THE LIMITATIONS ON THE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOLS
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Worldwide, vocational and technical education programs have been acknowledged as the component of education that leads to the learning of practical skills for addressing unemployment and poverty in any nation. Consequently, there is no need in reiterating that education is the instrument par excellence for the growth of any civilized community (Madumere 2022).
The beginning of formal education in Nigeria goes back to 1842, when Christian missionaries arrived. Their first major purpose was to convert the Africans to Christianity, which is the worship of God via Jesus Christ.
In the 1960s, the objective of education in Nigeria was to meet the country’s workforce demands through a regular education system with curriculum that matched the three categories of secondary school available at the time – grammar, technical, and commercial (Madumere 2022).
Fafunwa (2022) argues that the excessive emphasis on literary education was detrimental to Nigeria. In order to meet her demands at the technical level, the 6-3-3-4 system of education included pre-vocational courses at the junior secondary school level in order to expose students with a proclivity for vocational training to that field.
Prior to this time, the inadequacy of education to offer proper vocational and technical education has been criticized frequently. Ogbazi (2022) stated that despite the rising industrialization of the globe, Nigeria lacks a sufficient number of young men and women with the skills, abilities, and services necessary to compete favorably on the global market. Ochiagha (2022) emphasized that such an expansion in the economy’s reservoir of knowledge and skills will result in economic growth. Similarly, a lack of skills and information inhibits economic growth. Baba (2022) observed that for a number of years, Nigeria relied on foreign governments to offer vocational manpower to supplement her manpower deficit. Many people have advocated for the introduction of vocational and technical education due to the deficiencies of literary education.
In Nigeria, formal education began in its entirety during the Colonial period. It progressed from early forms of reading, writing, and arithmetic (i.e., the three Rs) to a point when the London General Certificate of Education, Ordinary level Syllabus (the so-called O-level) was used to govern instruction in Secondary Schools (Fafunwa, 2022). Due to the fact that these secondary grammar schools were not designed to handle vocational technical topics, trade centers and colleges were built. Here, the London City and Guild Intermediate Certificate. Successful candidates were also granted either the Federal Craft Certificate or the Ministry of Labor Trade Test Certificate. The Federal Government of Nigeria established the Federal Craft and Trade Test Programs primarily to enhance the knowledge and skills of craftsmen and technicians.
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In light of the fact that most of our youths attend secondary grammar schools (as trade colleges were fewer in number), there was a realization following Nigeria’s political independence that the type of education our colonial masters left us required a critical re-examination of their value: of content, objectives, relevance, methods, administration, evaluation, etc. According to Ezeobata (2022), during this time period in Nigerian education, every topic was required to “show its utility” in order to maintain a spot on the School Curriculum. Possibly, this is what prompted the then National Educational Research Council (NERC) to hold a curriculum conference in Lagos in 1969, which Okeke (2022) describes as a “summation of people’s frustration with the lack of clarity regarding the goals of education.” The national Policy on Education of 1977 and its amendment in 1981 were based on this conference’s recommendations for a new set of goals and directions for a comprehensive curriculum redesign.
A new educational system, generally known as the ‘6-3-3-4’ system of instruction, evolved against this backdrop of national ambitions. In addition to other advances, the system offered pre-vocational and vocational courses at the Junior and Senior Secondary Schools, respectively. As a matter of national policy, for the first time in the history of education in Nigeria, vocational and technical education topics were to be provided alongside the more academic courses formerly conducted by the Secondary Grammar Schools under the old Colonial-based system of education.
In Nigerian secondary schools, the National Curriculum for Agriculture, Introductory Technology, Home Economics, Business Studies (Junior Secondary School level), Agricultural Science, Clothing and Textile, Home Management, Food and Nutrition, Typewriting and Shorthand, Principles of Accounts, Commerce, Woodwork, Technical Drawing, Basic Electronics, and Auto-mechanics were developed for this purpose. As one of the innovations that should distinguish the products of the new system from those of the old system, private and public schools began basing their work on these curricula in 1982 – in response to the government’s directive that post-primary schools become more comprehensive, as proposed by the national Policy on Education in 1981 (Ogbazi 2022).
There is little dispute about the use of these programs in secondary schools, so long as flaws or particular weaknesses of the ‘process’ (if any) are detected and improvements are made. There is concern that the majority of research findings on the adopted curriculum favor public schools with little or no consideration for private secondary schools.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Similarly, no nation can increase the quality of their economy without first boosting their workforce via the acquisition of skills and information gained through vocational and technical education.
In order for Nigeria to thrive technologically, there must be a successful implementation of vocational education programs in both government-owned and private secondary schools. The government should not delegate the entirety of the project to the private entities that are operating the school for profit. Since this does not boost their earnings, they have limited options (Ogbazi 2022).
Despite the significance of vocational education to the development of both individuals and society as a whole, Nigeria places little focus on the successful implementation of vocational education programs. The regular occurrence of low student enrollment in vocational education courses has been a source of considerable concern for all well intentioned individuals, institutions, and enterprises in Nigeria, as well as the nation itself. This study was conducted to determine if there are reasons responsible for the ineffective execution of the vocational education program in private secondary schools (Ogbazi 2022).
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad aim of this study is to examine the limitations on the effective implementation of vocational education in private secondary schools. Other objectives of this study is to:
- To find out whether vocational educationhas been implemented in private secondary school
- To find out the extent of vocational education in private secondaryschool
- To examine the limitations encountered in the implementation of vocational education in private secondaryschool
- To proffer solutions to the limitations encountered in the implementation of vocational education in private secondaryschool
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will guide this study:
- Has vocational educationbeen implemented in private secondary schools?
- To what extent is vocational education done in private secondaryschools?
- What are the limitations encountered in the implementation of vocational education in private secondaryschools?
- What are the solutions to the limitations encountered in the implementation of vocational education in private secondaryschools?
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be beneficial as it will make understanding the efficiency of vocational education implementation in the Nigerian economy.
It will provide strategies for obtaining the target level of vocational education in Nigeria.
It will assist in refocusing attention on the need to enhance the quality of vocational and technical schools and institutions in Nigeria.
It would aid the government in identifying the regions where private schools in Lagos state lack the resources to adequately undertake vocational/technical education.
Provide potential avenues for the business sector to invest in the vocational program.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on the limitations on the effective implementation of vocational education in private secondary schools. Specifically, this study focuses on finding out whether vocational education has been implemented in private secondary schools, finding out the extent of vocational education in private secondary schools, examining the limitations encountered in the implementation of vocational education in private secondary schools and proffering solutions to the limitations encountered in the implementation of vocational education in private secondary schools.
Teachers and students of selected private secondary schools in Asaba, Delta State will be the respondents of this study.
- LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.
Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Vocational education: Vocational education is education that prepares people to work as a technician or to take up employment in a skilled craft or trade as a tradesperson or artisan.