ATTITUDES OF TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION STUDENTS TOWARDS STUDENTS’ INDUSTRIAL WORK EXPERICENCE SCHEME
Background to the Study
Attitude as a concept is concerned with individuals’ way of thinking, acting, and behaving. Attitudes are formed as a result of some kind of learning experiences. Attitude is fundamental to understanding social perception of people because they strongly influence people. Ojo (2000) said that it is the disposition of men to view things in a certain way and to act accordingly. This notion of attitude however, could be said to have propelled students who gain admission into universities to have preference for a particular course of study. Furthermore, some students still hold divergent views based on their attitudinal disposition to the Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES), which motivate them towards the studying of Technical and Vocational Education (TVE) in tertiary institutions.
According to Akerele (2007) the present state of technological development in Nigeria calls for appropriate orientations towards technological and vocational education as a springboard for skills acquisition. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) (2004) in her national policy on education defined technical and vocational education as acquisition of demonstrable skills that could be transformed into economic benefits. It also refers to those aspects of education process involving general education, the study of technologies, science and acquisition of practical knowledge and skills.
Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is defined as a skill training programme that is designed to expose and prepare students of education, agriculture, engineering & technology, environmental sciences, natural science, medical science and pure applied science for the industrial work situation. The objectives of Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme among others includes to:
- Provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge in real work situation thereby bridging the gap between theory and practices.
- Enlist and strength employment in industrial commerce information and guideline for (SIWES 2002).
- Provide an avenue for students in institution of higher learning to acquire industrial skill and experience in their approve course of study.
- Prepare students for the industrial work situation which they are likely to meet after graduating.
- Expose students to work methods and techniques in handling equipment and machinery not available in the institution (Source: Information and Guidelines for SIWES, 2002).
From the above objectives, it suffices to say that there are ample opportunities for students who undergo the Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWES). Turners (2007) opined that the more the career option, the broader the choices, or the fewer the categories of careers, the more the homogenous of the sort of career existing. In this gigantic and pervasive profession, career prospect in any profession can be examined in two ways. These are: (i) vertical and (ii) horizontal. In the vertical approach, various levels of academic qualifications of job seekers are considered, while the horizontal approach considered the experience acquired by professionals in the study or industry. Students may undergo SIWES in the following areas: Business Studies, Home Economics, Basic Technology and Agriculture, Local craft, computer education, fine art and music (Ezeji and Oviawe, 2009).
Infact, in recent past, the political instability led to dwindling interest of students in SIWES in institution due to poor infrastructure, lack of educational facilities and learning facilities like work shop laboratories. SIWES requires students to work with equipments in the work shop and typewriters in typing pools culture and utensils in the school demonstration farms. Turner (2007) opined that this poor state of infrastructures in universities does not only affect learning but also crippled students’ interest in sticking to the career decisions. The resultant effect of these problems have seen students leaving their bases for technical education courses in higher institutions, which as resulted in great economic loss. In Nigeria, the situations not changed, as it is becoming highly imperative to find out if most undergraduates will be interested in SIWES based on their predisposition to the programme, which is what this study wants to examine.
The government decree No 47 of 8th October 1971 as amended in 1990 highlighted the capacity building of human resources in industry, commerce and government through training and retaining of workers in order to effectively provide the needed high quality good and services in a dynamic economic as ours (Jemerigbo, 2003) this decree led to establishment of industrial training fund (ITF) in 1973/1974 the growing concern among our industrialist that graduate of our institution of higher learning-lack of adequate practical studies preparatory for employment in industries led to the formation of Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme.
Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme by ITF was introduced in 1993/1994 (Information and Guideline for SIWES, 2002). ITF has one of the key functions to work as a co-operative entity with industry and commerce were institutions of higher learning can undertake mid-careers work experience attachment in industries which are compatible with students of study (Okorie 2002 in Asikadi, 2003).
Students’ education is regarded as a process of developing skills, teaching personnel so that they can impact goods and quality knowledge. In Nigeria it is stated in clear terms by FRN (2004) in her national policy on education implementation committee blue print. It stipulates that SIWES is mandatory for students in technical colleges, polytechnics, college of education and universities; and government has taken a bold step in ensuring full compliance of policy statement. The technical and vocational education is very vital in the educational system.
Teaching according to Oyedeji (1998) is a process of impacting knowledge, skills and attitude in order to bring about change in learners. The primary goal of SIWES is to improve student’s skills in order to enhance meaningful learning (Ogunyemi, 2000) Student Industrial work experience scheme is one of the content at which students performance is been improved after a period of instruction in a manner consistent with the goals of industries (Olatoye, 2006). Hence this study x-ray factors responsible for poor attitude of students to students industrial work experience scheme in higher institutions in Edo state.
Statement of Problem
Technical and Vocational Education students undergoing SIWES are very vital part of the educational system in Nigeria. Various perceptions of these students towards industrial training are based on some motivational factors like remuneration, relationship with employers, opportunities for practical amongst others. Turner (2007) note that “right attitude are impacted through adequate and proper orientation, whether materially or financially” to this end, certain problems have emerge amongst Technical and Vocational Education students undergoing SIWES, which calls for urgent attention from appropriate authorities. Amongst these attitudinal dispositions are non-punctual to work, respect for authorities etc. these problems just as they remained persistent in the Industrial Training, will continue to affect the skill acquisition goals of SIWES. Because of the enviable position of the Technical and Vocational Education and their role in the industries, we cannot afford to relegate to the background the Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme. This programme (SIWES) will be critically examined in this study especially on the basis of students attitude to the work environment, and proffering necessary solution if need be.
Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study was to determine the attitude of students towards SIWES in the higher institutions. Specially, this study sought to find out the:
- Attitude of students towards SIWES in the higher institutions.
- Factors responsible for students attitude towards SIWES, and
- Attitudinal differences of male and female students’ towards SIWES.
The following research questions were formulated to guide this study:
- Is there any significant difference in the mean response of male and female students’ attitude towards SIWES?
- What are the factors responsible for students’ poor attitude towards SIWES?
H0: there is no significant difference in the mean response of males and females
H1: there is a significant difference in the mean response of males and females
Significance of the Study
The research work is expected to create impact on the following areas:
Contribute to the already existing knowledge on students’ attitude towards SIWES, especially as it relates to Technical and Vocational Education students of universities undergoing Industrial Training. The findings of the study will bring to the attention of the educational policy makers in schools to encourage proper incentives and policy that will favour placement of students in their quest for undergoing training. Government and its agencies in charge of SIWES through the findings of the study will discover the need to create enhanced environment for conducting practical learning through the industries. Students will benefit to a great extent in that factors influencing positive attitudinal disposition will be recommended, and this objectively determine actual performance of students in the field. The findings will also make the students, parents, schools management and the government to be in line to their duties towards the success of practical education in this great nation (Nigeria).
Scope of the Study
In this study, the attitude of Technical and Vocational Education students towards SIWES was carried out amongst students in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State. The study was restricted to 300 and 400 level students of the department of Vocational and Technical Education. This is because an only student at the two levels has gone out for the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWEWS).
Limitation of the study
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends 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).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.