Background Of The Study
Basic electronics is one of the vocational subjects taught at Nigeria’s technical institutes. According to Adesina (2002), electronics is a science and technology-related topic of study. It is concerned with the control and manipulation of electrons as they travel across space. It is used in radios, TVs, computers, transmitters, receivers, and aeronautics, among other uses. According to the Federal Ministry of Education (FME), the objectives of studying basic electronics in technical schools in Nigeria are to: increase students’ understanding of basic electronics concepts and principles; build and test simple electronic devices; develop skills in circuit fault tracing and repair; apply simple electronic devices in the construction of electronic systems; and adequately prepare students for further work in electronics (NPE, 2004). Electronics should be one of the vocational courses offered in technical schools, according to the National Policy on Education (2004), in order to produce skilled workforce and the required training for the acquisition of skills by an economically self-sufficient individual. However, it looks as if the method subjects in Basic Electronics are presented lacks the instructional technique that results in an engaging style. Berryman (2000) stated that this implies that the instructions are not rationally sequenced to match the learners’ competence, since teachers are unable to give teacher-led practice for reciprocal teaching. According to Boyle, Duffy, and Donleavy (2003), the methods are founded on behavioral learning theory, place an emphasis on knowledge transfer from teachers to passive students, and promote fact memory via rote repetition. Campbell and Campbell (1999) observed that when students are inactive in the classroom, they develop an apathy towards learning and an aversion to it. As a result, students are unable to remember learning and adapt it to new contexts (Roegge, Wentling, and Bragg, 1996). The deficiencies of current teaching methods contribute to pupils’ low performance in the Senior School Certificate Examination and the National Examination Council (NECO) Examination. Examination Council Chief Examiners’ findings (1989 and 1990) indicated that senior secondary school students in West Africa performed very poorly in basic electronics. The council recommended, among other things, that vocational subjects, such as Basic Electronics, be taught using suitable instructional methods to maximize teaching achievement.
Given the aforementioned, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) (2002) proposed that all technical and vocational education systems in the twenty-first century be oriented around lifelong learning.
This requires schools to instill, alongside academic skills, workplace skills such as learning to learn, creativity, problem-solving skills, collaborative skills, and higher-order thinking skills in order to increase students’ flexibility and job mobility, thereby making them more adaptable to current and future changes (Hallak and Poisson, 2000; Paris, 1998). Rojewskin (2002) stated that in this setting, a movement away from teacher-centered instruction toward learner-centered instruction is necessary to allow students to acquire new 21st century knowledge and skills. To provide a student-centered manner of teaching Basic Electronics, methods such as projector-mediated instruction and demonstration were to be implemented.
Additionally, Suleiman (2005) highlighted that basic electronics teaching in Nigerian technical schools is lacking; it is beset by a slew of issues, including a lack of funds, equipment, tools, infrastructure, insufficient teaching materials, and untrained people. Apagu (2007) remarked that technical education goals can be met only if suitable teaching materials, equipment, tools, infrastructure, competent people, finance, and curriculum design are available. In light of the above, this study focuses on the importance and issues associated with effective teaching of basic electronics in Nigerian technical institutes.
Statement Of The Problem
According to industrial supervisors and employees, electrical/electronics students’ job performance reveals that there is no adequate or acceptable link between academic work and industrial performance. According to Nwosu (2005), various barriers exist to electrical/electronics students attaining this state of impediment, including a lack of funds, equipment, tools, infrastructure, poor educational materials, and unskilled personnel. Apagu (2007) said that technical education goals can be accomplished only with the availability of instructional materials, equipment, tools, infrastructure, qualified personnel, money, and a curriculum design that is adequate for technical education. Adhering to Apagu’s (2007) perspective in practice will aid in instilling fundamental workplace skills in students such as learning to learn, creativity, problem solving, collaborative skills, and higher order thinking, thereby increasing their flexibility and job mobility and making them more adaptable to current and future changes (Hallak and Poisson, 2000; Paris, 1998). The purpose of this study is to ascertain the relevance and impediments to successfully teaching fundamental electronics in Nigerian technical colleges..
Objective Of The Study
The general aim of this study is to critically examine the relevance and challenges affecting the effective teaching of basic electronics in technical colleges in Nigeria. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;
1. Investigate why basic electronics in technical schools is important to students.
2. Identify the factors affecting the teaching of basic electronics in technical schools.
3. Ascertain how the challenges can mitigated.
The study will be guided by the following questions;
1) Why is basic electronics in technical schools important to students?
2) What are the factors affecting the teaching of basic electronics in technical schools?
3) How can the challenges can mitigated?
Significance Of The Study
The beneficiaries of the study include:
Students:The findings of this study would also be of immense benefits to the students of technical colleges, as it would make them fully aware of the strategies for enhancing their performance in applied electricity.
Technical teachers/Instructors: The result of the study will help teachers and technical instructors to improve the practical work and learning of basic technology, specifically practical work which will be of immense benefit to the students.
Government: it will help the government to understand the constrains impeding the teaching of basic electronics and how to solve them.
Society: the society benefits from this study because increased and improved productivity of the students, teachers and industries leads to the economic development of the nation.
Industries: It will reduce the cost of training and re-training of manpower by the industries by providing readily available manpower resources.
Scope Of The Study
This study is structured to generally examine the relevance and challenges affecting the effective teaching of basic electronics in technical colleges in Nigeria. However, the study will further investigate why basic electronics in technical schools is important to students, identify the factors affecting the teaching of basic electronics in technical schools, and ascertain how the challenges can mitigated.
This study will be delimited to Government Technical College Onitsha, Anambra State.
Limitation Of The Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher 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. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
Definition Of Terms
Basic Electronics: is the study of flow of electrons in various materials or space subjected o various conditions.
Technical Colleges: a college of further education providing courses in a range of practical subjects, such as information technology, applied sciences, engineering, agriculture and secretariat skills.