Assessment of the skills acquired by secondary school student in technical education in ijero L.G.A

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This study was conducted to assess how the Nigerian secondary school vocational and technical education curriculum was implemented with a view to ascertain the extent to which it has empowered students for self-employment. The descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study. The sample comprised 380 junior and senior secondary school JSS and SSS students and 120 teachers, selected from twelve secondary schools drawn across three states in Nigeria, one state from each of North Central, South East, and South West geopolitical zones of the country. Stratified random sampling technique was applied to select student-sample while purposive sampling was used for teachersample. The schools covered by the study comprised four categories: federal government school [FGS] , state government school [SGS] , high class private school [HCPS] , and low class private school [LCPS] . The study utilized both quantitative and qualitative techniques in data collection and analysis with questionnaires and observation as main instruments. Results revealed that sampled students have learnt significant self-employable entrepreneurial skills in 6 out of 36 vocational areas.


  • Background of the study

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948 guaranteed for the individual a whole range of basic freedom with education serving as a basic right necessary for the achievement of all other freedoms. Theachievement of the right to education requires that young people be given the opportunity necessary for the acquisition of the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which will enable them lead happy and productive lives as individuals and discharge their social duties for the betterment of life in the society. Nigeria, having realized the effectiveness of education as a powerful instrument for national progress and development, adjusted her educational philosophy and methodology to match the ideals and challenges of changing economic and social structure of modern society (National Policy on Education 1981, revised 2004). Consequently, in 1982, Nigeria adjusted her secondary educational system to encompass diversified curriculum that integrates academic with technical and vocational subjects, intended to empower the individual for self-employment. According to the National Policy on Education, the broad aims and objectives of secondary education in Nigerian educational system are preparation for useful living within the society (self-employment) and preparation for higher education. (The area that concerns this study is the first objective – preparation for self-employment). However, almost three decades after adoption of the laudable initiative, majority of Nigerian youth are idle while some are involved in various vices due to unemployment. A good number of students who have completed their secondary education but failed to secure admission into institutions of higher learning are in dilemma. This is because they are not equipped with the requisite skills for self or paid employment (Igwe 2007). It is no longer news that the nation’s youth unemployment rate has skyrocketed. Adekoya (1999) claimed that for the Nigerian youth to be empowered economically they should be given the necessary skill acquisition and for this to be done the curriculum should be effectively implemented. Oli (2000) believed that to ensure a positive future for Nigeria, the youth who are believed to be the future leaders of the country ought to be well equipped with basic skills to drive the economy. Omotosho, Idowu, Esere and Arewah [2009] citing Ipaye [1988] posited that one of the developmental tasks of the youth is the attainment of economic independence which invariably arises from the youth becoming gainfully employed. Technical education

Consequently, youth unemployment tends to have negative psychological effect on the youth themselves. It leads to maladjustment, and given that young people constitute about 60% of our total population (Awogbenle and Iwuamadi, 2010), a societyfull of maladjusted citizens is itself sick and cannot progress. The need to address this phenomenon and its attendant problems necessitated this study. The potential of Vocational and Technical Education 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 the 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. This was said to have led the then National Educational Research Council (NERC) to convey a historic curriculum conference at Lagos in 1969. 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 and 2004 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. The system consisted of six years of primary school education, three years of junior secondary school (JSS), three years of senior secondary school (SSS), and four years of post-secondary education (Omotayo, Ihebereme, & Maduewesi, 2008). The implementation of the 6-3-3-4 education system in Nigeria began in 1982 and brought many reforms into the educational system in Nigeria. Among the innovations is the vocationalization of the secondary school curriculum in Nigeria. At the junior secondary level pre-vocational subjects were introduced into the curriculum while vocational subjects were introduced into the senior secondary level. The focus of the prevocational was to expose students at the junior secondary school level to the world of work through exploration. Such exposure would enable junior secondary school students make intelligent career choice. Among the pre-vocational subjects are practical Agriculture, Home Economics, and Business Studies. Introductory Technology is an integration of components of woodwork, metalwork, basic electronics, applied electricity, water flow technology, airflow technology, food preservation, automobile mechanics, technical drawing, physics, rubber technology, chemistry, plastics, basic building technology, and ceramics. While Business Studies has typewriting, shorthand, bookkeeping, office practice, commerce and computer science as components. Fafunwa (2002) stated that the specific objectives of the Junior Secondary School Education are to develop in the students’ Manipulative skills (Manual dexterity) invention, respect for dignity of labour and above all healthy attitude towards things technical. At the senior secondary level, recommended vocational /technical subjects include: Agricultural Science, Clothing and Textile, Home Management, Food and Nutrition, Typewriting & Shorthand, Principles of Accounts, Commerce, Woodwork, Technical Drawing, Basic Electronics, Building Construction, Applied Electricity and Auto Mechanics. The most significant aspect of the National Policy on Education as noted by Dike (2009) is the new focus it gives to Nigerian educational system, the need for the Industrialization of the nation in which technical and vocational education play crucial roles and the realization to change from white collar job oriented educational system to science, vocational and technical oriented educational system which prepares individuals to be self-reliant and useful to the society. This is said to have informed the Federal Government to lay emphases on technical education. Dike (2009) further noted that the five National goals cannot be realized without developing technical /vocational education, a well-rooted technical education that will definitely transform the economic, social and political life-styles of our Nation from the third world to be the first would class. Technical education


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