1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Technical colleges are recognized as the primary vocational institutions in Nigeria since they provide comprehensive technical education that prepares students for admission into a variety of jobs. Mechanical trades, computer craft practice, electrical engineering trades, construction trades, wood trades, hospitality and textile trades, printing trades, beauty culture trades, business trades, and a variety of other courses are available at technical colleges. According to Hycinth (2018), technical colleges teach technical workers at all levels (operatives, craftsmen, and master craftsmen), as well as in a variety of technical and vocational subjects. NABTEB credentials are awarded to graduates of technical colleges, including the National technical certificate (NTC), the National business certificate (NBC), the Advanced National Technical Certificate, and the Advance National Business Certificate (ANBC). . Admission might also be based on proof of ability demonstrated in technical courses, as well as relatively excellent achievement in mathematics and science. Technical colleges, which provide job-specific training as part of formal secondary school, provide skilled labor (craftsmen). The vocational education curriculum in technical institutions is intended to produce skilled artisans for the nation's industrial, economic, and technological growth.
However, Despite the significance of artisans, enrollment in technical institutions has been extremely low. This low enrollment in technical institutions might be attributed to Nigeria's economic fundamentals and value system. People in Nigeria prefer white collar occupations to physical labor. This is because Nigerians acquired a British-style liberal education as part of her colonial legacy. Nigerians favor courses such as medical, accountancy, and business over ones that are more manual in nature. White collar employment are preferred over manual jobs, despite the fact that manual labor is more productive and contributes to the nation's Gross National Product (GNP). This is because according to Okojie (2021), the social attitude toward VTE programs is linked to this economic and value framework. In Nigeria, vocational and technical education is often regarded as an education for the illiterate and underprivileged youngster. This issue may be traced back to Nigeria's National Policy on Education provision for technical colleges. According to Okoro (2019), the National Policy on Education (1981) devalues vocational and technical education and creates needless barriers for students who wish to follow a vocational-technical program in secondary school. According to him, the National Policy on Education specifies that trade centers, technical colleges, and similar vocational centers would be constructed to absorb junior secondary school dropouts who are unable to continue their education in senior secondary school. This is usually interpreted to mean that after junior secondary school, students are divided into two groups: those who go on to senior secondary school (from which universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education draw their students) and those who go to trade centres and technical colleges and have little chance of continuing their education beyond the technical college or trade center level. There is no question that the senior secondary school has greater reputation and would be favored by parents and students over the technical college or trade center, even if pupils would have performed better in technical colleges or trade centers.
As an intervention step, the National Policy was revised in 2004 and attempts to reposition technical colleges. Students who graduate junior secondary school will be enrolled in senior secondary school, technical colleges, out-of-school vocational training centers, and an apprenticeship plan, according to the law. According to the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), the streaming should be based on the results of exams to identify academic aptitude and occupational interest, with a transition ratio of 50:20:20:10 as much as practicable. This was a plan to put technical colleges in a better light than they had previously been, although the policy provision still views technical institutions as an education for impoverished and bright people. Furthermore, as part of intervention activities aimed at improving technical college programs. To entice participants, the Federal Government also changed technical college programs to full secondary education with a six-year term, offering senior school science, regular craft, and advanced craft programs at the senior secondary level (Nwosu 2017). Students from elementary schools are now admitted to the junior college component of technical institutions, giving the technical colleges a better opportunity of attracting high-quality students and providing an early orientation to VTE. In addition, technical institutions were renamed federal scientific and technological colleges by the federal government. However, poor enrolment persists in secondary schools today.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
As the government funds technical schools and ensures continual development in technical college programs, enrollment in technical colleges is expected to increase so that the country can generate the essential craftspeople for technological growth. However, poor enrollment has been seen in the majority of Lagos' technical colleges. As a result of the low enrollment, the resources invested in technical colleges would be squandered (Ismail 2018).
As technical institutions develop and become more accessible, there should be an increase in interest in vocational courses and enrollment in technical colleges. Few pupils are admitted to technical institutes because they lack essential qualifications. They enter the technical college system with little or no interest in the courses offered, according to Olaitan (2016). Continuous admission of students into technical institutions who have no interest in vocational studies would result in more dropouts and unskilled youngsters. As a result, the number of artisans available to contribute to national growth would be limited. As a result, as long as there is low enrollment in technical institutions, youngsters will stay unemployed, leading to instability and a rise in vices in society. Hence this study is to determine the technical college teachers perception on causes of low enrolment into technical colleges.
1.3Objective of the Study
The major purpose of this study is to identify technical college teachers perception on causes of low enrolment into technical colleges. Other specific objectives includes:
i. To ascertain whether socio-economic status affects low enrolment into technical colleges.
ii. To investigate whether societal attitude towards vocational and technical education causes low enrolment into technical colleges.
iii. To determine whether economic factor and value system for vocational and technical education causes low enrolment into technical colleges.
iv. To ascertain intervention measures needed for improving students’ enrolment into technical colleges.
1.4 Research Questions
The following are the research question for this study
i. Does socio-economic status affects low enrolment into technical colleges?
ii. Does societal attitude towards vocational and technical education causes low enrolment into technical colleges?
iii. Does economic factor and value system for vocational and technical education causes low enrolment into technical colleges?
iv. What are the intervention measures needed for improving students’ enrolment into technical colleges?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The projected outcome, after the societal attitude has been identified, will be of benefit to the Lagos State Ministry of Education. It will enable the ministry to be aware of the responsible for running away from technical colleges. By doing this it will enable them set up strategies that will create awareness so as to make parents and students know the needs and benefits of being craftsmen.
The projected outcome of the economical factors and value system will be of benefit to the industry and the employers of labour. It will make them know they need to participate in funding of technical colleges and craftsmen training programmes. The benefit is that the society will realize that craftsmen are important to themselves and the society.
After the intervention measures needed for improving students enrolment, it will be of benefit to the individuals and the society. It will make them realize that being a craftsman will make them acquire skill to be highly employable and be self-employed. The benefit is that the unemployment rate and drop-out rate will reduce and there will also be low wastage of resources (material and human) of the government.
1.6 Scope of Study
This scope of this study borders on technical college teachers perception on causes of low enrolment into technical colleges. The study is however delimited to technical college teachers in Offa Local government area in Kwara State.
1.7 Limitation of Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering technical college teachers in Offa Local government area in Kwara State Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other private schools in other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.
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