BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
It is impossible to place enough emphasis on the significance of getting a good vocational education in modern-day Nigeria. Borishadee (2022) characterized vocational education as the launchpad that is intended to raise Nigeria’s standing in the council of nations. This according to Jiboku (2022) made the observation that up to the present day, Nigeria has had a desperate need for workers, particularly in the fields of engineering, science, and technology. Vocational education is the only route that can lead to the realization of the nation’s objective of accelerating technical progress. The Nigerian formal educational system has never included Vocational Education. For example, the Education Ordinances of 1882, 1887, 1908, and 1916 were all silent on Technical Education. This is because the colonial education system in Nigeria has repeatedly asserted that its purpose was to produce people who could only read, write, and keep records, and who were willing to serve the colonial masters in whatever capacity they deemed fit. In the sphere of non-formal education, Jiboku (2022) further asserted that Nigerian traditional grouping dates back to the beginning of vocational education. Methods both formal and informal were used to obtain the necessary skills. The apprenticeship system was common before the introduction of Western education, which caused a frenzy for white-collar jobs and was detrimental to the development of formal vocational education (Jiboku ,2022).
However, events quickly demonstrated that Vocational Education could not be completely swept under the rug; as a result, a number of comprehensive schools (both assisted and non-assisted), vocational training centers, Technical Colleges, Colleges of Education (Technical), and Colleges of Technology were established where the teaching of Vocational and Technical subjects were predominant up to the level of Technician. The publication of the report of the Ashby Commission in 1960 on investments in education marked the beginning of the federal government’s substantial participation in the formation of and support for vocational education.
In addition to this, it resulted in the incorporation of vocation-oriented topics into the curriculum of Nigerian secondary schools.
The Ashby commission report found that the secondary education system lacked vocational and technical education courses, and as a result, it recommended that the system be updated to include these types of programs. For the purpose of providing an analytical analysis of the commission report, education symposiums, workshops, symposia, and conferences were arranged. In a nutshell, the goals of vocational education can be summed up as follows:
I responding to the demands placed on the labor force by the society;
(ii) broadening the range of opportunities open to each student; and
(iii) acting as a driving force to improve the quality of education across the board. It is also noticed that Vocational Education had the qualities that the student who was unable to advance in academic education had the choice to utilize his expertise to make a livelihood via the Vocational Education program. This was a benefit of the Vocational Education program. In an attempt to adapt with the changing times and suit the requirements of the population, the government of Nigeria has chosen to reorganize the educational system that is in place across the nation. The federal government issued a brand new National Policy on Education in 1977, which was subsequently amended the following year in 1981. The new secondary education program in Nigeria should be developed to be both functional and practical, as stipulated by the policy. This new program should also be qualitatively and structurally distinct from the one that is already in place in the country. This ultimately resulted in the development of educational systems based on the 6-3-3-4 format. Concern over whether or not the teaching of vocational courses in schools will fulfill its promise to promote the country among the council of nations led the typical Nigerian’s morale to decline. The attitude of students toward vocational topics may be related to a number of different factors, the most notable of which is insufficient financing; an issue that has remained right from the beginning of the program till the present day. To purchase the machinery and equipment that will be put in the regular workshop, money will be required.
According to Olateru-Olagbegi,(2022)the lack of finance in certain states caused the construction of workshops without the necessary equipment in some areas, while in other states the situation was the opposite. As a direct result of the factors discussed above, vocational topics are often presented with little or very little hands-on training.
Because of this, pursuing vocational topics might leave students feeling dissatisfied.
Research investigations that were carried out by Power (2021) revealed that pupils in Senior Secondary Schools ranked vocational disciplines lower on their lists of preferred subjects than they did academic ones. Other causes that are adduced include social values, the impact of parents, the bandwagon effect in topic choosing, the potential and salary of employees in diverse sectors of vocational study, and so on. According to Borishade (2022), the attitude of students may also be linked back to a lack of skilled staff to teach vocational topics. This is something that has to be addressed. The technical instructors who are educated in our institutions produce “half-baked” graduates due to the fact that these institutions do not have sufficient equipment that will make teaching easier. Those who were trained in other countries where there was equipment are unable to function because our schools do not have comparable equipment. Physics teachers are being drafted to teach most vocational subjects especially introductory technology because there is a lack of other qualified teachers. This pattern has to be corrected immediately if we are to have any hope of realizing our vision of a technologically advanced country.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
With all of the incentives promised by school administrators, parents, and teachers to students, especially in Secondary Schools; the attitude of students toward the subject is still negative. This study investigates the attitude of students toward the study of vocational subjects in secondary schools. According to the results of research that was carried out by Bakare (2022), it has been found that the number of students who selected for Technical and vocational focused topics in the senior secondary level was not encouraging in terms of enrollment. Olateru-Olagbegi (2022) also asserted that there are quite a number of factors that are affecting students in the selection of vocational subjects at the Senior Secondary School level. Some of these factors include a lack of interest and a negative attitude on the part of students who are enrolled in vocational programs. This unfavorable attitude toward the selection of vocational courses has an effect on the generation of vocational and technology specialists, which is crucial for the nation’s overall technological growth. Therefore, the question that needs to be asked is whether or not the attitudes that students have towards vocational subjects are affected by environmental factors such as the level of education that their parents have, the occupational status of their parents, and the personality and gender of their teachers.
OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
This general objective of the study is an investigation into students attitude towards vocational study in secondary schools. Specifically, the study will be guided under the following:
- To examine if lack of tools and equipment affects students attitude towards vocational studies.
- To find out if parental influence affects students attitude towards vocational studies
- To investigate if employment guarantee affect students attitude towards vocational studies.
The following research questions will be considered in the course of the study:
- Does lack of tools and equipment affects students attitude towards vocational studies?
- Does parental influence affects students attitude towards vocational studies?
- Does employment guarantee affect students attitude towards vocational studies?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is expected that answers to the research questions will be of tremendous help to practicing teachers and those in training who are to impart skills into students.
School administrators will benefit from the outcome of the study as it is hoped to expose the danger inherent in creating official bottlenecks in the implementation of programme especially in the areas of equipment and materials.
Curriculum designers and scheme developers will also get first hand information as to what actually happen to the blue-prints sent to schools and will attempt a general evaluation and overhauling of the system.
The study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study willexamine if lack of tools and equipment affects students attitude towards vocational studies. The study will also find out if parental influence affects students attitude towards vocational studies. Lastly, the study will investigate if employment guarantee affect students attitude towards vocational studies. Hence this study will be delimited to Enugu State.