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The study was carried out to determine strategies for improving skill acquisition of building technology students in technical colleges in Ebonyi State. Survey research design was used for the study. The population for the study was 31 building technology teachers in technical colleges. Structure questionnaire was used as instruments for data collection. Five research questions and five null hypotheses were formulated. Cronbach alpha method was used for the reliability of the instrument which yielded a coefficient of
0.83. Mean was used to analyze the data for answering research questions while t- test was used to test the hypotheses of no significant difference at 0.05 level of significance.
It was found out that: twenty two (22) skills were required for improving Building Technology students’ performance, nine (9) teaching strategies were required for improving skill acquisition among Building Technology students of technical colleges in Ebonyi State, twenty (20) teaching strategies were also required for teaching practical to students of Building Technology of technical colleges, thirteen (13) evaluation strategies were required for evaluating Building Technology students in technical colleges and fourteen (14) ways were required for utilizing building technology production units as strategy for improving skill acquisition of Building Technology students in technical colleges in Ebonyi State.
Background of the study
Building technology is one of the courses offered in Nigeria technical colleges. Almost all the members of the society benefit from the products of building technology. Building technology programme at the technical college level is designed to produce skilled builders for the building industry. Building technology as a course comprises of different components or operations which require skills to perform them. These components include designing of building plans, setting out of the building, execution, block work on the concrete foundation, leveling of the building, roofing pattern, plastering and rendering of walls. These areas of operation require that students of building technology should possess the necessary skills to carry them out. Building technology students should possess skills in designing building plans and be able to read and interpret them. Students of building technology should posses skills in setting out of buildings, form block walls on the concrete foundation, be able to level the building and also possess skills in designing good roofing pattern.
Building technology is an aspect of vocational technical education. Vocational technical education is an education for work. According to Uwaifor (2009) vocational technical education is any form of education whose purpose is to prepare person(s) for employment in an occupation or group of occupations. Rolalrand (2004) stated that vocational technical education is the acquisition of skills and techniques in chosen
occupation or profession to enable an individual earn a living. Adeyemi and Uko – Aviomoh (2004) viewed vocational technical education as an aspect of education which leads to the acquisition of practical and applied skills. Skills involve the ability to do something well. Skills according to Wikipedia (2009) are the learned capacities to carry out pre-determined results often with minimum outlay of time and energy. Skill according to Okorie (2000) is a manual dexterity through repetitive performance of an operation. He further explained that skill is expertness, practised ability, dexterity of tact. It is well established habits of doing things by the people. Skills could be gained through experience and training on skill acquisition and development (Bakare, 2006).
Skill acquisition according to Aliozor (2004) is the process by which individuals are expected to learn and continuous practice in particular task till the learner becomes proficient in the operation and can perform them when required. Okorie (2000) said that skills are acquired when procedural instructions are matched with performance activities. For skills to be acquired, there must be opportunities for participation and practice of such skills under real life situation. Skill acquisition is very necessary at this stage of Nigeria’s economic and technological development. Olaitan (1996) said that the acquisition of skills prepares students for vocational occupation and progressive development in it. Skill acquisition remains the major goal of vocational technical education and this helps to satisfy the personal work needs of both the individual and the society (Aliozor, 2004). To acquire skills in vocational technical education courses such as building technology at technical college level, opportunities must be provided for students to practice the skills they are taught in an environment that is relevant to the job
skills learnt. Such opportunities that should be provided that may improve skill acquisition of building technology students include field trip/excursion, allocation of more time for practical work, production unit, provision of materials to practice with.
The concept of production unit in technical colleges is a situation whereby a department organizes her students with the permission of the school authority to undertake some direct – labour jobs in the school. At times the unit may canvas for jobs outside school. A well organized production unit does not only expose the students to skill acquisition processes but also generates fund for the school. Production unit activities should be carried out under close supervision of the teacher.
For proper skill acquisition in Building Technology, appropriate teaching strategies must be applied by teachers for teaching both the theory and practical aspect of building technology. Teachers also need relevant building tools and equipment for imparting skills to students under their control. A teacher in the opinion of Hornby (2000) is a person who gives instruction to a learner, i.e, a person who communicates knowledge, skills and attitudes to someone in a school. In the context of this study, a teacher of Building Technology is one who gives instructions, communicates knowledge, skills and attitudes in building technology to students. Two categories of teachers of building technology could be found in technical colleges. That is qualified and unqualified teachers. A qualified teacher of building technology is an individual who has teaching qualifications such as Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) technical, Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) or Masters of Education (M.Ed) as stated in National Policy on Education (2004) and has been in employment of teaching building technology
to students. But unqualified teacher of building technology is a person who has been teaching building technology to students in technical college with qualifications such as ordinary National Diploma (OND) or Higher National Diploma (HND).
A technical college is post primary technical institution established to offer vocational technical programmes. It is established to equip students with technical skills to earn a living. Akpan (2003) said that technical college is equivalent to senior secondary but designed to prepare individuals to acquire practical skills, basic scientific knowledge and attitude required as craftmen and technicians at sub-professional level. According to Okorie (2001), a technical college in Nigeria is established to prepare individual to acquire practical skills and basic scientific knowledge. It is charged with the production of skilled personnel in the area of mechanical technology, metal work, electrical/electronics technology, wood work and building technology for the needs of society.
Building technology is one of the vocational programmes offered in technical colleges. It is designed to produce building technicians for the construction/building industry. In building technology according to Okparaeke (2004), students are expected to work with materials, tools, equipment and machines to mould blocks, carry out preliminary site operations, concreting, block wall construction and finishing in the building industry. In building technology according to Odu (2001) students learn building construction, brick/block laying, technical drawing, building drawing, construction management, surveying and quantity surveying. The curriculum for building technology by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) is made up of 60 percent theory and 40 percent practical. The aim of this initiative is to increase the technological growth of the country and to allow students to acquire more technical skills. Inspite of Federal Government’s emphasis on improving technology, building technology students still find it difficult to acquire building skills that can make them functional in the society after graduation. Students of building technology graduate with little or no building skills at all to enable them work in building industries or firms or to be self-employed. These graduates need necessary building skills in order to take up job in building industries that are now springing up here and there (Okoro, 1993). Skills are needed to service the sophisticated technical equipment that are now being imported into the country (Aliozor, 2004). Acquisition of saleable skills is the answer to the unemployment among the youths. Erewani (2004) explained that the level of unemployment in a state is indicative of the quality and quantity of manpower available. Nzeagu (1997) also said that the main cause of unemployment among school leavers is lack of training and skills. In order to reduce unemployment among building technology students after graduation and for them to contribute their quota to the development of the state, building skills need to be taught by technical teachers, modern building technology tools and equipment for teaching relevant skills in building must be readily available, also good teaching strategies must be used to teach building skills to the students and correct evaluation strategies are to be applied to evaluate students’ performance both with and outside school.
Without acquiring building skills, graduates of building technology can never be functional in the society. Building skills are teachable skills. They can only be acquired when relevant materials, tools and equipment are available for teaching. Relevant tools
and equipment enhance practical teaching and learning process. Quality of instructions offered to the students depends on the teaching strategies employed. The process of offering quality instructions to students involves the use of sophisticated tools, equipment and machines, delicate materials and complex methods of work. This now demands for skilled graduates to be involved in building technology practices in the state. Hence, it is imperative to determine strategies for improving skill acquisition of building technology students in technical colleges that will enable them to function effectively in Ebonyi State.
Building technology programme in technical colleges is aimed at producing skilled craftsmen who will be able to perform basic functions in building technology both in private and public sector (NBTE, 2001). Building technology is a skill oriented programme whose graduates are expected to be self-employed or set – up their businesses after graduation but rather than being self – employed or set up businesses in the area they were trained many have turned to what is popularly known today as “OKADA” operators while others become hawkers in cities. It has been observed that the objectives have not been achieved over the years. This is because the graduates of vocational technical education from technical colleges, especially in building technology, still roam the street joblessly. Some have become hawkers while some have turned into “OKADA” riders. Unemployment among youths appear to be shooting up the sky (Victor, 2006). This may be due to little or no skill acquired by the students during training in technical colleges. The consequences of joblessness among youths according to Oyebode (2003)
include burglaries, robbery, psychological and financial stresses, fear, anxiety, aggression, frustration, prostitution, drug addition, vagrancy, poverty, hunger and diseases.
It is a common observation that youths today do not want to work but want to become millionaires overnight. This has become a national issue, hence many youths have involved themselves in social vices such as armed robbery, kidnapping, vandalization of pipe lines and cultism, in order to make quick money. Ebonyi youths are not exempted from this act. Many youths do not want to make use of their God given machines – ten fingers. These categories of people do not realize that there is dignity in labour. The reason is simply because they do not posses necessary skills in the area that they were trained, and as a result they have no confidence in themselves to set up business. Good possession of relevant building skills that will enable building technology students set up businesses or become self – employed may reduce joblessness and social vices among them after graduation. Therefore, there is need for carrying out a study to determine strategies for improving skill acquisition of building technology students in technical colleges that will enable them function effectively in Ebonyi State.
The major purpose of this study is to determine the strategies for improving skill acquisition of building technology students in technical colleges that will enable them to function effectively in Ebonyi State.
Specifically; the study determined;
The result of this study will be of benefit to the teachers of building technology, students of building technology, the communities where the institutions are located, curriculum, planners, the school administrators, the state and researchers. The study will benefit teachers of building technology in the following ways. It will help building technology teachers to teach those saleable building technology skills that may enhance the students performance after graduation. The teachers will use the identified strategies for improving skill acquisition of building technology students to teach the students thereby reducing unnecessary stress. The teachers of building technology in collaboration with school administrators will use the evaluation strategies determined by this study to evaluate the students’ performance both within and outside school.
The findings of this study will be of benefit to the students of building technology. If the findings of this study are properly implemented, the students of building technology will graduate with enough saleable skills that can make them to be self- employed or work in the building industries. Building technology tools and equipment to establish their own business will be known to them, thereby reducing unemployment among students after graduation.
Communities will also benefit from the findings of the study in the following ways: If the findings are properly implemented, the result will be that students of building technology will begin to establish building outfit for themselves and thereby developing the area. As the businesses grow, they create job opportunities for others to be employed. When this happens, it does not only develop the community but also helps to reduce unemployment, crimes and other social vices among youths. The schools from where these students graduate will benefit from the findings of this study in this specific way. If the institutions have functional production unit, then the production unit will not only generate fund for the school but can as well undertake some infrastructural development in the school at a very low cost.
The findings of this study if properly implemented will benefit building industries. Building industries will have enough skilled personnel who possess relevant building skills that can make them excel and face challenges in their workplace. The study will also help building industries to have enough skilled building technicians to take care of their work needs.
The findings of this study will provide useful information to the government, the school management board, especially, National Board for Technical Education, curriculum planners on the strategies for improving skill acquisition. The identified strategies will be integrated into the building technology’s curriculum in order to teach students. The findings of this study will also serve as source of information to research students.
The following research questions guided the study:
The following null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance:
Ho1: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of qualified and unqualified teachers of Building Technology on skills required in Building Technology in Technical Colleges to improve building students’ performance
Ho2: There is no significant difference between the mean response of qualified and unqualified teachers of Building Technology on the teaching strategies that can enhance skill acquisition of Building Technology students’ in Technical Colleges in Ebonyi State.
Ho3: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of qualified and unqualified Building Technology teachers on the strategies for teaching practicals to improve skill acquisition of Building Technology students’ in Technical Colleges in Ebonyi State.
Ho4: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of qualified and unqualified teachers of Building Technology on the evaluation strategies to improve skill acquisition of Building Technology students in Technical Colleges in Ebonyi State.
Ho5: There is no significant difference between the mean responses of qualified and unqualified teachers of Building Technology on utilization of Production Units in Technical Colleges to improve skill acquisition of Building Technology students in Technical Colleges in Ebonyi State.
This study is retricted to the topic “Strategies for improving skill acquisition of building technology students in technical colleges that will enable them to function effectively in Ebonyi State.
Both qualified and unqualified Building Technology teachers will be involved in this study. The study will also identify skills in Building Technology that can improve students’ performance, teaching strategies, teaching practical strategies, and evaluation strategies for improving skill acquisition of Building Technology students.
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