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THE CONSTRAINTS TO THE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN THE PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOL
This research work was aimed at identify the constraints to the effective implementation of vocational education program in private secondary schools in Alimosho Local government area of Lagos State. The research work was limited to six randomly selected private secondary schools and addressed the research questions of this work. The main instrument for data collection was the use of questionnaire administered to about 23% of the target population; students (N = 90) and teachers (N = 24).Frequency, simple percentage and chi-square statistical tool were used to analyze the significance differences in the constraints to effective implementation of vocational/technical education in private secondary schools in Alimosho Local, Government, Area of Lagos, State. The findings revealed a dearth of private organization participation in the funding of vocational education, in adequate training facilities and teaching aids: insufficient instructional materials and work-shops, library, buildings and equipments in the schools and that the schools lack the fund to finance such educational project and the teachers’ attitude towards the teaching of vocational/technical subjects. The recommendation of this study if well implemented, will not only help improve the standard and students’ interest in vocational/technical education, but would also help increase the level of manpower that is needed for economic growth. Two key recommendations are that, adequate facilities and teaching aids should be provided in schools so that the students can properly equipped themselves for future challenges and that private sectors should invest in this area as a part of their social responsibility.
Throughout the world, vocational and technical education programmes have been recognized as that aspect of education which leads to the acquisition of practical skills to solving the problems of unemployment and poverty level of any nation. Hence, there is no gain saying the fact that education is the instrument par excellence that is universally used for the development of any civilized society (Mrs. Oghogho U. Gbinigie)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The history of formal education in Nigeria dates back to 1842 with the coming of the Christian missionaries. Their initial primary objectives was to convert the heathen or the benighted Africans to Christianity that is the worship of God through Christ.
In 1960s the aim of education in Nigeria was to produce manpower needs of the country through regular education system with curricula to match the three types of secondary school – grammar, technical and commercial were then available (Madumere 1999).
Fafunwa (1984) explains that the over-emphasis on literary education was doing Nigeria little good. To compensate her needs at the technical level, the 6-3-3-4 system of education incorporated pre-vocational courses at the junior secondary school level with a view to exposing individuals with vocational inclination to that direction.
Before this period, many criticisms have been levied on the failure of education to provide adequate vocational and technical education over the years. Ogbazi (1988) observed that despite the rapid industrial expansion throughout the world, Nigeria still lacks sufficient young men and women with appropriate skills, abilities and services that can compete favourably with the world market. Ochiagha (1995) further stressed that such an increase in pool of knowledge and skills in the economy will result in economic growth. In the same way, lack of skills and knowledge constrains economic development. Baba (1999) opined that for many years past, Nigeria was relying on foreign government to provide vocational manpower to boost her manpower shortage. The short comings of literary education have lead many people to advocate for the establishment of vocational and technical education.
Formal Education started fully in Nigeria during the Colonial era. It developed from the early forms of reading, writing and arithmetic (that is, the three Rs) to a stage where the London General Certificate of Education, Ordinary level Syllabus (the so-called O-level) was used to guide instruction in Secondary Schools (Fafunwa, 1974). These Secondary Grammar Schools were fashioned in such a way that did not accommodate the vocational technical subjects, and as a consequence trade centers and colleges were established. Here, the City and Guild (Intermediate) Certificate of London. The Federal Craft Certificate or the Ministry of Labour Trade Test Certificate also was awarded to successful candidates. The Federal Craft and Trade Test Programs were put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria mainly to improve the understanding and competences of artisans and technicians.
In view of the fact that most of our youths pass through the secondary grammar schools (as the trade colleges were fewer in number), following the political independence of Nigeria, there was a realization that the type of education our colonial masters left with us needed a critical re-examination of their worth: of content, objectives, relevance, methods, administration, evaluation, and so forth. According to Ezeobata (2007), this period saw a state of affairs in Nigerian education where every subject had to “prove its usefulness” to retain a place in the School Curriculum. Probably, this was what led the then National Educational Research Council (NERC) to convey an historic curriculum conference at Lagos in 1969, which Okeke (1981, p.10) has described as a ‘culmination of people’s dissatisfaction with uncertainty of the aims of education’. This conference recommended new set of goals and provided directions for major curriculum revision upon which the national Policy on Education of 1977 and the revised policy in 1981 were based.
Against this background of national aspirations, a new educational system commonly referred to as the ‘6-3-3-4’ system of education emerged. Among other innovations, the system provided for pre-vocational and vocational curricular offerings at the junior and Senior Secondary Schools respectively. For the first time in the history of education in Nigeria, vocational and technical education subjects were, as a matter of national policy, to be offered side-by-side, and hopefully enjoy parity in esteem with the more academic courses hitherto run by the Secondary Grammar Schools under the old Colonial-based system of education.
To this end, the National Curriculum on 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 came into being in Nigerian Secondary Schools. As one of the innovations that should distinguish the products of the new system from the old school work was now based on these Curricula in both private and public schools from 1982 – driven by the governments directive that post-primary schools should be more comprehensive, which the national Policy on Education had earlier proposed in 1981.
There is no doubt about the usefulness of these programs in secondary schools provided errors or specific weakness of the ‘process’ (if any) are identified, and remedial measures taken for improvement. There is the fear that most research reports about the implemented curriculum favour the patronage of public schools with little or no regard to private secondary school.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Just like no nation can improve the standard of their economy without first of all increasing the manpower of the economy through acquisition of skills and knowledge that is gotten on the platform of vocational and technical education.
For Nigeria to excel technologically there is the need for the effective implementation of vocational education program in government owned secondary schools and private secondary schools. The government should not leave the entire project on the private individuals who are running the school at a cost, and are for profit motive. Since this does not increase their earning, there is little or nothing they can do.
In spite of the importance of vocational education to the development of both individuals and the society at large, there is no much emphasis placed on the effective implementation of vocational education programs in Nigeria. The frequent occurrence of low students’ participation in vocational education courses has been a great concern to all-well-meaning individuals, institutions, industries and Nigeria as a nation. It is in the light of the above, that this study was carried out to ascertain if there are factors responsible for the non-effective implementation of vocational education program in private secondary schools.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to:
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research is designed to address the following research questions:
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
This study cover, randomly selected private schools in Alimosho local Government area of lagos state. These schools are six in number which are:
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