselves and the society.

After the intervention measures needed for improving students enrolment, it will be of benefit to the individuals and the society. It will make them realize that being a craftsman will make them acquire skill to be highly employable and be self-employed. The benefit is that the unemployment rate and drop-out rate will reduce and there will also be low wastage of resources (material and human) of the government.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study will find out if student’s interest influence their enrolment in technical college. The study will also examine if non-availability of finance is affecting students enrolment in technical college. The study will further investigate if inadequate infrastructural facilities is affecting the enrolment of student into technical college. Lastly, the study will assess if parental and socio-economic status influence students enrolment into technical college. Hence this study is delimited to Oyo State.

1.7 Limitations of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Enrolment:the action of enrolling or being enrolled.

Technical colleges: a college of further education providing courses in a range of practical subjects, such as information technology, applied sciences, engineering, agriculture, and secretarial skills.