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The purpose of this study is to appraise the attitude of female secondary school students towards technical education in Kaduna State, a case study of Kaduna North LGA. Specifically, the study will determine:
i. The Attitude of the female secondary school students towards technical education in Kaduna State.
ii. The factors responsible for the female secondary school students’ attitude towards technical education in Kaduna State.
iii. The effect of female secondary school students’ attitude towards technical education on the development of the State.
iv. Strategies of enhancing positive attitudes of female secondary school students’ attitude towards technical education in Kaduna State.
Vocational/ technical education are among the vital tools an individual can use to be developed. It is a training for useful employment in trade, industries, agriculture, business and home making etc. The emphasis on vocation technical education is to prepare one for self reliance. American vocational association (1971) sees vocational subjects as those designed to develop skills, abilities, understanding, attitude, work habit and appreciation encompassing knowledge and information needed by workers to enter and make progress in employment on a useful and productive basis. It contributes to the production of good citizens by developing their physical, social, civic, cultural and economic competencies.
The advent of formal education in Nigeria neglected vocational and technical education entirely. Despite all efforts made to recognize it, yet little or no attention has been given to it. No meaningful development was made in the area of vocational education until 1981, when the National policy on Education was published. Due to total neglect, vocational education suffered a major decline in quality, number, policy and directive in Nigeria. It was after the oil boom era 1970s that it dawned on the nation that there was acute scarcity of skilled manpower.
Osuala (1999) emphasized that the term either technical or vocational education has no single universally accepted definition but what is common in the various definitions is its goals and objectives that remain the same. Technical education has been defined as that phase of education which seeks to help the people, students and the populace acquire specific mechanical or manipulative skills required in industrial arts or applied science.
The national policy on education (2004), stated the goals and objectives of vocational and technical education as follows:
(1) to provide trained manpower in applied science, technology and commerce particular at sub-professional grades.
(2) to provide technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for agriculture, industries, commercial and economic development.
(3) to give training and impact the necessary skills leading to the production of craft-men, technicians and other skilled personnel who will be enterprising and self-reliant.
(4) enable our young men and women to have intelligent understanding of the increasing complexity of technology.
(5) to give an introduction to professional studies in engineering and other technologies.
Yole (1986) reported that occupational areas within which vocational and technical educational education subjects fall largely into are: Agriculture, Home economics, Business and mechanics, capacity, countering, Arts etc.
Achievement of the above stated objectives would be to the extent of producing and ensuring high quality and quantity of human resources. Production of adequate human resources invariably entails equipping the youth (both male and female) with employability skills in technology that will enable them live functional and productive live. The scenario in Kaduna State has been more males seeking and acquiring technological skills than females. This, no doubt, spells doom for technological development and emancipation of the country especially as over half of entire population are females. The population census figure (2006) showed that females constitute more than 50 per cent of the total population therefore, they must be involved in all spheres or plans of the country’s labour force including technical education. Olajumoke (1990) observed that, Nigerian educational system, especially technical education which have high potential to create jobs for the unemployed and solve most of the human problems, is yet to be embraced by majority of Nigerian women. Girls and women are very important in nation building. The highest possible welfare is achieved only when individuals (women and men) in any nation produce to the limit of their capabilities (Ogbuanya, 2008). Therefore, there can be no meaningful development in Kaduna State if girls are deprived of opportunity to acquire technical skills. It is then very necessary that deliberate effort be made to bridge the gender gap in technology skill acquisition for national development.
Background of the study
People are attracted or repelled to something by their views concerning that thing. What determines whether one will be attracted, get the best and make good representation of an experience is attitude. Attitude is an individual attribute, can be developed, influenced and changed over time. Researches have shown that attitude plays a very vital role in learning processes (Joyce & Farenga, 2000; Osborne, Simon, & Collins, 2003; Altınok, 2004; Sabellah, 2010; Anwer, 2012). The learning ability of an individual can be increased by improving such individual’s attitude (Depaolo & Mclaren, 2006). Attitude arouses student’s interest, stirs participation and consequently achievement (Anwer, 2012). According to Mwamwenda (1995) students’ performance in a particular subject is determined by their attitudes not ability to study. A number of studies on students’ attitude and academic achievement correlation found in literatures showed positive relationship (Aremu, 1998; Cheung 2009; Njuguna (as cited in Sabellah, 2010); Rana 2002; Papanastasiou & Zembylas, 2004; Fraser & Fisher (as cited in Fraser & Tobin, 1998); Myint & Goh, 2001; Chui-Seng, 2004; Mucherah, 2008; Akpınar, Yıldız, Tatar, & Ergin, 2009).
Comparing female participation in technical training with their participation in the formal educational system, the progress of women in science and technology is dismal. At the primary school level, female enrolment is almost on a par with that of males, about 48.8 per cent. At the secondary school level, female enrolment declines slightly to about 42.8 per cent (Ngau, 1991). In 1990, out of a total enrolment of 24,153 in technical training institutes, 15,534 were boys and 8,619 or 35.7 per cent were girls (Mburugu, 1992). At the university level, female enrolment was just about 22 per cent. According to Hughes and Mweria (1989), between 1976 and 1987, women never constituted more than 15 per cent of the total Bachelor of Science enrolment, nor more than 4 per cent of the Engineering enrolment at the Nigerian University.
Conversely, women students formed the majority of the 373 (46%) sampled students who were enrolled in the traditionally feminine courses of Home Economics (HE), Secretarial Studies (SS), Food Technology (FT), Institutional Management (IM), Textile Technology (TT) and Garment Making (GM). It is logical to argue that the type of training and therefore the skills acquired will have tremendous effect on either employment or self-employment opportunities available to graduates.
In order for females to keep in consonance with overall national development, there is an urgent need to prepare, encourage and attract more females in science and technology-based occupations so that they can play an effective role in the socio-economic and technological advancement of the Nigerian society. According to Mazurui (1980), when the West has gone to the moon and come back, the African is still struggling to get to the village. And main differentiating factor? Levels of technological advancement! Therefore, one of the most cardinal development tasks for Africans, and particularly for Nigerian women, is overcoming scientific and technological lag, which stems from diverse factors in our traditional, colonial and post-colonial cultural legacies. One of these factors is attitude of females towards technical education which is at a dismal level, a very sad situation.
Statement of the problem
Skills required for technological development in Nigeria at secondary level are acquired from technical colleges. Technical colleges are meant to produce craftsmen and technicians who will be enterprising and self reliant. The quality and quantity of human resources needed in Nigeria demand that both males and females are supposed to acquire skills for technological development. Unfortunately, Females seem to shy away from technical education courses especially at technical college level. A clear evidence of this is seen in female enrolment figures in different technical colleges in Kaduna State. For instance, female enrolment in 2008/2009 session for carpentry and joinery, electrical installation, fitting and machining, welding and fabrication, motor mechanics, refrigerator and air conditioning, radio and televisions at government technical college (GTC) Malali is zero %, 2.5%, zero%, 2.6%, zero%, zero%, zero% respectively of total enrolment. To further give light on the low participation of women in technical subjects for the enrolment of boys and girls in government technical college, Kajuru for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 sessions. The gap is rooted in attitudinal, structural and systematic gender based inequalities (NGP 2006).
In Nigeria, the psycho-social burden of the girl child is not helpful to her education, especially in the non-traditional careers such as science and technology. Culturally, family affairs was considered the ideal role of the women in the traditional Nigerian society, especially in Kaduna State. Women were not allowed to participate in technical education programme. Gender inequity in training and employment opportunities is an age long issue in Nigeria, which has in no small measure affected female participation in technical education to the detriment of the goal attainment of technological development in Kaduna state and in Nigeria at large.
Correcting and improving this poor attitude of female secondary school students towards technical education course should not be left to chance, therefore the for this study “Attitude of Female Secondary School Students Towards Technical Education in Kaduna State, a case study of Kaduna North LGA”.
Significance of the Study
The study of the attitude of female secondary school students towards technical education in Kaduna State, a case study of Kaduna North LGA is expected to be significant to the generality of the people in view of the important role women play in the social and economic development of the society. The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to the government, proprietors of the technical colleges (State Ministries of Education), the National Board for Technical Education, teachers, parents, female students and curriculum developers.
The findings of this study could be used to develop policy framework for correcting gender disparity in technical education in Kaduna State in particular and in Nigeria at large. It is hoped that this study would guide policy makers in coming out with paradigms that would remove female negative attitudes in technical education, after restructuring the old policy on technical education.
The findings will enable state ministries of education (proprietors of the Technical Colleges) to take decisions on the kinds of improvements or reorganizations of courses in technical colleges that are necessary in order to enhance the teaching and learning process. Improvements that may be carried out by state Ministries of Education in the technical colleges will help in increasing the enrolment of females in technical education programme for the benefit of students and teachers, in teaching and learning processes.
The findings of the study could be used to establish policy guidelines for the technical training of females. The information generated from the study will enable the Federal and State Ministries of Education to reorganize technical education programmes and facilities to make them attractive and accessible to males and females. The findings of this study if implemented in technical education programmes could go a long way in helping the technical education students during training to acquire skills necessary for employment in the manufacturing industry.
The NBTE, which is charged with the responsibility of accreditation of programmes and enforcement of standards in the technical colleges, may use the outcome of this study to come up with standards for future planning of technical courses and for enhancing the enrolment of females in technical education. The findings of this study would be useful to technical college teachers. This is because based on the findings, the technical education authority could make serious effort to provide those tools, equipment and instructional materials identified by the study for enhancing gender equity in technical education programmes. Curriculum developers in technical education will also benefit from the findings of this study, as it will help them to identify and include in the curriculum those courses and facilities suitable for both male and female in technical fields. More importantly, the findings of this study will help to change attitudinal perceptions of parents towards women education, particularly, technical education and provide them with empirical data on how to encourage their girl-child to participate in technical education programmes. The findings of the study would be useful to scholars in girl-child education because it would add to the existing literature in that area. Thus, future planning based on the formation of new policy on gender equity, will motivate students and
teachers and improve the participation of females and also enhance the teaching and learning processes in technical education programmes. The findings of the study would be useful to the society which adopts all measures to ensure that females do not venture into male-dominated courses.
The following research questions will guide this study:
i. What is Attitude of the female secondary school students towards technical education in Kaduna State?
ii. What are the factors responsible for the female secondary school students’ attitude towards technical education in Kaduna State?
iii. What are the effect of female secondary school students’ attitude towards technical education on the development of the State?
iv. What are the strategies of enhancing positive attitudes of female secondary school students’ attitude towards technical education in Kaduna State?
Scope of the study
This study is delimited to attitude of female secondary school students towards technical education in Kaduna State, a case study of Kaduna North LGA. The focus is on the Government Technical College Malali
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