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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Growing public demand and legislative expectations for accountability in the past two decades have made it imperative that higher education administrators and researchers pay attention to the potential impact of student work programmes on skill development, which in turn, impacts directly on national development objectives. Okpor and Hassan (2012) opined that ‘if Vocational Technical Education is to be meaningful and successful in Nigeria, then relationships are needed between public and private sectors to partner effectively with Vocational Technical Education and skill acquisition programmes.’ Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWES) is a skill development program designed to prepare students of Nigerian tertiary institutions for transition from the college environment to work, (Akerejola 2008). Oyedele (1990) also states that work experience is an educational program in which students participate in work activities while attending school. This work experience program gives students the opportunity to be part of an actual work situation outside the classroom.
The Student Industrial Work-Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a planned and supervised training intervention based on stated and specific learning and career objectives, and geared towards developing the occupational competencies of the participants. It is a programme required to be undertaken by all students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria pursuing courses in “specialized engineering, technical, business, pure and applied sciences and applied arts” (ITF, 2004). Therefore, SIWES is generic, cutting across over 60 programmes in the universities, over 40 programmes in the polytechnics and about 10 programmes in the colleges of education.
Thus, SIWES is not specific to any one course of study or discipline.
The impact of Students Industrial Work Experience (SIWES) has thus, been a cause of concern to education and economic planners, particularly with respect to graduate employment and impact on the general societal development. There are also mixed concerns about how much of it that is actually helpful to student’s academic performance and job readiness after graduation. While some institutions and programs permit SIWES for only three months, others go for up to one year. There has been several research literatures, in the area of student work experience and its impact on student development of fitness for the challenges of the job market. A review of literature reveals that, although research questions raised are quite straightforward, the answers had been controversial. It all depends on which outcomes are measured (Furr and Elling, 2000).
For every study which postulates the benefits of students work experience, there is an equally compelling study purporting the exact opposite (Aper, 1994). However, this research is focused on examining the impact of Student Industrial Work-Experience Scheme (SIWES) on students after completion of the programme.
Ugwuanyi and Ezema (2010) noted that SIWES plays a significant role in human resource development in Nigeria. Aderonke (2011) in her study examined SIWES and the dynamics of sustainable skills acquisition and utilization in Nigeria with a view to determining the viability or otherwise of government continuing investment in the scheme. She concluded that SIWES is a good strategy for sustainable skill development and utilization in Nigeria.
Wodi and Dokubo (2009) evaluates the extent to which the agencies involved in the operation and management of SIWES function to achieve the objectives of the programme. Lack of adequate supervision, non signing of necessary materials like ITF Form 8 and students’ logbooks at their places of attachment, difficulties of students in getting placement, unnecessary delay in the payment of students and supervisors’ allowance among others were areas of weaknesses revealed.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a human capital formation programme through industrial attachment for which students are expected to have a practical experience on the basis of theories and principles acquired in the teaching-learning process. However, the prevalence of the inability of participants of SIWES to secure employment after the programme or even perform effectively if given employment casts doubt on the continuing relevance of SIWES to the contemporary industrial development drive in Nigeria. Human resource development constitutes the most critical factor in the development process and the quality must therefore be inherent in the productive capacity of people. Human societies in the quest for development have identified and developed institutional as well as structured training and educational programmes as major avenues for processing human beings to acquire the necessary skills and technical competence for their roles in the development of the society.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the impact of Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) on student after completion of the programme.
- To examine the effectiveness of Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) towards student development.
- To examine the relationship between Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and employability after graduation.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the impact of Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) on student after completion of the programme?
- What is the effectiveness of Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) towards student development?
- What is the relationship between Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and employability after graduation?
HO: There is no significant relationship between Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and employability after graduation.
HA: There is significant relationship between Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and employability after graduation.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- The outcome of this study will form a useful guide for university management on how to restructure the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) with a bid to realize the objective of the proramme.
- This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the impact of Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) on student after completion of the programme will cover how the programme is been organized and implemented.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Aderonke Agnes Oyeniyi (2011), Students Industrial Work Experience and the Dynamics of Sustainable Skills Acquisition and Utilization among Graduates in Nigeria Research Journal of InternatÄ±onal StudÄ±es - Issue 19 (June., 2011) pp130-136
Akerejola, R. 2004. “Information for Student’s Industrial Work Experience Scheme”. Jos: ITF.
Aper, J. P. (1994).An investigation of the relationship between student work experience and student outcomes. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED375750).
Furr, S. and Elling, T. W. (2000).The influence of work on college student development.NASPA Journal, 37(2), 454-470.
ITF (2004).Information and Guideline for Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme: Reviewed 2004. Industrial Training Fund, Jos, Nigeria.
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